Page:The Writings of Thomas Paine (1894), vol. 1.djvu/26

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—I must add here that the late proceedings of the British Parliament towards the American colonists have reached the British heroes in Elysium, and have produced a suspension of their happiness. The Quebec Bill in a particular manner has roused their resentment. It was once the glory of Englishmen to draw the sword only in defence of liberty and the protestant religion, or to extend the blessings of both to their unhappy neighbours. These godlike motives reconciled me to all the hardships of that campaign which ended in the reduction of Canada. These godlike motives likewise reconciled me to the horror I felt in being obliged to shed the blood of those brave Frenchmen, who opposed me on the plains of Abraham. I rejoiced less in the hour of my death, in the honor of my victory, than in the glory of having communicated to an inslaved people the glorious privileges of an English constitution. While my fellow soldiers hailed me as their conqueror, I exulted only in being their Deliverer. But popery and French laws in Canada are but a part of that system of despotism, which has been prepared for the colonies. The edicts of the British Parliament (for they want the sanction of British laws) which relate to the province of Massachusetts Bay are big with destruction to the whole British empire. I come therefore in the name of Blakeney—Cumberland—Granby—and an illustrious band of English heroes to whom the glory of Old England is still dear, to beg you to have no hand in the execution of them. Remember Sir you are a man as well as a soldier. You did not give up your privileges as a citizen when you put on your sword. British soldiers are not machines, to be animated only with the voice of a Minister of State. They disdain those ideas of submission which preclude them from the liberty of thinking for themselves, and degrade them to an equality with a war horse, or an elephant. If you value the sweets of peace and liberty,—if you have any regard to the glory of the British name, and if you prefer the society of Grecian, Roman, and British heroes in the world of spirits, to the company of Jeffries, Kirk, and other royal executioners, I conjure you imme-