THE FOURTEENTH PARLIAMENT OF GREAT BRITAIN.
OCTOBER 1774–JANUARY 20, 1775.
“IT is the united voice of America to preserve their freedom, or lose their lives in defence of it. Their resolutions are not the effect of inconsiderate rashness, but the sound result of sober inquiry and deliberation. The true spirit of liberty was never so universally diffused through all ranks and orders of people in any country on the face of the earth as it now is through all North America. If the late acts of parliament are not to be repealed, the wisest step for both countries is to separate, and not to spend their blood and treasure in destroying each other. It is barely possible that Great Britain may depopulate North America; she never can conquer the inhabitants.” So wrote Joseph Warren, and his words were the mirror of the passions of his countrymen. But the king never once harbored the thought of concession, and “left the choice of war or peace” to depend on the obedience of Massachusetts.
At the elections to parliament the question was represented as though Massachusetts refused to pay a very moderate indemnity for property destroyed by a mob, and resisted an evident improvement in its administrative system from a deliberate conspiracy with other colonies to dissolve the connection with the mother country. Many of the members who were purchasing seats expected to reimburse themselves by selling their votes to the government.
Lord Varney, who had hitherto gratuitously brought Edmund Burke into parliament, had fallen into debt, and sold his borough for the most he could get. Burke coquetted