Common Sense, British Edition

Thoughts on the Present State of American Affairs

Page 29

COMMON SENSE                               29
that so far we improve of monarchy, that in America THE
LAW IS KING. For as in absolute governments the King is
law, so in free countries the law ought to be King ; and there
ought to be no other. But lest any ill use should afterwards
arise, let the crown, at the conclusion of the ceremony, be de-
molished, and scattered among the people whose right it is.

A government of our own is out natural right: And when
a man seriously reflects on the precariousness of human affairs,
he will become convinced, that it is infinitely wiser and safer,
to form a constitution of our own in a cool deliberate man-
ner, while we have it in our power, than to trust such an
interesting event to time and chance, If we omit it now,
some * Massanello may hereafter arise, who laying hold of
popular disquietudes, may collect together the desperate and
the discontented, and by assuming to themselves the powers
of government, may sweep away the liberties of the continent
like a deluge. Should the government of America return
again into the hands of Britain, the tottering situation of
things will be a temptation for some desperate adventurer to
try his fortune; and in fuch a case; what relief can Britain
give? Ere she could hear the news, the fatal business might
be done; and ourselves suffering like the wretched Britons
under the oppression of the Conqueror. Ye that oppose in-
dependance now, ye know not what ye do ; ye are opening
a door to eternal tyranny,

There are thousands, and tens of thousands, who
would think it glorious to expel from the continent that
barbarous and hellish power, which hath stirred up the In-
dians and Negroes to destroy us
; the cruelty hath a double
guilt, it is dealing brutally by us, and treacherously by them.

To talk of friendship with those in whom our reason for-
bids us to have faith, and our affections wounded through a
thousand pores, instruct us to detest, is madness and folly.
Every day wears out the little remains of kindred between us
and them, and can there be any reason to hope, that as the

* Thomas Anello otherwise Massanello, a fisherman of Naples, who
after spiriting up his countrymen in the public market-place, against the
oppression of the Spaniards, to whom the place was then subject, prompt-
ed, them to revolt, and in the space of a day became king.



“Common Sense, British Edition,” Common Sense Digital Edition, accessed July 19, 2024,

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