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Chapter 51:

The King in Council Insults the Great American plebeian.

December, 1773—February, 1774.

The just man covered with the opprobrium of
Chap. LI.} 1773. Dec.
crime and meriting all the honors of virtue, is the sublimest spectacle that can appear on earth. Against Franklin were arrayed the Court, the Ministry, the Parliament, and an all-pervading social influence; but he only assumed a firmer demeanor and a loftier tone. On delivering to Lord Dartmouth the Address to the King for the removal of Hutchinson and Oliver, he gave assurances, that the people of Massachusetts aimed at no novelties; that ‘having lately discovered the authors of their grievances to be some of their own people, their resentment against Britain was thence much abated.’ The Secretary promised at once to lay the Petition before the King, and expressed his ‘pleasure’ at the communication as well as his ‘earnest hope’ for the restoration ‘of the most perfect tranquillity and happiness.’ It had been the unquestionable duty of the Agent of the Province to communicate

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