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we may, without much arrogance, presume to know more than themselves, and of those who shall succeed them, whether minister or king, not to know less.

The other position is, that "the Crown," if this laudable opposition should not be successful, "will have the power of taxing America at pleasure." Surely they think rather too meanly of our apprehensions, when they suppose us not to know what they well know themselves, that they are taxed, like all other British subjects, by parliament; and that the Crown has not by the new imposts, whether right or wrong, obtained any additional power over their possessions.

It were a curious, but an idle, speculation to inquire, what effect these dictators of sedition expect from the dispersion of their Letter among us. If they believe their own complaints of hardship, and really dread the danger which they describe, they will naturally hope to communicate the same perceptions to their fellow-subjects. But probably in America, as in other places, the chiefs are incendiaries, that hope to rob in the tumults of a conflagration, and toss brands among a rabble passively combustible. Those who wrote the Address, though they have shown no great extent or profundity of mind, are yet probably wiser than to believe it: but they have been taught by some master of mischief, how to put in motion the engine of political electricity; to attract by the sounds of Liberty and Property, to repel by those of Popery and Slavery; and to give the great stroke by the name of Boston.

When subordinate communities oppose the decrees of the general legislature with defiance thus audacious, and malignity thus acrimonious, nothing remains but to conquer or to yield; to allow their claim of independence, or to reduce them by force to submission and allegiance.

"FRIENDS AND FELLOW-SUBJECTS, "WE, the delegates of the several towns and parishes of Cornwall, assembled to deliberate upon our own state and that of our constituents, having, after serious debate and calm consideration, settled the scheme of our future conduct, hold it necessary to declare the resolutions which we think ourselves entitled to form by the unalienable rights of reasonable beings, and into which we have been compelled by grievances and oppressions, long endured by us in patient silence. not because we did not feel, or could not remove them, but because we were unwilling to give disturbance to a settled government, and hoped that others would in time find, like ourselves, their true interest and their original powers, and all co-operate to universal happiness.

"But since having long indulged the pleasing expectation, we find general discontent not likely to increase, or not likely to end in general defection, we resolve to erect alone the standard of liberty.

"Know then, that you are no longer to consider Cornwall as an English county, visited by English judges, receiving law from an English parliament, or included in any general taxation of the kingdom; but as a state distinct and independent, governed by its own institutions, administered by its own magistrates, and exempt from any tax or tribute but such as we shall impose upon ourselves.

"We are the acknowledged descendants of the earliest inhabitants of Britain, of men who, before the time of history, took possession of the island desolate and waste, and therefore open to the first occupants. Of this descent, our language is a sufficient proof, which, not quite a century ago, was different from yours.

"Such are the Cornishmen; but who are you? who, but the unauthorised and iawless It might be hoped that no Englishman could children of intruders, invaders, and oppressors ? be found, whom the menaces of our own Colo- who, but the transmitters of wrong, the inheritors nists, just rescued from the French, would not of robbery? In claiming independence, we move to indignation, like that of the Scy-claim but little. We might require you to dethians, who, returning from war, found themselves excluded from their own houses by their slaves.

That corporations constituted by favour, and existing by sufferance, should dare to prohibit commerce with their native country, and threaten individuals by infamy, and societies with at least suspension of amity, for daring to be more obedient to government than themselves, is a degree of insolence which not only deserves to be punished, but of which the punishment is loudly demanded by the order of life, and the peace of


Yet there have risen up, in the face of the public, men who, by whatever corruptions or whatever infatuation, have undertaken to defend the Americans, endeavour to shelter them from resentment, and propose reconciliation without submission.

As political diseases are naturally contagious, let it be supposed for a moment that Cornwall, seized with the Philadelphian frenzy, may resolve to separate itself from the general system of the English constitution, and judge of its own rights in its own parliament. A congress might then meet at Truro, and address the other counties in a style not unlike the language of the American patriots::

part from a land which you possess by usurpation, and to restore all that you have taken from us.

"Independence is the gift of Nature. No man is born the master of another. Every Cornishman is a freeman, for we have never resigned the rights of humanity; and he only can be thought free, who is not governed but by his own consent.

"You may urge that the present system of government has descended through many ages, and that we have a larger part in the represen tation of the kingdom than any other county.

"All this is true, but it is neither cogent nor persuasive. We look to the original of things. Our union with the English counties was either compelled by force, or settled by compact.

"That which was made by violence, may by violence be broken. If we were treated as a

conquered people, our rights might be obscured, but could never be extinguished. The sword can give nothing but power, which a sharper sword can take away.

"If our union was by compact, whom could the compact bind but those that concurred in the stipulations? We gave our ancestors no commission to settle the terms of future exist ence. They might be cowards that were fright

ed, or blockheads that were cheated; but whatever they were, they could contract only for themselves. What they could establish, we

can annul.

"Against our present form of government it shall stand in the place of all argument, that we do not like it. While we are governed as we do not like, where is our liberty? We do not like taxes, we will therefore not be taxed: we do not like your laws, and will not obey them.

"The taxes laid by our representatives, are laid, you tell us, by our own consent; but we will no longer consent to be represented. Our number of legislators was originally a burden, and ought to have been refused; it is now considered as a disproportionate advantage; who, then, will complain if we resign it?

"We shall form a senate of our own, under a President whom the King shall nominate, but whose authority we will limit, by adjusting his salary to his merit. We will not withhold a proper share of contribution to the necessary expense of lawful government, but will decide for ourselves what share is proper, what expense is necessary, and what government is lawful.

"Till our council is proclaimed independent and unaccountable, we will, after the tenth day of September, keep our tin in our own hands: you can be supplied from no other place, and must therefore comply, or be poisoned with the copper of your own kitchens.

"If any Cornishman shall refuse his name to this just and laudable association, he shall be tumbled from St. Michael's Mount, or buried alive in a tin-mine; and if any emissary shall be found seducing Cornishmen to their former state, he shall be smeared with tar and rolled in feathers, and chased with dogs out of our dominions.

"From the Cornish Congress at Truro."

Of this memorial what could be said but that it was written in jest, or written by a madman. Yet I know not whether the warmest admirers of Pennsylvanian eloquence can find any argument in the Address of the Congress, that is not with greater strength urged by the Cornishman. The argument of the irregular troops of controversy, stripped of its colours, and turned out naked to the view, is no more than this. Li berty is the birthright of man, and where obedience is compelled, there is no liberty. The answer is equally simple. Government is necessary to man, and where obedience is not compelled, there is no government.

If the subject refuses to obey, it is the duty of authority to use compulsion. Society cannot subsist but by the power, first of making laws, and then of enforcing them.

impose chains upon us. If they are so fit as their friend describes them, and so willing as they describe themselves, let us increase our army, and double our militia.

It has been of late a very general practice to talk of slavery among those who are setting at defiance every power that keeps the world in order. If the learned Author of the "Reflections on Learning" has rightly observed, that no man ever could give law to language, it will be vain to prohibit the use of the word slavery; but I could wish it more discreetly uttered; it is driven at one time too hard into our ears by the loud hurricane of Pennsylvanian eloquence, and at another glides too cold into our hearts by the soft conveyance of a female patriot bewailing the miseries of her friends and fellow-citizens.

Such has been the progress of sedition, that those who a few years ago disputed only our right of laying taxes, now question the validity of every act of legislation. They consider themselves as emancipated from obedience, and as being no longer the subjects of the British crown. They leave us no choice but of yielding or conquering, of resigning our dominion, or maintaining it by force.

From force, many endeavours have been used either to dissuade or to deter us. Sometimes the merit of the Americans is exalted, and sometimes their sufferings are aggravated. We are told of their contributions to the last war, a war incited by their outeries, and continued for their protection; a war by which none but themselves were gainers. All that they can boast is, that they did something for themselves, and did not wholly stand inactive while the sons of Britair were fighting in their cause.

If we cannot admire, we are called to pity them; to pity those that show no regard to their Mother-country; have obeyed no law which they could violate; have imparted no good which they could withhold; have entered into associations of fraud to rob their creditors; and into combinations to distress all who depended on their commerce. We are reproached with the cruelty of shutting one port, where every port is shut against us. We are censured as tyrannical for hindering those from fishing, who have condemned our merchants to bankruptcy, and our manufacturers to hunger.

Others persuade us to give them more liberty to take off restraints, and relax authority: and tell us what happy consequences will arise from forbearance: how their affections will be conciliated, and into what diffusions of beneficence their gratitude will luxuriate. They will love their friends. They will reverence their protectors. They will throw themselves into our arms, and lay their property at our feet. They will To one of the threats hissed out by the Con- buy from no other what we can sell them; they gress, I have put nothing similar into the Cor-will sell to no other what we wish to buy. nish proclamation; because it is too wild for folly and too foolish for madness. If we do not withhold our King and his parliament from taxing them, they will cross the Atlantic and enslave us.

How they will come, they have not told us: perhaps they will take wing and light upon our coasts. When the cranes thus begin to flutter, it is time for pigmies to keep their eyes about them. The Great Orator observes, that they will be very fit, after they have been taxed, to

That any obligations should overpower their attention to profit, we have known them long enough not to expect. It is not to be expected from a more liberal people. With what kindness they repay benefits, they are now showing us, who, as soon as we have delivered them from France, are defying and proscribing us.

But if we will permit them to tax themselves, they will give us more than we require. If we proclaim them independent, they will during pleasure pay us a subsidy. The contest is no

now for money, but for power. The question is | Act was first proposed, undoubtedly disliked it, not how much we shall collect, but by what authority the collection shall be made.

Those who find that the Americans cannot be shown in any form that may raise love or pity, dress them in habiliments of terror, and try to make us think them formidable. The Bostonians can call into the field ninety thousand men. While we conquer all before us, new enemies will rise up behind, and our work will be always to begin. If we take possession of the towns, the colonists will retire into the inland regions, and the gain of victory will be only empty houses, and a wide extent of waste and desolation. If we subdue them for the present, they will universally revolt in the next war, and resign us without pity to subjectionand destruction.

To all this it may be answered, that between losing America and resigning it, there is no great difference; that it is not very reasonable to jump into the sea, because the ship is leaky. All those evils may befall us, but we need not hasten


The Dean of Gloucester has proposed, and seems to propose it seriously, that we should at once release our claims, declare them masters of themselves, and whistle them down the wind. His opinion is, that our gain from them will be the same, and our expense less. What they can have most cheaply from Britain, they will still buy; what they can sell to us at the highest price, they will still sell.

It is, however, a little hard, that having so lately fought and conquered for their safety, we should govern them no longer. By letting them loose before the war, how many millions might have been saved. One wild proposal is best answered by another. Let us restore to the French what we have taken from them. We shall see our colonists at our feet, when they have an enemy so near them. Let us give the Indians arms, and teach them discipline, and encourage them now and then to plunder a plantation. Security and leisure are the parents of sedition.

While these different opinions are agitated, it seems to be determined by the legislature, that force shall be tried. Men of the pen have seldom any great skill in conquering kingdoms, but they have strong inclination to give advice. I cannot forbear to wish, that this commotion may end without bloodshed, and that the rebels may be subdued by terror rather than by violence; and therefore recommend such a force as may take away not only the power but the hope of resistance, and by conquering without a battle, save many from the sword.

as every nation dislikes an impost; but they had no thought of resisting it, till they were encou raged and incited by European intelligence, from men whom they thought their friends, but who were friends only to themselves.

On the original contrivers of mischief let an insulted nation pour out its vengeance. With whatever design they have inflamed this pernicious contest, they are themselves equally detestable. If they wish success to the colonies, they are traitors to this country; if they wish their defeat, they are traitors at once to America and England. To them, and them only, must be imputed the interruption of commerce, and the miseries of war, the sorrow of those that shall be ruined, and the blood of those that shall fall.

Since the Americans have made it necessary to subdue them, may they be subdued with the least injury possible to their persons and their possessions! When they are reduced to obedience, may that obedience be secured by stricter laws and stronger obligations!

Nothing can be more noxious to society, than that erroneous clemency, which, when a rebel lion is suppressed, exacts no forfeiture and establishes no securities, but leaves the rebels in their former state. Who would not try the experiment which promises advantage without ex pense? If rebels once obtain a victory, their wishes are accomplished; if they are defeated, they suffer little, perhaps less than their conquerors; however often they play the game, the chance is always in their favour. In the mean time, they are growing rich by victualling the troops that we have sent against them, and perhaps gain more by the residence of the army than they lose by the obstruction of their port.

Their charters being now, I suppose, legally forfeited, may be modelled as shall appear most commodious to the Mother-country. Thus the privileges which are found by experience liable to misuse, will be taken away, and those who now bellow as patriots, bluster as soldiers, and domineer as legislators, will sink into sober merchants and silent planters, peaceably diligent, and securely rich.

But there is one writer, and perhaps many who do not write, to whom the contraction of these pernicious privileges appears very dangerous, and who startle at the thoughts of England free and America in chains. Children fly from their own shadow, and rhetoricians are frighted by their own voices. Chains is undoubtedly a dreadful word; but perhaps the masters of civil wisdom may discover some gradations between chains and anarchy. Chains need not be put upon those who will be restrained without them. This contest may end in the softer phrase of English Superiority and American Obedience.

If their obstinacy continues without actual hostilities, it may perhaps be mollified by turning out the soldiers to free quarters, forbidding any personal cruelty or hurt. It has been pro- We are told, that the subjection of Americans posed, that the slaves should be set free, an act may tend to the diminution of our own liberties: which surely the lovers of liberty cannot but an event, which none but very perspicacious pocommend. If they are furnished with firearms liticians are able to foresee. If slavery be thus for defence, and utensils for husbandry, and set-fatally contagious, how is it that we hear the tled in some simple form of government within loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of the country, they may be more grateful and ho- negroes? nest than their masters.

But let us interrupt a while this dream of conFar be it from any Englishman to thirst for quest, settlement, and supremacy. Let us rethe blood of his fellow-subjects. Those who member that being to contend, according to one most deserve our resentment, are unhappily at orator, with three millions of Whigs, and accordless distance. The Americans, when the Stamping to another, with ninety thousand patriots of

Massachusetts' Bay, we may possibly be checked | mit us to import into the confederated Cantons

in our career of reduction. We may be reduced to peace upon equal terms, or driven from the western continent, and forbidden to violate a second time the happy borders of the land of liberty. The time is now perhaps at hand, which Sir Thomas Browne predicted between jest and


When America should no more send out her treasure,
But spend it at home in American pleasure.

If we are allowed upon our defeat to stipulate conditions, I hope the treaty of Boston will per

such products as they do not raise, and such manufactures as they do not make, and cannot buy cheaper from other nations, paying like others the appointed customs; that if an English ship salutes a fort with four guns, it shall be answered at least with two; and that if an Englishman be inclined to hold a plantation, he shall only take an oath of allegiance to the reigning powers, and be suffered, while he lives inoffensively, to retain his own opinion of English rights, unmolested in his conscience by an oath of abjuration.





To the Right Honourable PHILIP DORMER, Earl of CHESTERFIELD, one of His Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State.


WHEN first I undertook to write an ENGLISH DICTIONARY, I had no expectation of any higher patronage than that of the proprietors of the copy, nor prospect of any other advantage than the price of my labour. I knew that the work in which I engaged is generally considered as drudgery for the blind, as the proper toil of artless industry; a task that requires neither the light of learning, nor the activity of genius, but may be successfully performed without any higher quality than that of bearing burdens with dull patience, and beating the tract of the alphabet with sluggish resolution.

Whether this opinion, so long transmitted, and so widely propagated, had its beginning from truth and nature, or from accident and prejudice; whether it be decreed by the authority of reason, or the tyranny of ignorance, that of all the candidates for literary praise, the unhappy lexicographer holds the lowest place, neither vanity nor interest incited me to inquire. It appeared that the province allotted me was, of all the regions of learning, generally confessed to be the least delightful, that it was believed to produce neither fruits nor flowers; and that after a long and laborious cultivation, not even the barren laurel had been found upon it.

my way any temptation to disturb the quiet of others by censure, or my own by flattery.

I had read indeed of times, in which princes and statesmen thought it part of their honour to promote the improvement of their native tongues; and in which dictionaries were written under the protection of greatness. To the patrons of such undertakings I willingly paid the homage of believing that they, who were thus solicitous for the perpetuity of their language, had reason to expect that their actions would be celebrated by posterity, and that the eloquence which they promoted would be employed in their praise. But I consider such acts of beneficence as prodigies, recorded rather to raise wonder than expectation; and content with the terms that I had stipulated, had not suffered my imagination to flatter me with any other encouragement, when I found that my design had been thought by your Lordship of importance sufficient to attract your favour.

How far this unexpected distinction can be rated among the happy incidents of life, I am not yet able to determine. Its first effect has been to make me anxious, lest it should fix the attention of the public too much upon me, and, as it once happened to an epic poet of France, by raising the reputation of the attempt, obstruct the reception of the work. I imagine what the world will expect from a scheme, prosecuted under your lordship's influence; and I know that expectation, when her wings are once expanded, easily reaches heights which performance never will attain; and when she has mounted the summit of perfection, derides her follower, who dies in the pursuit.

Yet on this province, my Lord, I entered, with the pleasing hope, that, as it was low, it likewise would be safe. I was drawn forward with the prospect of employment, which, though Not therefore to raise expectation, but to renot splendid, would be useful; and which, press it, I here lay before your Lordship the Plan though it could not make my life envied, would of my undertaking, that more may not be dekeep it innocent; which would awaken no pas-manded than I intend; and, that before it is too sion, engage me in no contention, nor throw in

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far advanced to be thrown into a new method, I may be advertised of its defects or superfluities. Such informations I may justly hope, from the emulation with which those, who desire the praise of elegance or discernment, must contend in the promotion of a design that you, my Lord,

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