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‘ [403] of prudence without fortitude.’1 He persever-
Chap. XLVII.} 1771. June.
ed; but John Adams retired from ‘the service of the people,’ and devoting himself to his profession,2 for a time ceased even to employ his pen in their defence.3 Otis who had returned to the Legislature, disordered in mind, and jealous of his declining influence, did but impede the public cause. In Hancock, also, vanity so mingled with patriotism, that the Government hoped to separate him from its uncompromising opponents.4

The Assembly which for the third year was convened at Cambridge, overruled the advice of Samuel Adams, and was proceeding with business. Yet it adopted the Protest in which he drew the distinction between the existence of a prerogative and its abuse; and significantly inquired, what would follow in England, if a British King should call a Parliament in Cornwall and keep it there seven years. Nor did he omit to expose the rapid consolidation of power in the hands of the executive by the double process of making all civil officers dependent for support solely on the King, and giving to arbitrary instructions an authority paramount to the Charter and the laws.

The Protest had hardly been adopted, when the

application of its doctrines became necessary. The Commissioners of the Customs had through Hutchinson5 applied for an exemption of their salaries from

1 Compare Samuel Adams to James Warren of Plymouth, 25 March, 1771.

2 John Adams: Works, II. 260, 301, 302.

3 John Adams: Diary, June 22, 1771.

4 Hutchinson to,——, 5 June, 1771.

5 Hutchinson to Hillsborough, 20 Dec. 1769. Opinions of DeGray and Dunning, 13 Feb. 1770.

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