Wherein are shewn, that the Scheme of INDEPENDENCE is Ruinous, Delusive, and Impracticable: That were the Author's Asseverations, Respecting the Power of AMERICA, as Real as Nugatory; Reconciliation on liberal Principles with GREAT BRITAIN, would be exalted Policy: And that circumstanced as we are, Permanent Liberty, and True Happiness, can only be obtained by Reconciliation with that Kingdom.


Audi et alterem partem. HORACE.
Will ye turn from flattery, and attend to this Side.?
There TRUTH, unlicenc'd, walks; and dares accost
Even Kings themselves, the Monarchs of the Free!
THOMSON on the Liberties of BRITAIN.

PHILADELPHIA: Printed, and Sold, by R. BELL, in Third-Street. MDCCLXXVI.



ALTHOUGH I have not the Honor to be known to YOU: I am not un­acquainted with YOUR native Candor and unbounded Benevolence. As happy as obscure, I am indeed a stranger to the language of Adulation. Flattery I detest; Virtue, I Respect.

BE not offended SIR, if I remark, that YOUR Character, is contemplated with profound Veneration, by the Friends of the Constitution. Those Abilities, which YOU so illustriously displayed in defence of the Constitution; they now suppli­cate YOU to exert, in saving it from im­pending ruin, under the Syren form of de­lusive INDEPENDENCE.

STEP then forth; exert those Talents with which HEAVEN has endowed YOU; and cause the Parent, and her Children to embrace, and be foes no more. Ardous as this extraordinary task may seem, perhaps [Page] YOUR Virtue and Talents, may yet effect [...]. YOUR Endeavors to stop the Effusion of Blood, of Torrents of Blood, is worthy of YOUR acknowledged Humanity▪—Even the honest attempt upon recollection, will afford YOU ineffable satisfaction.

MY PRESUMING to inscribe to YOU, the following crude Remarks, is to remind YOU, SIR, what YOUR distressed Country expects, nay, loudly demands from YOUR extensive Capacity.

I BEG YOU will forgive this temerity; and that YOU may long enjoy the fruits of YOUR Exalted Virtue, and remain an Honor to YOUR Country, and to Mankind: Is the ardent wish of

Sir, Your most Obedient, and Respectful Servant,


IF indignant at the Doctrine contained in the Pamphlet, entitle I COMMON SENSE: I have expressed myself, in the follow­ing Observations, with some ardor; I en­treat the Reader to impute my indigna­tion, to honest zeal against the Author's Insidious [...] ▪ Animated and impelled by every inducement of the Human Heart; I love, and (if I dare so express myself,) I adore my Country. Passionately devoted to true Liberty; I glow with the purest flame of Patriotism. Silver'd with age as I am, if I know myself, my humble Sword shall not be wanting to my Country; (if the most Honorable Terms are not tendered by the British Nation) to whose Sacred Cause, I am most fervently devoted. The judicious Reader, will not impute my honest, tho▪ bold Remarks, to unfriendly designs against my Children—against my Country; but to abhorrence of Independency; which i [...] effected, would inevitably [...] our once pre-eminently envied Country into Ruin. Horror, and Desolation.



I HAVE now before me the Pamphlet, entitled COMMON SENSE; on which I shall remark with freedom and candour. It may not be improper to remind my rea­der, that the investigation of my subject, demands the utmost freedom of enquiry, I therefore entreat his indulgence; and that he will carefully remember, that intempe­rate zeal, is as injurious to liberty, as a manly discussion of facts is friendly to it. "Liberty, says the great MONTESQUIEU, is a right of doing whatever the laws permit; and if a citizen could do what they forbid, he would no longer be possessed of liberty, because all his fellow citizens would have the same power." In the beginning of his pamphlet, the Author asserts, that society in every state is a blessing. This in the sin­cerity of my heart I d [...]ny; for it is supreme misery to be associated with those, who to promote their ambitious purposes, flagiti­ously [Page 10] pervert the ends of political society. I do not say that [...] Author is indebted to BURGH'S POLITICAL DISQUISITIONS, or to ROUSSEAU'S Social Compact for his de­finition of Government, and his large Tree; although I wish he had favoured his reader with the following extract from that sub­lime reasoner. "To investigate those con­ditions of society which may best answer the purpose of nations, would require the abi­lities of some superior intelligence, who should be witness to all the passions of men, but be subject itself to none, who should have no connections with human nature, but should have a perfect knowledge of it: A Being, in short, whose happiness should be independent of us, and who would ne­vertheless employ itself about us. It is the province of Gods to make laws for Men." With the utmost deference to the celebrated ROUSSEAU, I cannot indeed imagine, that laws even so constructed, would materially benefit our imperfect race; unless omnis­cience deigned previously to exalt our na­ture. The judicious reader will therefore perceive, that malevolence only, is requi­site to declaim against, and arraign the most perfect Governments. Our Political Quack avails himself of this trite expedient, to ca­jole the people into the most abject slavery, [Page 11] under the delusive name of independence. His first indecent attack is against the English constitution; which with all its imperfec­tions, is, and ever will be the pride and envy of mankind. To this panegyric involunta­rily our author subscribes, by granting indi­viduals to be safer in England, than in any other part of Europe. He indeed insidi­ously attributes this pre-eminent excellency, to the constitution of the people, rather than to our excellent constitution. To such contemptible subterfuge is our Author reduced. I would ask him, why did not the constitution of the people afford them superior safety, in the reign of Richard the Third, Henry the Eighth, and other ty­rannic princes? Many pages might indeed be filled with encomiums bestowed on our excellent constitution, by illustrious authors of different nations.

This beautiful system (according to MONTESQUIEU) our constitution is a com­pound of Monarchy, Aristocracy, and De­mocracy. But it is often said, that the Sovereign, by honours and appointments, influences the Commons. The profound and elegant HUME agitating this question, thinks, to this circumstance, we are in [...] indebted for our supreme felicity; since without such controal in the Crown, our [Page 12] Constitution would immediately degenerate into Democracy; a Government, which in the sequel, I hope to prove ineligible. Were I asked marks of the best government, and the purpose of political society, I would re­ply, the encrease, preservation, and prospe­rity of its members, in no quarter of the Globe, are those marks so certainly to be found, as in Great Britain, and her depend­encies. After our Author has employed several pages, to break the mounds of society by debasing Monarchs: He says, "The plain truth is, that the antiquity of English Monarchy will not bear looking into."

HUME treating of the original contract, has the following melancholy, but sensible observation, "Yet reason tells us, that there is no property in durable objects, such as lands, and houses, when carefully ex­amined, in passing from hand to hand, but must in some period, have been f [...]ded [...] fraud and injustice. The necessities [...] hu­man society, neither in private or public life, will allow of such an accurate enquiry; and there is no virtue or moral dut [...], but what may, with facility, be refined away, if we indulge a [...] philosophy, in sifting and [...]rutin zing, by every captious [...]ule of l [...]gic, in every light or position in which i [...] may be placed."

[Page 13] Say ye votaries of honour and truth, can we adduce a stronger proof of our Author's turpitude, than his quoting the anti-phi­losophical story of the Jews, to debase Monarchy, and the best of Monarchs. Briefly examining the story of this contemp­tible race, more barbarous than our savages: We find their history a continued succession of miracles, astonishing our imaginations, and exercising our faith. After wandering forty years in horrid desarts, they are chi [...]ly condemned to perish for their perverseness, although under the immediate dominion of the KING of HEAVEN. At length, they arrive in the sterile country of Palestine; which they conquer, by exterminating the inhabitants, and warring like [...] The inhabitants of the adjoining region [...], justly therefore held them in [...], and the Jews finding themselves constantly abhorred, have ever since hated all man­kind. This people, as destitute of arts and industry, as humanity, had not even in their language a word expressive of [...] We might indeed remind our [...], who so readily drags in the Old Testament to support his [...] measures, that we could draw from that [...], many [...], favour­able to Monarchy, were we [...], that the Mosaic Law, gives way to the [Page 14] Gospel Dispensation. The reader no doubt will be gratified by the following extract from a most primitive Christian. "Christi­anity is a spiritual religion, relative only to celestial objects. The Christian's inheri­tance is not of this world. He performs his duty it is true, but this he does with a profound indifference for the good or ill success of his endeavours: Provided he hath nothing to reproach himself, it is of little consequence to him whether m [...]tters go well or ill here below. If the state be in a flourishing condition, he can hardly venture to rejoice in the public felicity, least he should be puffed up, with the inordinate pride of his country's glory. If the state decline, he blesses the hand of GOD, that humbles his people to the dust."

Having desined the best government, I will humbly attempt to describe good Kings by the following unerring rule. The best Princes are constantly calumniated by the envenomed tongues and pens of the most worthless of their subjects. For this me­lancholy truth, do I appeal to the testimony of impartial historians, and long experience. The noble impartial historian Sully, speak­ing of the almost divine Henry the Fourth of France says, "Thus was this god-like prince represented (by the discontented of [Page 15] these days) almost throughout his whole kingdom, as a furious, and implacable tyrant: They were never without one set of arguments to engage his catholic nobility in a rebellion against him, and another to sow sedition among his pr [...]testant officers and gentry." HUME says, that the cruel unrelenting tyrant, Philip the Second of Spain, with his infernal Inquisition, was not more detested by the people of the Netherlands, than was the humane Char­les, with his inoffensive Liturgy, by his mutinous subjects. The many unmerited insults offered to our gracious Sovereign; by the unprincipled Wilkes, and others down to this late Author; will forever disgrace humanity. For he says, "that mo­narchy was the most prosperous invention the Devil ever set on foot for the pro­motion of idolatry. It is the pride of Kings which throws mankind into confusion: In short, continues this Author, monarchy and succession, have laid not this or that king­dom only, but the world in blood and ashes." How deplorably wretched the condition of mankind, could they believe such execrable flagitious jargon. Unhap­pily indeed, mankind in every age are sus­ceptible of delusion; but surely our Au­thor's poison carries its antidote with it. [Page 16] Attentive to the spirit of his publication, we fancy ourselves in the barbarous fif­teenth century; in which period our Au­thor would have figured with his "Common Sense—and blood will attend it."

After his terrible anathema against our venerable constitution, and monarchy; let us briefly examine a democratical state; and see whether or not it is a government less sanguinary. This government is extremely plausible, and indeed flattering to the pride of mankind. The demagogues therefore, to seduce the people into their criminal de­signs ever hold up democracy to them; although conscious it never did, nor ever will answer in practice. If we believe a great Author, "There never existed, nor ever will exist a real democracy in the World." If we examine the republics of Greece and Rome, we ever find them in a state of war domestic or foreign. Our Author therefore makes no mention of these ancient States. "When Alexander ordered all the exiles, to be restored throughout all the cities, it was found that the whole amounted to twenty thousand, the remains probably of still greater slaugh­ters and mass [...]cres. What an astonishing number in so narrow a country as ancient Greece? and what domestic confusion, [Page 17] jealousy, partiality, revenge, heart-burn­ings must tear those cities, where factions were wrought up to such a degree of fury and despair." Apian's history of the civil wars of Rome, contains the most fright­ful picture of massacres, proscriptions, and forfeitures that ever were presented to the world.

The excellent Montesquieu declares, "that a democracy supposes the concur­rence of a number of circumstances rarely united. In the first place, it is [...] that the state itself should be of small extent; so that the people might be easily assembled and personally known to each other. Se­condly, the simplicity of their manners, should be such as to prevent a multiplicity of affairs, and perplexity in discussing them: And thirdly, there should subsist a great de­gree of equality between them, in point of right and authority: Lastly, there should be little or no luxury, for luxury must either be the effect of wealth, or it must make it necessary. It corrupts at once, both rich and poor: The one, by the possession, and the other, by the want of it." To this may be added continues the same Author, "that no government is so subject to CIVIL WARS, and INTESTINE COMMO­ [...]IONS, as that of the democratical or po­pular [Page 18] form; because, no other tends so strongly and so constantly to alter, nor re­quires so much vigilance, and fortitude to preserve it from alteration. It is indeed, in such a constitution, particularly, that a Citizen should always be armed with for­titude, and constancy; and should every day, in the sincerity of his heart, guard a­gainst corruption, arising either from selfish­ness in himself, or in his compatriots; for if it once enters into public transactions, to root it out afterwards would be miraculous.

Our Author asserts, that Holland and Swisserland are without wars domestic or foreign. About a century ago, Holland was in a few weeks over-run by the arms of France, and almost miraculously saved by the gallantry of her Prince of Orange, so celebrated afterwards by the name of Wil­liam the Third. Almost from that period, until the treaty of Utrecht, Holland was a principal in wars, the most expensive and bloody, ever waged by human kind. The wounds she then received were unhealed in 1744, when reluctantly roused from her pacific lethargy, she was dragged into war; and losing her impregnable Bergenopzoom, and Mae [...]richt; was again on the brink of becoming a province to France, when happily liberated by the British Nation. [Page 19] In the war of 1756. Holland continually insulted in the capture of her ships, by our cruisers; preserved a humiliating neutrali­ty. If victory indeed had not crowned the British banners; the Dutch indubitably would have assisted their natural Allies, in whatever quarter of the globe attacked: For it is incontestibly true; that the existence of Holland, as a State, depends, and in­variably will depend, on the prosperity of Great Britain. Since the murder of Barne­velt, and the immortal de Wits, by the de­luded furious people, Holland hath too often been convulsed by anarchy, and torn by party. Unfortunately alas! for the cause of humanity; the rugged and incult desarts of Swisserland, preclude not ambi­tion, sedition, and anarchy. Her bleak and barren mountains do not so effectu­ally secure precarious liberty, as daily vend­ing her sons to the adjoining nations, parti­cularly to France; by whom the thirteen Cantons, could be subjected in as many days, did that court meditate so senseless and delusive an object. Nugatory indeed, if we consider, that France derives more substantial advantage from the present state of Swisserland, than if she exhausted herself, to maintain numerous Battalions, to bridle the Cantons. A moment, let us [Page 20] suppose, that our author's asseverations of Holland and Swisserland, are as real as de­lusive: His inferences do not flow from his premises; for their superior advantages, do not arise from their popular government, but from circumstances of peculiar local felicity, obliging the princes of Europe, to defend them from the omnipotent land force, if I may so speak of France. After impotently attacking our Sovereign; and the constitution: He contradicts the voice of all mankind, by declaring, that America "would have flourished as much, and pro­bably much more, had no European power taken any notice of her."

If he means, that had this Continent been unexplored, the original inhabitants would have been happier: For once, I agree with him. Previous to the settlement of these Provinces by our Ancestors, the kingdom of France was convulsed by religious phrenzy. This, and Sebastian Cabot's [...] discovery, perhaps, happily afforded the people of England, an opportunity of locating these Provinces. At length, peace being restored to France, by her Hero, Henry the Fourth: His nation in turn, were seized with the rage of colonizing. Finding the English claimed the Provinces on the Atlantic; they appropriated the [Page 21] snow banks of Canada, which we dare not suppose, they would have preferred to these fertile provinces, had not the prior occu­pancy, and power of England interfered. I hope it will not be denied, that the notice taken of us, at this time by an European Power, was rather favourable for us.—Certain it is, had not England then taken notice of us, these delectable Provinces would now appertain to France; and the people of New England, horrid to think, would now be counting their b [...]ads. Some years after the AEra in question, the civil wars intervening in England, afforded to the Swedes and Dutch, a footing on this Con­tinent. Charles the Second being restored; England reviving her claim, rendered abor­tive the Swedish pretensions; and by con­quest, and granting Surinam to the Dutch, procured the cession of their usurpation, now New York. I do indeed confess, my in­capacity to discern the injury sustained by this second "notice taken of us, by an European Power;" in default of which in­tervention, the Swedes, to this hour, would have retained their settlement, now the famed Pennsylvania; and the Dutch, con­sequently, had retained theirs. Some time after this period, the people of New Eng­land were employed, in framing and exe­cutting [Page 22] laws, so intolerant and sanguinary, that to us, they seem adapted for devils, not men.

Indeed it is worthy of note, that the in­habitants of Jamaica, Barbadoes, and Vir­ginia, at that very time, enacted laws, breathing the spirit of humanity, and such as men could bear. Soon after the period in question, arrived the great and good WILLIAM PENN, with his philosophic people called Quakers; together with to­leration, industry, and permanent credit. The people of England, encouraged by the extension of their laws and commerce to those colonies, powerfully assisted our merchants and planters, insomuch, that our settlements encreased rapidly, and throve apace. It may be affirmed, that from this period, until the present unhap­py hour; no part of human kind, ever experienced more perfect felicity. Vol­taire indeed says, that if ever the Golden Age existed, it was in Pennsylvania. France disgusted with the unhappy situation of her American Colonies, had long me­ditated the conquest of one of our middle provinces. To accomplish this purpose, she extended a line of forts on our fron­tiers, and actually fortified the place now called P [...]ttsburgh. Justly alarmed by these [Page 23] encroachments in the hour of our distress, we called aloud on Great Britain for as­sistance, nor was she deaf [...]o our cries. The English ministry, after in vain ex­hausting all the arts of negociation, de­clared war against France. After spilling torrents of blood, after expending one hun­dred and ninety millions of their dollars, and four or five millions of ours; they gloriously reduced the French settlements. Surely it will not be said, that this last NOTICE taken of us by the people of England, was injurious to us. Our ene­mies indeed alledge, that this last interven­tion by bloating us with pride, will even­tually ruin us, and render the people of Britain objects of derision, for lavishing their blood and treasure, in defence of provinces; "a match not only for Europe, (according to our author,) but for the world."—Our author next remarks, "that the commerce by which she hath en­riched herself, are the necessaries of life, and will always have a market while eating is the custom of Europe."

I reply, that our exporting grain, is as it were of yesterday, that the recent de­mand was principally occasioned by the distractions in Poland, and other parts of Europe, and probably will totally or partly [Page 24] fail, soon as the fertile country of Poland, and more fertile Ukraine shall again become cultivated. I believe the Europeans did eat before our merchants exported our grain, and perhaps will eat, when they cease to export it. I deny, that this momentary commerce hath enriched us; and I could adduce numberless melancholy proofs of the contrary. I shall only remark, that in the most fertile and delectable wheat coun­try in America, bounded by Chesopeak-bay, and almost adjoining that of Delaware; a tract of the best wheat land ten years ago, would hardly have exceeded a guinea and a half per acre, indeed, in 1773, such land covered with wood, would scarcely have sold for four guineas an acre, an undoubted proof of want of PEOPLE, industry, and wealth; particular­ly so, if we consider that one crop of corn and wheat on such land judiciously cultivated, would actually repay the sup­posed price. Our author asserts, "that our present numbers are sufficient to repel the force of all the world. That the Con­tinent hath at this time the largest disci­plined army of ANY POWER UNDER HEAVEN. That the English navy is only worth three millions and a half sterling," which in effect, would reduce it to thirty-five [Page 25] ships of the line, twenty ships of forty guns, twenty of thirty-six, and eight of twenty guns. "That if America had only a twentieth part of this force, she would be by far an over-match for Britain, that Independence is necessary, be­cause France and Spain cannot assist us, until such an event;" he also affirms "that Great Britain cannot govern us, and that no good can arise from a reconciliation with her."

I shall humbly endeavour to shew, that our author shamefully misrepresents sacts, is ignorant of the true state of Great Britain and her Colonies, utterly unquali­fied for the arduous task, he has pre­sumptuously assumed; and ardently intent on seducing us to that precipice on which himself stands trembling. To elucidate my strictures, I must with fidelity expose the circumstances of Great Britain and her colonies. If therefore, in the energy of description, I unfold certain bold and honest truths with simplicity, the judi­cious reader will remember, that true knowledge of our situation, is as essential to our safety, as ignorance thereof may en­danger it. In the English provinces, ex­clusive of negroe and other slaves, we have one hundred and sixty thousand; or one hundred and seventy thousand men capable [Page 26] of bearing arms. If we deduct the people called Quakers, Anabaptists, and other re­ligionists averse to arms; a considerable part of the emigrants, and those having a grateful predilection for the ancient constitution and parent state, we shall certainly reduce the first number to sixty or seventy thousand men. Now admitting those equal to the Roman legions, can we suppose them ca­pable of defending against the power of Britain, a country nearly twelve hundred miles extending on the ocean. Suppose our troops assembled in New England, if the Britons see not fit to assail them, they haste to and desolate our other provinces, which eventually would reduce New Eng­land. If by dividing our forces, we pre­tend [...]o defend our provinces, we also are infallibly undone. Our most fertile pro­vinces, filled with unnumbered domestic enemies, slaves, intersected by navigable rivers, every where accessible to the fleets and [...] Britain, can make no defence. [...] the medium of pas­sion and [...], we view our other pro­vinces, [...], destitute of money and a [...]: We must confess, that no power ever [...] POTENT ANTAGONISTS, [...] circumstances of infe­licity. In the better days of Rome, she [Page 27] permitted no regular troops to defend [...] Men destitute of property she admitted not into her militia, ( [...]er only army,) I have been extremely concerned at the separation of the Connecticut men from [...]ur army. It au­gur'd not an ardent enthusiasm for liberty and glory. We still have an army before Boston, and I should be extremely happy to [...] substantial process of their glory. I am still hopeful of great things from our army before Boston, when joined by the regi­ments n [...]w forming, which WANT OF BREAD will probably soon fill. Notwith­standing the [...] I have for my countrymen, I remark with grief, that hi­therto our troops have [...] [Page 28] will animate to such glorious efforts of heroism, as religious enthusiasm hath often impelled its votaries to perform. If the [...]ruel unrelenting tyrant, Philip the se­cond of Spain, had never attempted to in­troduce into the Low Countries, the infer­nal tribunal of the Inquisition: It is most probable, that the present States of Hol­land, would to this time have remained provinces to Spain, and patiently paid the fiftieth penny, and other grievous exactions. Certain it is, that the fana­ticks of Scotland, and people of England, had never armed against the first Charles, if religious enthusiasm had not more powerfully agitated their minds, than zeal for liberty, the operations of which, on the human mind, hath since the AEra in question, ever been more languid, than the former most powerful passion. These hardy assertions, are supported as well by notorious facts, as by the learned HUME, and other judicious historians. I cannot here omit remarking the inconsistency of human nature. The Scotch, the most furious enthusiasts then in Europe, were slaughtered like sheep, by Cromwell at Dunbar, where their formidable army hardly made any resistance, if we except that made by a handful of loyalists, desti­tute [Page 29] of that passion. Certain i [...] is, that those enthusiasts, were often [...] in pieces by their countryman, the gallant Marquis of Montrose, whose troops (Highlanders and other loyalists,) held Presbyterianism in contempt.

With the utmost deference to the honor­able Congress, I do not view the most distant gleam of aid from foreign powers. The princes alone, capable of succouring us, are the Sovereigns of France and Spain. If according to our Author, we possess an eighth part of the habitable globe, and ac­tually have a check on the West India commerce of England; the French indigo and other valuable West India commodities, and the Spanish galeons, are in great jeopardy from our power. The French and Spaniards are therefore wretched politicians, if they do not assist England, in reducing her co­lonies to obedience.—Pleasantry ap [...]rt! Can we be so deluded, to expect aid from th [...]se princes, which inspiring their subjects with a relish for liberty, might eventually shake their arbitrary thrones.—Natural a­vowed enemies to our sacred cause: Will they cherish, will they support the [...] of liberty in America? Ardently intent on extinguish­ing its latent dying spa [...]ks in their respective dominions. Can we believe that those [Page 30] princes will offer an example so dangerous to their subjects and colonies, by [...] provinces to independence? If inde­pendent, aggrandized by infinite numbers from every part of Europe, this Continent would rapidly attain power astonishing to imagination. Soon, very soon would we be conditioned to conquer Mexico, and all their West India settlements, which to an­noy, or possess, we indeed are most happily situated. Simple and obvious as these truths are, can they be unknown to the people and princes of Europe? Be it however admitted, that those princes unmindful of the fatal policy of RICHLIEU'S arming Charles's subjects against him, and the more fatal policy of LEWIS the fourteenth permitting our glorious deliverer to effect the revolution. I say, be it admitted, that those princes regardless of future conse­quences, and the ineptitude of the times, are [...] disposed to [...]. Say, ye [...] of liberty and [...] no danger accrue from an army [...] and Spaniards in the bosom of [...]? Would ye not dread their junction wi [...]h the Canadians and Savag [...], and with the [...] Roman catholics, [...] throughout the Colonies?

[Page 31] Let us n [...]w briefly view the pre-emi­nently envied state Great Britain. If we regard the power of Britain, unembarressed with Continental connections, and the po­litical balance, we may justly pronounce her what our author does, AMERICA;—"A match for all Europe." Amazing were the efforts of England, in the war of Queen Ann, when little benefited by co­lony [...], and e'er she [...] availed herself of the [...], good sense, and numbers of the people of Scotland and Ireland.

That England then prescribed laws to Europe, will be long remembered. Last war, her glory was, if possible, more emi­nently exalted; in every quarter of the globe did victory hover round her armies and navies, and her same re-echoed from pole to pole. At present Great Britain is the umpire of Europe. It is not exaggeration to [...]ffirm, that the Russians principally are indebted for their laurels, to her power, which al [...]ne [...] France from prevent­ing the ruin of her ancient faithful ally, the Ottom [...]n [...]. Superfluous i [...] were to enumerate her powerful alliances, or men­tion her [...] use resources▪ Her raising the incredible sums of eighteen, nineteen, and twenty-two millions [...]ling for the ser­vice [Page 32] of the years 1759-60, and 61, was more astonishing to Europe, than the victories of her fleets and armies. The annual rents of the kingdom of England only, many years ago, amounted to thirty three millions ster­ling. Thirty five millions bushels of wheat are annually produced in that kingdom; and perhaps as many bushels of other grain: Twelve millions of fl [...]eces of wool are there yearly shorn. In short, the Kingdom is a perfect Bee-hive, in numbers and industry; and is said to contain more industry, consequently more wealth, than all the rest of Europe. The famed HUME says, "I should as soon dread, that all our rivers and springs, should be exhausted, as that money should abandon a kingdom; where there are people and industry." The British navy, at the close of last war, consisted of nearly two hundred ships of the line, one hundred large frigates, and about one hundred smaller frigates, or other armed vessels. Since the peace, I believe, the navy has been most vigilantly preserved by Lord Sandwich, (said to be as equal to that arduous department, as any man in Europe.) Since the war, several capital ships have an­nually been built; and it is most certain, that on six months notice, Great Britain could equip fleets, sufficiently formidable, to con­tend with all the naval force, that could, [Page 33] or would act against her. The immense quantity of naval and other stores, in the different arsenals, with the royal navy* can­not at this time be worth less than twenty millions sterling. The island of Great Britain, between six and seven hundred miles in length, and upwards of two thou­sand miles circumference; and being every where indented with harbours, forms (with other causes) such nurseries of seamen, as the world cannot produce.

Let us now examine our author's ac­count of the navy of Great-Britain. "It is says he, worth no more than three mil­lions and an half sterling." This in effect will reduce it to ten second rate ships of war, ten third rate, fifteen fourth rate, ten ships of forty guns, ten of thirty six, and eight of twenty. "If America says he, had only a twentieth part of the naval force of Britain, she would be by far an over-match for her, because as we neither have, nor claim any foreign dominion, our whole force would be employed on our own coast; where we should in the long run have two to one the advantage of those who had three or four thousand miles to sail over, [Page 34] before they could attack us; and the same distance to return, in order to refit and re­cruit. And although Britain by her fleet, hath a check over our trade to Europe, we have as large a one over her trade to the West Indies, which, by laying in the neigh­bourhood of the Continent, lies entirely at its mercy."

Were it lawful to joke on so serious an occasion, I would remind the reader of our Author's modesty, in saying, "that we claim no foreign dominion:" Since we have the most numerous, and best disciplin­ed army under Heaven; and a navy suffi­ciently strong to combat that of Great Bri­tain. For our present naval armament com­pose a fleet more than equal to a twentieth part of the British navy, (according to our author's estimation.) Notwithstand­ing our author's delicacy, relying on the well known utility of melasses, to the New England governments: I hope they will order Admiral Manly to seise Jamaica, and the other West India Islands. The Admiral cannot be at a loss for men; since, according to our author, "a few social sailors, will soon instruct a sufficient num­ber of active landmen, in the common work of a ship. I do indeed confess, that the British ships of war, are constantly [Page 35] equipt altogether with very social sailors; and as constantly drub the French ships, double mann'd, with active landmen, tho' sufficiently instructed by a few social sailors. The reader will perceive, that our author, has humbled the naval power of Britain, with more facility than France and Spain could have done: And, has also expelled her from our ports with happier success, than did Spain; who was compelled to yield her Gibraltar and Portmahon, for the con­veniency of her fleets and commerce.

We must indeed allow, that Spain, tho' possessed of Mexico and Peru, cannot maintain the most numerous and best disci­plined army under Heaven, nor equip a navy fit to contend with the fleets of Bri­tain. It must also be confessed, that he makes Great Britain, very favourably dis­pose of her humbled navy, by employing nineteen parts of it in the Mediterranean, Asia, Africa, and I know not where: When he knows we have so great a check on her West India trade, a commerce, of the last importance to her.

I would blush for poor human nature, did I imagine that any man, other than a bigot could believe these ridiculous stories, these arrant gasconades, respecting our numerous and best disciplined army under Heaven, [Page 36] about our navy, and a few social sailors, and that France and Spain will not assist us, (who by-the-bye, according to our au­thor, are able to conquer them,) until playing upon words, we declare ourselves INDEPENDENT. Can a reasonable being for a moment believe that Great Britain, whose political existence depends on our constitutional obedience, who but yesterday made such prodigious efforts to save us from France, will not exert herself as powerfully to preserve us from our frantic schemes of independency. Can we a mo­ment doubt, that the Sovereign of Great Britain and his ministers, whose glory as well as personal safety depends on our obe­dience, will not exert every nerve of the British power, to save themselves and us from ruin.

"Much says our author has been said of the strength of Britain and the Colonies, that in conjuction they might bid defiance to the world; but this is mere presumption, the fate of war is uncertain."

Excellent reasoning, and truly consistent with our author. We of ourselves are a match for Europe, nay for the world; but in junction with the most formidable power on earth; why then, the matter is mere presumption. The fate of war is un­certain. [Page 37] It is indeed humiliating to consi­der, that this author should vamp up a form of government, sor a considerable part of mankind; and in case of its succeeding, that he probably would be one of our ty­rants, until we prayed some more illustri­ous tyrant of the army, to spurn him to his primeval obscurity; from all his ill-got honours flung, turned to that dirt from whence he sprung. "A government of our own, is our natural right," says our author.

" Had right decided, and not fate the cause,
" Rome had preserv'd her Cato and her laws."

Unfortunately for mankind, those are fine sounding words, which seldom or ever influence human affairs. If they did, instead of appropriating the vacant lands to schemes of ambition, we must instantly deputise envoys to the Indians, praying them to re-enter their former pos­sessions, and permit us quietly to depart to the country of our ancestors, where we would be welcome guests. But continues our author, "What have we to do with setting the world at defiance? our plan is commerce, and that well attended to, will secure us the peace and friendship of all Europe; because it is the interest of all Europe to have America a free-port, her trade will always be her protection, and [Page 38] her barrenness of gold and silver, will se­cure her from invaders."

I am perfectly satisfied, that we are in no condition to set the world at defiance, that commerce and the protection of Great Bri­tain will secure us peace, and the friendship of all Europe; but I deny that it is the interest of all Europe to have America a free-port, unless they are desirous of depopulating their dominions. His assertions, that bar­renness of gold and silver will secure us from invaders, is indeed highly pleasant. Have we not a much better security from invasions, viz. the most numerous and best disciplined army under heaven; or has our author al­ready disbanded it. Pray how much gold and silver do the mines of Flanders pro­duce? and what country so often has seen its unhappy fields drenched with blood, and fertilised with human gore. The princes of Europe have long dreaded the migration of their subjects to America; and we are sensible, that the king of Prussia is said more than once to have hanged Newlanders, or those who seduced his subjects to emi­grate. I also humbly apprehend, that Britain is a part of Europe. Now, old gentleman, as you have clearly shewn, that we have a check upon her West India trade, is it her interest to give us a greater check [Page 39] upon it, by permitting America (as you ex­press it,) to become a free port. Can we suppose it to be her interest to lose her va­luable commerce to the Colonies, which effectually she would do, by giving up A­merica to become your free port. If there­fore it is the interest of all Europe, to have America a free port: The people of Britain are extremely simple to expend so many millions sterling to prevent it. "It is re­pugnant to the nature of things, to all ex­amples from former ages, to suppose that this Continent can long remain subject to any external power."

Antiquity affords us no eclarcisement re­specting the future government of Ame­rica. Rome situated in a sterile corner of Italy, long, long, retained the then world in chains, and probably had maintained her dominion longer, had not the cross, re­moving the empire to Byzantium, weak­ened the eagles, and in turn, justly been de­stroyed by the Barbarians. I see no reason to doubt, that Great Britain, may not long retain us in constitutional obedience. Time, the destroyer of human affairs, may indeed, end her political life by a gentle decay. Like Rome, she may be constrained to defend herself from the Huns, and Ala­ricks▪ of the North. Ingratefully should we endeavour to precipitate her political [Page 40] demise, she will devise every expedient to retain our obedience; and rather than fail, will participate those provinces amongst the potent states of Europe. "The authority of Great Britain over this Continent, is a form of government which sooner or later must have an end."

This I have granted, and I add, that a million of revolutions may happen on this Continent, for every one of which, I am not indeed so over solicitous, as our Phoenix of Whims, the Author of Common Sense. "The Colonies have manifested such a spirit of good order and obedience to continental government, as is sufficient to make every person happy on that head."

What is this union so highly vaunted off? whence the marching and counter march­ing through almost every province to dis­arm those denominated tories?—I perfectly agree, that glorious is our union.—I exe­crate those who say, it has been cemented by every species of fraud and violence: Yet notwithstanding I dread its fragility; were an army of Britons in the middle of our country. As the Author of Common Sense is now in the grand monde; and can­not be acquainted with the language of ma­ny people in the provinces: I will com­municate the general purport of their▪ dis­course.—"We, say they, do not see [Page 41] through the wisdom of the present times. We remember with unfeigned gratitude, the many benefits derived through our con­nections with Great Britain, by whom but yesterday, we were emancipated from sla­very and death. We are not indeed un­aware, that Great Britain is uniformly re­proached with defending us from interested motives. In like manner, however, may every ingrate, reproach his benefactor; since all benefactions may be said to flow from no purer fountain. With predilection, we view our parent state; and wishfully contemplate on our late felicity, almost realizing that state of old, so beautifully feigned by the poets. We venerate the constitution, which with all its imperfec­tions, (too often exaggerated) we appre­hend almost approaches as near to perfec­tion, as human kind can bear. We shud­der at the idea of arming with more virulence, more unremitting ardour, against the pa­rent state, than against France; by whom our RIGHTS, CIVIL, as well as RELIGIOUS, certainly were more imminently endangered. With horror we reflect on the former civil wars, when every crime, odious and baneful to human nature, were alternately perpe­trated by the soldiers, particularly by the Independents."

[Page 42] "Every quiet method of peace has been in­effectual; our prayers have been rejected with disdain." I do not indeed agree with the people of England in saying, that those, who so suc­cessfully laboured to widen the breach—defired nothing less than peace. That they who shortly were to command the most nu­merous and best disciplined army under Heaven, and a navy fit to contend with the fleets of England, imagining the time had found us, disdained to be just. I highly venerate a majority of the Delegates. I have not indeed the honour of knowing all the worthy members; however, I wish the Gentlemen of the Congress, e'er they entered on their important charge, had been better acquainted with the strength of our friends in parliament. I sincerely lament, that the King did not receive the last excellent petition from the Congress; and I as [...]incerely wish, the Gentlemen of the Congress had not addressed themselves at that juncture, to the people of Ireland. "As to government matters," (continues our Author,) "it is not in the power of Britain to do this Continent justice: The business of it will soon be too weighty and intricate to be managed with any tolerable degree of convenience, by a power so very distant from us, and so very ignorant of [Page 43] us; for if they cannot conquer us, they cannot govern us. The difference between Pennsylvania, and Connecticut, respecting some unlocated lands, shews the insignifi­cance of a British government, and fully proves, that nothing but Continental au­thority can regulate Continental matters."

Until the present unhappy period, Great Britain has afforded to all mankind, the most perfect proof of her wise, lenient, and mag­nanimous government of the Colonies—The proofs to which we already have alluded, viz. our supreme felicity, and amazing increase. Than the affair of the Connecticut invaders; Omnipotence only could grant us stronger reasons for praying a continuance of our for­mer beneficent government. Most certainly, every dispassionate person, as well as the plun­dered Pennsylvanians, must confess, that the Arm of Great Britain alone detained those Free-booters aforesaid, from [...]eifing the city of Philadelphia, to which without all doubt, they have as just a claim, as to those fertile regions in Pennsylvania, which they surrep­titiously have possessed themselves of. In wrath to mankind, should Heaven permit our Author's new fangled government to exist; I, as a friend to Pennsylvanians, advise them to explore new settlements, and avoid the cruel mortification of being expelled by the [Page 44] Saints from their delicious abodes and pleas­ing fields.—"But (says the Author) the most powerful argument is, that nothing but independence, (that is a Continental form of government) can keep the peace of the Continent, and preserve it inviolate from civil wars. I dread the event of a reconci­liation now with Britain, as it is more than probable, that it will be followed by re­volt somewhere; the consequences of which may be far more fatal than all the malice of Britain. Thousands are already ruined by British barbarity, thousands more will probably share the same fate. These men have other feelings, than those who have nothing suffered: All they now possess is liberty, what they before enjoyed is sacri­ficed to its service, and having nothing more to lose, they disdain all submission."

Here we cannot mistake our author's meaning, that if one or more of the mid­dle or southern Colonies reconcile with Great Britain, they will have war to sus­tain with New England; "the conse­quences of which may be more detrimental, than all the malice of Britain." This ter­rible denunciation, fortunately for such Colonies, is as futile as its author. Should Great Britain re-establish her authority in the said Colonies by negociation, surely it [Page 45] is not temerity to add, that the weight of Britain, in the scale of those provinces, would preponderate against the power of New England. If Britain should reduce the Colonies by arms, (which may Heaven avert!) The New England provinces will have as little inclination, as ability, to dis­turb the peace of their neighbours. I do indeed most sincerely compassionate those unhappy men, who are ruined by our un­fortunate distractions. I do fervently pray, that Britain, and the Colonies may most effectually consider their peculiar infelicity. Such attention will do infinite honour to the parent state; who cannot view them as enemies, but as men unhappily irritated by the impolitic measures of Great Bri­tain. "The diminution of trade affords an army, and the necessities of an army, create a new trade." (So says our Author) I am surprised the ministry, so often re­proached with ruining the commerce of Britain, never urged, (what was never thought or said before.) Our Author's excellent axiom, "that the diminution, &c." Certain it is, the minority had replied▪ since the commencement of this century; the diminution of the commerce of France hath afforded her nearly one million of sol­diers; but the necessities of this prodigious [Page 46] number of troops, created her so bad a commerce, that she hath twice proved bankrupt since, and more than once expe­rienced the miseries of famine.

"If premiums (says our Author) were to be given to Merchants to build and employ in their service, ships mounted with 20, 30, 40, or 50 guns, the premiums to be in proportion to the loss of bulk to the Mer­chants. Fifty or sixty of those ships, with a few guard ships on constant duty, would keep up a sufficient navy, and that without burdening ourselves with the evil so loudly complained of in England▪ of suffering their fleets in time of peace to lie rotting in their docks." Yield the palm of ingenuity to our Author, ye De Wits, Colberts, Pelhams, and Pitts. He has outdone ye by constructing a beautiful navy; alas! on paper only.—First, no nation in Europe depends on such ships for her defence: Secondly, such ships would be unfit to contend with capital ships: Thirdly, in the hour of danger, these ships on their voyage, or return, would alternately be taken by an active enemy: Lastly, six times as many such ships would be une­qually matched with that part of the naval power of Britain, which she actually could spare to combat on our coasts▪ This cannot be thought exaggeration, if we consider [Page 47] that the British navy, last war, carried about seventeen thousand guns; and up­wards of ninety-five thousand social seamen. "No country (says our author) is so hap­pily situated, or internally capable of raising a fleet as America. Tar, timber, iron and cordage are her natural produce." He speaks of forming a fleet, as if he could do it by his Fiat. A third rate ship of the line fitted for sea, is allowed to cost seventy four thousand pounds sterling, which at the present exchange, is about one hundred and twenty nine thousand pounds. Now, as labour, sail cloth, cordage, and other re­quisites, are dearer than in Europe, we may reasonably suppose the advanced price, at twenty-five per cent. which makes the amount one hundred and fifty four thousand pounds. We must next suppose our navy equal to that of France, which consists of sixty four ships of the line (fifty gun ships inclusive) twenty-five frigates, with ships of inferior force. In case of independence, we cannot admit a smaller naval force. In­deed, when joined to the fleets of France and Spain, the navies so united, and navi­gated principally with landsmen, instructed by a few social sailors, will be vastly infe­rior to the squadrons of Britain. The amount therefore of such our navy, will [Page 48] only require the trifling sum of twelve mil­lion, six hundred and twenty five thousand pounds currency, which I am very willing to believe we can spare, being scarcely one fourth the value of our property, real and personal. With excellent management, our navy would laft eight, nine, or ten years; we therefore would find it extremely conve­nient to rebuild it constantly at the expira­tion of that term: Of this there cannot be a doubt, when we remember with our Au­thor, "that ship-building is America's greatest pride. The vast empire of Rus­sia is almost shut out from the sea, where­fore her boundless forrests, her tar, iron, and cordage, are only articles of commerce." I reply, that Russia containing ten times our numbers, is destitute of industry and com­merce. She has ports sufficient to build and contain a navy to subdue the world. Destitute as we have remarked of industry and commerce, her navy is inconsiderable, and being equipt with landsmen, cannot figure against ships navigated by social sailors. Who can doubt the ability of Spain to build a navy? The cargo of two or three of her annual galeons were sufficient to build a navy as formidable as that permitted to Great Britain (by the author of Common Sense.) In her Island of Cuba, possessed of [Page 49] an immensity of fine cedar; she might con­struct a navy as formidable as that of Great Britain, but to what purpose, other than to adorn the triumph of her enemies; un­less she could arm her ships, otherwise than by active landsmen, instructed by a few social sailors. Our Author says, "that the Terrible, Capt. Death, stood the hottest en­gagement of any ship last war, yet had not twenty sailors on board," (tho' her compli­ment of men was upwards of two hundred.)

We do indeed confess ourselves doubtful on this head, and therefore wish our Author had produced his authority. We do appre­hend, that naval actions, very generally de­pend on seaman-ship, that is, on dextrously working the ship during the combat. Now the judicious reader will remember, that ships of war in engagement cannot be navigated by a few social sailors, nor even by a bare com­petency, unless such sailors are more invul­nerable than was the great Achilles.

"Were the Continent (says our Author) crowded with inhabitants, her sufferings under the present circumstances, would be intolerable, the more sea ports we had, the more we should have both to defend, and to lose." This is rather incomprehen­sible; I cannot imagine, that we would be less formidable with ten times our pre­sent [Page 50] numbers, if at present we can defend one sea-port; surely, with ten times as many inhabitants, we could equally defend ten. If with our present numbers, we are a match for the world, consequently with ten times as many, we would be a match for ten worlds, which would indeed be prodigious! The infant state of the Co­lonies as it is called, so far from being a­gainst, is an argument in favor of In­dependence." This assertion is as absurd, as if he had maintained, that twenty is in­ferior in number to two. "But the in­juries and disadvantages we sustain by that connection, are without number, and our duty to mankind at large, as well as to ourselves, instruct us to renounce the al­liance; because any submission to, or de­pendence upon Great Britain, tends di­rectly to involve this Continent in Eu­ropean wars and quarrels. As Europe is our market for trade, we ought to form no poli­tical connection with any part of it." Innu­merable are the advantages of our connection with Britain; and a just dependence on her, is a sure way to avoid the horrors and calamities of war. Wars in Europe, will probably than heretofore become less frequent; religious rancour, which for­merly animated princes to arms, is suc­ceded [Page 51] by a spirit of philosophy extreme­ly friendly to peace. The princes of Eu­rope are or ought to be convinced by sad experience, that the objects of conquest, are vastly inadequate to the immense charge of their armaments. Prudential motives, therefore, in future, will often dictate ne­gociation, instead of war. Be it however admitted, that our speculations are nuga­tory, and that as usual, we are involved in war. In this case we really do not par­ticipate a twentieth part of the misery and hardships of war, experienced by the other subjects of the empire. As future wars will probably be carried on by Britain in her proper element, her success will hardly be doubtful, nor can this be thought audacity, if we remember the great things effected by Britain in her naval wars, then secondary objects to her Germanic con­nections, to which she now politically seems indifferent. Our sailors navigating our vessels to the West Indies during war, are exempted from impressment, and if our trade to any part of Europe is then stag­nated, it flows with uncommon rapidity in the West Indies, nor is the object of cap­tures inconsiderable.

Our author surely forgets, that when in­dependent, we cannot trade with Europe, [Page 52] without political connections, and that all treaties made by England or other com­mercial states are, or ought to be, ulti­mately subservient to their commerce. "But (says our author,) admitting that matters were now made up, what would be the event? I answer the ruin of the Conti­nent, and that for several reasons." Recon­ciliation would conduct us to our former hap­py state. The happiness of the governed is without doubt the true interest of the gover­nors, and if we aim not at independence, there cannot be a doubt, of receiving every advantage relative to laws and commerce that we can desire. Montesquieu speaking of the people of England, says, "They know better than any people on earth, how to value at the same time these three great ad­vantages, religion, liberty, and commerce." "It is a matter worthy of observation, that the more a country is peopled, the smaller their armies are." This indeed would be worthy of observation, did not daily experience contravert it. The armies of Russia, France, Austria, England, and Prussia, are certainly more numerous than' those of Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Portugal, and Sardinia. Now, the first five states contain nearly sixty millions, and the last kingdoms do not contain fourteen millions [Page 53] of people. "In military numbers, the an­cients far exceeded the moderns, and the reason is evident, for trade being the conse­quences of population, men become too much absorbed thereby, to attend to any thing else, commerce diminishes the spirit both of patriotism, and military defence."

Every man of sense, now rejects the fabulous numbers of the army of X [...]rxes, and other fabled armies of antiquity. The ancient armies, did not exceed in numbers the armies of the moderns. If so, their states had been desolated by the horrid carnage of their battles, arising from the military spirit of defence, from the nature of their arms, and the arrangement of their armies, which permitted the combatants to buckle together, who seldom gave quarter. The Roman armies never exceeded twenty-five legions, which including auxiliaries, did not exceed two hundred and fifty thou­sand, a number greatly inferior to the armies of France, or perhaps Britain during war. Notwithstanding my ardour for li­berty, I do most fervently pray, that we may never exchange the spirit of com­merce, for that of military defence, even at the price of augmenting our armies. Let us hear the testimony of Montesquieu in favor of commerce: "Commerce, says [Page 54] he, is a cure for the most destructive pre­judices, for it is almost a general rule, that wherever we find agreeable manners, their commerce flourishes. Let us not be astonished then, if our manners are now less savage than formerly. Commerce has every where diffused a knowledge of all nations, these are compared one with another, and from this comparison arise the greatest advantages. Peace is the na­tural effect of trade, &c." The Athenian people, perhaps the most respectable of an­tiquity, did not long posses a commer­cial spirit, but were almost continually af­flicted by this spirit of military defence. The common people in effect distributed the public revenues amongst themselves, while the rich, were in a state of oppres­sion. According to Lysius the orator and others, it was their custom, when in want of money, to put to death some of the rich citizens, as well as strangers, for the sake of the forfeiture. In short, could we enumerate the infinite train of misfortunes inflicted on mankind, in every clime and age by this self-same spirit of military de­fence; our readers will surely join us in opinion, that commerce has most hap­pily humanized mankind. I am not un­aware, that there are many declamations [Page 55] against commerce, these I have ever re­garded as trials of wit, rather than serious productions. Our author's antipathy, and extreme aversion to commerce, is easily accounted for. If his independence takes place, I do aver, that commerce will be as useless, as our searching for the philoso­pher's stone. "And history (says he,) suf­ficiently informs us, that the bravest at­chievements were always accomplished in the non-age of a nation." The Greeks in their early state were pirates, and the Ro­mans robbers, and both warred in character. Their glorious actions were performed, (If I may so express myself) in the man­hood of their empire. Carthage, Greece, Asia, Spain, Gaul, and Britain, were not indeed conquered during the non-age of the republic. Agincourt, Cressey, Oude­nard Ramillies, Blenheim, Dettingen, and Minden, surely were not fought in the infancy of the English Empire. "With the encrease of commerce, England has lost her spirit." This is really a curious disco­very; who is unacquainted, that the English are the lords and factors of the universe, and the Britain joins to the commerce of Tyre, Carthage and Venice, the discipline of Greece, and the fire of old Rome. "The city of London, submits to conti­nued [Page 56] insults, with the patience of a coward. The more men have to lose, the less wil­ling they are to venture, and submit to courtly power with the trembling duplicity of a spaniel." That an inconsiderable part of the people in London, submit to a person not very honorably distinguished in the world is certain, but that the city of Lon­don submits to continued insults is certainly a mistake. I suppose our author means, that by submitting to the best laws on earth they submit to continued insults. The rich whom he so very honorably distin­guishes, can be at no loss for his mean­ing. An Agrarian law, would perhaps be convenient for himself and his independ­ents. It may not however be amiss to re­mind him of that, which in the multipli­city of his projects, he may have forgot, viz. that the richest part of the community will always be an overmatch for the poor­est part. "It might be difficult, (says our author,) if not impossible, to form this Continent into a government half a century hence."

Here I humbly apprehend our author's meaning is truly conspicuous. This Conti­nent fifty years hence, infallibly will be richer, and much better peopled than at present; consequently abler to effect a revo­lution. [Page 57] But alas! e'er that period, our au­thor will forever be forgotten; impelled therefore by his villainous ambition, he would rashly precipitate his country into every species of horror, misery, and desola­tion, rather than forego his fancied protec­torship. "But if you have, (says our author) and still can shake hands with the murderers, then are ye unworthy the name of husband, father, friend, or lover, and whatever may be your rank or title in life, you have the heart of a coward, and the spirit of a sycophant, &c. To talk of friendship with those in whom our reason forbids us to have faith, and our affections wounded through a thousand pores, in­structs us to detest is madness and folly."

Ye that are not drunk with fanaticism answer me? Are these words dictated by peace, or base foul revenge, the constant attendant on cowards and sycophants? Does our author so perfectly versed in scripture, mean to conduct us to peace or desolation? or is he fit to legislate for men or devils? Nations after desolating each other, (happily for mankind,) forgive, for­get, and reconcile; like individuals who quarrel, reconcile, and become friends. Following the laudable example of the CON­GRESS; we lately have most readily shak [...]n [Page 58] hands with our inveterate enemies the Cana­dians, who have scalped nearly as many of our people as the British troops have done: Why therefore may we not forgive and re­concile—By no means, it blasts our author's ambitious purposes. The English and Scotch, since the first Edward's time, have alternately slaughtered each other, (in the field of Bannockburn, more men fell, than are now in the New-England provinces) to the amount of several hundred thousand: And now view each other as subjects, des­pising the efforts of certain turbulent spirits, tending to rekindle the ancient animosity. Many of the unhappy men criminally en­gaged with the Pretender; reconciled by humane treatment to that family against whom they rebelled; served in their armies a few years after. Indeed the conduct of the Canadians to our troops, as effectually illustrates our doctrine, as it reprobates the Anti-christian, diabolical tenets of our au­thor.—"The unwarrantable stretch like­wise, which that house made in their last sitting, to gain an undue authority over the Delegates of that province, ought to warn the people at large, how they trust POWER OUT OF THEIR OWN HANDS. A set of in­structions for the Delegates were put to­gether, which in point of sense, and busi­ness [Page 59] would have dishonored a school-boy, and after being approved by a few, a very few, without doors, were carried into the house, and there passed in behalf of the whole Colony. Whereas, did the whole Colony know, with what ill will that house hath entered on some necessary public mea­sures, they would not hesitate a moment to think them unworthy of such a trust." This very insidious charge, we cannot read without indignation. If the Pennsylvanians, had happily adhered to their virtuous re­solves, it is more than probable, that a con­stitutional reconciliation had e'er now taken place. Unfortunately, rescinding their opi­nion, they perhaps adopted the sentiments of certain persons, by no means superior in virtue or knowledge. Those not inebriated with independency, will certainly allow, that the instructions to their Delegates, were dictated by the true spirit of peace, justice, and exalted policy. If inspiration had dictated those resolves, obnoxious as they are to independency, our author had repro­bated them. How dare the author of Com­mon Sense say, "that they attempted to gain an undue authority over the Delegates of their province? Who so proper to in­struct them, as those chosen by the people, not in the hour of passion, riot and confu­sion, [Page 60] but in the day of peace and tranquil reflection. The gentleman, whom our author impotently attacks, in this and other innuendos; will be long revered by his grate­ful countrymen, and the friends of man­kind; as well for his true patriotism and extensive abilities, as his unbounded bene­volence. Would we profit by the unhappy examples of our ancestors, (which alas! mankind too seldom do,) let us remember the fate of those illustrious patriots, of the first Charles's time: Allied at first with the independents; they did not suspect those execrable hypocrites, of the horrid design of destroying the King and constitution. When they saw through their abominable views, it was too late to save the King and kingdom; for the independents had seized the sovereignty. Soon as they were firmly possessed of power; they persecuted those illustrious patriots, with more unrelenting virulence, than the professed advocates of arbitrary power. Every virtuous Pennsyl­vanian, must be fired with indignation at the insidious attack made by this indepen­dent on the respectable assembly of his pro­vince. Indeed, the Assembly of Pennsyl­vania in this unworthy treatment have a sure earnest of their future expectations.—"It is the custom of nations, (says our author) [Page 61] when any two are at war, for some other powers not engaged in the quarrel, to step in as mediators, and bring about the pre­liminaries of a peace. But while America calls herself the subject of Britain, no power, however well disposed she may be, can offer her mediation. Wherefore in our present state we may quarrel on forever."

Nations, like individuals, in the hour of passion attend to no mediation. But when heartily drubbed, and tired of war, are very readily reconciled, without the intervention of mediators; by whom, belligerents were never reconciled, until their interests or passions dictated the pacification. If we may use our author's elegant language, mediation is "farsical." I grant however, that the idea of our forcing England by arms to treat with us is brilliant. "It is unrea­sonable continues (our author) to suppose that France and Spain will give us any kind of assistance, if we mean only to make use of that assistance for the purpose of repair­ing the breach, and strengthening the con­nection between Britain and America; be­cause those powers would be sufferers by the consequences."

Considering "we have the most numer­ous, and best disciplined army under Heaven; [Page 62] and a fleet fit to contend with the navy of Britain;" we must suppose our Author's brain affected by dwelling constantly on his beloved independency, else he would not have the imbecility to require the assist­ance of France and Spain. The manner of his prevailing on France and Spain to assist us, is also a strong proof of his insanity. Did those powers, hesitate to succour the Scotch rebels in 1745, because they did not declare themselves independent. It then was their interest to create a diversion, alas! too serious in the sequel for the de­luded rebels in that kingdom; and were they now interested in aiding us, they un­doubtedly would do it in spite of quibbles. In such case, e'er this time, their armies and navies had joined us without interruption: For we must confess, that the efforts of Britain hitherto, would not have precluded the republic of Genoa from aiding us. Sup­pose our author, had a son or an apprentice eloped to his intimate acquaintance, and de­sired to enter into his service: If this person replied to the youth; I know your appren­ticeship is unexpired, notwithstanding declare yourself a freeman, and I will hire and pro­tect you. I demand, would such odious, ridiculous duplicity, render our supposed person, less criminal in the eyes of our [Page 63] Author, or render the example less danger­ous to his own apprentice. "Were a ma­nifesto (says our author) dispatched to fo­reign courts, &c." This also is a conclu­sive proof of our author's maniacum deli­rium. Our author "challenges the warm­est advocate for reconciliation to shew a sin­gle advantage this Continent can reap, by being connected with Great Britain. I repeat the challenge, not a single advantage is derived: Our corn will fetch its price in any market in Europe:" Were the author's ass [...]rtions respecting our power, as real as delusive, a reconciliation on liberal princi­ples with Great Britain, would be most excellent policy. I wave similarity of man­ners, laws, and customs, most friendly indeed to perpetual alliance. The greatest part of our plank, staves, shingles, hoops, corn, beef, pork, he [...]rings, and many other articles, could find no vent, but in the English Islands. The demand for our flour would also be considerably lessened. The Spa­niards have no demand for these articles; and the French little or none. Britain would be a principal mart for our lumber, part of our grain, naval stores, tobacco, and many other articles, which perhaps are not generally wanted in any kingdom in Europe. If it is suggested, that the En­glish [Page 64] Islands, impelled by necessity would trade with us. I reply, that it is not un­common to see English flour for sale in those Islands; as our merchants have more than once found to their cost. Since 1750, flour hath sold in the Islands, at ten and twelve per cent. the price being reduced by flour from England.

Britain is also better calculated to supply us, with woollen goods and other necessary articles, than any kingdom in Europe. Should a separation ensue; Britain will open an ex­tensive commerce to the Baltic, and Russia, for all, or many of the commodities, she now receives from us. The Russians, since their last glorious treaty with the Porte; can now export the commodities of their most fertile Ukraine, through the Mediterranean, until that period, they were constrained to carry their hemp, eight or nine hundred miles to the Baltic, whence by a long and dangerous navigation, it reached the dif­ferent ports in the Atlantic. I need not inform the reader that such immense land carriage, precluded the subjects of Russia from raising wheat, which generally sold in the Ukraine for ten-pence per bushel, as did rye at five-pence in that extensive re­gion, than which no country on earth is more happily adapted for that grain. [Page 57] The British nation, pre-eminently distin­guished for industry and enterprise, will establish factories in the provinces of Rus­sia, and animate those people to emulate our productions, which they will transport by the Mediterranean, to the ports of Europe, and the West-Indies.—By these means, and the culture of Poland, our grain would probably be reduced to its pristine price, two shillings and six pence. As our Author is so violently bent against reconciliation; he must either suppose a constant war with the incensed power of England; or admit that he is a proper inha­bitant of the domains of Ariosto, (the world in the moon.) Now, admitting "we have the most numerous, and best disciplined army under Heaven; and a navy formidable for that of England;" pray, what are ou [...] resources to pay such considerable armaments? Al­though I do not wish to mortify, my countrymen; I must acknowledge, that the neat proceeds of all our produce is inadequate to that end. Our Author al­lows "that we have a considerable check on the West In [...]a commerce of Britain, and that Great Britain has a considerable check upon our European trade."

In case Great Britain insults therefore our European bound ships, we have only to or­der [Page 58] our admirals to seise their West India­men. Unfortunately, the Algerines, and o­ther piratical states of Africa, have no West-India commerce; and not having the clear­est distinctions of thine and mine; will be apt to seise our vessels. Our author affirms "that our trade will always be our protec­tion." I therefore crave his pardon, and shall believe, that the sight of our grain, and smell of the New England Codfish, will effectually serve as a Mediterranean pass, to the piratical rovers. I do humbly con­fess my suspicions, least Portugal extremely dependent on Great Britain, may not in­sult us. When independent, we no doubt will receive strong proofs of friend­ship from France and Spain: Neverthe­less, with the utmost humility I imagine, could we seise Gibraltar or Portmahon, and there station a formidable squadron of capi­tal ships; we might as effectually protect our commerce, as our trade will protect us. The author of Common Sense confidently affirms, "that our trade will always be its protection." I cannot imagine that his purse or watch would effectual [...]y protect him on Hounslow, or Blackhea [...] from footpads or highwaymen. Hitherto we have treated of reconciliation on the principles of our [Page 59] being as potent as Great Britain. Let us now consider our army, nearly as I have stated it, and our navy as an object by no means sublunary. It now behoves us well to consider, whether it were better to enter the harbour of peace with Great Britain, or plunge the ship into all the horrors of war.—Of civil war. As peace and a happy ex­tension of commerce, are objects infinitely better for Great Britain; than war and a di­minution of her commerce. It therefore is her interest to grant us every species of indulgence, consistent with our constitu­tional dependence, should war continue, there can be no doubt of the annihilation of our ships, ports and commerce, by Great Britain. The King's ships now in New England, unhappily are more than sufficient to ruin the ports and commerce of these provinces. New York is already secured; and I should be extremely grieved to hear, that a small armament, were destined a­gainst Philadelphia. In the opinion of the best officers of the navy; Philadelphia is accessible to a few forty and fifty gun ships, in despite of our temporary expedients to fortify the river Delaware. If such opinion is groundless, the ministry by their imbecil­lity have befriended us; since by guarding the River Delaware with a few frigates on­ly; [Page 60] they had precluded us from arming our vessels and strengthening the river Delaware. I would remind our author of the constant language, and apparent purport of all ranks in opposition to Great Britain: "We have (say they) been the happiest people on earth, and would continue to be so should Great Britain renounce her claim of taxation. We have no sinister views, we claim not independence; No! Perish the thought." Such I believe also was the tenor of the petitions from the Congress to his Majesty. Now I would ask every man of sentiment, what opinion our friends in Great Britain, nay the whole world will entertain of us, if ingratefully, and madly adopting our author's frantic schemes, we reject reasonable terms of reconciliation? Will they not most assuredly believe, that our popular leaders, have by infinite art, de­luded the unwary people into their pre-con­certed schemes; on supposition, that the time had found us? Those acquainted with Bri­tain must confess, that the minority in par­liament, hitherto have been our main prop. Now independency for ever annihilates this our best resource. Let us admit a part of the minority, republicans, or what is more probable, bent on removing the pre­sent ministry from their power. Our au­thor's [Page 61] schemes annihilates all their conse­quence, all their opposition. In case of our independence, should a BARRE, or BURKE, patronise our goverment; such pa­trons, would infallibly participate the fate of the great and good DEWITS; be torn in pieces by the furious People.—If my remarks are founded on truth, it results, that the time hath not found us; that inde­pendency is inexpedient, ruinous, and im­practicable, and that reconciliation with Great Britain on good terms, is our sole resource. 'Tis this alone, will render us respectable; it is this alone, will render us numerous; it is this only, will make us happy.

I shall no longer detain my reader, but conclude with a few remarks on our Author's scheme. The people of those Colonies would do well to consider the character, fortune, and designs of our Author, and his independents; and com­pare them with those of the most amiable and venerable personages in, and out of the Congress, who abominate such nefarious measures. I would humbly observe, that the specious science of politics, is of all others, the most delusive. Soon after the Revolu­tion; the ablest states-men in England, and other parts of Europe; confidently [Page 62] predicted National ruin, infallible ruin, [...]oon as the Public debt exceeded fifty millions sterling. The Nation now indebt­ed nearly thrice that sum; is not arrived at the zenith of her credit and power. It is perhaps possible to form a specious system of government on paper which may seem practicable, and to have the consent of the people; yet it will not answer in practice, nor retain their approbation upon trial. "All plans of government (says HUME) which suppose great reformation in the man­ners of mankind, are merely imaginary."

The fabricators of Independency have too much influence; to be entrusted in such ar­dous and important concerns. This reason alone, were sufficient at present, to deter us from altering the Constitution. It would be as inconsistent in our leaders in this hour of danger to form a government; as it were for a Colonel forming his battalion in the face of an enemy, to stop to write an essay on war.

This author's Quixotic system, is really an insult to our understanding; it is infinitely inferior to HUME's idea of a perfect Com­mon Wealth; which notwithstanding his acknowleged greatness of genius, is still reprehensible. It is not our business to ex­amine, in what manner this author's associ­ates, acquired their knowledge in national [Page 63] affairs; but we may predict, that his scheme of independency would soon, very soon give way to a government imposed on us, by some Cromwell of our armies. Nor is this sentiment unnatural, if we are atten­tive to constant experience, and human na­ture. The sublime MONTESQUIEU, so aptly quoted by the Congress, unhappily corrobo­rates our doctrine, "from (says he) a man­ner of thinking that prevails amongst man­kind. They set a higher value upon cou­rage than timorousness, on activity than pru­dence, on strength than counsel. Hence, the army will ever despise a senate, and re­spect their own officers. They will natu­rally slight the order sent them by a body of men whom they look upon as cowards, and therefore unworthy to command them, so that as soon as the army depends on the legislative body, it becomes a military one;" and if the contrary has ever happened, it has been owing to some extraordinary cir­cumstances, such as Holland being able to drown her garrisons, and the Venetians having it in their power to compel their troops to obedience by the vicinity of the European armies. Resources to which we forever must be strangers. If indepen­dence takes place, the New England men by their consequence therein; will assume [Page 64] a superiority, impatiently to be born by the other Colonies.

Notwithstanding our Author's fine words about toleration: Ye sons of peace and true christianity; believe me, it were folly su­preme, madness, to expect angelic toleration from New-England, where she has con­stantly been detested, persecuted and execrat­ed. Even in vain would our Author; or our CROMWELL cherish toleration; for the people of New-England, not yet arrived in the seventeenth or eighteenth century, would reprobate her.—It is more than pro­bable to suppose, that the New-England go­vernments would have no objection to an Agrarian law; nor is it unreasonable to sup­pose, that such division of property would be very agreeable to the soldiers. Indeed their General could not perhaps with safety to his existence as a General, refuse them so reasonable a gratification, particularly, as he will have more than one occasion for their services. Let us however admit that our General and troops, contradicting the experience of ages; do not assume the so­vereignty. R [...]leased from foreign war; we would probably be plunged into all the mi­sery of anarchy and intestine war. Can we suppose that the people of the south, would submit to have the seat of Empire at Phila­delphia, [Page 73] or in New England; or that the people oppressed by a change of government, contrasting their misery with their former happy state, would not invite Britain to re­assume the sovereignty.

A failure of commerce precludes the nu­merous tribe of planters, farmers and others, from paying their debts contracted on the faith of peace and commerce. They can­not, nor perhaps ought not to pay their debts. A war will ensue between the creditors and their debtors, which will eventually end in a general spunge or aboli­tion of debts, which has more than once happened in other States on occasions similar.

Ye respectable descendants of the plan­ters from Holland and Swisserland; who ac­knowledge, that your fathers have instructed you to felicitate yourselves in existing under the benign British government. And have taught you to execrate the Government of Holland and other popular states, where the unhappy people unacquainted with trial by jury and other peculiar felicities of British Subjects are, (to use the significant language of your fathers) under the harrow of oppressive Demagogues. Do ye possess the wisdom to continue your happiness by a well regulated connection with Britain?

[Page 74] Volumes were insufficient to describe the horror, misery and desolation, awaiting the people at large in the Syren form of Ame­rican independence. In short, I affirm that it would be most excellent policy in those who wish for TRUE LIBERTY to submit by an advantageous reconciliation to the authority of Great Britain; "to accomplish in the long run, what they cannot do by hypocrisy, fraud and force in the short one." INDEPENDENCE AND SLAVERY ARE SYNONYMOUS TERMS.


The following Publication by RATIONALIS, is printed in this size, for the convenience of those Gentlemen, who choose to bind it with other Pamphlets, in an Octavo Volume.

The Republican Spirit is indeed at Bottom as ambitious as the Monarchical. VOLTAIRE.

THE town has been lately amused with a new political pamphlet, entitled COMMON SENSE.

This piece, though it has taken a popu­lar name, and implies that the contents are obvious, and adapted to the understandings of the bulk of the people is so far from meriting the title it has assumed, that in my opinion it holds principles equally incon­sistent with learned and common Sense.

I know not the author, nor am I anxious to learn his name or character; [...]or the book, and not the writer of it, is to be the subject of my animadversions.

'Tis the glory of a free country to enjoy [Page 76] a free press, and of this, that the senti­ments and opinions of the meanest, equally with those of the greatest, are brought to view; for we know by frequent instances, that the rich and high born are not the monopolizers of wisdom and virtue.—On the contrary, these qualities are oftener to be found among the middling class in every country, who, being less dissipated and de­bauched than those who are usually called their betters, apply themselves with more industry to the culture of their understand­ings, and in reality become better acquain­ted with the true interests of the society in which they live.

But to my great grief I have too often seen instances of persons in every class of life, whose publications, at the same time they have reflected honor on the parts and genius of the authors, have been so shamefully wanting in candor as to attempt, by the cadence of words, and force of stile, a to­tal perversion of the understanding.

The pamphlet in question seems to be plainly calculated to induce a belief of three things.

1st. That the English form of government has no wisdom in it, and that it is by no means so constructed as to produce the [Page 77] happiness of the people, which is the end of all good government.

2d. That monarchy is a form of govern­ment inconsistent with the will of God.

3d. That now is the time to break of all connection with Great Britain, and to de­clare an independence of the Colonies.

It must be obvious to every impartial eye, that the author reasons from the abuses of, against the benefits derived from, the En­glish constitution; and after reciting these abuses concludes, very unfairly, that, "it is incapable to produce what is seems to promise."—For if an argument of this sort is to be received, it will prove perhaps ra­ther more than the author would choose—it would even prove that the Jewish theo­cracy was quite as improper, and as inca­pable to produce what it aimed at, as the reprobated English government. The re­cords of sacred history inform us, that the law was given to the people from God, and that the great Jehovah himself conde­scended to call them his chosen people. He signally interposed in their behalf in bring­ing them out of bondage, in preserving them from the rage of Pharoah's army, and seating them in a land flowing with milk and honey, under his immediate govern­ment [Page 78] and laws, "written with his own finger."

"And he will love thee and bless thee, and multiply thee: he will also bless the fruit of thy womb and the fruit of thy land, thy corn and thy wine, and thy oil; the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep, in the land which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee." Deut. vii. 13.

"Thou shalt be blessed above all people, there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle." Deut. vii. 14.

But what effects did all these extraordi­nary favors and promises of the Deity him­self produce upon that wicked, perverse, stiff necked people? Moses tells them,

"From the day that thou didst depart out of the land of Egypt until ye came un­to this place, ye have been rebellious against the Lord." Deut. ix. 7.

"You have been rebellious against the Lord from the day that I knew you. Deut. ix. 24.

Profane as well as sacred history informs us of the ineffectuality of the best govern­ments and the wisest laws among a corrupt, degenerate people. It does not regularly [Page 79] follow, that if the people are not happy under an excellent form of civil polity, that the fault is in the government, it may be owing to the corruption of the people, and this I take to be the case in Great Britain at this day. When the British parliament is properly balanced, and each branch of the legislature faithfully executes its duty, I think I am safe in affirming there was never yet a form of government in the world so well calculated for the happiness of a free people as this, and yet we are told by the author of the pamphlet, that the "preju­dice of Englishmen in favor of King, Lords and Commons, arises as much or more from national pride than reason." The world has already seen numberless instances of fine spun political theories, which, like the quackeries of mountebank doctors, are to cure all the political evils to which hu­man nature is liable.—But when the expe­riment is made, they become astonished at the ill success of their boasted schemes—they find a thousand little passions and interests continually interfering with their designs, and at length retire again to their closets, chagrined they had not thought it necessary to study the great volume of human nature, before they ventured to say what was the best for mankind.

[Page 80] The author, after venting his spleen a­gainst the English form of government, comes next to consider the subject of mo­narchy and heriditary succession; in treat­ing which he plainly discovers the utmost prepossion in favor of a republic. I shall not follow him through his scripture quo­tations, which he has so carefully garbled to answer his purpose, but beg leave to op­pose some authorities to it.

The celebrated Trenchard, in No. 60, of Cato's Letters, says, "There is no go­vernment now upon earth, which owes its formation or beginning to the immediate revelation of God, or can derive its exist­ence from such revelation: It is certain, on the contrary, that the rise and institution, or variation of government, from time to time, is within the memory of men or of histories; and that every government which we know at this day in the world, was established by the wisdom and force of mere men, and by the concurrence of causes evidently human."

"Nor has God by any revelation nomi­nated magistrates, shewed the nature or ex­tent of their powers, or given a plan of ci­vil polity for mankind." (Hutcheson's Moral Philosophy. p. 272.)

[Page 81] "There being no natural or divine law for any form of government, or that one person rather than another should have the sovereign administration of affairs, or have power over many thousand different families who are by nature all equal, being of the same rank, promiscuously born to the same advantages of nature, and to the use of the same com­mon faculties, therefore mankind is at liberty to choose what form of government they like."

"God's providence or permission suffered his own peculiar people the Jews to be un­der divers governments at divers times; as first under patriarchs. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, &c. then under judges, Othniel, Ehud and Gideon; then under high-priests, Eli and Samuel; then under kings, Saul, David and the rest; then under captains and high priests again, "as Zerobabel, Judas Maccabeus, and his brethren; and the government was lastly taken from them, and they brought under the power of Rome. And that God permits such ma­gistrate or magistrates as the community thinks fit to approve, is plain by the testi­mony of Holy Scriptures; when God said to Solomon, "By me kings rule, even all the judges of the earth." Prov. viii. 16.

"When the sons of Samuel were judges over Israel, they took bribes and perverted [Page 82] judgment, therefore the elders of Israel de­sired Samuel to make them a king; and though the elders are only mentioned to have asked a king of Samuel, they seem to have been deputed from the whole con­gregation; for God said unto Samuel, "Hearken to the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee." 1 Sam. viii. 4, 7.

"And Samuel told the people the manner of the kingdom, and wrote it in a book, and laid it up before the Lord. 1 Sam. x. 25. 'Tis plain the manner of the kingdom signifies the constitution of the government, by which was meant the conditions on which Saul was to be king, and they his subjects; for though God had given him the crown, it was to rule the people according to justice and laws."

"After the battle between Saul and the Ammonites, Samuel said to the people, Come, let us go to Gilgal; and there they made Saul king before the Lord. 1 Sam. xi, 1, 5, 6, 7, 14, 15. Now therefore behold the king, whom ye have chosen, and behold the Lord hath set a king over you." Sam. chap. 12. 13.

These latter quotations are taken from the great Lord Sommers's book called the "Judg­ment of whole Kingdoms and Nations con­cerning the Rights of Kings and the People." This nobleman was Lord high chancellor of England in King William's reign, and [Page 83] was remarkable for his revolution-prin­ciples, great learning and unshaken inte­grity, in public and private life.

It does therefore from the foregoing tes­timonies appear, that monarchy (specially a limited one, such as that of England) is not inconsistent with the Holy Scriptures, as is set forth in said pamphlet, but that it is as pleasing to the Almighty, [...] agreeable to the people, as any other form of govern­ment, even the author's beloved republic.

The writer next proceeds to inform his readers of the numerous wars and scenes of blood acted in England under their kings, and asserts that "Monarchy and succession have laid the world in blood and ashes. 'Tis a form of government which the word of God bears testimony against, and blood will attend it." Here are bold assertions indeed. To the latter part I have already endeavoured to make some reply, so far as he asserts it is contrary to the word of God; but will the author's candor permit him to inform his reader of the infinite distractions and mis­chiefs which have happened in the ancient and modern republics—Under this form there are always two parties, which divide the whole body of the people, and an eter­nal warfare subsists between them for power. The Contest is dreadful enough, but which soever party prevails, there is no rod heavy [Page 84] enough, no sword sufficiently sharp, to punish those whom they have subdued.—It then becomes a many headed monster, a tyranny of many.

Let any man read with an unprejudiced eye the accounts which historians give us of the famous Grecian Commonwealths, and I will venture to speak for him, that he will not bestow great commendations on them.—The Athenians, a wise and po­lished people, very often banished their best citizens, from an apprehension of their power—a glorious reward for a virtuous citi­zen, who, as was the case in more instances than one, had preserved [...] country from destruction. In the latter times of the Cartha­ginian and Roman republics, what constant scenes of blood and devastation does history present to us—The multitude in a perpetual ferment like the ocean in a storm—In a storm did I say,—like the waters of the sea, agitated by a dreadful whirlwind, no­thing but the fury of one party encounter­ing the rage of another.—Every trace of hu­manity being thus lost, men change their natures and become as fierce and savage as wolves and tygers.

But let us descend nearer to modern times—let us look for happiness and securi­ty in the republic of Holland, so often men­tioned, and so little known—let us recol­lect [Page 85] the fate of the two brothers, Cornelius and John de Wit, Dutch ministers, who were massacred by the people in the year 1672. Holland itself, from being a repub­lic, is become a downright aristocracy. Liberty did not continue long in that coun­try, notwithstanding the blood and treasure that were expended to acquire it. The people, so far from being free, have had no voice for many years past in the election of persons to represent them in the States-Ge­neral, nor have they any thing to do in the forming of laws by which they are to be governed. Whenever one of them dies, the vacancy is filled up without any inter­ference of the people, and this important change was made in the state, because of the intolerable feuds and animosities which attended the elections of representatives. Had they been to have cho [...]en a king, what dangerous and destructive tumults must it have produced. Founded on the woeful ex­perience of ages, it is now become a gene­ral fixed opinion, that hereditary is prefer­able to elective monarchy, on account of the terrible disorders, outrages and confu­sion which usually attend the election of a king; a pregnant instance of which, in our times, is the kingdom of Poland.

In our own history, we see what was the effect of the much wished for Common­wealth [Page 86] after the death of the tyrant Charles—it did not produce liberty—it presently ended in arbitrary power. The moment almost after the reins of government fell from Charles's hands, Cromwell took them up, and governed the nation with absolute sway.

I cannot agree with the author of the pamphlet in opinion, that this is the time to declare an independence of the Colonies. This ought to be the dernier resort of America. Let us not yet lose sight of the primary object of the dispute, namely, a safe, honorable, and lasting reconciliation with Great Britain, until we are under a necessity of doing it. If an advantageous accommodation can be had, and a free constitution for this country be established on mutual agreement and compact, 'twill be better and happier for us. But if justice is still denied us, and we are to contend for liberty by arms, we will meet them i [...] ▪ the field, and try our manhood against them, even to spilling the blood of every brave man we have. Should the ministry have recourse to foreign aid, we may possibly follow their example; and, if it be essential then to our safety to declare an Independence, I would willingly embrace the necessity.


CATO's LETTER (being his Second) to the People of PENNSYLAVANIA. On that reception, which may be proper for BRITISH COMMISSIONERS, who are at present (March 11th 1776) supposed on their Voyage, to treat with the Honor­able, the American CONTINENTAL CONGRESS.—With some Observations against American Independency.

AS I propose to take my subjects as they rise out of the times, I shall leave to my next letter the further defence of our Assembly, to give room for a matter of very great importance, agreeable to what was hinted in the conclusion of my first letter.

The account which we have already re­ceived of Commissioners being appointed in England, and ready to embark for America, in order to negociate a settlement of the present unhappy differences, has engaged the attention, and exercised the speculations of many among us. The powers with which they are to be invested, the manner in which they are to be received, how they are to be treated with, or whether they are to be treated with at all, have been can­vassed agreeably to the different views or judgments of individuals.

Among others, a writer under the signa­ture of Cassandra, in the Pennsylvania [Page 88] Evening Post of March fifth, has held forth sentiments which I conceive highly disgraceful to America, and pernicious to society in general. He pr [...]tends to have sa­tisfied himself (but upon what grounds I known not) that the sole view of admini­stration in this commission, is to amuse and deceive, to bribe and corrupt us. And be­cause he supposes all of us so very corrupti­ble, he proposes, by way of prevention, to seise the Commissioners upon their first set­ting foot on shore, and bring them imme­diately, under a strong guard, to the CONGRESS, I have too good an opinion of the virtue and good sense of my country­men, to think they will pay any other re­gard to this advice, than to consider the author as an enthusiast or madman.

The contest in which we are engaged is founded on the most noble and virtuous principles which can animate the mind of man. We are contending, at the risk of our lives and fortunes, against an arbitrary ministry, for the rights of Englishmen. The eyes of all Europe are upon us, and every generous bosom, in which the pulse of liberty yet beats, sympathizes with us, and is interested in our success. Our cause, therefore, being the cause of virtue, it will be expected that all our steps should be guided by it, and that where the stock is so fair, the fruit will be proportionably perfect.

[Page 89] Let us not disappoint these sanguine ex­pectations by the smallest deviation from those liberal and enlarged sentiments, which should mark the conduct of freemen; and when the faithful HISTORIC page shall re­cord the events of this GLORIOUS STRUGGLE, may not a single line in the bright annals be stained by the recital of a disgraceful action, nor future Americans have cause to blush for the failings of their ancestors.

I trust that there is not such another bar­barian among us as Cassandra. I am sure there are none such among our savage neighbours. To what is it that he would persuade us? To receive with contempt, and treat with insult, men commissioned to negociate with us about matters of the highest concern to America, and at least professing peace—Persons cloathed with the character of Ambassadors, which has been uniformly esteemed sacred by every nation and in every age!

Can a precedent be produced in any country or at any period which could be proposed for our imitation, or give counte­nance to such a proceeding? Let this wri­ter turn over the volumes which establish the principles of the Law of Nations. Let him search the history of every state both ancient and modern, civilized and uncivilized; he will find none so fierce and rude as not to reverence the rights of Ambassadors, and [Page 90] consider any insult of their persons as the grossest outrage that could be committed. Nay, let him enquire among the numerous tribes of Indians that surround our frontiers, for some example to countenance him in his proposal? These untutored savages would startle at the question, and wonder that there could be a person so ignorant as not to know that public messengers, with the CALUMET in their hands, are entitled to audience, respect and hospitality. And shall Americans, glorying in their attach­ment to the rights of humanity, be the first to violate obligations which have been thus universally held sacred? No! Let us never give that advantage to those who have been striving to excite the indignation of mankind against us as faithless people, ferocious, barbarous, and uninfluenced by those hu­mane sentiments and finer feelings, which, in modern times, have, in some measure, softened the horrors of war. We know that such a charge is as malicious as it is groundless. Instances enough might be produced to refute it, since this contest was carried on by arms; and I trust no future ones will be found which might have a ten­dency to support it.

As we have long professed an ardent de­sire of peace, let us meet those who bring the terms, with that virtuous confidence, which is inseparable from an upright con­duct. [Page 91] Let us hear their proposals with patience, and consider them with candor; remembering how deeply the happiness of millions may be concerned in the issue. If what they offer be such as freemen ought to accept, my voice shall be for an imme­diate reconciliation; as I know of no object so worthy of a patriot as the healing our wounds, and the restoring of peace, if it has for its basis an effectual security for the liberties of America. If on the contrary, the terms, which may be offered, should be such as we cannot accept, we have only to say so, and the negociation will be at an end.

But this writer is greatly concerned for our virtue, lest we should be cajoled, de­ceived, and corrupted. I confess these fancies appear to me so groundless, that I suspect their reality. Is it possible, in good earnest to entertain so ill an opinion of those, who have staked their lives and fortunes on this contest, as to believe that they will suffer themselves to be flattered out of their liberties, or induced to sell their birthright for a mess of pottage?

When I consider that this treaty is to be managed, on the part of America, by men delegated for their integrity and abilities by the voice of their country, I feel myself quite easy on that score. If the scheme of the ministry be to try the arts of corruption, where their arms cannot prevail, there are [Page 92] other and less suspicious ways of carrying it into execution, than by Commissioners, in the face of America, where they will have the eyes of all fixed upon them, and their conduct diligently watched and se­verely scrutinized.

Upon the whole, it appears that this writer is more an enemy to the business on which the Commissioners are to be sent than really apprehensive [...]or our virtue. He seems to have drank deep of the cup of inde­pendency; to be inimical to whatever carries the appearance of peace; and too ready to sacrifice the happiness of a great Continent to his favourite plan. Among such writers I pretend not to class myself; for I am bold to declare, and hope yet to make it evident to every honest man, that the true interest of America lies in reconciliation with Great-Britain, upon constitutional principles, and I can truly say, I wish it upon no other terms.

Why the many publications in favor of independency, with which our presses have lately groaned, have passed hitherto unno­ticed, I am not able to determine. But there are certainly times when public affairs become so interesting, that every man be­comes a debtor to the community for his opinions, either in speaking or writing. Perhaps it was thought best, where an ap­peal was pretended to be made to the COM­MON [Page 93] SENSE of this country, to leave the people for a while to the free exercise of that good understanding which they are known to possess. Those who made the appeal have little cause to triumph in its success. Of this they seem sensible; and, like true quacks are constantly pestering us with their additional doses, till the stomachs of their patients begin wholly to revolt. If little notice has yet been taken of the pub­lications concerning, independence, it is neither owing to the popularity of the doc­trine, the unanswerable nature of the argu­ments, nor the fear of opposing them, as the vanity of the authors would suggest. I am confident, that nine-tenths of the people of Pennsylvania, yet abhor the doctrine.

If we look back to the origin of the present controversy, it will appear that some among us at least, have been constantly en­larging their views, and stretching them beyond their first bounds, till at length they have wholly changed their ground. From the claim of Parliament to tax us, sprung the first resistance on our part. Be­fore that unjust claim was set on foot, not an individual, not one of all the profound legislators with which this country abounds, ever held out the idea of independence. We considered our connection with Great-Britain as our chief happiness—we flourish­ed, grew rich, and populous, to a degree [Page 94] not to be paralleled in history. Let us then act the part of skilful phisicians, and wise­ly adapt the remedy to the evil.

Possibly some men may have harboured the idea of independence from the begin­ning of this controversy. Indeed it was strongly suspected there were individuals whose views tended that way; but as the scheme was not sufficiently ripened, it was reckoned slanderous, inimical to America, and what not, to intimate the least suspicion of this kind.

Nor have many weeks yet elapsed since the first open proposition for independence was published to the world.—By what men of consequence this scheme is supported, or whether by any, may possibly be the subject of future enquiry.—Certainly it has no coun­tenance from the Congress, to whose senti­ments we look up with reverence. On the contrary, it is directly repugnant to every declaration of that respectable body. It would be needless to quote particular passages in proof of this, as they are to be met with in almost every page of their proceedings. I will refer to a few only, viz. their Resolves, March 5, 1775—their Declaration, July 6.—their Address to the King, July 8—their Letter to the Lord Mayor of London—and more especially their Declaration for a fast, June 12, in which with the deepest marks of sincerity they call upon all America to [Page 95] join with them in addressing the great Go­vernor of the World—‘humbly beseech­ing him to avert the desolating judgments with which we are threatened, to bless our rightful Sovereign, &c.—that so America may soon behold a gracious in­terposition of Heaven for the redress of her many grievances, the restoration of her invaded rights, and reconciliation with the parent state, on terms con­stitutional and honorable to both.’

Will any one be so hardy as to say, that either the appointment or observation of this solemn day was a mere mockery of Heaven and earth, or even that any Ameri­can joined in it, who was not sincere?—I trust not. But if multiplying authorities were of any use, I might add the sentiments of our own representatives in assembly expres­sed in the instructions to their Delegates; the sentiments of Maryland in similar in­structions; the Resolves of New Jersey and New-Hampshire; nor shall the much injur­ed province of Massachusetts Bay be left out of the catalogue, whose Provincial Congress, while yet bleeding with the wounds receiv­ed at Lexington, thus addressed the inhabi­tants of Great Britain—‘These are marks of ministerial vengeance against this Colony, but they have not yet detached us from our royal Sovereign, &c. trusting that in a constitutional connection with the mother [Page 96] country, we shall soon be a free and happy people.’ These were the sentiments of the Colony of the Massachusetts, signed by that great Martyr to Liberty, Dr. WARREN, and soon after sealed with his blood.

The sentiments of sundry other Colonies might be shewn to have corresponded with these.—But this letter has already reached its full length. I shall take some future opportunity to examine [...] the arguments which have been offered to induce a change of these sentiments; and upon the whole I doubt not to make it appear that independence is not the cause in which America is now engaged, and is only the idol of those who wish to subvert all order among us, and rise on the ruins of their country!


Just printed and published, at the desire of several Members of the Honorable the Continental Congress, and some of the Military Officers of the Association, and is now selling By ROBERT BELL, Printer in Third street, (Price Three Dollars, two volumes, in neat bindings.)

THE MILITARY GUIDE FOR YOUNG OFFICERS, by THOMAS SIMES, Esq. This work is a large and valuable compilation from the most cele­brated military writer [...]—Marshal Saxe—General Bland—King of Prussia—Prince Ferdinand, &c. &c. Containing the experience of many brave heroes in critical situations, for the use of young warriors; including an excellent military, historical and explanatory DICTIONARY. To which is now added, extracts from a military essay, contain­ing reflections on the raising, arming, cloathing and dis­cipline of the British infantry and cavalry. By Campbell Dairymple, Esq Lieutenant Colonel to the King's own regiment of dragoons. The whole is illustrated with Eleven Copper-plates.


Extract, from the Journal of the proceedings of the ho­norable the American Continental Congress, held at Philadelphia, September fifth 1774.

Being that part of their Address to the Inhabitants of the Province of Quebec, which enumerates, the glorious RIGHTS of Englishmen, and English subjects: Among which are included, THE LIBERTY OF THE PRESS. The Committee, to whom the Address to the Inhabitants of Quebec was recommitted; reported a draught, which was read, and being debated by Paragraphs and amen­ded, was approved, and is as follows.

Friends and Fellow-Subjects,

"WE, the DELEGATES of the Colo­nies of New-Hampshire, Massachu­setts-Bay, Rhode-Island and Provi­dence Plantations, Connecticut, New-York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, the Counties of Newcastle Kent and Sussex on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina, and South Carolina, deputed by the inhabitants of the said Colonies to repre­sent them in a general Congress at Philadel­phia, in the province of Pennsylvania, to consult together concerning the best me­thods to obtain redress of our afflicting grievances, having accordingly assembled, and taken into our most serious considera­tion the state of public affairs on this con­tinent, have thought proper to address your province, as a member therein deeply in­terested."

[Page] "When the fortune of war, after a gal­lant and glorious resistance, had incorpo­rated you with the body of English sub­jects, we rejoiced in the truly valuable ad­dition, both on our own and your account; expecting, as courage and generosity are naturally united, our brave enemies would become our hearty friends, and that the Divine Being would bless to you the dispen­sations of his over-ruling providence, by securing to you and your latest posterity the inestimable advantages of a free English constitution of government, which it is the privilege of all English subjects to enjoy."

"These hopes were confirmed by the King's proclamation, issued in the year 1763, plighting the public faith for your full enjoyment of those advantages."

"Little did we imagine that any succeed­ing ministers would so audaciously and cru­elly abuse the royal authority, as to with­hold from you the fruition of the irrevoca­ble rights, to which you were thus justly entitled."

"But since we have lived to see the unex­pected time, when ministers of this flagi­tious temper have dared to violate the most sacred compacts and obligations, and as you, educated under another form of go­vernment, have artfully been kept from dis­covering the unspeakable worth of that form you are now undoubtedly entitled to, we esteem it our duty, for the weighty reason [Page] herein after mentioned, to explain to you some of its most important branches."

"In every human society," says the ce­lebrated Marquis Beccaria, "there is an effort, continually tending to confer on one part the heighth of power and happiness, and to reduce the other to the extreme of weakness and misery. The intent of good laws is to oppose this effort, and to diffuse their influence universally and equally."

‘Rulers, stimulated by this pernicious effort,’ and subjects, animated by the just "intent of opposing good laws against it," have occasioned that vast variety of events, that fill the histories of so many nations. All these histories demonstrate the truth of this simple position, that to live by the will of one man, or set of men, is the produc­tion of misery to all men."

"On the solid foundation of this principle, Englishmen reared up the fabrick of their constitution with such a strength, as for ages to defy time, tyranny, treachery, internal and foreign wars: And as an illustrious author (Montesquieu) of your nation, hereafter men­tioned, observes,—"they gave the peo­ple of their colonies the form of their own government, and this government carrying prosperity along with it, they have grown great nations in the forests they were sent to inhabit."

[Page] "In this form, the first grand right is that of the people having a share in their own government by their representatives chosen by themselves, and, in consequence, of be­ing ruled by laws, which they themselves approve, not by edicts of men over whom they have no controul. This is a bulwark surrounding and defending their property, which by their honest cares and labours they have acquired, so that no portions of it can legally be taken from them, but with their own full and free consent, when they in their judgment deem it just and necessary to give them for public services, and pre­cisely direct the easiest, cheapest, and most equal methods, in which they shall be col­lected."

"The influence of this right extends still farther. If money is wanted by rulers who have in any manner oppressed the people, they may retain it, until their grievances are redressed, and thus peaceably procure relief, without trusting to despised petitions, or dis­turbing the public tranquillity."

"The next great right is that of trial by jury. This provides, that neither life, li­berty nor property can be taken from the possessor, until twelve of his unexceptiona­ble countrymen and peers, of his vicinage, who from that neighbourhood may reasona­bly be supposed to be acquainted with his character, and the characters of the wit­nesses, [Page] upon a fair trial, and full enquiry face to face, in open court, before as many of the people as chuse to attend, shall pass their sentence upon oath against him; a sentence that cannot injure him, without injuring their own reputation, and probably their interest also; as the question may turn on points that, in some degree, con­cern the general welfare; and if it does not, their verdict may form a precedent, that, on a similar trial of their own, may militate against themselves."

"Another right relates merely to the liber­ty of the person. If a subject is seized and imprisoned, though by order of govern­ment, he may, by virtue of this right, im­mediately obtain a writ, termed a Habeas Corpus, from a judge, whose sworn duty it is to grant it, and thereupon procure any illegal restraint to be quickly enquired into and redressed."

"A fourth right is that of holding lands by the tenure of easy rents, and not by rigorous and oppressive services, frequently forcing the possessors from their families and their business, to perform what ought to be done, in all well regulated states, by men hired for the purpose."

"The last right, we shall mention, regards the freedom of the press. The importance of this consists, besides the advancement of truth, science, morality, and arts in gene­ral, [Page] in its diffusion of liberal sentiments on the administration of government, its ready communication of thoughts between sub­jects, and its consequential promotion of union among them, whereby oppressive officers are shamed or intimidated into more honorable and just modes of conducting affairs."

"These are the invaluable rights, that form a considerable part of our mild system of go­vernment; that, sending its equitable ener­gy through all ranks and classes of men, de­fends the poor from the rich, the weak from the powerful, the industrious from the ra­pacious, the peaceable from the violent, the tenants from the lords, and all from their superiors."

"These are the rights, without which a people cannot be free and happy, and un­der the protecting and encouraging influence of which, these colonies have hitherto so amazingly flourished and increased. These are the rights, a profligate ministry are now striving, by force of arms, to ravish from us, and which we are, with one mind, re­solved never to resign but with our lives."



ADDITIONS TO PLAIN TRUTH; ADDRESSED TO THE INHABITANTS OF AMERICA, Containing, further Remarks ON A LATE PAMPHLET, entitled COMMON SENSE; WHEREIN, Are clearly and fully shewn, that American Independence, is as illusory, ruinous, and impracticable, as a liberal reconciliation with Great Britain, is safe, honorable, and expedient.


The enjoyment of Liberty, and even its support and preservation, consists, in every man's being allowed to speak his thoughts, and lay open his sentiments. Quotation of the American Congress, in their Address to the Inhabitants of Quebec, from that friend to Mankind, MONTESQUIEU.

PHILADELPHIA: Printed, and Sold, by R. BELL, in Third-Street. MDCCLXXVI.



THE writer of PLAIN TRUTH, grieved at the insidious purpose of the Pam­phlet, entitled COMMON SENSE, ar­dently wished to see its Antichristian tenets exposed to public detestation. After in vain, waiting several weeks in expectation of its being answered, he at length hastily endeavoured to refute its pernicious doc­trines; and therefore wishes the judicious reader to pe [...]se the following observations, intended as additional to his former re­marks.

In our former observations, we intimated that many pages might be filled with enco­miums on our excellent constitution, by illustrious authors of different nations. We hope the candid reader will be grati­fied with the following extracts on that subject, by that universal genius Voltaire, [Page 98] and by the almost inspired Montesquieu, so honorably distinguished by our respectable Congress.

"The English nation are the only peo­ple on earth, who, resisting prerogative, happily restrained it: Who, by efforts to efforts, at length established that wise go­vernment, where the Prince all powerful to do good, has his hands tied from doing evil; where the nobility great without in­solence, and vassals, and where the people partake the government without confusion. The House of Peers and House of Commons are the arbitrators of the nation; the King is the umpire. This balance was wanting to the Romans; the Patricians and people were always divided at Rome, without a mitigating power to reconcile them. The Senate of Rome, who had the unjust and punishable pride to share no part of their power with the Plebeians, knew no other secret to remove them from government, than to employ them continually in foreign wars; they regarded the people, as a beast of prey, whom it was necessary to let loose on their neighbours, least he should tear his master. Thus, the greatest fault of the government of the Romans made them conquerors; it was, because they were [Page 99] wretched at home, that they conquered the world."

Montesquieu also affirms that "the Bri­tish government is the wisest in Europe, be­cause, there is a body which examines it perpetually, and is perpetually examining itself; and its errors are of such a nature, as never to be lasting, and are frequently useful by rousing the attention of the na­tion." In short, the man who in prefe­rence to these authorities, and the testimony of ages, can believe our author's criminal assertions against the constitution, in our very humble opinion, is incapable of being reasoned with.

The reader, often accustomed to hear our numbers exaggerated, will with sur­prise be told, that the free people in the British Colonies do not exceed 1,500,000.

The writer of Common Sense, and his partizans, to promote their flagitious pur­poses, endeavour to make the world be­lieve, that the number of our free people amount to three millions. These persons who have so excellent a knack of creating armies, and navies, suppose 900,000 peo­ple in Virginia and Maryland, although these provinces only contain 280,000 white people.

By examining, the list of taxables in [Page 100] Virginia and Maryland, and the battalions now on foot in these provinces, such, as doubt our computations, may satisfy them­selves, that we are not widely mistaken. If I am told that 72 counties are included in Virginia and Maryland, I reply, that they do not comprehend half the number of people contained in Yorkshire. The num­ber of white people therefore in the diffe­rent provinces, may be truly stated in the following manner; in the southern colo­nies, 450,000, in the middle colonies, 550,000, in the New England colonies, 500,000. Thus extensively disjoined, these numbers form not so great a national strength, as would half that number united in a compact territory. Now, a state, con­taining 1,500,000 people, cannot prudently keep up more than 15,000 soldiers. A person possessed of £ 1000 may indeed for some time display the expence of him seised of £ 1000 yearly revenue, but he will affect such imprudent parade at the expence of his ruin. On such, and no other principle, may a community of 1,500,000 arm more than 15,000 men.

When by the lust of his ambition, Lewis the Fourteenth was constrained to defend himself against his redoubtable ad­versaries, despotic as he was, he never at [Page 101] once brought into the field one tenth part of his subjects capable of bearing arms. If he had, his kingdom had been forever undone, seeing the loss sustained by an ar­my, even in an inactive campaign, is in­deed almost incredible. Least those more zealous than informed, doubt these simple truths, we here subjoin the opinion of that friend of mankind, Montesquieu; who, re­flecting on the cause of the rise and fall of the Roman Empire; observes, "that ex­perience has perpetually shewn, that an European Prince, who has a million of subjects, cannot without destroying him­self, keep up and maintain above ten thou­sand soldiers, consequently, great nations only are possessed of Armies.* "It is observed (continues the same author) that the immoderate labour which soldiers are obliged to undergo, destroys our armies."

I would ask those who assert we are to be aided by France and Spain, on what assurance do they ground their hopes of such assist­ance? Did Britain retain Manilla, Havan­na, Martinico, Guadaloupe, or Belleisle? [Page 102] Did Britain interfere in the conquest of Cor­sica? Did she take part directly or indirect­ly with the subjects of France, when late in revolt in the rich island of St. Domingo, commonly called Hispaniola? Did not Great Britain with incorruptible integrity adhering to the spirit of her treaties with France, r [...] ­fuse to aid these islanders, though more than once solicited and IMPORTUNED by them for that end? Has France recovered the tone of her power, weakened by so many signal defeats? Are not her finances in deep disorder, and likely so to continue for many years? Did not these weighty considerations lately retain France from succouring the Turks, tho' brought to the verge of perdi­tion by the victories of Russia? The Turks, her ancient natural allies, whose very bene­ficial commerce she almost exclusively en­joyed; a commerce more valuable than that she could carry on with us, were we raised to independence by her power.

Circumstanced as France and Spain are, would they not act extremely impolitically to aid or create a civil war in the dominions of Britain? Such procedure on the part of France would probably again rouse the mar­tial ambition of the proud islanders, so as to recal to her memory the age of Henry the 5th. or the delivery of Dunkirk to Cromwell. [Page 103] Montesquieu very justly remarks, "that no state threatens its neighbours with conquest so much as that which is involved in the horrors of civil war: In such a season, the nobility, the citizens, the artizans, the peasants, and in short the whole body of the people become soldiers." Can we be­lieve that the Sovereigns of France and Spain, charmed with our author's encomi­ums on monarchs and monarchy, will in gratitude raise him to his beloved, his pas­sionately desired protectorship? Let us how­ever suppose that these monarchs jealous of the power of England, would gladly de­press her, even at the certain price of creat­ing in the independent states of America, a very dangerous power to their colonies. Let us next examine the probable conse­quences. In such war, Holland, perhaps Denmark, and Russia, would take part with their natural ally, Great Britain. It is in­deed incumbent on these powers to preserve, inviolate the British power in America and the West Indies, which alone maintains the stability of the political balance in Europe. It consequently will behoove France and Spain to arm with the utmost vigour, which cannot be effected at less annual expence than fifteen millions sterling to each of the said belligerents. Now should this war [Page 104] prove unsuccessful on the part of Great Britain, we cannot imagine that it will ter­minate, e'er many bloody fields are lost and won; I say, it probably will not end in less than 10 years. This war therefore would cost to France and Spain at least 300 millions sterling, and consequent­ly 3, 4, or 500,000 subjects.—Methinks I hear the writer of Common Sense exclaim, Britain divested of her American commerce, cannot so long maintain war. I would re­mind him that Britain and Ireland contain nearly ten millions of people. If there­fore there is the least foundation in his assertion "that the diminution of trade creates an army, and the necessities of an army create a trade," the candid reader will surely allow that Great Britain may arm and maintain a most redoubtable army, possessed of nearly a million of manufacturers (ac­cording to our author, and his congenial frantic declamators) in danger of starving. Let us suppose that in the course of this war, unhappily for mankind the glory of Great Britain is stained by repeated disgraces and defeats, and that she is forever stripped of her colonies, who become independent.

Ye that are not dead to humanity and every generous emotion of the human heart, feel ye not compassion for human kind de­stroyed in these bloody scenes? Do ye feel [Page 105] no remorse for the ruin of the British em­pire, the scourge of tyrants, the protector of nations and our sacred religion? are ye not petrified with horror, indignation and amazement, when informed, that a princi­pal cause of such bloody and ever deplorable scenes is the restless ambition of the writer of Common Sense and his partizans: im­pelled I say by their turbulent ambition to anticipate an event which the fulness of time would probably produce without bloodshed

Here let us pause, and dispassionately examine the advantages accruing to Franc [...] and Spain from the expenditure of so much blood, so much treasure. These advantage [...] we must candidly resolve into humiliation to Great Britain, and eventual and final rui [...] to their colonies.

"But our commerce (says the author o [...] Common Sense) our commerce will repay them." Famed as we are for gratitude, I sincerely believe that France and Spain may securely rely on exclusively enjoying our commerce for ages, many ages. After this sacrifice to truth, I must however acknow­ledge, that were we to present those pow­ers with the total of our produce for two centuries to come, we should not nearly repay to those powers, the said expenditure of blood and treasure. Let us now view the other [Page 106] side. If we consider the powerful efforts Britain has heretofore made to support Austria, and the balance of power in Eu­rope, we may readily imagine the stupen­dous efforts she will perform to save herself from impending destruction. Her navies covering the ocean would rapidly destroy the fleets of her enemies. France and Spain overwhelmed with the destruction of their commerce and colonies, like a tree stript of of its branches, would pine and languish. Soon would they again implore Britain for peace.—The French and Spanish colonies once more, and perhaps forever would re­ceive laws from Britain. The very fertile island of Hispaniola, of much more value than all the British islands, only awaits a summons to surrender to Great Britain. OPPRESSED BY EVERY SPECIES OF DESPOTISM, the planters of Hispaniola lately flew to arms, but alas! were defeated by the regular troops of their arbitrary Prince. Those rich planters being in the vicinity of Jamaica, are charmed with the felicity of the British subjects, and languish to partake the happiness of the British con­stitution. The surrender of this island (and its reduction would be infallible) would afford to Great Britain as real a monopoly [Page 107] of sugar and indigo, as the Dutch possess of the spice trade. Britain by moral and phy­sical causes habituated to glory, would ra­pidly prevail, and triumphantly returning to our devoted shores.—I draw a veil over the event. Is it not a melancholy symp­tom that many, too many respectable per­sons in the colonies have attended to our "visionary's tale of foreign aid? Is it not humiliating to consider, that such persons have been misled by our would be protector."

Can we be so credulous to believe what our author has asserted about our creating a navy, &c.? We are not ignorant that Spain enjoys more commerce than the colonies, consequently more seamen than America. We are not uninformed that Spain possessed of Mexico and Peru (mines not indeed so ea­sily worked as our very valuable paper mines) would purchase seamen, if unhappily for the peace of mankind, gold could purchase sailors; perhaps only to be obtained in Britain or Holland.—This our assertion is expresly confirmed by the friend of mankind Montesquieu, who says, "in this age, the whole life of a prince is scarce sufficient for the raising and equipping a navy capable to make head against a power already possessed of the empire of the sea." This perhaps [Page 108] may be the only thing which MONEY CANNOT EFFECT. I apprehend that this very excellent authority, independent of our humble reasons, will assuredly evince, to every candid reader, that in our days we cannot form a navy to contend with the pride and mistress of the main. If the wri­ter of Common Sense is still inflexibly bent on building a navy, I advise him to con­struct it on his native plains of the moon.—There, indeed may it defy the power of Great Britain, which alas! it cannot brave on the Blue mountains, or any other part of British America. Seriously, the man's judgment must be strangely depraved who can give the least faith to our vision­ry's navy, and his other rhodomontades!

I apprehend that our planters, farmers, and others, who cannot obtain a shilling for wheat, who in barter for two bushels of that article, cannot acquire one bushel of SALT; who cannot procure other articles almost indispensibly necessary to life; I say, such persons, as well as every other rank of inhabitants, will, I dread soon experimen­tally find, that the writer of Common Sense has insulted their understanding, in ban­tering them about their grain selling, "while eating is the custom in Europe," concerning a navy and such like extravagancies.

[Page 109] We have already observed, that our au­thor remarks, "that commerce diminishes both the spirit of patriotism and military defence."* The Hottentots, the people (if they may be so called) of Kamchatka, of Greenland, and a considerable part of Siberia, know not commerce. They are as remarkable no doubt for patriotism, as elegance of manners. The Algerin [...]s▪ and other pirates of Barbary, the numerous tribes of Arabs, the many hords of Tartars, have no other commerce than robbery and murder. They indeed possess the genuine spirit of military defence, and doubtless therefore are excellent patriots. The na­tives of Florida, and New Zealand, who ravenously feed on human flesh, have no idea of commerce. I cannot indeed of my [Page 110] own knowledge say much of their patriot­ism, tho' they certainly possess the true spirit of military defence in its native colours. I believe our honest Indian neighbours are unskilled in commerce, tho' acquainted with the mode of broiling prisoners, and well versed in the spirit of military defence. With the utmost submission, do I propose to the real author of Common Sense, and his votaries of the true military spirit of de­fence, and to him who lately so learnedly arraigned luxury; I say, with entire defe­rence do I propose to those worthies to pass the remainder of their precious lives amidst these humane nations, and enjoy patriotism, and the true spirit of military defence un­defiled by commerce, undebased by luxury.

I do not mean to expose the many absurdi­ties with which the misled public has too long been deluged by many of our deluded and deluding writers. I shall however re­mark, that we are unacquainted with the West India Islands, if we believe that they solely depend on us for provisions and lum­ber. In Jamaica, flour is perhaps an article of luxury, and as bread, is rather inferior to plantains, with which that island amply abounds. Jamaica also produces large quantities of the best Indian corn on earth, and without injuring the sugar canes, in [Page 111] the intervals or rows of which it is planted, and arrives at maturity before the canes be­come so vigorous as to demand much nou­rishment from the earth. Large quantities of yams and other ground provisions are there also produced. An hundredth part of mountainous Jamaica is not cultivated in sugar canes: that island consequently af­fords plenty of timber for hogshead staves: Puncheon staves may be obtained from Hamburgh, from Canada, or Mississipi, from which last colony, several of the French islands were plentifully supplied with lumber.

Ever since the settlement of the French in Hispaniola, nine tenths of their sugars have been shipped in hogsheads made of wood the growth of that island.—If it is said that the windward islands (particularly Barbadoes) are destitute of the resources pe­culiar to Jamaica, I reply that it were per­haps advantageous for the Barbadians to re­move from their worn out island* a consider­able number of their slaves to the newly ceded islands, or to Jamaica, where their labour would probably turn to better account than in their island demanding rest to reco­ver its pristine fertility. As large quantities of rum and other produce formerly wont to [Page 112] be consumed in America will now be sent to Britain, it will effectually prevent the distilling of spirituous liquors from grain which will answer many happy consequences to that kingdom and her islands. In fine, were it possible for the present unhappy con­vulsions to continue for two or three years, I do verily believe Great Britain would be highly advantaged by forever prohibiting in­tercourse between those colonies and her islands—nor is it probable Britain would omit this politic measure. I know it will be re-echoed that the West India islands cannot do without America. The contra­ry is nevertheless true. Most assuredly Bri­tain is as capable to support her islands, as is France, whose islands as we have already observed are much more considerable, con­sequently require larger supplies.

Since the publication of my first remarks on Common Sense, I have seen an appen­dix to i [...], which I am inclined to think the production of the PUTATIVE, rather than the real author.

We know that the author of Common Sense for some time past has been anxiously busied in negociating a match between Ma­demoisele Borgio, a descendant of Pope Alexander the sixth, vulgarly called the Scarlet Who [...]e of Babylon, and a great grandson of John Calvin. It is more­over [Page 113] over rumoured, that accompanied with a PRIEST, he is gone to an estate late the grand monarch's, to celebrate the nuptials. The true descendants of John Calvin and John Knox, even at this time trembling for the consequences, dread this alliance: Nay, we ourselves are sensible of her coquetry, to give it no harsher epithet, and really apprehend the deceitful hussey will jilt him. The author of the Appendix, or rather Summary of the pamphlet called Common Sense, says, "that America has a large and young family, whom it is more her duty to take care of, than be granting away her property, &c. I most ardently wish that her family were all well employed, and that it did not comprehend this author, and too many of his cast, who were better employed in mauling rails, than teizing their distressed parent to take care of them.

"In support of independency adds this author, I could if I judged it pro­per, produce some of the ablest and most experienced men on this continent, and whose sentiments on that head are not yet publicly known. We lament he had not judged it proper to favour the public with the names of his able and experienced men who wish their country plunged into every species of misery.

[Page 114] In the Pamphlet, the author speaks of the trade by which America has enriched herself. In the Appendix it is said, Ame­rica doth not yet know what opulence is. This is surely contradictory. "Because, that it is the interest of America to be separated from Britain, because it will come to that one time or other; because the longer it is delayed, the harder it will be to accom­plish." This is devoid even of the sem­blance of truth, and no man in his senses can believe it. Let us however for argu­ment sake admit it. Are we to precipitate ourselves into ruinous measures, because our remote descendants are to be involved in war? We may honestly answer no; what­ever political quacks allege to the contrary in support of their criminal designs. If an assembly of 100 oppulent persons were told that according to human affairs it were a million to one, that none of their descen­dants one or two thousand years hence would possess one shilling of their property, would they do well to afflict themselves? Surely not. In fine, existing a moment be­tween two eternities, our designs are frail as ourselves.

"The continent (says the author) by that time would not have had a general, or even [Page 115] a military officer left; and we, or those who may succeed▪ us, would have been as ig­norant of martial affairs, as the ancient In­dians: and this single position closely at­tended to, will unanswerably prove, that the present time is preferable to all others." Here I do the author justice to suppose, that he really means to joke. If he is in earnest, his invention is rather fertile; for I can safely say, that he has adduced a reason for arming, which no one else would have thought of. I believe my countrymen, who last war carried arms, will candidly own, that had we no better reason for taking up arms than that just assigned, we very safely might postpone the war 50 or 100 years longer. If our troops gathered laurels, the Britons also acquired glory. Certain I am, that our experienced officers will most chearfully allow, that the addi­tional number of 150 or 200,000 men, (which additional number, in that remote period, the continent will at least possess) would be an EQUIVALENT for their military skill. Why may not our descendants then expect foreign generals? Will not soldiers of fortune then have stronger inducements to explore military fame and fortune than at present? Why may not our youthful de­scendants [Page 116] courting glory in the well fought fields of Europe, return with laurels, and instruct their countrymen to acquire honor and fame in defending America. The author of the Appendix next remarks, "that the value of the back lands which some of the provinces are clandestinely deprived of, by the unjust extension of the limits of Canada, valued only at five pounds sterling per hundred acres, amount to upwards of twenty five millions, Pennsylvania currency, and the quit-rents at one penny sterling per acre, to two millions sterling."

"It is by the sale of those lands that the debt may be sunk, without burthen to any, and the quit-rent reserved thereon, will always lessen, and in time, will wholly sup­port the yearly expence of government. It matters not [...]ow long the debt is in paying, so that the lands when sold be applied to the discharge of it, and for the execution of which, the Congress for the time being, will be the continental trustees." This is perhaps the most glaring insult ever offered to mankind, and as he evidently means to betray the cause he pretends to serve, I will therefore chearfully detect his duplicity. First, I observe that his back lands are only 480 millions of acres, or a territory BUT 82 times larger than Pennsylvania, [Page 117] which comprehends all the space, even to the polar circle (land or seas of ice mat­ters not to him) three fourths of which will forever remain a dreadful desart. I am not ignorant that our author will allege the precession of the equinoxes, which in the course of a million of years, by changing every climate on earth, may render his back lands habitable. Secondly, this project of his back lands will exterminate every Indian in North America; nor can this assertion be thought rash if we remember the RESPECT with which our frontier settlers very gene­rally treat their Indian neighbours. Now such murderous ambition is rather too bare­faced in our statesman so conversant in scrip­ture, in justice, and our NATURAL RIGHTS. Thirdly, the habitable part of our author's provinces, will not be peopled (if ever) in less than 1000 or 1500 years. China, by every cause, is as favourable to population as any region or empire on earth. Yet doth it not contain one twentieth part of the in­habitants our provinces ARE to comprehend in the short space of one or two centuries. In fine, there is no example on earth of such population. War, famine, and pesti­lence will ever prevent it. Mankind ever were and ever will be the same. Nor doth Providence seem solicitous to croud the [Page 118] earth with inhabitants, else such amazing numbers of human kind would not perish in infancy, and every stage of life, as well by natural and acquired maladies, as by their passions rousing them to war, and de­luding them a prey to the accursed ambition of designing leaders. Let us however ad­mit those ridiculous tales about population are realized. Can we believe that our nu­merous descendants will be happier than their less numerous ancestors? I reply we dare not believe it. I have not the least doubt that modern Rome with her priests and violins, is not happier than ancient Rome with her triumphs, seditions, and proscriptions. Now will any reasonable person pretend to deny that the APPENDIX STATESMAN doth not mean to stab our credit by telling the public creditors, that they are to have unexplored, uninhabitable wilds, or seas of ice as a pledge for money? Will any one affirm that the proffered secu­rity is in any degree preferable to the planet Saturn?

Well doth he know, that only naming such security to the monied men is an ef­fectual method of shutting their purses. "It matters not (continues the appendix writer) how long the debt is in paying, &c." Our author's sincerity on this head, I most sincerely believe.

[Page 119] The author more than once mentions, "the sufferers, whose all is already gone, and the soldier who has quitted his all for the defence of his country." I say, he attempts to terrify us with those who have no fortunes but their SWORDS. I have al­ready expressed my ardent wishes, that Britain, and those provinces may effectu­ally commiserate the unfortunate situation of the unhappy sufferers. Surely those sol­diers, who on principles of virtue and glo­ry defend their country; will, on the re­establishment of peace, chearfully return to their families and avocations. Most cer­tainly, the reader will not be bullied by such impotent menaces, but will readily perceive the true cause of our author's aver­sion to conciliatory measures, viz. that in such case he would no longer be able to fish in troubled waters; that peace would reduce him and his associates to their native insigni­ficance. Peace doth not suit such men: A­narchy and war—civil war is their grand re­source: They know, and perfectly agree with Swift, "that in party as in had wine, the DREGS always mount highest."

"But if it were, says our author, and even should be granted (that is our former happy situation) I ask as a reasonable questi­on, by what means is a corrupt and faithless [Page 120] court to be kept to its engagements?" Would not one imagine he is speaking of the court of Lewis the 14th? If Britain, ever re­nowned for good faith, should in any future period violate the compact, we then indu­bitably, can defensively or offensively, war against her more advantageously and effect­ually than at present. This axiom is as true as that light flows from the sun. If we adopt reconciliatory measures, our num­bers and wealth will probably augment in a greater degree than the people and riches of Britain circumscribed in territory. In fine, considering the present situation of Europe, we must confess that a future period cannot present a juncture more unfavourable to the designs of our author and his independents.

"The birth day of a new world is at hand" (says our author.) I sincerely wish the old one a happy delivery from such mis­chievous persons so little acquainted with the political obsteteric art, as the author of Common Sense, and his colleagues.

"There are reasons to be given in sup­port of independence, which men should rather privately think of than be told of." Every man of sense engaged in our present measures, will despise this inuendo as insi­dious as groundless.

"A line of distinction should be drawn [Page 121] between English soldiers, and an inhabitant of America taken in arms, the first are pri­soners, but the latter traitors." Can we without horror, read this detestable charge; to murder our deluded citizens? Britain, as famed for humanity, as arts and arms, has not treated, and I trust never will treat as traitors, those, who are only contend­ing for their constitutional rights and liber­ties. "The artful and hypocritical let­ter which appeared a few months ago in two of the New York papers, is an evi­dence, that there are men, who either want judgment or honesty." Every man of un­derstanding will perceive, that this last daring menace is thrown out, to deter Printers from virtuously asserting the liberty of the Press. If an absolute freedom of the Press, if the liberty either of speaking or writing on matters of state is permitted un­controlably in the government of Britain, which we are taught so strongly to reprobate: Shall any reasonable being dare to assert, that these supreme felicities are not as essentially necessary in A­merica, the land of freedom, or in any re­publican country. I am afflicted, by remark­ing that the committee of New York* as [Page 122] it is said, have a great aversion to PLAIN TRUTH, they have at present interdicted and prohibited it from appearing among them, by seizing a number of that pamphlet which were sent from Philadelphia, although pub­lished with the printers name on the title page, and are daily selling here under the immediate eye of the Congress. If such do­ings, are the first fruits of REPUBLICAN LIBERTY? Grant me Heaven, our former mild and limited Government, where the prerogative is ascertained by law, and where every man is at liberty to speak and print his sentiments.

In PLAIN TRUTH, having too precipi­tately considered commerce, I shall here re­consider that subject. And first, I observe the restrictions of Britain on our commerce so often held up to us, as a grievance of the first magnitude, is, I humbly apprehend ra­ther ideally, than really so. Here, I ask those merchants trading to Hamburgh, Holland, France, or other parts of Europe; to the Spanish, French, Dutch, and West India set­tlements; do they hesitate to import into our provinces, the commodities of these diffe­rent kingdoms and colonies? I dare say, they will not answer in the negative, but the risque exclaims the superficial observer, I believe, the risque is a bugbear, not very terrific to commercial adventurers.

[Page 123] A seisure I apprehend, is an event, that doth not happen to one in a thousand such speculists; if it does, it must arise from the transactors misconduct. Great Britain, as already observed, is without doubt our best market for our lumber, naval stores, ships, part of our grain, for our iron, train oil, flax seed, furs; I may include indigo, to­bacco, if not rice. No doubt, I shall be told, that rice and tabacco would sell better in other parts of Europe than Britain. I reply, that we legally transport rice to any country in Europe, south of Cape Finisterre; and if the rice vessels bound to Holland and the Baltic, call at England, they gene­rally have indigo and other articles to land in that kingdom.

France is well adapted to raise tobacco, where it soon will probably be cultivated; such design some time since hath been in agi­tation. "It is well known, that the French might raise tobacco at home if they would, much cheaper than they can import it. The fact is this: The farm of tabacco is one of the great five farms, which make up the chief part of the Royal revenue; and therefore, the farmers general, for bye ends of their own, have hitherto had interest enough with the court, to prohibit the cultivation of it in old France, under the severest penalties. But nevertheless the real [Page 124] French patriots, and particularly the Mar­quiss de Mirabeau, have fully demonstrated, that it is the interest of the French govern­ment to encourage the cultivation of it, and have pointed out a sure and easy method of collecting the duties; which was the sole pretence of the farmers general for soliciting a prohibition: So that it is apprehended, that the French government will at last open their eyes in this respect, and allow the cultivation of it."

In case of separation says the Dean of Gloucester, "The ceasing of the payment of bounties on certain colony productions will be another great saving, perhaps not less than £200,000 a year: and it is very remarkable, that the goods imported from the colonies in consequence of these bounties, could not have been imported in­to any other part of Europe, were there a liberty to do it; because the freight and first cost would have amounted to more than they could be sold for; so that in fact, we give premiums to the colonies for selling goods to us, which would not have been sold at all, any where else."

In short, evident beyond a dispute it is, that were we independent of Great Britain, it were our interest to carry a very conside­rable part of our produce to her without bounties, and receive from that kingdom [Page 125] 18 twentieths of the articles we now take from her. It will be said, if this is admit­ted why doth Great Britain annually expend 3 or 400,000 sterling to keep armies and navies in America, and at this time appear so willing to recover our allegiance. With the utmost deference to the Dean of Glou­cester, I humbly imagine, that our indepen­dence would endanger the West Indies, according to the present system of infinite consequence to Great Britain, and the other powers of Europe. I again repeat, that were we independent, the Princes of Europe, by enacting persecutive laws to restrain their subjects in Europe would only increase the evil, since every one knows that persecution eternally defeats its own purpose.

I say, that this event would encourage many emigrants from Europe, incited as well by the natural levity of mankind, as the hopes of one day visiting Mexico. The event we now describe is doubtless a principal motive, which prevents Britain from disolving the connection. Perhaps American independence if effected at this juncture, might afford materials to light the torch of republicanism so powerfully in Britain, as to destroy the monarchy. But some may reply, are not such future pros­pects of grandeur sufficient inducements for [Page 126] independence: I reply, that they are not, even could we effect it, without wading through seas of blood. Every sensible per­son will acknowlege, that a well regulated connection with Britain, will afford us more real happiness, than independence, supported at an intolerable expence of mo­ney, and perhaps of blood. Without doubt, a happy mediocrity is preferable to a dan­gerous, tho' brilliant condition; as we have partly remarked in the instance of an­tient and modern Rome.

In Plain Truth, we observed, that inde­pendence, or a democratical government would soon give way to a military system imposed on the colonies, by some Cromwell of our armies. I am not ignorant that such usurpation would not take place, while our virtuous citizen, General Washington com­mands. But let us remember, that the per­son whose turbulent ambition, and extensive talents would enable him to erect a tyran­ny, is perhaps at present a subaltern; whose talents I say, for war, &c. gradually un­folding will prompt, and enable him to ruin his country. To illustrate this simple truth, let us transiently view the late civil wars. When the patriots of those days virtuously endeavoured to restrain preroga­tive, and ascertain liberty; they raised armies [Page 127] for that noble purpose ONLY: The com­mand of which, were given to the Earl of Essex, Lord Fairfax, and other presbyteri­ans as truly virtuous, as any men then on earth. It is notorious that those leaders, as well as every virtuous patriot in the king­dom, reprobated the thought of destroying that constitution, which they so often bled to defend. At the commencement of those unhappy times, Cromwell possessed of no fortune, scarcely ranked as a field officer. This execrable hypocrite, possessing exten­sive military talents, and a most perfect knowlege of mankind, saw with pleasure, that soldiers accustomed to a life of every species of dissipation, would not willingly return to their ploughs, looms, &c. He also knew, that nine tenths of his officers, being a sort of Demi-Gentry, (if I may so express myself) had still a stronger aversion to resign their fastidious profession (unhappily for mankind) more pleasing than their former peaceable departments. Cromwell, and his congenial associates, by degrees acquainted the soldiers with their real strength and in­terests. It must also be confessed, that in such unhappy times, victorious soldiers are very readily tutored by a Cromwell, Caesar, Pompey, or an Octavius. The Earl of [Page 128] Essex, Lord Fairfax and others, as we have already remarked, of the most approved patriotism and virtue, disdaining to enslave their country, and scorning to command those military hypocrites, were succeeded by Cromwell, whose crimes and tyranny it were superfluous to enumerate. In short, virtuous generals do not suit soldiers, who are determined to enslave their country: The same causes ever produce the same effects. Hawks were ever birds of prey; AND MEN WILL STILL BE MEN.

The elegant Ferguson remarks, "that a specious government may be formed on paper, which in execution may prove ex­tremely arbitrary." Let us however sup­pose fix of the first sages of antiquity, and join with them the most respectable names of our times, and in this venerable Assem­bly, let Trajan, who was the best qualified to do honor to human nature, and to re­present the divinity on earth: I say, let the almost divine Trajan preside in this august Assembly, who, in the hours of calm re­tirement, are to form a democratical go­vernment for us. In theory, perfect as such government would seem, let us not delude ourselves, by supposing it would long re­main unconvulsed by ambitious men striving to lord it over their equals. Let us remember the dangerous influence obtained by dema­gogues [Page 129] in every age, debauching the de­luded people. Suppose a dangerous war, do­mestic or foreign, victoriously terminated by an able general. He is adored as well by the people, as the soldiery; if his abilities equal his fortune, what may not he then effect? Innumerable are the ways to accomplish his ambitious purposes. History affords him too many examples to pervert the laws of his country. Our ambitious general impels his emissaries in the senate, to pro­mote unjust wars, laws, and taxes, to destroy, their unhappy country. The wretched peo­ple, worn out, and tossed in seas of anar­chy and sedition, at length gladly repose in the shade of arbitrary sway, where they are sure to find themselves no less wretched.

It is a melancholy truth that such as de­lude mankind constantly represent our race infinitely more perfect than they really are. This hackneyed expedient enables them spe­ciously to inveigh against the best govern­ment on earth: Too many of the human race give into the snare, forgetting that mankind, according to SOLON, and the un­erring experience of ages, can BEAR none other than imperfect laws.

Let us remember that the Chinese, the most ancient respectable and polished people on earth, have at LEAST for 4000 years been governed by Monarchs. Yet surely the arbitrary government of China cannot be placed in competition with our happy li­mited government. I finally ask the parti­zans [Page 130] of the pamphlet called Common Sense if all the moments of ease peace and liberty could be selected and united which democracies have enjoyed from the origin of government until this hour, would they equal that portion of felicity enjoy­ed by the Chinese during the reign only of one of their princes? Impelled by exalted truth, we answer in the negative. Eternally true as this assertion will remain, must not such partizans blush to remember they be­lieved the absurd paradoxes and continued falshoods of that despicable production? Will they not I say blush they believed that all the blood spilt on earth, that almost all the miseries of mankind originated from kings? And will they not forever blush to have said that such a miserable production as the pamphlet in question was unanswerable?

In short, let us remember, that by our connection with Great Britain, we have been the happiest people on earth, and by a just agreement with her we may long continue so. Let us dispassionately consi­der, that in a connection with Great Bri­tain, we may possess all the ROSES of in­dependence, without being cursed with its innumerable THORNS.

We shall take little notice of the viru­lent abuse with which the Appendix writer impotently bespatters the respectable people, called Quakers. His scurrility on this oc­casion reminds us of the fable of the dog and the moon. Well has Hume said "that [Page 131] there is no virtue or moral duty, but what with facility may be refined away, if we indulge a false philosophy, sifting and scru­tinizing by every captious rule of logic, &c. In this sort of logic lies our au­thor's fort. Speaking of their virtuous testimony, he has the following words, "it tends to the decrease and reproach of all religion whatever, &c." Need I remark, that his assertion is the most impudent pro­stitution of language that ever disgraced the Press, or ever polluted paper.

The conduct and morals of this most respectable society, is their defence, and I hope will ever as effectually protect them, as they have benefitted their province of Pennsylvania, and adorned mankind by their excellent example. We must confess that the advancement of the adjoining middle colonies in industry and morality, was prin­cipally owing to the very laudable and pow­erful example of those real practicers of christianity. This honest truth is dictated in gratitude for the signal blessings derived to the community at large in the virtuous example of those industrious and peaceable moralists. Utterly unconnected with any of the society is the writer, who is possessed of property, and if he knows him­self, of a natural independence of spirit. He execrates flattery as ardently as he ve­nerates truth. He therefore hopes the rea­der will peruse Voltaire, and other celebra­ted authors on the subject of this estimable [Page 132] society. This philosoher treating of that peo­ple, seems to forget that he is writing the history of mankind, which according to him is almost a continued succession of crimes. Were not the facts as modern as notorious, we might imagine he is speaking of beings superior to men.

According to Voltaire, "they began by making a league with the Indians their neighbours. It is the ONLY TREATY be­tween those people and the christians which was not confirmed by OATH, and which has not been BROKEN or INFRINGED. The original inhabitants instead of flying into their forests, insensibly accustomed them­selves with the peaceable Quakers. As much as they detested the other CHRIS­TIAN DESTROYERS and conquerors of America, as much did they LOVE these new comers. In a little time, those pre­tended savages charmed with their new neighbours, came in crouds to request WILLIAM PENN to receive them in the number of his vassals. It was a spectacle entirely new—A sovereign whom all the world thee'd and thou'd, and addressed with their heads covered, a government with­out priests, a people without arms, citizens all equal, except in magistracy, and neigh­bours without jealousy. WILLIAM PENN might have boasted of bringing on earth the golden age of which so much has been said, and which probably never existed but in PENNSYLVANIA." We cannot indeed [Page 133] view this pleasing happy picture of morality, without receiving as much pleasure, as we do grief, from his narration of the horrid civil wars in the first Charles's time: Enume­rating all the ever detestable acts of the fa­natics, and military hypocrites of that age, he says they perpetrated all their abomina­tions while they were SEEKING THE LORD.

I believe I have proved that we have not numbers nor wealth to support a considera­ble army for a length of time, and that we have not the most distant prospect of foreign aid. Evident it is beyond a dispute, that we cannot in our days construct a navy to raise us to independence, or protect our trade—I therefore hope we shall not be so dazzled by false views of grandeur, as to reject honourable terms, and rush to assured destruction.

I have remarked, that the event of which some persons seem so passionately fond, may in the fulness of time be naturally accom­plished, without costing one drop of blood to Britain, or our descendants. If such event, by the misfortunes or concurrence of Great Britain could be immediately effected, it would indeed plunge us into inextricable difficulties. Many weighty considerations might be offered in support of this allega­tion; suffice it at present to remark that we are not arrived at sufficient maturity for this important event. Let us view matters through a serene medium, and not through [Page 134] a glare of deceitful passions. Let us not then put bridles into our mouths, nor per­mit ambitious men to ride us to ruin.

On this occasion, perhaps it may not be amiss to remind the public, that great pa­triots have more than once been caught nap­ping. Let us hear what the Dean of Glo­cester says on this head.

"When the duty on stamps was first pro­posed, the Americans made as little objecti­on to it, as could be expected to be made to any new tax whatever. Nay, several of their popular orators and leaders used considerable interest to be employed as agents in the distribution of these stamps: and one among the rest, whom I NEED NOT NAME, was more than ordinary assidu­ous in his application on this head: so that had the act passed within the usual time, instead of being a flaming American patri­ot, he would probably have acted the part of a tax-gatherer and an American publi­can. But when the outs and the pouters on this side the water, saw the advantage which the minister gave them by a whole year's delay, they eagerly seised the opportunity; emissaries and agents were dispatched into all quarters; the newspapers were filled with invectives against the new intended tax. It was injudicious! it was ill-timed! oppres­sive! tyrannical! and every thing that was bad! Letters upon letters were wrote to America to excite the people to associate, to remonstrate, and even to revolt. The [Page 135] most ample promises were made from hence of giving them all the assistance which fac­tion and clamour, and mock-patriotism, could muster up. And then it was that this very man, this self intended publican, changed sides, and commenced a zealous patriot. Then he appeared at the bar of the house of commons to cry down that very measure which he himself had espous­ed; and then as the avenging Angel of America.

He rode in the whirlwind to direct the Storm."

Even sincere Patriots are fallible, and at some periods, do not see the true interests of their country, in the clearest light. Those who wish to understand the true interest of America would reap useful knowledge, by perusing the pamphlet from which the last paragraph is extract­ed, it is entitled, "The true interest of Great-Britain, set forth in regard to the Co­lonies; and the only means of living in peace and harmony with them; in which are included FIVE different PLANS for effecting this desirable purpose. By Josiah Tucker, D. D. Dean of Glocester.

I have been the more particular in men­tioning this piece, because I am persuaded (notwithstanding the ministerial attempts to ruin this Country) that the interest of Britain and America are so nearly related, and their commercial felicity so dependent upon reciprocality of kindnesses to each other, THAT HONORABLE CONNECTIONS, [Page 136] AND POLITICAL HAPPINESS, ARE SYNONYMOUS TERMS.

In short, let us remember, that reconcili­ation on generous principles with Great Britain, is our true and only road to per­manent happiness. Above all, let us seri­ously consider, that this (when the Com­missioners arrive to treat with the Congress) is the juncture, this the moment, when we may receive every thing we can reasonably desire.

I conclude these remarks, by observing, that if they are founded in truth, they will instruct you to keep a good look out, that ye may not be surprized into AMERICAN INDEPENDENCY; without a thorough examination, both of it, and its consequences.




Let the GOOD of the PEOPLE be the Foundation of all LAW and CIVIL GOVERNMENT.

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