those of the House of Commons, and that to raise or
apply money without its consent, was as great an innovation as for the king and House of Lords to usurp legislative authority.
The privileges of Massachusetts
, it was held, were safe under the shelter of its charter and the common law; yet Otis
did not fail to cite, also, the preamble to the British
statute of 1740, for naturalizing foreigners, where ‘the subjects in the colonies are plainly declared entitled to all the privileges of the people of Great Britain
In conclusion, he warned ‘all plantation governors’ not to spend their whole time, as he declared ‘most of them’ did, ‘in extending the prerogative beyond all bounds;’ and he pledged himself ‘ever, to the utmost of his capacity and power, to vindicate the liberty of his country and the rights of mankind.’
The Vindication of Otis
filled the town of Boston
with admiration of the patriotism of its author, and the boldness of his doctrines.
‘A more sensible thing,’ said Brattle
, one of the Council, ‘never was written.’
By the royalists its author was denounced as ‘the chief incendiary,’ a ‘seditious’ ‘firebrand,’ and a ‘leveller.’
‘I am almost tempted,’ confessed the unpopular Hutchinson
, ‘to take for my motto Odi profantum vulgus
,’ hatred to the people.
‘I will write the history of my own times, like Bishop Burnet
, and paint characters as freely; it shall not be published while I live, but I will be revenged on some of the rascals after I am dead;’ and he pleaded fervently that Bernard
should reserve his favor exclusively for ‘the friends to government.’
‘I do not say,’ cried Mayhew
from the pulpit, on the annual Thanksgiving day, ‘I do not say our invaluable rights ’