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CHAPTER II.

Franklin advises the Conquest of Canada. — His Scheme adopted by the Ministry. — Journey to Scotland. - Lord Kames, Robertson, Hume. — "Parable against Persecution." - First published by Lord Kames.— How far Franklin claimed to be its Author. - His Mission brought to a favorable Termination. - Lord Mansfield's Agency in the Affair. Franklin's Sentiments in Regard to Canada. -Writes a Pamphlet to show that it ought to be retained at the Peace. -Tour to the North of England. - Receives Public Money for Pennsylvania. – Tour in Holland. — Experiments to prove the Electrical Properties of the Tourmalin. — Cold produced by Evaporation.- Ingenious Theory for explaining the Causes of Northeast Storms. - Invents a Musical Instrument, called the Armonica. - His Son appointed Governor of New Jersey. Returns to America.

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ALTHOUGH Franklin devoted himself mainly to the affairs of his agency, yet a mind like his could not be inattentive to the great events that were taking place around him, and he entered warmly into the general politics of the nation. Just before his arrival in England, Mr. Pitt had become prime minister. In the hope of drawing the attention of this sagacious statesman to the concerns of Pennsylvania, he made several attempts to gain an introduction to him, but without success. Alluding to this circumstance at a subsequent date, he said of Mr. Pitt; "He was then too great a man, or too much occupied in affairs of greater moment. I was therefore obliged to content myself with a kind of nonapparent and unacknowledged communication through Mr. Potter and Mr. Wood, his secretaries, who seemed to cultivate an acquaintance with me by their civilities, and drew from me what information I could give relative to the American war, with my sentiments occasionally on measures that were proposed or advised by others, which gave me the opportunity of recommending and

enforcing the utility of conquering Canada. I afterwards considered Mr. Pitt as an inaccessible. I admired him at a distance, and made no more attempts for a nearer acquaintance." It will be seen hereafter, when Mr. Pitt was no longer minister, that his reserve had softened, and that he not only sought the acquaintance of Franklin, but consulted him confidentially on important national affairs.

It is known, moreover, that his advice at this time. was both received and followed. It has been said on good authority, that the expedition against Canada, and its consequences in the victory of Wolfe at Quebec and the conquest of that country, may be chiefly ascribed to Franklin. He disapproved the policy, by which the ministry had hitherto been guided, of carrying on the war against the French in the heart of Germany, where, if successful, it would end in no real gain to the British nation, and no essential loss. to the enemy. In all companies, and on all occasions, he urged the reduction of Canada as an object of the utmost importance. It would inflict a blow upon the French power in America, from which it could never recover, and which would have a lasting influence in advancing the prosperity of the British Colonies. These sentiments he conveyed to the minister's friends, with such remarks on the practicability of the enter prise, and the manner of conducting it, as his intimate knowledge of the state of things in America enabled him to communicate. They made the impression he desired, and the result verified his prediction.

During the year 1759, little progress, if any, was made in the Pennsylvania affair. The Historical Review was silently operating on public opinion, and preparing the minds of men in office to act with a better understanding of the subject, than they had heretofore

possessed. The Proprietaries sent out a new governor to take the place of Mr. Denny, with whom they became dissatisfied as having been too compliant to the Assembly. His successor was Mr. Hamilton, who had formerly held the office. In their instructions to him, they still refused to have their estates taxed, though they consented, that, in case the exigency of the times demanded it, a tax might be laid on their rents and quitrents only, provided their "tenants should be obliged to pay the same," the amount being deducted when payments were made by the tenants to their receiver in Pennsylvania. Mr. Hamilton endeavoured to procure better terms, and told them plainly before he left England, that, in his opinion, "the proprietary estates ought to be taxed in common with all the other estates in the province." His efforts to carry this point, however, were unavailing.

In the summer of this year Franklin made a journey to Scotland, accompanied by his son. His reputation as a philosopher was well established there, and he was received and entertained in a manner that evinced the highest respect for his character. The University of St. Andrews had some time before honored him with the degree of Doctor of Laws. He formed an acquaintance with nearly all the distinguished men, who then adorned Scotland by their talents and learning, particularly Lord Kames, Dr. Robertson, and Mr. Hume, with whom he kept up long afterwards a friendly correspondence. The pleasure he derived from his visit is forcibly expressed in a letter to Lord Kames. "On the whole, I must say, I think the time we spent there was six weeks of the densest happiness I have met with in any part of my life; and the agreeable and instructive society we found there in such plenty has left so pleasing an impression on my memory,

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that, did not strong connexions draw me elsewhere, I believe Scotland would be the country I should choose to spend the remainder of my days in." Similar sentiments are repeated at a later date, and he often resolved to renew his visit; but this he was not able to do, till several years afterwards, being prevented by his numerous occupations, and by the increasing pressure of public business.*

He passed several days with Lord Kames at his mansion in the country. While there, he read or recited from memory the celebrated Parable against Persecution, which, on account of the notoriety it has gained, deserves a notice in this place, especially as some writers have inconsiderately, and without a knowledge of the facts, charged him with plagiarism for allowing it to be published as his own. The particulars are these. Some time after this visit, Lord Kames wrote to him for a copy of this Parable, which he accordingly forwarded. No more was heard of it for fourteen years,

* The University of St. Andrews had conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws in the month of February preceding his visit to Scotland. The following is a copy of the diploma.

"Nos Universitatis St. Andreæ apud Scotos Rector, Promotor, Collegiorum Præfecti, Facultatis Artium Decanus, cæterique Professorum Ordines, Lectoribus Salutem.

"Quandoquidem æquum est et rationi congruens, ut qui magno studio bonas didicerunt artes, iidem referant præmium studiis suis dignum, ac pro inerti hominum vulgo propriis quibusdam fulgeant honoribus et privilegiis, unde et ipsis bene sit, atque aliorum provocetur industria ; Quando etiam eò præsertim spectant amplissima illa jura Universitati Andreanæ antiquitus concessa, ut, quoties res postulat, idoneos quosque in quavis facultate viros, vel summis, qui ad eam facultatem pertinent, honoribus amplificare queat; Quumque ingenuus et honestus vir, Benjaminus Franklin, Artium Magister, non solum jurisprudentiæ cognitione, morum integritate, suavique vitæ consuetudine nobis sit commendatus, verum etiam acutè inventis et exitu felici factis experimentis, quibus Rerum Naturalium, et imprimis Rei Electricæ parum hactenus exploratæ, scientiam locupletavit, tantam sibi conciliaverit per orbem terrarum laudem, ut summos in Republicà Literariâ mereatur honores; Hisce nos adducti, et præmia virtuti debita, quantum in nobis est, tribuere

when Lord Kames published the first edition of his "Sketches of the History of Man." In that work the Parable was inserted, with the following declaration by the author. "It was communicated to me by Dr. Franklin of Philadelphia, a man who makes a great figure in the learned world, and who would still make a greater figure for benevolence and candor, were virtue as much regarded in this declining age as knowledge."

Lord Kames does not say, that Dr. Franklin wrote the Parable, yet such an inference is fairly deducible from his language, and in this light it was understood by the public. At length some one lit upon a similar story in Jeremy Taylor's "Liberty of Prophesying," where Taylor says, that it was taken from the "Jews' books." So vague a reference afforded no clue to its origin, but a Latin version of it was found in the dedication of a work by George Gentius, who ascribes it to Saadi the Persian poet; and Saadi relates it as coming from another person, so that its source still remains a matter for curious research.

volentes, Magistrum Benjaminum Franklin supra nominatum, Utriusque Juris Doctorem creamus, constituimus, et renunciamus, eumque deinceps ab universis pro Doctore dignissmo haberi volumus; adjicimusque ei, plenâ manu, quæcunque, uspiam gentium, Juris Utriusque Doctoribus competunt privilegia et ornamenta. In cujus rei testimonium hasce nostras privilegii Literas, chirographis singulorum confirmatas, et communi Almæ Universitatis sigillo munitas, dedimus Andreapoli duodecimo die Mensis Februarii, Anno Domini millesimo septingentesimo quinquagesimo nono."

This diploma was signed by Andrew Shaw, Rector of the University, David Gregory, Professor of Mathematics, Robert Watson, the historian, and nine other officers of the University.

While he was at Edinburgh, the freedom of the city was presented to him. The following is an extract from the record, dated September, 5th, 1759. "Benjamin Franklin of Philadelphia is hereby admitted a burgess and guild-brother of this city, as a mark of the affectionate respect, which the Magistrates and Council have for a gentleman, whose amiable character, greatly distinguished for usefulness to the society which he belongs to, and love to all mankind, had long ago reached them across the Atlantic Ocean." On the 2d of October the same compliment was paid to him by the magistrates of St. Andrew's.

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