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ing the attention of that body to any propositions; and Lord Chatham himself did not suppose, that, in any event, his plan would be adopted precisely as he should present it. His aim was to open the way to an accommodation, and amendments might be introduced in its progress through the House. Little else was to be expected, than that it might serve as the basis of a treaty. And in the mean time, before it passed, the Americans would have an opportunity of knowing what it was, and of making objections and propositions.

This plan was submitted to the House of Lords, in the form of a bill, on the 1st of February. Lord Stanhope, at the request of Lord Chatham, accompanied Dr. Franklin to the House, and procured him admittance. The House was very full. Lord Chatham exerted all his powers of eloquence and argument in support of his plan. It was vehemently assailed by the ministers and their adherents; and was defended by the Dukes of Richmond and Manchester, Lord Shelburne, Lord Camden, Lord Temple, and others. The ministerial influence was so great, however, that it was not even allowed to lie on the table for future consideration, but was rejected by a majority of two to one.

The speech of Lord Sandwich was passionate and abusive. He could not believe, he said, that the bill proceeded from a British peer; it was more likely the work of some American; and, turning towards Dr. Franklin, who was leaning on the bar, said "he fancied he had in his eye the person who drew it up, one of the bitterest and most mischievous enemies this country had ever known." In reply to this illiberal insinuation, Lord Chatham "declared, that it was entirely his own; a declaration he thought himself the

more obliged to make, as many of their Lordships appeared to have so mean an opinion of it; for, if it was so weak or so bad a thing, it was proper in him to take care that no other person should unjustly share in the censure it deserved. That it had been heretofore reckoned his vice, not to be apt to take advice; but he made no scruple to declare, that, if he were the first minister of this country, and had the care of settling this momentous business, he should not be ashamed of publicly calling to his assistance a person so perfectly acquainted with the whole of American affairs as the gentleman alluded to, and so injuriously reflected on; one, he was pleased to say, whom all Europe held in high estimation for his knowledge and wisdom, and ranked with our Boyles and Newtons; who was an honor, not to the English nation only, but to human nature!"

After this proceeding, Dr. Franklin did not expect to hear any thing more of proposals for a negotiation; but, a day or two after, he was again invited by Dr. Fothergill and Mr. Barclay to meet and consult with them on the subject of the Hints. It appears that conferences had been held about them; and these gentlemen handed him a paper, which purported to come from high authority, and in which some of his articles were approved, and others rejected or modified. He read the paper and agreed to consider it. His opinion of its contents may be drawn from his remarks on this interview.

"We had not at this time," he says, "a great deal of conversation upon these points; for I shortened it by observing, that, while the Parliament claimed and exercised a power of altering our constitutions at pleasure, there could be no agreement; for we were rendered unsafe in every privilege we had a right

to, and were secure in nothing. And, it being hinted how necessary an agreement was for America, since it was so easy for Britain to burn all our seaport towns, I grew warm, said that the chief part of my little property consisted of houses in those towns; that they might make bonfires of them whenever they pleased; that the fear of losing them would never alter my resolution to resist to the last that claim of Parliament; and that it behoved this country to take care what mischief it did us; for that, sooner or later, it would certainly be obliged to make good all damages with interest!"

The negotiation continued thus informally for some time longer. Another paper was produced, which was understood to come from the ministry, and various efforts were made to induce Dr. Franklin to relax from some of his terms. But all the proposed modifications seemed to him of intrinsic importance, and such as his countrymen would not and ought not to accept. Several conferences followed, in some of which Lord Howe and Lord Hyde took a part. It turned out, that Lord Howe had conceived a strong desire to be sent over to America as a commissioner; and this explains the warm interest he took in the subject, as well as the contrivance of his sister to bring him acquainted with Dr. Franklin, in a way that should not excite a suspicion of her motives. Governor Pownall had formed a similar project for himself; and it is probable, that the ministry seriously thought of this step, if they could obtain such propositions from Dr. Franklin, as would afford a reasonable prospect of accomplishing their wishes; it being supposed, that he would express the sentiments of the Americans on all the essential points of difference. When they ascertained the extent of his claims, and

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found him unyielding, the scheme was abandoned. And, indeed, before the negotiation was at an end, he became tired of it himself, believing it utterly fruitless; and he said, if any thing more was to be done, the ministers ought to be directly concerned in it, and there should be a full understanding of the dispositions and designs of both parties.

Whatever may be thought of this negotiation as an affair of diplomacy, or of the aims of those connected with it on the British side, there can be but one opinion as to the manner in which it was conducted by Franklin. It was creditable to his patriotism and sagacity. He had been absent ten years from America, and could know the opinions and feelings of his countrymen only from the reports of their proceedings and published papers. He was beyond the reach of the enthusiasm naturally inspired by a union of numbers in defending rights and resisting oppression; yet no American could have placed the demands of the colonies on a broader foundation, or supported them with a more ardent zeal, or insisted on them with a more determined resolution.

These transactions detained him longer in England than he had expected. He was now ready for his departure, and he received a message from Dr. Fothergill for their mutual friends in Philadelphia. "Tell them," said he, "that, whatever specious pretences are offered, they are all hollow." Dr. Fothergill was as much disgusted, as disappointed, with the ministerial manoeuvres, which he had discovered in the course of the late negotiation.

The day before Franklin left London, he wrote as follows to Arthur Lee. "I leave directions with Mrs. Stevenson to deliver to you all the Massachusetts papers, when you please to call for them. I am sorry

that the hurry of preparing for my voyage, and the many hindrances I have met with, prevented my meeting with you and Mr. Bollan, and conversing a little more on our affairs, before my departure. I wish to both of you health and happiness, and shall be glad to hear from you by every opportunity. I shall let you know how I find things in America. I may possibly return again in the autumn, but you will, if you think fit, continue henceforth the agent for Massachusetts, an office which I cannot again undertake." In a letter to a friend on the continent, he likewise mentions it as probable that he should return in the But he did not then foresee the memorable day at Lexington, which occurred a month afterwards, nor the new scene of action that awaited him on the other side of the Atlantic. He sailed from England on the 21st of March, 1775, and arrived at Philadelphia on the 5th of May, employing himself during a long voyage in writing an account of his recent attempts to establish peace and harmony between the two countries; but this paper was not published till after his death.

He also made experiments with a thermometer, to ascertain the temperature of the ocean in different places, by which he found that the water in the Gulf Stream is warmer than the sea on each side of it. This result, which he considered "a valuable philosophical discovery," was confirmed by similar experiments repeated in two other voyages. His inference was, that the body of water, constituting the Gulf Stream, retains a portion of its warmth while it passes from the tropics to the northern seas, thus affording seamen the means of knowing when they are in the Stream by the temperature of the water. By the same warmth, as he supposed, the air above is rare

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