Common Sense HTML version
situation of things will be a temptation for some desperate adventurer to try his fortune;
and in such a case, that relief can Britain give? Ere she could hear the news, the fatal
business might be done; and ourselves suffering like the wretched Britons under the
oppression of the Conqueror. Ye that oppose independence now, ye know not what ye do;
ye are opening a door to eternal tyranny, by keeping vacant the seat of government. There
are thousands, and tens of thousands, who would think it glorious to expel from the
continent that barbarous and hellish power, which hath stirred up the Indians and Negroes
to destroy us; the cruelty hath a double guilt, it is dealing brutally by us, and
treacherously by them.
To talk of friendship with those in whom our reason forbids us to have faith, and our
affections wounded through a thousand pores instruct us to detest, is madness and folly.
Every day wears out the little remains of kindred between us and them, and can there be
any reason to hope, that as the relationship expires, the affection will increase, or that we
shall agree better, when we have ten times more and greater concerns to quarrel over than
Ye that tell us of harmony and reconciliation, can ye restore to us the time that is past?
Can ye give to prostitution its former innocence? Neither can ye reconcile Britain and
America. The last cord now is broken, the people of England are presenting addresses
against us. There are injuries which nature cannot forgive; she would cease to be nature if
she did. As well can the lover forgive the ravisher of his mistress, as the continent forgive
the murders of Britain. The Almighty hath implanted in us these unextinguishable
feelings for good and wise purposes. They are the guardians of his image in our hearts.
They distinguish us from the herd of common animals. The social compact would
dissolve, and justice be extirpated the earth, or have only a casual existence were we
callous to the touches of affection. The robber, and the murderer, would often escape
unpunished, did not the injuries which our tempers sustain, provoke us into justice.
O ye that love mankind! Ye that dare oppose, not only the tyranny, but the tyrant, stand
forth! Every spot of the old world is overrun with oppression. Freedom hath been hunted
round the globe. Asia, and Africa, have long expelled her--Europe regards her like a
stranger, and England hath given her warning to depart. O! receive the fugitive, and
prepare in time an asylum for mankind.