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The Commons of America, represented in their several assemblies, have ever been in possession of the exercise of this, their constitutional right of giving and granting their own money. They would have been slaves if they had not enjoyed it.
A great deal has been said without doors, of the power, of the strength of America. It is a topic which ought to be cautiously meddled with. In a good cause, on a sound bottom, the force of this country can crush America to atoms. I know the valor of your troops. I know the skill of your officers. There is not a company of foot that has served in America, out of which you may not pick a man of sufficient knowledge and experience, to make a governor of a colony there. But on this ground, on the Stamp-Act, when so many here will think it a crying injustice, I am one who will lift up my hands against it.
In such a cause your success would be hazardous. America, if she fell, would fall like the strong man. She would embrace the pillars of the State, and pull down the constitution along with her. Is this your boasted peace? Not to sheath the sword in its scabbard, but to sheath it in the bowels of your countrymen? Will you quarrel with yourselves, now the whole House of Bourbon is united against you?
The Americans have been wronged. They have been driven to madness by injustice. Will you punish them for the madness you have occasioned? Rather let prudence and temper come first from this side. I will undertake for America, that she will follow the example.
Upon the whole, I will beg leave to tell the House what is really my opinion. It is that the Stamp-Act be repealed absolutely, totally, and immediately.
SCENE FROM THE FARCE OF LETHE.
Mrs. Tat. WHY don't you come along, Mr.
Tatoo? what the
Es. Don't be angry young lady; the gentleman is your husband, I suppose.
Mrs. Tat. How do you know that, Sir? What, you an't all conjurers in this world, are you?
Es. Your behaviour to him is a sufficient proof of his condition, without the gift of conjuration.
Mrs. Tat. Why, I was as free with him before marriage as I am now; I never was coy or prudish in my life.
Es. I believe you, madam; pray, how long have you been married? You seem to be very young,
Mrs. Tat. I am old enough for a husband, and have been married long enough to be tired of one.
Es. How long pray?
Mrs. Tat. Why, above three months: I married Mr. Tatoo without my guardian's consent.
Es. If you married him with your own consent, I think you might continue your affection a little longer.
Mrs. Tat. What signifies what you think, if I don't think so? We are quite tired of one another, and are come to drink some of your le-lethaly-le-lethily, I think they call it, to forget one another, and be unmarried again.
Es. The waters can't divorce you, madam; and you may easily forget him without the assistance of Lethe.
Mrs. Tat. Ay! how so?
Es. By remembering continually he is your husband: there are several ladies have no other receipt. But what does the gentleman say to this?
Mrs. Tat. What signifies what he says? I an't so young and so foolish as that comes to, to be directed by my husband, or to care what either he says, or
Mr. Tat. Sir, I was a drummer in a marching regiment when I ran away with that young lady. Iim-` mediately bought out of the corps, and thought myself made forever; little imagining that a poor vain fellow was purchasing fortune at the expense of his happiness.
Es. 'Tis even so, friend; fortune and felicity are as often at variance as man and wife.
Mr. Tat. I found it so, Sir. This high life (as I thought it) did not agree with me; I have not laugh'd, and scarcely slept since my advancement; and unless your worship can alter her notions, I must e'en quit the blessings of a fine lady and her portion, and, for content, have recourse to eight pence a day and my drum again.
Es. Pray, who has advised you to a separation? Mrs. Tat. Several young ladies of my acquaintance; who tell me, they are not angry at me for marrying him; but for being fond of him since I have married him: and they say I should be as complete a fine lady as any of them, if I would but procure a separate divorcement.
Es. Pray, madam, will you let me know what you call a fine lady?
Mrs. Tat. Why, a fine lady, and a fine gentleman, are two of the finest things upon earth.
Es. I have just now had the honor of knowing what a fine gentleman is; so, pray confine yourself to the lady.
Mrs. Tat. A fine lady, before marriage, lives with her papa and mamma, who breed her up till she learns to despise them, and resolve to do nothing they bid her; this makes her such a prodigious favorite, that she wants for nothing. And when once she is her own mistress, then comes the pleasure!
Es. Pray let us hear.
Mrs. Tat. She lies in bed all the morning, rattles about all day, and sits up all night; she goes every where, and sees every thing; knows every body, and loves no body; ridicules her friends, coquets with her lovers, sets them together by the ears, tells fibs, makes mischief, buys china, cheats at cards, keeps a lapdog, and hates the parson; she laughs much, talks loud, never blushes, says what she will, does what she will, goes where she will, marries whom she pleases, hates her husband in a month, breaks his heart in four, becomes a widow, slips from her gallants, and begins the world again. There's a life for you; what do you think of a fine lady now?
Es. As I expected. You are very young, madam, and, if you are not very careful, your natural propensity to noise and affectation will run you headlong into folly, extravagance, and repentance.
Mrs. Tat. What would you have me do?
Æs. Drink a large quantity of Lethe to the loss of your acquaintance; and do you, Sir, drink another, to forget this false step of your wife; for whilst you remember her folly, you can never thoroughly regard her; and whilst you keep good company, madam, as you call it, and follow their example, you can never have a just regard for your husband; so both drink and be happy.
Mrs. Tat. Well, give it me whilst I am in humor, or I shall certainly change my mind again.
Es. Be patient till the rest of the company drink, and divert yourself in the mean time with walking in the grove.
Mrs. Tat. Well, come along husband, and keep me in humor, or I shall beat you such an alarum as you never beat in all your life.
EXTRACT FROM THE EULOGY ON DR. FRANKLIN, PRONOUNCED BY THE ABBE FAUCHET, IN THE NAME OF THE COMMONS OF PARIS, 1790.
SECOND creation has taken place; the elements of society begin to combine together; the moral universe is now seen issuing from chaos; the genius of Liberty is awakened, and springs up; she sheds her divine light and creative powers upon the two hemispheres. A great nation, astonished at seeing herself free, stretches her arms from one extremity of the earth to the other, and embraces the first nation that became so: the foundations of a new city are created in the two worlds; brother nations hasten to inhabit it. It is the city of mankind!
One of the first founders of this universal city was the immortal FRANKLIN, the deliverer of America. The second founders who accelerated this great work, made it worthy of Europe. The legislators of France have rendered the most solemn homage to his memory. They have said, "A friend of humanity is dead; mankind ought to be overwhelmed with sorrow! Nations have hitherto only worn mourning for Kings; let us assume it for a Man, and let the tears of Frenchmen mingle with those of Americans, in order to do honor to the memory of one of the Fathers of Liberty!"
The city of Paris, which once contained this phi losopher within its walls, which was intoxicated with the pleasure of hearing, admiring, and loving him; of gathering from his lips the maxims of a moral legislator, and of imbibing from the effusions of his heart a passion for the public welfare, rivals Boston and Philadelphia, his two native cities (for in one he was born as it were a man, and in the other a legislator) in its profound attachment to his merit and his glory.