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The men in power who on that day sought to rob

Chap. LI.} 1774. Jan.
Franklin of his good name, wounded him on the next in his fortunes,1 by turning him out of his place in the British American Post Office. That institution had yielded no revenue till he organized it, and yielded none after his dismissal.

On Tuesday the first of February, the Earl of

Buckinghamshire, who had attended the Privy Council, went to the House of Lords, ‘to put the Ministry in mind that he was to be bought by private contract.’2 Moving for the Boston Correspondence, he said, ‘The question is no longer about the liberty of North America, but whether we are to be free or slaves to our Colonies. Franklin is here, not as the Agent of a Province, but as an Ambassador from the States of America. His embassy to us is like nothing but that sent by Louis XIV. to the Republic of Genoa, commanding the doge to come and appease the Grand Monarch, by prostrating himself at Versailles.’—‘Such language is wild,’ replied the Earl of Stair. ‘Humanity, commercial policy, and the public necessities dictate a very contrary one.’—‘I would not throw cold water on the noble Lord's zeal,’ said the good Lord Dartmouth; as he made the request that further despatches might be waited for.

Superior to injury, Franklin, or as Rockingham called him, the ‘magnanimous’ ‘old man,’3 still sought for conciliation, and seizing the moment when he was sure of all sympathies, he wrote to his constituents to begin the work, by making compensation to

1 Mignet's Life of Franklin.

2 The phrase is Edmund Burke's, Burke to Rockingham, Tuesday night, February 2, 1774; Burke's Corr. i. 452. [Tuesday was Feb. 1.]

3 Albemarle, II. 302.

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