in the Sumerian city-state of Lagash.
For instance, in Contracts, you might use
But I have found out an argument, which I imagine will go very near convincing yourself of the absurdity of what you have offered on this head. It is short, but conclusive. “” How can you, my dear sir, after making this confession, entertain a single thought that it is incumbent upon us to suffer her to raise a revenue upon our trade? Are not the a sufficient recompense for protecting it? Surely you would not allow her the whole. This would be rather too generous. However ardent your affection to her, and however much it may be your glory to advance her imperial dignity, you ought to moderate it so far as to permit us to enjoy some little benefit from our trade. Only a small portion of the profits will satisfy us. We are willing to let her have the share, and this you acknowledge she already has. But why will you advise us to let her exhaust the small pittance we have reserved as the reward of our own industry in burthensome revenues? This might be liberality and generosity, but it would not be prudence; and let me tell you, in this selfish, rapacious world a little discretion is at worst only a sin. It will be expedient to be more cautious for the future. It is difficult to combat truth, and unless you redouble your vigilance you will (as in the present instance) be extremely apt to ensnare yourself.
And this list is far away of being complete!
I shall now briefly examine the excellent mode you have proposed for settling our disputes finally and effectually. All internal taxation is to be vested in our own Legislatures, and the right of regulating trade by duties, bounties, etc., to be left to the Parliament, together with the right of enacting all general laws for all the colonies. You imagine that we should then “have all the security for our rights, liberties, and properties, which human policy can give us.”
So is being ambivalent about what your thesis is.
The Stamp Act was the commencement of our misfortunes; which, in consequence of the opposition made by us, was repealed. The Revenue Act, imposing duties on paper, glass, etc., came next, and was also partly repealed on the same account. A part, however, was left to be the instrument of some future attack. The present minister, in conjunction with a mercenary tribe of merchants, attempted to effect, by stratagem, what could not be done by an open, undisguised manner of proceeding. His emissaries, everywhere, were set to work. They endeavored, by every possible device, to allure us into the snare. The act, passed for the purpose, was misrepresented; and we were assured, with all the parade of pretended patriotism, that our liberties were in no danger. The advantage we should receive from the probable cheapness of English tea was played off with every exaggeration of falsehood, and specious declamations on the criminality of illicit trade served as a gilding for the whole. Thus truth and its opposite were blended. The men who could make just reflections on the sanctity of an oath were yet base enough to strike at the vitals of those rights which ought to be held sacred by every rational being.