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whatever,) yet they are enemies, and very b and you must expect their enmity will extend in some degree to you, so that your slightest indiscretions will be magnified into crimes, in order the more sensibly to wound and afflict me. It is therefore the more necessary for you to be extremely circumspect in all your behaviour, that no advantage may be given to their malevolence.*
• The violence of party in Pennsylvania at this time was carried to its highest extreme. An ample account of the merits of the controversy, which agitated the public mind, may be found in the author's tract, entitled “Cool Thoughls," and also in his “ Preface to Galloway's Speech,” and “ Remarks on a late Protesl,” contained in the fourth volume of this work. As a leader of one of the parties, Franklin was made to bear the full weight of the displeasure and acrimonious censure of the other party. At a recent election of members of Assembly in Philadelphia, the Proprietary party had triumphed, and Franklin lost his election, after having been annually chosen fourteen years. But in the counties the popular party prevailed, so that in the Assembly there was a large majority of Franklin's friends. It being decided to petition the King for a change of government, he was fixed upon as the agent to transact the business in England. The debates on the occasion were conducted with much warmth of temper and pointed invective. The following extract from a speech of John Dickinson, which is transcribed from a manuscript copy, will serve as a sample.
" Another reason,” said he, “why I must oppose that gentleman's being appointed our agent, is, that no measure this House can pursue will be so likely to inflame the resentments, increase the divisions, and imbitter the discontents, of the people we represent. Some gentlemen have amused themselves with making curious calculations to show, that near one half of the freeholders in this province think very favorably of the conduct of the person proposed; but, without troubling this House with vain conclusions drawn from loose suppositions, I appeal to the heart of every member for the truth of this assertion, that no man in Pennsylvania is at this time so much the object of the public dislike, as he that has been mentioned. To what a surprising height this dislike is carried among vast numbers I do not choose to repeat. The well known fact sufficiently supports the present objection against him. Though but a few hours have elapsed since he was first proposed as an agent in this House, yet already we see remonstrances against his appointment from several hundreds of our most reputable constituents laid on the table, and we are afraid, that, if a little time was allowed, thousands would crowd to present the like testimony against him.
“Why then should a majority of this House single out from the
· Go. constantly to church, whoever preaches. The act of devotion in the Common Prayer Book is your principal business, there, and if properly 'attended to,
whole world the man most obnoxious to his country, to represent his country, though he was at the last election turned out of the Assembly where he had sat for fourteen years ? Why should they exert their power in the most disgusting manner, and throw pain, terror, and displeasure into the breasts of their fellow-citizens ? Excusable indeed would be their choice, if all wisdom and all virtue were lodged in his head and heart. But it is not pretended that there are not many men in Great Britain qualified and willing to defend the interests of Pennsylvania. Unhappy Pennsylvania! whose peace must be sacrificed to private connexions. Since the zeal of his friends will not suffer them to regard her tranquillity, more worthy of the trust intended him would he appear, in the eyes of many good men, should he voluntarily decline an office, which he cannot accept without alarming, offending, and disturbing his country. How would a virtuous Roman or Grecian have acted on such an occasion ? Would he have fixed himself upon the reluctant necks of his countrymen, and thus have told them, I will rule you, and dispose of you as I please, because at present I am so fortunate as to have it in my power?'. Would one of these ancient patriots have forced himself into public employment to the hazard of the public peace ? No! He would have endeavoured to serve his country in a less offensive, in a less dangerous manner, and in this manner I wish the gentleman proposed would endeavour to serve the people of Pennsylvania. Aristides submitted to the voice of Athens, and contented himself with wishing that she might never repent her sentence against him. When Roman virtue was swiftly waning, the dissolute Otho still retained so large a share as voluntarily to resign a life and an empire, that could not be preserved without misfortunes to Rome. Much are they mistaken, who think no man can serve a state, but in the glare of office. He may render the most effectual service to his fellow citizens by examples of virtue and moderation, especially where those examples are particularly necessary. The temperance and other excellent qualities of the elder Cato in private life were perhaps no less useful to the commonwealth, than his consulate and censorship; and I do not know but it may justly be said, that Epaminondas, within the walls of 'Thebes, gained the battle of Leuctra.
“How many men have greatly promoted the public interests by their counsels and writings! The gentleman proposed has been called here to-day 'a great luminary of the learned world. I acknowledge his abilities. Far be it from me to detract from the merit I admire. Let him still shine, but without wrapping his country in flames. Let him, from a private station, from a smaller sphere, diffuse, as I think he
will do more towards amending the heart than sermons generally can do. For they were composed by men of much greater piety and wisdom, than our com
may, a beneficial light; but let him not be made to move and blaze like a comet to terrify and to distress."
Notwithstanding the tone here assumed, it does not appear that there was any personal hostility between Franklin and Dickinson. Three years afterwards, when John Dickinson's celebrated Farmer's Letters came out, Franklin republished them in England, and wrote a preface commendatory of the author and his performance; and at the beginning of the revolution they acted together and in harmony.
The Muses also were made to join in the lamentation, that a philosopher should descend from his high station in the ranks of science to become a politician. The following verses have been often printed, and ascribed to various authors; but they are believed to have been from the pen of Hannah Griffiths, of Philadelphia, a poetess of considerable celebrity in her time, to whose memory there is an elegant tribute in Mr. Fisher's “ Essay on the Early Poets of Pennsylvania," published in the second volume of the Memoirs of the Pennsylvania Historical Society. They were probably written at a date somewhat later than Mr. Dickinson's speech. " Inscription on a curious Stove in the form of an Urn, contrived in
such a Manner as to make the Flame descend instead of rising from the Fire; invented by Dr. Franklin.
" LIKE a Newton sublimely he soared
To a summit before unattained,
And the palm of philosophy gained.
He displayed an unparalleled wonder,
That his rod could secure us from thunder.
The track for his talents designed,
To the teacher and friend of mankind.
Was in him a degrading ambition,
And kindled the blaze of sedition.
• Here lies the renowned inventor,
But inverted descends to the centre ""
mon composers of sermons can pretend to be; and therefore I wish you would never miss the prayer days; yet I do not mean you should despise sermons, even of the preachers you dislike, for the discourse is often much better than the man, as sweet and clear waters come through very dirty earth. I am the more particular on this head, as you seemed to express a little before I came away some inclination to leave our church, which I would not have you do.
For the rest, I would only recommend to you in my absence, to acquire those useful accomplishments, arithmetic and book-keeping. This you might do with ease, if you would resolve not to see company on the hours you set apart for those studies.
We expect to be at sea to-morrow, if this wind holds; after which I shall have no opportunity of writing to you, till I arrive (if it please God I do arrive) in England. I pray that his blessing may attend you, which is worth more than a thousand of mine, though they are never wanting. Give my love to your brother and sister,* as I cannot write to them, and remember me affectionately to the young ladies your friends, and to our good neighbours. I am, my dear child, your affectionate father,
• William Franklin, governor of New Jersey, and his wife.
FROM RICHARD JACKSON TO B. FRANKLIN.
Pennsylvania Affairs. — Chief Justice Allen. — Consequences of a Change of Government doubtful.
London, 18 November, 1764. DEAR SIR, Nothing has given me, or can give me, more con; cern than the disturbances and disputes in your prove ince. The mischiefs and dangers to Pennsylvania in particular, and to all America in general, are inconceivable to one, who has not been in England a good part of the past year. The effect that the foresight of these mischiefs and dangers had upon me, and the firm belief I entertained that Mr. Allen* was affected by the prospect as I was myself, made me open my mind more fully to him, than I should otherwise have done, and which I was the more readily induced to do, from the warmth with which he entered into some of my notions, and the candor with which he admitted others. At the same time that I was thoroughly convinced, that the interests of both parties were the same, and have a hundred times heard him confess, that one of them could not gain a victory over the other without a loss of much more than it was worth to themselves. - By this I meant, that if government could go on under the Proprietary, it was much better for all parties than a change of government could well be expected to be in the long run, at the same time that a triumph, on the side of the Proprietary, if it could be hoped for, would infallibly in the end strip him of the powers of gov
• William Allen, chief justice of Pennsylvania, and one of the ablest supporters of the Proprietary interests, had been recently in England.