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Letter (draft) from Abigail Adams to Mercy Otis Warren, [3] February 1775

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[3? February ]1775

My Dear Mrs. Warren

The die is cast. -- Yesterday
brought us such a Speach from the Throne as will
forever stain with everlasting infamy the reign of Gorge
the 3 determined to carry into Execution "the acts passd
by the late parliment, and to mantain the authority
of the Legislative over all his dominions." The
reply of the house of commons & the house of Lords
shew us the most wicked & hostile measures will
be persued against us -- even with out
giving us an opportunity to be heard in our defence
Infatuated Brittain! poor distressed america.
Heaven only knows what is next to take place
but it seems to me the Sword is now our only, yet duti-
ful alternative -- and the fate of Rome will be
renued in Brittain. She who has been the envy
of nations will now become an object of their Scorn
and abhorance, and as it was said of Rome that
she governd other people by her will but her own
by Law, they now behold her governd herself by
will, by the Arbitary will of the worst of her own
citizens, and arrived at that period which has been
foretold when the people co-operateing with the Enimies
of the constitution by Electing those to represent them
who are hired to betray them, or by submitting

tamely when the mask is taken of or falls of and the
attempt to bring beggary & slavery is avoed or can
be no longer concealed. When this happens the
Friends of Liberty, should any such remain will have
one option Still left, and will rather chuse no doubt
to die last British freeman than bear to live the first
of British Slaves -- and this now seems to be all that
is left to americans with an unfeigned & penitant
suplications to that Being who delights in the
welfare of his creatures, and who we humbly hope
will engage on our side, & who if we must go
forth in defence of our injured and oppressed Country
will we hope deliver us from the hands of our
Enimies & those that persecute us. Tho an haste
should encamp against out hearts will not fear
Tho was Should wage rise against us, in this will
we be confident that the Lord reigneth Let thy Mercy o Lord be upon
us according as we hope in thee.

Mr Adams is in Boston.
I have not seen him since the news arrived royal
royal mandate arrived, nor have I been able to
learn any further news -- I wait for his return
with anxiety even tho I expect it
to be confirmed in all my apprehensions.

Those who have most to loose have most to fear. the
natural timidity of our sex always seeks for a
releif and stands in the need of encouragement &
protection from of the other -- nor am I insensible

Thus far I wrote with a Heart
tremblingly anxious and was prevented from
persuing my Subject by companys comeing in --
Upon Mr. Adams'es return I experienced the truth
of your observation. He laughed at my fears
and in some Measure dispelld them -- made me
see that we were not called either rebels or Trators
told me that there was no other news by this Ship
and he still thought that their fears might have
weight with them -- I would not have my
Friend immagine that with all my fears and
apprehensions. I would give up one Iott Iota
of our rights and privilages -- I think upon
the Maturest deliberation I can say dreadful
as the day would be I had rather see the Sword
Drawn -- Let these truths says the admired
Farmer be indelibly impressed on our Minds
that we cannot be happy without being free
that we cannot be free without being secure
in our property -- that we cannot be secure in

our property if without our consent others may
as by right take it away -- we know too well
the blessings of freedom, to tamely resign them
it -- and there really seems to be a ray of light
breaking thro the palpable darkness which has
for so long a time darkened our hemisphere and
threatened to overwhelm us in one common ruin
and I cannot but hope with you for a more favo-
rable Scenes -- and brighter days --Lord North
has luckily thought of a new explanation of
his Neroism -- what ever
may be their secret motives to change of Measures
is uncertain, but from their formour conduct
we have little shall have little reason to think that
justice or Humanity were the motives -- and
must ever mantain a jealous Eye over those who
have acted so repungant to all Laws both Humane
and Divine -- May justice & Liberty finally prevail
and the Friends of freedom enjoy that satisfaction
and tranquility which ever attends upright
intentions and is the sure recompence of virtue.

But is adverse Days are
Still alloted us, and which neither wisdom or prudence
can prevent, it must be a continual Source

of Satisfaction that every method consistant with
reason and religion has have been adopted to avert the
calimities, but if Innocence must be exposed to Calumi-
ny and virtue become the object of percecution and
the upright individual fall a Sacrifice to his own
virtue, still we must not araign the Divine justice
whowhich acts not by partial but by general Laws
and may have very important and extensive
concequences to answer for the general good of
Society.

My Friend assures me that
She will comply with my request and gratify my cu-
riosity but at the same conditions with me. If I
comply it will be only to obtain from her a greater
value for a less -- a very selfish motive you will say
yes there are few who would withstand the temptation
I have an other motive too in complying which
I dare not own to her. Some future time perhaps
I may venture to -- in yours to Mr Adams you
seem to labour under apprehension least the severity
with which a certain group was Drawn was in compatable
with that Benevolence which ought always to be
predominant in the female character. Satire in the
hands of some is a dangerous weapon, but when it is
awakened only by the love of virtue and the abhorance
of vice, when truth is preserved, and the [ridiculous?]

and vicious actions are alone the subject, it is so
far from blameable that it is certainly meritorious and
tho an Eagle's talon asks an Eagle's eye,
who combats virtues foe is virtues friend
and a keen Satire well applied has some times
found its way, when every persuasions, admonitions,
and Lectures of Morality have failed -- such is the
abhorance of humane nature when it diviates
from the path of rectitude to be presented in
its true coulours.

"Well may they Dread the Muses fatal skill
Well may they tremble when she Draws the quill
Her Magick quill that like Ithuriels Spear
Reveals the cloven hoof, or lengthen'd Ear
Bids vice & folly take their Nat'ral Shapes
Turns Counsellors to knaves & Beaux to apes
Drags the vile whisp'rer from his dark abode
Till all the Deamon starts up from the toad"

You will excuse me for
given my opinion unasked I will not forestall
our other Friend. he shall not know mine till
he has given his own -- give me leave to Quote
the opinion of a poet upn this subject

"When virtue sinks beneath unnumberd foesWoes
And passions born her Friends revoult her foes
Tis Satires power; tis her corrective part
To calm the wild disorders of the heart
She points to arduous height were where glory lies
And teaches mad ambition to be wise
In the dark Bosome wakes the fair desire
Draws good from ill, a brighter flame from fire
Strips black oppression of her gay disguise
Ands bids the hag in native horrour rise
Strikes tow'ring pride and lawless rapine Dead
And plants the Wreath on Virtue's awful head."

I must intreat a compli-
ance with my other request it will be an additional
obligation conferd upon your much obliged
Friend

Abigail Adams