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time will show that no one will be accepted by them who puts the King's commands into execution.”
The succeeding Governor endured the same insults, and encountered the same defiance, and added his testimony to that of his predecessor, “ Unless these factious preachers are turned out of the colony, there will be disquiets here, as no Pope ever acted with greater arrogance; and without some force to keep this people under, it will be very difficult, if not an impossible thing, to put into execution his Majesty's orders, or the laws of trade.”
Warned by these failures, both these districts were now comprehended in the temporary commission of President Dudley, and long after remained united with Massachusetts. Such, however, are the uncertainties which attend human schemes, that now that the Charter was forfeited, the leaders in these intrigues were mortified to find that they had, by their own usurpations and acts, enlarged the limits of a royal colony. The inhabitants of both dependencies were no less humiliated by the reflection, that by lending themselves to a fraud on individual rights, and regal authority, they had lost the benefit of a local government, while they were too poor and too few in number to have either weight or influence in the one they had struggled to establish. Instead
of vanquishing the King, they had injured their own cause; and while they were congratulating themselves on the success of their efforts, they made the unwelcome discovery that victory is sometimes more ruinous than defeat.
The administration of Dudley was of short duration. It was not probable, it was ever in the contemplation of James to continue him for any length of time in his office. He was a colonist, and would have been both unfit and unwilling to have become the instrument of his arbitrary measures. It was manifest that he considered it but a temporary arrangement himself. As far as possible, he suffered the old order of things to continue : although in obedience to his commission the House of Representatives was laid aside, the magistrates and select men discharged their several duties as heretofore; and as little was done by him as was compatible with the exigencies of the country. He was long enough in office, however, thoroughly to dissatisfy both the King and the people. He had not exerted himself in a manner that was agreeable to his royal master in giving effect to the laws of trade, nor had he enforced that prompt obedience to his orders which was expected of him. On the other hand, he had done too much to render himself popular with the people. He was not elected by them, and they regarded him as an usurper. He was a native, and his acceptance of office under a tyrant was viewed as the act of a traitor. He had subverted their constitution which, by the law of the land, was a capital offence; and if they had had the power, the inclination was not wanting to have made him undergo the extreme penalty.
Such is ever the fate of undecided measures, and of attempts to conciliate the regard of two irreconcilable parties. Each thinks that too. much has been sacrificed to the other, and both complain that too little deference has been paid to their respective claims or wishes, while the unsuccessful politician has seldom the approbation of his own conscience to sustain him in his miscarriage.
“I warned thee," said one of the preachers to Dudley, with that mixture of cant and insolence that always rendered them so intolerable,* “I
* The character of the people is not to be sought for in the history of the colony only, for their public affairs were managed by men of education and experience, but recourse must be had to their correspondence among themselves, and to documents that have merely a local bearing. The primitive manners of the inhabitants of the rural districts may be judged of by the following letter of Captain Chudworth to the Governor of New Plymouth, declining a military command :
"Much honoured, “My service and due respect being presented, yours of the 19th December, 1673, came to my hands the last day
warned thee to be watchful, and strengthen the things that remain that are ready to die, but thou
of that month, wherein your honour acquainted me that the General Court, by a clear vote, have pitched upon myself to command an hundred men, in joining with the rest, in prosecuting the expedition against the Dutch. The estate and condition of my family is such as will not admit of such a thing, being such as can be hardly paralleled, which was well known unto some; but it was not well nor friendly done as to me, nor faithful as to the country, if they did not lay my condition before the Court. My wife, as is well known to the whole town, is not only a weak woman, and has been so all along; but now, by reason of age, being sixty-seven years and upwards, and nature decaying, so her illness grows more strongly upon her; never a day passes but she is forced to rise at break of day or before. She cannot lay for want of breath; and when she is up, she cannot light a pipe of tobacco, but it must be lighted for her; and until she has taken two or three pipes, for want of breath, she is not able to stir, and she has never a maid. That day your letter came to my hands, my maid's year being out, she went away, and I cannot get nor hear of another. And then in regard for my occasion abroad, for the tending and looking after all my creatures, the fetching home my hay that is yet at the place where it grew, getting of wood, going to mill, and for the performing all other family occasions, I have none but a small Indian boy about thirteen years of age to help me.
“Your humble servant,
“JAMES CHUDWORTH. “To the much honoured Joseph Winslow,
“Governor of New Plymouth,
“Situate the 16th of January, 1673.”
wouldst not; and now because thou art lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spew thee out of my mouth.”
During his short administration, he discovered that temporary popularity may be acquired by an affability of manner, or the arts of intrigue ; but that character has no sure and solid foundation, but in honesty of purpose, and vigour of conduct. It was a valuable lesson; and in after days, he had a conspicuous opportunity, as we shall see, to practise successfully what he had so dearly acquired.