6 July 1772169

    In every Breast inspire a virtuous Flame

    And teach them to revere their Country’s Fame.170

    TO the benevolent and feeling, it is painful to review the stale artifices of those whose folly and weakness are not sufficiently despicable to exempt their malice and turpitude from detestation and resentment: The bulk of mankind, being engaged in eager pursuit after temporary gratifications, are supine and careless about their future well-being, and afford but little for the weightier matters of consideration and thought; the few whom subtility of nature, servile assiduity, and lust of controul have buoyed into place, are so greedy of gain, so devoid of reflection, and destitute of conscience, that, in general, they may be justly dreaded as the deceivers and destroyers of their species: Hence amid the carelessness of some, and the ambition of others, the COMMON INTEREST OF ALL is forgotten and trampled on. Inattention is the bane of man.—It becomes therefore eminently the duty of the wise, the good and the great, to appear in behalf of their deluded brethren. Of one blood did GOD make all nations of the earth—an eternal memento of the great obligation we owe to the innocent MULTITUDE.—And when we find, that the wages of an hireling, the temptations of riches and grandeur, or the deceitful sweets of spoil and riot, prompt a few venal prostitutes—the disgrace and curse of the human race—to be active, sedulous and enterprising in their odious service, the TRUE FATHER OF HIS COUNTRY, the friend of mankind will arise with his strong armour:—Reason, the helmet of his head; integrity, the shield of his heart;—assuming the fortitude of virtue, he gives a new keeness to his shaft, and a more than youthful vigour to his bow.

    “O mihi praeteritos referat si Jupiter Annos!

    Qualis eram.” ———171

    I thank the great giver of every good gift, that I am addressing a people, probably, of as much natural capacity and acquired knowledge, as any in recorded time: As vicious, and as corrupt, as they are, yet the most virtuous and pure of any now upon the stage of action. This encourages me in the labours of my age. I trust, I have spoken conviction to many worthies; and intend to devote many of these my latter hours in the detection, and exposure of those, who hug themselves in their fancied security of wealth and splendor:—Not doubting, but I shall share the prayers of the pious, and the benisons of my countrymen.

    To them, if I speak the words of truth and soberness, it will be very immaterial whether I am the master of a grammar-school, the instructor of youth, the physician or the lawyer; or, peradventure, a minister of the word of GOD: So long as the word in season is spoken, so long as it is heard and done, it pertains little to universal happiness whether the speaker is called Lelius or Marchmont. But let me tell Lelius, that were it a matter of sufficient moment to point out the fine gentleman, and COURT-subaltern, I might touch, perhaps, with a more lasting tint than “the limner,” and cut with a deeper chizzel than the statuary.—And as a warning I insert, with as much propriety and good grammar, the Nemo me impune lacessit172 of Scotland, as Lelius the “esto perpetua!173 of father Paul.

    Lelius has thought fit to indictMaster Nedham” as a “madman”, or something of this sort.” But so long as the peers or the betters of Lelius are circumscribed by the laws of the land, they may proceed with governor Bernard to “the end of the tether.” However, mad as I am, I have yet reason sufficient to expose the Lelii, as they exhale in the sunshine of a despot, from the foeces of corruption. It is a ridiculous vanity to treat one whom we are too impotent to refute, as a “presumptuous dogmatist and vain babler.” Confute the dogma, and expose the babbling. The sting of satire is the truth of observation: the poignancy of sarcasm consists in justness of remark. Lelius, I scorn to recriminate—in words without ideas. I challenge you to point out the position which is not founded in truth, reason or experience. I bid you defiance in an attempt to refute a single fact I have advanced; or show the futility of an argument I have used. Surely Lelius, you have sense eno’ to know, that you have been detected: If you want information of your egregious errors, your gross and unpaliated falshoods, I will give you a new edition; though a review of my former publications will save the trouble. Had you any feeling, you would blush even in a mask. To betray the rights of your species, to aim at the bondage of those who have given you bread, is a sufficient load of guilt;--but to defend to the meanness of falshood, in the odious service of oppression, adds new infamy to baseness. But what shall we say? Most of your countrymen can read and consider; you must know, that even those whom you serve will despise the creature they employ, when it’s prostitution is exposed. Remember, Lelius, that you are now certainly known by some, and will probably in time be known to many more:—What will you say—what torments will sting you, when promotion shall mark the degenerate offspring of an ancestor who expired with the first honors, and in the best service—of his country!

    To insinuate that this continent, and its worthies, who have nobly conducted the public affairs for seven years past, are all “inebriated;” that “restless temper,” and “unbounded ambition,” actuate those whose arguments force conviction, and whose deportment is characteristic of the noblest affections, will serve to deceive but a very few. We have not yet forgot the measures of the Bernard-administration:—we know who prated of his love for this province: we know that even Bernard held forth a zealous profession of good-will—while he was stabbing in secret the vitals of this people:—we know his friend and his adviser, his justifier and successor. But Lelius thinks it “turbulence” to use our faculties, and hopes no doubt to suppress our emotions. He would make us believe, that “civil dissention” is the greatest calamity of society; whereas but a common knowledge of the history of man teaches a very opposite truth. The sloth, the indolence, the submission and tameness of the many, has ever given rise to the enormous power, domination, rapine and ravage of the few. To what does man owe his safety? To his using the faculties, and exerting the powers of his nature. A nation in security are slaves, or soon will be. But this country must do something more than either reason or write, or they will soon be the most miserable and ignominious of the Earth.—For the richness of the spoil invites the Vultures of plunder—And the sun is darkned with these unclean birds of prey.—Indeed Lelius, I believe we are, and shall continue to be, what you call “turbulent:” would to GOD you may see, what you, with misapplied derision, would call—ENTHUSIASTS for freedom.

    Whatever you may pretend to think, Lelius, I will venture to say, & doubt not all my readers will join with me, that you did not believe yourself when talking about the truth and integrity of Gov. H. Hast thou not learned, that “the weapon of invective” will notavoid the confusion of a defeat;”—that he who sees an Adversary’s weakness and wickedness, having prov’d and displayed it, has a right to inveigh; that in the cause of public liberty and right, he who properly feels for his country is inexorable towards it’s enemies; while his heart, his pen and his tongue, glows in the glorious contest:—This will point the invective;—this will speed the shaft, & pierce it to the marrow of a traitor.--A Demosthenes inveighed against a Philip of Macedon, a Tully174 against a Catiline and Verres, a Pitt against a Bute and a Holland:—and the wise and honest will re-echo the bitterinvective,” while the spark of genius and the beam of divinity illuminate and inspire the world of mankind.

    Marchmont has stated facts, reasoned upon them, and leaves every man to judge for himself relative to Gov. H’s late conduct. He proposes, if his life is spared, in some future period, further to consider Mr. H. as a man, a citizen, legislator, judge and governor. There are striking lines in his character, which have marked him from the beginning: And I could name as venerable a worthy as ever honored this land, who while a co-temporary member with Mr. H. in the house of assembly, many years ago, was frequently heard to say—“Mark that man! he will be the ruin of this country.” How far this prophecy is, or will be, history, others are left to consider. The deepest dissimulation is early seen thro’ by the penetrating: ‘tis a much longer space, sometimes an age, before a compleat hypocrite is thoro’ly detected and abhorred.—Lelius, if he wants information, may be pointed the way, for as depraved a person as ever breathed, to gain a temporary reputation in the office he refers to. But if Lelius will go to orphans, instead of WIDOWS, his enquiry may save part of my trouble.

    We are told, that “the contest is NOT now a common cause.” This implies that there was one once: Pray how is the cause changed? Show us some difference between our injuries & complaints now and formerly. Unless you can suppose an INDEPENDENT ruler, a MONSTER in a free state, interested by his price, to rivet the chains of slavery, makes a favourable distinction. Tis in vain Lelius, to ring or puff the changes of “personal revenge, liberty the pretence, interest the pursuit; and disappointed ambition.” Where is the personal revenge? Is the making pretences to liberty, the way to promote interest?—Or rather is not servility and prostitution to the basest purposes the road of preferment? Indeed Lelius, a common capacity is sufficient to expose thee.

    Does Lelius believe, dares he avow in the face of day, that “EVERY MAN HAS HIS PRICE”? Shameless miscreant! Can you expect ever again to place faith even in thyself, or hope any will trust you? Will your fellow citizens attend to one who declares, that his idol, like to Judas, or a Devil, he may be bought for his price? At what price have you rated?—for it seems you have made the computation;—At what price do you hawk in the market of venality?—integrity, conscience, honour, peace of mind and a good name? It is a deplorable time, when a principle is openly advanced, (without universal resentment) which saps the foundation of moral virtue and mutual confidence among men: If this infernal maxim be true, where and what is the essential distinction between the benevolent patriot and the meanest miser—the man of piety and the slave of Satan? Many curses, and much infamy would the GREAT VILLAINS of the world escape, if they could find a refuge in this abominable doctrine: No wonder the marrow of it is preserved and retailed with such abundant industry.—Did I believe myself in a city or a country, where all men adopted and practised upon this odious principle, I would fly from the society of man to the wilderness of nature. For wherefore should I live in that country, ALL whose Inhabitants are of that LELIAN race, who for their price, would plunge a dagger to the heart, for plunder of the purse—or, Judas-like, crucify the LORD OF LIGHT, and SAVIOR of MANKIND, for a few pieces of silver.