What I can do for my country, I am willing to do.
I therefore beg that you would indulge me with the liberty of declining the arduous trust.
My sentiments for the American cause, from the Stamp Act downward, have never changed... I am still of opinion that it is the cause of liberty and of human nature.
The House of Commons, refused to receive the addresses of the colonies, when the matter was pending; besides, we hold our rights neither from them nor from the Lords.
The present times require the vigor and the activity of the prime of life; but I feel the increasing infirmities of age to such a degree, that I am conscious I cannot serve you to advantage.