he was sure in any event of a victory; for if they
should disown the opinions of the several towns, he would gain glory in England
; if they should avow them, then, said he in a letter which was to go straight to the King
, ‘I shall be enabled to make apparent the reasonableness and necessity of coercion, and justify it to all the world.’1
The speech was printed and industriously circulated in England
; and for a short time made an impression on the minds of many not well acquainted with the dispute.
His hearers in Boston
saw his indiscretion, and Samuel Adams
prepared to ‘take the fowler in his own snare.’
No man in the Province had reflected so much as he on the question of the legislative power of Parliament; no man had so early ar ived at the total denial of that power.
For nine years he had been seeking an opportunity of promulgating that denial as the opinion of the Assembly; and caution had always stood in his way. At last the opportunity had come, and the Assembly with one consent, placed the pen in his hand.
Meantime, the towns of Massachusetts
were still vibrating from the impulse given by Boston
‘The swords which we whet and brightened for our enemies are not yet grown rusty,’ wrote the town of Gorham
‘We offer our lives as a sacrifice in the glorious cause of Liberty;’ was the response of Kittery
‘We will not sit down easy,’ voted Shirley
, ‘until 3