Abbildungen der Seite

that of Great Britain, our parliaments are the only judges of what we can and what we ought to contribute in this case; and that the English parliament has no right to take qur money without our consent. In fact, the British empire is not a single state; it comprehends many; and though the parliament of Great Britain has arrogated to itself the power of taxing the colonies, it has no more right to do so than it has to tax Hanover. We have the same king, but not the same legislatures.

The dispute between the two countries has already lost England many millions sterling, which it has lost in its commerce, and America has in this respect been a proportionable gainer. This commerce consisted principally of superfluities; objects of luxury and fashion, which we can well do without; and the resolution we have formed of importing no more till our grievances are redressed, bas enabled many of our infant manufactures to take root; and it will not be casy to make our people abandon them in future, even should a connexion more cordial than ever succeed the present troubles. I have indeed, no doubt that the parliament of England will finally abandon its present pretensions, and leave us to the peaceable enjoyment of our rights and privileges.

To GOVERNOR FRANKLIN. Removal of Lord Hillsborough,—succeeded by Lord Dart

mouth. DEAR SON,

London, August 17, 1772. At length we have got rid of Lord Hillsborough, and Lord Dartmouth takes his place, to the great satisfaction of all the friends of America. You will hear it said among you (I suppose) that the interest of the Ohio planters has ousted him; but the truth is, what I wrote you

long since, that all his brother-ministers disliked him extremely and wished for a fair occasion of tripping up his' heels; so seeing that he made a point of defeating: our scheme, they made another of supporting it, on purpose to mortify him, which they knew his pride could not bear. I do not mean that they would have done this if they had thought our proposal bad in itself, or his opposition well founded; but I believe if he had been on good terms with them, they would not have differed with him for so small a matter. The K. too was tired of him, and of his administration, which had weakened the affection and respect of the colonies for a royal government, with which (I may say it to you) I used proper means from time to time that bis M. should have due information and convincing proofs. More of this when I see you... The K.'s dislike made the others more firmly united in the resolution of disgracing H. by setting at nought his famous report. But now that business is done, perhaps, our affair may be less regarded in the cabinet, and suffered to linger, and possibly may yet miscarry. There fore let us beware of every word and action that may betray á confidence in its success, lest we render ourselves ridiculous in case of disappointment. We are now pushing for a completion of the business; but the time is unfavorable, every body gone or going into the country, which gives room for accidents. I am writing by Falconer, and therefore in this only add that I am ever your affectionate father,


P.S. The regard Lord D. has always done me the honor to express for me, gives me room to hope being able to obtain more in favor of our colonies upon occasion, than 1 could for some time past.


Lord Hillsborough-Refused admittance to him, 8c,

London, August 19, -1772.

I received yours of June 30. I am vexed that my letter to you, written at Glasgow, miscarried ; not so much that you did not receive it; as that it is probably in other hands. It contained some accounts of what passed in Ireland, which were for you only.

As lord Hillsborough in fact got nothing out of me, I should rather suppose he threw me away as an orange that would yield no juice, and therefore not worth more squeezing, When I had been a little while returned to London t waited on him to thapk him for his civilities in Ireland, and to discourse with him on a Georgia affair. The porter told me he was not at home. I left my card, went another time, and received the same answer, though I knew he was at home, a friend of mine being with him. After intermissions of a week each, I made two more visits, and received the same answer. The last time was on a levee day, when a number of carriages were at his door. My coachman driving up, alighted, and was opening the coach door, when the porter, seeing me, came out, and surlily chid the coachman for opening the door before he had inquired whether my lord was at home; and then turning to me, said, “ My lord is not at home." I have never since been nigh him, and we have only abused one another at a distance. The contrast, as you observe, is very striking between his conversation with the chief justice, and his letter to you concerning your province.

I know him to be as double and deceitful as any man met with. But we have done with him, I hope, for ever. His removal has I believe been meditated ever since the death

I ever

of the princess dowager. For I recollect, that on my complaining of him about that time to a friend at court, whom you may guess, he told me, we Americans were represented by Hillsborough as an unquiet people, not easily satisfied with any ministry; that however it was thought too much occasion had been given us to dislike the present: and asked me whether, if he should be removed, I could name another likely to be more acceptable to us. I said yes; there is Lord Dartmouth : we liked him very well when he was at the head of the board formerly, and probably should like him again. This I heard no more of; but I am pretty sure it was reported where I could wish it, though I know not that it had any effect.

As to my situation here nothing can be more agreeable, especially as I hope for less embarrassment from the new minister. A general respect paid me by the learned, a number of friends and acquaintance among them, with whom I have a pleasing intercourse; a character of so much weight, that it has protected me when some in power would have done me injury, and continued me in an office they would have deprived me of; my company so much desired, that I seldom dine at home in winter, and could spend the whole summer in the country-houses of inviting friends if I chose it. Learned and ingenious foreigners that come to England, almost all make a point of visiting me; for my reputation is still higher abroad than here; several of the foreign ambassadors have assiduously cultivated my acquaintance, treating me as one of their corps, partly I believe from the desire they have from time to time of hearing something of American affairs, an object become of importance in foreign courts, who begin to hope Britain's alarming power will be diminished by the defection of her colonies ; and partly that they may have an opportunity of introducing me to the gen

tlemen of their country who desire it, The K. too has lately been heard to speak of me with great regard. These are flattering circumstances; but a violent longing for home sometimes seizes me, which I can no otherwise subdue but by promising myself a return next spring or next autumn, and 80 forth... As to returning hither, if I once go back, I have no thoughts of it. I am too far advanced in life to propose three voyages more. I have some important affairs to settle at home ; and considering my double expenses here and there, I hardly think my salaries fully compensate the disadvantages. The late change however being thrown into the balance determines me to stay another winter.

[ocr errors]

P.S. August 22. . I find I omitted congratulating you on the honor of your election in the society for propagating the gospel. There you match indeed my Dutch honor. But you are again behind; for last night I received a letter from Paris, of which the enclosed is an extract, acquainting me that I am chosen associé étranger (foreign member) of the royal academy there. There are but eight of these associés étrangers in all Europe, and those of the most distinguished names for science. The vacancy I have the honor of filling was made by the death of the late celebrated M. Van Sweeten, of Vienna. This mark of respect from the first academy in the world, which Abbé Nolet, one of its members, took so much pains to prejudice against my doctrine, I consider as a kind of victory without ink-shed, since I never answered him. I am told he has but one of his sect now. remaining in the academy. All the rest, who have in any degree acquainted themselves with electricity, are, as he calls," them, Franklinists. Yours, &c. !!! B. FRANKLIN.C.

« ZurückWeiter »