20 December 1773226


    —— THAT, which mischief meant most harm,

    Shall in the happy trial prove MOST GLORY—

    But evil on itself shall back recoil—MILTON.227

    I HAVE heretofore detected and exposed the political conduct of Governor Hutchinson. His whole deportment on the public theatre, from his first appearance on the stage, ought at this period to be reviewed and contrasted; displayed and abhorred. The infirmities of advanced age and ill health have inclined me to the more agreeable duty of contemplation, rather than to the painful task of delineating so hateful a portrait for the public eye. I have kept my tongue with a bridle while the wicked were before me: But even while the royal Psalmist practised this duty, his heart was hot within him—and when the fire burned, he spake with his tongue.

    Whoever considers the government and guidance which his Excellency hath with two of the Tea-Consignees, and the influence he hath over the rest, must determine him to be answerable for their strange, their unjustifiable conduct. I know, that he disclaims his share in this matter: but I know also, that I confide in him in no instance, where it is his interest to deceive; and I know more, that all mankind do, and will disbelieve his affirmation in this matter.

    What account the Consignees can give of their trust to those with whom they must account, I leave them to consider. But sure I am, that it was in their power to have saved the property of the East India Company, and that their wantonness and obstinacy promoted that destruction, which they must know would be the consequence of their behavior.

    To suppose that they intended the loss of the Teas is to brand them with base ingratitude and breach of trust: to suppose they designed to plunge their countrymen into civil commotion and bloodshed—to gratify resentment or share in the plunder of forfeitures and confiscations—is to blast them with THAT SIN, of which the shedding of their blood is the purchase of remission.—They will be so happy to find some other alternative.

    THE PEOPLE have been mild and considerate: they have been temperate and patient. When their mildness was called timidity, and their consideration want of courage, they did not cease to reason and intreat. When their temperance was treated with insult, and their patience with contempt, they felt the injury tho’ they stayed their vengeance. When the situation of public affairs called them to resolve upon their danger and duty, they were unanimous and determined, and when the exigency of the times increased and resolutions alone were vain, they proceeded to action with order and discretion and executed; the only remaining duty, without unnecessary outrage and intemperate revenge.

    If his Excellency had his adversaries as much in his power, as THE PEOPLE have lately had the enemies of their peace, would he have been equally mild—equally sparing and moderate? Let us consider.

    A father of his people would admonish and kindly intreat them to consider the consequences of their conduct; and not by insult in form of law, exasperate and provoke them, without a possibility of answering one good purpose. A father of his people would look with tenderness on their conduct. If he judged it rash, he would try to soften:—If it called for admonition, his words would be far from opprobrious:—If it called for correction, he would be merciful, and not severe.

    But should his Excellency in a time of public commotion observe a very different course; should he to his Council, talk of TREASON, and ATTORNEY GENERALS, of REBELLION, and an ARMED FORCE—what are we to expect—that oil will extinguish fire—or that big words will lull the ocean?

    I pretend to be no lawyer; but I am sure if to appear for my country is treason, and to arm for its defence is rebellion; like my fathers, I will glory in the name of rebel and traitor, as they did in that of Puritan and Enthusiast.

    Indeed I know of no way so likely to drive this people to extremities, as to brand them with these appellations. And I know of nothing, they who use them can have in view, but to accelerate the period, which will never arrive ‘till the people are become desperate.

    The readiest way to make them so, is to call them hard names.—But let all who do thus remember, that when THIS PEOPLE are driven to desperation, they who thus abuse them, will no longer dwell in safety.


    [To be continued.]