"My master, Mr. John Hancock, Esquire, bids me leave these coins—one for each of the poor work-boys—hoping they will drink his health and be diligent at their benches." Then he was gone.
"Hoping they will vote for him—when they are grown up and have enough property."
"Don't you ever vote for Mr. Hancock, sir?" asked Johnny.
"I never do. I don't hold much with these fellows that are always trying to stir up trouble between us and England. Maybe English rule ain't always perfect, but it's good enough for me. Fellows like Mr. Hancock and Sam Adams, calling themselves patriots and talking too much. Not reading God's Word—like their parents did—which tells us to be humble. But he's my landlord and I don't say much." (1.3.42-45)
There are a couple of things going on here. The first is possible bribery: is Mr. Hancock just a nice guy, or is he greasing the wheels of the old political machine? The second is the issue of Mr. Lapham's feelings about Whigs: is it possible to be both patriotic and humble?