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waste, and therefore open to the first occupants. Of this descent, our language is a sufficient proof, which, not quite a century ago, was different from yours."Such are the Cornishmen; but who are you ? who, hut the unauthorised and lawless children of intruders, invaders, and oppressors? who but the transmitters of wrong, the inheritors of robbery? In claiming independence we claim but little. We might require you to depart from a land which you possess by usurpation, and to restore all that you have taken from us."Independence is the gift of nature. No man is born the master of another. Every Cornisliman is a freeman, for we have never resigned the rights of humanity; and he only can be thought free, who is not governed but by his own consent."You may urge that the present system of government has descended through many ages, and that we have a larger part in the representation of the kingdom, than any other county."All this is true, but it is neither cogent nor persuasive. We look to the original of things. Our union with the English counties was either compelled by force, or settled by compact."That which was made by violence may by violence be broken. If we were treated as a conquered people, our rights might be obscured, but could never be extinguished. The sword can give nothing but power, which a sharper sword can take away.
"If our union was by compact, whom could the compact bind but those that concurred in the stipulations? We gave our ancestors no commission to settle the terms of future existence. They might be cowafds that were frighted, or blockheads that were cheated; but whatever they were, they cpuld contract only for themselves. What they could establish, we can annul."Against our present form of government it shall stand in the place of all argument, that we do not like it. While we are governed as we do not like, where is our liberty? We do not like taxes, we will therefore not be taxed; we do not like your laws, and will not obey them."The taxes laid by our representatives, are laid, you tell us, by our own consent; but we will no longer consent to be represented. Our number of legislators was originally a burden, and ought to have been refused: it is now considered as a disproportionate advantage; who then will complain if we resign it?"We shall form a senate of our own, under a president whom the king shall nominate, but whose authority we will limit, by adjusting his salary to his merit. We will not withhold a proper share of contribution to the necessary expense of lawful government, but we will decide for ourselves what share is proper, what expense is necessary, and what government is lawful."Till our counsel is proclaimed independent and unaccountable, we will, after the tenth day of September, keep our tin in our own hands: you can be supplied from no other place, and must therefore comply, or be poisoned with the copper of your own kitchens."If any Cornishman shall refuse his name to this just and laudable association, he shall be tumbled from St. Michael's Mount, or buried alive in a tin mine; and if any emissary shall be found seducing Cornishmen to their former state, he shall be smeared with tar, and rolled in feathers, and chased with dogs out of our dominions."From the Cornish congress at
Of this memorial what could be said but that it was written in jest, or written by a madman? Yet I know not whether the warmest admirers of Ptnnsylvanian eloquence can find any argument in the addresses of the congress, that is not with greater strength urged by the Cornishman. The argument of the irregular troops of controversy, stripped of its colours, and turned out naked to the view, is no more than this. Liberty is the birthright of man, and where obedience is compelled, there is no liberty. The answer is equally simple. Government is necessary to man, and where obedience is not compelled, there is no government. If the subject refuses to obey, it is the duty of authority to use compulsion. Society cannot subsist but by the power, first of making laws, and then of enforcing them. To one of the threats hissed out by the congress^ I have put nothing similar into the Cornish proclamation; because it is too wild for folly and too foolish for madness. If we do not withhold our king and his parliament from taxing them, they will cross the Atlantic and enslave us. How they will come they have not told us; perhaps they will take wing and light upon our coasts. When the cranes thus begin to flutter, it is time for pigmies to keep their eyes about them. The great orator observes, that they will be very fit, after they have been taxed, to impose chains upon us. If they are so fit as their friend describes them, and so willing as they describe themselves, let us increase our army, and double our militia. It has been of late a very general practice to talk of slavery among those who are setting at defiance every power that keeps the world in order. If the learned author of the Reflections on Learning has rightly observed, that no man ever could give law to language, it will be vain to prohibit the use of the word slavery: but I could wish it more discreetly uttered; it is driven at one time too hard into our ears by the loud hurricane of Pennsylvanian eloquence, and at another glides too cold into our hearts by the soft conveyance of a female patriot bewailing the miseries of herfriends and fel~ loiv citizens.
Such has been the progress of sedition, that those who a few years ago disputed only our right of laying taxes, now question the validity of every act of legislation. They consider themselves as emancipated from obedience, and as being no longer the subjects of the British crown. They leave us no choice but of yielding or conquering, of resigning our dominion, or maintaining it by force. From force many endeavours have been used either to dissuade or to deter us. Sometimes the merit of the Americans is exalted, and sometimes their sufferings are aggravated. We are told of their contributions to the last war, a war incited by their outcries, and continued for their protection, a war by which none but themselves were gainers. All that they can boast is, that they did something for themselves, and did not wholly stand inactive while the sons of Britain were fighting in their cause. If we cannot admire, we are called to pity them j to pity those that show no regard to their mother country; have obeyed no law which they could violate; have imparted no good which they could withhold; hAve entered into associations of fraud to rob their creditors; and into combinations to distress all who depended on their commerce. We are reproached
with the cruelty of shutting one port, where every port is shut against us. We are censured as tyrannical for hindering those from fishing, who have condemned our merchants to bankruptcy, and our manufacturers to hunger. Others persuade us to give them more liberty, to take off restraints, and relax authority; and tell us what happy consequences will arise from forbearance: how their affections will be conciliated, and into what diffusions of beneficence their gratitude will luxuriate. They will love their friends. They will reverence their protectors. They will throw themselves into our arms, and lay their property at our feet. They will buy from no other what we can sell them; they will sell to no other what we wish to buy. That any obligations should overpower their attention to profit, we have known them long enough not to expect. It is not to be expected from a more liberal people. With what kindness they repay benefits, they are now showing us, who, as soon as we have delivered them from F ranee, are defying and proscribing us. But if we will permit them to tax themselves, they will give us more than we require. If we proclaim them independent, they will during pleasure pay us a subsidy. The contest is not now for money, but for power. The question is not how much we shall collect, but by what authority the collection shall be made.
Those who find that the Americans cannot be shown in any form that may raise love or pity, dress them in habiliments of terror, and try to make us think them formidable. The Bostonians can call into the field ninety thousand men. While we conquer all before us, new enemies will rise up behind, and our work