and on that vindictive spirit, which showed itself in
Chap. LXIX.} 1776. July 1.
the employment of German troops, whose arrival was hourly expected, to compel the colonists to unconditional submission.
He concluded by urging the present time as themost suitable for resolving on independence, inasmuch as it had become the first wish and the last instruction of the communities they represented.
Dickinson of Pennsylvania
rose not so much to reply, as to justify himself before congress.
He took pride in being the ardent assertor of freedom; and was conscious that his writings had won him a great name.
Accustomed to lead, he loved to be recognized as the guide.
Now for the first time in his life his excessively sensitive nature was writhing under the agonies of wounded self-love.
For one year he had been at variance with John Adams
, and during all that time had till recently triumphed over him or kept him at bay; congress had loved to employ his pen, and had been only too ready to follow his counsel; yet at last he had been baffled even in his own province.
He had seen the proprietary government go to its long sleep in the house of its friends; he had seen a delegate from Delaware
bring before congress from the Pennsylvania
conference instructions in favor of independence, which he did not mean to regard; and he had prepared himself with the utmost care to vindicate his opinions, which he would have held it guilt to suppress.
It is from the report made by himself, that I abridge his elaborate discourse, using no words but his own:
I value the love of my country as I ought, but I value my country more, and I desire this illustrious