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not necessary as among the Hottentots, that a youth to be raised into the company of men should prove his manhood by beating his mother. I would advise you therefore not to attempt unchaining the tiger, but to burn this piece before it is seen by any other person, whereby you will save yourself a great deal of mortification from the enemies it may raise against you, and perhaps a good deal of regret and repentance. If men are so wicked with religion, what would they be if without it?" I intend this letter itself as a proof of my friendship, and therefore add no professions to it; but subscribe simply yours,
· Montesquieu says, “ La Religion, même fausse, est le meilleur garant que les hommes puissent avoir de la Probité des hommes." (Esprit des Loix Chap. 25. Liv. 8.)
LETTERS RELATING TO AMERICAN POLITICS.
To Joseph GALLOWAY, Esg. SPEAKER OF THE
HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA. Repeal of Act restraining the legal Tender of Paper Money.-Mr. Grenville.—Mr. Townsend. The salt Duty. -Change of Ministry predicted. Dear Sir,
London, June 13, 1767. In my last of May 20th, I mentioned my hopes that we should at length get over all obstructions to the repeal of the act restraining the legal tender of paper money; but those hopes are now greatly lessened.
The ministry had agreed to the repeal, and the notion that had possessed them that they might make a revenue from paper money, in appropriating the interest by parliament, was pretty well removed by my assuring them, that it was my opinion no colony would make money on those terms, and that the benefits arising to the commerce of this country in America from a plentiful currency would therefore be lost, and the repeal answer no end, if the agesemblies were not allowed to appropriate the interest themselves ; that the crown might get a great share upon occasional requisitions, I made no doubt by voluntary appropriations of the assemblies; but they would never es-, tablish such funds as to make themselves unnecessary to government, &c. Those and other reasons that were urged seemed to satisfy them, and we began to think all would go smoothly, and the merchants prepared their petition on which the repeal was to be founded. But in the house when the Chancellor of the Exchequer had gone through his proposed American revenue, viz. by duties on glass, china ware, paper, pasteboard, colours, tea, &c. Grenville stood up and undervalued them all as trifles; and said he, “ I'll tell the honourable gentleman of a revenue that will produce something valuable in America : make paper money for the colonies, issue it upon loan there, take the interest and apply it as you think proper. Mr. Townsend finding the house listened to this, and seened to like it, stood up again, and said “ that was a proposition of his own which he had intended to make with the rest, but it had slipt his memory, and the gentleman, who must have heard of it, now unfairly would take advantage of that slip and make a merit to himself of a proposition that was another's, and as a proof of it, assured the bouse a bill was prepared for the purpose and would be laid before them." This startled all our friends, and the merchants concluded to keep back their petition for a while, till things appeared a little clearer, lest their friends in America should blame them as having furnished founda
tion for an act that must have been disagreeable to the colonies. I found the rest of the ministry did not like this proceeding of the Chancellor's, but there was no going on with our scheme against his declaration, and as he daily talked of resigning, there being no good agreement between him and the rest; and as we found the general prejudice against the colonies so strong in the house, that any thing in the shape of a favor to them all was like to meet with great opposition, whether he was out or in, I proposed to Mr. Jackson, the putting our colony foremost as we stood in a pretty good light, and asking the favor for us alone. This he agreed might be proper in case the chancellor should go out, and undertook to bring in a bill for that purpose, provided the Philadelphia merchants would petition for it, and he wished to have such petition ready to present if an opening for it should offer. Accordingly I applied to them and prepared a draft of a petition for them to sign, a copy of which I send you inclosed. They seemed generally for the measure ; but apprehending the merchants of the other colonies, who had hitherto gone hand in hand with us in all American affairs, might take umbrage if we now separated from them, it was thought right to call a meeting of the whole to consult upon this proposal. At this meeting I represented to them as the ground of this measure, that the colonies being generally out of favor at present, any hard clause relating to paper money in the repealing bill will be more easily received in parliament if the bill related to all the colonies : that Pennsylvania being in some degree of favor might possibly alone obtain a better act than the whole could do, as it might by government be thought as good policy to show favor where there had been obedience, as resentment where there had been the reverse. That a good act obtained by Pennsylvania might another year, when the resentment against the colonies should be abated, be made use of as a precedent, &c. &c. But after a good deal of debate it was finally concluded not to precipitate matters, it being very dangerous by any kind of petition to furnish the chancellor with a horse on which he could put what saddle he thought fit: the other merchants seemed rather averse to the Pennsylvania merchants proceeding alone, but said they were certainly at liberty to do as they thought proper. The conclusion of the Pennsylvania merchants was to wait awhile holding the separate petiţion ready to sign and present if a proper opening should appear this session, but otherwise to reserve it to the next; when the complexion of ministers and measures may probably be changed. And as this session now draws to a conclusion, I begin to think nothing will be farther done
in it this year.
Mentioning the merchants, puts me in mind of some discourse I heard among them, that was by no means agreeable. It was said that in the opposition they gave the Stamp act and their endeavours to obtain the repeal, they had spent at their meeting, and in expresses to all parts of this country, and for a vessel to carry the joyful news to North America, and in the entertainments given our friends of both houses &c. near 15001.; that for all this except from the little colony of Rhode island they had not received so much as a thank ye. That on the contrary the circular letters they had written with the best intentions to the merchants of the several colonies, containing their best and most friendly advice, were either answered with unkind reflections, or contemptuously left