Common Sense, British Edition

Thoughts on the Present State of American Affairs

Page 20

20                               COMMON SENSE.
rary. As parents, we can have no joy, knowing that this
government is not sufficiently lasting to ensure any thing
which we may bequeath to posterity: And by a plain method
of argument, as we are running the next generation into debt,
we ought to do the work of it, otherwise we use them meanly
and pitifully. In order to discover the line of our duty rightly,
we should take our children in our hand, and fix our station
a few years farther into life; that eminence will present a
prospect, which a few present fears and prejudices conceal
from our sight.

Though I would carefully avoid, giving unnecessary
offence, yet I am inclined to believe, that all those who
espouse the doctrine of reconciliation, may be included
within the following descriptions. Interested men, who
are not to be trusted; weak men, who cannot see; preju-
diced men, who will not see; and a certain set of moderate
men, who think better of the European world than it deserves;
and this last class, by an ill-judged deliberation, will be
the cause of more calamities to this continent, than all the
other three.

It is the good fortune of many to live distant from the
scene of sorrow ; the evil is not sufficient brought to their
doors to make them feel the precariousness with which all
American property is possessed. But let our imaginations
transport us for a few moments to Boston, that feat of
wretchedness will teach us wisdom, and instruct us for ever
to renounce a power in whom we can have no trust, the in-
habitants of that unfortunate city, who but a few months
ago were in ease and affluence, have now, no other
alternative than to stay and starve, or turn out to beg. En-
dangered by the fire of their friends if they continue within
the city, and plundered by the soldiery if they leave it.
In their present condition they are prisoners without the
hope of redemption, and in a general attack for their relief,
they would be exposed to the fury of both armies.

Men of passive tempers look somewhat lightly over the of-
fences of Britain, and still hoping for the best, are apt to call
out, “ Come, come, we shall be friends again, for all this.” But
examine the passions and feelings of mankind, bring the doc-
trine of reconciliation to the touchftone of nature, and then
tell me, whether you can hereafter love, honour, and faithfully


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