A Found Heart is the Life of the Flesh but Envy the Rottenness of the Bones

in about Warren

Author: Observator, a Loyalist pseudonym

“I observe in the Boston Gazette of the 29th of Feb. last [a] piece signed a True Patriot; — if scolding without reasoning, or alledging facts without proving them will intitle a man to the appellation of a true Patriot, he is justly intitled to it.  It is much easier for a man to say, May it please your – we have known for some time your – enmity to this province, &c. than to give instances wherein it has appeared.  And he that undertakes to say this of his – without shewing wherein it has been discovered, is not more to be regarded than some of our pretended Patriots who pretend one day to be sorry that such a scandalous piece every appeared in print, and the next day as sorry that he was not the author of it himself, and wished to G-d he had been the author of it, (in the hearing of many) this methinks seems to be blowing cold and hot in a breath; but since the Indian’s dog occurs to my mind, I shall not dwell much longer upon this subject: A certain Indian having lost his dog desired his neighbours to take him up when they saw him; they asked him to give the color of the dog: The Indian told them he was sometimes white and sometimes black. – This must be a curious dog indeed, I hope we have none such now a-days, if we have they may deceive us.  A found heart is the life of the flesh, but envy the rottenness of the bones; why then so envious, surely the people in general through this province have no opposition to government and good order; but some there are no doubt that have been taken in (as the phrase is among the jockies) by Mr. Patriot would be thought, and it is their interest to bring themselves off as well they can, which if they do, I believe they will take care how they burn their fingers again.


N.B. The more such scandalous pieces appear in print against his [Excellency Governor Francis Bernard]– the more will it shew the necessity of there being such a man as he is among us, and long may he continue.”

Source: Boston Evening-Post, March 7, 1768

Commentary: Loyalist writers are not amused by Warren’s pseudonymous A True Patriot. Concurrently members of the governor’s council weighed bringing legal action against A True Patriot, if he could be identified, or more likely Edes and Gill, publishers of the Boston Gazette. If Warren and his Sons of Liberty colleagues aimed to provoke the governor and Loyalists, they had succeeded grandly in this instance. The content of these exchanges no longer argue the merits and concerns with the Townshend Duties, but rather wallow in ad hominem attacks and mutual accusations of nefarious motives.

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