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that, as we had occasion to say draw the conclusion that Blackin a previous article, the colonial stone did not teach rebellion ; system of Great Britain at the that if Americans read much period of the rebellion was the law they should have exhibited best in the world. Compare some regard for it, instead of the systems of France and exercising every form of inSpain and Portugal and Hol- genuity to avoid or violate it. land at the same time, and see There was much personal oppothe difference in the freedom sition to the king and the Parand prosperity of the American liament and the law in England. colonies. And as to the differ- In England the weight of royal ence in
and habits and parliamentary and legal between the boorish Briton and authority was felt by the indithe cultivated American of 1776, vidual. The king's policy was we shall proceed with greater personal within a certain range. particularity.
Constituencies were kept withTo justify the notorious smug- out their chosen members. gling in America, which was at Ministers were dismissed. The the bottom of most of the New prisons were pretty full.
Men England patriotism, we are lost places. But there never given a long dissertation on was any hint of rebellion in smuggling in England and Ire- consequence. We may be told land. But the author does not that England was well reprepoint out at the same time that nted in Parliament. That is smuggling was illegal in Great not quite true.
There were Britain as well as in America ; large cities that were not reprethat the Government did its sented at all. But there was best to put it down, even at not a village from Massachusetts the point of the bayonet ; that to Virginia that could not speak when smugglers were caught through the mouth of Chatham, they suffered the penalty of the of Barré, of Burke, and, if you law; and that if warrants could will, of Fox. Nevertheless they be issued in America to search must rebel. The virus of refor smuggled goods, they could bellion had gone over in the be issued in England as well. Mayflower, and it sprang In England smugglers were into life whenever legitimate criminals. In America they authority was exercised, or a were—Patriots.
demand made for the fulfilment To justify the persistent and of a duty. systematic opposition to the To justify the hostility of the legitimate authority of an simple and industrious colequitable monarch and a legal onist to his brethren in Great Parliament, we are told that Britain, we told by the the Americans were fond of author, in great detail, that the study of the law, and read society in the older country many copies of Blackstone. was vicious, extravagant, ostenWe are all quite familiar with tatious, and corrupt. But a that fact; bút Sir George Tre- hundred witnesses can be called, velyan does not seem able to all American, to show that
every single phase of British of the Hutchinson letters, the and European extravagance, author gives us a long disserta&c., prevailed in America. tion on the misuse of the mails Cock-fighting, gambling, horse- by Ministers in England at the racing, drinking, the frenzy of time. He does not face the fashion, the fury of personal fact that every nation in the ambition, the vices which world has laws to prevent its sprang from a wild life in mails from being misused. And the woods and from the slave he ignores the well-known fact institutions of the South, all that in the colonies in those prevailed in
remarkable days it was the common pracmanner in the colonies before tice of even the
mail1776, and were increased in carriers to read the letters they intensity after the struggle was carried; and that Washington
We have the books at and his friends corresponded in our hand and the list of the cipher for mutual protection. pages; but the reader would Franklin was perfectly familiar not care to have the quotations with the practice. And when inflicted upon him.
the Hutchinson letters came To justify the hostility of into his hands, he very deliberAmericans to the English in ately used them in such the colonies, we are told that manner as to make their ultistrangers in England were mate publicity certain. He treated with rudeness if they cunningly endeavoured to avoid did not travel in coaches. personal responsibility. He imTramps of any kind have posed a quasi - secrecy on his never, save in our own day, American correspondents as to had much consideration. But copying, but not as to reading. if Sir George Trevelyan will And he did not avow his share consult the pages of any in the transaction in England American historian, he will till after a duel had been fought find that strangers dreaded regarding it. His conduct has the horrible rudeness, dis- been palliated, but never dehonesty, and inhospitality of fended or excused. The author the Dutch in the Albany in sequence gives us the old district much
as they story that Franklin wore at dreaded the savages.
And Versailles on signing the Declarthe unfortunate Chevalier ation of Independence the very Pontgibaud could tell him coat which he wore when he how, coming to America to was insulted regarding those fight for American liberty letters by Wedderburne in the under Lafayette, the ship he Privy Council. Mr Wharton, came in
was plundered by in the appendix to his ‘Digest Southern patriots, his personal of American International Law, baggage stolen, and himself has long ago, it seems to us, committed to the “charity” disposed of that story. It ought of the
the people by Thomas so to die. Jefferson !
We are told at great length To justify the use by Franklin that the destiny of America was
disposed of by politicians in military, I never saw before, and I England, who were indifferent pray God's mercy I may never see and contemptuous and corrupt, and therefore unfit to rule over A letter like that should have a free set of colonies of presum- checked the desire to justify ably superior character. We rebellion in America because have at hand “The Life of John there was corruption in EngJay' (1891), and on page 157 land. But the science of logic we read concerning the doings suffers much at our author's of the Continental Congress :
hands. “Some thirty years
The dearth of public spirit to
afterwards Gouverneur Morris was sitting over
which Washington refers arose the polished_mahogany at Bedford from an obvious cause. The with John Jay, when he suddenly country at large had been comejaculated, through clouds of smoke, mitted to rebellion without its • Jay, what a set of d--d scoundrels we had in that Second Congress !'
consent. The popular heart Yes,' said Jay, that we had, and was not in the enterprise. The he knocked the ashes from his pipe.” greatest number of people, the And we have also, among other greatest amount of property,
were on the side of the Crown. things, at hand Mr M Master's
But all the rebellions of history With the Fathers, and at
have been made by noisy and page 71 we read :
aggressive minorities; and the “A very little study of long-for- minority in the Colonies was gotten politics will suffice to show noisy, aggressive, organised, and that in filibustering and gerrymander
Some were banking, in stealing governorships and interested. legislatures, in using force at the rupt, some were under sumpolls, in colonising and distributing mons to appear before the patronage to whom patronage is due, courts, some aspired to jobs in all the frauds and tricks that go to
in the make up the worst form of practical
army, some were jealous politics, the men who founded our of the social prominence of the state and national governments were Tories, some (and Washington always our equals and often
was among the number) had masters."
crows to pluck” with the Sir George Trevelyan's studies regular officers, who had not in this direction have evidently cordially recognised their mi
But they not gone very far.
That there were included at least a letter of
some who were zealously and Washington's which ought to honestly in arms no one need have quickened his intelligence. doubt; but they were few in In October 1776, when the number. The ranks were filled “patriots” were engaged in ac
with criminals, foreigners, and tual conflict for their "liberty,”
failures in the industrial occu
The wonder is that
pations. Washington wrote:
they all fought so well. The “Such a dearth of public spirit and “ Tories were not all on the such a want of virtue; such stock
side of the jobbing and fertility in all the low
There arts to obtain advantages of one kind against the rebellion. or another in this great change of
were Tories who claimed that
the Colonies had grievances, royal governors had at all but contended justly that these times the greatest difficulty in grievances could be redressed inducing the colonies to provide without rebellion. There were even for their own local defence. Tories in England who took But for the royal troops the the same view : the repeal of colonies could never have made the Stamp Act, and the vari- head against the French. If ous ineffective propositions for they took Louisburg, it was a peaceful settlement made pre when the defences were weak, vious to and during the con the French garrison feeble, and flict, prove this. The Whigs when a British fleet had cut off in England ambitious of office, the hopes of reinforcement. and
the Whigs in America And the crowning victory at anxious for the repudiation Quebec was not shared in by of their own debts and for them. In a volume of essays the confiscation of their neigh- and addresses by Mr Mellen bours' property, made reform Chamberlain, long the librarian impossible except at the cost of the great Boston Public of successful rebellion and all Library, published in 1898, we its terrible cost in blood and read as follows :treasure. Sir George Trevelyan and those who think with him
“American history before the Re
volution is neither romantic nor now claim for the Whigs on picturesque, nor as a whole is it both sides of the Atlantic the striking. It is barren of incidents, name of patriots ; but no Hay- little or nothing to statesmanship, raddin Maugrabin ever more awkwardly the herald's possible, to literature or art. The
war, or policy; and still less, if garments he was not accus- glory of Wolfe is not our glory. The tomed to wear.
The original foot of no colonial soldier climbed the impostor was hung for his steeps or trod the heights behind His imitators have troops 'of England heard the trium
Quebec, and none but the veteran escapade. been allowed to
phant cry. They run !' or caught the imposture so long that they hero's parting words, 'I die content !'” have come to think they were born in it.
Sir George Trevelyan will
have to revise his volume careIn order to throw a shade of ingratitude on the royal cause, fully for a future edition ; and Sir George Trevelyan contends must either enlarge it with exthat the colonials had fought planations and apologies or refor Great Britain and had duce it greatly by judicious
omissions. helped to win from France the dominion of the continent. The
When he details and disclaim is without just foundation,
cusses the events that precipiThe colonials had not a ship that tated the conflict, his method could face a man-of-war. They
is misleading and not strictly had no regular forces, and their honest. Of the “Boston Masoccasional levies were reluctantly sacre,” he says :provided, poorly supplied, and
“On the evening of the 5th March indifferently disciplined. The 1770 there came a short and sharp
collision between a handful of soldiers This is not history as it and a small crowd, voluble in abuse, should be written. The local and too free with clubs and snowballs. There was a sputter of mus.
militia had been stealing royal ketry, and five or six civilians dropped stores. They were in a state down dead or dying. That was the of quasi-rebellion.
The royal Boston massacre."
troops were going to recover He does not tell us that the royal property or destroy the mob has been described even munitions of rebels. The local by American historians as militia had no right to be in howling gang of miscreants, arms. Being in arms, they that the life of a sentry was had to suffer the consequences. in danger, that his comrades They fired first, and then ran had to come to his rescue, that away. Later on they gathered part of the firing was without from all quarters, and literally orders, and that the judge who murdered the troops on their tried the officer in charge con
return. It was a kind of bushgratulated him upon his con- fighting, of which there was duct, and expressed his disgust much during the war; and for the conduct of the crowd. every episode of the kind is He does indeed detail the trial termed in their histories a of Captain Preston, but mainly “battle,” and every man for the purpose of pointing out command is a "general.” how generous the lawyers were Of the tea-story the account to defend him and how honest is brief enough: “Boston gratwere the jury who gave the ified the curiosity of an enerverdict in his favour. It is not getic patriot who expressed a much to say of the profession wish to see if tea could be of the law that its members made with salt-water.” That do their duty like gentlemen ; is all. But we are not informed and it is not much to say of that the affair was premedia jury that they were not mur
tated; that men disguised as derers determined to give a
Indians had been drilled for verdict against evidence. The the occasion; that the real choice, for lawyers and jury, reason at work was not patbetween doing their duty and riotism but profit; that the incurring eternal infamy was
tea was offensive not because not a perplexing one.
of the duty, but of the fact When the author tells us
that it could be sold cheaper of the affair at Lexington than the smuggled tea the he is equally misleading.
He Hancocks and others had stored says :
the market. “At four in the morning, just as
men who had the tea destroyed an April day was breaking, they (the
were not merely afraid of their British detachment) reached the vil- profit; they were also in terror lage of Lexington, and found sixty or of prosecution at law for heavy seventy of the local militia waiting penalties. A rebellion had befor them on the common. Firing come essential to them to save ensued, and the Americans were dispersed, leaving seven of their them from the operation of the number dead or dying.”
law. On the morning of the VOL. CLXY.-NO, MI.