A vindication of the conduct of the House of Representatives of the province of the Massachusetts-Bay: more particularly, in the last session of the General Assembly.
Otis, James, 1725-1783.
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THE PREFACE.

THE following Vindication, was written in order to give, a clear View of Facts; and to free the House of Representatives, from some very injurious aspersions, that have been cast upon them, by ill-minded people out of doors. Whether the writer has acquitted himself as becomes a candid and impartial vindi|cator, is submitted to the judgment of the publick; which is ever finally given without Favour or affection; and therefore the appeal is made to a truly respectable and solemn tribunal? At the same time that a sincere love is professed for all men, and the duty of honour and reverence to|wards superiors is freely acknowledged, it must be allowed that one of the best ways of fulfilling these Duties, is in a modest and humble endeavour, Page  iv by calm reason and argument, to convince mankind of their mistakes when they happen to be guilty of any. The more elevated the person who errs, the stronger sometimes is the obligation to refute him; for the Errors of great men are often of very dangerous consequence to themselves, as well as to the little ones below them. However it is a very disagreable task, to engage in any kind of opposition to the least individual in Society; and much more so when the opinions of Gentlemen of the first rank and abilities, and of publick bodies of men are to be called in question.

The world ever has been and will be pretty equally divided, between those two great parties, vulgarly called the winners, and the loosers; or to speak more precisely, between those who are discontented that they have no Power, and those who never think they can have enough.

Now, it is absolutely impossible to please both sides, either by temporizing, trimming or retreat|ing; the two former justly incur the censure of a wicked heart, the latter that of cowardice, and fairly and manfully fighting the battle out, is in the opinion of many worse tha either. All fur|ther apology for this performance shall be sum'd up in the adage. Amicus Socrates, amicus Plato, sed magis Amica veritas.