being from no book, were colored with the hue of
Chap. XXXVIII} 1768. Dec.
the times; the merchants, cramped in their enterprise by legal restrictions; the mechanics, who, by their skill in ship-building bore away the palm from all other nations, and by their numbers were the rulers of the town; all alike, clergy and laity, in the pulpit or closet, on the wharf or in the counting-room, at their ship-yards or in their social gatherings, reasoned upon government.
They had not acquired estates by a feudal tenure, nor had lived under feudal institutions; and as the true descendants of the Puritans of England
, they had not much more of superstitious veneration for monarchy than for priestcraft.
Such was their power of analysis, that they almost unconsciously developed the theory of an independent representative commonwealth; and such their instinctive capacity for organization, that they had actually seen a Convention of the people of the Province start into life at their bidding.
While the earth was still wrapt in gloom, they welcomed the daybreak of popular freedom, and like the young eagle in his upward soarings, looked undazzled into the beams of the morning.