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I stated every case, that I conceived could possibly happen,
and ventured to predict its consequences. As my conclusions were drawn
not artfully, but naturally, they have all proved to be true. I was upon
the spot; knew the politics of America, her strength and resources, and
by a train of services, the best in my power to render, was honored with
the friendship of the congress, the army and the people. I considered
the cause a just one. I know and feel it a just one, and under that
confidence never made my own profit or loss an object. My endeavor was
to have the matter well understood on both sides, and I conceived
myself tendering a general service, by setting forth to the one the
impossibility of being conquered, and to the other the impossibility
of conquering. Most of the arguments made use of by the ministry for
supporting the war, are the very arguments that ought to have been used
against supporting it; and the plans, by which they thought to conquer,
are the very plans in which they were sure to be defeated. They have
taken every thing up at the wrong end. Their ignorance is astonishing,
and were you in my situation you would see it. They may, perhaps,
have your confidence, but I am persuaded that they would make very
indifferent members of Congress. I know what England is, and what
America is, and from the compound of knowledge, am better enabled to
judge of the issue than what the king or any of his ministers can be.

In this number I have endeavored to show the ill policy and
disadvantages of the war. I believe many of my remarks are new. Those
which are not so, I have studied to improve and place in a manner that
may be clear and striking. Your failure is, I am persuaded, as certain
as fate. America is above your reach. She is at least your equal in the
world, and her independence neither rests upon your consent, nor can it
be prevented by your arms. In short, you spend your substance in vain,
and impoverish yourselves without a hope.

But suppose you had conquered America, what advantages, collectively or
individually, as merchants, manufacturers, or conquerors, could you
have looked for? This is an object you seemed never to have attended to.
Listening for the sound of victory, and led away by the frenzy of arms,
you neglected to reckon either the cost or the consequences. You must
all pay towards the expense; the poorest among you must bear his share,
and it is both your right and your duty to weigh seriously the matter.
Had America been conquered, she might have been parcelled out in grants
to the favorites at court, but no share of it would have fallen to you.
Your taxes would not have been lessened, because she would have been
in no condition to have paid any towards your relief. We are rich by
contrivance of our own, which would have ceased as soon as you became
masters. Our paper money will be of no use in England, and silver and
gold we have none. In the last war you made many conquests, but were any
of your taxes lessened thereby? On the contrary, were you not taxed to
pay for the charge of making them, and has not the same been the case in
every war?

To the Parliament I wish to address myself in a more particular manner.
They appear to have supposed themselves partners in the chase, and to
have hunted with the lion from an expectation of a right in the booty;
but in this it is most probable they would, as legislators, have
been disappointed. The case is quite a new one, and many unforeseen
difficulties would have arisen thereon. The Parliament claimed a
legislative right over America, and the war originated from that
pretence. But the army is supposed to belong to the crown, and if
America had been conquered through their means, the claim of the
legislature would have been suffocated in the conquest. Ceded, or
conquered, countries are supposed to be out of the authority of
Parliament. Taxation is exercised over them by prerogative and not by
law. It was attempted to be done in the Grenadas a few years ago, and
the only reason why it was not done was because the crown had made a
prior relinquishment of its claim. Therefore, Parliament have been all
this while supporting measures for the establishment of their authority,
in the issue of which, they would have been triumphed over by the
prerogative. This might have opened a new and interesting opposition
between the Parliament and the crown. The crown would have said that it
conquered for itself, and that to conquer for Parliament was an unknown
case. The Parliament might have replied, that America not being a
foreign country, but a country in rebellion, could not be said to be
conquered, but reduced; and thus continued their claim by disowning
the term. The crown might have rejoined, that however America might
be considered at first, she became foreign at last by a declaration of
independence, and a treaty with France; and that her case being, by that
treaty, put within the law of nations, was out of the law of Parliament,
who might have maintained, that as their claim over America had never
been surrendered, so neither could it be taken away. The crown might
have insisted, that though the claim of Parliament could not be taken
away, yet, being an inferior, it might be superseded; and that, whether
the claim was withdrawn from the object, or the object taken from the
claim, the same separation ensued; and that America being subdued after
a treaty with France, was to all intents and purposes a regal conquest,
and of course the sole property of the king. The Parliament, as the
legal delegates of the people, might have contended against the term
"inferior," and rested the case upon the antiquity of power, and this
would have brought on a set of very interesting and rational questions.

1st, What is the original fountain of power and honor in any country?
2d, Whether the prerogative does not belong to the people?
3d, Whether there is any such thing as the English constitution?
4th, Of what use is the crown to the people?
5th, Whether he who invented a crown was not an enemy to mankind?
6th, Whether it is not a shame for a man to spend a million a year
and do no good for it, and whether the money might not be better
applied? 7th, Whether such a man is not better dead than alive?
8th, Whether a Congress, constituted like that of America, is not the
most happy and consistent form of government in the world?--With a
number of others of the same import.

In short, the contention about the dividend might have distracted the
nation; for nothing is more common than to agree in the conquest and
quarrel for the prize; therefore it is, perhaps, a happy circumstance,
that our successes have prevented the dispute.

If the Parliament had been thrown out in their claim, which it is most
probable they would, the nation likewise would have been thrown out in
their expectation; for as the taxes would have been laid on by the crown
without the Parliament, the revenue arising therefrom, if any could
have arisen, would not have gone into the exchequer, but into the privy
purse, and so far from lessening the taxes, would not even have been
added to them, but served only as pocket money to the crown. The more I
reflect on this matter, the more I am satisfied at the blindness and
ill policy of my countrymen, whose wisdom seems to operate without
discernment, and their strength without an object.

To the great bulwark of the nation, I mean the mercantile and
manufacturing part thereof, I likewise present my address. It is your
interest to see America an independent, and not a conquered country. If
conquered, she is ruined; and if ruined, poor; consequently the
trade will be a trifle, and her credit doubtful. If independent, she
flourishes, and from her flourishing must your profits arise. It
matters nothing to you who governs America, if your manufactures find
a consumption there. Some articles will consequently be obtained from
other places, and it is right that they should; but the demand for
others will increase, by the great influx of inhabitants which a state
of independence and peace will occasion, and in the final event you may
be enriched. The commerce of America is perfectly free, and ever will
be so. She will consign away no part of it to any nation. She has not
to her friends, and certainly will not to her enemies; though it is
probable that your narrow-minded politicians, thinking to please you
thereby, may some time or other unnecessarily make such a proposal.
Trade flourishes best when it is free, and it is weak policy to attempt
to fetter it. Her treaty with France is on the most liberal and generous
principles, and the French, in their conduct towards her, have proved
themselves to be philosophers, politicians, and gentlemen.

To the ministry I likewise address myself. You, gentlemen, have studied
the ruin of your country, from which it is not within your abilities to
rescue her. Your attempts to recover her are as ridiculous as your plans
which involved her are detestable. The commissioners, being about to
depart, will probably bring you this, and with it my sixth number,
addressed to them; and in so doing they carry back more Common Sense
than they brought, and you likewise will have more than when you sent
them.

Having thus addressed you severally, I conclude by addressing you
collectively. It is a long lane that has no turning. A period of sixteen
years of misconduct and misfortune, is certainly long enough for any one
nation to suffer under; and upon a supposition that war is not declared
between France and you, I beg to place a line of conduct before you
that will easily lead you out of all your troubles. It has been hinted
before, and cannot be too much attended to.

Suppose America had remained unknown to Europe till the present year,
and that Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander, in another voyage round the world,
had made the first discovery of her, in the same condition that she is
now in, of arts, arms, numbers, and civilization. What, I ask, in that
case, would have been your conduct towards her? For that will point out
what it ought to be now.



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