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A duel followed between Temple and Whately,

Chap. LI.} 1773. Dec.
without witnesses; then newspaper altercations on the incidents of the meeting; till another duel seemed likely to ensue. Cushing, the timid Speaker of the Massachusetts Assembly, to whom the letters had been officially transmitted, begged that he might not be known as having received them, lest it should be ‘a damage’ to him; the Member of Parliament, who had had them in his possession, never permitted himself to be named; Temple, who risked offices producing a thousand pounds a year, publicly denied ‘any concern in procuring or transmitting them.’ To prevent bloodshed, Franklin assumed the undivided responsibility, from which every one else was disposed to shrink. ‘I,’ said he, ‘I alone am the person who obtained and transmitted to Boston the letters in question.’1 His ingenuousness exposed him to ‘unmerited abuse’ in every company and in every newspaper, and gave his enemies an opening to reject publicly the Petition; which otherwise would have been dismissed without parade.2

On Tuesday the eleventh of January, Franklin for

1774. Jan.
Massachusetts, and Mauduit, with Wedderburn, for Hutchinson and Oliver, appeared before the Privy Council. ‘I thought,’ said Franklin, ‘that this had been a matter of politics, and not of law, and have not brought any counsel.’ The hearing was, therefore, adjourned to Saturday the twenty-ninth. Meantime the Ministry and the courtiers expressed their

1 B. Franklin, Agent for the House of Representation of the Massachusetts Bay, to the Printers of the Public Advertiser. The faultless poet of Rome would have 86; approved this act of Franklin. ‘Me, me, adsum qui feci, in me convertite ferrum.’

2 Annual Register for 1774, page ‘unmerited abuse.’

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