classes, and their only means of consolation is in having
"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:
"Tell my dear brother Warren to give himself no concern about the scurrilous piece in Tom Fleet's paper. It has served me as much as the song did last year. The tories are all ashamed of this, as they were of that; the author is not yet certainly known, though I think I am within a week of detecting him for certain. If I should, I shall try to cure him once for all, by stringing him up, not bodily, but in such a way as shall gibbet his memory in terrorem. It lies between Bernard, Waterhouse, and Jonathan Sewall. The first, they say, has not wit enough to write anything; the second swears off; and the third must plead guilty or not guilty as soon as I see him. Till matters are settled in England, I dare not leave this town, as men's minds are in such a situation, that every nerve is requisite to keep them from running to some irregularity and imprudence; and some are yet wishing for an opportunity to hurt the country."
OTIS'S AFFECTION FOR ENGLAND IN SPITE OF HIS OPPOSITION TO THE ARBITRARY MEASURES OF HER MINISTRY. By Charles K. Edmunds, Ph. D.
Otis defended the rights of his countrymen by vindicating their enjoyment of English liberty, not by asserting the demand for American independence. He, however, sowed the seed without knowing what kind of harvest it was to produce, for his writings and speeches did more than those of any other man toward preparing the minds of others for the final separation from England. That such was his purpose he steadfastly repudiated, and the following quotations from his pen exhibit full well his attachment to the mother country and to the principles of her constitution.
When in January, 1763, the joyful news was received at Boston that the preliminaries of peace between Great Britain and France had been signed, and that Canada was permanently annexed to the former country, the colonists justly rejoiced, and a town meeting was held of which Otis was chosen moderator. In the course of his speech, Otis declared in his usual earnest way that "the true interests of Great Britain and her plantations are mutual, and what God in his providence united, let no man dare attempt to pull asunder." Similar sentiments expressed by other leaders among the various Colonies might be quoted. We give one more from Otis's pamphlet on the "Rights of the Colonies," published in 1765. In speaking of the colonists, he says: "Their loyalty has been abundantly proved, especially in the late war. Their affection and reverence for their mother country are unquestionable. They yield the most cheerful and ready obedience to her laws, particularly to the power of that august body, the Parliament of Great Britain, the supreme legislative of the kingdom and its dominions. These, I declare, are my own sentiments of duty and loyalty." He angrily repels the charge that the Colonies were seeking for independence, insisting that the people had a "natural and almost mechanical affection for Great Britain which they conceive under no other sense, and call by no other name, than that of home. We all think ourselves happy under Great Britain. We love, esteem, and reverence our mother country, and adore our King. And could the choice of independency be offered the colonies or subjection to Great Britain on any terms above absolute slavery, I am convinced they would accept the latter."