12 January 1775697

    Jany 12 1775 12 at night

    My very dear friend London

    I have been all this day toiling for our oppressed country. I have just closed my advices to the Southward. I should not now resume my pen, having wrote you very largely to Day and yesterday, had I not been just gratified with your and my good friend James Lovell’s favors of October and December, yours dated 10 November and 9 December, his November 25 and 9th December.698 Thank him most heartily for his zeal and industry in the cause of his country, and his affection and good wishes for me. Show him my Letters: tell him to consider them as addressed to him, and command him to persevere in his way of well-doing.

    If you are satisfied, that what you wrote me relative to the speeches of Major Paddock699 and Judge Sewall is really true in fact, please to convey word to Mr. Paddock and assume in my name that I have “dared to show my head in London,” that I have dared to enter into the presence of Lords North and Mansfield, and what he may think more, on two days successively, to stand before the throne of a king, literally within reach of his royal sceptre and the sword of justice. Neither one, or the other dazzled or terrified me. Even the eloquence of a Sovereign did not so confound my judgment, but that before the royal charm was over, I was able to recollect, and remind a friend who stood near me, of the memorable saying of Henry Marten to Edward Hyde—“I do not think One man wise enough to govern us all.700 Nay the splendor of royal robes, the pomp of State-attendants, or the glitter of a Diadem never once so fascinated my understanding or beguiled my heart, as that I did not realize the solemn and eternal truth delivered by the illustrious Milton—“The trappings of a monarchy will set up a Commonwealth.701

    You may tell Judge Sewall, that I am not yet “hanged”, and whether, he or I shall first dangle upon a gibbet is a matter altogether problematical. But whether he or I deserve it most, I am willing to submit to a Jury of freeholders in his own vicinity. And if he will move for sentence upon their verdict, I will agree not to move in arrest of judgment.

    Politicks you see so engross my time, that I have no time to think or write of those affections that are very deep in my heart. I know you will excuse the indulgence.

    Write by every possible way so little memorandum of the state, of letters received. It will gratify me much to hear of the safe arrival of any of my Letters.

    My duty and affection present to our Common Parents and relations. Tell them my health and spirits still continue high. As to my sentiments and opinions, my integrity and firmness, they must judge of those by my conduct.

    Yours most affectionately

    Josiah Quincy jun.

    PS. Don’t think I forget my Little Ones because I don’t talk of them. They are subjects I had rather fondle in my arms, than employ my pen upon.

    Post PS. Since writing the above last night, Governor Pownall hath this morning (January 13, 1775) called upon me, and I having Mr. Brand Hollis with me, he had only time to say, “you will hear terrible news from Boston town: The matter is decided before this time.”