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Let the consequences be what they will, I am determined to proceed.
– James Otis
It is a clear truth that those who every day barter away other men’s liberty will soon care little for their own.
Every one with this writ may be a tyrant; if this commission be legal, a tyrant in a legal manner, also, may control, imprison, or murder any one within the realm.
MAY it please your Honors: I was desired by one of the court to look into the books, and consider the question now before them concerning Writs of Assistance.
I pray God I may never be brought to the melancholy trial; but, if ever I should, it will then be known how far I can reduce to practice principles which I know to be founded in truth.
But I think I can sincerely declare that I cheerfully submit myself to every odious name for conscience’ sake; and from my soul I despise all those whose guilt, malice, or folly has made them my foes.
I have accordingly considered it, and now appear not only in obedience to your order, but likewise in behalf of the inhabitants of this town, who have presented another petition, and out of regard to the liberties of the subject.
Taxation without representation is tyranny.
If we are not represented, we are slaves.
I will to my dying day oppose, with all the powers and faculties God has given me, all such instruments of slavery on the one hand and villainy on the other as this Writ of Assistance is.
Every man may reign secure in his petty tyranny, and spread terror and desolation around him, until the trump of the Archangel shall excite different emotions in his soul.
My dear sister, I hope, when God Almighty in his righteous providence shall take me out of time into eternity, that it will be by a flash of lightning.
I do not say that, when brought to the test, I shall be invincible.
A man’s house is his castle.
A man is accountable to no person for his doings.
Now, one of the most essential branches of English liberty is the freedom of one’s house.
The only principles of public conduct that are worthy of a gentleman or a man are to sacrifice estate, ease, health, and applause, and even life, to the sacred calls of his country.
These manly sentiments, in private life, make good citizens; in public life, the patriot and the hero.