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of reasons cannot be taken with the precision of algebraic quantities, yet, when each is thus considered separately and comparatively, and the whole lies before me, I think I can judge better, and am less liable to make a rash step; and in fact I have found great advantage from this kind of equation, in what may be called moral or prudential algebra.
Wishing sincerely that you may determine for the best, I am ever, my dear friend, yours most affectionately, B. Franklin.
TO JOHN BARTRAM.
Rhubarb. — Upland Rice.— Chinese Tallow Tree.
London, 17 October, 1773.
My Dear Old Friend,
I received some time since the enclosed letter from Dr. Hope; and lately the gold medal it mentions was delivered to me for you. By the first ship directly to Philadelphia, I shall send it, in the care of some safe hand, thinking it not so well to hazard it with this letter round through New York.
I hope the rhubarb you have sown and distributed will be taken care of. There seems to me no doubt of its doing as well with us as in Scotland. Remember, that for use the root does not come to its perfection of power and virtue in less than seven years. The physicians here, who have tried the Scotch, approve it much, and say it is fully equal to the best imported. I send you enclosed a small box of Upland rice, brought from Cochin China. It grows there on dry grounds, and not in water like the common sort . Also a few seeds of the Chinese tallow tree. They have been carefully preserved in bringing hither by Mr. Ellis's method. I had them from him, and he tells me they may grow under your skilful care. My love to Mrs. Bartram, and all yours, from your affectionate friend, B. Franklin.
TO THOMAS CUSHING.
Petition to the King put into the Hands of Lord Dartmouth.
London, 4 November, 1772.
Lord Dartmouth, our American minister, came to town last week, and held his first levee on Wednesday, when I paid my respects to him, acquainting him at the same time, that I should in a few days wait upon him, on business from Boston; which I have accordingly since done, and have put your petition to the King into his Lordship's hands, that being the regular course.
He received me very obligingly, made no objection to my acting as agent without an appointment assented to by the governor, as his predecessor had done, so that I hope business is getting into a better train. I shall use my best endeavours in supporting the petition, and write you more fully by the next ship to Boston. In the mean time I remain with great respect, your most obedient and humble servant,
TO JOSEPH GALLOWAY.
Court of Exchequer. — The India Company. — Duty on Tea.
London, 2 December, 1772.
I am glad you are returned again to a seat in the Assembly, where your abilities are so useful and necessary in the service of your country. We must not in the course of public life expect immediate approbation and immediate grateful acknowledgment of our services. But let us persevere through abuse and even injury. The internal satisfaction of a good conscience is always present, and time will do us justice in the minds of the people, even those at present the most prejudiced against us.
I have given Dr. Denormandie a recommendation to a friend in Geneva, for which place he set out this morning; and I shall be glad of any opportunity of serving him when he returns to London. I see by the Pennsylvania Gazette, of October 21st, that you are continued Speaker, and myself agent; but I have no line from you or the Committee relative to instructions. Perhaps I shall hear from you by Falconer. I find myself upon very good terms with our new minister, Lord Dartmouth, who we have reason to think means well to the colonies. I believe all are now sensible, that nothing is to be got by contesting with or oppressing us.
Two circumstances have diverted me lately. One was, that, being at the court of exchequer on some business of my own, I there met with one of the commissioners of the stamp office, who told me he attended with a memorial from that board, to be allowed in their accounts the difference between their/ expense in endeavouring to establish those offices in America, and the amount of what they received, which from Canada and the West India Islands was but about fifteen hundred pounds, while the expense, if I remember right, was above twelve thousand pounds, being for stamps and stamping, with paper and parchment returned upon their hands, freight, &c. The other is the present difficulties of the India Company, and of government on their account. The Company have accepted bills, which they find themselves unable to pay, though they have the value of two millions in tea and other India goods in their stores, perishing under a want of demand; their credit thus suffering, and their stock falling one hundred and twenty per cent, whereby the government will lose the four hundred thousand pounds per annum, it having been stipulated that it should no longer be paid, if the dividend fell to that mark. And, although it is known, that the American market is lost by continuing the duty on tea, and that we are supplied by the Dutch, who doubtless take the opportunity of smuggling other India goods among us with the tea, so that for the five years past we might probably have otherwise taken off the greatest part of what the Company have on hand, and so have prevented their present embarrassment, yet the honor of government is supposed to forbid the repeal of the American tea duty; while the amount of all the duties goes on decreasing, so that the balance of this year does not (as I have it from good authority) exceed eighty pounds, after paying the collection; not reckoning the immense expense of guarda-costas, &c. Can an American help smiling at these blunders? Though, in a national light, they are truly deplorable. With the sincerest esteem and inviolable attachment, I am, my dear friend, ever most affectionately yours, B. FRANKLIN.
TO THOMAS CUSHIWO.
Petition from Massachusetts Bay.— Conversation with Lard Dartmouth respecting it.
London, 2 December, 1772.
Sir, The above is a copy of my last . A few days after my leaving your petition with Lord Dartmouth, his Lordship sent for me to discourse with me upon it After a long audience, he was pleased to say, that notwithstanding all I had said or could say, in support and justification of the petition, he was sure the presenting it at this time could not possibly produce any good; that the King would be exceedingly offended, but what steps his Majesty would take upon it was uncertain; perhaps he would require the opinion of the judges or government lawyers, which would surely be against us; perhaps he might lay it before Parliament and so the censure of both Houses would be drawn down upon us. The most favorable thing to be expected was, a severe reprimand to the Assembly, by order of his Majesty, the natural consequence of which must be more discontent and uneasiness in the province. That possessed as he was with great good will for New England, he was extremely unwilling, that one of the first acts of his administration, with regard to the Massachusetts, should be of so unpleasant a nature. That minds had been heated and irritated on both sides of the water, but he hoped those heats were now cooling, and he was averse to the addition of fresh fuel. That as I had delivered the petition to him officially, he must present it, if I insisted upon it; but he wished I would