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congress may grow out of that correspondence. Nothing would more alarm our ministers; but, if the colonies agree to hold a congress, I do not see how it can be prevented.

The instruction relating to the exemption of the commissioners I imagine is withdrawn; perhaps the other also, relating to the agents; but of that I have heard nothing. I only wonder that the governor should make such a declaration of his readiness to comply with an intimation in acting contrary to any instructions, if he had not already, or did not soon expect, a repeal of those instructions. I have not, and never shall use your name on this or any similar occasion.

I note your directions relating to public and private letters, and shall not fail to observe them. At the same time I think all the correspondence should be in the speaker's power, to communicate such extracts only as he should think proper for the house. It is extremely embarrassing to an agent to write letters concerning his transactions with ministers, which letters he knows are to be read in the house, where there may be governors' spies who carry away parts, or perhaps take copies, that are echoed back hither privately, if they should not be, as sometimes they are, printed in the votes. It is impossible to write freely in such circumstances, unless he would hazard his usefulness, and put it out of his power to do his country any farther service. I speak this now, not upon my own account, being about to decline all public business, but for your consideration with regard to future agents.

And now we speak of agents, I must mention my concern that I should fall under so severe a censure

of the house as that of neglect in their business. I have submitted to the reproof without reply in my public letter, out of pure respect. It is not decent to dispute a father's admonitions. But to you in private, permit me to observe, that as to the two things I am blamed for not giving the earliest notice of, viz. the clause in the act relating to dock-yards, and the appointment of salaries for the governor and judges; the first only seems to have some foundation. I did not know, but perhaps I ought to have known, that such a clause was intended. And yet in a parliament, that during the whole session refused admission to strangers, wherein near two hundred acts were passed, it is not so easy a matter to come at the knowledge of every clause in every act, and to give opposition to what may affect one's constituents, especially when it is not uncommon to smuggle clauses into a bill whose title shall give no suspicion, when an opposition to such clauses is apprehended.


say this is no easy matter. But had I known of this clause, it is not likely I could have prevented its passing in the present disposition of government towards America, nor do I see that giving earlier notice of its having passed could have been of much service. As to the other, concerning the governor and judges, I should hardly have thought of sending the house an account of it, if the minister had mentioned it to me, as I understood from their first letter that they had already the best intelligence "of its being determined by administration to bestow large salaries on the attorney-general, judges, and governor of the province." I could not, therefore, possibly "give the first notice of this impending evil." I answered, however, "that there was no doubt of

the intention of making governors, and some other officers, independent of the people for their support, and that this purpose will be persisted in, if the American revenue is found sufficient to defray the salaries. This censure, though grievous, does not so much surprise me, as I apprehended all along from the beginning, that between the friends of an old agent, my predecessor, who thought himself hardly used in his dismission, and those of a young one impatient for the succession, my situation was not likely to be a very comfortable one, as my faults could scarce pass unobserved.

I think of leaving England in September. As soon as possible after my arrival in America, I purpose (God willing) to visit Boston, when I hope to have the pleasure of paying my respects to you. I shall then give every information in my power, and offer every advice relating to our affairs, (not so convenient to be written) that my situation here for so many years may enable me to suggest for the benefit of our country. Some time before my departure, I shall put your papers into the hands of Mr. Lee, and assist him with my counsel while I stay where there may be occasion for it. He is a gentleman of parts and ability, and though he cannot exceed me in sincere zeal for the interest and prosperity of the province, his youth will easily enable him to serve it with more activity.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obliged and most obedient humble servant, B. FRANKLIN.



London, July 7, 1773.

The parliament is at length prorogued without

meddling with the state of America. Their time was much employed in the East India business; and perhaps it was not thought prudent to lay before them the advices from New England, though some threatening intimations had been given of such an intention. The king's firm answer (as it is called) to our petitions and remonstrances, has probably been judged sufficient for the present. I forwarded that answer to you by the last packet, and sent a copy of it by a Boston ship the beginning of last month. Therein we are told "that his majesty has well weighed the subject matter, and the expressions contained in those petitions; and, that as he will ever attend to the humble petitions of his subjects, and be forward to redress every real grievance, so he is determined to support the constitution, and resist with firmness every attempt to derogate from the authority of the supreme legislature."

By this it seems that some exception is taken to the expressions of the petitions as not sufficiently humble, that the grievances complained of are not thought real grievances, that parliament is deemed the supreme legislature, and its authority over the colonies supposed to be the constitution. Indeed the last idea is expressed more fully in the next paragraph, where the words of the act are used declaring the right of the crown, with the advice of parliament, to make laws of sufficient force and validity to bind its subjects in America in all cases whatsoever.

When one considers the king's situation, surrounded by ministers, counsellors, and judges learned in the law, who are all of this opinion, and reflect how necessary it is for him to be well with his parliament, from whose yearly grants his fleets and

armies are to be supported, and the deficiencies of his civil list supplied, it is not to be wondered at that he should be firm in an opinion established, as far as an act of parliament could establish it, by even the friends of America at the time they repealed the stamp act; and which is so generally thought right by his lords and commons, that any act of his, countenancing the contrary, would hazard his embroiling himself with those powerful bodies. And hence it seems hardly to be expected from him that he should take any step of that kind. The grievous instructions indeed might be withdrawn without their observing it, if his majesty thought fit so to do; but under the present prejudices of all about him, it seems that this is not yet likely to be advised.

The question then arises, how are we to obtain redress? If we look back into the parliamentary history of this country we shall find, that in similar situations of the subjects here, redress could seldom be obtained but by withholding aids when the sovereign was in distress, till the grievances were removed. Hence the rooted custom of the commons to keep money-bills in their own disposition, not suffering even the lords to meddle in grants, either as to quantity, manner of raising, or even in the smallest circumstance. This country pretends to be collectively our sovereign. It is now deeply in debt. Its funds are far short of recovering their par since the last war: another would distress it still more. Its people diminish as well as its credit. Men will be wanted as well as money. The colonies are rapidly increasing in wealth and numbers. In the last war they maintained an army

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