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[497] correct information and safe counsel to the Ministry of
Chap. LI.} 1774. Jan.
Grafton, and repeated it emphatically, and in writing to the Ministry of North; but Wedderburn stigmatized this wise and hearty lover of both countries as ‘a true incendiary.’ The letters which had been written by public men in public offices on public affairs, to one who formed an integral part of the body that had been declared to possess absolute power over America, and which had been written for the purpose of producing a tyrannical exercise of that absolute power, he called private. Hutchinson had solicited the place held by Franklin, from which Franklin was to be dismissed; this fact was suppressed, and the wanton falsehood substituted, that Franklin had desired the Governor's office, and had basely planned ‘his rival's overthrow.’ Franklin had inclosed the letters officially to the Speaker of the Massachusetts Assembly, without a single injunction of secrecy with regard to the sender; Wedderburn maintained that they were sent anonymously and secretly; and by an argument founded on a misstatement, but which he put forward as irrefragable, he pretended to convict Franklin of having obtained the letters by fraudulent and corrupt means, or of having stolen them from the person who stole them.1

The Lords of Council as he spoke, cheered him on by their laughter; and the cry of ‘Hear him, Hear him,’ burst repeatedly from a body, which professed to be sitting in judgment as the highest Court of Appeal for the Colonies, and yet encouraged the advocate of one of the parties to insult a public envoy,

1 Wm. Temple's, Franklin, II. 401.

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