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[496] like him between the Metropolis and the Ame-
Chap. LI.} 1774. Jan.
He was now thrice venerable, from genius, fame in the world of science, and age, being already nearly threescore years and ten. This man Wedderburn, turning from the real question, employed all the cunning powers of distortion and misrepresentation to abuse. With an absurdity of application which the Lords of the Privy Council were too much prejudiced to observe, he drew a parallel between Boston and Capri, Hutchinson and Sejanus, the humble Petition of the Massachusetts Assembly, and a verbose and grand epistle of the Emperor Tiberius. Franklin, whose character was most benign, and who from obvious motives of mercy had assumed the sole responsibility of obtaining the letters, he described as a person of the most deliberate malevolence, realizing in life what poetic fiction only had penned for the breast of a bloody African. The speech of Hutchinson, challenging a discussion of the Supremacy of Parliament, had been not only condemned by public opinion in England, but disapproved by the Secretary of State; Wedderburn pronounced it ‘a masterly one,’ which had ‘stunned the faction.’ Franklin, for twenty years had exerted his wonderful powers as the great conciliator, had never once employed the American press to alarm the American people, but had sought to prevent the Parliamentary taxation of America, by private and successful remonstrance during the time of the Pelhams; by seasonable remonstrance with Grenville against the Stamp Act; by honest and true answers to the inquiries of the House of Commons; by the best of advice to Shelburne. When sycophants sought by flattery to mislead the Minister for America, he had given

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Alexander Wedderburn (2)
Elisha Hutchinson (2)
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