reet, but also in the House of Burgesses was great excitement. Most of the members were wealthy planters who lived on great estates. So much weight and dignity had they that the affairs of the colony were largely under their control. Most of them were loyal to the "mother country," as they liked to call England, and they wished to obey the English laws as long as these were just.
[Illustration: Patrick Henry Delivering His Speech in the Virginia House of Burgesses.]
So they counselled: "Let us move slowly. Let nothing be done in a passion. Let us petition the King to modify the laws which appear to us unjust, and then, if he will not listen, it will be time to refuse to obey. We must not be rash."
Patrick Henry, the new member, listened earnestly. But he could not see things as these older men of affairs saw them. To him delay seemed dangerous. He was eager for prompt, decisive action. Tearing a blank leaf from a law-book, he hastily wrote some resolutions, and, rising to his feet, he rea