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With the public opinion in their favour, they may with the more confidence lift up their eyes to the wisdom of parliament and the majesty of the crowni, from whence alone they can derive an effectual remedy.
To your hands, sir, these papers are most humbly presented, for considerations so obvious, that they scarce need any explanation.
The Roman provinces did not stand more in need of patronage than ours : and such clients as we are would have preferred the integrity of Cato to the fortune of Cæsar.
The cause we bring is in fact the cause of all the provinces in one: it is the cause of every British subject in every part of the British dominions: it is the cause of every man who deserves to be free every where.
The propriety, therefore, of addressing these papers to a gentleman, who, for so many successive parliaments, with so much honour to himself and satisfaction to the public, has been at the head of the commons of Great Britain, cannot be called in question.
You will smile, sir, perhaps, as you read the references of a provincial assembly to the rights and claims of parliament; but we humbly conceive, it will be without the least mixture of resentment; those assemblies having nothing more in view, than barely to establish their privileges on the most rational and solid basis they could find, for the security and service of their constituents.
And you are humbly besought, sir, not to think the worse of this address, because it has been made without your permission or privity. Nobody asks leave to pay a debt; every Briton is your debtor, sir; and all we have said, or can say, is but a poor composition for what we owe you.
You have conferred as much honour on the chair you fill, as the chair has conferred on you.
Probity and dignity are your characteristics.
May that seat always derive the same lustre from the same qualities!
This at least ought to be our prayer, whether it is or not within our expectations.
For the province of Pensylvania, as well as in my own private capacity, I have the honour to be, with the most profound respect,
TO obtain an infinite variety of purposes by a few plain principles is the characteristic of nature. As the eye is affected so is the understanding: objects at distance strike it according to their dimensions, or the quantity of light thrown upon them; near, according to their novelty or familiarity as they are in motion or at
It is the same with actions. A battle is all motion; a hero all glare: while such images are before us, we can attend to nothing else. Solon and Lycurgus would make no figure in the same scene with the king of Prussia; and we are at present so lost in a military scramble on the continent next us, in which it must be confessed we are deeply interested, that we have scarce time to throw a glance towards America, where we have also much at stake, and where, if any where, cur account must be made up at last.
We love to stare more than to reflect, and to be indolently amused at our leisure, than to commit the smallest trespass on our patience by winding a painful tedious maze, which would pay us in nothing but know ledge.
But then as there are some eyes that can find nothing marvellous but what is marvellously great, so there are others equally disposed to marvel at what is marvellously little; and who can derive as much entertainment from this microscope in examining a mite, as Dr. in ascertaining the geography of the moon, or measuring the tail of a comet.
Let this serve as an excuse for the author of these sheets, if he needs any, for bestowing them on the transactions of a colony, till of late hardly mentioned in our annals; in point of establishment one of the last upon the British list, and in point of rank one of the most subordinate, as being not only subject; in common with the rest, to the crown, but also to the claims of a proprietary, who thinks he does them honour enough in governing them by deputy ; consequently so much fure ther reinoved from the royal eye, and so much the more exposed to the pressure of self-interested instructions.
Considerable, however, as most of them, for happiness of situation, fertility of soil, product of valuable . commodities, number of inhabitants, shipping amount of exportations, latitude of rights and privileges, and every other requisite for the being and well-being of society, 9
and more considerable than any of them all for the celerity of its growth, unassisted by any human help but the vigour and virtue of its own excellent constitution,
A father and his family, the latter united by interest and affection, the former to be revered for the wisdom of his institutions and the indulgent use of his authority, was the form it was at first presented in. Those who were only ambitious of repose found it here; and as none returned with an evil report of the land,' numbers followed: all partook of the leaven they found: the community still wore the same equal face: nobody aspired : nobody was oppressed; industry was sure of profit, knowledge of esteem, and virtue of veneration.
An assuming landlord, strongly disposed to convert free tenants into abject vassals, and to reap what he did not sow, countenanced and abetted by a few desperate and designing dependents on the one side; and on the other, all who have sense enough to know their rights, and spirit enough to defend them, combined as one man against the said landlord and his encroachment in the form it has since assumed.
And surely a nation born to liberty like this, bound to leave it unimpaired as they received it from their fathers in perpetuity to their heirs, and interested in the conservation of it in every appendix to the British empire, the particulars of such a contest cannot be wholly indifferent.
On the contrary, it is reasonable to think, the first workings of power against liberty, and the natural efforts of unbiassed men, to secure themselves against the first approaches of oppression, must have a captivating power over every man of sepsibility and discern. ment amongst us.
Liberty it seems thrives best in the woods. America best cultivates what Germany brought forth. And were it not for certain ugly comparisons, hard to be suppressed, the pleasure arising from such a research would be without allow.
In the feuds of Florence recorded by Machiavel, we find more to lament and less to praise. Scarce can we believe the first citizens of the ancient republics had such pretensions to consideration, though so highly celebrated in ancient story. As to ourselves, we need no longer have recourse to the late glorious stand of the French parliament to excite our emulation.
It is a known custom among farmers, to change their corn from season to season, for the sake of filling the bushel : and in case the wisdom of the
should condescend to make the like experiment in another shape, from hence we may learn, whither to repair for the proper species.
It is not however to be presumed, that such as have long been accustomed to consider the colonies in general as only so many dependencies on the council board, the board of trade, and the board of customs; or, as a hot-bed for causes, jobs and other pecuniary einoluments, and as formed as effectually by instructions as by laws, can be prevailed on to consider those patriot rustics with any degree of respect.
But how contemptibly soever these gentlemen may talk of the colonies, how cheap soever they may hold their assemblies, or how insignificant the planters and traders who compose them, truth will be truth, and principle, principle, notwithstanding.
Courage, wisdom, integrity, and honour are not to be measured by the place assigned them to act in, but