Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

your own country, family and friends, and of the success of your election. • •# .

It is a pleasing reflection arising from the contemplation of our successful struggle, and the manly, spirited, and unanimous resolves at Dungannon, that liberty, which some years since appeared in danger of extinction, is now regaining the ground she had lost, that arbitrary governments are likely to become more mild, and reasonable, and to expire by degrees, giving place to more equitable forms; one of the effects this of the art of printing, which diffuses so general a light, augmenting with the growing day, and of so penetrating a nature, that ail the window shutters despotism and priestcraft can oppose to keep it out, prove insufficient.

Ih answer to your question respecting what may be necessary to fix a trade between Ireland and America, I may acquaint you between ourselves, that there is some truth in the report you may have heard, of our desiring to know of Mr. Hartley whether he was empowered or instructed to include Ireland in the treaty of commerce proposed to us, and of his sending for instructions on that head, which never arrived. That treaty is yet open, may possibly be soon resumed, and it seems proper that something should be contained in it to prevent the doubts and misunderstandings that may hereafter arise on the subject, and secure to Ireland the same advantages in trade that England may obtain. You can best judge whether some law or resolution of your parliament may not be of use towards gaining that point.

My grandson joins me in wishes of every kind of felicity for you, Lady Newenham, and all your amiable family. God bless you and give success to your constaut endeavors for the welfare of your country. With true and great respect and esteem, I have the honor to be, &c.

B. Franklin.

[graphic]
[ocr errors][merged small]

Extract Of A Letter To The Hon. Robert

Morris. r •. • •i.'• '..••..•,:.:•.: ,.; J»

{Superintendent of finances, United States) -..•

Remissness to j:ay taxes in AmericaThe Marquis dt la t. Fayette, fa. , .....,. :, ,„,.

..... Passy, Dec. 25, 1783.

Tt " The remissness of our people in paying

taxes is highly blameable; the unwillingness to pay them is still more so. I see in some resolutions of town meetings, a remonstrance against giving congress a power to take, as they call it, the people's money out of their pockets, though only to nay the interest and principal of debts duly contracted. They seem to mistake the point. Money justly due from the people is their creditor's money, and no longer the money of the people, who, if they withhold it, should be compelled to pay by some law. All property indeed, except the savage's temporary cabin, his bow, his matchuat, and other little acquisitions absolutely necessary for his subsistence, seems Jo me to be the creature of public convention. Hence the,public has the right of regulating descents, and all other conveyances of property, and even of limiting the quantity and the uses of it. All the property that is necessary to a man for the conservation of the individual and the propagation of the species, is his natural right,,which none can justly deprive him. of; but all property superfluous to such purposes is the property'of the public, who by their law,s have created it, and who may therefore by other laws:dispose of it whenever the welfare of the public shall desire such disposition. He that dots not like civil society on these terms, let him retire and live among savages. He can have no right to the benefits of society who will not pay his club towards the support of it.

The Marquis de la Fayette, who loves to be employed ia our affairs, and is often very useful, has lately had several conversations with the ministers and persons concerned in forming new regulations respecting the commerce between pur two countries, which are not yet concluded. 1 thought it therefore well to communicate to him a copy of your letter which contains so many sensible and just observations pn that subject. He will make a proper use of them, and perhaps they may have more weight as appearing to come from a Frenchman, than they would have if it were known that they were the observations of an American. I perfectly agree with you in all the sentiments you have expressed on this occasion. •

- I am sorry for the public's sake that you are about to quit your office, but on personal considerations I shall congratulate you. For I cannot conceive of a more happy man, than he who having been long loaded with public cares, finds himself relieved from them, and enjoying private repose in the bosom of his friends and family. t

. With sincere regard and attachment, I am ever, dear sir, yours, &c. B. Franklin.

To B. Vauchan, Esq.

Reflections on the American treaty with Englandmaking ,.• England a free port, dSfc.

Dear Sin, Passy, March 1784.

You mention that I may now see verified all you said about binding down England to so hard a peace. I suppose you do not mean by the American treaty; for we were exceeding favorable in not insisting on the reparations so justly due for the wanton burnings of our fine towns and devastations of our plantations in a war now universally allowed to have been originally unjust. I may add that you .will also sec verified all I said about the article respecting the royalists, that it will occasion more mischief than it was intended to remedy, and that it would have been better to have omitted all mention of them. England might have rewarded them according to their merits at no very great expense. After the harms they had done to us, it was imprudent to insist on our doing them good.

I am sorry for the overturn you mention of those beneficial systems of commerce that would have been exemplary to mankind. The making England entirely a free port would have been the wisest step ever taken for its advantage.

I wish much to see what you say a respectable friend of mine has undertaken to write respecting the peace. It is a pity it has been delayed. If it had appeared earlier it might have prevented much mischief, by securing our friends in their situations; for we know not who will succeed them, nor what credit they will hold. * ;- '.

By my doubts of the propriety of my going soon to London, I meant no reflection on my friends or yours.'If 1 had any call there besides the pleasure of seeing those whom I love, I should have no doubts. If 1 live to arrive there I shall certainly embrace your kind invitation, and take up my abode =with you. Make my compliments and respects acceptable to Mrs. Vaughan.

I know not what foundation there can be for saying that I abuse England as much as before the peace. I am not apt, I think, to be abusive: of the two- 1 bad rather be abused. "'-'.

Enclosed are the letters you desire. I' wish to hear from you more frequently, and to have through you such new pamphlets as you may think worth my reading. 1 am ever, my dear friend, yours most affectionately,

B. Franklin.

To David Hartley, Esq.

Change i?i administrationHereditary great officers of state, fyc.

My Deakfbiend, Passy, Jan. 7, 1784.

-.•v».r v JI have this moment received your favor of the 25th past, acquainting me with the change in administration. I am not sure that in reforming the constitution, which is sometimes talked of, it would not be better to make your great officers of state hereditary than to suffer the mconvenience of such frequent and total changes. Much faction and cabal would be prevented by having an hereditary first lord of the treasury, an hereditary lord chancellor, privy seal, president of council, secretary of state, first lord of the admiralty, &c. &c. It will not be said that the duties of these offices being important, we cannot trust to nature for the chance of requisite talents, since we have an hereditary set of judges in the last resort, the house of peers; an hereditary king; and in a certain German university, an hereditary professor of mathematics.

We have not yet heard of the arrival of our express in America, who carried the definitive treaty. He sailed the Q6th of September. As soon as the ratification arrives, I shall immediately send you word of it.

• With great esteem I am ever, my dear friend, yours most affectionately,

B. Fran Km N?

. ••' .'.i'. . ... V .. ,. . ., . . . - • - .

« ZurückWeiter »