Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

to turn him out of doors, and take the reins, the common dirt of the room, and carried in of government into her own hands. a rubbish pan into the yard. The tradesman

There is a much better contrivance than had neglected to enter the credit in his this of the philosopher; which is, to cover book; the defendant could find nothing to the walls of the house with paper; this is obviate the charge, and so judgment went generally done, and though it cannot abo- against him for the debt and costs. A fort. lish, it at least shortens, the period of female night after the whole was settled, and the dominion. The paper is decorated with money paid, one of the children found the flowers of various fancies, and made so or- receipt among the rubbish in the yard. namental, that the women have admitted the There is also another custom peculiar to fashion without perceiving the design. the city of Philadelphia, and nearly allied to

There is also another alleviation of the the former. I mean that of washing the husband's distress; he generally has the pavement before the doors every Saturday privilege of a small room or closet for his evening. I at first took this to be a regula. books and papers, the key of which he is tion of the police; but on a further inquiry allowed to keep. This is considered as a find it is a religious rite, preparatory to the privileged place, and stands like the land of Sabbath ; and is, I believe, the only religious Goshen amid the plagues of Egypt. But rite in which the numerous sectaries of this then he must be extremely cautious, and city perfectly agree. The ceremony begins ever on his guard. For should he inadvert- about sunset, and continues till about ten ently go abroad and leave the key in his or eleven at night. It is very difficult for a door, the housemaid, who is always on the stranger to walk the streets on those evewatch for such an opportunity, immediately nings; he runs a continual risk of having a enters in triumph with buckets, brooms, and bucket of dirty water thrown against his brushes; takes possession of the premises, legs : but a Philadelphian born is so much and forth with puts all his books and papers accustomed to the danger, that he avoids it to rights : to his utter confusion, and some- with surprising dexterity. It is from this times serious detriment. For instance : circumstance that a Philadelphian may be

A gentleman was sued by the executors known anywhere by his gait. The streets of a tradesman, on a charge found against of New York are paved with rough stones; him in the deceased's books, to the amount these indeed are not washed, but the dirt is of £30. The defendant was strongly im- so thoroughly swept from before the doors, pressed with an idea that he had discharged that the stones stand up sharp and promithe debt and taken a receipt; but, as the nent, to the great inconvenience of those who transaction was of long standing, he knew are not accustomed to so rough a path. But not where to find the receipt. The suit went habit reconciles every thing. It is diverting on in course, and the time approached when enough to see a Philadelphian at New York; judgment would be obtained against him. he walks the streets with as much painful He then sat seriously down to examine a caution, as if his toes were covered with large bundle of old papers, which he had un- corns, or his feet lamed with the gout: while tied and displayed on a table for that pur- a New Yorker, as little approving the plain pose. In the midst of his search, he was masonry of Philadelphia, shuffles along the suddenly called away on business of import- pavement like a parrot on a mahogany table. ance ; he forgot to lock the door of his room. It must be acknowledged, that the abluThe house-maid, who had been long look. tions I have mentioned are attended with no ing out for such an opportunity, immediately small inconvenience; but the women would entered with the usual implements, and with not be induced, from any consideration, to great alacrity fell to cleaning the room, and resign their privilege. Notwithstanding this, putting things to rights. The first object that I can give you the strongest assurances, that struck her eye was the confused situation of the women of America make the most faiththe papers on the table, these were without ful wives and the most attentive mothers in delay bundled together like so many dirty the world ; and I am sure you will join me knives and forks; but in the action a small in opinion, that if a married man is made piece of paper fell unnoticed on the floor, miserable only one week in a whole year, he which happened to be the very receipt in will have no great cause to complain of the question : as it had no very respectable ap- matrimonial bond. pearance, it was soon after swept out with

I am. &c.

MISCELLANEOUS NOTES

ON

POLITICAL PUBLICATIONS PRIOR TO THE REVOLUTION,

COLLECTED

FROM THE AUTOGRAPH NOTES OF DR. FRANKLIN, AS MATERIALS FOR

ARGUMENT OR REPLY.

inerce,

Hints for a Reply to the Protests of certain Members of the House of Lords against

the Repeal of the Stamp Act. FIRST PROTEST.

Parliament; at least can give no greater

power than he had himself. We have submitted to your laws,-no Compliment the lords. Not a wiser ol proof of our acknowledgment of your power better body of men on earth. The deep re. to make them; rather an acknowledgment spect impressed on me by the instance ] of their reasonableness, or of our own weak- have been witness to of their justice. They ness.-Post-office came as a matter of utility, have been misled by misinformation. Proof

- was aided by the legislature. Mean to of my opinion of their goodness, in the freetake advantage of our ignorance. Children dom with which I propose to examine their should not be imposed on; are not, even by protests. honest shopkeepers. A great and magnani

The trust of taxing America was never nous nation should disdain to govern by reposed by the people of America in the letricks and traps, that would disgrace a pei- gislature of Great Britain. They had one tifogging attorney:

kind of confidence, indeed, in that legislaSettlement of the colonies stated. Parture,—that it would never attempt to tax liament not consulted ;--not till after the them without their consent. The law was restoration, except by rebel Parliament.-destructive of that confidence

among

them. Anxious about preserving the sovereignty

Other advantages of colonies besides comof this country ? Rather be so about pre

Selfishness of commercial views. serving the liberty. We shall be so about The sovereignty of the crown I underthe liberty of America, that your posterity stand. The sovereignty of the British legismay have a free country to come to, where lature out of Britain I do not understand. they will be received with open arms.

The fear of being thought weak is a timi. King, the sovereign, cannot take in his dity and weakness of the worst sort, as it be

trays into a persisting in errors, that may

be much more mischievous, than the appear* In the ATHENEUM at Philadelphia are many vo. lumes of pamphlets, which formerly belonged to Dr

ance of weakness. A great and powerful Franklin.' some of these are curious from the manu state, like this, has no cause for such timi. script notes they contain in the margin, specimens have been selected for publication, both as

dity. having an historical interest, and as being peculiarly Acknowledging and correcting an error characteristic of their author.

shows great magnanimity. Small states and It should here also be observed, that the notes con. tamned in these pamphlets were pened at the very small republics cannot afford to do so. time when he was supposed, by some persons either America not in the realm of England or unfriendly to his character or ignorant of his motives Great Britain? No man in America thinks to secretly acting a part in England more accord; himself exempt from the jurisdiction of the true lover of his country. From the tone, temper, and crown, and of the assemblies, or has any substance of these lotes, let the reader judge with such private judgment. what justice such suspicions have been entertained. and such insinuations bazarded to the public. As The agitation of the question of rights ere private records of his thoughts prompted by the makes it now necessary to settle a constirver seing the light, they must be admitted to reveal tution for the colonies. Restrictions should his true sentiments, and to exhibit the unbiassed work. be only for the general good. Endeavour to ings of his mind. The above "Hinss" are found in the margin of Dr.

convince reasonable creatures by reason. Franklin's printed copy of the Protests, written at the Try your hands with me. time (1766), from which it would appear that it was

Never think of it. They are reasonhis intention to make a formal answer to these Pro able creatures. Reasonable laws will not

This purpose, it is believed, was never exe. cuied.

require force.

501

A few

tests.

I observe two or three Scotch lords pro- ter be trusted. Have rather an interest in test. Many more voted against the repeal. suppressing smugglers. Nature of smug. Colonies settled before the union. Query; gling. It is picking of pockets. All oppresIf the Parliament had a jurisdiction over the sions take their rise from some plea of utility; colonies by the first settlement, had they a often in appearance only. right to introduce new legislators ? Could The clamour of multitudes. It is good to they sell or commute the right with other na- attend to it. It is wiser to foresee and avoid tions? Can they introduce the peers of Ire- it. It is wise, when neither foreseen nor land and Commons, and the States of Hol- avoided, to correct the measures that give ocland, and make them legislators of the colo- casion to it. Glad the majority have that nies? How could Scotland acquire a right wisdom. to legislation over English colonies, but by Wish your lordships had attended to that consent of the colonies themselves ?

other great article of the palladium; “ Taxes I am a subject of the crown of Great Bri- shall not be laid but by common consent in tain;-have ever been a loyal one-have Parliament.” We Americans were not here partaken of its favours. I write here with to give our consent. freedom, relying on the magnanimity of Par- My duty to the king, and justice to my liament. I say nothing to your lordships, country, will, I hope, justify me, if Uikethat I have not been indulged to say to the wise protest, which I now do with all huCommons. Your lordships' names are to mility in behalf of myself and of every your Protest, therefore I think I ought to put American, and of our posterity, against your mine to the answer.—Desire what I have Declaratory

. Bill, that the Parliament of said may not be imputed to the colonies. I Great Britain has not, never had, and of right am a private person, and do not write by their never can have, without consent, given either direction. I am over here to solicit, in be- before or after, power to make laws of suffihalf of my colony, a closer communication cient force to bind the subjects in America with the crown,

in any case whatever, and particularly in

taxation. SECOND PROTEST.

I can only judge of others by myself. I

have some little property in America. I will Talk with Bollan on this head. Query; freely spend nineteen shillings in the pound Courts of common law ? Particular colo- to defend my rig of giving or refusing the nies drained, -all drained, as it would all other shilling; and, after all, if I cannot decome home. Thuse, that would pay most fend that right, I can retire cheerfully with of the tax, would have least of it spent at my little family into the boundless woods of home. It must go to the conquered colonies. Ainerica, which are sure to afford freedom The view of maps deceives.

and subsistence to any man, who can bait a All breach of the constitution. Juries bet- hook, or pull a trigger.

OBSERVATIONS

ON

PASSAGES IN A PAMPHLET ENTITLED “GOOD HUMOUR, OR A WAY

WITH THE COLONIES.-LONDON 1766.".

“The reply of the Governor of Massachu- | ward's turned out, their enemy and calumsetts to the assembly's answer is in the same niator in private letters to government here. consistent style ; and affords still a stronger proof, as well as of his own ingenuity, honour,

“ It had been more becoming the state of the and integrity, as of the furious and enthusiastic colonies, always dear to Britain, and ever chespirit of the province."

rished and defended by it, to have remonstrated

in terms of filial duty and obedience." They knew the governor to be, as it after

How ignorant is this writer of facts! How * Th passages included within quotation marks many of their remonstrances were rejected ! are extracts from the pamphlet, and the sentence fol. lowing each contains Dr. Franklin's observations. They must give us leave in our turn to ex.

&

same

cept against their demonstration of legal excmp- terest, one of them may endeavour to impose tion.”

on the other, may cheat him in the accounts, There never was any occasion of legal may draw to himself more than his share of exemption from what they never had been the profits, may put upon the other more than subject to.

an equal share of the expense and burden.

Their having a common interest is no security “ But then it is to be further observed, that this same method of arguing is equally favour- Great Britain have a common interest, and

against such injustice. The landholders of able to governors as governed, and to the mother yet they injure one another in the inequality country as the colonies."

of the land tax. The majority in ParliaHere is the old mistake of all these wri- ment, being favoured in ihe proportions, ters. The people of the mother country are will never consent to do justice to the misubjects, noi governors. The king only is nority by a more equal assessment. sovereign in both countries.

“ But what reasonable ground of apprehen“The colonies will no longer think it equita- sion can there be, that the British Parliament ble to insist upon immunities which the people should be ignorant of so plain a matter, as that of Great Britain do not enjoy."

the interests of Britain and the colonies are the Why not, if they have a right to them?

“ To claim a right of being taxed by their If the Parliament is so knowing and so assemblies only, appears to have too much the just, how comes it to restrain Ireland in its air of independence; and though they are not manufactures, America in its trade? Why represented here, would give them an immunity may not an Irishman or an American make beyond the inhabitants of this island."

the same manufactures, and carry them to It is a right, however; what signifies the same ports as an Englishman? In many what air it has? The inhabitants being instances Britain shows a selfish regard in freeholders ought to have the same. If they her own interest, in prejudice of the colohave it not, they are injured. Then rectify pies. America therefore has no confidence what is amiss among yourselves; and do in her equity. not make it a justification of more wrong. “ But I can conceive no earthly security bet

“ Or could they hope to procure any advan- tur, none indeed so good, as that which jepends tages from one hundred representatives? Com- upon the wisdom and integrity of a British king mon sense answers all this in the negative.”

and Parliament." Why not, as well as Scotland from forty, hereditary, as those of the House of Lords ;

Suppose seats in your House of Commons five, or rather sixty-one ? Common sense on the contrary, says, that a body of one hun or suppose the Commons to be nominaud by dred votes in Parliament will always be the king, or chosen by the lords ; could worth the attention of any ministry ; and the

you then rely upon them? If your members tear of offending them will make every min- were to be chosen by the people of Ireland, ister cautious of injuring the rights of their depend upon their wisdom and integrity, as

you then rely upon them? Could you country, lest they join with his

opposers Parliament.

a securi'y, the best possible, for your rights ?

And wherein is our case different, if the peoTherefore the interest of Great Britain and ple of England choose legislators for the that of the colonies is the same."

people of America ? All this argument of the interest of Britain “ If they have a spark of virtue left, they will and the colonies being the same is fallacious blush to be found in a posture of hostility against and unsatisfactory. Partners in trade have Great Britain." a common interest, which is the same, the There was no posture of hostility in Ameflourishing of the partnership business; but rica, but Britain put herself in a posture of they may, moreover, have each a separate hostility against America. Witness the interest, and, in pursuit of that separate in- landing of the troops in Boston, 1768.

OBSERVATIONS

ON

PASSAGES IN “A LETTER FROM A MERCHANT IN LONDON TO HIS

NEPHEW IN NORTH AMERICA.-LONDON, 1766."

[ocr errors]

“ The honest indignation you express against ever an Englishman resides, that country is those artifices and frauds, those robberies and in England. While an Englishman resides in sults, which lost us the hearts and affections of England, he is undoubtedly subject to its the Indians, is particularly to be commended ; laws. If he goes into a foreign country, he for these were the things, as you justly observed, is subject to the laws and government he which involved us in the most bloody and ex- finds there. If he finds no government or pensive war that ever was known.”

laws there, he is subject there to none, till This is wickedly intended by the author, he and his companions, if he has any, make Dean Tucker, to represent the North Ame- laws for themselves; and this was the case ricans as the cause of the war. Whereas, of the first settlers in America. Otherwise, it was in fact begun by the Frenci, who and if they carried the English lcws and seized the goods and persons of the English power of Parliament with them, what advantraders on the Ohio, who encroached on the tage could the Puritans propose to themking's land in Nova Scotia, and took a fort selves by going, since they would have been from the Ohio Company by force of arms, as subject to bishops, spiritual courts, tythes, which induced England to make reprisals and statutes relating to the church, in Ameat sea, and to send Braddock to recover the rica, as in England? Can the dean, on his fort on the Ohio, whence came on the war. principles, tell how it happens that those

By the spirit of Magna Charta all taxes laid laws, the game acts, the statutes for labouron by Parliament are constitutional, legal taxes.” ers, and an infinity of others, made before

There is no doubt but taxes laid by Par- and since the emigration, are not in force in liament, where the Parliament has jurisdic- force in America, nor ever were ? tion, are legal taxes; but does it follow, that

“ Now, upon the first settling of an English taxes laid by the Parliament of England on colony, and before ever you Americans could Scotland before the union, on Guernsey, have chosen any representatives, and therefore Jersey, Ireland, Hanover, or any other do- before any assembly of such representatives ininions of the crown, not within the realm, could have possibly met,—to whose laws and to are therefore legal ? These writers against what legislative power were you then subject ? the colonies all bewilder themselves by sup- To the English, most undoubtedly; for you posing the colonies within the realm, which could have been subject to no other.” is not the case, nor ever was. This then is the spirit of the constitution, that taxes the fact. The colonies carried no law with

The author here appears quite ignorant of shall not be laid without the consent of those them; they carried only a power of making to be taxed. The colonies were not then in laws,'or adopting such parts of the Eng: being, and therefore nothing relating to them lish law or any other law, as they should could be literally expressed. As the Ameri- think suitable to their circumstances. The cans are now without the realm, and not of first settlers of Connecticut, for instance, at the jurisdiction of Parliament, the spirit of their first meeting in that country, finding the British constitution dictates, that they themselves out of all jurisdiction of other should be taxed only by their own represen- governments, resolved and enacted, that, till tatives, as the English are by theirs.

a code of laws should be prepared and “ Now the first emigrants, who settled in agreed to, they would be governed by the law America, were certainly English subjects, sub- of Moses, as contained in the Old Testament. ject to the laws and jurisdiction of Parlia If the first settlers had no right to expect and consequently to parliamentary taxes, before a better constitution than the English, what the emigration, and therefore subject afterwards, fools were they for going over, to encounter unless some legal constitutional exemption can all the hardships and perils of new settlebe produced.”

ments in a wilderness! For these were so This position supposes, that Englishmen many additions to what they suffered at can never be out of the jurisdiction of Parlia- home from tyrannical and oppressive instiment. It may as well be said, that wher-tutions in church and state ; with a subtrac

« ZurückWeiter »