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Extract of a Letter from London to a Gentleman in Philadelphia



I am writing to as many of my friends as I can by this opportunity, as I do not know how soon the communication may be cut off by hostilities, to which, as I apprehend, we are hastening very fast; for our Ministry seem determined to risk their own heads, and the interest of the Nation, in pursuit of their infamous measures.

Your kind remembrance of November 4, seems to breathe that true spirit of liberty which I hope will be universal in America, and will be your only means of escape from the slavery that is preparing for you. As to us, we are lost to all the noble purposes of life, and have not virtue enough to save ourselves, much less to assist you; the immense power of the Crown in the disposition of the publick money, carries every thing before it like a torrent; and while that continues, the two Houses of Parliament are of no security to the people; they both speak the language of the Court, and they have been so long used to it, that they can speak no other.

You have many enemies in this Kingdom, and though they differ in their reasons for being so, yet they unite in the


wicked purpose of distressing you. As for instance, the King is your enemy, as you are obstacles to a settled design of despotism; the Ministry second his views, that they may share in his power; the Parliament wants to establish their illegal authority over you, and are enemies in course; the Bishops want to rule you in matters of faith; the country gentlemen are mostly against you from their ignorance and avarice, childishly supposing that every penny that is laid on you will ease them in the same proportion; the Officers of the Army and Navy are wishing for plunder; but for what reasons a considerable part of the Merchants, Traders, and Manufacturers, would wish you ill, is beyond my comprehension. I can only suggest two suppositions, and those very vague ones; it may be to curry favour with the Ministry for the sake of jobs, contracts, &c˙, or it may be from downright stupidity, in supposing the English Commoners should have a superiority over their brethren in America; of this last class, it is difficult for me to paint the ingratitude; but I hope, ere long, the friends of freedom will be able to send over a list of their names by way of memento.