Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

acting as deputy secretary, I imagine you might easily obtain that for him of Mr. Morgan.

He has lately been with me, is always very complaisant, and, understanding I was about returning to America, requested my interest to obtain for him the agency for your province. His friend, Sir Watkin Lewes, who was formerly candidate for the same great place, is now high sheriff of London, and in the way of being Lord Mayor. The new sheriffs elect are (could you think it ?) both Americans, viz. Mr. Sayre, the New Yorker, and Mr. William Lee, brother to Dr. Lee. I am glad you stand so well with Lord Dartmouth. I am likewise well with him, but he never spoke to me of augmenting your salary. He is truly a good man, and wishes sincerely a good understanding with the colonies, but does not seem to have strength equal to his wishes. Between you and me, the late measures have been, I suspect, very much the King's own, and he has in some cases a great share of what his friends call firmness. Yet, by some painstaking and proper management, the wrong impressions he has received may be removed, which is perhaps the only chance America has for obtaining soon the redress she aims at. This entirely to yourself.

And, now we are among great folks, let me tell you a little of Lord Hillsborough. I went down to Oxford with and at the instance of Lord Le Despencer, who is on all occasions very good to me, and seems of late very desirous of my company. Mr. Todd too was there, who has some attachment to Lord Hillsborough, and, in a walk we were taking, told me, as a secret, that Lord Hillsborough was much chagrined at being out of place, and could never forgive me for writing that pamphlet against his Report about the Ohio. "I assured him," says Mr. Todd, "that I knew you did

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 various 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 say. ing 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,

B. FRANKLIN.

TO SAMUEL DAN FORTH.

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 a son. 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 ines. timable 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,

B. FRANKLIN.

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.

B. FRANKLIN.

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 coukl 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. Sce Vol. IV. p. 436.

« ZurückWeiter »