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To the King



London, April 12, 1775.

SIRE: When the complaints and petitions of injured subjects are treated with insolence by a profligate Parliament, and with mockery by an imperious Minister, it is high time for them to assume a different tone. Your Majesty must be a great proficient in Courtly accomplishments to profess astonishment at what you could not but know full well, from the protesting majority of the independent Peers, from a hundred loud and honest voices (marvellous as that may seem) among your own faithful Commons, besides the many other Petitions from the commercial and manufacturing parts of the Kingdom, who had long before avowed their approbation of American resistance, and their utter abhorrence of the arbitrary and violent measures of Administration, against, what your Majesty calls a rebellious disposition only, which barely exists in a part of your Colonies. Had an actual rebellion not only existed, but raged all over America, your Ministers could hardly have spared more forces from the National defence than are now embarked to correct a bad disposition. If your Majesty is thus severe on ill humours and dispositions, which so much pains have been taken to excite and inflame, what thunderbolts of your royal vengeance will be hurled upon actual traitors, when you shall discover them — nearer home?

Your Majesty' s "entire confidence in the wisdom of your Parliament" cannot but be well founded, considering from whom they have learned and adopted their principles and resolutions, and thus qualified themselves for the "great Council of the Nation."

Surely your Majesty does not suppose your good subjects so dull of apprehension, as to Relieve that your American measures were originally planned and recommended to your Ministers by Parliament. They are convinced that the majority of Parliament are to modest, and know themselves too well, to give advice to Government. They know that these measures were dictated to Parliment by the Minister,(who is also dictated to by some body else,) and for no other purpose but to gain a Parliamentary sanction to indemnify the Crown and its servants from the consequences of such violent and unconstitutional proceedings. Therefore, the compliment: paid to Parliament on this occasion is but little better founded, or more sincere, than that made to Great Britain in the next sentence, when your Majesty declares, that "you will steadily pursue these measures for the support of her constitutional rights and commercial interests." Your Majesty, in your great wisdom, or rather in the wisdom of your Parliament, is pleased to take measures a little extraordinary on this great occasion; which, although very expressive of the violence of your attachment to our rights and interests, it is feared, like the fostering of too fond a parent, may overlay them both. The mode graciously adopted to protect our Commerce, by starving or cutting the throats of our Colonists,


it is feared will neither increase their population, nor the Trade or Revenue of Britain.

Your Majesty cannot be supposed to dissemble with or mock your people in a matter which so nearly concerns them. We must, therefore, necessarily believe, on the faith of royalty, that these measures have originated from Parliament, acting as the great Council of the Nation, and that they have been planned with no other view than to "support the constitutional rights, and protect the commercial interests of Great Britain." This, is a solemn declaration, made before God and the publick; and it would ill become your subjects to entertain a doubt of that sincerity in which your Majesty has been early trained, and of which your auspicious reign has afforded so many great and singular instances.

I could wish, however, (that no opening might be left for invidious censure,) the Ministerial authors of your Majesty' s speeches would endeavour, for the future, not only to think in character themselves, on the small scale of knavish craft, but that they would enable their Royal master, when he addresses the publick, to speak in character also.

Conscious of their own evil principles and designs, they put words into the Royal mouth which would only have become their own. Thus your Majesty is made to address your Capital in a low and familiar style, utterly beneath your dignity as a great King, and your nice feelings as an honest man. My Lord North might be "astonished (speaking in character, as a hollow, hypocritical, sneering Minister) that any of your subjects could be capable of countenancing a rebellious disposition, unfortunately existing in some of the Colonies," as such tyrannical and vindictive persons are not ashamed to make actual war upon a disposition; but a King of Great Britain, conscious of his own dignity, and speaking with the majesty of truth, as well as royalty, in answer to so heavy a charge, would have expressed his astonishment at the daring presumption of the Petitioners in countenancing rebellion, not at their being "capable of countenancing a rebellious disposition only." Which is little better than if your Majesty had said, "my good friends, I am very sorry you should be so unkind as to encourage a set of people whom I am obliged to treat as rebels, although I cannot call them such at present; but in all probability, by the blessing of God on my Fleets and Armies, they will deserve that appellation very soon."

In the mean time, as your Majesty' s confidence in your Parliament is almost as great as the people' s distrust and detestation of them, there can be no doubt but by pursuing the salutary measures they recommend, your Government will become as respectable, though not so gentle and condescending, as your speeches.

Your Majesty will pardon the well meant simplicity of a true subject, although a plain dealer.