Affiliate Link

The Court of England

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol II. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

August 13.—A writer in the London Evening Post of this day, says:—”If freedom of speech, and the most vigorous opposition to ministers, were ever necessary in a free country, they are certainly at this awful period; a period which not only marks the decline of a great empire, but the immediate fall of it; a period in which one man seems to have usurped the sole direction of government; and having procured a set of profligate associates to go through thick and thin with him, has bribed the senate, and deluded the people into an approbation of measures which humanity shudders at, and common sense condemns.

“A writer who has lately taken up the pen to expose the secret designs of the crown against the liberties and grandeur of Britain, in speaking of the contest with America, observes that, ‘to the cruelty and injustice of drawing the sword, were added insult and calumny. Both Houses of Parliament were prodigal in their abuse of the Americans, whom they stigmatized as cowards and blockheads. Allowing these stigmas to have been just, is it not a reflection (says the writer) to have sued to these very cowards and blockheads for peace, after a contest of four years, in which the strength of this country had been in vain exerted to subjugate them?’

“To this passage a bold but admirable note is subjoined, as it proves the author to have a perfect knowledge of the man, of whom it may be said, ‘Omnis illa tempestas Caesare impulsore exercitata est;’ we have extracted it for the perusal of our readers. ‘Lord Sandwich in one House, and General Grant in the other, were the first to brand the Americans as cowards. The former summoned the ghost of Sir Peter Warren from its silent mansion, in support of his illiberal reproach, while the latter declared that with five hundred men he would march from one extreme of the continent to the other. These were opinions of men high in the royal confidence of their sovereign—opinions abhorrent to reason and philosophy, but which were received with avidity because they were consonant with the sanguinary and obdurate temper of a man who seems desirous of exchanging his ancient and venerable motto for the more classical and pleasing one of sic volo, sic jubeo. Had either of the senators above mentioned consulted Horace, they would have been informed that the lion could not beget the lamb, nor the bird of Jove the timid dove.

‘Fortes creantur fortibus
Est in Juvencis, est in equis patrum
Virtus; neo imbellem feroces
Progenerant aquilae columbam.'”1


1 Political Mirror; or a summary review of the present reign.—New Jersey Gazette, January 12, 1780.