Spelling as in the original has been preserved.
By JOHN LEACOCK
Among the elusive figures of early American Drama stands John Leacock, author of "The Fall of British Tyranny," published in 1776, in Philadelphia. Even more elusive is the identification, inasmuch as his name has been spelled variously Leacock, Lacock, and Laycock. To add to the confusion, Watson's "Annals of Philadelphia," on the reminiscent word of an old resident of that town, declares that Joseph Leacock penned "The Medley." "He wrote also a play, with good humour," says this authority, "called 'British Tyranny.'" On careful search of the files, no definite information in regard to Leacock has been forthcoming. The dedication to "The Fall of British Tyranny" was signed "Dick Rifle," but there is no information to be traced from this pseudonym.
Searching the Colonial Records of Pennsylvania, I discovered no less than three John Leacocks mentioned, all of whom were Coroners, as well as a Joseph Leacock, who occupied the same position. Examining the Records of the Pennsylvania Soldiers of the Revolution, I found several John Leacocks in the ranks as privates, and also one John Laycock.
Professor Moses Coit Tyler, in his "Literary History of the American Revolution" (ii, 198), giving a list of the characters in the play and the names of those supposed to be lampooned, analyzes the piece thoroughly, and says, "From internal evidence, it must be inferred that the writing of the play was finished after the publication of 'Common Sense' in January, 1776, and before the news had reached Philadelphia of the evacuation of Boston, March 17, 1776." Though Sabin takes for granted that Leacock wrote "The Fall of British Tyranny," Hildeburn, in the "Issues of the Press" (ii, 249), states that it is "said to have been written by Mr. Laycock of Philadelphia." If the John Leacock, whose name appears in the Philadelphia Directory of 1802, is the one who wrote "The Fall of British Tyranny," following that clue we find his name disappearing from the Directory in 1804. Hence, he must either have died, or have moved away from Philadelphia.
The elusive name of Leacock is to be considered also in connection with an opera entitled, "The Disappointment; or, The Force of Credulity," signed by Andrew Barton, supposed to be a pseudonym, and attributed variously to "Colonel" Thomas Forrest and to John Leacock. I already have had occasion to mention "The Disappointment" in connection with Godfrey's "The Prince of Parthia." The reader will remember that in 1767 "The Disappointment" was put into rehearsal, but was suddenly withdrawn in preference to Godfrey's piece. This play has been fully and interestingly analyzed by O. G. Sonneck, who gives the reasons for the withdrawal of the play from rehearsal by the American Company of Philadelphia, 1767. These reasons are definitely stated in the Pennsylvania Gazette for April 16, 1767, which contains this warning in the American Company's advertisement of "The Mourning Bride": "N.B. 'The Disappointment' (that was advertised for Monday), as it contains personal Reflections, is unfit for the Stage."
The reason why this piece is attributed to "Colonel" Thomas Forrest is that there is a memorandum in substantiation on the title-page of a copy owned by the Library Company of Philadelphia.
Mr. Sonneck gives further and more extensive treatment of the subject in his excellent book on "Early Opera in America," (Schirmer, 1915) as well as in "Sammelbaende der Internationale Musik Gesellschaft," for 1914-1915.
We mention the matter here, because, although Sonneck enters into a long discussion of the life of Forrest, he fails to give any satisfactory account of John Leacock. In fact, he says in closing, "If Andrew Barton, Esq., is to be a pseudonym, it seems to me that John Leacock, claimed (by Mr. Hildeburn) to have written the tragi-comedy of 'The Fall of British Tyranny,' should not be cast aside so cheerfully in favour of Thomas Forrest."
Seilhamer and Durang, referring to the matter, mention Joseph Leacock as a claimant for the authorship of "The Disappointment," and say that he was a jeweler and a silversmith in Philadelphia; they also mention John Leacock, the Coroner. Durang, in the "History of the Philadelphia Stage," throws all weight in favour of Thomas Forrest. Sonneck says further, regarding the matter,—"We may dispose of Joseph by saying that he seems to have been among the dead when, in 1796, the second edition of 'The Disappointment,' revised and corrected by the author, was issued. On the other hand, Coroner John Leacock figures in the Philadelphia Directories even later."
So the matter stands. The play, however, is a very definite contribution, illustrating how quickly the American spirit changed in the days preceding the Revolution. Imagine, in 1762, the students of the College of New Jersey giving a piece entitled "The Military Glory of Great Britain;" and so short a time afterwards, only fourteen years, in fact, a piece with the title, "The Fall of British Tyranny," being greeted by the theatre-going public! Leacock's attempt may be taken as the first example that we have of an American chronicle play. And it is likewise significant as being the first literary piece in which George Washington appears as a character. In the advertisement, the play is thus described (see Ford):
"A pleasing scene between Roger and Dick, two shepherds near Lexington.
"Clarissa, etc. A very moving scene on the death of Dr. Warren, etc., in a chamber near Boston, the morning after the battle of Bunker's Hill.
"A humorous scene between the Boatswain and a Sailor on board a man-of-war, near Norfolk in Virginia.
"Two very laughable scenes between the Boatswain, two Sailors and the Cook, exhibiting specimens of seafaring oratory, and peculiar eloquence of those sons of Neptune, touching Tories, Convicts, and Black Regulars: and between Lord Kidnapper and the Boatswain.
"A very black scene between Lord Kidnapper and Major Cudjo.
"A religious scene between Lord Kidnapper, Chaplain, and the Captain.
"A scene, the Lord Mayor, etc., going to St. James's with the address.
"A droll scene, a council of war in Boston, Admiral Tombstone, Elbow Room, Mr. Caper, General Clinton and Earl Piercy.
"A diverting scene between a Whig and a Tory.
"A spirited scene between General Prescott and Colonel Allen.
"A shocking scene, a dungeon, between Colonel Allen and an officer of the guard.
"Two affecting scenes in Boston after the flight of the regulars from Lexington, between Lord Boston, messenger and officers of the guard.
"A patriotic scene in the camp at Cambridge, between the Generals Washington, Lee, and Putnam, etc., etc."
It is interesting to note that in the Abbe Robin's discerning remarks, concerning the effect of drama on the pupils of Harvard in 1781, and on the general appeal of drama among the American Patriots, he mentions "The Fall of British Tyranny" without giving the author's name.
 The Fall/of/British Tyranny;/or,/American Liberty/Triumphant./The First Campaign./A Tragi-Comedy of Five Acts,/as Lately Planned/at the Royal Theatrum Pandemonium,/at St. James's./The Principal Place of Action in America./Publish'd According to Act of Parliament./Quis furor o cives! quae tanta licentia ferri?/Lucan. lib. I. ver. 8./What blind, detested madness could afford/Such horrid licence to the murd'ring sword?/Rowe./Philadelphia:/Printed by Styner and Cist, in Second-street,/near Arch-street. M DCC LXXVI.
 "The Medley; or, Harlequin Have At Ye All." A pantomime produced at Covent Garden, and published in 1778.
 From Sabin, I take the following:
BARTON (A.) "The Disappointment; or, The Force of Credulity." A new American Comic Opera, of two Acts. By Andrew Barton, Esq. [Motto.] New York, Printed in the year M, DCC, LXVIII. 8vo. pp. v., 58. P. t. Second edition, revised and corrected, with large additions, by the Author. Philadelphia, Francis Shallus, 1796. 12 mo. pp. iv., 94, p. 3801. [Sabin also notes that the Philadelphia Library copy is very rare, with MS Key to the characters, who were Philadelphians. Air No. iv is Yankee Doodle (1767).]
 The Title-page runs as follows:
The/Military Glory/of/Great-Britain,/an/Entertainment,/given by the late Candidates for/Bachelor's Degree,/At the close of the/Anniversary Commencement, held/in/Nassau-Hall/New-Jersey/September 29th, 1762./Philadelphia:/Printed by William Bradford, M, DCC, LXII.
To Lord Boston, Lord Kidnapper, and the innumerable and never-ending Clan of Macs and Donalds upon Donalds, and the Remnant of the Gentlemen Officers, Actors, Merry Andrews, strolling Players, Pirates, and Buccaneers in America.
My Lords and Gentlemen:
Understanding you are vastly fond of plays and farces, and frequently exhibit them for your own amusement, and the laudable purpose of ridiculing your masters (the YANKEES, as you call 'em), it was expected you would have been polite enough to have favoured the world, or America at least (at whose expense you act them), with some of your play-bills, or with a sample of your composition.
I shall, however, not copy your churlishness, but dedicate the following Tragi-Comedy to your patronage, and for your future entertainment; and as the most of you have already acted your particular parts of it, both comic and tragic, in reality at Lexington, Bunker's-Hill, the Great-Bridge, &c., &c., &c., to the very great applause of yourselves, tho' not of the whole house, no doubt you will preserve the marks, or memory of it, as long as you live, as it is wrote in capital American characters and letters of blood on your posteriors: And however some Whigs may censure you for your affected mirth (as they term it, in the deplorable situation you are now in, like hogs in a pen, and in want of elbow room), yet I can by no means agree with them, but think it a proof of true heroism and philosophy, to endeavour to make the best of a bad bargain, and laugh at yourselves, to prevent others from laughing at you; and tho' you are deprived of the use of your teeth, it is no reason you should be bereaved of the use of your tongues, your eyes, your ears, and your risible faculties and powers. That would be cruel indeed! after the glorious and fatiguing campaign you have made, and the many signal victories obtained over whole herds of cattle and swine, routing flocks of sheep, lambs and geese, storming hen-roosts, and taking them prisoners, and thereby raising the glory of Old England to a pitch she never knew before. And ye Macs, and ye Donalds upon Donalds, go on, and may our gallows-hills and liberty poles be honour'd and adorn'd with some of your heads: Why should Tyburn and Temple-bar make a monopoly of so valuable a commodity?
Wishing you abundance of entertainment in the re-acting this Tragi-Comedy, and of which I should be proud to take a part with you, tho' I have reason to think you would not of choice let me come within three hundred yards of your stage, lest I should rob you of your laurels, receive the clap of the whole house, and pass for a second Garrick among you, as you know I always act with applause, speak bold—point blank—off hand—and without prompter.
I am, My Lords and Gentlemen Buffoons,
Your always ready humble servant,
Solomon said, "Oppression makes a wise man mad:" but what would he have said, had he lived in these days, and seen the oppression of the people of Boston, and the distressed situation of the inhabitants of Charlestown, Falmouth, Stonnington, Bristol, Norfolk, &c.? Would he not have said, "The tongue of the sucking child cleaveth to the roof of his mouth for thirst; the young children ask for bread, but no man breaketh it unto them?" "They that did feed delicately, perish in the streets; they that were brought up in scarlet, embrace the dung." What would he have said of rejected petitions, disregarded supplications, and contemned remonstrances? Would he not have said, "From hardness of heart, good Lord, deliver us?" What would he have said of a freeborn people butchered—their towns desolated, and become an heap of ashes—their inhabitants become beggars, wanderers and vagabonds—by the cruel orders of an unrelenting tyrant, wallowing in luxury, and wantonly wasting the people's wealth, to oppress them the more? Would he not have said, it was oppression and ingratitude in the highest degree, exceeding the oppression of the children of Israel? and, like Moses, have cried out, let the people go? Would he not have wondered at our patience and long-suffering, and have said, "'Tis time to change our master!—'Tis time to part!"—And had he been an American born, would he not have shewed his wisdom by adopting the language of independency? Happy then for America in these fluctuating times, she is not without her Solomons, who see the necessity of heark'ning to reason, and listening to the voice of COMMON SENSE.
THE GODDESS OF LIBERTY
Hail! Patriots, hail! by me inspired be! Speak boldly, think and act for Liberty, United sons, America's choice band, Ye Patriots firm, ye sav'ours of the land. Hail! Patriots, hail! rise with the rising sun, Nor quit your labour, till the work is done. Ye early risers in your country's cause, Shine forth at noon, for Liberty and Laws. Build a strong tow'r, whose fabric may endure Firm as a rock, from tyranny secure. Yet would you build my fabric to endure, Be your hearts warm—but let your hands be pure. Never to shine, yourselves, your country sell; But think you nobly, while in place act well. Let no self-server general trust betray, No picque, no party, bar the public way. Front an arm'd world, with union on your side: No foe shall shake you—if no friends divide. At night repose, and sweetly take your rest; None sleeps so sound as those by conscience blest; May martyr'd patriots whisper in your ear, To tread the paths of virtue without fear; May pleasing visions charm your patriot eyes; While Freedom's sons shall hail you blest and wise, Hail! my last hope, she cries, inspired by me, Wish, talk, write, fight, and die—for LIBERTY.
 The Congress
Spoken by Mr. Peter Buckstail.
Since 'tis the fashion, preface, prologue next, Else what's a play?—like sermon without text! Since 'tis the fashion then, I'll not oppose; For what's a man if he's without a nose? The curtain's up—the music's now begun, What is 't?—Why murder, fire, and sword, and gun. What scene?—Why blood!—What act?—Fight and be free! Or be ye slaves—and give up liberty! Blest Continent, while groaning nations round Bend to the servile yoke, ignobly bound, May ye be free—nor ever be opprest By murd'ring tyrants, but a land of rest! What say ye to 't? what says the audience? Methinks I hear some whisper COMMON SENSE. Hark! what say them Tories?—Silence—let 'em speak, Poor fools! dumb—they hav'n't spoke a word this week, Dumb let 'em be, at full end of their tethers, 'Twill save the expense of tar and of feathers: Since old Pluto's lurch'd 'em, and swears he does not know If more these Tory puppy curs will bark or no. Now ring the bell—Come forth, ye actors, come, The Tragedy's begun, beat, beat the drum, Let's all advance, equipt like volunteers, Oppose the foe, and banish all our fears. We will be free—or bravely we will die, } And leave to Tories tyrants' legacy, } And all our share of its dependency. }
LORD PARAMOUNT, Mr. Bute. LORD MOCKLAW, Mr. Mansfield. LORD HYPOCRITE, Mr. Dartmouth. LORD POLTRON, Mr. Sandwich. LORD CATSPAW, Mr. North. LORD WISDOM, Mr. Chatham. LORD RELIGION, Bishop of St. Asaph. LORD JUSTICE, Mr. Camden. LORD PATRIOT, Mr. Wilkes. BOLD IRISHMAN, Mr. Burke. JUDAS, Mr. Hutchinson. CHARLEY, Mr. Jenkinson. BRAZEN, Mr. Wedderburne. COLONEL, Mr. Barre. LORD BOSTON, Mr. Gage. ADMIRAL TOMBSTONE, Mr. Graves. ELBOW ROOM, Mr. Howe. MR. CAPER, Mr. Burgoyne. LORD KIDNAPPER, Mr. Dunmore. GENERAL WASHINGTON. GENERAL LEE. GENERAL PUTNAM.
Officers, Soldiers, Sailors, Citizens, Negroes, &c., &c., &c.
 It seems to be generally thought that the expression of "Elbow Room" is to be attributed to General Howe, and not to General Burgoyne.
BRITISH TYRANNY, &c.
SCENE I. At St. James's.
LORD PARAMOUNT [solus, strutting about].
Many long years have rolled delightfully on, whilst I have been basking in the sunshine of grandeur and power, whilst I have imperceptibly (tho' not unsuspected) guided the chariot of state, and greased with the nation's gold the imperial wheels.
'Tis I that move the mighty engine of royalty, and with the tincture of my somniferous opiate or (in the language of a courtier) by the virtue of my secret influence, I have lulled the axletree to sleep, and brought on a pleasing insensibility.
Let their champion, Lord Wisdom, groan, he is now become feeble and impotent, a mere cripple in politics; their Lord Patriot's squint has lost its basilisk effect: and the bold Irishman may bellow the Keenew till he's hoarse, he's no more when compar'd to me than an Irish salmon to a Scotch herring: I care not a bawbee for them all. I'll reign in Britain, I'll be king of their counsels, and chief among the princes.
Oh! ambition, thou darling of my soul! stop not till I rise superior to all superlative, till I mount triumphantly the pinnacle of glory, or at least open the way for one of my own family and name to enter without opposition.
The work is now cut out, and must be finish'd, I have ventur'd too far to recede, my honour's at stake, my importance, nay my life, depends upon it!
Last night's three hours' closeting has effectually done the business; then I spoke my mind in such terms as to make a lasting impression, never to be eradicated—all—all was given up to me, and now since I hold the reins of government, since I am possessed of supreme power, every thing shall be subservient to my royal will and pleasure.
MOCKLAW. I am your Lordship's most obedient humble servant.
PARAMOUNT. Be seated,—I sent for you to have a small conference with you—and to let you know, your advice respecting certain points of law, I have found succeeded to admiration; even beyond my most sanguine expectations.
MOCKLAW. I am heartily glad of it, altho' the advice I gave your Lordship, I cannot say, was law; yet, your Lordship can easily pass it as such by a royal proclamation: and should it ever be disputed, I have quirks and quibbles enough at your service, with Mr. Brazen and Mr. Attorney-General's assistance, to render it so doubtful, obscure and ambiguous, as to puzzle Lord Justice, perplex Dunning, and confound Glynn.
PARAMOUNT. Can you show me an instance of a royal proclamation passing for a law? or advise me how to make it such, if you can, I shall make it well worth your study.
MOCKLAW. My Lord, as you have now got a parliament exactly to your mind, ev'ry thing you propose will be granted; but in order that you may see precedents are not wanting—there is a statute in the reign of Henry the 8th that expressly shews the then parliament passed a law that the king's proclamation should be the law of the land—
PARAMOUNT. Are you sure of that?
MOCKLAW. My Lord, here it is—this is real law: Luce meridiana clariora. When we find any thing of this kind, ready made to our hands, it's a treasure we should never part with.
PARAMOUNT. I see it plain! this, this alone is worth a ton of gold.—Now, by St. Andrew! I'll strike a stroke that shall surprise all Europe, and make the boldest of the adverse party turn pale and tremble—Scotch politics, Scotch intrigues, Scotch influence, and Scotch impudence (as they have termed it), they shall see ere long shine with unheard of splendour, and the name of Lord Paramount the mighty, shall blaze in the annals of the world with far greater lustre (as a consummate politician) than the name of Alexander the Great, as an hero!
MOCKLAW. That day I much wish for,—but, with your Lordship's permission, I would just mention, that secrecy and dissimulation are the soul of enterprise; your Lordship hath many enemies, who watch ev'ry movement of state with a jealous and wary eye.
PARAMOUNT. I know it, but the futile attempts of my timid adversaries have hitherto proved abortive—so far I have borne down all opposition, and those (even some of the greatest of them) who not long since were my most open, as well as secret enemies, I now behold with the most princely pleasure, the earliest to attend, to congratulate me on my birthday, tho' uninvited, bow down, and make the most submissive congees. Have you not seen this, Mocklaw? and how I keep them in expectation of something, by now and then bestowing part of a gracious smile amongst a dozen of them?
MOCKLAW. I have, my Lord, and no doubt they interpret that as a favourable omen;—however, policy, my Lord, would dictate that to you, if there were no other consideration.
PARAMOUNT. True, and yet they are cursedly mistaken—and now, Mocklaw, as I have ever found you to be well dispos'd towards me, and the cause I espouse, and as I trust you continue satisfy'd with my former bounty, and my promise now of granting you a pension for life, with liberty to retire, I shall make you my confident, and disclose to you a secret no man except myself yet knows, which I expect you have so much honour to let it remain a secret to all the world (I mean as to the main point I have in view).
MOCKLAW. Depend upon it, my Lord, I am sincerely devoted to your Lordship, command me, I care not what it is, I'll screw, twist and strain the law as tight as a drumhead, to serve you.
PARAMOUNT. I shall at this time but just give you a hint of the plan I've drawn up in my own mind. You must have perceived in me a secret hankering for majesty for some time past, notwithstanding my age;—but as I have considered the great dislike the nation in general have, as to my person, I'll wave my own pretensions, and bend my power and assiduity to it in favour of one, the nearest a kin to me, you know who I mean, and a particular friend of yours, provided I continue to be dictator, as at present; and further, I intend America shall submit. What think you of it so far?
MOCKLAW. A day I've long wish'd to see! but you stagger me, my Lord, not as to my honour, secrecy, or resolution to serve you, but as to the accomplishment of such grand designs.
PARAMOUNT. 'Tis true, I have undertaken a mighty task, a task that would have perplexed the Council of Nice, and stagger'd even Julius Caesar—but—
MOCKLAW. You have need, my Lord, of all your wisdom, fortitude and power, when you consider with whom you have to contend—Let me see—Lord Wisdom—Lord Religion—Lord Justice—Lord Patriot—the bold Irishman, &c., &c., &c., and the wisdom of the United Colonies of America in Congress to cope with; as individuals they are trifling, but in league combined may become potent enemies.
PARAMOUNT. Granted—But are you so little of a lawyer as not to know the virtue of a certain specific I'm possess'd of, that will accomplish any thing, even to performing miracles? Don't you know there's such sweet music in the shaking of the treasury keys, that they will instantly lock the most babbling patriot's tongue? transform a Tory into a Whig, and a Whig into a Tory? make a superannuated old miser dance, and an old Cynic philosopher smile. How many thousand times has your tongue danc'd at Westminster Hall to the sound of such music?
MOCKLAW. Enchanting sounds, powerful magic, there's no withstanding the charms of such music, their potency and influence are irresistible—that is a point of law I can by no means give up, of more force than all the acts of parliament since the days of King Alfred.
PARAMOUNT. I'm glad you acknowledge that—Now then for a line of politics—I propose to begin first by taxing America, as a blind—that will create an eternal animosity between us, and by sending over continually ships and troops, this will, of course, produce a civil war—weaken Britain by leaving her coasts defenseless, and impoverish America; so that we need not fear any thing from that quarter. Then the united fleets of France and Spain with troops to appear in the channel, and make a descent, while my kinsman with thirty thousand men lands in Scotland, marches to London, and joins the others: What then can prevent the scheme from having the wish'd for effect? This is the main point, which keep to yourself.
MOCKLAW. If it has failed heretofore, 'tis impossible it should fail now; nothing within the reach of human wisdom was ever planned so judiciously; had Solomon been alive, and a politician, I would have sworn your Lordship had consulted him.—But I would beg leave to hint to your Lordship the opposition to be apprehended from the militia of England, and the German forces that may be sent for according to treaty.
PARAMOUNT. As to the militia, they are half of them my friends, witness Lancaster, Manchester, Liverpool, &c., &c., &c., the other half scarce ever fired a gun in their lives, especially those of London; and I shall take care by shaking the keys a little to have such officers appointed over them, who are well known to be in my interest. As to the German forces, I have nothing to apprehend from them; the parliament can soon pass an act against the introduction of foreign troops, except the French or Spaniards, who can't be called foreign, they are our friends and nearest neighbours. Have you any thing further to object against the probability of this plan?
MOCKLAW. Nothing, my Lord, but the people of Ireland, who must be cajoled or humbugg'd.
PARAMOUNT. As to that, let me alone, I shall grant the Roman Catholics, who are by far the most numerous, the free exercise of their religion, with the liberty of bearing arms, so long unjustly deprived of, and disarm in due time all the Protestants in their turn.
MOCKLAW. That will be a noble stroke, the more I consider it, the more I'm surpris'd at your Lordship's profound wisdom and foresight: I think success is certain.
PARAMOUNT. Then this is the favourable crisis to attempt it; 'tis not the thought of a day, a month, or a year. Have you any more objections?
MOCKLAW. I have one more, my Lord—
PARAMOUNT. Well, pray let's hear it; these lawyers will be heard.
MOCKLAW. The Bishops and Clergy are a powerful, numerous body; it would be necessary, my Lord, to gain them over, or keep them silent—A religious war is the worst of wars.
PARAMOUNT. You are very right, I have 'em fast enough—Mammon will work powerfully on them—The keys—the keys—His Grace my Lord of Suffolk is managing this business for me, and feeding them with the hopes of being all created Archbishops here, and each to have a diocese, and Bishops of their own appointment in America; not a city or town there but must be provided with a Bishop: There let religion erect her holy altars, by which means their revenues will be augmented beyond that of a Cardinal. All this we must make 'em believe.
MOCKLAW. True, my Lord, what is a Bishop without faith? This is the grandest stroke of religious circumvention that ever was struck.—I've done, my Lord.
PARAMOUNT. Very well, you'll not fail to meet the privy council here this evening; in the mean time you'll go and search the statutes for other precedents to strengthen the cause; and remember I have enjoin'd you to secrecy.
MOCKLAW. Depend upon it, my Lord, I cannot prove ungrateful to your Lordship, nor such an enemy to myself.
SCENE III. LORD PARAMOUNT [solus].
This Mocklaw is a cursed knowing dog, and I believe the father of Brazen; how readily he found an old act of parliament to my purpose, as soon as I told him I would make it worth his study; and the thoughts of a pension will make him search his old worm-eaten statute books from the reign of King Arthur down to this present time; how he raises objections too to make me think his mind is ever bent on study to serve me. The shaking of the treasury keys is a fine bait. [Rings the bell.] Charters, magna chartas, bill of rights, acts of assembly, resolves of congresses, trials by juries (and acts of parliament too) when they make against us, must all be annihilated; a suspending power I approve of, and of royal proclamations.
CHARLEY. I wait your Lordship's orders.
PARAMOUNT. Write a number of cards, and see that the Lords of the privy council, and Mr. Judas, be summoned to give their attendance this evening at six o'clock, at my Pandemonium.
CHARLEY. I'm gone, my Lord.
How do we shew our authority? how do we maintain the royal prerogative? keep in awe the knowing ones of the opposite party, and blind the eyes of the ignorant multitude in Britain? Why, by spirited measures, by an accumulation of power, of deception, and the shaking of the keys, we may hope to succeed, should that fail, I'll enforce them with the pointed bayonet; the Americans from one end to the other shall submit, in spite of all opposition; I'll listen to no overtures of reconciliation from any petty self-constituted congress, they shall submit implicitly to such terms as I of my royal indulgence please to grant. I'll shew them the impudence and weakness of their resolves, and the strength of mine; I will never soften; my inflexibility shall stand firm, and convince them the second Pharaoh is at least equal to the first. I am unalterably determined at every hazard and at the risk of every consequence to compel the colonies to absolute submission. I'll draw in treasure from every quarter, and, Solomon-like, wallow in riches; and Scotland, my dear Scotland, shall be the paradise of the world. Rejoice in the name of Paramount, and the sound of a bawbee shall be no more heard in the land of my nativity.—
Enter CHARLEY in haste.
CHARLEY. My Lord, the notices are all served.
PARAMOUNT. It's very well, Charley.
CHARLEY. My Lord, be pleased to turn your eyes, and look out of the window, and see the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, Common Council and Liverymen going to St. James's with the address.
PARAMOUNT. Where? Sure enough—Curse their impudence; how that squinting scoundrel swells with importance—Mind, Charley, how fond he is of bowing to the gaping multitude, and ev'ry upstart he sees at a window—I hope he'll not turn his blear eyes t'wards me—I want none of his bows, not I—Stand before me, Charley—
CHARLEY. I will, my Lord, and if he looks this way, I'll give him such a devilish grin as best suits such fellows as him, and make him remember it as long as he lives.
PARAMOUNT. Do so, Charley; I hate the dog mortally, I religiously hate him, and hope ere long to have satisfaction for his insolence and the freedoms he has taken with me and my connections: I shall never forget the many scandalous verses, lampoons and pasquinades he made upon us.
CHARLEY. Indeed, he has used your Lordship too ill ever to be forgotten or forgiven.
PARAMOUNT. Damn him, I never intend to do either—See again how he bows—there again—how the mob throw up their hats, split their throats; how they huzza too; they make a mere god of the fellow; how they idolize him—Ignorant brutes!
CHARLEY. A scoundrel; he has climb'd up the stilts of preferment strangely, my Lord.
PARAMOUNT. Strangely, indeed; but it's our own faults.
CHARLEY. He has had better luck than honester folks; I'm surpris'd to think he has ever rose to the honour of presenting a remonstrance, or rather, that he could ever have the impudence to think of remonstrating.
PARAMOUNT. Aye, Charley, you see how unaccountably things turn out; his audacity is unparalleled—a Newgate dog.
CHARLEY. My Lord, I believe the fellow was never known to blush; and, indeed, it's an observation I made some time ago, and I believe a just one, without an exception, that those who squint never blush.
PARAMOUNT. You must be mistaken, Charley.
CHARLEY. No, my Lord, it's a fact, I had an uncle squinted exactly like him, who was guilty of many scandalous things, and yet all the parish, with the parson at their head, could not make him blush, so that at last he became a by-word—Here comes old shame-the-devil; this dog is the very spawn of him.
PARAMOUNT. Hoot, mon, ye give your uncle a shocking character.
CHARLEY. I only mention it, my Lord, for the similarity's sake.
PARAMOUNT. For the spawn of him, and the similarity's sake, I'm apt to think you've been abusing your own cousin all this while.
CHARLEY. God forbid, my Lord, I should be any how allied to him.
PARAMOUNT. I fancy, Charley, if the truth was known, your uncle did not mention you in his will, and forgot to leave you the mansion-house and farm at Gallows-hill. Am I right, Charley?
CHARLEY. You're right, my Lord, upon my honour—but—
PARAMOUNT. I thought so—Well, never mind—Ha, ha, ha, who are those two fat fellows there, that go in such state?
CHARLEY. I suppose them to be a couple of Livery Tallow-chandlers, my Lord, by their big bellies.
PARAMOUNT. Ha, ha,—what work the guards would make amongst them—but they must not be called yet.—And who are those other two behind 'em?
CHARLEY. This is Mr. Hone, and the other Mr. Strap, a couple of the Corporation Barbers, forsooth.
PARAMOUNT. Ha, ha, ha, I thought they had been a couple of Dukes;—and that one—who is he with the monstrous wig?
CHARLEY. That is Mr. Alderman Pipeshank, in Newgate-street.
PARAMOUNT. A parcel of Newgate dogs altogether—Well it is a good deal of satisfaction to me to think how this fellow will be received at St. James's; he'll not return back so pleas'd as he seems to be now, I warrant you—I have taken care he shall meet with a d——d cold reception there; he will have to make his appearance before Lord Frostyface, Lord Scarecrow, Lord Sneerwell, Lord Firebrand, Lord Mawmouth, Lord Waggonjaws, Lord Gripe, Lord Brass, Lord Surly and Lord Tribulation, as hard-fac'd fellows as himself; and the beauty of it is, not one of them loves him a whit more than I do.
CHARLEY. That will be rare diversion for them that are present; he'll look then, my Lord, like Sampson making sport for the Philistines.
PARAMOUNT. Aye, but I wish he was as blind too, as Sampson was.—Well Charley, we have been dispos'd to be a little merry with this ridiculous parade, this high life below stairs. I wish you had begun your description a little sooner, before they were all gone; the looks of these wiseacres afford us some mirth, tho' we despise them and their politics, and it's not unlikely it may end in blood—Be it so, I'm prepar'd for the worst.
CHARLEY. Rather so, my Lord, than submit to such rascals.
PARAMOUNT. I'll give up my life first for a sacrifice.
Enter MOCKLAW, POLTRON, HYPOCRITE, CATSPAW, BRAZEN, JUDAS. [All seated.]
PARAMOUNT. My Lords and Gentlemen, it seems opposition to our measures are making hasty strides; the discontented faction, the supporters and encouragers of rebellion, and whole hearts are tainted therewith, seem bent, if possible, on the destruction of Britain, and their own aggrandisement. Are not the daily papers filled with treasonable resolves of American congresses and committees, extracts of letters, and other infamous pieces and scurrilous pamphlets, circulating with unusual industry throughout the kingdom, by the enemies of Britain, thereby poisoning the minds of our liege subjects with their detestable tenets?—And did you not this day see the procession, and that vile miscreant Lord Patriot at their head, going to St. James's with their remonstrance, in such state and parade as manifestly tended to provoke, challenge and defy majesty itself, and the powers of government? and yet nothing done to stop their pernicious effects.—Surely, my Lords and Gentlemen, you must agree with me, that it is now become highly expedient that an immediate stop should be put to such unwarrantable and dangerous proceedings, by the most vigorous and coercive measures.
MOCKLAW. I entirely agree with your Lordship, and was ever firmly of opinion, that licentiousness of every kind (particularly that of the Press) is dangerous to the state; the rabble should be kept in awe by examples of severity, and a proper respect should be enforced to superiors. I have sufficiently shewn my dislike to the freedom of the Press, by the examples I have frequently made (tho' too favourable) of several Printers, and others, who had greatly trespassed, and if they still persist, other measures should be taken with them, which the laws will point out; and as to Lord Patriot, he's a fellow that has been outlaw'd, scandal-proof, little to be got by meddling with him; I would advise to let him alone for the present, and humble America first.
MR. BRAZEN. I am very clear in it, please your Lordship; there are numbers of men in this country who are ever studying how to perplex and entangle the state, constantly thwarting government, in ev'ry laudable undertaking; this clamorous faction must be curbed, must be subdued and crush'd—our thunder must go forth, America must be conquered. I am for blood and fire to crush the rising glories of America—They boast of her strength; she must be conquered, if half of Germany is called to our assistance.
MR. POLTRON. I entirely agree with you, Mr. Brazen; my advice is, that Lord Boston and Admiral Tombstone be immediately despatch'd to Boston, with two or three regiments (tho' one would be more than sufficient) and a few ships to shut up their ports, disannul their charter, stop their trade, and the pusillanimous beggars, those scoundrel rascals, whose predominant passion is fear, would immediately give up, on the first landing of the regulars, and fly before 'em like a hare before the hounds; that this would be the case, I pawn my honour to your Lordships, nay, I'll sacrifice my life: My Lords, I have moreover the testimony of General Amherst and Colonel Grant to back my assertion; besides, here's Mr. Judas, let him speak.
LORD HYPOCRITE. If this is the same Colonel Grant that was at Fort Duquesne, the same that ran away from the French and Indians, the same that was rescued by Colonel Washington, I have no idea of his honour or testimony.
LORD POLTRON. He's a Gentleman, my Lord Hypocrite, of undoubted veracity.
LORD HYPOCRITE. You might as well have said courage too, I have exceptions against both; and as to General Amherst's assertion that he could drive all America with five thousand men, he must have been joking, as he is quite of a diff'rent opinion now.
LORD CATSPAW. What is your opinion of your countrymen, Mr. Judas, with respect to their courage?
JUDAS. The same that I have ever told you, my Lord; as to true courage they have none, I know 'em well—they have a plenty of a kind of enthusiastic zeal, which they substitute in the room of it; I am very certain they would never face the regulars, tho' with the advantage of ten to one.
LORD HYPOCRITE. All this, and a great deal more, would never convince me of the general cowardice of the Americans—but of the cowardice of Grant I've been long convinced, by numbers of letters formerly from America—I'm for doing the business effectually; don't let us be too sanguine, trust to stories told by every sycophant, and hurry heels over head to be laugh'd at; the Americans are bold, stubborn, and sour; it will require foreign assistance to subdue 'em.
LORD CATSPAW. These four Americans, ignorant brutes, unbroke and wild, must be tamed; they'll soon be humble if punish'd; but if disregarded, grow fierce.—Barbarous nations must be held by fear, rein'd and spurr'd hard, chain'd to the oar, and bow'd to due control, till they look grim with blood; let's first humble America, and bring them under our feet; the olive-branch has been held out, and they have rejected it; it now becomes us to use the iron rod to break their disobedience; and should we lack it, foreign assistance is at hand.
LORD HYPOCRITE. All this I grant, but I'm for sending a force sufficient to crush 'em at once, and not with too much precipitation; I am first for giving it a colour of impartiality, forbearance and religion.—Lay it before parliament; we have then law on our side, and endeavour to gain over some or all of the Methodist Teachers, and in particular my very good friend Mr. Wesley, their Bishop, and the worthy Mr. Clapum, which task I would undertake; it will then have the sanction of religion, make it less suspected, and give it a better grace.
LORD CATSPAW. I should choose it to be done by consent of parliament; we stand then on firmer ground; there's no doubt they'll grant ev'ry thing your Lordship proposes upon my motion: but to tell the truth, I'd rather be in Purgatory so long, than to run the gauntlet of the Bold Irishman's tongue.
MOCKLAW. Aye, aye, don't part with the law while it's in our favour, or we can have it by asking for—and as to the Bold Irishman, don't be brow-beaten, you must summon all your brass, and put on a rugged highwayman's face like his; I expect some work of that kind too, but the devil himself sha'n't browbeat me.
PARAMOUNT. I am glad to find, my Lords and Gentlemen, you all see the necessity of sending over troops and ships; I intend my Lord Catspaw shall lay it before parliament, and am very certain they'll pass any acts I can desire. I thank you, Lord Hypocrite, for your kind offer, and accept of it; my Lord of Suffolk is negotiating the same business with the rest of my Lords the Bishops, and will succeed; so that it will carry the appearance of law, of religion, and will be sufficiently grac'd; I'll warrant you no one shall have cause to complain of its wanting grace. And now, my Lords and Gentlemen, as it's so late, and we have gone through all the business at this time proposed, you are at your liberty to withdraw.
The fate of England and America is now fixed, irrevocably fixed; the storm is ready to burst; the low'ring clouds portend their fate my glory, their fall my triumph—But I must haste to be gone, the ceremonies await my presence; deeds of darkness must be done by night, and, like the silent mole's work, under ground:
Now rushing forth in sober twilight gray, Like prowling wolf, who ranges for his prey.
LORD WISDOM, LORD RELIGION, LORD JUSTICE.
I much lament, my Lords, the present unhappy situation of my country; where e'er I turn mine eyes, to Europe, Asia, Africa, or America, the prospect appears the same—Look up to the throne, and behold your king, if I may now call him by that soft title—Where is the wisdom, the justice, the religion, that once adorn'd that throne, and shed the benign influence of their bright rays thro' the four quarters of the globe? Alas! they're flown!
Mark his forlorn looks—his countenance dejected, a sullen greatness fixed on his brow, as if it veil'd in blood some awful purpose, his eyes flaming and sanguinary; how I bewail you, for your predecessor's sake! Long, long have I been an old, and I trust a faithful, servant in the family—Can I then restrain one tear? No, 'tis impossible! View that arch-dragon, that old fiend, Paramount, that rebel in grain, whispering in his ear. View his wretched ministers hovering round him, to accomplish their accursed purpose, and accelerate his destruction. View the whole herd of administration (I know 'em well) and tell me if the world can furnish a viler set of miscreants? View both houses of parliament, and count the number of Tyrants, Jacobites, Tories, Placemen, Pensioners, Sycophants, and Panders. View the constitution, is she not disrob'd and dismantled? is she not become like a virgin deflower'd? View our fleets and armies commanded by bloody, murdering butchers! View Britain herself as a sheep without a shepherd! And lastly view America, for her virtue bleeding and for her liberty weltering in her blood!
LORD RELIGION. Such hath, and ever will be the fate of kings, who only listen to the voice of pleasure, thrown in their way by the sirens of administration, which never fail to swallow them up like quicksand—like a serpent, who charms and fascinates, bewitches and enchants with his eye the unwary bird; witness the fatal catastrophe of Rehoboam, who rejected the counsel of the wise and experienced, and gave up all to the advice and guidance of young, unskilful and wicked counsellors. Had he listen'd to you, my Lord, had he followed your advice, all, all would have gone well—Under your auspicious administration Britain flourished, but ever since has been on the decline and patriotism, like religion, scarcely now more than a sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.
LORD WISDOM. My counsel has been rejected—my conciliatory plan thrown under the table, and treated with contempt; the experience of gray hairs called the superannuated notions of old age—my bodily infirmities—my tottering frame—my crazy carcase, worn out in the service of my country, and even my very crutches, have been made the subject of their ridicule.
LORD JUSTICE. Gratitude, like religion and patriotism, are about taking their flight, and the law of the land stands on tip-toe; the constitution, that admirable fabric, that work of ages, the envy of the world, is deflower'd indeed, and made to commit a rape upon her own body, by the avaricious frowns of her own father, who is bound to protect her, not to destroy.—Her pillars are thrown down, her capitals broke, her pedestals demolish'd, and her foundation nearly destroy'd.—Lord Paramount and his wretched adviser Mocklaw baffle all our efforts.—The statutes of the land superseded by royal proclamations and dispensing powers, &c., &c., the bloody knife to be held to the throats of the Americans, and force them to submit to slav'ry.—Administration have commenced bloody tyrants, and those that should protect the subject are become their executioners; yet will I dispute with them inch by inch, while there's a statute book left in the land. Come forth, thou grand deceiver! I challenge thee to come forth!
LORD WISDOM. Our friends must bestir themselves once more, perhaps we may yet turn the scale.—If the voice of religion, wisdom and justice should fail, let us sound the trumpet of liberty and patriotism, that will conquer them in America, I know; let us try to storm them here with the united whole, and if by a base majority they still carry their point, we can nevertheless wash our hands and be clean.
LORD RELIGION. From the pulpit, in the house of God, have I spoken aloud, I have lifted up my voice like a trumpet. O Britain, how art thou fallen! Hear now, O house of Britain, is it a small thing for you to weary man, but will you weary your God also? In the house of Lords have I borne my testimony: Hear now, O ye Princes, and I will yet declare in Britain, and shew forth in America, I will not cease till I bring about (if possible) unity, peace and concord.
LORD WISDOM. Much to be wished for; but alas! I fear it's now too late; I foresee the tendency and consequence of those diabolical measures that have been pursued with unrelenting fury. Britain will ruin her trade, waste her wealth, her strength, her credit and her importance in the scale of Europe. When a British king proves ungrateful and haughty, and strives to be independent of his people (who are his sole support), the people will in their turn likewise strive to be independent of him and his myrmidons, and will be free; they will erect the anfractuous standard of independency, and thousands and tens of thousands will flock to it, and solace themselves under its shade.—They has often been told of this, but affected to despise it; they know not America's strength, they are ignorant of it; fed by the flatt'ry of every sycophant tale, imagine themselves almighty, and able to subdue the whole world. America will be lost to Britain forever, and will prove her downfall. America is wise, and will shake off the galling yoke before it be rivetted on them; they will be drove to it, and who can blame them? Who can blame a galley-slave for making his escape?—Britain will miscarry in her vile projects, her knight errant, her Don Quixote schemes in America: America will resist; they are not easily to be subdued (nay, 'tis impossible); Britain will find it a harder task than to conquer France and Spain united, and will cost 'em more blood and treasure than a twice Seven Years' War with those European powers; they will stand out till Britons are tired. Britain will invite her with kind promises and open arms; America will reject them; America will triumph, rejoice and flourish, and become the glory of the earth; Britain will languidly hold down her head, and become first a prey to a vile Pretender, and then be subject to the ravagers of Europe. I love the Americans, because they love liberty. Liberty flourishes in the wilds of America. I honour the plant, I revere the tree, and would cherish its branches. Let us, my friends, join hands with them, follow their example, and endeavour to support expiring liberty in Britain; whilst I have a tongue to speak, I will support her wherever found; while I have crutches to crawl with, I will try to find her out, and with the voice of an archangel will demand for a sacrifice to the nation those miscreants who have wickedly and wantonly been the ruin of their country. O Liberty! O my Country!
LORD RELIGION. O Religion! O Virtue! whither art thou fleeing? O thou Defender of the Faith? O ye mighty Lords and Commons! O ye deluded Bishops, ye learned props of our unerring church, who preach up vengeance, force and fire, instead of peace! be wise in time, lest the Americans be driven to work out their own salvation without fear or trembling.
LORD PATRIOT, BOLD IRISHMAN, COLONEL.
That Brazen Lawyer, that Lord Chancellor, that wou'd be, held forth surprisingly last night, he beat the drum in your ears, brother soldier.
COLONEL. I think he did; he beat a Tatoo for us all.
LORD PATRIOT. No politicians, but lawyer politicians, it seems will go down; if we believe him, we must all turn lawyers now, and prate away the liberties of the nation.
COLONEL. Aye, first we must learn to rail at the clamourous faction, disappointed politicians—ever restless—ever plotting—constantly thwarting government, in laudable and blameable purposes.—Inconsiderable party—inconsistent in their own politics—hostile to all government, soured by disappointment, and urged by want—proceeding to unjustifiable lengths—and then sound the magnanimity of a British senate, animated by the sacred fire caught from a high-spirited people—
BOLD IRISHMAN. And the devil knows what beside—Magnanimity and sacred fire, indeed!—Very magnanimous sounds, but pompous nothings! Why did he not tell us where was the magnanimity of the British senate at the time of the dispute about Falkland's Island? What sort of fire animated them then?—Where was the high spirit of the people?—Strange sort of fire, and strange sort of spirit, to give up to our inveterate enemies, the Spaniards, our property unasked for, and cut our best friends and brethren, the Americans' throats, for defending theirs against lawless tyranny; their sacred fire became then all fume, and the strength of their boasted spirits evaporated into invisible effluvium; the giant then sunk sure enough spontaneously into a dwarf; and now, it seems, the dwarf having been feeding upon smoky fire and evaporated spirits, is endeavouring to swell himself into a giant again, like the frog in the fable, till he bursts himself in silent thunder—But let the mighty Philistine, the Goliath Paramount, and his oracle Mocklaw, with their thunder bellowed from the brazen mortar-piece of a turn-coat lawyer, have a care of the little American David!
LORD PATRIOT. Aye, indeed! America will prove a second Sampson to 'em; they may put out his eyes for a while, but he'll pull their house down about their ears for all that. Mr. Brazen seem'd surpris'd at the thought of relinquishing America, and bawl'd out with the vociferation of an old miser that had been robb'd—Relinquish America! relinquish America! forbid it heavens! But let him and his masters take great care, or America will save 'em the trouble, and relinquish Britain.
COLONEL. Or I'm much mistaken, Brazen says, establish first your superiority, and then talk of negotiating.
LORD PATRIOT. That doctrine suits 'em best; just like a cowardly pickpocket, or a bloody highwayman, knock a man down first, and then tell him stand and deliver.
COLONEL. A just comparison, and excellent simile, by my soul! But I'm surpris'd he did not include the Clergy among the number of professions unfit (as he said) to be politicians.
BOLD IRISHMAN. Did you ever know a lawyer to be concerned with religion, unless he got a fee by it? he'll take care and steer clear of that; if it don't come in his way, he'll never break his neck over a church bible, I warrant you—Mammon is his god—Judge Jeffereys is his priest—Star-chamber doctrine is his creed—fire, flames and faggot, blood, murder, halters and thund'ring cannon are the ceremonies of his church—and lies, misrepresentations, deceit, hypocrisy and dissimulation are the articles of his religion.
LORD PATRIOT. You make him a monster, indeed.
BOLD IRISHMAN. Not half so bad as he is, my Lord; he's following close to the heels of that profound sage, that oracle, Mocklaw, his tutor: I can compare the whole herd of them to nothing else but to the swine we read of running headlong down the hill, Paramount their devil, Mocklaw the evil spirit, and Brazen their driver.
COLONEL. And thus they'll drive liberty from out the land; but when a brave people, like the Americans, from their infancy us'd to liberty (not as a gift, but who inherit it as a birth-right, but not as a mess of pottage, to be bought by, or sold to, ev'ry hungry glutton of a minister) find attempts made to reduce them to slavery, they generally take some desperate successful measure for their deliverance. I should not be at all surpris'd to hear of independency proclaim'd throughout their land, of Britain's armies beat, their fleets burnt, sunk, or otherwise destroy'd. The same principle which Mr. Brazen speaks of, that inspires British soldiers to fight, namely the ferment of youthful blood, the high spirit of the people, a love of glory, and a sense of national honour, will inspire the Americans to withstand them; to which I may add, liberty and property.—But what is national honour? Why, national pride.—What is national glory? Why, national nonsense, when put in competition with liberty and property.
LORD PATRIOT. Of Britain I fear liberty has taken its farewell, the aspiring wings of tyranny hath long hovered over, and the over-shadowing influence of bribery hath eclips'd its rays and dark'ned its lustre; the huge Paramount, that temporal deity, that golden calf, finds servile wretches enough so base as to bow down, worship and adore his gilded horns;—let 'em e'en if they will:—But as for me, tho' I should stand alone, I would spurn the brute, were he forty-five times greater than he is; I'll administer, ere long, such an emetic to him, as shall make the monster disgorge the forty millions yet unaccounted for, and never shall it be said, that Patriot ever feared or truckled to him, or kept a silent tongue when it should speak.
BOLD IRISHMAN. There I'll shake hands with you, and my tongue shall echo in their ears, make their arched ceiling speak, the treasury bench crack, and the great chair of their great speaker tremble, and never will I cease lashing them, while lashing is good, or hope remains; and when the voice of poor liberty can no longer be heard in Britain or Hibernia, let's give Caledonia a kick with our heels, and away with the goddess to the American shore, crown her, and defy the grim king of tyranny, at his peril, to set his foot there.—Here let him stay, and wallow in sackcloth and ashes, like a beast as he is, and, Nebuchadnezzar-like, eat grass and thistles.
See Paramount, upon his awful throne, Striving to make each freeman's purse his own! While Lords and Commons most as one agree, To grace his head with crown of tyranny. They spurn the laws,—force constitution locks, To seize each subject's coffer, chest and box; Send justice packing, as tho' too pure unmix'd, And hug the tyrant, as if by law he's fix'd.
 See Wedderburne's Speech.
 Alluding to North-Briton, Number forty-five.
SCENE I. In Boston.
At length, it seems, the bloody flag is hung out, the ministry and parliament, ever studious in mischief, and bent on our destruction, have ordered troops and ships of war to shut our ports, and starve us into submission.
CITIZEN. And compel us to be slaves; I have heard so. It is a fashionable way to requite us for our loyalty, for the present we made them of Louisburg, for our protection at Duquesne, for the assistance we gave them at Quebec, Martinico, Guadaloupe and the Havannah. Blast their councils, spurn their ingratitude! Soul of Pepperel! whither art thou fled?
SELECTMAN. They seem to be guided by some secret demon; this stopping our ports and depriving us of all trade is cruel, calculated to starve and beggar thousands of families, more spiteful than politic, more to their own disadvantage than ours: But we can resolve to do without trade; it will be the means of banishing luxury, which has ting'd the simplicity and spotless innocence of our once happy asylum.
CITIZEN. We thank heaven, we have the necessaries of life in abundance, even to an exuberant plenty; and how oft have our hospitable tables fed numbers of those ungrateful monsters, who would now, if they could, famish us?
SELECTMAN. No doubt, as we abound in those temporal blessings, it has tempted them to pick our pockets by violence, in hopes of treasures more to their minds.
CITIZEN. In that these thirsters after gold and human blood will be disappointed. No Perus or Mexicos here they'll find; but the demon you speak of, tho' he acts in secret, is notoriously known. Lord Paramount is that demon, that bird of prey, that ministerial cormorant, that waits to devour, and who first thought to disturb the repose of America; a wretch, no friend to mankind, who acts thro' envy and avarice, like Satan, who 'scap'd from hell to disturb the regions of paradise; after ransacking Britain and Hibernia for gold, the growth of hell, to feed his luxury, now waits to rifle the bowels of America.
SELECTMAN. May he prove more unsuccessful than Satan; blind politics, rank infatuation, madness detestable, the concomitants of arbitrary power! They can never think to succeed; but should they conquer, they'll find that he who overcometh by force and blood, hath overcome but half his foe. Capt. Preston's massacre is too recent in our memories; and if a few troops dar'd to commit such hellish unprovok'd barbarities, what may we not expect from legions arm'd with vengeance, whose leaders harbour principles repugnant to freedom, and possess'd with more than diabolical notions? Surely our friends will oppose them with all the power heaven has given them.
CITIZEN. Nothing more certain; each citizen and each individual inhabitant of America are bound by the ties of nature; the laws of God and man justify such a procedure; passive obedience for passive slaves, and non-resistance for servile wretches who know not, neither deserve, the sweets of liberty. As for me and my house, thank God, such detestable doctrine never did, nor ever shall, enter over my threshold.
SELECTMAN. Would all America were so zealous as you.—The appointment of a general Continental Congress was a judicious measure, and will prove the salvation of this new world, where counsel mature, wisdom and strength united; it will prove a barrier, a bulwark, against the encroachments of arbitrary power.
CITIZEN. I much approve of the choice of a congress; America is young, she will be to it like a tender nursing mother, she will give it the paps of virtue to suck, cherish it with the milk of liberty, and fatten it on the cream of patriotism; she will train it up in its youth, and teach it to shun the poison of British voluptuousness, and instruct it to keep better company. Let us, my friend, support her all in our power, and set on foot an immediate association; they will form an intrenchment, too strong for ministerial tyranny to o'erleap.
SELECTMAN. I am determined so to do, it may prevent the farther effusion of blood.
Enter a MINISTER.
My friends, I yet will hail you good morrow, tho' I know not how long we may be indulg'd that liberty to each other; doleful tidings I have to tell.
SELECTMAN. With sorrow we have heard it, good morrow, sir.
MINISTER. Wou'd to God it may prove false, and that it may vanish like the dew of the morning.
CITIZEN. Beyond a doubt, sir, it's too true.
MINISTER. Perhaps, my friends, you have not heard all.
SELECTMAN. We have heard too much, of the troops and ships coming over, we suppose you mean; we have not heard more, if more there be.
MINISTER. Then worse I have to tell, tidings which will raise the blood of the patriot, and put your virtue to the proof, will kindle such an ardent love of liberty in your breasts, as time will not be able to exterminate—
CITIZEN. Pray, let us hear it, I'm all on fire.
SELECTMAN. I'm impatient to know it, welcome or unwelcome.
MINISTER. Such as it is, take it; your charter is annihilated; you are all, all declared rebels; your estates are to be confiscated; your patrimony to be given to those who never labour'd for it; popery to be established in the room of the true catholic faith; the Old South, and other houses of our God, converted perhaps into nunneries, inquisitions, barracks and common jails, where you will perish with want and famine, or suffer an ignominious death; your wives, children, dearest relations and friends forever separated from you in this world, without the prospect of receiving any comfort or consolation from them, or the least hope of affording any to them.
SELECTMAN. Perish the thought!
CITIZEN. I've heard enough!—To arms! my dear friends, to arms! and death or freedom be our motto!
MINISTER. A noble resolution! Posterity will crown the urn of the patriot who consecrates his talents to virtue and freedom; his name shall not be forgot; his reputation shall bloom with unfading verdure, while the name of the tyrant, like his vile body, shall moulder in the dust. Put your trust in the Lord of hosts, he is your strong tower, he is your helper and defense, he will guide and strengthen the arm of flesh, and scatter your enemies like chaff.
SELECTMAN. Let us not hesitate.
CITIZEN. Not a single moment;—'tis like to prove a mortal strife, a never-ending contest.
MINISTER. Delays may be dangerous.—Go and awake your brethren that sleep;—rouse them up from their lethargy and supineness, and join, with confidence, temporal with spiritual weapons. Perhaps they be now landing, and this moment, this very moment, may be the last of your liberty. Prepare yourselves—be ready—stand fast—ye know not the day nor the hour. May the Ruler of all send us liberty and life. Adieu! my friends.
SCENE III. In a street in Boston.
Frequent town-meetings and consultations amongst the inhabitants;—LORD BOSTON arrives with the forces and ships;—lands and fortifies Boston.
WHIG and TORY.
WHIG. I have said and done all that man could say or do.—'Tis wrong, I insist upon it, and time will show it, to suffer them to take possession of Castle William and fortify Boston Neck.
TORY. I cannot see, good sir, of what advantage it will be to them;—they've only a mind, I suppose, to keep their soldiers from being inactive, which may prejudice their health.
WHIG. I wish it may prove so, I would very gladly confess your superior knowledge in military manoeuvres; but till then, suffer me to tell you, it's a stroke the most fatal to us,—no less, sir, but to cut off the communication between the town and country, making prisoners of us all by degrees, and give 'em an opportunity of making excursions, and in a short time subdue us without resistance.
TORY. I think your fears are groundless.
WHIG. Sir, my reason is not to be trifled with. Do you not see or hear ev'ry day of insults and provocations to the peaceable inhabitants? This is only a prelude. Can men of spirit bear forever with such usage? I know not what business they have here at all.
TORY. I suppose they're come to protect us.
WHIG. Damn such protectors, such cut-throat villains; protect us? from what? from whom?—
TORY. Nay, sir, I know not their business;—let us yet bear with them till we know the success of the petition from the Congress;—if unfavourable, then it will be our time.
WHIG. Then, I fear, it will be too late; all that time we lose, and they gain ground; I have no notion of trusting to the success of petitions, waiting twelve months for no answer at all. Our assemblies have petitioned often, and as often in vain; 't would be a miracle in these days to hear of an American petition being granted; their omnipotences, their demi-godships (as they think themselves) no doubt think it too great a favour done us to throw our petitions under their table, much less vouchsafe to read them.
TORY. You go too far;—the power of King, Lords and Commons is uncontroulable.
WHIG. With respect to tyrannising they would make it so, if they could, I know, but there's a good deal to be said and done first; we have more than half the bargain to make.
TORY. Sure you would not go to dispute by arms with Great-Britain.
WHIG. Sure I would not suffer you to pick my pocket, sir.
TORY. If I did, the law is open for you—
WHIG. I have but a poor opinion of law, when the devil sits judge.
TORY. What would you do then, sir, if I was to pick your pocket?
WHIG. Break your head, sir—
TORY. Sure you don't mean as you say, sir—
WHIG. I surely do—try me, sir—
TORY. Excuse me, sir, I am not of your mind, I would avoid every thing that has the appearance of rashness.—Great-Britain's power, sir—
WHIG. Great-Britain's power, sir, is too much magnified, 't will soon grow weak, by endeavouring to make slaves of American freemen; we are not Africans yet, neither bond-slaves.—You would avoid and discourage every thing that has the appearance of patriotism, you mean.—
TORY. Who? me, sir?
WHIG. Yes, you, sir;—you go slyly pimping, spying and sneaking about, cajoling the ignorant, and insinuating bugbear notions of Great-Britain's mighty power into weak people's ears, that we may tamely give all up, and you be rewarded, perhaps, with the office of judge of the admiralty, or continental hangman, for ought I know.
TORY. Who? me, sir?
WHIG. Aye, you, sir;—and let me tell you, sir, you've been long suspected—
TORY. Of what, sir?
WHIG. For a rank Tory, sir.
TORY. What mean you, sir?
WHIG. I repeat it again—suspected to be an enemy to your country.
TORY. By whom, sir? Can you show me an instance?
WHIG. From your present discourse I suspect you—and from your connections and artful behaviour all suspect you.
TORY. Can you give me a proof?
WHIG. Not a point blank proof, as to my own knowledge; you're so much of a Jesuit, you have put it out of my power;—but strong circumstances by information, such as amount to a proof in the present case, sir, I can furnish you with.
TORY. Sir, you may be mistaken.
WHIG. 'Tis not possible, my informant knows you too well.
TORY. Who is your informant, sir?
WHIG. A gentleman, sir; and if you'll give yourself the trouble to walk with me, I'll soon produce him.
TORY. Another time; I cannot stay now;—'tis dinner time.
WHIG. That's the time to find him.
TORY. I cannot stay now.
WHIG. We'll call at your house then.
TORY. I dine abroad, sir.
WHIG. Be gone, you scoundrel! I'll watch your waters; 'tis time to clear the land of such infernal vermin.
[Exeunt both different ways.
SCENE IV. In Boston, while the Regulars were flying from Lexington.
LORD BOSTON surrounded by his guards and a few officers.
LORD BOSTON. If Colonel Smith succeeds in his embassy, and I think there's no doubt of it, I shall have the pleasure this ev'ning, I expect, of having my friends Hancock and Adams's good company; I'll make each of them a present of a pair of handsome iron ruffles, and Major Provost shall provide a suitable entertainment for them in his apartment.
OFFICER. Sure they'll not be so unpolite as to refuse your Excellency's kind invitation.
LORD BOSTON. Shou'd they, Colonel Smith and Major Pitcairn have my orders to make use of all their rhetoric and the persuasive eloquence of British thunder.
Enter a MESSENGER in haste.
MESSENGER. I bring your Excellency unwelcome tidings—
LORD BOSTON. For heaven's sake! from what quarter?
MESSENGER. From Lexington plains.
LORD BOSTON. 'Tis impossible!
MESSENGER. Too true, sir.
LORD BOSTON. Say—what is it? Speak what you know.
MESSENGER. Colonel Smith is defeated, and fast retreating.
LORD BOSTON. Good God!—What does he say? Mercy on me!
MESSENGER. They're flying before the enemy.
LORD BOSTON. Britons turn their backs before the Rebels!—The Rebels put Britons to flight?—Said you not so?
MESSENGER. They are routed, sir;—they are flying this instant;—the Provincials are numerous, and hourly gaining strength;—they have nearly surrounded our troops. A reinforcement, sir—a timely succour may save the shatter'd remnant Speedily! speedily, sir! or they're irretrievably lost!
LORD BOSTON. Good God! What does he say? Can it be possible?
MESSENGER. Lose no time, sir.
LORD BOSTON. What can I do?—Oh dear!
OFFICER. Draw off a detachment—form a brigade; prepare part of the train; send for Lord Percy; let the drums beat to arms.
LORD BOSTON. Aye, do, Captain; you know how, better than I. (Exit OFFICER.) Did the Rebels dare to fire on the king's troops? Had they the courage? Guards, keep round me.
MESSENGER. They're like lions; they have killed many of our bravest officers and men; and if not checked instantly, will totally surround them, and make the whole prisoners. This is no time to parley, sir.
LORD BOSTON. No, indeed; what will become of me?
Enter EARL PERCY.
EARL PERCY. Your orders, sir.
LORD BOSTON. Haste, my good Percy, immediately take command of the brigade of reinforcement, and fly to the assistance of poor Smith!—Lose no time, lest they be all cut off, and the Rebels improve their advantage, and be upon us; and God knows what quarter they'll give.—Haste, my noble Earl!—Speedily!—Speedily!—Where's my guard?
EARL PERCY. I'm gone, sir.
[Exeunt PERCY and OFFICERS—drums beating to arms.
LORD BOSTON. What means this flutt'ring round my heart? this unusual chilness? Is it fear? No, it cannot be, it must proceed from my great anxiety, my perturbation of mind for the fate of my countrymen. A drowsiness hangs o'er my eyelids;—fain would I repose myself a short time;—but I must not;—I must wait;—I'll to the top of yon eminence,—there I shall be safer. Here I cannot stay;—there I may behold something favourable to calm this tumult in my breast.—But, alas! I fear—Guards, attend me.
[Exeunt LORD BOSTON and GUARDS.
SCENE V. LORD BOSTON and GUARDS on a hill in Boston, that overlooks Charlestown.
LORD BOSTON. Clouds of dust and smoke intercept my sight; I cannot see; I hear the noise of cannon—Percy's cannon—Grant him success!
OFFICER OF GUARD. Methinks, sir, I see British colours waving.
LORD BOSTON. Some ray of hope.—Have they got so near?—Captain, keep a good lookout; tell me every thing you see. My eyes are wondrous dim.
OFFICER. The two brigades have join'd—Now Admiral Tombstone bellows his lower tier on the Provincials. How does your Excellency?
LORD BOSTON. Right;—more hope still.—I'm bravely to what I was. Which way do our forces tend?
OFFICER. I can distinguish nothing for a certainty now; such smoke and dust!
LORD BOSTON. God grant Percy courage!
OFFICER. His ancestors were brave, sir.
LORD BOSTON. Aye, that's no rule—no rule, Captain; so were mine.—A heavy firing now.—The Rebels must be very numerous—
OFFICER. They're like caterpillars; as numerous as the locusts of Egypt.
LORD BOSTON. Look out, Captain, God help you, look out.
OFFICER. I do, sir.
LORD BOSTON. What do you see now? Hark! what dreadful noise!
ONE OF THE GUARD. [Aside.] How damn'd afraid he is.
ANOTHER OF THE GUARD. [Aside.] He's one of your chimney corner Generals—an old granny.
OFFICER. If I mistake not, our troops are fast retreating; their fire slackens; the noise increases.
LORD BOSTON. Oh, Captain, don't say so!
OFFICER. 'Tis true, sir, they're running—the enemy shout victory.
LORD BOSTON. Upon your honour?—say—
OFFICER. Upon my honour, sir, they're flying t'wards Charlestown. Percy's beat;—I'm afraid he's lost his artillery.
LORD BOSTON. Then 'tis all over—the day is lost—what more can we do?
OFFICER. We may, with the few troops left in Boston, yet afford them some succour, and cover their retreat across the water; 'tis impossible to do more.
LORD BOSTON. Go instantly; I'll wait your return. Try your utmost to prevent the Rebels from crossing. Success attend you, my dear Captain, God prosper you! [Exit OFFICER.] Alas! alas! my glory's gone; my honour's stain'd. My dear guards, don't leave me, and you shall have plenty of porter and sour-crout.
SCENE VI. ROGER and DICK, two shepherds near Lexington, after the defeat and flight of the Regulars.
ROGER. Whilst early looking, Dick, ere the sun was seen to tinge the brow of the mountain, for my flock of sheep, nor dreaming of approaching evil, suddenly mine eyes beheld from yon hill a cloud of dust arise at a small distance; the intermediate space were thick set with laurels, willows, evergreens, and bushes of various kinds, the growth of wild nature, and which hid the danger from my eyes, thinking perchance my flock had thither stray'd; I descended, and straight onward went; but, Dick, judge you my thoughts at such a disappointment: Instead of my innocent flock of sheep, I found myself almost encircled by a herd of ravenous British wolves.
DICK. Dangerous must have been your situation, Roger, whatever were your thoughts.
ROGER. I soon discovered my mistake; finding a hostile appearance, I instantly turn'd myself about, and fled to alarm the shepherds.
DICK. Did they pursue you?
ROGER. They did; but having the start, and being acquainted with the by-ways, I presently got clear of their voracious jaws.
DICK. A lucky escape, indeed, Roger; and what route did they take after that?
ROGER. Onwards, t'wards Lexington, devouring geese, cattle and swine, with fury and rage, which, no doubt, was increased by their disappointment; and what may appear strange to you Dick (tho' no more strange than true), is, they seem'd to be possessed of a kind of brutish music, growling something like our favourite tune Yankee Doodle (perhaps in ridicule), till it were almost threadbare, seeming vastly pleased (monkey-like) with their mimickry, as tho' it provoked us much.
DICK. Nature, Roger, has furnish'd some brute animals with voices, or, more properly speaking, with organs of sound that nearly resemble the human. I have heard of crocodiles weeping like a child, to decoy the unwary traveller, who is no sooner within their reach, but they seize and devour instantly.
ROGER. Very true, Dick, I have read of the same; and these wolves, being of the canine breed, and having the properties of blood-hounds, no doubt are possess'd of a more acute sense of smelling, more reason, instinct, sagacity, or what shall I call it? than all other brutes. It might have been a piece of cunning of theirs, peculiar to them, to make themselves pass for shepherds, and decoy our flocks; for, as you know, Dick, all our shepherds both play and sing Yankee Doodle, our sheep and lambs are as well acquainted with that tune as ourselves, and always make up to us whene'er they hear the sound.
DICK. Yes, Roger; and now you put me in mind of it I'll tell you of something surprising in my turn: I have an old ram and an old ewe, that, whenever they sing Yankee Doodle together, a skilful musician can scarcely distinguish it from the bass and tenor of an organ.
ROGER. Surprising indeed, Dick, nor do I in the least doubt it; and why not, as well as Balaam's ass, speak? and I might add, many other asses, now-a-days; and yet, how might that music be improved by a judicious disposition of its various parts, by the addition of a proper number of sheep and young lambs; 't would then likewise resemble the counter, counter tenor, treble, and finest pipes of an organ, and might be truly called nature's organ; methinks, Dick, I could forever sit and hear such music,
Where all the parts in complication roll, And with its charming music feast the soul!
DICK. Delightful, indeed; I'll attempt it with what little skill I have in music; we may then defy these wolves to imitate it, and thereby save our flocks: I am well convinced, Roger, these wolves intended it rather as a decoy than by way of ridicule, because they live by cunning and deception; besides, they could never mean to ridicule a piece of music, a tune, of which such brutes cannot be supposed to be judges, and, which is allowed by the best masters of music to be a composition of the most sublime kind, and would have done honour to a Handel or a Correllius. Well, go on, Roger, I long to hear the whole.
ROGER. When they came to Lexington, where a flock of our innocent sheep and young lambs, as usual, were feeding and sporting on the plain, these dogs of violence and rapine with haughty stride advanc'd, and berated them in a new and unheard of language to us.
DICK. I suppose learn'd at their own fam'd universities—
ROGER. No doubt; they had teachers among them—two old wolves their leaders, not unlike in features to Smith and Pitcairn, as striving to outvie each other in the very dregs of brutal eloquence, and more than Billingsgate jargon, howl'd in their ears such a peal of new-fangled execrations, and hell-invented oratory, till that day unheard in New-England, as struck the whole flock with horror, and made them for a while stand aghast, as tho' all the wolves in the forest had broke loose upon them.
DICK. Oh, shocking!—Roger, go on.
ROGER. Not content with this, their murdering leaders, with premeditated malice, keen appetite, and without provocation, gave the howl for the onset, when instantly the whole herd, as if the devil had entered into them, ran violently down the hill, and fixed their talons and jaws upon them, and as quick as lightning eight innocent young lambs fell a sacrifice to their fury, and victims to their rapacity; the very houses of our God were no longer a sanctuary; many they tore to pieces, and some at the very foot of the altar; others were dragged out as in a wanton, gamesome mood.
DICK. Barbarity inexpressible! more than savage cruelty! I hope you'll make their master pay for 'em; there is a law of this province, Roger, which obliges the owner of such dogs to pay for the mischief they do.
ROGER. I know it, Dick; he shall pay, never fear, and that handsomely too; he has paid part of it already.
DICK. Who is their master, Roger?
ROGER. One Lord Paramount; they call him a free-booter; a fellow who pretends to be proprietor of all America, and says he has a deed for it, and chief ranger of all the flocks, and pretends to have a patent for it; has been a long time in the practice of killing and stealing sheep in England and Ireland, and had like to have been hang'd for it there, but was reprieved by the means of his friend George—I forgot his other name—not Grenville—not George the Second—but another George—
DICK. It's no matter, he'll be hang'd yet; he has sent his dogs to a wrong place, and lugg'd the wrong sow by the ear; he should have sent them to Newfoundland, or Kamchatka, there's no sheep there—But never mind, go on, Roger.
ROGER. Nor was their voracious appetites satiated there; they rush'd into the town of Concord, and proceeded to devour every thing that lay in their way; and those brute devils, like Sampson's foxes (and as tho' they were men), thrice attempted with firebrands to destroy our corn, our town-house and habitations.
DICK. Heavens! Could not all this provoke you?
ROGER. It did; rage prompted us at length, and found us arms 'gainst such hellish mischief to oppose.
DICK. Oh, would I had been there!
ROGER. Our numbers increasing, and arm'd with revenge, we in our turn play'd the man; they, unus'd to wounds, with hideous yelling soon betook themselves to a precipitate and confused flight, nor did we give o'er the chase, till Phoebus grew drowsy, bade us desist, and wished us a good night.
DICK. Of some part of their hasty retreat I was a joyful spectator, I saw their tongues lolling out of their mouths, and heard them pant like hunted wolves indeed.
ROGER. Did you not hear how their mirth was turn'd into mourning? their fury into astonishment? how soon they quitted their howling Yankee Doodle, and chang'd their notes to bellowing? how nimbly (yet against their will) they betook themselves to dancing? And he was then the bravest dog that beat time the swiftest, and footed Yankee Doodle the nimblest.
DICK. Well pleased, Roger, was I with the chase, and glorious sport it was: I oft perceiv'd them tumbling o'er each other heels over head; nor did one dare stay to help his brother—but, with bloody breech, made the best of his way—nor ever stopped till they were got safe within their lurking-holes—
ROGER. From whence they have not the courage to peep out, unless four to one, except (like a skunk) forc'd by famine.
DICK. May this be the fate of all those prowling sheep-stealers, it behooves the shepherds to double the watch, to take uncommon precaution and care of their tender flocks, more especially as this is like to be an uncommon severe winter, by the appearance of wolves, so early in the season—but, hark!—Roger, methinks I hear the sound of melody warbling thro' the grove—Let's sit a while, and partake of it unseen.
ROGER. With all my heart.—Most delightful harmony! This is the First of May; our shepherds and nymphs are celebrating our glorious St. Tammany's day; we'll hear the song out, and then join in the frolic, and chorus it o'er and o'er again—This day shall be devoted to joy and festivity.
[TUNE. The hounds are all out, &c.]
Of St. George, or St. Bute, let the poet Laureat sing, Of Pharaoh or Pluto of old, While he rhymes forth their praise, in false, flattering lays, I'll sing of St. Tamm'ny the bold, my brave boys.
Let Hibernia's sons boast, make Patrick their toast; And Scots Andrew's fame spread abroad. Potatoes and oats, and Welch leeks for Welch goats, Was never St. Tammany's food, my brave boys.
In freedom's bright cause, Tamm'ny pled with applause, And reason'd most justly from nature; For this, this was his song, all, all the day long: Liberty's the right of each creature, brave boys.
Whilst under an oak his great parliament sat, His throne was the crotch of the tree; With Solomon's look, without statutes or book, He wisely sent forth his decree, my brave boys.
His subjects stood round, not the least noise or sound, Whilst freedom blaz'd full in each face: So plain were the laws, and each pleaded his cause; That might Bute, North and Mansfield disgrace, my brave boys.
No duties, nor stamps, their blest liberty cramps, A king, tho' no tyrant, was he; He did oft'times declare, nay, sometimes wou'd swear, The least of his subjects were free, my brave boys.
He, as king of the woods, of the rivers and floods, Had a right all beasts to controul; Yet, content with a few, to give nature her due: So gen'rous was Tammany's soul! my brave boys.
In the morn he arose, and a-hunting he goes, Bold Nimrod his second was he. For his breakfast he'd take a large venison steak, And despis'd your slip-slops and tea, my brave boys.
While all in a row, with squaw, dog and bow, Vermilion adorning his face, With feathery head he rang'd the woods wide: St. George sure had never such grace, my brave boys?
His jetty black hair, such as Buckskin saints wear, Perfumed with bear's grease well smear'd, Which illum'd the saint's face, and ran down apace, Like the oil from Aaron's old beard, my brave boys.
The strong nervous deer, with amazing career, In swiftness he'd fairly run down; And, like Sampson, wou'd tear wolf, lion or bear. Ne'er was such a saint as our own, my brave boys.
When he'd run down a stag, he behind him wou'd lag; For, so noble a soul had he! He'd stop, tho' he lost it, tradition reports it, To give him fresh chance to get free, my brave boys.
With a mighty strong arm, and a masculine bow, His arrow he drew to the head, And as sure as he shot, it was ever his lot, His prey it fell instantly dead, my brave boys.
His table he spread where the venison bled, Be thankful, he used to say; He'd laugh and he'd sing, tho' a saint and a king, And sumptuously dine on his prey, my brave boys.
Then over the hills, o'er the mountains and rills He'd caper, such was his delight; And ne'er in his days, Indian history says, Did lack a good supper at night, my brave boys.
On an old stump he sat, without cap or hat. When supper was ready to eat, Snap, his dog, he stood by, and cast a sheep's eye For ven'son, the king of all meat, my brave boys.
Like Isaac of old, and both cast in one mould, Tho' a wigwam was Tamm'ny's cottage, He lov'd sav'ry meat, such that patriarchs eat, Of ven'son and squirrel made pottage, brave boys.
When fourscore years old, as I've oft'times been told, To doubt it, sure, would not be right, With a pipe in his jaw, he'd buss his old squaw, And get a young saint ev'ry night, my brave boys.
As old age came on, he grew blind, deaf and dumb, Tho' his sport, 'twere hard to keep from it, Quite tired of life, bid adieu to his wife, And blazed like the tail of a comet, brave boys.
What country on earth, then, did ever give birth To such a magnanimous saint? His acts far excel all that history tell, And language too feeble to paint, my brave boys.
Now, to finish my song, a full flowing bowl I'll quaff, and sing all the long day, And with punch and wine paint my cheeks for my saint, And hail ev'ry First of sweet May, my brave boys.
DICK. What a seraphic voice! how it enlivens my soul! Come away, away, Roger, the moments are precious.
[Exeunt DICK and ROGER.
SCENE VII. In a chamber, near Boston, the morning after the battle of Bunkers-Hill.
CLARISSA. How lovely is this new-born day!—The sun rises with uncommon radiance after the most gloomy night my wearied eyes ever knew.—The voice of slumber was not heard—the angel of sleep was fled—and the awful whispers of solemnity and silence prevented my eye-lids from closing.—No wonder—the terrors and ideas of yesterday—such a scene of war—of tumult—hurry and hubbub—of horror and destruction—the direful noise of conflict—the dismal hissing of iron shot in volleys flying—such bellowing of mortars—such thund'ring of cannon—such roaring of musketry—and such clashing of swords and bayonets—such cries of the wounded—and such streams of blood—such a noise and crush of houses, steeples, and whole streets of desolate Charlestown falling—pillars of fire, and the convulsed vortex of fiery flakes, rolling in flaming wreaths in the air, in dreadful combustion, seemed as tho' the elements and whole earth were envelop'd in one general, eternal conflagration and total ruin, and intermingled with black smoke, ascending, on the wings of mourning, up to Heaven, seemed piteously to implore the Almighty interposition to put a stop to such devastation, lest the whole earth should be unpeopled in the unnatural conflict—Too, too much for female heroism to dwell upon—But what are all those to the terrors that filled my affrighted imagination the last night?—Dreams—fancies—evil bodings—shadows, phantoms and ghastly visions continually hovering around my pillow, goading and harrowing my soul with the most terrific appearances, not imaginary, but real—Am I awake?—Where are the British murderers?—where's my husband?—my son?—my brother?—Something more than human tells me all is not well: If they are among the slain, 'tis impossible.—I—Oh! [She cries.]