Wednesday July 1. 1772.
He, who contends for Freedom,
can ne’er be justly deem’d his Sovereign’s Foe:
No, ’tis the wretch that tempts him to subvert it,
The soothing Slave, the Traitor in the Bosom,
Who best deserves that name; he is a worm
That eats out all the Happiness of Kingdoms.1
When Life, or Death,
becomes the Question, all Distinctions vanish;
Then the first Monarch and the lowest Slave
on the same Level Stand, in this the Sons
of equal Nature all.
1. Note by CFA: “These lines are taken from a play, now little read: [James] Thomson’s Edward and Eleanora, act i. sc. 2, and act ii. sc. 2” (JA, Works description begins The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States: with a Life of the Author, ed. Charles Francis Adams, Boston, 1850–1856; 10 vols. description ends , 2:297).