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was pleased to say, he had had the bills long under consideration, and waited the result of the house.” The house well understood this hint; and immediately resolved into a committee of the whole house, to take what was called the governor's support into consideration; in which they made (the micutes say) some progress; and the next morning it appears, that that progress, whatever it was, had been communicated 10 him; for he sent them down this message by his secretary: “ Mr. Speaker, the governor commands me to acquaint you, that as he has received assurances of a good disposition in the house, he thinks it incumbent on him to show the like on his part; and therefore sends down the bills which lay before him, without any amendment.” As this message only showed a good disposition, but contained no promise to pass the bills, the house seem to have had their doubts; and therefore, February 2, when they came to resolve, on the report of the grand committee, to give the money, they guarded their resolves very cautiously, viz. “Re solved, that

passage of such bills as now lie before the governor, (the naturalization bill, and such other bills as may be presented to him during this sitting) there be paid him the sum of five hundred pounds. Resolved also, that on the passage of such bills as now lie before the governor (the naturalization bill, and such other bills as may be presented to him this sitting) there be paid to the governor the further sum of one thousand pounds, for the current year's support; and that orders be drawn on the treasurer and trustees of the loan-office, pursuant to these resolves.” The orders were accordingly drawn; with which being acquainted, he appointed a time to pass the bills ; which was done

on the

with one hand, while he received the order in the other : and then with the utmost politeness [he] thanked the house for the fifteen hundred pounds, as if it had been a pure free gift, and a mere mark of their respect and affection. I thank you, gentleman (says he) for this instance of your regard; which I ain the more pleased with, as it gives an agreeable prospect of future harmony between me and the representatives of the people.” This, reader, is an exact counterpart of the transaction with governor Denny; except that Denny sent word to the house, that he would pass the bills before they voted the support. And yet here was no proprietary clamour about bribery, &c. And why so? Why at that time the proprietary family, by virtue of a secret bond they had obtained of the governor at bis appointment, were to share with him the sums so obtained of the people!

This reservation of the proprietaries they were at that time a little ashamed of? and therefore such bonds were then to be secrets.

kind of sinning, frequent repetition lessens shame, and increases boldness, we find the proprietaries ten years afterwards openly insisting on these advantages to themselves, over and above what was paid to their deputy: “Wherefore (say they) on this occasion it is necessary that we should inform the people, through yourselves their representa" tives, that as by the constitution our consent is neccssary to their laws, at the same time that they have an undoubted right to such as are necessary for the defence aud real service of the country; so it will tend the better to facilitate the several matters which must be transacted with us, for their representatives to show a regard to us and our interest." This was in their answer to the

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But as,

in every

representation of the assembly [Votes, December, 1754, p. 18.] on the justice of their contributing to Indian expences, which they had refused. And on this clause the committee make the following remark: "They tell us their consent is necessary to our laws, and that it will tend the better to facilitate the matters which must be transacted with them, for the representatives to show a regard to their interest: that is (as we understand it) though the proprietaries have a deputy here, supported by the province, who is, or oughi to be, fully impowered to pass all laws necessary for the service of the country; yet, before we can obtain such laws, we must facilitate their passage by paying money for the proprietaries, which they ought to pay; or in some shape make it their particular interest to pass them. We hope, however, that if this practice has ever been begun, it will never be continued in this province; and that since, as this very paragraph allows, we have an undoubted right to such laws, we shall always be able to obtain them from the goodness of our sovereign, without going to market for them to a subject.” Time has shown, that those hopes were vain; they have been obliged to go to that market ever since, directly or indirectly, or go without their laws. The practice has continued, and will continue, as long as the proprietary government subsists, intervening between the crown and the people.

Do not, my courteous reader, take pet at our propri. etary constitution, for these our bargain and sale proceedings in legislation. It is a happy country where justice, and what was your own before, can be had for ready money. It is another addition to the value of money, and of course another spur to industry. Every land is not so blessed. There are countries where the princely proprietor claims to be lord of all property; where what is your own shall not only be wrested froin you, but the money you give to have it restored shall be kept with it; and your offering so much, being a sign of your being too rich, you shall be plundered of every thing that remained. These times are not come here yet: your present proprietors have never been more unreasonable hitherto, than barely to ipsist on your fighting in defence of their property, and paying the expence yourselves; or if their estates must [ah! must] be taxed towards it, that the best of their lands shall be taxed no higher than the worst of yours.


Pardon this disgression, and I return to governor Denny: but first let me do governor Hamilton the justice to observe, that whether from the uprightness of his own disposition, or from the odious light the practice had been set in on Denny's account, or from both; he did not attempt these bargains, but passed such laws as he thought fit to pass, without any previous stipulation of pay for th

them. But then, when he saw the assembly tardy in the payment he expected, and yet calling upon him still to pass more laws; he openly put them in mind of the money, as a debt due to him from custom. “In the course of the present year (says he, in his message of July 8, 1763) a great deal of public bysiness hath been transacted by me, and I believe as many useful laws enacted, as by any of my predecessors in the same space of time : yet I have not understood that

any allowance hath hitherto been made to me for my support, as hath been customary in this province ." The house having then some hills in hand, took the matter into immediate consideration, and 6

voted trary

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voied him five hundred pounds, for which an order or certificate was accordingly drawn: and on the same day the speaker, after the house had been with the governor, reported, “ That his honour had been pleased to give bis assent to the bills, by enacting the same into laws. And Mr. Speaker farther reported, That he had then, in behalf of the house, presented their certificate of five hundred pounds to the governor, who was pleased to say, he was obliged to the house for the same.” Thus we see the practice of purchasing and paying for laws is interwoven with our proprietary constitution, used in the best times, and under the best go

And yet, alas! poor assembly! how will you steer your brittle bark between these rocks? if you pay ready money for your laws, and those laws are not liked by the propritaries, you are charged with bribery and corruption : if you wait a while before you pay, you are accused of detaining the governor's customary right, and dunned as a negligent or dishonest debtor, that refuses to discharge a just debt!

But governor Denny's case, I shall be told, differs from all these ; for the acts he was induced to pass were, as the prefacer tell us, “contrary to his duty, and

tie of honour und justice.” Such is the imperfection of our language, and perhaps of all other languages, that, notwithstanding we are furnished with dictionaries innumerable, we cannot precisely know the import of words, unless we know of what party the man is that uses them. In the mouth of an assembly-man, or true Pensylvanian, “contrary to his duty and to every tie of honour and justice” would mean, the go. vernor's long refusal to pass laws, however just and necessary, for taxing the proprietary estate: a refusal, con

to every

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