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"by both parties, the courtiers and the patriots; the latter treating him with particular respect." But the most remarkable occurrence, that happened to him there, was his meeting with Lord Hillsborough, who had retreated from the fatigues of public business for a few weeks to seek relaxation on his estates. The story is best told in his own words, as contained in a letter to Mr. Cushing.
"Being in Dublin at the same time with his Lordship, I met with him accidentally at the Lord Lieutenant's, who had happened to invite us to dine with a large company on the same day. As there was something curious in our interview, I must give you an account of it. He was surprisingly civil, and urged fellow travellers and me to call at his house in our intended journey northward, where we might be sure of better accommodations than the inns would afford us. He pressed us so politely, that it was not easy to refuse without apparent rudeness, as we must pass through his town, Hillsborough, and by his door; and therefore, as it might afford an opportunity of saying something on American affairs, I concluded to comply with his invitation.
"His Lordship went home some time before we left Dublin. We called upon him, and were detained at his house four days, during which time he entertained us with great civility, and a particular attention to me, that appeared the more extraordinary, as I knew that just before we left London he had expressed himself concerning me in very angry terms, calling me a republican, a factious, mischievous fellow, and the like."
"He seemed attentive to every thing, that might make my stay in his house agreeable to me, and put his eldest son, Lord Killwarling, into his phaeton with me, to drive me a round of forty miles, that I might see
the country, the seats, and manufactures, covering me with his own greatcoat, lest I should take cold. In short, he seemed extremely solicitous to impress me, and the colonies through me, with a good opinion of him. All which I could not but wonder at, knowing that he likes neither them nor me; and I thought it inexplicable but on the supposition, that he apprehended an approaching storm, and was desirous of lessening beforehand the number of enemies he had so imprudently created. But, if he takes no steps towards withdrawing the troops, repealing the duties, restoring the Castle, * or recalling the offensive instructions, I shall think all the plausible behaviour I have described is meant only, by patting and stroking the horse, to make him more patient, while the reins are drawn tighter, and the spurs set deeper into his sides."
He stayed in Dublin till the opening of the Irish Parliament, for the purpose of seeing the principal patriots in that Assembly. "I found them," he says, "disposed to be friends of America, in which I endeavoured to confirm them, with the expectation that our growing weight might in time be thrown into their scale, and, by joining our interests with theirs, a more equitable treatment from this nation might be obtained for them as well as for us. There are many brave spirits among them. The gentry are a very sensible, polite, and friendly people. Their Parliament makes a most respectable figure, with a number of very good speakers in both parties, and able men of business. And must not omit acquainting you, that, it being a standing rule to admit members of the English Parliament to sit (though they do not vote) in the House
Castle William, a fortification in Boston Harbour, which belonged to Massachusetts, but which was at this time occupied by British troops.
among the members, while others are only admitted into the gallery, my fellow traveller, being an English member, was accordingly admitted as such. But I supposed I must go to the gallery, when the Speaker stood up, and acquainted the House, that he understood there was in town an American gentleman of (as he was pleased to say) distinguished character and merit, a member or delegate of some of the Parliaments of that country, who was desirous of being present at the debates of the House; that there was a rule of the House for admitting members of English Parliaments, and that he supposed the House would consider the American Assemblies as English Parliaments; but, as this was the first instance, he had chosen not to give any order in it without receiving their directions. On the question, the House gave a loud, unanimous Ay; when two members came to me without the bar, led me in between them, and placed me honorably and commodiously."
In Scotland he had many friends, who received him with a cordial welcome and an open-handed hospitality. He spent five days with Lord Kames at Blair Drummond, near Stirling, two or three days at Glasgow, and about three weeks at Edinburgh, where he lodged with David Hume. His old acquaintances, Sir Alexander Dick, Drs. Robertson, Cullen, Black, Ferguson, Russel, and others, renewed the civilities, which they had formerly shown to him, and which attached him so strongly to Scottish manners and society. His intimacy with Dr. Robertson had before enabled him to be the means of rendering a just tribute to the merit of some of his countrymen, by obtaining for them
His friend, Mr. Jackson, who was a member of the British Parliament.
honorary degrees from the University of Edinburgh, over which that distinguished historian presided. Dr. Cooper, President Stiles, and Professor Winthrop of Harvard College, were among those upon whom this honor was conferred in consequence of his recommendation.
On his way back from Scotland, at Preston in Lancashire, he met his son-in-law, Mr. Richard Bache, who, with his consent, had married his only daughter four years before in Philadelphia. Mr. Bache had just come over from America, and was on a visit to his mother and sisters, who resided at Preston. He accompanied his father-in-law to London, and sailed thence for Philadelphia a few weeks afterwards. Dr. Franklin had never seen him before, but this short acquaintance seems to have made a favorable impression. In writing to his wife, he said he had been much pleased with what he had observed of his character and deportment, as also with the condition and good repute of his relations in England.
Some of Dr. Franklin's happiest days were passed in the family of Dr. Shipley, Bishop of St. Asaph, a man renowned for his virtues, his abilities, attainments, and steady adherence to the principles of political and civil liberty. He was one of the very small number on the bench of Bishops in the House of Lords, who opposed, from the beginning, the course pursued by the ministry in the American controversy. His writings on this subject were applauded by all parties as models of style and argument, and by the friends of liberty for their candor and independent spirit. In the course of this year, Franklin paid two visits to the "good Bishop," as he was accustomed to call him, at Twyford in Hampshire, the place of
the Bishop's summer residence; and, while there, he employed his leisure hours in writing the first part of his autobiography. His friendship for this amiable family continued without diminution through life, and was kept bright by an uninterrupted correspondence with the Bishop and his daughters, particularly Miss Georgiana Shipley, a young lady of distinguished accomplishments.