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If the mind is so formed, in different persons, as to consider the same object to be somewhat different in its nature and consequences, as it happens to be placed in different points of view; and if the oldest, the ablest, and the most virtuous statesmen, have often differed in judgment, as to the best forms of government, we ought, indeed, rather to rejoice, that so much has been effected, than to regret, that more could not all at once be accomplished.
AMITY AND CONCESSION.
It is a fact declared by the General Convention, and universally understood, that the Constitution of the United States was the result of a spirit of amity and mutual concession.
And it is well known, that, under this influence, the smaller States were admitted to an equal representation in the Senate, with the larger States, and that this branch of the Government was invested with great powers; for, on the equal participation of those powers the sovereignty and political safety of the smaller States were deemed essentially to depend.
DUTIES OF THE MINORITY.
To be disgusted at the decision of questions, because not consonant to our own ideas, and to withdraw
ourselves from public assemblies, or to neglect our attendance at them, upon suspicion that there is a party formed, who are inimical to our cause and to the true interests of the country, is wrong; because these things may originate in a difference of opinion. But supposing the fact otherwise, and that our suspicions are well founded, it is the indispensable duty of every patriot, to counteract them by the most steady and uniform opposition.
Let your heart feel for the afflictions and distresses. every one.
Let your hand give in proportion to your purse; remembering always, the estimation of the widow's mites, but, that it is not every one who asketh, that deserveth, charity. All, however, are worthy of inquiry; or the deserving may suffer.
COMPASSION FOR MAN AND BEAST.
The soldiers have two or three times been, days together, without provisions; and once, six days without any thing of the meat kind.
Could the poor horses* tell their tale, it would be
* Wrangham, in his edition of Plutarch's Lives, takes occasion, in the biography of Cato the Censor, famous for his humanity to inferior
in a strain still more lamentable, as numbers have actually died from pure want.
SUFFERERS IN THE INDIAN WARS.
The supplicating tears of the women, and moving petitions of the men, melt me into such deadly sorrow, that I solemnly declare, if I know my own mind, I , could offer myself a willing sacrifice to the butchering enemy, provided that would contribute to the people's
WOMEN, CHILDREN, AND THE INFIRM.
When I consider, that the city of New York will, in all human probability, very soon be the scene of a bloody conflict, I cannot but view the great numbers of women, children, and infirm persons, remaining in it, with the most melancholy concern.
It would relieve me from great anxiety, if your honorable body would immediately deliberate upon it, and form and execute some plan, for their removal
creatures, to say in a note, "Yet Washington, the Tertius Cato of these latter times, is said to have sold his old charger." So far is this from the truth, that the old war-horse was put under the special care of an old servant, was never ridden after the war, and died at Mount Vernon long before the death of Washington.
*The New York Convention.
and relief; in which I will co-operate and assist, to the utmost of my power.
The case of our sick is worthy of much consideration. Their number, by the returns, forms at least one fourth of the army. Policy and humanity require, that they should be made as comfortable as possible.
KINDNESS TO PRISONERS OF WAR.
I have shown all the respect I could to them* here, and have given them some necessary clothing, by which I have disfurnished myself; for, having brought no more than two or three shirts from Will's Creek, that we might be light, I was ill provided to supply them.
If Lord Chatham's son should be in Canada, and in any way should fall into your power, you are enjoined to treat him with all possible deference and respect. You cannot err in paying too much honor to the son of so illustrious a character, and so true a friend to America.
Any other prisoners who may fall into your hands,
* Prisoners taken, near the Great Meadows, May, 1754.
you may treat with as much humanity and kindness, as may be consistent with your own safety and the public interest.
Be very particular in restraining, not only your own troops, but the Indians, from all acts of cruelty and insult, which will disgrace the American arms, and irritate our fellow-subjects against us.
THE CASE OF MAJOR ANDRE.
André has met his fate; and with that fortitude which was to be expected from an accomplished man and gallant officer.
The circumstances under which he was taken, justified it, and policy required a sacrifice. But, as he was more unfortunate than criminal, and, as there was much in his character to interest, while we yielded to the necessity of rigor, we could not but lament it. 1780.
RETALIATION AND HUMANITY.
I know not what to say, on the subject of Retaliation. Congress have it under consideration; and we must await their determination.
Of this I am convincel, that, of all laws, it is the