a good Security of Publick Liberty. I have expressd my Fears that America is too unsuspecting long to continue free. These I know are the sentiments of Dr Lee. When Men hold these Sentiments & honestly act up to the Spirit of them they must necessarily become exceedingly obnoxious to those who are watching every Opportunity to turn the good or ill Fortune of their Country, and they care not which to their own private Advantage. Such Men there are in this Country, in France & indeed in all Countries & at all times. Some of them you & I have known. Such Men there always have been & always will be, till human Nature itself shall be substantially meliorated. Whether such a Change will ever happen and when, is more within your Province than mine to predict or ascertain. A Politician must take men as he finds them and while he carefully endeavors to make their Humours & Prejudices, their Passions & Feelings, as well as their Reason & Understandings subservient to his Views of publick Liberty & Happiness, he must frequently observe among the many if he has any Sagacity, some who having gaind the Confidence of their Country, are sacrilegiously employing their Talents to the Ruin of its Affairs, for their own private Emolument. Upon such Men he stamps the Stigma Hic niger est, and if he thinks them capable of doing great Mischief to prevent it, he ventures to hold them up to the publick Eye. This he does at the Risque of his own Reputation; for it is a thousand to one but those whose Craft he puts at Hazard, will give him the odious Epithets of suspicious dissatisfiable peevish quarrelsome &c, and honest, undiscerning Men may be indued for a time to believe them pertinent; but he solaces himself in a conscious Rectitude of Heart, trusting that it will sooner or later be made manifest; perhaps in this World, but most assuredly in that Day when the secret Thoughts of all Men shall be unfolded. I have many things to say to you particularly of Arthur Lee & Silas Dean Esqrs. Of both these Gentlemen I long ago made up my opinion, and I have never seen Reason to alter it. But I will relieve you by putting an End to this tedious Epistle. I intend to get myself excusd from further publick Service here, and hope before long to think aloud with you & my other Confidential Friends in Boston. I do not mean however to quit the Service of our Country altogether while I am capable of rendering myself in the least Degree serviceable. I earnestly wish for more Retirement & Leisure. Esto perpetua! is my most ardent Prayer for this rising Republick. That will depend upon the Principles and Manners of the People. Publick Liberty will not long survive the loss of publick Virtue. Favor me, my dear Sir, with your Letters frequently while I remain here, and be assured of the warmest Sentiments of Friendship & Esteem in the Breast of
your very affectionate,
1 The Pennsylvania Packet.