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[273] plain New England yeoman early in May, through
chap. XIII.} 1765. May.
the Providence Gazette, ‘would it be thought a project of independence for that people to remonstrate? The northern colonies fall but little short of Ireland for numbers. Their inhabitants are not dependent on the people of Britain, nor the people of Britain on them, only that they are subjects of the same king.’1 In Boston, the annual election of representatives in May excited the passions of the people. Men called to mind the noble sentiments which had been interwoven into the body of the remonstrances of New-York; and compared them with the diffidence and want of spirit in the petition which the arts of Hutchinson had prevailed on the legislature of Massachusetts Bay to accept. They were embittered at the thought that they had been cajoled into forbearing to claim exemption from taxation as a right; and that yet their prayer had been suppressed by the ministry with haughty and impartial disdain. While the patriots on the one side censured the fatal acquiescence of Otis,2 as a surrender of their liberties, the friends of government jeered at the vacillations and strange moods into which his irritability betrayed him, and called him a Massaniello and a madman. Keenly sensitive, and in the gloom that was thickening around him, conscious of his own sincerity, he repelled the insult with scorn. ‘The divine Brutus,’ said he, ‘once wore the cloak of a fool and a madman; the only cloak a man of true honor and spirit condescends to put on.’ And to merited reproaches he answered like one who was broken-hearted and could find no consolation: ‘Tell me, my once dear friends, ’

1 Providence Gazette, 11 May.

2 J. Adams: Novanglus, 238.

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