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down your horse-races and other such like sports and diversions? And is the luxury of your tables, and the variety and profusion of your wines and liquors, quite banished from among you?”
This should be a caution to Americans, how they indulge for the future in British luxuries. See here British generosity! The people, who have made you poor by their worthless, I mean useless, commodities, would now make you poorer by taxing you; and from the very inability you have brought on yourselves, by a partiality for their fashions and modes of living, of which they have had the whole profit, would now urge your ability to pay the taxes they are pleased to impose. Reject, then, their commerce, as well as their pretended power of taxing. Be frugal and industrious, and you will be free. The luxury of your tables, which could be known to the English only by your hospitably entertaining them, is by these grateful guests now made a charge against you, and given as a reason for taxing you.
“Be it also allowed, as it is commonly asserted, that the public debt of the several provinces amounts to eight hundred thousand pounds sterling."
I have heard, Mr. Dean, that you have studied political arithmetic more than divinity, but, from this sample of it, I fear to very little purpose. . service were the matter in question, out of so many millions of souls, so many men might be expected, whether here or in America. But, when raising money is the question, it is not the number of souls, but the wealth in possession, that shows the ability. If we were twice as numerous as the people of England, it would not follow that we are half as able. There are numbers of single estates in England, each worth a hundred of the best of ours in North America. The
city of London alone is worth all the provinces of North America.
“When each of us pays, one with another, twenty shillings per head, we expect that each of you should pay the sum of one shilling! Blush, blush, for shame at your perverse and scandalous behaviour !"
Blush for shame at your own ignorance, Mr. Dean, who do not know that the colonies have taxes, and heavy ones of their own to pay, to support their own civil and military establishments; and that the shillings should not be reckoned upon heads, but upon pounds. There never was a sillier argument.
“ Witness our county taxes, militia taxes, poor taxes, vagrant taxes, bridge taxes, high-road and turnpike taxes, watch taxes, lamp and scavenger taxes, &c. &c. &c.”
And have we not all these taxes too, as well as you, and our provincial or public taxes besides ? And, over and above, have we not new roads to make, new bridges to build, churches and colleges to found, and a number of other things to do, that your fathers have done for you, and which you inherit from them, but which we are obliged to pay for out of our present labor ?
“We require of you to contribute only one shilling to every twenty from each of us. Yes, and this shilling too to be spent in your own country, for the support of your own civil and military establishments.”
How fond he is of this one shilling and twenty. Who has desired this of you, and who can trust you to lay it out? If you are thus to provide for our civil and military establishments, what use will there afterwards be for our assemblies ?
“ And yet, small and inconsiderable, as this share is, you will not pay it. No, you will not! and it is at our peril if we demand it.”
No! we will pay nothing on compulsion.
“For how, and in what manner, do you prove your allegations ? Why, truly, by breaking forth into riots and insurrections, and by committing every kind of violence that can cause trade to stagnate, and industry to cease."
The Americans never brought riots as arguments. It is unjust to charge two or three riots in particular places upon all America. Look for arguments in the petitions and remonstrances of the assemblies, who detest riots, of which there are ten in England for one in America.
"Perhaps you meant to insinuate (though it was prudence in you not to speak out), that the late act was ill-contrived and ill-timed, because it was made at a juncture when neither the French were in your rear to frighten, nor the English fleets and armies on your front to force you to a compliance.”
It seems a prevailing opinion in England, that fear of their French neighbours would have kept the colonies in obedience to the Parliament, and that, if the French power had not been subdued, no opposition would have been made to the Stamp Act. groundless notion. On the contrary, had the French power continued, to which the Americans might have had recourse in the case of oppression from Parliament, Parliament would not have dared to oppress them. It was the employment of fifty thousand men by land, and a fleet on the coast, for five years, to subdue the French only. Half the land army were provincial. Suppose the British twenty-five thousand had acted by themselves, with all the colonies against them; what time would it have taken to subdue the whole ? « Or shall we give you entirely up,
submit to be governed by the same laws as we are, and pay something towards maintaining yourselves ? ”
The impudence of this language to colonies, who have ever maintained themselves, is astonishing! Except the late attempted colonies of Nova Scotia and Georgia, no colony ever received maintenance in any shape from Britain ; and the grants to those colonies were mere jobs for the benefit of ministerial favorites, English or Scotchmen.
“Whether we are to give you entirely up, and, after having obliged you to pay your debts, whether we are to have no further connexion with you as a dependent state or colony”
Throughout all America English debts are more easily recovered than in England, the process being shorter and less expensive, and land subject to execution for the payment of debts. Evidence, taken ex parte in England, to prove a debt, is allowed in their courts, and during the whole dispute there was not one single instance of any English merchant's meeting with the least obstruction in any process or suit commenced there for that purpose.
“Externally, by being severed from the British empire, you will be excluded from cutting logwood in the bays of Campeachy and Honduras, from fishing on the banks of Newfoundland, on the coast of Labrador, or in the bay of St. Lawrence, &c.”
We have no use for logwood, but to remit it for your fineries. We joined in conquering the Bay of St. Lawrence and its dependencies. As to the Sugar Islands, if you won't allow us to trade with them, perhaps you will allow them to trade with us; or do you intend to starve them ? Pray keep your bounties, and let us hear no more of them; and your troops, who never protected us against the savages, nor are fit for such
a service; and the three hundred thousand pounds, which you seem to think so much clear profit to us, when, in fact, they never spend a penny among us, but they have for it from us a penny's worth. The manufactures they buy are brought from you ; the provisions we could, as we always did, sell elsewhere for as much money. Holland, France, and Spain would all be glad of our custom, and pleased to see the separation.
“ And, after all, and in spite of any thing you can do, we in Britain shall still retain the greatest part of your European trade, because we shall give a better price for many of your commodities, than you can have anywhere else, and we shall sell to you several of our manufactures, especially in the woollen-stuff and metal way, on cheaper terms.”
Oho! Then you will still trade with us! But can that be without our trading with you? And how can you buy our oil, if we catch no whales ?
“The leaders of your parties will then be setting all their engines to work, to make fools become the dupes of fools.”
Just as they do in England.
“ And instead of having troops to defend them, and those troops paid by Great Britain, they must defend themselves, and pay themselves.”
To defend them! To oppress, insult, and murder them, as at Boston! “Not to mention, that the expenses of your civil
, governments will be necessarily increased ; and that a fleet more or less must belong to each province for guarding their coasts, ensuring the payment of duties, and the like."
These evils are all imaginations of the author. The same were predicted to the Netherlands, but have never yet happened. But suppose all of them together,