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Letter from a Gentleman in London, to his Correspondent in Philadelphia



London, July 5,1774.

The present state of political affairs furnishes nothing less disagreeable than my last informed. The Quebec Bill, we apprehend, will produce the most distressing jealousies among the Protestant inhabitants of that country, and indeed of all America. With us the staunchest friends to Hanoverian succession have not scrupled publickly to pronounce it the most daring stretch of the prerogative of the Crown, and the most sinful violation of the rights of a free people, that the annals of Britain, or any other Nation in the world, register. Enclosed you have the address and petition of the Lord Mayor, Alderman and Commons of this city to his Majesty, which is considered one of the grandest and most spirited addresses ever handed to a Throne, insomuch that many hundreds of them, elegantly framed and glazed, have been purchased as household pictures by the nobility, gentry, &c˙, to transmit to future ages the virtue, sincerity, and honest boldness of so respectable a body of men. The coin of prophecies is now become current here, and we have too much reason to fear, that some presage, of dreadful import, will, ere long, be realized. Very much, all, indeed, depends on the hardihood and publick virtue of the Americans. If the brave Bostonians maintain theirs, at this trying juncture, all will be well; for their conduct will furnish a criterion whereby to regulate Government here, in a judgment of the success


of the iniquitous measures they purpose adopting throughout the Continent. It is strongly imagined that many presses, I mean printing presses, in the Colonies, are at present fettered in golden chains, sent over by the Ministry for that purpose. One or two to the Northward of you have been publickly mentioned, but as a little time must discover the truth or falsity of this suspicion, I shall forbear entering into particulars. The publick prints from your city, as well as those from Virginia, are in admired request with all ranks of people, except the tools of despotism; but should the Ministry succeed in the enterprises they have already undertaken, with respect to the Colonies, you will assuredly be robbed of that darling privilege the freedom of the press; for effecting which, a scheme, I am well informed, is now agitating in the Cabinet, upon a new plan, lately hatched by a certain Lord, whose name is always opposite to the sun in its meridian, and who has publickly declared, that he is determined strenuously to oppose the meridian of your glory in the Western world.