Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 151

etc. The
drinkers, finding we did not return immediately to the table, sent us
a decanter of Madeira, which the governor made liberal use of, and in
proportion became more profuse of his solicitations and promises.

My answers were to this purpose: that my circumstances, thanks to God,
were such as to make proprietary favors unnecessary to me; and that,
being a member of the Assembly, I could not possibly accept of any;
that, however, I had no personal enmity to the proprietary, and that,
whenever the public measures he proposed should appear to be for the
good of the people, no one should espouse and forward them more
zealously than myself, my past opposition having been founded on this,
that the measures which had been urged were evidently intended to
serve the proprietary interest, with great prejudice to that of the
people; that I was much obliged to him (the governor) for his
professions of regard to me, and that he might rely on everything in
my power to make his administration as easy as possible, hoping at the
same time that he had not brought with him the same unfortunate
instructions his predecessor had been hampered with.

On this he did not then explain himself; but when he afterward came to
do business with the Assembly, they appeared again, the disputes were
renewed, and I was as active as ever in the opposition, being the
penman, first, of the request to have a communication of the
instructions, and then of the remarks upon them, which may be found in
the votes of the time, and in the "Historical Review" I afterward
published. But between us personally no enmity arose; we were often
together. He was a man of letters, had seen much of the world, and was
very entertaining and pleasing in conversation. He gave me the first
information that my old friend James Ralph was still alive; that he
was esteemed one of the best political writers in England; had been
employed in the dispute between Prince Frederic and the king, and had
obtained a pension of three hundred a year; that his reputation was
indeed small as a poet, Pope having damned his poetry in the
"Dunciad," but his prose was thought as good as any man's.

The Assembly, finally finding the proprietary obstinately persisted in
manacling their deputies[190] with instructions inconsistent not only
with the privileges of the people but with the service of the Crown,
resolved to petition the king against them, and appointed me their
agent to go over to England to present and support the petition. The
House had sent

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