The Spirit of Liberty in The American colonies.
1.These, sir, are my reasons[註：There, sir, are my reasons. —Burke氏前曾舉四大理由。力言以兵力強迫美人之不當。此其結論。 緊承上文者也。]for not entertaining that high opinion of untried force[註：Untried force.—未曾一試之力。 即前所未用之武力也。] by which manygentlemen, for whose sentiments in other particulars I have great respect, seem to be so greatly captivated. But there is stillbehind a third consideration concerning this object, which serves todetermine my opinion on the sort of policy which ought to be pursued in the management of America, even more than its population and itscommerce,—I men its temper and character.
2. In this character of the Americans, a love of freedom is thepredominating feature which marks and distinguishes the whole? [註：The whole＝The whole character of the Americans.] and as an ardentis always a jealous affection,your colonies become suspicious, restive,and untractable whenever they see the least attempt to wrest fromthem by force, or shuffle from them by chicane what they think theonly advantage worth living for.[註：What they think living for 使彼等有樂生之心之唯一利益。for者adventage for which之義也。] This fiercespirit of liberty is stronger in the English colonies probably than in any other people of the earth; and this from a great variety of powerful causes; which to understand the true temper of their minds, and the direction which this spirit takes, it will not be amiss to layopen [註：To lay open＝To expose.] somewhat more largely.
3.First, the people of the colonies are descendants of Englishmen. England, sir; is a nation which still, I hope, respects, andformerl radored, her freedom. The colonists emigrated from you whenthis part of your character [註：When this part of your character & c.汝等特性之此部分。即自由精神也。New England Colony起於英民反抗Stuart朝之時。當日英之自由精神誠最盛旺。] was most predominant; and they tookthis bias and direction the moment they parted from your hands. Theyare therefore not only devoted to liberty, but to liberty accordingto English ideas and on English principles. Abstract liberty, like other mere abstractions, is not to be found. Liberty inheres insome sensible objsct; and every nation has formed to itself some favorite point [註：Formed to itself &e.各國民所註定之點以為樂利標準者即謂徵稅等事。‘Their’本當作‘its’當Every nation也。Favorite point＝some importantpoint,the point most valued.] which, by way of eminence,becomes the criterion of their happiness. It happened, you know, sir,that the great contests for freedom in this country were from the earliest times chiefly upon the question of taxing. Most of the contests in the ancient commomwealths [註：The ancient commonwealths.指古代希臘羅馬之共和政治。] turned primarily on the right of election of magistrates,or on the balance among the several orders of the state.The question of money was not with them so immediate.But in England it was otherwise. On this point of taxes theablest pens and most eloquent tongues [註：The ablest pens and most eloquent tonguse &c.謂關於此徵稅之事。最妙之筆。 最辯之舌皆曾或以文章或以演說詳論之。蓋暗指Hampden, Pym, Selden 諸人也。 ] have beenexercised; the greatest spirits have acted and suffered. In order togive the fullest satisfaction concerning the importance of this point, it was not only necessary [註：Not only necessary &c. 此句但有“非僅在……云云”。其下並無習見之‘but also’句。 蓋以下文緊接‘ They wentfurther &c. 句故也。 ] for those who in argument defended theexcellence of the English Constitution to insist on this privilege ofgranting money as a dry point of fact, [註：Dry point of fact.此dry 之義等於clear] and to prove that the right had been acknowledged, in ancient parchments [註：Ancient parchments謂Magna Charta, Charterof Liberty等古憲典也。] and blind usages, [註：Blind usages.不成文法，習慣法。] to reside in a certain body called a House of Commons. Theywent much further; they attempted to prove, and they succeeded, thatin theory it ought to be so, from the particular nature of a House of Commons, as an immediate representative of the people; whether the old records had delivered this oracle [註：Oracle.本義為神命。此作真理解。] or not. They took infinite pains to inculcate, as afundamental principle,that in all monarchies the people must in effectthemselves, mediately, or immediately possess the power of granting their own money, or no shadow of liberty could subsist. The colonies draw from you, as with their lifeblood, [註：As with their life-blood.英美人同其祖先故云。]these ideas and principles. Their love of liberty, as with you, fixed and attached on this specific point of taxing. Liberty might be safe, or might be endangered, in twenty otherparticulars,[註：Twenty other particulars.此Fwenty但示多數而已。非定二十之數也。猶吾國之云萬千。]without their being much pleased or alarmed, Here they felt its pulse; and as they found that beat they thoughtthemselves sick or sound. I do not say whether they were right orwrong in applying your general arguments to their own case. It is noteasy, indeed, to make a monopoly of theorems and corollaries. The factis that they did thus apply those general arguments; and your mode ofgoverning them, whether through lenity or indolence, through wisdomor mistake, confirmed them in the imagination that they, as well asyou, had an interest in these common principles. [註： These commonprinciples.指上文之general arguments.]
4.They were further confirmed in this pleasing error [註：Pleasingerror.此error非真誤謬。文法所謂ironical也。] by the form of theirprovincial legislative assemblies. Their governments are popular[註：Popular＝Popular gevernment.純自治制之政府。] in a high degree;some are merely [註： Merely＝purely, entirely,此‘merely popular’指New England 也。其地主居英而選州長（Governer）赴美治之者曰Proprietary government。 如 Pennsylvania, Maryland 是也。 其直隸英王者曰 RoyalProvinces。如Virginia，Carolina諸州是也。]popular;in all, the popularrepresentative is the most weighty; and this share of the people intheir ordinary government never fails to inspire them with lofty sentiments, and with a strong aversion from whatever tends to deprive them of their chief importance.
5.If anything were wanting to this neces ary operation of the formof govrnment, religion would have given it a complete effect. Religion, always a principle of energy, in this new people is no way worn outor impaired; and their mode of professing it is also one main causeof this free spirit.The people are Protestants, and of that kind [註：Of that kind.謂Puritans, Presbyt rians諸宗派也。] which is the mostadverse to all implicit submission of mind and opinion. This is apersuasion not only favorable to liberty, but built upon it. I donot think, sir, that the reason of this averseness in the dissentingchurches [註：Dissenting churches.背英之國義Episcopal Church而獨立之宗派。即 Puritans, Presbyterians 諸宗是也。] from all that looks like absolute government is so much to be sought in their religious tesetsas in their history, Every one knows that the Roman Catholic religion is at least coeval [註：Coeval同詩而生之義。喻政府與舊教相依相賴也。]with most of the governments where it prevails; that it has generallygone hand in hand with them,and received great favor and every kind ofsupport from authority. The church of England,too, was formed from hercradle under the nursing care of regular government. But thedissenting interests have sprung up in direct opposition to all theordinary powers of the world, and could justify that opposition onlyon a strong claim to natural liberty. Their very existence dependedon the powerful and unremitted assertion of that claim. AllProtestantism, even the most cold and passive, is a sort of dissent. But the religion most prevalent in our Northern colonies is arefinement of the princ ple of resistance, it is the dissidence ofdissent, and the Protestantism of the Protestant religoin. Thisreligion, under a variety of denominations, [註： variety of denominations.即Puritans,Presbyterians 諸名稱之各異。] agreeing in nothing but in the communion of the spirit of liberty, is predominantin most of the Northern provinces, where the Church of England,notwithstanding its legal rights, is in reality no more than a sort ofprivate sect, not composing most probably,the tenth of the people. Thecolonists left England when this spirit was high,and in the emigrantswas the highest of all; and even that stream of foreigners, which hasbeen constantly flowing into these colonies, has, for the greatest part, been composed of dissenters from the establishments of their several countries, and have brought with them a temper and characterfar from alien to that of the people with whom they mixed. [註： The people with whom they mixed.此people謂美國人。‘they’指foreigners.]
6.Sir, I can perceive by their manner that some gentlemen objectto the latitude of this description; because in the Southern coloniesthe church of England forms a large body, and has a regularestablishment. It is certainly true. There is, however,acircumstance attending these colonies which, in my opinion, fullycounterbalances this difference, and makes the spirit of libertystill more high and haughty than in those to the northward. It is, that in Virginia and the Corolinas [註： The Carolinas. ＝North and Soutt Carolina二州。] they have a vast multitude of slaves. Where thisis the case in any part of the world,those who are free are by far themost proud and jealous of their freedom. Freedom is to them not onlyan enjoyment, but a kind of rank and privilege. Not seeing there [註：Not seeing there—‘there’指Virginia與Carolinas諸州。] that freedom. as in countries where it is a common blessing, and 'as broad and general as the air', [註： As broad and general as the air.—乃 Shakespeare 所作“Macbeth”中句。Burke氏引用之。喻普遍也。] may be united with much abject toil, with great misery, with all the exterior of servitude, liberty looks, among them, like something thatis more noble and iberal. I do not mean, Sir, to commend thesurperior morality of this sentiment, which has at least as much pride as virtue [註：As much pride as virtue.謂其中傲慢心與德性之量相等。] in it; but I cannot alter the nature of man. [註：I cannot…nature of man. 謂人情如是。予無如何也。] The fact is so; and these people of the Southern colonies are much more strongly, and with ahigher and more stubborn spirit, attached to liberty than those to the northward. Such were all the ancient commonwealths; such were our Gothic ancestors;[註： Gothic此Gothic之義甚廣。殆與Teutonic 同義。謂英人之祖也。] such in our days were the Poles [註：The Poles.波蘭人。] and such will be all masters of slaves, who are not slavesthemselves. In such a people,the haughtiness of domination combines with the spirit of freedom, fortifies it, and renders it invincible.
7.Permit me, sir, to add another circumstance in our colonieswhich contributes no mean part towards the growth and effect of thisuntractable spirit. I mean their education. In no country perhaps inthe world is the law so general a study. The profession itself isnumerous and powerful; and in most provinces it takes the lead. Thegreater number of the Deputies sent to the Congress were lawyers. Butall who read (and most do read) endeavor to obtain some smattering[註：Smatteribg,涉獵所得之知識。] in that science. I have been told byan eminent bookseller that in no branch of his business, after tracts of popular devotion [註：Tracts of popular devotion. 宗教之小冊子。] were so many books as those on the law exported to the plantations.The colonists have now fallen into the way of printing them for theirown use. I hear that they sold nearly as many of Blackstone'sCommentaries [註：Blackstone's Commentaries 英國百年前之法學名著。 ] in America as in England. General Gage marks out this disposition veryparticularly in a letter on your table. He states that all the peoplein his government are lawyers, or smatterers in law; and that inBoston they have been enabled, by successful chicane, wholly to evademany parts of one of your capital penal constitutions. [註：To evade many parts…penal constitutions.昔Gage將軍為總督。禁波士頓人集會。美人籍口並非召集新會。 乃前會延期今重開之。 集會如故而將軍無如何。 ] Thesmartness of debate [註：The smartness of debate. 辯士之義。] will saythat this knowledge ought to teach them more clearly the rights oflegislature, their obligations to obedience, and the penalties ofrebellion. All this is mighty well. But my honorable and learnedfriend on the floor [註：My honourable… on the floor. 指 Attorney General Thurlow也。] who condescends to mark [註：Conpescende to mark &c.重聽] what I say for animadversion,will disdain that ground. He hasheard, as well as I, that when great honours and great emoluments donot win over [註：Win over,使為已用，牢籠之。] this knowledge to theservice of the State it is a formidable adversary to government. If the spirit be not tamed and broken by these happy methods, it is stubborn and litigious. Abeunt studia in mores. [註：Abeunt studia inmores. —此獵丁文英譯為Manners are influenced by studies.見Bacon文中。]This study renders men acute, inquisitive, dexterous,prompt in attack, ready in defence, full of resources. In other countries, the people, more simple, and of a less mercurial cast, [註：Less mercurial cast.較美國人為愚魯之人民。‘cast’本義為型。滯笨之型所鑄。即愚魯之義也。] judge of an ill principle in government only by an actual grievance; here[註：Here.—In this case.在美國人。] they anticipate the evil, andjudge of the pressure of the grievance by the badness of theprinciple. They angur misgovernment at a distance, and snuff the approach of tyranny in every tainted breeze.[註：Snuff the approach…tainted breeze.—‘tainted breeze’二語見文豪Pope氏所作Essay on Man。此蓋以獵犬嗅風而知有獸。喻美國人之機警。虐政未行已能預料也。]
8.The last cause of this disobedient spirit in the colonies ishardly less powerful than the rest, as it is not merely moral, butlaid deep in the natural constitution of things. Three thousand milesof ocean lie between you and them. No contrivance can prevent theeffect of this distance in weakening government. Seas roll, andmonths pass, between the order and the execution; and the want of aspeedy explanation of a single point is enough to defeat a wholesystem.You have, indeed, winged ministers of vengeance, [註： Wingedministers of vengeance.軍艦。] who carry your bolts in their pounces[註：Carry your bolts in their pounces. 軍艦所發射之彈丸。 ] to theremotest verge of the sea. But there a power steps in, that limitsthe arrogance of raging passions and furious elements, and says, “Sofar shalt thou go, and no farther.”Who are you, that you should fretand rage, and bite the chains of Nature Nothing worse happens[註：Nothing worse happens &c.—‘Does’＝Does happen.雖無更惡之事然與彼相同之事則不可免。] to you than does to al? nations who have extensive empire; and ill happens in all the forms into which empirecan be thrown. In large bodies, the circulation of power must beless vigorous at the extremities, Nature has said it.The Turk cannotgovern Egypt, and Arabia and Curdistan [註：Curdistan.突厥之屬地。去其本部甚遠。] as he governs Thrace; [註：Thrace 突厥在歐洲之屬地，在其東南。 ] nor has he the same dominion in Crimea and Algiers [註：Crimea and Algiers皆突厥領土。去其本國亦遠。]which he has at Brusa [註：Brusa在君士但丁之南。去之甚近。] and Smyrna. [註： Smyrna 在亞洲突厥之西。 臨Eugean 海。 ] Despotism itself is obliged to truck and huckster. [註： To truck and huckster.—交換者謂其此移彼置。 零售者喻其權力四分反致渙散薄弱也。] The sultan gets such obedience as he can. He governswith a loose rein, [註：Loose rein寬典。] that he may govern at all; [註：That he may governat all謂其欲求治之不得不用寬典。否則將叛去也。]and the whole of the force and vigor of his authority in his centreis derived from a prudent relaxation in all his borders. Spain, in her provinces, is, perhaps,not so well obeyed as you are in yours. Shecomplies too; she submits; she watches times. This is the immutable condition, the eternal law, of extensive and detached empire.
9. Then, sir, from these six capital sources, —of descent; ofform of government; of religion in the Northern provinces; of mannersin the southern; of education; of the remoteness of situation fromthe first mover [註：First mover.政府權力之源泉。] of government; —fromall these causes a fierce spirit of liberty has grown up. It has grown with the growth of the people in your colonies, and increased with the incrcase of their wealth—a spirit that, unhappily meeting with an exercise of power in England which, however lawful, is not reconcilable to any ideas of liberty, much less with theirs, has kindled this flame that is ready to consume us.