31 January 1774250


    WEAKNESS is thy excuse,

    And I believe it. Weakness to resist

    Philistian gold.—If weakness may excuse,

    What murderer, what TRAITOR, PARRICIDE,

    Incestuous, sacrilegious, but may plead it?

    All wickedness is WEAKNESS.


    WISDOM and VIRTUE are not more nearly allied than VICE and folly. It falls to the lot of but few villains, among the many, to pass currently through life, with a reputation for sense and judgment. The common herd of rogues and knaves are soon penetrated by the sagacious:—For men of understanding and acquaintance with the world quickly discern the real character; while the simple-minded and credulous are later in their discoveries. But in the end the cheat is commonly found out; and, therefore, we may advance it as a general truth, that hypocrites and impostors, finally appear weak and foolish in proportion as they are corrupt and wicked.

    The truth and integrity of Gov. Hutchinson in his message to the house in their last sessions has already been considered, and I believe his excellency will excuse me from any further illucidations on that subject.

    We have already reviewed distinguishing parts of this gentleman’s character, in which he appears aiming a fatal stroke at our political freedom and happiness, and in conjunction with his connexions and favourites concerting a plan, which he must know could never be carried into effect, without a waste of much precious blood and a most calamitous oppression of his countrymen.—Be astonished O earth!—This is the man who owed his ALL,—his exemption from obscurity and his advancement in honour and wealth, to the partiality of his native land:—And while he was thus ploting and secretly conspiring it’s destruction, his mouth was as redundant with professions of tenderness and love,* as his heart replete with gaul and malevolence.—But what a singular fatality will attend our hero, if in the subsequent revision, he shall appear as eminently WEAK and RIDICULOUS, as he now does vile and abominable?

    Whoever reads with attention my preceeding numbers, and especially if they consider the observations and resolves of the Council and House on his excellency’s letters, will be convinced that the former were very lenient when they resolved, that those letters “had a tendency to effect AN “ALTERATION IN THE CONSTITUTION of the province,” and that the latter were far from being severe. When they so unanimously† declared “that the tendency and DESIGN of said letters‡ was to subvert the constitution of this government, and to introduce arbitrary power into this province.”

    And whoever considers his excellency’s conduct in publickly affirming “he was not conscious of any letters which could have such an effect,”# and his express affirmation, that “there was not one passage in them which was ever intended TO RESPECT the particular constitution of this government as derived from charter,”* must suppose him given up to the strange delusion to believe a lie, or the more strange infatuation of believing all mankind, except himself, were fools and ideots.—But this weakness, with which I am afraid the gentleman is much contaminated, would not be greater than his having recourse to the little, temporary, futile expedient of procuring the following insignificant declaration from an old man. I Wm Brattle do Declare that I heared the Governor read the copies of sundry letters which were wrote by Him to Mr Whately & the Governor said that those He read were most exceptionable & in them He read to me there was nothing more contained than what He had expressed as his sentiments both in Public & Private very often the letters were wrote AD 1768 & were answers to letters wrote by Mr Wately to the Governor that sd Wately first wrote to the Governor WBrattle there was nothing in either of the letters as aforesaid that mentioned any thing relative to a any petition of the Council & to th__ to the King or to the King & council or to the Parliament or any Petition of the House or the or of the House & Council to the King or King & Council or to the Parliament.

    June 1, 1773. WBrattle†

    I am at a loss which to admire most; that his excellency should think such an expedient could do him any good, or that he should prostitute an old servant to such a mean office.—But I am not, in the least, surprized to see Brigadier Brattle meanly,—meanly stooping to this servility; nor the governor making this use of him, when he thought it would serve his purposes. It is not easy to say which of the notable pair, in this instance, appears the most odious—which the most contemptible.252

    When pristine virtue and ancient honour are sullied and disgraced;—when virgin purity is tempted, or youthful innocence debauched, sentiments of pity extinguish every other emotion.—But when an old TEMPTER prostitutes an hackneyed bawd—(whether the scene of iniquity is in the lustful recesses of a brothel, or the political chambers of state)—compassion takes it’s flight, and the bosom of the spectator is alternately filled with scorn and derision, horror and indignation.

    How difficult is it, for one who deviates from the way of truth & sincerity not to discover himself? The very windings and doublings practised in order to illude observation exhibit his path to full view.

    Was his Excellency so used to dissimulation, that he could not be ingenuous with his friend;—one whom he pitched upon to give a certificate of his character? Why else does he read to him only those letters which were wrote in 1768, and affirm to his confident that they were the most exceptionable? Now was not this so far from the truth, that every one who saw the letters must discover the falshood? But was it not the design of this certificate, to have a private operation with the members to whom it was so industriously shown, previous to the resolves, in order to influence the judgment of the inconsiderate, and then, when it had taken some little effect and served some present purpose, to be pocketed or destroyed by this singular duenna? With all his weakness the Gov. could not imagine this petty artifice would avail, when his writings should be made public.

    As to the Brigadier, he is certainly bound to confess himself imposed on and give up the impostor, or vindicate the truth and honor of his declaration. The general will not hesitate what is the part of a man of arms.—His honour is at stake;—the HONOR of a GENERAL must not be stained with impunity;—it must be wiped away by satisfaction—or avenged at the point of the sword.

    General Brattle has pledged his word and his honor, that “there was nothing more contained in those letters the governor read to him, than what he had expressed as his sentiments both in public and private very often.” Now it is most certainly incumbent upon the Brigadier—he is in honor bound—to inform the world of one time out of those many in which the sentiments contained in the letters of 68, were expressed in public; or frankly tell the world, that the governor grossly deceived him, when he said, those he read to him were the most exceptionable.—There is no other alternative, General.—And what is more, the work will not end here.

    It appears evident that the letter of the 10th of December 1768, gives intelligence of “a long address or petition to parliament, agreed upon by 8 or 10 of the council, & signed by the president—and appearing to be an act of council.” The informer goes on to say “that the whole is no more than the doings of a part of the council,” whose meeting he declares “irregular and unconstitutional, and ought to be discountenanced and censured.” Yet the Brigadier certifies under his hand, that “there was nothing in either of the letters as aforesaid, that mentioned any thing relative to any petition of the council to the parliament.” Surely his Excellency must have secreted this letter (tho’ he declared he showed the most exceptionable) or the general is much impaired in sight and memory. A most unhappy alternative again occurs for the Brigadier’s choice. This, this I say, is that very letter which THE COUNCIL have solemnly resolved “had a tendency to effect an alteration in the constitution of this province;” and therefore I hope for the sake of his Excellency, he wrote no letter more exceptionable in 68: if so, we shall find it impossible to save immaculate and entire the sincerity of his Excellency to the Brigadier, and the Brigadier’s veracity in his written declaration. As the general is far advanced in life, it might prevent an unnecessary stain upon his reputation, if he would make his choice of the difficulties before him;—and if the truth is, that the old game was played with him, let him now make one honest declaration before he dies: he need not be afraid that the discovery will sink his master much lower in the esteem of all good men, or hope that an affected secrecy will advance himself even in the graces of bad men. An honest confession of the truth of fact will in the end certainly serve him more, than any subterfuge or concealment.


    *Resolved, that while the writer of these letters signed Tho. Hutchinson, has been thus exerting himself by his secret and confidential correspondence, to introduce measures DESTRUCTIVE of our CONSTITUTIONAL LIBERTIES; he has been practising EVERY METHOD among the people of this province, to fix in their minds an exalted opinion of his warmest affection for them, and his unremitted endeavours to promote their best interest at the court of Great-Britain.

    The house of Representatives in their last session.

    † 101 out of 105 members

    ‡ Meaning those of the whole band of conspirators.

    # Message to the house of 3rd June 1773.

    * Message of 9th June 1773.253

    † The above we have compared with THE ORIGINAL in the Brigadier’s own Hand writing; which was most industriously shown to Members of the General Court at their last Session; and it’s Purport with equal Industry circulated abroad.

    We have made the Copy as exact as is possible to do in Print.


    [To be continued.]