gone from the old states to the new. More than another
"Is this the return you make them?" inquired the British statesman.
"When a commissioner of the customs, aided by a number of ruffians, assaulted the celebrated Mr. Otis, in the midst of the town of Boston, and with the most barbarous violence almost murdered him, did the mob, which is said to rule that town, take vengeance on the perpetrators of this inhuman outrage against a person who is supposed to be their demagogue?
"No, sir, the law tried them, the law gave heavy damages against them, which the irreparably injured Mr. Otis most generously forgave, upon an acknowledgment of the offense.
"Can you expect any more such instances of magnanimity under the principle of the Bill now proposed?"
He was distinguished for generosity to both friends and foes. Governor Hutchinson said of him: "that he never knew fairer or more noble conduct in a speaker, than in Otis; that he always disdained to take advantage of any clerical error, or similar inadvertence, but passed over minor points, and defended his causes solely on their broad and substantial foundations."
But in that contest over the "Writs of Assistance," there was something nobler exhibited than superiority to mercenary consideration.
"It was," says the Venerable President, John Adams, "a moral spectacle more affecting to me than any I have since seen upon the stage, to observe a pupil treating his master with all the deference, respect, esteem, and affection of a son to a father, and that without the least affectation; while he baffled and confounded all his authorities, confuted all his arguments, and reduced him to silence!
"The crown, by its agents, accumulated construction upon construction, and inference upon inference, as the giants heaped Pelion upon Ossa; but Otis, like Jupiter, dashed this whole building to pieces, and scattered the pulverized atoms to the four winds; and no judge, lawyer, or crown officer dared to say, why do ye so?