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DEALINGS WITH LORD HILLSBOROUGH. 49

lin; you are not agent.” “I do not understand your lordship. I have the appointment in my pocket.” His lordship remarked that the bill had not received the assent of Governor Hutchinson. “There was no bill, my lord. It was by a vote of the House.” His lordship summoned his secretary, and asked for the Governor's letter; but, on examination, found that it contained nothing in relation to the agent. “I thought it could not well be,” said Franklin, “as my letters are by the last ships, and they mention no such thing. Here is the authentic copy of the vote of the House appointing me, in which there is no mention of any act intended. Will your lordship please to look at it?” His lordship took the paper reluctantly, and, without condescending to read it, launched into a rebuke of the practice of appointing agents by vote of the Assembly, without the Governor's assent. Franklin suggested that, inasmuch as the agent was employed to transact the business of the people and not of the Governor, the people had a right to appoint their agents, independently of him, through their representatives. His lordship would not be convinced against his will. He handed back to Franklin his credentials unread; and Franklin, whose demeanor thus far had been marked with the most imperturbable good-humor, notwithstanding his provocations, took his leave, sarcastically remarking to his lordship that it was plainly “of very little consequence whether the appointment was acknowledged or not, for it was clear to his mind that, as affairs were now administered, an agent could be of no use to any of the Colonies.” In 1772, Lord Hillsborough gave in his resignation, a step which Franklin had done much to accelerate, by overruling his Report on a proposed grant of land in Ohio, and thus exhibiting to the king and ministers his lordship's incompetency to manage colonial affairs. To a question put by a person high at court to Franklin, whether he could name another person likely to be more acceptable to the Colonies, he replied: “Yes, there is Lord Dartmouth; we liked him very well when he was at the head of the board formerly, and in all probability should again.” Lord Dartmouth was appointed to succeed Lord Hillsborough. Prior to Lord Hillsborough's resignation, Franklin was entertained by him, at his place in Ireland. In a letter to Thomas Cushing, Franklin writes: “Being in Dublin at the same time with his lordship, I met with him accidentally at the Lord Lieutenant's, who had happened to invite us to dine with a large company on the same day. As there was something curious in our interview, I must give you an account of it. He was surprisingly civil, and urged my fellow-travellers and me to call at his house in our intended journey northward, where we might be sure of better accommodations than the inns would afford us. Hu pressed us so politely, that it was not easy to refuse without apparent rudeness, as we must pass through his town, Hillsborough, and by his door; and, therefore, as it might afford an opportunity of saying something on American affairs, I concluded to comply with his invitation. His lordship went home some time before we left Dublin. We called upon him, and were detained at his house four days, during which time he entertained us with great civility, and a particular attention to me, that appeared the more extraordinary, as I knew that just before we left London he had expressed himself concerning me in very angry terms, calling me a republican, a factious, mischievous fellow, and the like. “He seemed attentive to everything that might make my stay in his house agreeable to me, and put his eldest son, Lord Killwarling, into his phaeton with me, to drive me a round of forty miles, that I might see the country, the seats and manufactures, covering me with his own great-coat, lest I should take cold. In short, he seemed extremely solicitous to impress me, and the Colonies through me, with a good opinion of him. All which I could not but wonder at, knowing that he likes neither them nor me; and I thought it inexplicable but on the supposition that he apprehended an approaching storm, and was desirous of lessening beforehand the number of enemies he had so imprudently created. But, if he takes no steps towards withdrawing the troops, repealing the duties, restoring the Castle,” or recalling the offensive instructions, I shall think all the plausible behavior I have described is meant only, by patting and stroking the

* Castle William, in Boston Harbor.

A LORD's CAPRICES. 51

horse, to make him more patient, while the reins are drawn tighter, and the spurs set deeper into his sides.” On his return to London, Franklin waited on Lord Hillsborough, to thank him for his civilities in Ireland, and to discourse with him on a Georgia affair. “The porter,” says Franklin, “told me he was not at home. I left my card, went another time, and received the same answer, though I knew he was at home, a friend of mine being with him. After intermissions of a week each, I made two more visits, and received the same answer. N. The last time was on a levee day, when a number of carriages were at his door. My coachman, driving up, alighted and was opening the coach-door, when the porter seeing me, came out, and surlily chid the coachman for opening the door before he had inquired whether my lord was at home; and then turning to me, said, ‘My lord is not at home.’ I have never since been nigh him, and we have only abused one another at a distance.” Franklin was destined to experience still another instance of his lordship's caprice. Being at Oxford with Lord Le Despencer, Lord H. called upon Lord Le D., who was occupying the same chamber with Franklin, in Queen's College. “I was in the inner room, shifting,” writes Franklin, in a letter to his son, “and heard his voice, but did not see him, as he went down stairs immediately with Lord Le D., who mentioning that I was above, he returned directly, and came to me in the pleasantest manner imaginable. “Dr F.,’ said he, “I did not know till this minute that you were here, and I am come back to make you my bow. I am glad to see you at Oxford, and that you look so well,’ &c. In return for this extravagance, I complimented him on his son's performance in the theatre, though, indeed, it was but indifferent, so that account was settled. For as people say, when they are angry, if he strike me, I’ll strike him again; I think sometimes it may be right to say, if he flatters me, I’ll flatter him again. This is lear talionis, returning offences in kind. His son, however (Lord Fairford), is a valuable young man, and his daughters, Ladies Mary and Charlotte, most amiable young women. My quarrel is only with him, who of all the men I ever met with is surely the most unequal in his treatment of people, the most insincere, and the most wrong-headed.”

In April 1770, Parliament repealed the whole of Townshend's act for raising a revenue in America, excepting the tax on tea. But as the exception involved the whole principle against which the Colonists were contending, their dissatisfaction was increased, rather than abated, by this partially retrograde legislation. Franklin had, for the last three years, urged upon Americans the adoption of resolutions to forego the use of imported goods. To a committee of Philadelphia merchants he writes: “I hope you will — if backed by the general honest resolutions of the people to buy British goods of no others, but to manufacture for themselves, or use colony manufactures only — be the means, under God, of recovering and establishing the freedom of our country entire, and of handing it down complete to posterity.” In reply to questions addressed to him, in November 1769, by his friend William Strahan, member of Parliament, he had given it as his opinion that a repeal of the revenue laws, excepting the duty on tea, would not fully satisfy the Colonists, an opinion which was soon abundantly verified. He was now the commissioned agent of four of the American Colonies, namely, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Massachusetts and New Jersey, and his time was fully occupied.

WI.

NoTwiTHSTANDING the absorbing nature of his political business, Franklin gave much of his attention to scientific and economical questions of public utility. He corresponded with Dr. Cadwallader Evans, of Philadelphia, in regard to the culture of silk, and earnestly recommended a trial of the experiment in America. He hoped that our people would not be disheartened by a few accidents; “by diligence and patience the mouse ate in twain the cable.” In 1771 he made an excursion through various parts of England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland. At Leeds, he visited his attached friend Dr. Priestley, at Manchester, Dr. Percival, and at Litchfield, Dr. Erasmus Darwin, the cele

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AGREEABLE POSITION IN ENGLAND. 53

brated poet and naturalist. In Ireland, he was handsomely
entertained “by both parties, the courtiers and the patri-
ots.” The Irish Parliament being in session, he was, by a
formal vote, admitted within the bar of the House, as a
member of the Pennsylvania Assembly. In Scotland, he
passed some days with Lord Kames and David Hume, and
received many civilities from Dr. Robertson, Sir Alexander
Dick, and other distinguished men. At Preston, in Lan-
cashire, he met, for the first time, his son-in-law, Mr. Rich-
ard Bache, by whose deportment and character he was
agreeably impressed. With his old friend, Dr. Shipley,
Bishop of St. Asaph, he passed some weeks. Miss Georgi-
ana Shipley, a daughter of the “good bishop,” was subse-
quently one of Franklin's favored correspondents.
We gather, from his letters to his son about this time,
that, though well pleased with his residence in England, he
had a strong inclination to return to America. He writes:

“Nothing can be more agreeable than my situation, more especially as I hope for less embarrassment from the new administration. A genera. respect paid me by the learned — a number of friends and acquaintance among them, with whom I have a pleasing intercourse ; a character of so much weight, that it has protected me when some in power would have done me injury, and continued me in an office they would have deprived me of ; my company so much desired, that I seldom dine at home in winter, and could spend the whole summer in the country-houses of inviting friends, if I chose it. Learned and ingenious foreigners that come to England almost all make a point of visiting me (for my reputation is still higher abroad than here); several of the foreign ambassadors have assiduously cultivated my acquaintance, treating me as one of their corps, partly, I believe, from the desire they have from time to time of hearing something of American affairs, an object become of importance in foreign courts, who begin to hope Britain’s alarming power will be diminished by the defection of her colonies ; and partly, that they may have an opportunity of introducing me to the gentlemen of their country who desire it. The king, too, has lately been heard to speak of me with regard. These are flattering circumstances ; but a violent longing for home sometimes seizes me, which I can no otherwise subdue, but by promising myself a return next spring, or next autumn, and so forth. As to returning hither, if I once go back, I have no thoughts of it. I am too far advanced in life to propose three voyages more. I have some important affairs to settle at home ; and, considering my double expenses here and there, I hardly think my salaries fully compensate the disadvantages. The late change, however (of the American minister), being thrown into the balance, determines me to stay another winter.”

In the summer of 1769 Franklin was one of a committee appointed by the Royal Society, to consider the best method

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