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dependance discovers something very different from maternal affection or common justice. If minors labour for parents, they are also supposed to be provided for in all things by them, and to become lords of all they possess at certain periods. Here the parallel fails respecting States, each of which is presumed immortal. It remaining, therefore, that the American States are neither the Provinces, Colonies, nor children of Great Britain, any more than of Holland, Ireland, or Germany, and that from their very settlement Britain meaned rather to milk than suckle them; the pretended right to control their manufactures and commerce, to sell them the lands at a heavy purchase, and subject to an enslaving quit-rent, which were in great part gained by their own blood and treasure, is founded in presumption of superior force rather than solid reason. Luxury (and the search of ways and means to support it) is arrived to such a pitch in Britain, that the junto, who have usurped a tyrannick power, want Provinces to drain off wealth, as their patterns, the debauched Romans, had. Many are found so base as to be willing their countrymen should become tributary to such vultures, if they might have a small pittance for gathering the tax: yea, even on condition it were demanded at the point of the bayonet. Here is the true foundation of the claim of Great Britain, and here is the undeniable cause of the support this claim finds in America! What then are the honest, industrious, and independent freemen of America to do in this case? My guide I have so long followed tells us, declare independence immediately! Issue a manifesto, containing a full view of our rights, our grievances, and the unwearied applications we have made for their redress? Apply to the State of whose readiness and power to assist us we have undoubted assurance. A neglect to improve the openings given us for that purpose may inspire those statesmen with resentment, and incite them to accept overtures from our enemies, and then we may indeed become Provinces! If we can withstand the tyrant of Britain without allies, we can, incontestibly, better withstand him with an ally that has ever commanded a very complaisant behaviour from him. This ally can wish for nothing more than such share of our commerce as will be convenient to both parties; and as that must be rather a gain than a loss to us, we must be stupid beyond conception to delay the measure. England has long protected Portugal, for a much less lucrative trade than we would carry on with France. Men must be very blind who cannot see the fairness, the openness, and safety of this obvious road to honour, wealth, freedom, and internal happiness. By how many ways does Divine Providence invite us to emancipate ourselves from a state which, remained in, would be the ruin, of our posterity as certainly as they became human beings. Let prejudiced mortals dream what they may, and confound the ignorant with their jargon, freedom and dependancy are opposite and irreconcileable terms; and dependancy on a power over which we have no influence nor control, is slavery, or I am yet ignorant of the term. The petty tyrants of every country always wish to have the people dependant on such a power; for, under colour of authority from that power, they can carry on their oppressions, vexations, and depredations; and when they are expostulated with on the occasion, they are sorry indeed they are put upon so disagreeable a service, but what can they do? Such are their express orders! I am widely mistaken if nine-tenths of the clamour raised against American independency do not arise from that quarter. They tell you, they had rather be governed by the mild and wise laws of Great Britain, than the decrees of an American mob. The truth is, neither they, nor their principals, wish to be governed by any laws that will effectually secure the liberty and property of the people from their ravenous clutches. If the people, by any means, obtain an adequate share in the legislature of this country, they know their visions of golden mountains, and millions of acres of tenanted soil, will all vanish, and themselves remain in the despised rank of their honest and contented neighbours. I am apt to think, however, that both principals and accomplices for once overshot themselves, and carried the matter too far for a safe and honourable retreat. Circumstances have strangely co-operated to open scenes which no human foresight could have viewed in their full latitude. And what is there now wanting to complete the triumph of the friends of human nature, but a little fortitude, patience, and perseverence. All Europe must allow, that while America was in the greatest good humour with her old mother, a scheme was laid to keep up a large standing army in her capital towns, and to tax her at pleasure for the support of it. They see that, from time to time, the most fraudulent and violent measures have been taken to support their entirely unprecedented claim, till at last, drained of their national troops, they have applied for assistance to other nations. By the law of nations we were discharged from our allegiance the moment the army was posted among us without our consent, or a single farthing taken from us in like manner; either of these being fundamental subversions of the Constitution. It remains entirely with ourselves to have ample justice done to us. We have nothing to do but declare off, and appeal to the droit des gens. A very respectable power has given as unequivocal proofs as can be wished of her disposition to right us. Even the body of the people manifest the warmest desire to form a friendly alliance; witness the assiduous respect shown to a private gentleman, whom they only suspected to be a Delegate from the Congress. And on the other hand, what does all the hurry of appointing Commissioners, and no one knows what, on the other side the British channel, indicate? Besides the discoveries of Cassandra, I will venture to affirm, that our ambitious master at length begins to fear in good earnest, that the string drawn too light will break, and leave all his, Colonies to make new bargains for themselves. Obstinate and mulish as he is, he cannot longer persuade himself that two such potent communities as France and North America will neglect such a fortunate opportunity to pay themselves the prodigious sums he has damaged them in a few past years. Ay, say some moderate men, that is our fear, that France will be for invading Canada or the Floridas, and thus we shall forever be involved in war. Nothing, I confess, is more probable, if France can have nothing to expect from us in an amicable and commercial way; but e contra, if we cast off her ancient enemy, there still remains Islands, which, from present appearances, she has some eye upon. From what has happened in the Mediterranean, it seems she is now no way skittish about affronting Oceaha on her own element.
I cannot express my contempt of those wretches who say, let us by all means defend ourselves against the violence of Administration, till we bring them to reasonable terms, and then unite again, as we shall ever stand in great need of the protection of Great Britain. I verily believe a party among us feels much need of foreign protection; but a people who can make the proudest tyrant in Europe talk of Hanoverians, Hessians, Russians, Scotch-Dutchmen, and half an Eastern world, even while they are in the very infancy of preparation for defence, need not keep such a puling and whining about protection.
I must again exclaim, I cannot have patience with such inconsistent mortals, as dissuade us from accepting assistance from a power who has at present no possible claim upon us, nor can ever demand more than we voluntarily and expressly stipulate; and that when we are in actual war with a power, by themselves called the most formidable in Europe, and yet press us to fight that power alone, and bring her to terms, that we may enjoy her protectionif such do not wish to have us reduced, rather than protected by the arms of Great Britain, I am a novice in politicks.
One word concerning these august Commissioners we hear so much of every day. Those Americans who flatter themselves their mission bodes any advantage to the country in general, will find themselves as much deceived as they have hitherto been by any similar declaration. The true state of the case is simply this: Their efforts to subdue us to their absolute command, have sounded through every court in Christendom, yea, in all quarters of the world, and they cannot keep themselves from doubting of their success. Now a formidable armament is to come, and with them the Commissioners, to receive submission, and grant pardons on the most humilating terms they can reduce us to, that they may let Europe know their great power in reducing their rebellious subjects to a sense of their duty. They are certain their time is short; they therefore aim to put as good a face upon the matter as possible, but at any rate to put an end to it for the present, still retaining so much acknowledged power as will sink us into slavery, whenever they find a proper opportunity to exercise it.
Finally, by the most unconstitutional, cruel, and unjust