« ZurückWeiter »
not write it; and the consequence is, that he thinks I know the contrary, and wanted to impose upon him in your favor; and so I find he is now displeased with me, and for no other cause in the world.” His friend Bamber Gascoign, too, says, that they well know it was written by Dr. Franklin, who was one of the most mischievous men in England.
That same day Lord Hillsborough called upon Lord Le Despencer, whose chamber and mine were together in Queen's College. I was in the inner room shifting, and heard his voice, but did not see him, as he went down stairs immediately with Lord Le Despencer, who mentioning that I was above, he returned directly and came to me in the pleasantest manner imaginable. “Dr. Franklin,” 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 strikes 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 lex 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 wrongheaded; witness, besides his va
; rious behaviour to me, his duplicity in encouraging us to ask for more land, ask for enough to make a province (when we at first asked only for two millions five hundred thousand acres), were his words, pretending to befriend our application, then doing every thing to defeat it; and reconciling the first to the last, by saying to a friend, that he meant to defeat it from the beginning; and that his putting us upon asking so much was with that very view, supposing it too much to be granted. Thus, by the way, his mortification becomes double. He has served us by the very means he meant to destroy us, and tripped up his own heels into the bargain. Your affectionate father,
TO SAMUEL DANFORTH.
London, 25 July, 1773. DEAR SIR, It gave me great pleasure to receive so cheerful an epistle from a friend of half a century's standing, and to see him commencing life anew in so valuable
I hope the young gentleman's patent will be as beneficial to him, as his invention must be to the public.
I see by the papers, that you continue to afford that public your services, which makes me almost ashamed of my resolutions for retirement. But this exile, though an honorable one, is become grievous to me, in so long a separation from my family, friends, and country; all which you happily enjoy; and long may you continue to enjoy them. I hope for the great pleasure of once more seeing and conversing with you; and, though living on in one's children, as we both may do, is a good thing, I cannot but fancy it might be better to continue living ourselves at the same time. I rejoice, therefore, in your kind intentions of including me in the benefits of that inestimable stone, which, curing all diseases (even old age
itself), will enable us to see the future glorious state of our America, enjoying in full security her own liberties, and offering in her bosom a participation of them to all the oppressed of other nations. I anticipate the jolly conversation we and twenty more of our friends may have a hundred years hence on this subject, over that well replenished bowl at Cambridge Commencement. I am, dear Sir, for an age to come, and for ever, with sincere esteem and respect, your most obedient humble servant,
TO JOHN WINTHROP.
Prudence and Moderation recommended in the political Movements of the Colonies.
London, 25 July, 1773. DEAR SIR, I am glad to see, that you are elected into the Council, and are about to take part in our public affairs. Your abilities, integrity, and sober attachment to the liberties of our country, will be of great use in this tempestuous time in conducting our little bark into safe harbour. By the Boston newspapers, there seems to be among us some violent spirits, who are for an immediate rupture. But I trust the general prudence of our country will see, that by our growing strength we advance fast to a situation in which our claims must be allowed; that by a premature struggle we may be crippled, and kept down another age; that, as between friends, every affront is not worth a duel, between nations every injury not worth a war, so between the governed and governing every mistake in government, every encroachment on right, is not worth a rebellion.
It is in my opinion sufficient for the present, that we hold them forth on all occasions, not giving up any of them, using at the same time every means to make them generally understood and valued by the people; cultivating a harmony among the colonies, that their union in the same sentiments may give them greater weight; remembering withal, that this Protestant country (our mother, though lately an unkind one,) is worth preserving, and that her weight in the scale of Europe, and her safety in a great degree, may depend on our union with her. Thus conducting, I am confident we may in a few years obtain every allowance of, and every security for, our inestimable privileges, that we can wish or desire. With great and sincere esteem, I am, &c.
TO THOMAS CUSHING.
Printing of Hutchinson's Letters.
London, 25 July, 1773. SIR, I am favored with yours of June 14th and 16th, containing some copies of the resolves of the committee upon the letters.* I see by your account of the transaction, that you could not well prevent what was done. As to the report of other copies being come from England, I know that could not be. It was an expedient to disengage the House. I hope the possession of the originals, and the proceedings upon them, will be attended with salutary effects to the province, and then I shall be well pleased.
• Resolves concerning Hutchinson's Letters. See Vol. IV. p. 426.
I observe that you mention, that no person besides Dr. Cooper and one of the committee knew they came from me. I did not accompany them with any request of being myself concealed; for, believing what I did to be in the way of my duty as agent, though I had no doubt of its giving offence, not only to the parties exposed, but to administration here, I was regardless of the consequences. However, since the letters themselves are now copied and printed, contrary to the promise I made, I am glad my name has not been heard on the occasion; and, as I do not see it could be of any use to the public, I now wish it may continue unknown; though I hardly expect it. As to yours, you may rely on my never mentioning it, except that I may be obliged to show your letter in my own vindication to the person only, who might otherwise think he had reason to blame me for breach of engagement. It must surely be seen here, that, after such a detection of their duplicity, in pretending a regard and affection to the province, while they were undermining its privileges, it is impossible for the crown to make any good use of their services, and that it can never be for its interest to employ servants, who are under such universal odium. The consequence, one would think, should be their removal. But perhaps it may be to titles, or to pensions, if your revenue can pay them. I am, with great esteem, Sir, your most obedient humble servant,