or ships, on real or personal, fixed or floating property, in the colonies, is absolutely irreconcilable with the rights of the colonists as British subjects and as men. Acts of parliament against the fundamental principles of the British constitution are void.
Yet the colonists know the blood and treasure independence would cost.
They will never think of it, till driven to it as the last fatal resort against ministerial oppression, which will make the wisest mad, and the weakest strong.
The world is at the eve of the highest scene of earthly power and grandeur that has ever yet been displayed to the view of mankind.
Who will win the prize is with God.
But human nature must and will be rescued from the general slavery that has so long triumphed over the species.
Thus, ‘in the agony of his heart,’ Otis
reasoned for his country and for the race, bringing into the living intelligence of the people the first principles of free government and human rights; ignorant of the beauty of the edifice which he was rearing.
He wrought in sad sincerity;
Himself from God he could not free;
He builded better than he knew.
The book of Otis
was reprinted in England
Lord Mansfield, who had read it, rebuked those who spoke of it with contempt.
But they rejoined, ‘The man is mad.’
‘One madman often makes many.
Massaniello was mad: nobody doubted it; yet for all that he overturned the government of Naples
was a prophet, not the leader of a party; full of sagacity in his inspirations, but wanting steadfast