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dress to their grievances. His great friend would once have been exceedingly displeased with any person, who should tell him, that he did not attend sufficiently to those concerns. He thought he did so, when he regulated the colonies over and over again: he thought he did so,- when he formed two general systems of revenue; one of port-duties, «nd the other of internal taxation. These systems supposed, -or ought to suppose, the greatest attention to, and the most detailed information of, all their affairs. However, by contending for the .American representation, he seems at lair driven
-Virtually to admit, that great caution ought to be used in the exercise of all our legislative rights over an object so remote from our eye, and so little connected with our immediate feelings; that in prudence we ought not to be quite so ready with our taxes, until we can secure the desired representation in parliament. Perhaps it may be some time before this hopeful scheme can be brought to perfect maturity, although the author seems to be no wise aware of any obstructions that lie in the way of it. He talks of his union, just as he
-does of his taxes and his savings, with as much sangfroid and ease, as if his wish and the enjoyment were exactly the fame thing. He appears not to have troubled his head with the infinite difficulty of settling that representation on a fair balance of wealth and numbers throughout the
f* '-- several several provinces of America and the West Indies, under such an infinite variety of circumstances. It costs him nothing to fight with nature, and to conquer the order of Providence, which manifestly opposes itself to the possibility of such a parliamentary union.
But let us, to indulge his passion for projects and power, suppose the happy time arrived, when the author comes into the ministry, and is to realize his speculations. The writs are issued for electing members for America and the West Inches. Some provinces receive them in fix weeks, some in ten, some in twenty. A vessel may be lost, and then some provinces may not receive them at all. But let it be, that they all receive them at once, and in the shortest time. A proper space must be given for proclamation and forithe election; some weeks at least. But the members are chosen; and, if (hips .are ready to fail, in about fix more they artrive in London. In the mean time the parliament has fat and business far advanced without American representatives. -Nayhy this time, it-may happen, that the parliament is dissolved; and then the -members ship themselves"again, to be again elected. The writs may arrive wi America, before the poor members of a parliament in which they never fat, can arrive at their several provinces. A new in•terest is formed, and they find other members are chosen whilst they are on the high seas. But, if
the the writs and members arrive together, here is at best a new trial of skill amongst the candidates, after one set of them have well aired themselves. with their two voyages of 6000 miles.
However, in order to facilitate every thing tc« the author, we will suppose them all once more elected, and steering again to Old England^ with a good heart, and a fair westerly wind in the'i? stern. On their arrival, they find all in a hurry and bustle; in and out; condoleance and congratulation; the crown is demised. Another parliament is to be called. Away back to America again on a fourth voyage, and to a third election. Does the author mean to make our kings as immortal in their personal as in their politick character ?. orj whilst he bountifully adds to their life, will he take from them their prerogative of dissolving parliaments, in favour of the American union? or are the American representatives to be perper tual, and to feel neither demises of the crown, nor dissolutions of parliament? i . But these things may be granted to him, without bringing him much nearer to his point. What does he think of re-election? is the American member the only one who is not to take a place', or the only one to be exempted from the ceremony of re-election? How will-this great politician preserve the rights of eIect[ors,':ihe:fairness of returns, and the privilege of the house of commons,. as the > ,> sole soIe:judge of such contests? It would undoubtedly he a. glorious sight to have eight or ten petitions, or double returns, from Boston and Barbadoes, from Philadelphia and Jamaica, the members returned, and the petitioners, with all their train of attornies, solicitors, mayors, select men, provostmarshals, and above sive hundred or a thousand witnesses, come to the bar of the house of commons. Possibly we might be interrupted in the enjoyment of this pleasing spectacle, if a war should break out, and our constitutional fleet, loaded with members of parliament, returning officers, petitions, and witnesses, the electors and elected, should become a prize to the French or Spaniards, and be conveyed to Carthagena or to La Vera Cruz, and from thence perhaps to Mexico or Lima, there to remain until a cartel for members of parliament can be settled, or until the war is ended.
In truth, the author has little studied this business; or he might have known, that some of the most considerable provinces of America, such for instance as Connecticut and Massachusetts Bay, have not in each of them two men who can afford, at a distance from their estates, to spend a thousand pounds a year. How can these provinces be represented at Westminster? If their province pays them, they are American agents, with salaries, and not independent members of parliament. It is true, that formerly in England members had sala
ries from their constituents; but they all had sala* ries, and were all, in this way, upon a par. If these American representatives have no salaries, then they must add to the list of our pensioners and dependants at court, or they must starve. There is no alternative.
Enough of this visionary union; in which much extravagance appears without any fancy, and the judgment is shocked without any thing to refresh the imagination. It looks as if the author had dropped down from the moon, without any knowledge of the general nature of this globe, of the general nature of its inhabitants, without the least acquaintance with the affairs of this country. Governor Pownal has handled the fame subject. To do him justice, he treats it upon far more rational principles of speculation; and much more like a man of business. He thinks (erroneously, I conceive; but he does think) that our legislative rights are incomplete without such a representation. It is po wonder, therefore, that he endeavours by every means to obtain it. Not like our author, who is always on velvet, he is aware of some difficulties; and he proposes some solutions. But nature is too hard for both these authors; and America is, and ever will be, without actual- representation in the house of commons; nor will any minister be wild enough even to propose such a representation in parliament; however he may choose to throw out