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[436]

These, which were but very moderate specimens

Chap. XLVIII.} 1772. Nov.
of a most persevering and most extensive Correspondence of a like nature, Franklin was authorized to send to his constituents, not for publication, but to be retained for some months, and perused by the Corresponding Committee of the Legislature, by members of the Council, and by some few others to whom the Chairman of that Committee might think proper to show them.

Had the conspiracy which was thus laid bare,

Dec.
aimed at the life of a Minister or the King, any honest man must have immediately communicated the discovery to the Secretary of State; to conspire to introduce into America a military Government, and abridge American liberty, was a more heinous crime, of which irrefragable evidence had now come to light. Franklin, as Agent of Massachusetts, made himself the public accuser of those whose guilt was now exposed; and in an official letter sent the proofs of their designs to the Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, with no concealment or reservation but such as his informer had required. ‘All good men,’ wrote Franklin as he forwarded the letters, ‘wish harmony to subsist between the Colonies and the Mother Country. My resentment against this country for its arbitrary measures in governing us, has been exceedingly abated, since my conviction by these papers that those measures were projected, advised, and called for by men of character among ourselves. I think they must have the same effect with you. As to the writers, when I find them bartering away the liberties of their native country for posts, negotiating for salaries and pensions extorted from the people, and, conscions ’

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