Common Sense, British Edition

Thoughts on the Present State of American Affairs

Page 23

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COMMON SENSE.                              23

I am not induced by motives of pride, party, or resent-
ment to espouse the doctrine of separation and independance ;
I am clearly, positively, and conscientiously persuaded
, that
it is the true interest of this continent to be so; that every
thing short of that is mere patchwork, that it can afford no
lasting felicity,--—that it is leaving the sword to our chil-
dren, and shrinking back at a time, when, a little more, a
little farther, would have rendered this continent the glory
of the earth.

As Britain hath not manifested the least inclination to-
wards a compromise, we may be assured that no terms can
be obtained worthy the acceptance of the continent, or any
ways equal to the expence of blood and treasure we have
been already put to.

The object contended for, ought always to bear some just
proportion to the expence. The removal of N——, or the
whole detestable junto, is a matter unworthy the millions we
have expended. A temporary stoppage of trade, was an in-
convenience, which would have sufficiently ballanced the
repeal of all the acts complained of, had such repeals been
obtained; but if the whole continent must take up arms, if
every man must be a soldier, it is scarcelv worth our while to
fight against a contemptible ministry only. Dearly, dearly,
do we pay for the repeal of the acts, if that is all we fight
for; for in a just estimation, it is as great a folly to pay a
Bunker-hill price for law as for land. As I have always
considered the independency of this continent as an event
which sooner or later must arrive, so from the late rapid
progress of the continent to maturity, the event could not be
far off. Wherefore, on the breaking out of hostilities, it
was not worth while to have disputed a matter which time
would have finally redressed, unless we meant to be in ear-
nest; otherwise it is like wasting an estate on a suit at law,
to regulate the trespasses of a tenant, whose lease is just ex-
piring. No man was a warmer wisher for reconciliation
than myself before the fatal nineteenth* of April, 1775, but
the moment the event of that day was made known,

*Lexington

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“Common Sense, British Edition,” Common Sense Digital Edition, accessed August 22, 2017, http://explorecommonsense.com/items/show/33.