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How you may rest under this sacrifice of
character I know not; but this I know, that you sleep and rise with the
daily curses of thousands upon you; perhaps the misery which the Tories
have suffered by your proffered mercy may give them some claim to their
country's pity, and be in the end the best favor you could show them.


* As some people may doubt the truth of such wanton destruction, I
think it necessary to inform them that one of the people called Quakers,
who lives at Trenton, gave me this information at the house of Mr.
Michael Hutchinson, (one of the same profession,) who lives near Trenton
ferry on the Pennsylvania side, Mr. Hutchinson being present.

In a folio general-order book belonging to Col. Rhal's battalion, taken
at Trenton, and now in the possession of the council of safety for
this state, the following barbarous order is frequently repeated, "His
excellency the Commander-in-Chief orders, that all inhabitants who
shall be found with arms, not having an officer with them, shall be
immediately taken and hung up." How many you may thus have privately
sacrificed, we know not, and the account can only be settled in another
world. Your treatment of prisoners, in order to distress them to enlist
in your infernal service, is not to be equalled by any instance in
Europe. Yet this is the humane Lord Howe and his brother, whom the
Tories and their three-quarter kindred, the Quakers, or some of them at
least, have been holding up for patterns of justice and mercy!

A bad cause will ever be supported by bad means and bad men; and whoever
will be at the pains of examining strictly into things, will find that
one and the same spirit of oppression and impiety, more or less,
governs through your whole party in both countries: not many days ago,
I accidentally fell in company with a person of this city noted for
espousing your cause, and on my remarking to him, "that it appeared
clear to me, by the late providential turn of affairs, that God Almighty
was visibly on our side," he replied, "We care nothing for that you may
have Him, and welcome; if we have but enough of the devil on our side,
we shall do." However carelessly this might be spoken, matters not, 'tis
still the insensible principle that directs all your conduct and will at
last most assuredly deceive and ruin you.

If ever a nation was made and foolish, blind to its own interest and
bent on its own destruction, it is Britain. There are such things as
national sins, and though the punishment of individuals may be reserved
to another world, national punishment can only be inflicted in this
world. Britain, as a nation, is, in my inmost belief, the greatest and
most ungrateful offender against God on the face of the whole earth.
Blessed with all the commerce she could wish for, and furnished, by
a vast extension of dominion, with the means of civilizing both the
eastern and western world, she has made no other use of both than
proudly to idolize her own "thunder," and rip up the bowels of whole
countries for what she could get. Like Alexander, she has made war her
sport, and inflicted misery for prodigality's sake. The blood of India
is not yet repaid, nor the wretchedness of Africa yet requited. Of
late she has enlarged her list of national cruelties by her butcherly
destruction of the Caribbs of St. Vincent's, and returning an answer by
the sword to the meek prayer for "Peace, liberty and safety." These
are serious things, and whatever a foolish tyrant, a debauched court,
a trafficking legislature, or a blinded people may think, the national
account with heaven must some day or other be settled: all countries
have sooner or later been called to their reckoning; the proudest
empires have sunk when the balance was struck; and Britain, like an
individual penitent, must undergo her day of sorrow, and the sooner it
happens to her the better. As I wish it over, I wish it to come, but
withal wish that it may be as light as possible.

Perhaps your lordship has no taste for serious things; by your
connections in England I should suppose not; therefore I shall drop this
part of the subject, and take it up in a line in which you will better
understand me.

By what means, may I ask, do you expect to conquer America? If you could
not effect it in the summer, when our army was less than yours, nor
in the winter, when we had none, how are you to do it? In point of
generalship you have been outwitted, and in point of fortitude outdone;
your advantages turn out to your loss, and show us that it is in our
power to ruin you by gifts: like a game of drafts, we can move out of
one square to let you come in, in order that we may afterwards take
two or three for one; and as we can always keep a double corner for
ourselves, we can always prevent a total defeat. You cannot be so
insensible as not to see that we have two to one the advantage of you,
because we conquer by a drawn game, and you lose by it. Burgoyne might
have taught your lordship this knowledge; he has been long a student in
the doctrine of chances.

I have no other idea of conquering countries than by subduing the armies
which defend them: have you done this, or can you do it? If you have
not, it would be civil in you to let your proclamations alone for the
present; otherwise, you will ruin more Tories by your grace and favor,
than you will Whigs by your arms.

Were you to obtain possession of this city, you would not know what to
do with it more than to plunder it. To hold it in the manner you hold
New York, would be an additional dead weight upon your hands; and if a
general conquest is your object, you had better be without the city than
with it. When you have defeated all our armies, the cities will fall
into your hands of themselves; but to creep into them in the manner you
got into Princeton, Trenton, &c. is like robbing an orchard in the
night before the fruit be ripe, and running away in the morning. Your
experiment in the Jerseys is sufficient to teach you that you have
something more to do than barely to get into other people's houses; and
your new converts, to whom you promised all manner of protection, and
seduced into new guilt by pardoning them from their former virtues, must
begin to have a very contemptible opinion both of your power and your
policy. Your authority in the Jerseys is now reduced to the small circle
which your army occupies, and your proclamation is no where else seen
unless it be to be laughed at. The mighty subduers of the continent have
retreated into a nutshell, and the proud forgivers of our sins are fled
from those they came to pardon; and all this at a time when they were
despatching vessel after vessel to England with the great news of
every day. In short, you have managed your Jersey expedition so very
dexterously, that the dead only are conquerors, because none will
dispute the ground with them.

In all the wars which you have formerly been concerned in you had only
armies to contend with; in this case you have both an army and a country
to combat with. In former wars, the countries followed the fate of their
capitals; Canada fell with Quebec, and Minorca with Port Mahon or St.
Phillips; by subduing those, the conquerors opened a way into, and
became masters of the country: here it is otherwise; if you get
possession of a city here, you are obliged to shut yourselves up in it,
and can make no other use of it, than to spend your country's money in.
This is all the advantage you have drawn from New York; and you would
draw less from Philadelphia, because it requires more force to keep it,
and is much further from the sea. A pretty figure you and the Tories
would cut in this city, with a river full of ice, and a town full of
fire; for the immediate consequence of your getting here would be, that
you would be cannonaded out again, and the Tories be obliged to make
good the damage; and this sooner or later will be the fate of New York.

I wish to see the city saved, not so much from military as from natural
motives. 'Tis the hiding place of women and children, and Lord Howe's
proper business is with our armies. When I put all the circumstances
together which ought to be taken, I laugh at your notion of conquering
America. Because you lived in a little country, where an army might run
over the whole in a few days, and where a single company of soldiers
might put a multitude to the rout, you expected to find it the same
here. It is plain that you brought over with you all the narrow notions
you were bred up with, and imagined that a proclamation in the king's
name was to do great things; but Englishmen always travel for knowledge,
and your lordship, I hope, will return, if you return at all, much wiser
than you came.

We may be surprised by events we did not expect, and in that interval of
recollection you may gain some temporary advantage: such was the case
a few weeks ago, but we soon ripen again into reason, collect our
strength, and while you are preparing for a triumph, we come upon you
with a defeat. Such it has been, and such it would be were you to try
it a hundred times over. Were you to garrison the places you might march
over, in order to secure their subjection, (for remember you can do it
by no other means,) your army would be like a stream of water running to
nothing. By the time you extended from New York to Virginia, you would
be reduced to a string of drops not capable of hanging together; while
we, by retreating from State to State, like a river turning back upon
itself, would acquire strength in the same proportion as you lost it,
and in the end be capable of overwhelming you. The country, in the
meantime, would suffer, but it is a day of suffering, and we ought
to expect it. What we contend for is worthy the affliction we may go
through. If we get but bread to eat, and any kind of raiment to put on,
we ought not only to be contented, but thankful. More than that we ought
not to look for, and less than that heaven has not yet suffered us
to want. He that would sell his birthright for a little salt, is as
worthless as he who sold it for pottage without salt; and he that would
part with it for a gay coat, or a plain coat, ought for ever to be
a slave in buff.



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