Common Sense, British Edition

Thoughts on the Present State of American Affairs

Page 15

COMMON SENSE               15

Thoughts on the present state of American

IN the following pages I offer nothing more than simple
facts, plain arguments, and common sense; and have no
other preliminaries to settle with the reader, than that he
will divest himself of prejudice and prepossession, and suffer
his reason and his feelings to determine for themselves ; that
he will put on, or rather that he will not put off the true
character of a man, and generously enlarge his views beyond
the present day.

Volumes have been written on the subject of the struggle
between England and America. Men of all ranks have em-
barked in the controversy, from different motives, and with
various designs : but all have been ineffectual, and the period
of debate is closed. Arms, as the last resource, decide the con-
test; the appeal was the choice of the king, and the conti-
nent hath accepted the challenge.

It hath been reported of the late Mr. Pelham (who tho' an
able minister was not without his faults) that on his being
attacked in the house of commons, on the score, that his mea-
sures were only of a temporary kind, replied “they will last my
" Should a thought so fatal and unmanly possess the
colonies in the present contest, the name of ancestors will be
remembered by future generations with detestation.

The sun never shined on a cause of greater worth. ‘Tis
not the affair of a city, a county, a province, or a kingdom,
but of a continent—of at least one eighth part of the habit-
able globe
. ’Tis not the concern of a day, a year, or an age;
posterity are virtually involved in the contest, and will be
more or less affected, even to the end of time by the proceed-
ings now. Now is the seed-time of continental union, faith
and honor. The least fracture now will be like a name en-
graved with the point of a pin on the tender rind of a young
oak; the wound will enlarge with the tree, and posterity read
it in full grown characters.

By referring the matter from argument to arms, a new
era for politicks is struck; a new method of thinking hath
arisen. All plans, proposals, &c. prior to the nineteenth
of April, i. e. to the commencement of hostilities
, are like the
almanacks of the last year ; which though proper then are



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