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records ' refute that falsehood to your face. Nor did you ever afford me a man or a shilling to defend me against the Indians, the only enemies I had upon my own account. But when you have quarrelled with all Europe, and drawn me with you into all your broils, then you value yourself upon protecting me from the enemies you have made for me. I have no natural cause of difference -with
1See the Journals of the House of Commons, 1640, vi*.
"Die Veneris, Martii 10, 1642. "Whereas the plantations in New England have, by the blessing of Almighty God, had good and prosperous success, without any public charge to this State; and are now likely to prove very happy for the Propagation of the Gospel in those parts, and very beneficial and commodious to this kingdom and nation; the commons now assembled in parliament do, for the better advancement of those plantations, and the encouragement of the planters to proceed in their undertaking, ordain that all merchandises and goods that by any merchant, or other person or persons whatsoever, shall be exported out of this kingdom of England into New England, to be spent, used, or employed there; or being of the growth of that kingdom, shall be from thence imported hither, or shall be laden or put on board in any ship or vessel for necessaries in passing or returning to and fro; and all and every the owner or owners thereof, shall be freed and discharged of and from paying and yielding any custom, subsidy, taxation, imposition, or other duty for the same, either inward or outward, either in this kingdom or New England, or in any port, haven, creek, or other place whatsoever, until the House of Commons shall take further order therein to the contrary. And all and singular customers, Sic. are to observe this, order."
Spain, France, or Holland, and yet by turns I have joined with you in wars against them all. You would not suffer me to make or keep a separate peace with any of them, though I might easily have done it, to great advantage. Does your protecting me in those wars give you a right to fleece me? If so, as I fought for you, as well as you for me, it gives me a proportionable right to fleece you. What think you of an American law to make a monopoly of you and your commerce, as you have done by your laws of me and mine? Content yourself with that monoply if you are wise, and learn justice if you would be respected!
Britain. You impudent B h! am not I your
mother-country? Is not that a sufficient title to your respect and obedience?
Saxony. Mother-country! Hah, hah, hah! What respect have you the front to claim as a mother country 1 You know that / am your mothercountry, and yet you pay me none. Nay, it is but the other day, that you hired' ruffians to rob me on the highway,1 and burn my house!' For shame! Hide your face and hold your tongue. If you continue this conduct you will make yourself the contempt of Europe!
They entered and raised contributions in Saxony. 'And they burnt the fine suburbs of Dresden, the capital of Saxony.
Britain. O Lord! where are my friends?
France, Spain, Holland, and Saxony altogether. Friends! Believe us you have none, nor ever will have any till you mend your manners. How can we, who are your neighbors, have any regard for you, or expect any equity from you should your power increase, when we see how basely and unjustly you have used both your own mother and your own children?
COMPARISON OF GREAT BRITAIN AND AMERICA AS TO CREDIT, IN 1777.1
In borrowing money, a man's credit depends on some or all of the following particulars:
First. His known conduct respecting former loans, and his punctuality in discharging them.
Secondly. His industry.
Thirdly. His frugality.
Fourthly. The amount and the certainty of his income, and the freedom of his estate from the incumbrances of prior debts.
Fifthly. His well-founded prospects of greater future ability, by the improvement of his estate in value, and by aids from others.
1 This paper was written, translated, printed, and circulated, while Dr. Franklin was at the court of Paris, for the purpose of inducing foreigners to lend money to America in preference to Great Britain.
Sixthly. His known prudence in managing his general affairs, and the advantage they will probably receive from the loan which he desires.
Seventhly. His known probity and honest character, manifested by his voluntary discharge of his debts, which he could not have been legally compelled to pay.—The circumstances which give credit to an individual ought to, and will have, their weight upon the lenders of money to public bodies or nations.—If then we consider and compare Britain and America, in these several particulars upon the question, " To which is it safest to lend money?" we shall find,
1. Respecting former loans; that America, which borrowed ten millions during the last war for the maintenance of her army of 25,000 men, and other charges, had faithfully discharged and paid that debt, and all her other debts, in 1772.—Whereas Britain, during those ten years of peace and profitable commerce, had made little or no reduction of her debt; but on the contrary, from time to time, diminished the hopes of her creditors, by a wanton diversion and misapplication of the sinking fund destined for discharging it.
2. Respecting industry; every man (in America) is employed; the greater part in cultivating their own lands; the rest in handicrafts, navigation, and commerce. An idle man is a rarity; idleness and inutility are disgraceful.—In England, the number of that character is immense; fashion has spread it far and wide; hence the embarrassments of private fortunes, and the daily bankruptcies arising from an universal fondness for appearance and expensive pleasures; and hence, in some degree, the mismanagements of public business; for habits of business and ability in it, are acquired only by practice; and where universal dissipation, and the perpetual pursuit of amusement, are the mode; the youth, educated in it, can rarely afterwards acquire that patient attention and close application to affairs, which are so necessary to a statesman charged with the care of national welfare. Hence their frequent errors in policy; and hence the weariness at public councils, and backwardness in going to them; the constant unwillingness to engage in any measure that requires thought and consideration; and the readiness for postponing every new proposition: which postponing is therefore the only part of the business that they come to be expert in, an expertness produced necessarily by so much daily practice. Whereas in America, men bred to close employment in their private affairs, attend with ease to those of the public, when engaged in them, and nothing fails through negligence.