12 March 1770106

    Like a scurvy politician seem,

    To see the things thou dost not.


    A Writer, in the Boston Chronicle, has not only been charged, in direct terms, but proved, by irresistable demonstration, guilty of impertinence, absurdity, sophistry & falsehood. That, all this has been done, with fair argument and good manners, the BOSTONIAN ought, with blushes, to concede. But should that gentleman think such a concession too great a sacrifice to truth and justice, it is then hoped, that his future publications, tho’ unanswer’d, will meet little attention, and less credit. For, surely, when a writer, after such charges and such proofs, continues to vapour and froth, in futile strains and indeterminate expressions, devoid of reason or excuse, he cannot rationally hope even the countenance of a party.108

    Such a profound ignorance of the laws and constitution of our government is displayed in the last production, signed A BOSTONIAN, that it is very difficult to refrain, from expressions of contempt; such trifling evasion and despicable argument are below serious confutation.

    “To acknowledge allegiance to the King, and deny obedience to the laws of Great-Britain, the BOSTONIAN says would be preposterous.” As well might he assert, that an acknowledgment of DUTY to a natural parent was incompatible with an absolute denial of obedience to his unnatural demands. But the weakness of what is, here, called “preposterous”, must be peculiarly evident to those, who are acquainted with the spirit of our laws: And if same says true, our BOSTONIAN ought to be much ashamed of his defects, in handling this subject.

    I would chuse to treat every publick writer with politeness, but when palpable lies are asserted, for truth, in the face of all mankind, it is difficult to abstain from an appearance of incivility.—The BOSTONIAN is called upon to offer the least shadow of evidence, that—“the Independant would convert every province or island, however insignificant some of them may be, into separate and distinct states:”—

    It would require little less than a spirit of divination to find out, what reason or propriety there was in the stated supposition, about “the people of Main”. The BOSTONIAN surely exposes himself to very just ridicule! Matters of greater importance, than viewing the defects and deformities of the BOSTONIAN, demand our instant attention. I therefore, close with the very applicable sentiments of an author, whose strength and life were spent in the service of his GOD and his country.

    “Few words, well considered; few and easy things, now seasonably done; will save us. But if the people be so affected, as to prostitute religion and liberty, to the vain and groundless apprehension, that nothing, but a lucrative trade can make them happy; and if trade be grown so craving and importunate thro’ the profusion of men, that nothing can support it, but the luxurious expences of the community upon trifles or superfluities, so as if the people should generally betake themselves to frugality, it might prove a dangerous matter, lest tradesmen should mutiny, for want of trading; and that, therefore, we must forego and set to sale, religion, liberty, honour, safety, all concernment divine or human, to keep up trading; if, lastly, after all this light among us, the same reason shall pass for current to fix our necks under illegal impositions, as was made use of, by the Jews, to return back to Egypt, because they foolishly imagined, that they would then live in more plenty and prosperity;109 our condition is not sound but rotten, both in religion and all civil prudence; and we shall soon be brought to those calamities, which attend always and unavoidably on luxury, that is to say, all national judgments under foreign and domestic slavery.

    Thus, with hazard, I have ventured what I thought my duty, to speak in season, and to forewarn my country in time. Many circumstances and particulars I could have added; but a few main matters, now put speedily into execution, will suffice to recover us from bondage, and set all right.—What I have said, is the language of the GOOD OLD CAUSE: If it seem strange to any, it will not seem more strange I hope, than convincing to backsliders. Thus much I should perhaps have said, tho’ sure I should have spoken, only, to trees and stones, and had none to cry to, but with the prophet; O earth, earth, earth! But, I trust, I shall have spoken persuasion to abundance of sensible and ingenuous men: to some, perhaps, whom GOD may raise of these stones, to become children of liberty; and may enable and unite in noble resolution to give a full stay to the ruinous proceedings of tyranny and rapine.”110