TO BENJAMIN AUSTIN.
[Ms., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]
Philade Mar 9—79
MY DEAR SIR
Mr Hoskins who arrivd here a few days ago, was kind enough to deliver to me your favor of the 7th of Feb. It gave me a particular pleasure, because I was convincd that you had not totally forgot your old Friend. You see, I rank myself among your friends. How often have we chatted together by the fire side, and settled essential Points to mutual Satisfaction. Yet we have not always thought alike of Men who have conducted the noble Contest for the Rights of our Country, which we have been & are still engagd in. I congratulate my Countrymen on our having thus far got through the Conflict, but we are still engagd in it. And I repeat it, because while too many of our Countrymen are flattering themselves with the airy Prospect of Peace, Britain, if we may credit our latest & best Accounts from Europe, is preparing for a vigorous Campaign. It is prudent for us to enquire of the Watchman What of the Night? The Caution given us on another occasion may with propriety be adapted to this. Be ye ready; lest when the Time of Danger approaches, ye be found distracted with the eager Pursuit of Riches, or sleeping in the delusive Lap of pleasure & Dissipation. But this is a Digression from the intended Subject of my Letter. You ask my opinion of two Men who have lately appeard on the publick Stage; and with your usual Frankness, express your own opinion without a Doubt, that Congress will soon convince the one of his Folly & the other of his Weakness. But have you not misunderstood the Characters of these Men? Has not the first by his artful Address conceald his Weakness from the pub-lick Eye, while the other, by an improper Use of the Weapons in his hands, has given Advantage to his Adversary, and thereby discoverd his Folly. Mr Dean had in his first Publication said so much as to make it necessary that some other Person should say more. Common Sense undertook the Task and producd stubborn & undeniable facts, but not contenting himself with relating such facts only as were pertinent to his Argument he gave occasion to the Swarms of Writers against him to avail themselves, by diverting the