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and worthy friend of mine; if you have no parliamentary interest to answer, do let him have the place.' 'In this case I am happy, my dear Mr. Burke, I can gratify you. It indeed was not surprising that two of the allest and most amiable men in the nation should cherish private esteem and regard, notwithstanding political opposition. On the other hand, there were some of his political associates that he privately disliked ; one nobleman, in particular, generally accused of duplicity, he always carefully avoided as a Jesuit.
The campaign of 1776 was more successful than the preceding, as every political reader must remember. The advantages, however, were in process, but not in reşult ; they did not seem to bring the subjugation of America any nearer than it was. The Americans were at first somewhat disheartened by the successes of the British; but finding that they either did not or could not pursue their victories, resumed their spirits. Resentinent also contributed to
this effect. Unconditional submission was required of them, and peace offered to those only who surrendered at discretion. Finding themselves placed on a footing quite different from other British subjects, and that they were declared rebels, because they would not submit to taxation but by themselves and their representatives, they resolved to assert their independence. They considered protection and allegiance as relative duties precisely commensurate, and contended that the King's refusal to attend to their petitions and to redress their grievances was an exclusion of the colonies from his protection ; and as protection and allegiance were subjects of barter, if the one was withheld, the , other could not be granted. The Congress, in conformity with the instructions of the delegates from their constituents, declared America independent. After detailing their various grievances, they concluded, " that on account of the King of Great Britain having refused to redress them, the inhabitants of the United Colonies were thereby discharged and absolved from all allegiance
and obedience to him. This declaration was ratified by most of the provincial assemblics. A pamphlet, entitled, · Common Sense, published by Thomas Paine, afterwards so noted in Europe, contributed very much to the ratification of the independence of America. It was written with that plain and simple energy which he can exert on any subject within the reach of his knowledge, and which makes even sophistry impressive on untutored minds, that judge more from the strength of the language than the truth of the arguments.
Proposals for peace were made by the British commanders to the Americans. The · Americans, having once asserted their independence, were determined to preserve it, and refused to admit any proposals but as an independent state.
When Parliament met, a motion was made by Lord John Cavendish on the grounds of one of the proclamations by the Howes, offering pardon to all Americans who should
return to their allegiance, and offering to such a revision of the obnoxious ineasures. Lord John proposed, that the house should enter into a committee for the revisal of the acts. This measure was supported by the utmost ability of Burke, who, it must be confessed, was frequently led by party to greater lengths than impartial judgment could approve, though never to extremities. He certainly could not have expected that the motion would have produced any good effect. The Americans had made no overtures for conciliation, and refused to adinit any but on a ground to which British acts could not apply. What purpose could it serve to make or unmake laws for a country declaring itself totally unconnected with the enactors ? Besides, as war was actually commenced, whether it was originally right or wrong, the object was peace on the best terms that could be had. Concession on one side, without any on the other, is not the way to procure honourable terms of peace. Such a concession would have tended to increase the demands of the Ame
ricans, instead of inducing them to forward with reasonable offers.
Lord North proposed two bills respecting America: one for issuing out letters of marque, another for a suspension of the habeas corpus as far as the Americans were concerned. This was called the treason and piracy bill, on the ground that the Americans were British subjects, and consequently in fighting against Britain were guilty of treason ; and if in privateers, or any other ships attacking or taking vessels belonging to Britain, must be guilty of piracy. This latter bill was very ably opposed by Mr. Dunning, on the ground that nothing short of a rebellion in the heart of the kingdom existing, or apprehended, justified the suspension of this important law; that the power of detaining persons on mere suspicion, without bringing them to a trial, invested Ministers with a dictatorial authority inconsistent with personal liberty and security. Burke and some others of the leading members of Opposition