Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

w

hither, having heard some whisperings about them. I shall, however, be able at any time to justify everything. I have written; the purport being uniformly this, that they should carefully avoid all tumults and every violent measure, and content themselves with verbally keeping up their claims, and holding forth their rights whenever occasion requires; secure, that from the growing importance of America, those claims will ere long be attended to and acknowledged. From a long and thorough consideration of the subject, I am indeed of opinion that the parliament has no right to make any law whatever binding on the colonies. That the king, and not the king, lords and commons collectively, is their sovereign; and that the king, with their respective parliaments, is their only legislator. I know your sentiments differ from mine 6th these subjects: You are a thorough government man, which I do not wonder at, nor do I aim at converting you. I only wish you to act uprightly and steadily, avoiding that duplicity which in Hutchinson adds contempt to indignation. If you can promote the prosperity of your people, and leave them happier than you found them, whatever your political principlies are, your memory will be honored. I have written two pieces here lately for the public advertiser, on American affairs, designed to expose the conduct of this country towards the colonies, in a short, comprehensive, and striking view, and stated therefore in out-of-the-way forms, as most likely to take the general attention. The first was called rules by which a great empire may be reduced to a small one;" the second, an edict of the king of Prussia. I sent you one of the first, but could not get enough of the second to spare you one, though my clerk went the next' morning to the printer's and wherever they were sold. They

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

were all gone but two. In my own mind;I preferred the first as a compbsition for the quantity and variety of the matter contained, and a kind of spirited endings of each paragraph. But I find that others here generally prefer the second. I am not suspected as the author except by one or two friends; and have heard the latter spoken of in the highest terms as the keenest and severest piece that has appeared here a longtime. Lord Mansfield I hear said of it, that it was very ABLE and very ART FUL indeed; and would do mischief by giving here a bad impression of the measures of government, and in the colonies by encouraging them in their contumacy. It is reprinted in the Chronicle, where you will see it, but stripped of all the capitalling and italicking, that intimate the allusions and mark, the emphasis of written discourses, to bring them as near as possible to those spoken: printing such a piece all in one even small character, seems to me like repeating one of Whitfield's sermons in the monotony of a school-boy. What made it the more noticed here was, that people in reading it, were, as the phrase is, taken in, till they had got half through it, and imagined it a real edict; to which mistake I suppose the king of Prussia's character must have contributed... I was, down at Lord le Despencer's when the post brought that day's papers. Mr. Whitehead was there too (Paul Whitehead, the author of Manners) who runs early through all the papers, and tells the company what he finds remarkable. He had them in another room, and we were chatting in the breakfast parlor, when he came running into us, out of breath, with the paper in his hand. Here! said he, here's news for ye! Here's the king of Prussia claiming a right to this kingdom! All stared, and I as much as any body; and he went on to read it. When he had read two or three-paragraphs, a gentleman present said, damn his impudence!...I dare say we shall hear by next post that he is upon

[graphic]

his march with 100,000 men to back this. Whitehead, who is very shrewd, soon after began to smoke it, and looking in my face said, I’ll be hanged if this is not some of your American jokes upon us. The reading went on and ended with abundance of laughing, and a general verdict that it was a fair hit. 2: And the piece was cut out of the paper and preserved in my lord's collection. - . . . . . *I don't wonder that Hutchinson should be dejected. It must be an uncomfortable thing to live almong people who he is conscious universally detest him. Yet Ifancy he will not have leave to come home, both because they know not well what to do with him, and because they do not very well like his conduct. I am ever your affectionate father, 0.

*** - B. FRANKLIN. . *- : * * - - - - * * * * To The HoN. Thom As CUs HING, Esq. . . o *** * : * : - - - * : Proposed accommodation with Great Britain—Petition for a root *-* ... removing the governors. *Sin, or " London, Nov. 1, 1775. ' *** * * I. duly received your favor of 26th August, with

the letter enclosed for Lord Dartmouth, which I immediately sent to him. As soon as he comes to town I shall wait upon his lordship and discourse with him upon the subject of it; and I shall immediately write to you what I can collect from the conversation. ... *In my own opinion the letter of the two houses of the 29th June, proposing as a satisfactory measure the restoring things to the state in which they were at the conclusion of the late war, is a fair and generous offer on our part, and my discourse here is, that it is more than Britain has a right to expect from as; and that if she has any wisdom left she will embrace it, and agree with us immediately; for that the longer she delays the accommodation which finally she must for her own sake

[ocr errors]

obtain, the worse terms she may expect, since the inequality of power and importance that at present subsists between us is daily diminishing, and our sense of our own rights and of her injustice continually increasing. I am the more encouraged to hold such language, by perceiving that the general sense of the nation is for us; a conviction prevailing that we have been ill used, and that a breach with us would be ruinous to this country. The pieces I wrote to increase and strengthen those sentiments were more read, and talked of, and attended to than usual. The first, as you will see by the enclosed, has been called for, and reprinted in the same paper, besides being copied in others, and in the magazines. A long labored answer has been made to it, (by governor Bernard it is said) which I send you. I am told it does not satisfy those in whose justification it was written, and that a better is preparing. I think with you that great difficulties must attend an attempt to make a new representation of our grievances, in which the point of right should be kept out of sight, especially as the concurrence of so many colonies seems now necessary. And therefore it would certainly be best and wisest for parliament (which does not meet till after the middle of January) to make up the matter themselves, and at once reduce things to the state desired. There are not wanting some here who believe this will really be the case; for, that a new election being now in view, the present members are likely to consider the composing all differences with America, as a measure agreeable to the trading and manufacturing part of the nation; and that the neglecting it may be made use of by their opponents to their disadvantage. - *:: I have as yet received uo answer to the petition for removing the governors. I imagine that it will hardly be complied with, as it would embarrass government to provide for them. otherwise; and it will be thought hard to neglect men who

have exposed themselves by adhering to what is here called the interest and rights of this country. But this I only conjecture, as I have heard nothing certain about it. Indeed I should think continuing them in their places would be rather a punishment than a favor. For what comfort can men have in living among a people with whom they are the object of universat odium ? " ' " * * * * “...? * I shall continue here one winter longer, and use my best endeavors as long as I stay for the service of our country. With great esteem, I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient humble servant, B. FRANKLIN. : - **

[ocr errors]

- “.. To Joseph Galloway, Esq. Philadeirnia. * Supposed disposition to compose the differences with America, SIR, . . . is * : * - London, Nov. 3, 1778. a -: , , "There is at present great quietness here, and no prospect that the war between the Turks and Russians will spread further in Europe. The last harvest is allowed to have been generally plentiful in this country; and yet such was the preceding scantiness of crops, that it is thought there is no corn to spare for exportation, which continues the advantages to our corn provinces, . . . . . . . . . . . The parliament is not to meet till after the middle of January. . . It is said there is a disposition to compose all differences with America before the next general election, as the trading and manufacturing part of the nation are generally our well-wishers, think we have been hardly used, and apprehend ill consequences from a continuance of the measures that we complain, of: and that if those measures are not changed, an American interest may be spirited up at the elec. tion against the present members who are in, or friends to, administration. Our steady refusal to take tea from hence for several years past has made its impressions, The scheme WOL. I. 2 B

[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »