are like some blind, savage monster, which, when aroused,
* * * * The prerogative of the crown is to exert the constitutional powers entrusted to it in a way not of blind favor and partiality, but of wisdom and judgment. This is the spirit of our constitution. The people too have their prerogative, and I hope the fine words of Dryden will be engraven on our hearts: 'Freedom is the English Subject's Prerogative.'"
JOSEPH WARREN'S OPINION OF GOVERNOR BERNARD, OTIS'S PRINCIPAL ENEMY.
Governor Bernard's bad temper and bad taste in dealing with the legislature may justly be ranked among the principal causes which gradually, but effectually, alienated the affections of the people of Massachusetts, first from the persons immediately charged with the government of the province, and finally, from the royal authority and whole English dominion. "With an arrogant and self-sufficient manner, constantly identifying himself with the authority of which he was merely the representative, and constantly indulging in irritating personal allusions, he entirely lost sight of the courtesy and respect due to a co-ordinate branch of the government, and made himself ridiculous, while he was ruining the interests of the sovereign whom he was most anxious to serve. Even Hutchinson, as we learn from the third volume of his History, though he was attached to the same policy, and favored the same measures, censures the tone of Bernard's messages as ungracious, impolitic, and offensive."
Popular animosity against Governor Bernard waxed exceedingly strong during the controversy concerning the circular letter sent by the Massachusetts Assembly to each House of Representatives in the thirteen Colonies, in which the Colonies were urged to concert a uniform plan for remonstrance against the government policy. Bernard sent advices to England declaring that stringent measures were imperative. Among those who were particularly vehement in their denunciation of Bernard's character and conduct was Joseph Warren, a young physician of twenty-seven years, Otis's brother-in-law, for some time a writer for the papers, who was even more drastic than Otis in his arraignment of Bernard's tactics as governor, and who caused somewhat of a sensation by publishing the following in the "Boston Gazette" of February 29, 1768. (Warren was killed while serving as a volunteer aide at the battle of Bunker Hill.)
"We have for a long time known your enmity to this Province. We have had full proof of your cruelty to a loyal people. No age has, perhaps, furnished a more glaring instance of obstinate perseverance in the path of malice. * * * Could you have reaped any advantage from injuring this people, there would have been some excuse for the manifold abuses with which you have loaded them. But when a diabolical thirst for mischief is the alone motive of your conduct, you must not wonder if you are treated with open dislike; for it is impossible, how much soever we endeavor it, to feel any esteem for a man like you. * * * Nothing has ever been more intolerable than your insolence upon a late occasion when you had, by your jesuitical insinuations, induced a worthy minister of state to form a most unfavorable opinion of the Province in general, and some of the most respectable inhabitants in particular. You had the effrontery to produce a letter from his Lordship as a proof of your success in calumniating us. * * * We never can treat good and patriotic rulers with too great reverence. But it is certain that men totally abandoned to wickedness can never merit our regard, be their stations ever so high.
'If such men are by God appointed, The Devil may be the Lord's anointed.' A TRUE PATRIOT.
Hutchinson tried to induce the grand jury to indict Warren for libel on account of this intemperate attack. The jury, however, returned "ignoramus," and the Governor had to bear the affront, which was but one of a series directed against him during his remaining days in America.
On the other hand, direct attacks were also made against Otis, and some were marked by scurrility and coarseness of language, which could not fail to arouse a man of his temper and fine sense of honor. How he did regard them appears from the following extract from a letter to his sister, Mrs. Warren: