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AET. 67.] A GREAT EMPIRE 70 A SMALL OAVE. 177
demagogues, whom if you could catch and hang, all would be quiet. Catch and hang a few of them accordingly; and the blood of the martyrs shall work miracles in favor of your purpose.” 17. If you see rival nations rejoicing at the prospect of your disunion with your provinces, and endeavouring to promote it; if they translate, publish, and applaud all the complaints of your discontented colonists, at the same time privately stimulating you to severer measures, let not that offend you. Why should it, since you all mean the same thing? 18. If any colony should at their own charge erect a fortress to secure their port against the fleets of a foreign enemy, get your governor to betray that fortress into your hands. Never think of paying what it cost the country, for that would look, at least, like some regard for justice; but turn it into a citadel to awe the inhabitants and curb their commerce. If they should have lodged in such fortress the very arms they bought and used to aid you in your conquests, seize them all; it will provoke, like ingratitude added to robbery. One admirable effect of these operations will be, to discourage every other colony from erecting such defences, and so their and your enemies may more easily invade them ; to the great disgrace of
* One of the American writers affirms, “That there has not been a single instance in which they have complained, without being rebuked; or in which they have been complained against, without being punished." A fundamental mistake in the minister occasioned this. Every individual in New England (the peccant country) was held a coward or a knave, and the disorders which spread abroad there were treated as the result of the too great Iemity of Britain By the aid of this short and benevolent rule, judgment was ever wisely predetermined; to the shutting out redress on the one hand, and enforcing every rigor of punishment on the other.—B. V.
your government, and of course the furtherance of your project. 19. Send armies into their country under pretence of protecting the inhabitants; but, instead of garrisoning the forts on their frontiers with those troops, to prevent incursions, demolish those forts, and order the troops into the heart of the country, that the savages may be encouraged to attack the frontiers, and that the troops may be protected by the inhabitants. This will seem to proceed from your i// wis/ or your ignorance, and contribute farther to produce and strengthen an opinion among them, that you are no longer fit to govern them.* 20. Lastly, invest the general of your army in the provinces, with great and unconstitutional powers, and free him from the control of even your own civil governors. Let him have troops enough under his command, with all the fortresses in his possession ; and who knows but (like some provincial generals in the Roman empire, and encouraged by the universal discontent you have produced) he may take it into his head to set up for himself? If he should, and you have carefully practised the few excellent rules of mine, take my word for it, all the provinces will immediately join him ; and you will that day (if you have not done it sooner) get rid of the trouble of governing them, and all
* As the reader may be inclined to divide his belief between the wisdom of ministry and the candor and veracity of Dr. Franklin, I shall inform him, that two contrary objections may be made to the truth of this representation. The first is, that the conduct of Great Britain is made too absurd for possibility; and the second, that it is not made absurd enough for fact. If we consider that this writing does not include the measures subsequent to 1773, the latter difficulty is easily set aside. The former I can only solve by the many instances in history, where the infatuation of individuals has brought the heaviest calamities upon nations.—B. V.
AET. 67.] A GREAT EMP/RE TO A SMALL ONE. I79
the plagues attending their commerce and connexion from thenceforth and forever. *
* A new and handsome edition of the above piece was published at Lon. don, in 1793, with the following ironical dedication. It will be remembered, that Lord Loughborough was once Mr. Wedderburn, and the same person who uttered an abusive philippic against Dr. Franklin in a speech before the King in Council relating to Hutchinson's letters.-S.
“To the Right Honorable Alexander, Lord Loughborough. “My Lord, “When I reflect on your Lordship's magnanimous conduct towards the author of the following golden Rules, there is, in my opinion, a peculiar propriety in dedicating this new edition of them to a nobleman, whose talents were so eminently useful in procuring the emancipation of our American brethren. “In the most heartfelt wish, that the same talents may be employed on similar occasions with the same splendid success, “I have the honor to be, my Lord, “Your Lordship's most obedient “And very humble servant, “THE EDITOR. “Alondon, 12th February, 1793.”
WE have long wondered here at the supineness of the English nation, under the Prussian impositions upon its trade entering our port. We did not, till lately, know the claims, ancient and modern, that hang over that nation ; and therefore could not suspect that it might submit to those impositions from a sense of duty or from principles of equity. The following Edict, just made public, may, if serious, throw some light upon this matter.
“FREDERIC, by the grace of God, King of Prussia, &c. &c. &c., to all present and to come, (d tous présens et d venir, ) health. The peace now enjoyed throughout our dominions, having afforded us leisure to apply ourselves to the regulation of commerce, the improvement of our finances, and at the same time the easing our domestic subjects in their taxes; for these causes, and other good considerations us thereunto moving, we hereby make known, that, after having deliberated these affairs in our Council,
present our dear brothers, and other great officers of the
state, members of the same ; we, of our certain knowledge, full power, and authority royal, have made and issued this present Edict, viz. “Whereas it is well known to all the world, that the first German settlements made in the Island of Britain, were by colonies of people, subject to our renowned ducal ancestors, and drawn from their dominions, under the conduct of Hengist, Horsa, Hella, Uffa, Cerdicus, Ida, and others; and that the said colonies have flourished under the protection of our august house for ages past; have never been emancipated therefrom ; and yet have hitherto yielded little profit to the same ; and whereas we ourself have in the last war fought for and defended the said colonies, against the power of France, and thereby enabled them to make conquests from the said power in America, for which we have not yet received adequate compensation; and whereas it is just and expedient that a revenue should be raised from the said colonies in Britain, towards our indemnification; and that those who are descendants of our ancient subjects, and thence still owe us due obedience, should contribute to the replenishing of our royal coffers (as they must have done, had their ancestors remained in the territories now to us appertaining); we do therefore hereby ordain and command, that, from and after the date of these presents, there shall be levied and paid to our officers of the customs, on all goods, wares, and merchandises, and on all grain and other produce of the earth, exported from the said Island of Britain, and on all goods of whatever kind imported into the same, a duty of four and a half per cent ad vasorem, for the use of us and our successors. And, that the said duty may more effectually be collected, we do hereby ordain,
that all ships or vessels bound from Great Britain to any Vol. II.-16