his stamp, the very sincerity of his convictions made him feel that the cause of the people was indeed his own, and therefore that the converse of the proposition was also true. Such a man when he himself becomes a ruler is of course likely to continue to exercise against the people the very qualities which in the beginning he has exercised on their behalf; and this without any, or at most with but little, conscious change of intent. Yet with all Leisler's faults it must be remembered that fundamentally he was right, for he struggled to procure enlarged liberties for the people.
The tyranny of King James had been two sided,he had striven to make the power of the sovereign absolute, and less directly, to make the Romish Church arbiter of men's consciences. The New York commonalty detested his officers, both as representing the civil power that actually had oppressed them and as standing for the religious power that possibly would oppress them. They naturally bore especial hatred to such of the officials as were Catholics; and it was this feeling that brought about the first break between the popular party and the upholders of the existing order of things.
Leisler imported a cargo of wine from Europe, but refused to pay the duties on the ground that the collector of the port was a Catholic. The council sided with the collector, and high words passed