910. A Mechanick
Massachusetts Gazette, 25 July 1788

To a writer in the Centinel of Wednesday last,

whose signature is—“Another Mechanick.”

Excuse me, Sir, for differing from you in opinion when you say, “the federal constitution having been adopted by this commonwealth, it is invidious to give the credit of this measure to any man, or particular class, or profession of men.” With as great a degree of propriety might you have asserted, that if the constitution had been rejected by our late state convention, it would have been odious to have deprecated the measure. Such doctrine as this may be considered as no better than the doctrine of passive obedience, and non-resistance. For my part, I am not of the opinion “that rulers can do no wrong,” neither do I think that the plaudits which are due to merit, ought to be withheld.

By your manner of writing, I am led to conjecture that you have the vanity to arrogate to yourself a considerable share of merit in the adoption of the constitution, and are fearful of losing a feather from your crest, should honour be given to whom it is due.

It is not my intention to raise disputes about a matter that has terminated to the satisfaction of almost every good man; my only motive in noticing your production, is, to check that vain glory which often seems to swell your breast, and prompt you to assume airs quite unbecoming your station.

That the “mechanicks of this town mean to keep within their proper line, and whenever the peace, honour and safety of this country require it, they will not consider it as a deviation from that line to express their feelings and opinions,” is a truth which, to their honour, has often been manifested, and, as the piece to which your production refers, was not tinctured with an idea that such a truth was controvertible, it may reasonably be supposed that your concluding sentence was lugged in to gain the favour of those who are possessed of too much good sense and spirit to be pleased with the fawning of a flatterer, and sufficient judgment of their own to know how to conduct, without being beholden to the dictates of an ostentatious pickthank.

It doubtless will excite the risibility of those who perceive that the same piece which stiles the writer in last Friday’s Gazette, a sham Mechanick, is laid before the publick, with the signature of “another Mechanick,” annexed to it: the writer in the Centinel, therefore, either owns himself a sham mechanick (if he considers the writer in the Gazette to be such) or contradicts by his signature, what he asserts in his production.