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people, the country should not, to supply their places, want and willingly receive the children you have to dispose of. That circumstance, together with the multitude who voluntarily part with their freedom as men, to serve for a time as lacqueys, or for life as soldiers, in consideration of small wages, seems to me proof that your island is over-peopled. And yet it is afraid of emigrations!

Adieu, my dear friend, and believe me ever, yours very affectionately, ©

. B. FRANKLIN.

To * * * Dissuading him from attempting crossing to England in

a Balloon. Dear Sir,

Passy, June 20, 1785. . I have just received the only letter from you that has given me pain. It informs me of your intention to attempt passing to England in the car of a balloon. In the present imperfect state of that invention, I think it much too soon to hazard a voyage of that distance. It is said here by some of those who have had experience, that as yet they have not found means to keep up, a balloon more than two hours; for that by. now and then losing air to prevent rising too high and bursting; and now and then discharging ballast to avoid descending too low; these means of regulation are exhausted. Besides this, all the circumstances of danger. by disappointment, in the operation of Soupape's,' &c. &c. seem not to be yet well known, and therefore not easily provided against. For on Wednesday last M. Pilâtre de Rosier, who had studied the subject as much as any man, lost his support in the

" Valves.

air, by the bursting of his balloon, or by some other means we are yet unacquainted with, and fell with his companion! from the height of one thousand toises, on the rocky coast, and were both found dashed to pieces. You having lived a good life do not fear death. But pardon the anxious freedom of a friend, if he tells you that the continuance of your life being of importance to your family and your country, though you might laudably hazard it for their good, you have no right to risque it for a fancy. I pray God this may reach you in time, and have some effect towards changing your design: being ever, my dear friend, yours affectionately,: :init' mil ' . B. FRANKLIN..

TO BARON Maseres. Results of the American Contest-State of America........ The LoyalistsConfiscation of Estates.. ';! - Sir, ..." ,"..' ! : Passy, June 26, 1785. ,

';! ; I have just received your friendly letter of the 2012 instant. I agree with you perfectly in the opinion, that though the contest has been hurtful to both our countries, yet the event, a separation, is better even for yours than; success. The reducing and keeping us in subjection by an armed force would have cost you more than the dominion could be worth, and our slavery would have brought on yours. The ancient system of the British eto pire was a happy one, by which the colonies were allowed to govern and tax themselves. Had it been wisely continued, it is hard to imagine the degree of power and importance in the world that empire might have arrived at. All the means of growing greatness, extent of

· The Marquis d'Arlandes.

territory, agriculture, commerce, arts, population, were within its own limits, and therefore at its command. I used to consider that system as a large and beautiful porcelain vase, 1 lamented the measures that I saw likely to break it, and strove to prevent them; because once broken I saw no probability of its being ever repaired. My endeavours did not succeed: we are broken, and the parts must now do as well as they can for themselves. We may still do well though separated. I have great hopes of our side, and good wishes for yours. The anarchy and confusion you mention as supposed to prevail among us, exist only in your newspapers. I have authentic accounts which assure me that no people were ever better governed, or more content with their respective constitutions and governments than the present thirteen states of America. A little reflection may convince any reasonablo man, that a government wherein the administrators are chosen annually by the free voice of the governed, and may also be recalled at any time if their conduct displeases their constituents, cannot be a tyrannical one, as your loyalists represent it; who at the same time inconsistently desire to return and live under it. And among an intelligent enlightened people as ours is, there must always be too numerous and too strong a party for supporting good government and the laws, to suffer-what is called anarchy. This better account of our situation must be pleasing to your humanity, and therefore I give it you.

But we differ a little in our sentiments respecting the loyalists (as they call themselves) and the conduct of America towards them, which you think " seems actuated by a spirit of revenge; and that it would have been more agreeable to policy, as well as justice, to have restored

VOL. I.

N

{heir estates upon their taking the oaths of allegiance to the new governments.” That there should still be some resentment against them in the breasts of those who have had their houses, farms, and towns so lately destroyed, and relations scalped under the conduct of these royalists, is not wonderful ; though I believe the opposition given by many to their re-establishing amoug us is owing to a firm persuasion, that there could be no reliance on their oaths ; and that the effect of receiving those people again would be an introduction of that very anarchy and confusion they falsely reproach us with. Even the example you propose of tlie English commonwealth's restoring the estates of the royalists after their being subdued, seems rather to countenance and encourage our acting differently, as probably if the power, which always accompanies property, had not been restored to the royalists ; if their estates had remained confiscated, and their persons had been banished, they could not have so much contributed to the restoration of kingly, power, and the new government of the republic might have been more durable. The majority of examples in your history, are on the other side of the question. All the estates in England and south of Scotland, and most of those possessed by the descendants of the English in Ireland, are held from ancient confiscations made of the estates of Caledonians, and Britons the original possessors in your island, or the native Irish, in the last century only. It is but a few months since that your parliament has, in a few instances, given up confiscations incurred by a rebellion suppressed forty years ago.

The war against us was begun by a general act of Parliament declaring all our estates confiscated, and probably one great motive to the loyalty of the royalists was the

one

hope of sharing in these confiscations. They have played a deep game staking their estates against ours; and they have been unsuccessful. But it is a surer game, since they had promises to rely on from your government of indemnification in case of loss; and I see your parliament is about to fulfil those promises. To this I have no objection, because though still our enemies, they are men; they are in necessity; and I think even an hired assassin has a right to his pay from his employer; it seems too more reasonable that the expense of paying these should fall upon the government who encouraged the mischief done, rather than upon us who suffered it; the confiscated estates making amends but for a very small part of that mischief: it is not therefore clear that our retaining them is chargeable with injustice.

I have hinted above, that the name loyalists, was improperly assumed by these people. Royalists they may perhaps be called. But the true loyalists were the people of America against whom they acted. No people were ever known more truly loyal, and universally so, to their sovereigns: the protestant succession in the House of Hanover was their idol! Not a jacobite was to be found from one end of the colonies to the other. They were affectionate to the people of England, zealous and forward to assist in her wars, by voluntary contributions of men and money, even beyond their proportion. The king and parliament had frequently acknowledged this by public messages, resolutions, and reimbursements. But they were equally fond of what they esteemed their rights, and if they resisted when those were attacked, it was a resist ance in favor of a British constitution, which every EngLishman might share in enjoying who should come to live

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