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I will go farther and assert that the authority of the British Parliament over America would, in all probability, be a more intolerable and excessive species of despotism than an absolute monarchy. The power of an absolute prince is not temporary, but perpetual. He is under no temptation to purchase the favor of one part of his dominions at the expense of another, but it is his interest to treat them all upon the same footing. Very different is the case with regard to the Parliament. The Lords and Commons, both, have a private and separate interest to pursue. They must be wonderfully disinterested, if they would not make us bear a very disproportional part of the public burthens, to avoid them as much as possible themselves. The people of Britain must, be an order of superior beings, not cast in the same mould with the common degenerate race of mortals, if the sacrifice of our interest and ease to theirs be not extremely welcome and alluring. But should experience teach us that they are only mere mortals, fonder of themselves than their neighbors, the philanthropy and integrity of their representatives will be of a transcendent and matchless nature, should they not gratify the natural propensities of their constituents, in order to ingratiate themselves and enhance their popularity.

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But it is said it will not continue, because, “when the stores are like to become empty, they will have weight enough to break up the agreement.” I don’t think they would attempt it: but if they should, it is impossible a few mercenary men could have influence enough to make the whole body of the people give up the only plan their circumstances admit of for the preservation of their rights, and, of course, to forfeit all they have been so long striving to secure. The making of a non-importation agreement, did not depend upon the merchants; neither will the breaking of it depend upon them. The Congress have provided against the breach of the non-importation, by the non-consumption agreement. They have resolved for themselves, and us their constituents, “not to purchase, nor use, any East India tea whatsoever; nor any goods, wares, or merchandise from Great Britain or Ireland, imported after the first of December; nor molasses, etc., from the West Indies; nor wine from Madeira or the Western Islands; nor foreign indigo.” If we do not purchase, nor use, these things, the merchant will have no inducement to import them.


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