should have been able to lend his presence and
Chap. XLVIII.} 1772. Nov.
his name to the final movement for union.
He was a man of many sorrows; familiar with grief, as one who had known nothing else.
Of all who have played a great part in American affairs, his existence was the least enlivened by joy. The burden of his infirmities was greater than he could bear, so that he sank under their weight; his fine intellect became a ruin which reason wandered over but did not occupy, and by its waning light showed less the original beauty of the structure than the completeness of its overthrow.
The remainder of his life was passed in seclusion; years afterwards, when his country's independence had been declared, but not for him, he stood one summer's day in the porch of the farm-house which was his retreat, watching a sudden shower.
One flash and only one was seen in the sky; one bolt fell, and, harming nothing else, struck James Otis
, so that all that was mortal of him perished.— This is he who claimed the ocean as man's free highway; and persuaded to an American union.
On Friday, the twentieth of November, Boston
, in a legal Town meeting in Faneuil Hall, received the Report of their Committee.
Among the natural rights of the colonists, they claimed a right to life, to liberty, to property; a right to support and defend these; in case of intolerable oppression to change allegiance for their sake; to resume them, if they had ever been renounced; to rescue and preserve them sword in hand.
The grievances of which they complained were the assumption by the British Parliament of absolute power in all cases whatsoever; the exertion of that