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"And you think there will be trouble?" He knew that the buck had come there for nothing but to inform.
To such a pitch of folly and despotism had the Grafton Ministry been driven by the events of the Session of 1769, by their conduct towards the Americans and Wilkes. The Rockinghams and Grenvilles were combined against the Grafton Cabinet, and thus acquiring popularity at its expense. Lord Camden, though still retaining his place, utterly disapproved of their proceedings. The people everywhere held meetings to express their total loss of confidence in both the Ministers and Parliament, and to pray the king to dissolve the latter. In the autumn, the action of Wilkes against Lord Halifax, for the seizure of his papers, was tried, and the jury gave him four thousand pounds damages.
On the 1st of July the report of the committee was read, together with the form of declaration as drawn up by Jefferson, but afterwards remodelled by Franklin and the committee. Nine states now voted for independence. Pennsylvania and South Carolina voted against it. Delaware and South Carolina requested an adjournment to the next day, in order to make up their minds, when they voted for it, a new delegate having arrived from Delaware with firmer instructions. New York held out against independence, General Howe having now arrived at Sandy Hook, and the Provincial Congress having retired from New York to White Plains. Jay and Gouverneur Morris, from that State, were, however, vehement for independence, asserting that the Congress of New York ought to be dissolved, and delegates sent up to a new and more popular Congress.
The better class of citizens did not roam over the country much, and no officers had stopped at his ranch in almost two years, though they had often passed by. And he knew well enough that they would have let their canteens go unfilled, and their horses without fodder, for a long time, rather than have accepted water from his wells or alfalfa from his land. He could understand their feeling, too,that was the worst of it; but though his love and his loyalty toward Felipa never for one moment wavered, he was learning surely day by day that a woman, be she never so much beloved, cannot make up to a man for long for the companionship of his own kind; and, least of all,he was forced to admit it in the depths of his consciousness now,one whose interests were circumscribed.These motions were defeated, and Lord North, on the 21st of June, moved for the introduction of a Bill to double the militia and raise volunteer corps. The proposal to double the militia was rejected, that to raise volunteer corps accepted. To man the Navy a Bill was brought in to suspend for six months all exemptions from impressment into the Royal Navy. The measure was passed through two stages before rising, and carried the next morning, and sent up to the Lords. There it met with strong opposition, and did not receive the Royal Assent till the last day of the Session. This was the 3rd of July, and was followed, on the 9th, by a Royal Proclamation ordering all horses and provisions, in case of invasion, to be driven into the interior. The batteries of Plymouth were manned, and a boom was drawn across the harbour at Portsmouth. A large camp of militia was established at Cox Heath, in front of Maidstone, and, in truth, this demonstration of a patriotic spirit was very popular.
"I don't know anything whatever about it," he answered; "that is none of my affair. I should be surprised if he were, and I must say I am inclined to think he is not."FROM THE PAINTING BY CLARKSON STANFIELD, R.A., IN THE CORPORATION ART GALLERY, GUILDHALL.