Page:The Writings of Thomas Paine (1894), vol. 1.djvu/25

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pedition. They will fight for their country as well as their King.

Gen. WOLFE. The wisest assemblies of men are as liable as individuals, to corruption and error. The greatest ravages which have ever been committed upon the liberty and happiness of mankind have been by weak and corrupted republics. The American colonies are entitled to all the privileges of British subjects. Equality of liberty is the glory of every Briton. He does not forfeit it by crossing the Ocean. He carries it with him into the most distant parts of the world, because he carries with him the immutable laws of nature. A Briton or an American ceases to be a British subject when he ceases to be governed by rulers chosen or approved of by himself. This is the essence of liberty and of the British constitution.

Gen. GAGE. The inhabitants of the province of Massachusetts Bay, have not only thrown off the jurisdiction of the British Parliament, but they are disaffected to the British crown. They cannot even bear with that small share of regal power and grandeur which have been delegated to the Governors of this province. They traduced Sir Francis Bernard, and petitioned the King to remove Mr. Hutchinson from the seat of government. But their opposition to my administration has arisen to open rebellion. They have refused to obey my proclamations. They have assembled and entered into associations to eat no mutton and to wear clothes manufactured in this country,—they have even provided themselves with arms and ammunition, and have acquired a complete knowledge of the military exercises, in direct opposition to my proclamations.

Gen. WOLFE. The inhabitants of Massachusetts Bay were once a brave and loyal people. If they are disaffected to his present Majesty, it is because his Ministers have sent counterfeit impressions of his royal virtues to govern them. Bernard and Hutchinson must have been a composition of all the base and wicked qualities in human nature to have diminished the loyalty of those illustrious subjects, or weakened their devotion to every part of the British constitution.