Common Sense, British Edition

Thoughts on the Present State of American Affairs

Page 22

22                            COMMON SENSE
is now a fallacious dream. Nature hath deserted the con-
nexion, and art cannot supply her place. For, as
Milton wisely expresses, “ Never can true reconcile-
ment grow, where wounds of deadly hate have pierc’d
so deep.”

Every quiet method for peace hath been ineffectual. Our
prayers have been rejected with disdain ; and only tended
to convince us, that nothing flatters vanity, or confirms
obstinacy in Kings more than repeated petitioning-—and
nothing hath contributed more than that very measure
to make the Kings of Europe absolute: Witness Denmark
and Sweden. Wherefore, since nothing but blows will do,
for God’s sake, let us come to a final separation, and not leave
the next generation to be cutting throats, under the violated
unmeaning names of parent and child.

To say, they will never attempt it again is idle and vi-
sionary, we thought so at the repeal of the stamp-act,
yet a year or two undeceived us ; as well may we suppose
that nations, which have been once defeated, will never
renew the quarrel.

As to government matters, it is not in the power of
Britain to do this continent justice : The business of it
will soon be too weighty, and intricate, to be managed with
any tolerable degree of convenience, by a power so
distant from us, and so very ignorant of us ; for if they
cannot conquer us, they cannot govern us. To be always
running three or four thousand miles with a tale
or a petition, waiting four or five months for an answer, which
when obtained requires five or six more to explain it in,
will in a few years he looked upon as folly and childishness—
There was a time when it was proper, and there is a proper
time for it to cease.

Small islands, not capable of protecting themselves, are the
proper objects for kingdoms to take under their care ; but
there is something very absurd in supposing a continent to be
perpetually governed by an island. In no instance hath na-
ture made, the satellite larger than its primary planet, and as
England and America, with respect to each other, reverses the
common order of nature, it is evident they belong to different
systems; England to Europe, America to itself.
I am



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