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This was
the upshot of the conference. You informed the conferees that you were
two months in soliciting these powers. We ask, what powers? for as
commissioner you have none. If you mean the power of pardoning, it is
an oblique proof that your master was determined to sacrifice all before
him; and that you were two months in dissuading him from his purpose.
Another evidence of his savage obstinacy! From your own account of the
matter we may justly draw these two conclusions: 1st, That you serve
a monster; and 2d, That never was a messenger sent on a more foolish
errand than yourself. This plain language may perhaps sound uncouthly to
an ear vitiated by courtly refinements, but words were made for use,
and the fault lies in deserving them, or the abuse in applying them
unfairly.

Soon after your return to New York, you published a very illiberal and
unmanly handbill against the Congress; for it was certainly stepping out
of the line of common civility, first to screen your national pride
by soliciting an interview with them as private gentlemen, and in the
conclusion to endeavor to deceive the multitude by making a handbill
attack on the whole body of the Congress; you got them together under
one name, and abused them under another. But the king you serve, and the
cause you support, afford you so few instances of acting the gentleman,
that out of pity to your situation the Congress pardoned the insult by
taking no notice of it.

You say in that handbill, "that they, the Congress, disavowed every
purpose for reconciliation not consonant with their extravagant and
inadmissible claim of independence." Why, God bless me! what have you to
do with our independence? We ask no leave of yours to set it up; we ask
no money of yours to support it; we can do better without your fleets
and armies than with them; you may soon have enough to do to protect
yourselves without being burdened with us. We are very willing to be at
peace with you, to buy of you and sell to you, and, like young beginners
in the world, to work for our living; therefore, why do you put
yourselves out of cash, when we know you cannot spare it, and we do not
desire you to run into debt? I am willing, sir, that you should see
your folly in every point of view I can place it in, and for that reason
descend sometimes to tell you in jest what I wish you to see in earnest.
But to be more serious with you, why do you say, "their independence?"
To set you right, sir, we tell you, that the independency is ours, not
theirs. The Congress were authorized by every state on the continent to
publish it to all the world, and in so doing are not to be considered as
the inventors, but only as the heralds that proclaimed it, or the office
from which the sense of the people received a legal form; and it was as
much as any or all their heads were worth, to have treated with you on
the subject of submission under any name whatever. But we know the men
in whom we have trusted; can England say the same of her Parliament?

I come now more particularly to your proclamation of the 30th of
November last. Had you gained an entire conquest over all the armies
of America, and then put forth a proclamation, offering (what you call)
mercy, your conduct would have had some specious show of humanity; but
to creep by surprise into a province, and there endeavor to terrify
and seduce the inhabitants from their just allegiance to the rest by
promises, which you neither meant nor were able to fulfil, is both cruel
and unmanly: cruel in its effects; because, unless you can keep all
the ground you have marched over, how are you, in the words of your
proclamation, to secure to your proselytes "the enjoyment of their
property?" What is to become either of your new adopted subjects, or
your old friends, the Tories, in Burlington, Bordentown, Trenton, Mount
Holly, and many other places, where you proudly lorded it for a few
days, and then fled with the precipitation of a pursued thief? What, I
say, is to become of those wretches? What is to become of those who went
over to you from this city and State? What more can you say to them than
"shift for yourselves?" Or what more can they hope for than to wander
like vagabonds over the face of the earth? You may now tell them to take
their leave of America, and all that once was theirs. Recommend them,
for consolation, to your master's court; there perhaps they may make
a shift to live on the scraps of some dangling parasite, and choose
companions among thousands like themselves. A traitor is the foulest
fiend on earth.

In a political sense we ought to thank you for thus bequeathing estates
to the continent; we shall soon, at this rate, be able to carry on a war
without expense, and grow rich by the ill policy of Lord Howe, and the
generous defection of the Tories. Had you set your foot into this city,
you would have bestowed estates upon us which we never thought of, by
bringing forth traitors we were unwilling to suspect. But these men,
you'll say, "are his majesty's most faithful subjects;" let that honor,
then, be all their fortune, and let his majesty take them to himself.

I am now thoroughly disgusted with them; they live in ungrateful ease,
and bend their whole minds to mischief. It seems as if God had
given them over to a spirit of infidelity, and that they are open to
conviction in no other line but that of punishment. It is time to have
done with tarring, feathering, carting, and taking securities for their
future good behavior; every sensible man must feel a conscious shame
at seeing a poor fellow hawked for a show about the streets, when it is
known he is only the tool of some principal villain, biassed into his
offence by the force of false reasoning, or bribed thereto, through sad
necessity. We dishonor ourselves by attacking such trifling characters
while greater ones are suffered to escape; 'tis our duty to find
them out, and their proper punishment would be to exile them from the
continent for ever. The circle of them is not so great as some imagine;
the influence of a few have tainted many who are not naturally corrupt.
A continual circulation of lies among those who are not much in the way
of hearing them contradicted, will in time pass for truth; and the crime
lies not in the believer but the inventor. I am not for declaring
war with every man that appears not so warm as myself: difference of
constitution, temper, habit of speaking, and many other things, will go
a great way in fixing the outward character of a man, yet simple honesty
may remain at bottom. Some men have naturally a military turn, and can
brave hardships and the risk of life with a cheerful face; others have
not; no slavery appears to them so great as the fatigue of arms, and
no terror so powerful as that of personal danger. What can we say? We
cannot alter nature, neither ought we to punish the son because the
father begot him in a cowardly mood. However, I believe most men have
more courage than they know of, and that a little at first is enough
to begin with. I knew the time when I thought that the whistling of a
cannon ball would have frightened me almost to death; but I have since
tried it, and find that I can stand it with as little discomposure, and,
I believe, with a much easier conscience than your lordship. The same
dread would return to me again were I in your situation, for my solemn
belief of your cause is, that it is hellish and damnable, and, under
that conviction, every thinking man's heart must fail him.

From a concern that a good cause should be dishonored by the least
disunion among us, I said in my former paper, No. I. "That should the
enemy now be expelled, I wish, with all the sincerity of a Christian,
that the names of Whig and Tory might never more be mentioned;" but
there is a knot of men among us of such a venomous cast, that they
will not admit even one's good wishes to act in their favor. Instead
of rejoicing that heaven had, as it were, providentially preserved this
city from plunder and destruction, by delivering so great a part of the
enemy into our hands with so little effusion of blood, they stubbornly
affected to disbelieve it till within an hour, nay, half an hour, of
the prisoners arriving; and the Quakers put forth a testimony, dated the
20th of December, signed "John Pemberton," declaring their attachment to
the British government.* These men are continually harping on the great
sin of our bearing arms, but the king of Britain may lay waste the world
in blood and famine, and they, poor fallen souls, have nothing to say.


* I have ever been careful of charging offences upon whole societies
of men, but as the paper referred to is put forth by an unknown set of
men, who claim to themselves the right of representing the whole:
and while the whole Society of Quakers admit its validity by a silent
acknowledgment, it is impossible that any distinction can be made by
the public: and the more so, because the New York paper of the 30th of
December, printed by permission of our enemies, says that "the Quakers
begin to speak openly of their attachment to the British Constitution."
We are certain that we have many friends among them, and wish to know
them.

In some future paper I intend to distinguish between the different kind
of persons who have been denominated Tories; for this I am clear in,
that all are not so who have been called so, nor all men Whigs who
were once thought so; and as I mean not to conceal the name of any true
friend when there shall be occasion to mention him, neither will I that
of an enemy, who ought to be known, let his rank, station or religion be
what it may. Much pains have been taken by some to set your lordship's
private character in an amiable light, but as it has chiefly been done
by men who know nothing about you, and who are no ways remarkable for
their attachment to us, we have no just authority for believing it.
George the Third has imposed upon us by the same arts, but time, at
length, has done him justice, and the same fate may probably attend your
lordship. You avowed purpose here is to kill, conquer, plunder, pardon,
and enslave: and the ravages of your army through the Jerseys have been
marked with as much barbarism as if you had openly professed yourself
the prince of ruffians; not even the appearance of humanity has been
preserved either on the march or the retreat of your troops; no general
order that I could ever learn, has ever been issued to prevent or
even forbid your troops from robbery, wherever they came, and the only
instance of justice, if it can be called such, which has distinguished
you for impartiality, is, that you treated and plundered all alike; what
could not be carried away has been destroyed, and mahogany furniture has
been deliberately laid on fire for fuel, rather than the men should be
fatigued with cutting wood.* There was a time when the Whigs confided
much in your supposed candor, and the Tories rested themselves in your
favor; the experiments have now been made, and failed; in every town,
nay, every cottage, in the Jerseys, where your arms have been, is
a testimony against you.



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