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submissive to their measures, but never with success. By the influence of his power in granting offices, a governor naturally has a number of friends in an assembly; these, if suffered to continue, though a minority, might frequently serve his purposes, by promoting what he wishes, or obstructing what he dislikes. But if, to punish the majority, he in a pet dissolves the house, and orders a new election, he is sure not to see a single friend in the new assembly. The people are put into an ill-humor by the trouble given them, they resent the dissolution as an affront, and leave out every man suspected of having the least regard for the governor. This was the very effect of my lord's dissolutions in America, and the new assemblies were all found more untractable than the old ones.
But besides the imprudence of this measure, was it constitutional? The crown has doubtless the prerogative of dissolving parliaments, a prerogative lodged in its hands for the public good, which may in various instances require the use of it. But should a king of Great Britain demand of his parliament the rescision of any vote they had passed, 0/ forbid them to petition the throne, on pain of dissolution, and actually dissolve them accordingly, I humbly conceive the minister who advised it would run some hazard of censure at least, for thus using the prerogative to the violation of common right, and breach of the constitution. The American assembly have no means of impeaching such a minister; but there is an assembly, the parliament of England, that have that power, and in a former instance exercised it well, by impeaching a great man (Lord Clarendon) for having (though in one instance only) endeavored to introduce arti* trary government into the colonies.
The effect this operation of the American secretary had in America, was not a prevention of those petitions as he intended, but a despair in the people of any success from them, since they could not pass to the throne but through the hands of one who showed himself so extremely averse to the existence of them. Thence arose the design of interesting the British merchants and manufacturers in the event of their petitions, by agreements not to import goods from Great Britain till their grievances were redressed. Universal resentment occasioned these agreements to be more generally entered into, and the sending troops to Boston, who daily insulted the assembly' and townsmen, instead of terrifying into a compliance with his measures, served only to exasperate and sour the minds of people throughout the continent, make frugality fashionable when the consumption of British goods was the question, and determine the inhabitants to exert every nerve in establishing manufactures among themselves.
Boston having grievously offended his lordship, by the refractory spirit they had shown in re-choosing those representatives, whom he esteemed the leaders of the opposition there, he resolved to punish that town by removing the assembly from thence to Cambridge, a country-place about four miles distant. Here too his lordship's English and Irish ideas seem to have misled him. Removing a parliament from London to Dublin, where so many of the inhabitants are supported by the expense of such a number of wealthy lords and commoners, and have a dependance on that support, may be a considerable prejudice to a city deprived of such advantage; but the removal of the assembly, consisting of frugal honest farmers, from Boston, could only affect the . i . . ,-. u'.
'They mounted a numerous guard daily round the parliament house, with drums beating and fifes playing while the members were in their debates, and had cannon planted and pointed at the building.
interest of a few poor widows, who keep lodging-houses there. Whatever manufactures the members might want, were still purchased at Boston. They themselves indeed suffered some inconvenience, in being perhaps less commodiously lodged, and being at a distance from the records', but this and the keeping them before so long prorogued, when the public affairs required their meeting, could never reconcile them to ministerial measures, it could serve only to put them more out of humor with Britain and its government so wantonly exercised, and to so little purpose. Ignorance alone of the true state of that country, can excuse, (if it may be excused) these frivolous proceedings.
To have good ends in view^ and to use proper means to obtain them, shows the minister to be both good and wise. To pursue good ends by improper means, argues him, though good, to be but weak. To pursue bad ends by artful means, shows him to be wicked though able. But when his ends are bad, and. the means he uses improper to obtain these ends, what shall we say of such a minister? Every step taken for some time past in our treatment of America, the suspending their legislative powers, for not making laws by direction hence; the countenancing their adversaries by rewards and pensions, paid out of the revenues extorted from them by laws to which they have not given their assent; the sending over a set of rash indiscreet commissioners to collect that revenue, who, by insolence of behavior, harassing commerce, and perpetually accusing the good people (out of whose substance they are supported) to government here, as rebels and traitors, have made themselves universally odious there, but here are caressed and encouraged; together with the arbitrary dissolution of assemblies, and the quartering troops among the people, to menace and insult them; all these steps, if intended to provoke them to rebellion that we
might take their lives and confiscate their estates, are proper means to obtain a bad end: but if they are intended to conciliate the Americans to our government, restore our commerce with them, and secure the friendship and assistance which their growing strength, wealth, and power may in a few years, render extremely valuable to us, can any thing be conceived more injudicious, more absurd? His lordship may have in general a good understanding; his friends say he has; but in the political part of it there must surely be some twist, some extreme obliquity.
A well-wisher to the king and all his dominions.
i . ...
Your correspondent Britannicus inveighs violently agaiust Dr. Franklin, for his ingratitude to the ministry of this nation, who have conferred upon him so many favors* They gave him the post-office of America; they made his son a governor; and they offered him a post of five hundred a-year in the salt-office, if he would relinquish the interests of his country; but he has had the wickedness to continue true to it, and is as much an American as ever. As it is a settled point in government here, that every man has his price, it is plain they are bunglers in their business, and have not given him enough. Their master has as much reason to be angry with them, as Rodrigue in the play, with his apothecary, for not effectually poisoning Pandolpho, and they must probably make use of the apothecary's justification, viz.
Scene iv.-—Rodrigue and Fell, the Apothecary. .-;
Rodrigue. You promised to have this Pandolpho upon his' bier in less than a week; 'tis more than a month since, and; he still walks and stares me in the face. . • • i' . •.. • ..•'
Fell. True; i and: yet. I have done my best endeavors. In various ways I have given the miscreant as much poison as would have killed an elephant. He has swallowed dose after dose ;—far from hurting him, he seems the better for it. He hath a wonderfully strong constitution. I find I cannot kill him but by cutting his throat, and that, as I take it, is not my business.
Rodrigue. Then it must be mine. . . ,;
To The Printer Of The Public Advertiser* ,i Sib,
Nothing can equal the present rage of our ministerial writers against our brethren in America, who have the misfortune to be whigs in a reign when whiggism is out of fashion, who are besides protestant dissenters and lovers of liberty. One may easily see from what quarter comes the abuse of those people in the papers; their struggle for their Tights is called Rebellion, aud the people Rebels; while those who really rebelled in Scotland (1745) for the expulsion of the present reigning family, and the establishment of popery and arbitrary power on die ruins of liberty and protestantism, who entered England, and marched on as far as Derby, to the astonishment of this great city, and shaking the public credit of the nation; have now all their sins forgiven on account of their modish principles, and are called not relets, but by the softer appellation of insurgents! These angry writers use their utmost efforts to persuade us that this war with the colonies (for a war it will be) is a national cause, when in fact it is merely a ministerial one. Administration wants an American revenue to dissipate in corruption. The quarrel is about a paltry three-penny duty on tea. There is no real clashing of interests between Britain and America. Their commerce is to their mutual advantage, or rather most