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Extract of a Letter to a Gentleman in New-York



I was very much obliged to you for your last favour, the contents of which I thought proper to communicate to the publick. The firm and spirited, I may say magnanimous, proceedings of the Congress, have had the desired effect. The Ministry are absolutely humbled; they talk of their measures having had a different effect from what they expected, and Lord Mansfield begins to insinuate they did not originate from him. We shall soon have a publick disavowal of them from him. The fact is, they begin to feel that their places will be hazarded by persevering, and they have no hesitation in sacrificing the dignity of Parliament to their continuance in office, which they pretended they could not give up, to the peace of America, and the prosperity of Great Britain.

The Merchants are in motion, and have advertised for a meeting; the Ministerial tools are the most forward, as if they wanted to make a merit of necessity. Among these, Mauduit and Molleson, the most devoted instruments of Hutchinson and Wedderburne, are active. The latter wrote a letter to ***** *****, desiring he might attend the delivery of the Petition, to bear his testimony against the measures it complains of, as if he was become a convert by inspiration, and in the heat of his new zeal would adopt the Petition without knowing its contents. They want to take a lead in the measures they cannot prevent, in order to recommend themselves both to America and the Ministry; to the former, by an apparent zeal for their interests; to the latter, by betraying the counsels in which they are permitted to share.

A continuance of that firmness and unanimity which have thus disposed them to give us redress, will secure the attainment of it; and as we know it is not voluntary on their part, we must not remit, in the least till the ultimate ratification. For, like true cowards, they would take courage upon the least appearance of remission on our part. I have no doubt but they will endeavour to divide, by proposing a partial redress, or, as they will insidiously call it, meeting half way. But as you have drawn the line with great moderation, I trust you will not give up an iota of what you have stipulated; for indeed I do not see what can be yielded with safety. All your demands are essential to liberty, and therefore must be religiously adhered to. Your wisdom will inform you that favourable as appearances are at present, they are but appearances, which unremitting firmness on your part can alone realize and conduct to a happy issue. I hope I shall not again have the misfortune to lament the retracted honour and violated faith of my countrymen. I do not mean it as any reproach to New-York, to say they will be tempted; but while I hope they will do themselves the honour of rejecting it with honest indignation, I beg you will keep a watchful eye over them, because, as the late Lord Clive very feelingly observed, there are sometimes offers made which flesh and blood cannot resist.