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Junius–19 Dec. 17674" It would be to no purpose at present to renew a discussion of the merits of the stamp act, though I am convinced that even the people who were most clamorous against it either never understood, or wilfully misrepresented every part of it. But it is truly astonishing, that a great number of people should have so little foreseen the inevitable consequence of repealing it, and particularly that the trading part of the city should have conceived, that compliance which acknowledged the rod to be in the hands of the Americans, could ever induce them to surrender it. : They must have been rather weaker than ourselves, if they ever paid their debts, when they saw plainly that, by withholding them, they kept us in subjection. In the natural course of things the debtor should be at the mercy of his creditor, rather than a tyrant over him; but it seems that for these three years past, where ever America hath been concerned, every argument of reason, every rule of law, and every claim of nature, has been despised or reversed. We have not even a tolerable excuse for our folly. The punishment has followed close upon it; and that it must be so, was as evident to common sense as probable in prospect, as it is now certain in experience. There was indeed one man [Mr. Grenville] who wisely foresaw, every circum
stance which has since happened, and who, with a patriot's spirit, opposed himself to the torrent. He told us, that, if we thought the loss of outstanding debts, and of our American trade, a mischief of the first magnitude, such an injudicious compliance with the terms dictated by the colonies, was the way to make it sure and unavoidable. It was ne moriare mori. the prophecy verified in every particular, and if this great and good man was mistaken in any one instance, it was, perhaps, that he did not expect his predictions to be fulfilled so soon as they have been.”
Let us hear what Lord George Sackville has to say upon the subject
: : March 7, 1774—In the House of Commons, Lord George in reply to Mr. Burke said, “The honourable gentleman who spoke last, has taken great pains to expose the conduct of different administrations, and to extol those who advised the repeal of the stamp act. For my part, however great the abilities and good intentions of those gentlemen might have been, I was of opinion that it should not be repealed, and voted accordingly. It is now contended, that that measure produced the desired effect, and that on its passing, every thing was peace and tranquillity. I know the contrary was the case, and we had evidence at your bar, which proved, that
the Americans were totally displeased, because in the preamble to the repeal, we asserted our right to enact laws of sufficient force and authority to bind them. I am on the whole fully convinced, that the present situation of affairs in that country, would have never been ; and that the people there, must and would have returned to their obedience, if the stamp act had not been unfor: tunately repealed.”--Cobbett's Parliamentary Debates.
Article XIII. That Junius was in favour of repealing the duty on tea in America.
• Since the repeal of the stamp act, I know of no acts tending to tax the Americans, except that which creates the tea duty; and even that can hardly be called internal. Yet it ought to be repealed, as an impolitic act, not as an oppressive one. It preserves the contention be. tween the mother country and the colonies, when every thing worth contending for is in reality given up."-Private Letter to Mr. Wilkes, 7 Sept. 1771.
January 26, 1775—Lord George Germain said, “If the Americans would petition for their repeal, he would stretch forth the first hand to present it; but, on the contrary, if they claimed such a repeal as a right, thereby disputing the authority of the mother country,
which no reasonable man ever called in question, he wished it might be enforced with a Roman severity.”
Article XIV.That Junius was an advocate for triennial parliaments.
Sept. 7, 1771–“ I am satisfied that, with a triennial parliament, and without it all other provisions are nugatory, Mr. Grenville's Bill is, or may be made, a sufficient guard against any gross, or flagrant offences in this way.”
“ Whenever the question shall be seriously agitated, I will endeavour (and if I live, will åssuredly attempt it) to convince the English nation by arguments, to my .understanding unanswerable, that they ought to insist upon a triennial, and banish the idea of an annual par. liament."
In his dedication, he also says :-“ You cannot but conclude, without the possibility of a doubt, that long parliaments are the foundation of an undue influence of the crown."
Alderman Sawbridge's motion came on for many years successively.
Feb. 17, 1772-Junius says—“I could not have conceived it possible, that you could protract the publication so long. At this time, particularly before Mr. Sawbridge's motion (in favour of triennial parliaments), it would have
been of singular use."-- Private Letter to Mr. Woodfall, No. 55.
Feb. 29, 1772—“ I am very glad to see that the Book will be out before Mr. Sawbridge's motion.”—No. 57.
On the 4th of March 1772, Mr. Sawbridge's motion came on.
The Alderman made a long speech on that occasion, which, it is much to be regretted, is the only one that is reported. The motion was lost by a large majority. I have taken considerable pains in referring to newspapers of that date, hoping I should be able to procure the speeches of other members; but to no effect. They were not regularly printed as in the present day. I had nearly given up my research as useless, of endeavouring to obtain Lord George's opinion, when, casting my eye over the papers of the ensuing week (March 10, 1772, Daily Advertiser), I found the following paragraph.-" Through the kindness of one of our correspondents, we have been favoured with a few of the names who voted in favour of Mr. Alderman Sawbridge's motion.". In this short catalogue is the name of Lord George Sackville, which not only shews that he was in the House that night, but that his opinion was in unison with that expressed by Junius.
Article XV.- That Junius considered the