Primary tabs

Cosmopolitan, No. VII



To the Inhabitants of the AMERICAN Colonies:

FRIENDS AND FELLOW-CITIZENS: If rebellion against hiscountry, can mar the retired repose of our hero, he must


be consummately wretched. If treason, if carnage, if the tears of widows, and the cries of orphans; if the laying waste whole towns, and mowing down whole communities; if the sacrilegious pilfering, and prostitution of dissenting churches; if the din of war, and garments rolled in blood; if poverty, anguish, barbarity, cruelty, and a distressed Continent, as it were, with indignant contempt, starting from its foundations, to repel the hostile stroke of the procuring hand, can arrest his feelings, it will, it must plant daggers in his heart, and harrow up his soul.

Ministerial measures against America, since the year 1763, are the declared, and true causes of present calamities. The wretch who procured those measures, together with their aiders and abetters, are by every principle of law and of logick, equity and common sense, justly chargeable with their nefarious and sanguinary consequences. Their origin, their qualities, their progress, their ends, their authors, planners, supporters, and abetters, are made as conspicuous as the meridian beamings of the sun, by a number of original letters, which the Representatives of the people gave the publick in the year 1773, which then discovered the infernal scheme that was laid for the total destruction of the liberties of all America, and by the recent publication of another series of detestable letters from the same author. This number will have for its subject-matter the contents of the former.

The shades with which our unmatched bashaw arrayed himself, are too dark and complicated to admit of a complete description. With a legion of merely imputed virtues, dead to the feelings of gratitude, and the principles of common integrity; deaf, deaf as an adder to the tongue of truth and the voice of justice; his first returns to that munificent country that gave him being, yielded him nourishment, loaded him with honours, furnished him with wealth, raised him to importance, and crowned him with applause, were a laboured concatenation of aspersions, calumnies, and as abominable falsehoods as ever were propagated by a child of Adam. The past mistaken confidence of his countrymen, bore a lying; testimony to the goodness of his heart, and the purity of his conduct. This he perverted to complete the ruin of those who made him what he was, and even what he wished to be. It gave villany a varnish, and untruth the blush of credibility. It gave a sanction to those vile, repeated misrepresentations, which, under the ostensible, hypocritical ardours of loyalty, and the bare-faced pretensions to an attachment to the happiness of his countrymen, and the rights of mankind, he was incessantly making; that the reins of Government were totally relaxed; that society was unhinged; that all was chaos, confusion and anarchy; the friends to good order and government insulted; the Constitution subverted, and the laws under the feet of a licentious insatiated rabble. This trafficking in lies was carried on by cargoes at a time, when, in point of loyalty and good order, we stood unrivalled by any people on the face of the earth. I dare to appeal to all mankind; to Mr˙ Hutchinson himself; to challenge every individual in the Province, to produce an instance in which Government was enfeebled, the laws obstructed, guilt unpunished, or innocency unguarded, where it did not connect with the usurped authority of the King or his Parliament. How infamously base, how preposterously infamous was it then, to represent the natural and necessary effects of oppressive laws, as the pre-existent causes that produced them, and to justify the destruction of a peaceable and regular Government, by the jarrings and distresses of tyranny.

This was his policy: First to wrong and injure the subject, and then to make the least opposition or complaint a justification for the injury done them, and even a reason for increasing the pressure. Good God! what slavery to be denied not only the liberty of acting, but the privilege of speaking? At this period, was not our internal Executive Government in its full vigour, and every purpose of society completely answered? Was there even an attempt to screen a felon, to cover a trespasser, or other transgressor from the lash of the law; to defraud the publick, oppress the individual, bias the jury, or to derogate from the dignity of the upright judge? Cannot every town, every County, evince the contrary? Will not every unprejudiced peace-officer, and the recorded transactions of every impartial court, fly in his face, and give the lie to the wicked aspersion? The people looked up to the civil


magistrate with a reverential awe while clothed with the urim and thummim of freedom and rectitude. They considered juridical courts, until their shameful prostitution, as the sanctum sanctorum, the ark of tabernacles, in which their most valuable treasures were deposited. To these they repaired, like the Israelites of old, to hear from the lips of the judges the great things of the law, and of the testimony.

From whence then were those repeated declarations: That "Government had been so long in the hands of the populace, that it must come out of them by degrees." That "it is not strange that measures should be immediately taken to reduce the Colonies to their former state of Government and order." That "principles of Government absurd enough spread through all the Colonies." That "the Legislative powers have been influenced by them, and the Executive powers entirely lost their force." That, "there is continual danger of mobs and insurrections." That, ignorant as they be, yet "the heads of a Boston town meeting influence all publick measures." That, "it is not possible this anarchy should last always." That, "it is not possible that provision for dissolving those combinations, and subjecting all who do not renounce them to penalties adequate to the offence, should not be made the first week the Parliament meets;" (meaning the Non-Importation Agreement.) That "the resentment of Parliament will most certainly be placed some where, because I think it ought to be so, that those who have been the most steady in preserving the Constitution, and opposing the licentiousness of such as call themselves Sons of Liberty, will certainly meet with favour and encouragement." That, "if no measures are taken to secure the dependance, or nothing more than some declaratory acts or resolves, it is all over with us." That, "the friends of Government will be utterly disheartened, and the friends of anarchy will be afraid of nothing, be it ever so extravagant." That "all the aid you (meaning Great Britain) can give to the officers of the Crown, they will have enough to do to maintain the authority of Government, and to carry the laws into execution. If they are discountenanced, neglected, or fail of support from you, they must submit to every thing the present opposers to Government think fit to require of them," &c˙, &c˙ The reader will recollect, that the letters from whence these extracts were taken, were officiously wrote in the years 1768 and 1769, during Governour Bernard' s administration. That it is a part of the same dark scheme that has since grown into more open exertions. The observations and inquiries upon these extracts, that naturally present to view, are many and obvious; but lest I should anticipate the judgment of my readers, I waive the fertile subject. By his unremitting assiduity, and the force of banded auxiliaries, these egregious falsehoods are imposed upon the willing credulity of the best and the most discerning of Kings, i˙ e. the reigning Prince. Having thus treated the offence, and fixed the imputation; the next step is to devise an adequate remedy for an evil that never existed. The grand difficulty in the mind of our jesuitical politician, was to establish the barriers against popular efforts, and to take from the body the power of thinking; to silence the voice of mankind, to lay the political spirit at rest, and to confine their active virtues in chains and in fetters. At all events, there must be an abridgement of English liberties. Power that the wisdom of the Constitution had placed in the hands of the subject must be transferred to lawless usurpers.

Not to mention the Royal bribes he received as first pensioner; his overbearing insolence in power; the many black scenes he ran through for the sake of greatness; his inglorious contempt of the two branches of the legislature, and of men much better than himself; his gross partiality to the avowed enemies of constitutional rights; his virulence to all who opposed his destructive measures; and his outrages, when as First Justice of the Province, with a band of red coats, he attacked in a riotous and tumultuous manner the house of manufacturing, and attempted violently to wrest it from the hands of its only proprietor, to make it a place of arms, a cage for mercenaries, the strong hold of civil robbery, and the grave of every principle of justice and of law, both human and divine. This was enough to evince the eminent villany that lurked in the folds of his forehead, or the doublings of his heart; and the complacency


with which he reflected upon the crimes he had perpetrated, proved him steeled against the keenness of remorse; that a pension had fettered his soul, that corruption had polluted his lips, and that he was equally eager to sacrifice every sentiment of equity, and principle of social freedom, to the force of arms.