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in the whole; and that a perfect re-union of those parts could scarce ever be hoped for. Your lordship may possibly remember the tears of joy that wetted my cheek, when, at your good sister's in London, you once gave me expectations, that a reconciliation might soon take place. I had the misfortune to find these expectations disappointed, and to be treated as the cause of the mischief I was labouring to prevent. My consolation under that groundless and malevolent treatment was, that I retained the friendship of many wise and good men in that country; and among the rest, some share in the regard of lord Howe.
The well-founded esteem, and permit me to say affection, which I shall always have for your lordship, make it painful to me to see you engaged in conducting a war, the great ground of which (as described in your letter) is “ the necessity of preventing the American trade from passing into foreign channels.” To me it seems, that neither the obtaining or retaining any trade, how valuable soever, is an object for which men may justly spill cach other's blood; that the true and sure means of extending and securing commerce are the goodness and cheapness of commodities; and that the profits of no trade can ever be equal to the expence of compelling it, and holding it by fleets and armies. I consider this war against us, therefore, as both unjust and unwise; and I am persuaded, that cool and dispassionate postcrity will condemn to infamy those who advised it; and that even success will not save from some degree of dishonour, those who have voluntarily engaged to conduct it.
I know your great motive in coming hither, was the lope of being instrumental in a reconciliation; and I
believe, when you find that to be impossible, on any terms given you to propose, you will then relinquish so odious a command, and return to a more honourable private station.
With the greatest and most sincere respect, I have the honour to be,
* It occurs to me to mention that Dr. Franklin was supposed to have been the inventor of a little emblematical design at the commencement of our disputes, representing the state of Great Britain and her colonies, should the former persist in restraining the latter's trade, destroying their currency, and taxing their people by laws made by a legislature in which they were not represented.-Great Britain was supposed to have been placed upon the globe : but the colonies, her limbs, being severed from her, she was seen lifting her eyes and mangled stumps to heaven; her shield, which she was unable to wield, lay useless by her side; her lance had pierced New England; the laurel branch was fallen from the hand of Pensylvania; the English oak had lost its head, and stood a bare trunk with a few withered branches; briers and thorns were on the ground beneath it; our ships bad brooms at their topmast heads, denoting their being upon sale; and Britannia herself was seen sliding off the world, no longer able to hold its balance; her fragments overspread with the label date obolum Belisario.—This in short, was the fable of the belly and the members reversed. But I tell the story chiefly for the sake of the moral, which has the air of having been suggested by Dr. Franklin*; and is as follows." The political moral of this picture is now easily discovered. History affords us many instances of the ruin of states, by the prosecution of measures ill suited to the temper and genius of its people. The ordain
* This design was printed on a curd, and Dr. Franklin at the time I be. lieve occasionally used to write his notes on such cards. It was also printed on a half sheet of paper, with an explanation by some other person, and the moral given above. The drawing was but moderately exccuted. 2 B 2
Comparison of Great Britain and America as to Credit, in 1777*.
IN borrowing money a man's credit depends on some or all of the following particulars.
First, His known conduct respecting former loans, and his punctuality in discharging them.
Secondly, His industry.
Fourthly, The amount and the certainty of his income, and the freedom of his estate from the incumbrances of prior debts.
Fifthly, His well founded prospects of greater future ability, by the improvement of his estate in value, and by aids from others.
ing of laws in favour of one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy. An equal dispensation of protection, rights, privileges, and advantages, is what every part is intitled to, and ought to enjoy; it being a matter of no moment to the state, whether a subject grows rich and flourishing on the Thames or the Ohio, in Edinburgh or Dublin. These measures never fail to create great and violent jealousies and animosities between the people favoured and the people oppressed: from whence a total separation of affections, interests, political obligations, and all manners of connections, necessarily ensues ; by which the whole state is weakened and perhaps ruined for ever."
This language is part of the same system with the following fragment of a sentence, which Dr. Franklin inserted in a political publication of one of his friends. “ The attempts to establish arbitrary power over so great a part of the British empire, care} to the imminent bazard of our most value able commerce, and of that national strength, security, and felicity, which depend on union and liberty;"—The preservation of which, I am told, he used to say, had been the great object and labour of his life; the whole being such a thing us the world before never saw." B. V.
** This paper was written, translated, printed, and circulated, while Dr. Franklin was at the court of Paris, for the purpose of inducing foreigners to lend money to America in preference to Great Britain.
Sixthly, His known prudence in managing his general affairs, and the advantage they will probably receive from the loan which he desires.
Seventhly, His known probity and honest character, manifested by his voluntary discharge of debts, which he could not have been legally compelled to pay. The circumstances which give credit to an individual ought to have, and will have, their weight upon the lenders of money to public bodies or nations. If then we consider and compare Britain and America, in these several particulars, upon the question, “ To which is it safest to lend money?" We shall find,
1. Respecting former loans, that America, which borrowed ten millions during the last war for the maintenance of her army of 25,000 men and other charges, had faithfully discharged and paid that debt, and all her other debts, in 1979. Whereas Britain, during those ten years of peace and profitable commerce, had made little or no reduction of her debt; but on the contrary, from time to time, diminished the hopes of her creditors, by a wanton diversion and misapplication of the sinking fund destined for discharging it.
2. Respecting industry; every man [in America] is. employed, the greater part in cultivating their own lands, the rest in handicrafts, navigation, and commerce. An idle man there is a rarity, idleness and inutility are disgraceful. In England, the number of that character is immense, fashion has spread it far ana wide; hence the embarrassments of private fortunes, and the daily bankruptcies arising from an universal fondness for appearance and expensive pleasures; and hence, in some degree, the mismanagement of public business ; for habits of business, and ability in it, are
acquired only by practice; and where' universal dissipation, and the perpetual pursuit of amusement are the mode, the youth, educated in it, can rarely afterwards acquire that patient attention and close application to affairs, which are so necessary to a statesman charged with the care of national welfare. Hence their frequent errors in policy, and hence the weariness at public councils, and backwardness in going to them, the constant unwillingness to engage in any measure that requires thought and consideration, and the readiness for postponing every new proposition ; which postponing is therefore the only part of business that they come to be expert in, an expertness produced necessarily by so much daily practice. Whereas in America, men bred to close employment in their private affairs, attend with ease to those of the public, when engaged in them, and nothing fails through negligence, i :
3. Respecting frugality; the manner of living in America is more simple and less expensive than that in England: plain tables, plain clothing, and plain furniture in houses prevail, with few carriages of pleasure ; there, an expensive appearance hurts credit, and is avoided : in England, it is often assumed to gain eredit, and continued to ruin. Respecting public affairs, the difference is still greater. In England, the salaries of officers, and emoluments of office are énormous. The king has a million sterling per annum, and yet cannot maintain his family free of debt: secretaries of state, lords of treasury, admiralty, &c. have vast appointmenis: an auditor of the exchequer has sixpence in the pound, or a fortieth part of all the public money expended by the nation ; so that when a war costs forty willions one million is paid to him: an inspector of the