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deemed just and lawful. Your soldiers too were promised the plunder of our cities: and your officers were flattered with the division of our lands. You had even the baseness to corrupt our servants, the sailors employed by us, and encourage them to rob their masters, and bring to you the ships and goods they were entrusted with. Is there any society of pirates on the sea or land, who, in declaring wrong to be right, and right wrong, have less authority than your parliament? Do any of them more justly than your parliament deserve the title you bestow on me?
You will tell me that we forfeited all our estates by our refusal to pay the taxes your nation would have imposed on us, without the consent of our colony parliaments. Have you then forgotten the incontestable principle, which was the foundation of Hampden's glorious lawsuit with Charles the First, that "what an English king has no right to demand, an English subject has a right to refuse r" But you cannot so soon have forgotten the instructions of your late honorable father, who, being himself a sound Whig, taught you certainly the principles of the Revolution, and that, "if subjects might in some cases forfeit their property, kings also might forfeit their title, and all claim to the allegiance of their subjects." I must then suppose you well acquainted with those Whig principles, on which permit me, Sir, to ask a few questions.
Is not protection as justly due from a king to his people, as obedience from the people to their king?
If then a king declares his people to be out of his protection:
If he violates and deprives them of their constitutional rights:
If he wages war against them:
If he plunders their merchants, ravages their coasts, burns their towns, and destroys their lives:
If he hires foreign mercenaries to help him in their destruction:
If he engages savages to murder their defenceless farmers, women, and children:
If he cruelly forces such of his subjects as fall into his hands, to bear arms against their country, and become executioners of their friends and brethren:
If he sells others of them into bondage, in Africa and the East Indies:
If he excites domestic insurrections among their servants, and encourages servants to murder their masters:—
Does not so atrocious a conduct towards his subjects, dissolve their allegiance I
If not,—please to say how or by what means it can possibly be dissolved?
All this horrible wickedness and barbarity has been and daily is practised by the ** ** your master (as you call him in your memorial) upon the Americans, whom he is still pleased to claim as his subjects.
During these six years past, he has destroyed not less than forty thousand of those subjects, by battles on land or sea, or by starving them, or poisoning them to death, in the unr wholesome air, with the unwholesome food of his prisons. And he has wasted the lives of at least an equal number of his own soldiers and sailors: many of whom have been forced into this odious service, and dragged from their families and friends, by the outrageous violence of his illegal press-gangs. You are a gentleman of letters, and have read history : do you recollect any instance of any tyrant, since the beginning of the world, who, in the course of so few years, had done so much mischief, will be, that plagues, pestilences, and famines are of this world, and arise from the nature of things: but volurtary malace, mischien, and murder, are from hell: and this * * * * will, therefore, stand foremost in the list of diabolical, bloody, and execrable tyrants. His basebought parliaments too, who sell him their souls, and extort from the people the money with which they aid his destructive purposes, as they share his guilt, will share his infamy,— parliaments, who to please him, have repeatedly, by different votes year after year, dipped their hands in human blood, insomuch that methinks I see it dried and caked so thick upon them, that if they could wash it off in the Thames which flows under their windows, the whole river would run red to the ocean.
One is provoked by enormous wickedness; but one is ashamed and humiliated at the view of human baseness. It afflicts me, therefore, to see a gentleman of*** ****** ##** education and talents, for the sake of a red riband and a paltry stipend, mean enough to stile such a ******* frjs master, wear his livery, and hold himself ready at his command even to cut the throats of fellow-subjects. This makes it impossible for me to end my letter with the civility of a compliment, and obliges me to subscribe myself simply,
John Paul Jones,' whom you are pleased to stile a pirate.
by**********? Let us view one of the worst and blackese om them, Nero. He put to death a few of his courtiers, placemen, and pensioners, and among the rest his tutor. Had ****** **# ***** dol,e tne
same, and no more, his crime, though detestable, as an act of lawless power, might have been as useful to his nation, as that of Nero was hurtful to Rome; considering the different characters and merits of the sufferers. Nero indeed wished that the people of Rome had but one neck, that he might behead them all by one stroke: but this was a simple wish. ****** is carrying the wish as fast as he can into execution; and, by continuing in his present course a few years longer, will have destroyed more of the ******* people than Nero could have found inhabitants in Rome. Hence, the expression of Milton, in speaking of Charles the First, that he was
"Nerone Neronior," is still more applicable to ****** *** ***** Like Nero
and all other tyrants, while they lived, he indeed has his flatterers, his addressers, his applauders. Pensions, places, and hopes of preferment, can bribe even bishops to approve his conduct: but, when those fulsome, purchased addresses and panegyrics are sunk and lost in oblivion or contempt, impartial history will step forth, speak honest truth, and rank him among public calamities. The only difference
* Anecdote of Paul Jones.—After Jones's crew had landed at Lord Selkirk's, stripped the house of the plate, and taken it on board, the ship lay-to, while Jones wrote a letter to his lordship, which he sent on shore. In this letter, he candidly acknowledged that he meant to have seized him, and to have detained him as a person of much consequence to him in case of a cartel; but disclaimed any concern in taking away his plate; which, he said, was done by the crew, in spite of his remonstrances; who said they were determined to be repaid for the hardships and dangers they had encountered in Kirkcudbright Bay, and in attempting to set fire, a few days before, to the shipping in the harbour of
Dr. Franklin had a great opinion of the effects to be produced by suitable writings in the public prints, as will appear from the following letter to Dr. Price.
Passy, June 13, 1782.
■—" I congratulate you on the late revolution in your public affairs. Much good may arise from it, though possibly not all that good men, and even the new ministers themselves, may have wished or expected. The change, however, in the sentiments of the nation, in which I see evident effects of your writings, with those of our deceased friend Mr. Burgh, and others of our valuable club, should encourage you to proceed. The ancient Roman and Greek orators could only speak to the number of citizens capable of being assembled within the reach of their voice; their writings had little effect, because the bulk of the people could not read. Now by the press we can speak to nations; and good books, and well-written pamphlets, have great and general influence. The facility with which the same truths may be repeatedly enforced by placing them in different lights, in newspapers which are every where read, gives a great chance of establishing them. And we now find, that it is not only right to strike while the iron is hot, but that it is very practicable to heat it by continual striking.
In the month of June, 1782, Mr. Jones, afterwards Sir William Jones, so eminently distinguished for his virtues, genius, and learning, came to Paris, accompanied by the late Mr. Paradise, with the intention of proceeding thence to America. These gentlemen had been long connected by a most intimate friendship, and the object of this journey is stated by Lord Teignmouth (in his life of the former) to have been "professional, to procure the restitution of a very large estate of a client and friend, which had been attached by an order of the States, who had threatened the confiscation of the property unless the owner appeared in person to claim it."
Whitehaven. Jones, however, informed his lordship that he had secured all the plate, and would certainly return it to him at a convenient opportunity. This he afterwards punctually performed, by sending it to Lord Selkirk's banker, in London. Any person who doubts the fact, may be convinced of its reality, by referring to the addenda to Gilpin's Tour to the Lakes of Scotland, where they will find it authenticated by Lord Selkirk himself.
His lordship added, "This object is mentioned by Mr. Jones in his correspondence, and his own evidence will be conclusive against some surmises and insinuations, which were propagated respecting the motives of his intended journey. The irresolution of his friend, increased by indisposition, prevented the execution of the plan, and Mr. Jones, after having procured a passport from Franklin, the American minister at the court of France, returned to England through Normandy and Holland." Of Sir William Jones's account of his motives for going to America, as given by him to his friends in England, the editor has no knowledge; but atPassy, where he and Mr. Paradise frequently partook of the hospitalities and conversation of Dr. Franklin, Mr. Jones assigned no other motive for his intended voyage, than that of accompanying his friend, and gratifying his curiosity by seeing a country for whose rights he had been a decided advocate. Mr. Paradise had never been the client of Mr. Jones, notwithstanding their friendship, he having never been engaged in any lawsuit in England, nor had he the smallest need of a lawyer in America, where nothing more was required than his presence to avoid the penalty to which absent proprietors residing in a country at that time hostile, were made liable, unless they came to the United States within a limited time; a penalty which Mr. Paradise did in fact avoid, without any lawyer,and even without going to America, until nearly five years after the war had terminated. It could not therefore have been a professional object which actuated Sir William Jones in this undertaking; and in fact, by some expressions which escaped from him in a conversation with Mr. Jay (one of the American plenipotentiaries), the latter strongly suspected, that the real purpose of this intended visit to the United States, was to endeavor to produce a disposition in persons of influence there, to accept a reconciliation with Great Britain, on terms more favorable, or less humiliating, than those of absolute independency; and this suspicion soon after received a strong confirmation in the mind of Mr. Jay, upon his accidentally noticing in a printed account of the then recent proceedings of the "society for constitutional information" which had been incautiously put into his hands by Mr. Jones, a communication made by the latter to this society, of his intention to leave England speedily on a mission greatly connected with the interests and welfare of his country. As the editor has not been able to procure this publication, he cannot pretend to give any thing more than the import of the words of this communication, which however made so strong an impression upon Mr. Jay, that he took the first opportunity of writing to his friends in congress, &c. to put them on their guard against any attempts from Mr. Jones for the purpose beforementioned. Probably this communication gave rise to the "surmises Vol, I. 2 X
and insinuations" mentioned by Lord Teignmouth. In fact, Mr. Paradise was not in any want of a lawyer, and especially an English lawyer ; nor was his estate in Virginia of the magnitude supposed by Lord Teignmouth, nor his finances in such a state as to enable him to defray the expences of the voyage intended by Mr. Jones, and much less to afford him a compensation for leaving his then increasing professional business in England. But whatever may have been Mr. Jones's object in going to America, the failure of it, by Mr. Paradise's timidity and unwillingness to proceed further, after they had reached Nantes, was so displeasing to Mr. Jones, that it there produced a separation, and final termination of all intercourse between these gentlemen during the remainder of their lives.
While at Paris, Mr. Jones put into the hands of Dr. Franklin the following composition, entitled, A Fragment Of PolyBius, which certainly was well calculated to promote that sort of reconciliation which is supposed to have been the real object of his intended voyage to the United States, and which, from its intrinsic merits, as well as the celebrity of the author, will, it is presumed, be acceptable to the readers of these memoirs. If to be considered as a diplomatic document, it is certainly of a very superior cast—The allusions are evident.
a fragment of
POL YBIU S.
From his Treatise On the Athenian Government.
"Athens had long been an object of universal admiration, and consequently of envy: her navy was invincible, her commerce extensive; Europe and Asia supplied her with wealth; of her citizens, all were intrepid, many virtuous; but some too much infected with principles unfavorable to freedom. Hence an oligarchy was, in great measure, established; crooked counsels were thought supreme wisdom; and the Athenians, having lost their true relish for their own freedom, began to attack that of their colonies, and of the states which they had before protected! Their arrogant claims of unlimited dominion, had compelled the Chians, Coans, Rhodians, Lesbians, to join with nine other small communities in the social war, which they began with inconceivable ardour, and continued with industry surpassing all example, and almost surpassing belief. They were openly assisted by Mausolus, king of Caria, to whose metropolis the united islands had sent a philosopher, named Eleutherion, eminent for the deepest know