A Total Eclipse of Liberty.
Boston, Stone-Goal, Octob. 25. past 2 o'Clock in the Morning.
_ON the 24th of October 1754, while at Dinner, I was apprehended by an Order from the Lower House of Assembly sign'd Thomas Hubbard Speaker, on Suspicion of publishing a Pamphlet, entitled THE MON|STER OF MONSTERS;* and forthwith to make my Appearance before said House to answer to such Questions as should be ask'd me relating to the above Pamphlet;—But before I could be admitted, was confined in the Lobby about an Hour, then was by the Messenger called before the House; Page 12 and after my proper Complements before that Grand Assembly, was interrogated in the following Manner, by Mr. Speaker, viz. Do you knew any Thing of the Printing this?—Holding it out—Upon which I desired it in my own Hands; which was granted:—After looking over it seme Time, I said, it Page 13 was not of my printing, neither had I any such Letters in my Print-House:—After some considerable Pause, and the Gentlemen looking upon one another, I was ask'd, Whether I knew any thing relating to said Book?—I then desir'd the Opi|nion of the House, Whether I must answer to that Question? But notwitstanding this reasonable Request, there was no Vote pass'd, that I could perceive, excepting three or four Gentle|men said Yes, Yes, very earnestly: Upon which I inform'd them, I could not say, I had no Concern; for as I heard there was such a Pamphlet to sell, I had bought two Dozen, and sold them out of my Shop, and should not tho't any Harm if I had sold an hundred of them. This brought on tne follow|ing Questions and Answers, viz. Who did you buy them of?—I reply'd, they were sent, I thought, by a young Man, but could not tell his Name.—Who did he live with? I then again desir'd the Opinion of the House, Whether I was oblig'd to tell who I bought of?—Three or four again rose up and said I must: Upon which I said, I believ'd the young Man liv'd with Mr. Royal Tyler. It was then demanded, Whether I had any Conversation with him about them? I reply'd, I be|lieve I might in the same Manner as I had with many others, not that I imagin'd him the Author, or any other Person, for I never agreed with any Body about the Printing of it, neither was it ever offer'd to me. I was then ask'd, Whether any of my Hands assisted in the doing of it? I answer'd, I believe my Negro might, as sometimes he work'd for my Brother. I was then queried, Whether my Brother had any Help? I said, No. Then a Gentleman said, Somebody must help him, for one could not print alone: As this was what I never knew before, I reply'd, one could print, and I could do five hundred with my own Hands.—I was next question'd, Whether I ever saw any of it while printing? As I was determin'd to shew no Contempt of Authority, I acknowtedg'd I had seen some of it printing off, as Printers transiently go into one another's Houses.—Whose House was it?—I think it was my Bro|ther's—What is his Name?—Zechariah—Where does he live? Down by Cross-Street.—One Gentleman stood up and said, sometime ago I said I bought but two Dozon, afterwards Page 14I bought a hundred; to which I reply'd, I would have bought a hundred if I could have sold them. Another then stood up and said, before I had Time to answer, YOU DO NOT KNOW WHEN YOU LIE: Upon which I said, Begging your Pardon, Sir, I know when I LIE, and what a Lie is as well as your self: to which there was no Reply.
They then concluded I was the Author, as I could bring no Body else—I desired I might have a little Time to consi|der as the Book was publish'd several Months past, and per|haps I might give more Light in the Affair; but instead of tel|ling me to go to my Print-House to enquire who brought the Books there, I was lock'd up for three Hours in the upper Cham|ber of the Court-House: Then was ordered down to make my Appearance before the Hon. House a second Time, and was further examined relating to this MONSTROUS BU|SINESS, to know if I could say any thing more, or give any further Light; (I understood Mr. ROYAL TYLER had been sent for, and examin'd in my Absence) but as I had nothing to correct in my Answers before, told them I could not give any further Light.—Upon which one stood up and said, when I was in the House before, I said that I bought the Books of ROYAL TYLER;—Here I was suspicious they intended to get me to acknowledge I had them of him. Which was not true in Fact. I deny'd and said I believe his Boy left them at the Shop. Which I find also I am mistaken in. And after being oblig'd to repeat over great Part of what I had before said, was ordered again in the above Loft, where I was confin'd till between nine and ten o'Clock at Night, without Company or Prisoners Fare—From thence was ordered, Malefactor-like, attended with a Crowd of Spec|tators, who were waiting at the Doors, to know the Event of the Monster, to his Majesty's Goal in Boston; as soon as I was guarded to the Prison-Keeper's House, many Friends came to see me, endeavouring to keep up my Spirits; but no one imagin'd what was to follow, nor I myself;—but every one concluded, as Security enough was offer'd, that I might have the best Chamber and Bed in the Prison-Keeper's House; a while after my nearest Friends withdrew, and wish'd me a Page 15 good Night. It being now between 11 and 12 at Night, we came to the Point in Hand, whether I must actually go into the Goal; I was told I must, and that into the Stone-one; this I said was cruel hard; but go I must and did; where I now am an Englishman, free born; having been for many Years entitled to the Privilege of voting for some of the Members of that very House, by whose Order I am now committed for no other Reason, but upon SUSPICION of printing and publishing the aforesaid Book entitled the MONSTER of MONSTERS;*—but as I have heard of many Wonders in the World, this seems to be the WONDER of WONDERS; and I think from this Time I shall never more wonder at any Thing;—But per|haps some may say, this is only a Whim, a Fancy of some Lunatick Person, who imagin'd this Thing while he was dreaming of MONSTERS. Can it be true in Fact! Is it possible under the English Constitution! Is it possible among a Free People! Especially is it any way likely among New-England Subjects! Search for a Parralel in all the English Records! See if the like can be found, unless when TyrannyPage 16 prevail'd, and Liberty, the Glory of our Constitution, was oblig'd to hide it's Head! Without any more Admirations, this very Affair was transacted in BOSTON, New-England, a Place where our Ancesten fled for Refuge, and left their pleasant Habitations, that they might enjoy LIBERTY, the natural Right of free-born Subjects, and not be confin'd upon SUSPICIONS, nor subjected to those Oppressions which are enough to make a wise Man mad.
Thus far I wrote in Goal the first Night: About 8 o'Clock in the Morning the Prison-Keeper came up into my dark Apartment and said he had Orders not to allow me Pen, Ink, or Paper, which he immediately took from me; and also said his Orders was, Not to let me see or speak with any Body; which perhaps some may think ought not to be told in Gath, and that I might have more MODESTY** than to blaze it about, or publish it in the Streets of Askelon, &c.
Boston, Stone-Goal, Upper Loft,October 26. 1754.
_I Should have inlarged in my first Account, but it was either surmised, or somebody inform'd that I had a Pen and Ink, which the Prison-Keeper said he had Orders to take from me, which he did; so was oblig|ed to break off abruptly; and for Fear of being search'd, hid what I had wrote in a private Place, where I thought Modesty would be a Check upon him from searching: Now thinking my self very secure, only desired I might have the Liberty of writing a few Lines to my Wife; this Favour was denied me. I then begg'd I might have the Liberty of speaking with some Friend in the Place of my Confinement, which was also de|nied me;—I then intreated that my Wife might be sent for, that I might deliver some Message to her to intercede for my Delieverance out of this stinking, dark, melancholly Place; but all my Pleadings were of no avail. Mr Young then said, he would carry any Message for me, but not in writing,* though I told hin he might see what I wrote.—This I look'd upon to be shocking Orders which Mr. Young had receiv'd, but knew at the same Time, that no Man or Body of Men had a right to give, as this Affair was circumstanc'd either from the Laws of God or Man, but was purely ARBITRARY in the bad Sense of the Word—Had I been a Murderer, I should not have been denied these Favours, for they are generally Page 18 allow'd, the Comfort of their nearest Friends; and though I could enlarge with Truth, and show wherein this Treatment was almost too much for human Nature to bear, shall not at present proceed any further on this Head—
All I could be allowed Was to send a Message by Mr. Young, who said he would deliver it to the Person who was below, and had brought me some Victuals, if I inclin'd to send Word by him; but as I did not care to commit any Thing of a private Nature to him, only desired him to ac|quaint my Wife* and Relations, That I was deprived either of the Pleasure of her Comparny, or theirs; for I Was not al|low'd to have any Body with me; nor to write her a Line. Which was deliver'd as far as I know. But to digress a little, This Building, by what I can learn from the Prisoners, has seven Apartments, besides the Dungeon; the Walls about three Feet and half thick. When I was first convey'd to Mr. Young's House, I thought I might have lodg'd there, giving Page 19 Security as before hin•ed, but the Officer shewed me a Paper Sgn'd by Thomas Hubbard,* Speaker, Wherein was these Words, TO PUT ME INTO THE COMMON GOAL: I hop'd the Common Goal meant no more than the Wooden one; but I must go into the Stone one, which it seems is the pro|per Meanig of the Words Common Goal, as there were ex|plain'd at that Time: I suppose it is called Common, because all Sorts of Criminals are put here, such as Murderers, Thieves, Common-Cheats, Pick-Pockets, &c. And what is worse than all that has been mention'd, SUSPICIOUS PERSONS. who are coavicted of no Crime at all; but are to remain there during the Pleasure of Lawless, arbitrary, ambitious. Men. So I am here as one of the worst of Crininals, the Nature of my Crime, being only Suspicion. But to proceed, After all Intreaties of my self and Friends failed, as before mention'd, and I found I must go into this Place, I then en|deavoured Page 20 to bring my Mind to my Condition, and thought more than I said, as there are no humane Laws against Think|ing, though against Speaking. After Eleven at Night, when People were generally gone to Rest, I was by the Prison-Keeper and several others, conducted through several Apart|ments, each of which was secured with Locks and Bolts; on each Door of about 70 Spickes, the Heads of which about two Inches diametor, I walk'd very slow, that I might ob|serve as I went along; and could not help thinking of those Words, which appear'd very stricking to me, of walking through the dark Valley of the Shadow of Death. Having got to my Apartment, without any broken Bones, it being an ugly stumbling Way to the Place, an extraordinary Compo|sure of Mind ensued;* I then fancy'd myself like one of the old Philosophers, the Account of whose Lives has been some Entertainment to me, but wish'd for Diogene's Tub or Hogshead, or something to keep out the Inclemency of the Weather, for it was a dark stormy Night, and rain'd prodi|gious hard all next Day. I had no Bed to lodge on, but a Pillow and one Blanket. I walked about, and when tired sat down, and heard the Clock strick every Time from 12 till Eight. There is but one Window, and that without any Thing to keep off the Weather, as there is only several Iron Bars, no Winder-shut, which the Murderer was favour'd with. The Place stunk prodigiously, which oblig'd me to tye my Handkerchief over my Mouth and Nose, for fear of being suffocated; worse than the Smell of Brimstone. I heard no Noise for some considerable Time; all Nature seem'd to bePage 21dead; the first stiring of any Thing I could hear, was the Noise of Rats, which seem'd to be of a prodigious Size, and have Reason to think if I had been favour'd with a Club, I might have been the Death of some of them. As I was now depriv'd of all human Company, I wished for my little Dog Corriden, and was sorry I had not thought of him before, whose Company perhaps I might have been indulg'd. About two o'Clock I heard a most terrible Groan as of some human Person, which startled me a little, but had Resolution enough I thought, to encounter, had it been One from the other World; the Groan appear'd to be very long and piercing: In a few Minutes after, I spoke out with as strong a Voice as I could, Who's there! This seem'd to bring the Dead to Life; for I soon found I had roused the Prisoners in the other Apart|ments, and was immediately answer'd by one who said his Name was Wyer, I suppose you have heard of me; he was to have been executed the Thursday following. I told him I was sorry for his Misfortune; and advised him to behave sutably under his Affliction; he thank'd me, and bid me a good Night; he was in the next Room; only a Plank Partition parted us. Soon after I was hail'd by one in the upper Loft, whose Name is Webb, to know if I had just come in, and de|sired I would not take it amiss, as Prisoners were as kind to one another as the Place would allow of; I then told him between eleven and twelve. From that Time till eight the next Morning, I had no more Conversation with any Body; soon after I heard Wyer at Prayer, who seem'd to be very peni|tent, then there was a general Muster of the Prisoners, and calling to one another, some for Tobacco; some for Rum, Sugar, Water, &c. some Swearing, Crying and Praying; so that I was entertained with a Variety, which seem'd as though I had got into another World. As I found my Companions must be Murderers, Thieves, common Cheats, &c. I imagin'd I might make a good Improvement by conversing with these notorious Sinners: And though it is said a Man may be known by his Company; yet I beg Leave to contradict that general prevailing Notion, and differ from some; I think there is an Advantage in being with all Sorts of Persons, if Prudence is Page 22 used and the Place does not stink too much. Had I not been here, I should not have known the Behaviour of a poor Melefactor bound in Chains; I should not have had so clear an Idea of that Patience and Resignation, which is so much talk'd of, and so little practised in the World. I than desired the Prison Keeper to remove me any where in the Prison, so I might get out of this Place, for I was almost suffocated with the Smell. He told me he could not, unless I went above with Webb; which I readily accepted of; and in about two Hours after was removed; which Place was pleasant in Comparison of the other. I indeavour'd now to make the best of my companion; and though I had heard a notorious Character of him, must say, he behaved to me with all the Civility of a good natur'd Man.
*¶* Is it not very unaccountable, as this Affair took up so much Time, and was carried on with so much Deliberation, that it was never sent up to the Honourable Board, to know if his Excellency and Honours, (who are two Branches of the Legislature) approved of it? Had this been done, as I think it should, with Submission to better Judgment; and had I been so happy as to have been favour'd with their Opinion, doubt not it would have met with but a very cool Reception, and finally thrown out, as not being for the Dignity of the General Assembly to take Notice of such an imaginary Crea|ture; or if in their Wisdom should have thought otherwise, I cannot entertain the least Doubt but that the Law would have been the Rule for my Trial, and that it could never find Place in the Heart of a sincere and upright Christian of prosecuting it to Effect in the Manner it was done.
Prison-House, SaturdayOctober 26. past 12 o'Clock, Forenoon.
_AS I was ordered half a Hour ago by the Prison-Keeper to come out of the close Stone-Goal, into his Dwelling-House, I think it necessary imme|diately to give some further Account of this extraordinary Affair, which is not mention'd fully in my first and second Papers.
I have been 48 Hours confin'd in a stinking close Stone-Goal, a particular Account of which I gave in my second Paper. It is now more than ever before a pleasant Thing for my Eyes to behold the Sun. I am now allow'd the Use of Pen, Ink, Paper, the Pleasure of seeing my Relations, and many Friends, whom before I knew nothing of. I seem to myself as one almost risen from the Dead, and though weak in Body, can perceive a Revival as I have the Liberty of breathing a freer Air. While I was in Tribulation, I am inform'd the People were in Doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? And tho' I had not the Use of the Bible, I cannot re|member, whether that in particular was forbid me.
But as I have had many Thoughts, some Parts of Scripture came fresh in my Mind, such as, "if this Counsel or this Work be of Men, it will come to Nought;" And that "there is no Wisdom nor Understanding, nor Counsel against the LORD." I was inform'd about Midnight, that the Jaylor had received a strict Charge to 〈…〉 into Prison, and there to keep me safely, but no Orders to make my Feet fast in the Stocks. Afterwards the Keeper himself told this Saying to me, which I suppose came from the Magistrates, TO LET ME GO; and doubt not I might have departed in Peace: But St. Paul's Words seem'd to be rivited into me, speaking of himself and Page 24 his Fellow-Sufferers, "They have beaten (or abused) us openly uncondemn'd (i.e. by the Law) being Romans, and have cast us into Prison; and now do they thrust us out pri|vily? Nay, verily, but let them come themselves and fetch us out:" Perhaps their hard Hearts may relent, when they see the Situation we are in, as it is natural for the Eye to affect the Heart. So it is applicable in some Measure to my Case, as I was put into the inner Room in the Prison, and that at Midnight, uncondemn'd, i.e. by the Law; and I am an En|glishman, free-born, not having forfeited my Liberty any more than the above Romans; and I now desire that the same Au|thority that put me in, would by Virtue of that same Power take me out, and not thrust me out privily. I had heard that the Chief Magistrate, and some others, gave this good Advice; Take heed to yourselves, what ye intend to do as touching those Man. If any should say I am mad, or beside my self; it could not be wondered at considering the Treatment I have un|justly received; but I can affirm with all seriousness in the Words of St. Paul, I am not mad, but speak forth the Words of Truth and Soberness. I only speak freely, and every Man of common Sense has this Right, and I think every Man is more or less concern'd in an Affair of this Nature, for this Thing was not done in a Corner, unless it was in a Corner of the Court-House. I did nothing that was worthy of Death or of Bonds, the former I was in great Danger of, the latter I actually experienced; when at the same Time I ought to have been set at Liberty. I have Reason to think twenty four Hours more would have put an End to my Life, for I had catch'd a prodigious Cold the first Night, as the Wind blew hard in upon me the whole Time; and had that been the Case, what Satisfaction could have been made to injur'd Innocence? Would it have been any Mitigation, because it was done by the Representatives of the People, or at least by a Number of them? No! the Crime would have been so much the more aggravated, as it cannot be supposed they were ignorant of what they were doing, though I have so much Charity as to think that forty Men of superior Sense then setting, would sooner have cut off their Hands than been Page 25 guilty of such a base Action; but suppose most Votes carried it.
After I was deliver'd from this doleful, melancholly Stink|ing Place, into Mr. Young's Dwelling House, I had a par|ticular Account of the Doctor's attending my Wife, who on this Occasion, was thrown into Fainting Fits, and Hes|terick Disorders, of which perhaps she may never recover so as to be the same Woman as before. Here is a further Ag|gravation of this unprecedented Conduct of those who had no Right to put me there, as I hope I shall be able to prove—The whole Time she was forbid Admittance, who would willingly have kept with me: How then must this appear to a thinking Mind, that the dearer Part of a Man's Self must be as it were torn from him, which God had join'd together, and no Man had a Right to put asunder, excepting in some particular Cases, of which there can no Shadow of a Reason be pretended here. I could only hear while in Goal, the tender Cries of an aged Mother, for the Sight of her Son, the Intercession of Friends for a Relief, and the encouraging Words of some to keep up a good Heart; and the Pity of the poor Melefactor, who said, he thought I was worse off than himself. Soon after I had got into the Prison-Keeper's House, being weak in Body, and scarcely able to walk, my dear Companion, with Assistance, came in, whose Paleness and quivering Lips, with Trembling, was enough to move a Stoick. Here, I acknowlege, I want Words to paint this Scene in true and lively Colours; and as I imagine Language, were I capable, would only eclipse a true Idea of it, so I think nothing but a compleat Orator, a Master of Language, per|fectly acquainted with human Nature, can draw it to its Life; therefore shall forbear.
The Day being now far spent, and my Friends taking their Leave, I retired to a Chamber, and went to Rest as soon as I could; having a tolerable Night's Refreshment, I awoke with considerable Strength of Body, heard two Ser|mons preach'd to the poor Melefactor; as there was a Num|ber of Persons came to see the Prisoner on this Occasion, there was Enquiry, how I came out. I also heard the House had sent for the Mittemus on Saturday, and that the Sheriff Page 26 would not give up the Orignal, for I was not under Bonds, nor any Body for me, that I should not depart the Prison-Yard; and the Doors and Gates being frequently open I had opportunity enough to go out, but being determin'd to show no Contempt of Authority, nor any other Orders, am now, on Monday, (October 28.) still confin'd waiting for the Pleasure of the Hon. House.*
This Affair, I understand, is the chief Topick of Conver|sation in Town, and well it may be, for it is a new Thing in the Land. As I live under the Constitution of England, shall transcribe a few Thoughts out of that approved Piece, entitled the Spirit of Laws, Vol. 1. P. 216, and so on.—
"The Liberty of the Subject is a Tranquility of Mind, arising from the Opinion each Person hath of his Safety. In order to have this Liberty, it is requisite the Government be so constituted as one Man need not be afraid of another."
When the Legislative and Executive Powers are united, in the same Person, or in the same Body of Magistrates, there can be no Liberty; because Apprehensions may arise, least the same Monarch or Senate should enact tyrannical Laws, to execute them in a tyrannical Manner."
"Again, There is no Liberty, if the Power of judging be not separated from the Legislative and Executive Powers. Were it join'd with the Legislative, the Life and Liberty of Page 27 the 〈…〉 he exposed to arbitrary Controul; for the judge 〈…〉 the Legislature. Were it joined to the Ex|ecutive Power, the Judge might behave with all the Violence of an Opressor."
"There would be an End of every Thing, were the same Man, or the same Body, whether of the Nobles or of the People, to exercise those three Powers, that of enacting Laws, that of executing the Publick Resolutions, and that of judging the Crimes or Differences of Individuals."
Tuesday October 29. Afternoon.
The Doctor having acquainted me that my Wife was thrown into Fits on Account of my Confinement, which oblig'd me to write the following Letter to Thomas Hobbard, Esq; Speaker, to be communicated to the House, viz.—
As I have been confin'd in Mr. Young's Custody for above five Days, two Days and Nights of it in the Stone-Goal, and hearing my Wife has had several fainting Fits, which the Doctor says will endanger her Life; and as it proceeds, he thinks, upon this Account, I must beg you would dismiss me, to go to her, and shall be ready to wait upon you when you may have Occasion for me.
I am with all due Regard Your most humble Servant Daniel Fowle.
P. S. Since I wrote the above, I have received the inclosed Letter—
I was so shock'd at your Confinement in the Common Goal, that I was Seized with a Tremblings, and I sunk down with a Fainting Fit; I have had several since, and my Spirits are quite gone;—I am now going to Bed weak and faint, and God alone knows whether I shall ever come to my self again. Can the House be stript of all Bowels of Compassion?—I am, &c.
Page 28 It may not be amiss here to transcribe some Passages of that excellent Book, entitled the English Liberties; or, The Free-born Subjects Inheritance: The Author, in his Preface says, "Let us then by perusing this Treatise deeply imprint in 〈◊〉 Minds the Laws and Rights that from Age to Age have been deliver'd down to us from our Renown'd Fore-Fathers, and which they so dearly bought and vindicated to themselves at the Expence of so much Blood and Treasure: In a Word, Let them never perish in our Hands, but let us make our Lives happy in the Enjoyment of them, and piously transmit them to our Posterity; being fully convinc|ed of this Truth, that when Liberty is once gone, even Life itself grows insipid, and loses all its Relish."
*No Freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or disseised of of his Freehold, or Liberties, or Free Customs, or be out|lawed; or exiled, or any otherwise destroyed, nor will we pass upon him, nor condemn him, but by lawful Judgment of his Peers, or by the Law of the Land. We will sell to no Man, we will not deny or defer to any Man, either Justice or Right.
No Freeman shall be taken, &c. These Words deserve to be written in Letters of Gold, and I have often wondered Page 29 that they are not inscribed in CAPITALS, in all our Courts of Judicature, Town-Halls and most publick Edifices; they be|ing so essential to our English Freedom and Liberties, and because my Lord Coke in the second Part of his Institutes, has many excellent Observations on this Chapter; I shall recite his very Words;
That no free Man shall be taken, or imprisoned, but by the Law of the Land, i. e. by the Common Law, or by the Statute Law, for the Liberty of a Man's Person is more dear to him than any Thing, and therefore if he be wronged in the Liberty, 'tis very reasonable be should be relieved.
No Man shall disseised, i. e. put out of Seisin or be dispos|sessed of his Freehold, i. e. of his Lands or Tenements, or Live|lihood, or of his Liberties, or Free-Customs, which belong to him as his Birth-right, unless it be by Lawful Judgment, i. e. by a Verdict of his Equals, or Men of his own Condition, or by the Law of the Land, i. e. to speak once for all, by the due Course and Process of Law.
No Man shall be taken, &c. i. e. restrained of his Liberty, by Petition, or Suggestion, to the King or Council, unless it be by Indictment or Presentment, of good and lawful Men, living near the Place where such Deeds were done. The Warrant or Mittimus, containing a Lawful Cause, ought to have a Lawful Conclusion, &c. and him safely to keep until he be delivered by Law, &c. and not until the Party commit|ting shall farther Order.
If any Man, by Colour of Authority where he hath not any in that particular Case, shall persume to arrest or imprison any Man, or cause him to be arrested or imprisoned, this is against this Act, and it is most hateful, when it is done by Countenance of Justice.
There are three Things, which the Law of England (which is a Law of Mercy) principally regards and taketh Care of, viz. Life, Liberty and Estate. Next to a Man's Life, the nearest Thing that concerns him, is Freedom of his Person; for indeed what is Imprisonment, but a kind of civil Death? Therefore, faith Fortescus, the Laws of England do, in all Cases, favour Liberty."
Page 30 If the Impartial should think upon perusing the foregoing, that I have wrote with any unbecoming Passion or Prejudice, I am willing to acknowlege it. But at the same Time must observe, to use the Words of an excellent Writer, "All Anger or Resentment cannot be condemned, although there is little lovely in any Degree of it. An intire Insensibility of all injuries, of which there are but few Instances, would be a very inconvenient Disposition; exposing a Man to the Con|turnelies and Petulance of others; nor consistent with his own Character."
Is it not very surprising, such a Vote should pass that House, when I declar'd the Book was not of my printing, neither had I any such Types to print with? If it be said it was put to Vote, and there was a Majority for my Committment, and Mr. Speaker was ordered to sign a Mittemus to put me into the Common Goal, I think he might with as much Propriety have sign'd my Death Warrant if order'd. If it then be said, Mr. Speaker was against this Proceeding, could he not in a genteel Manner have excused himself, and desired the House to appoint another for this Case, and considered if he did me Wrong, though by their Influence, or Order, it would not excuse him, unless they had an absolute Power to take away Life at Pleasure—[I here shall insert that Passage in the English Liberties, Pag. 3. "'Tis true the Law itself affirms, the King can do no Wrong; which proceeds not only from a Presumption, that so excellent a Person will do none, but also because he acts nothing but by Ministers, which (from the lowest to the highest) are answerable for their Doings; so that if a King in his Passion should command A to kill B, without Process of Law, A may yet be prosecuted by Indictment, or upon an Appeal, (where no Royal Pardon is allowable) and must for the same be executed, such Command notwith|standing."] Would he in Fact have done it, had I been his Son in Law, though ordered by the whole General Assembly? No I dare say, he would not; and he certainly must know, or at least ought to know, in order to qualify him for that Office, I was not dealt with in a due Course and Process of Law; and that their Power did not extend, in such Cases to Page 31 any but their own Members. All I 'desir'd was a fair Trial at Common Law, which I doubt not is founded upon Rea|son; and if I had been condemn'd, would have endeavoured to be calm and easy, and thrown them in the Heap of Mis|fortunes Mankind are subject to.
If this was a just Method of Proceeding, why was not the other Printers sent for, and against whom Warrants were issued? It seems there was no Occasion for this; but if they could sacrifice an innocent Person, it might be a Terror to others. Is this just? Has it the Appearance of Justice! Nay, would any of them have carried the Affair to such a monstrous Heighth with a Relation or an Acquaintance? Would Mr. Speaker have sign'd that Mittimus had I been nearly allied to his Family? It is unaccountable, that a Gen|tleman, who for several Years has had almost the unanimous Vote of this Town to represent them, should act thus, when he must know our Liberties Were touch'd to the Quick; (for I would not in the least imagine he could be IGNORANT) and that the plain English of establishing such a Precedent would be this: If I can be secure, or protected, I will do all in my Power to put every Man into the Stone Goal that shall pretend either directly or indirectly to find Fault with the Conduct of the House of Representatives, while I am Speaker, even if they barely suspected; and whatever they order, I will sign, and we will be Judges of Parallels and Innuendoes, though we should incur the Censure of Juvenal, who says, "There are a Sett of Creature Who have no Mercy on Pa|per, and are ready to answer, even when they are absolute Strangers to the Subject."
Strange! That Men who have had Liberty and Property continuallly sounding in their Ears from the Press and Pul|pit; even from their Infancy, should be guilty of this unac|countable Conduct? Is the Nature of Right and Wrong al|tered? Is this Glory departing from New-England which our Renowned Predecessors purchased with so much Blood and Treasure? We hope not. We have our Courts of Justice not yet overthrown: For we have the Grand Privilege of Trials, by our Country, that is by Juries; and I hope never to see Page 32 the Day, when the People of this Country, will be so stupid as tamely to give up the Privilege they of Right enjoy; but always have a Godly Jealousy, when there is the least En|croachment either in Civil or Religious Affairs, and more especially when the very Foundation is struck at; and act like Men; fear not stern Countenances, the Threats of a Prison, nor the rattling of Chains; but imitate the noble Courage of your Fathers, who are now sleeping quietly in the Dust, and fear'd none of these Things, as they knew they were acting in a just Cause; and have overcome, and no Doubt gain'd the Prize: For should you act an inglorious Part, and they, could rise out of their Graves, you would not be acknow|leged as their Children, but the degenerate Plants of a strange Vine.
Now while we have Opportunity, let us consider, that as Life once lost, can never be recovered; so when Liberty is banish'd, or by bad Treatment, takes it Flight to another Climate, where it will be kindly receiv'd, it's almost as im|possible to recover it again in its native Beauty, as it is for the Ethiopian to change his Skin, or the Leopard his Spot.
Alhough I could inlarge, with Assistance, from the best Au|thors, who wrote on the Original of Civil Government, The internal Structure of States, and the several Parts of the su|preme Power, The Downfall of Tyranny &c. and show where|in the Author of the foregoing Piece has been treated contrary to, and in direct Violation of all the Laws of the English Nation; but must reserve these Thoughts, with an APPENDIX, for ano|ther Opportunity.