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[193] who wished him ‘taken off,’ and who has left
Chap. XXXVI.} 1768. Sept.
on record, that his purity was always above all price. Henceforward, one high service absorbed his soul— the independence of his country. To promote that end, he was ready to serve, and never claim a reward for service; to efface himself and put forward others; seeking the greatest things for his country, and content with the humblest for himself. Boston gathered about him. From a town of merchants and mechanics, it grew with him to be the hope of the world; and the sons of toil, as they took courage to peril fortune and life for the liberties they inherited, rose to be and to feel that they were the champions of human freedom.

With the people of Boston, in the street, at public meetings, at the ship-yards, wherever he met them, he reasoned on the subject that engrossed his affections. His clear sagacity discerned that Bernard, and Hutchinson, and the Commissioners of the Customs, had solicited the aid of an army; and he exclaimed against their treachery with bitterness. He held that it would be just to destroy every soldier whose foot should touch the shore. ‘The King,’ he would say, ‘has no right to send troops here to invade the country; if they come, they will come as foreign enemies.’

‘We will not submit to any tax,’ he spoke out, ‘nor become slaves. We will take up arms and spend our last drop of blood, before the King and. Parliament shall impose on us, or settle Crown officers 1

1 Affidavit of Richard Silvester, sworn to before Chief Justice Hutchinson, and sent to the Secretary of State at the time the Ministry designed to take off the principal incendiaries. The words of S. Adams are known to have been uttered at or near this time.

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