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We
are not now contending against an army of soldiers, but against a band
of thieves, who had rather plunder than fight, and have no other hope of
conquest than by cruelty.

They expect to get a mighty booty, and strike another general panic, by
making a sudden movement and getting possession of this city; but unless
they can march out as well as in, or get the entire command of the
river, to remove off their plunder, they may probably be stopped with
the stolen goods upon them. They have never yet succeeded wherever they
have been opposed, but at Fort Washington. At Charleston their defeat
was effectual. At Ticonderoga they ran away. In every skirmish at
Kingsbridge and the White Plains they were obliged to retreat, and the
instant that our arms were turned upon them in the Jerseys, they turned
likewise, and those that turned not were taken.

The necessity of always fitting our internal police to the circumstances
of the times we live in, is something so strikingly obvious, that no
sufficient objection can be made against it. The safety of all
societies depends upon it; and where this point is not attended to,
the consequences will either be a general languor or a tumult. The
encouragement and protection of the good subjects of any state, and the
suppression and punishment of bad ones, are the principal objects for
which all authority is instituted, and the line in which it ought to
operate. We have in this city a strange variety of men and characters,
and the circumstances of the times require that they should be publicly
known; it is not the number of Tories that hurt us, so much as the not
finding out who they are; men must now take one side or the other, and
abide by the consequences: the Quakers, trusting to their short-sighted
sagacity, have, most unluckily for them, made their declaration in their
last Testimony, and we ought now to take them at their word. They have
involuntarily read themselves out of the continental meeting, and cannot
hope to be restored to it again but by payment and penitence. Men whose
political principles are founded on avarice, are beyond the reach
of reason, and the only cure of Toryism of this cast is to tax it.
A substantial good drawn from a real evil, is of the same benefit to
society, as if drawn from a virtue; and where men have not public spirit
to render themselves serviceable, it ought to be the study of government
to draw the best use possible from their vices. When the governing
passion of any man, or set of men, is once known, the method of managing
them is easy; for even misers, whom no public virtue can impress, would
become generous, could a heavy tax be laid upon covetousness.

The Tories have endeavored to insure their property with the enemy, by
forfeiting their reputation with us; from which may be justly inferred,
that their governing passion is avarice. Make them as much afraid of
losing on one side as on the other, and you stagger their Toryism; make
them more so, and you reclaim them; for their principle is to worship
the power which they are most afraid of.

This method of considering men and things together, opens into a large
field for speculation, and affords me an opportunity of offering some
observations on the state of our currency, so as to make the support
of it go hand in hand with the suppression of disaffection and the
encouragement of public spirit.

The thing which first presents itself in inspecting the state of the
currency, is, that we have too much of it, and that there is a necessity
of reducing the quantity, in order to increase the value. Men are daily
growing poor by the very means that they take to get rich; for in the
same proportion that the prices of all goods on hand are raised, the
value of all money laid by is reduced. A simple case will make this
clear; let a man have 100 L. in cash, and as many goods on hand as will
to-day sell for 20 L.; but not content with the present market price,
he raises them to 40 L. and by so doing obliges others, in their own
defence, to raise cent. per cent. likewise; in this case it is evident
that his hundred pounds laid by, is reduced fifty pounds in value;
whereas, had the market lowered cent. per cent., his goods would have
sold but for ten, but his hundred pounds would have risen in value to
two hundred; because it would then purchase as many goods again, or
support his family as long again as before. And, strange as it may seem,
he is one hundred and fifty pounds the poorer for raising his goods, to
what he would have been had he lowered them; because the forty pounds
which his goods sold for, is, by the general raise of the market cent.
per cent., rendered of no more value than the ten pounds would be had
the market fallen in the same proportion; and, consequently, the whole
difference of gain or loss is on the difference in value of the hundred
pounds laid by, viz. from fifty to two hundred. This rage for raising
goods is for several reasons much more the fault of the Tories than the
Whigs; and yet the Tories (to their shame and confusion ought they to
be told of it) are by far the most noisy and discontented. The greatest
part of the Whigs, by being now either in the army or employed in some
public service, are buyers only and not sellers, and as this evil has
its origin in trade, it cannot be charged on those who are out of it.

But the grievance has now become too general to be remedied by partial
methods, and the only effectual cure is to reduce the quantity of money:
with half the quantity we should be richer than we are now, because
the value of it would be doubled, and consequently our attachment to it
increased; for it is not the number of dollars that a man has, but how
far they will go, that makes him either rich or poor. These two points
being admitted, viz. that the quantity of money is too great, and that
the prices of goods can only be effectually reduced by, reducing the
quantity of the money, the next point to be considered is, the method
how to reduce it.

The circumstances of the times, as before observed, require that the
public characters of all men should now be fully understood, and the
only general method of ascertaining it is by an oath or affirmation,
renouncing all allegiance to the king of Great Britain, and to support
the independence of the United States, as declared by Congress. Let, at
the same time, a tax of ten, fifteen, or twenty per cent. per annum, to
be collected quarterly, be levied on all property. These alternatives,
by being perfectly voluntary, will take in all sorts of people. Here
is the test; here is the tax. He who takes the former, conscientiously
proves his affection to the cause, and binds himself to pay his quota
by the best services in his power, and is thereby justly exempt from the
latter; and those who choose the latter, pay their quota in money, to be
excused from the former, or rather, it is the price paid to us for their
supposed, though mistaken, insurance with the enemy.

But this is only a part of the advantage which would arise by knowing
the different characters of men. The Whigs stake everything on the issue
of their arms, while the Tories, by their disaffection, are sapping and
undermining their strength; and, of consequence, the property of the
Whigs is the more exposed thereby; and whatever injury their estates
may sustain by the movements of the enemy, must either be borne by
themselves, who have done everything which has yet been done, or by the
Tories, who have not only done nothing, but have, by their disaffection,
invited the enemy on.

In the present crisis we ought to know, square by square and house by
house, who are in real allegiance with the United Independent States,
and who are not. Let but the line be made clear and distinct, and all
men will then know what they are to trust to. It would not only be
good policy but strict justice, to raise fifty or one hundred thousand
pounds, or more, if it is necessary, out of the estates and property
of the king of England's votaries, resident in Philadelphia, to be
distributed, as a reward to those inhabitants of the city and State, who
should turn out and repulse the enemy, should they attempt to march this
way; and likewise, to bind the property of all such persons to make
good the damages which that of the Whigs might sustain. In the
undistinguishable mode of conducting a war, we frequently make reprisals
at sea, on the vessels of persons in England, who are friends to our
cause compared with the resident Tories among us.

In every former publication of mine, from Common Sense down to the last
Crisis, I have generally gone on the charitable supposition, that the
Tories were rather a mistaken than a criminal people, and have applied
argument after argument, with all the candor and temper which I was
capable of, in order to set every part of the case clearly and fairly
before them, and if possible to reclaim them from ruin to reason. I have
done my duty by them and have now done with that doctrine, taking it for
granted, that those who yet hold their disaffection are either a set
of avaricious miscreants, who would sacrifice the continent to save
themselves, or a banditti of hungry traitors, who are hoping for
a division of the spoil. To which may be added, a list of crown or
proprietary dependants, who, rather than go without a portion of power,
would be content to share it with the devil. Of such men there is no
hope; and their obedience will only be according to the danger set
before them, and the power that is exercised over them.

A time will shortly arrive, in which, by ascertaining the characters of
persons now, we shall be guarded against their mischiefs then; for in
proportion as the enemy despair of conquest, they will be trying the
arts of seduction and the force of fear by all the mischiefs which they
can inflict. But in war we may be certain of these two things, viz. that
cruelty in an enemy, and motions made with more than usual parade, are
always signs of weakness. He that can conquer, finds his mind too free
and pleasant to be brutish; and he that intends to conquer, never makes
too much show of his strength.

We now know the enemy we have to do with.



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