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remarkable. He had them in another room, and we were chatting in the breakfast parlour, when he came running in to us, out of breath, with the paper in his hand. “Here!” says he, “here's news for ye! Here's the King of Prussia, claiming a right to this kingdom!” All stared, and I as much as anybody; and he went on to read it. When he had read two or three paragraphs, a gentleman present said, “Damn his impudence, I dare say we shall hear by next post, that he is upon his march with one hundred thousand men to back this.” Whitehead, who is very shrewd, soon after began to smoke it, and looking in my face, said, “I’ll be hanged if this is not some of your American jokes upon us.” The reading went on, and ended with abundance of laughing, and a general verdict that it was a fair hit; and the piece was cut out of the paper and preserved in my Lord's collection. I do not wonder that Hutchinson should be dejected. It must be an uncomfortable thing to live among people, who, he is conscious, universally detest him. Yet I fancy he will not have leave to come home, both because they know not well what to do with him, and because they do not very well like his conduct. I am ever your affectionate father, B. FRANKLIN.
TO THOMAS CUSHING.
Proposed Accommodation with Great Britain.— Petition for removing the Governors.
London, 1 November, 1773. SIR,
I duly received your favor of the 26th of August, with the letter enclosed for Lord Dartmouth, which I immediately sent to him. As soon as he comes to town, I shall wait upon his Lordship, and discourse with him upon the subject of it; and I shall immediately write to you what I can collect from the conversation. In my own opinion, the letter of the two Houses of the 29th of June, proposing, as a satisfactory measure, the restoring things to the state in which they were at the conclusion of the late war, is a fair and generous offer on our part, and my discourse here is, that it is more than Britain has a right to expect from us; and that, if she has any wisdom left, she will embrace it, and agree with us immediately; for that the longer she delays the accommodation, which finally she must for her own sake obtain, the worse terms she may expect, since the inequality of power and importance, that at present subsists between us, is daily diminishing, and our sense of our own rights, and of her injustice, continually increasing. I am the more encouraged to hold such language, by perceiving that the general sense of the nation is for us; a conviction prevailing, that we have been ill used, and that a breach with us would be ruinous to this country. The pieces I wrote, to increase and strengthen those sentiments, were more read and talked of and attended to than usual. The first, as you will see by the enclosed, has been called for and reprinted in the same paper, besides being copied in others, and in the magazines. A long, labored answer has been made to it, (by Governor Bernard, it is said,) which I send you. I am told it does not satisfy those in whose justification it was written, and that a better is preparing. I think with you, that great difficulties must attend an attempt to make a new representation of our grievances, in which the point of right should be kept out of sight, especially as the concurrence of so many colonies seems now necessary. And therefore it would certainly be best and wisest for Parliament, (which does not meet till after the middle of January,) to make up the matter themselves, and at once reduce things to the state desired. There are not wanting some here, who believe this will really be the case; for that, a new election being now in view, the present members are likely to consider the composing all differences with America, as a measure agreeable to the trading and manufacturing part of the nation; and that the neglecting it may be made use of by their opponents to their disadvantage. I have as yet received no answer to the petition for removing the governors.” I imagine that it will hardly be complied with, as it would embarrass government to provide for them otherwise, and it will be thought hard to neglect men, who have exposed themselves, by adhering to what is here called the interest and rights of this country. But this I only conjecture, as I have heard nothing certain about it. Indeed I should think continuing them in their places would be rather a punishment than a favor. For what comfort can men have in living among a people, with whom they are the object of universal odium? I shall continue here one winter longer, and use my best endeavours, as long as I stay, for the service of our country. With great esteem, I have the honor to be, Sir, &c. B. FRANKLIN.
* Petition from the Legislaturo of Massachusetts for the removal of Governor Hutchinson and Lieutenant-Governor Oliver. See Wol. IV. p. 430.
To AN ENGRAVER."
Jīrt of printing on China Ware. — Use of the Art in teaching JMoral Lessons.
London, 3 November, 1773. SIR,
I was much pleased with the specimens you so kindly sent me of your new art of engraving. That on the china is admirable. No one would suppose it any thing but painting. I hope you meet with all the encouragement you merit, and that the invention will be, what inventions seldom are, profitable to the inventor.
Now we are speaking of inventions, I know not who pretends to that of copper-plate engravings for earthen ware, and I am not disposed to contest the honor with anybody, as the improvement in taking impressions not directly from the plate, but from printed paper, applicable by that means to other than flat forms, is far beyond my first idea. But I have reason to apprehend, that I might have given the hint, on which that improvement was made; for, more than twenty years since, I wrote to Dr. Mitchell from America, proposing to him the printing of square tiles, for ornamenting chimneys, from copper plates, describing the manner in which I thought it might be done, and advising the borrowing from the booksellers the plates, that had been used in a thin folio, called JMoral Virtue Delineated, for the purpose.
The Dutch Delft ware tiles were much used in America, which are only or chiefly Scripture histories,
* The name of the engraver is not contained in the manuscript, from which the letter has been transcribed.
wretchedly scrawled. I wished to have those moral prints, which were originally taken from Horace's poetical figures, introduced on tiles, which, being about our chimneys and constantly in the eyes of children when by the fireside, might give parents an opportunity, in explaining them, to impress moral sentiments; and I gave expectations of great demand for them, if executed. Dr. Mitchell wrote to me, in answer, that he had communicated my scheme to several of the principal artists in the earthen way about London, who rejected it as impracticable; and it was not till some years after, that I first saw an enamelled snuff box, which I was sure was from a copper-plate, though the curvature of the form made me wonder how the impression was taken.
I understand the china work in Philadelphia is declined by the first owners. Whether any others will take it up and continue it, I know not.
Mr. Banks is at present engaged in preparing to publish the botanical discoveries of his voyage. He employs ten engravers for the plates, in which he is very curious, so as not to be quite satisfied in some . cases with the expression given by either the graver, etching, or mezzotinto, particularly where there is a woolliness, or a multitude of small points, on a leaf. I sent him the largest of the specimens you sent, containing a number of sprigs. I have not seen him since, to know whether your manner would not suit some of his plants better than the more common methods. With great esteem, I am, Sir, &c.