569 | To the Earl of Shelburne

    No 25

    Boston Oct 8. 1767

    My Lord

    I find myself obliged to continue transmitting the Newspapers to your Lordship upon account of the great flagitiousness of some of the pieces contained therein. For as these papers are read in London & possibly may be made use of there, I have thought it proper that your Lordship should have the command of them. At the same time I have the pleasure to inform your Lordship that it seems to me more & more certain that the Faction will not be able to accomplish any one of their wicked purposes; neither to raise a disturbance here, nor to put a stop to the trade with Great Britain, nor to work up a ^like^ combination in other Colonies. They seem to be defeated upon this Occasion by the universal Voice of the Town, the Merchants particularly expressing their satisfaction with the New duties, & their indifference concerning the Application of them.1 The whole Cause of this Clamour has arose from the Consideration that the Governments & this in particular would receive an additional strength from being made independent of the people;2 and tho’ this addition of strength is acquired by means wholly Constitutional, yet it is intolerable to people who had flattered themselves with triumphing over the Government. There cannot be a Stronger proof of the propriety & Utility of this measure than the Resentment which it meets with from the professed Enemies of all Government.

    To make up for this disappointment, An Application has been made to me to call the Assembly to give them3 an Opportunity to blow up a Flame there. Yesterday The 4 Members of Boston, with a stray Member whom they picked up in the streets, came to me & presented a Memorial desiring “that as Measures were taking which might affect the rights liberties & priviledges as well as the commercial intrest of this province, I would call the Assembly.”4 If I had not done arguing with these people, I should have called upon them to explain themselves. As it is I shall give no other Answer to it than by a silent contempt at present & an actual disregard at a proper time. I shall inclose a Copy that your Lordship may judge of the propriety & Decency of this Writing. I shall make no Observations upon it, but only assure your Lordship that whilst I have the administration of this Government, It shall not be Felo de se.5

    The Papers in the Boston Gazette referred to are marked N O P Q R S T. I have also added two other papers marked V W. The former arraigning the House of Commons to the people of G. Britain;6 the latter aimed personally at his Majesty.7 I should be extremely glad to put an End to this disagreable information but know not how to do it whilst papers of so Virulent a nature & so dangerous a tendency are circulated not only throughout America, but to Great Britain also. In such a Case It seems to me that your Lordship should at least have the Option, whether you would pay Any regard to them or not; and this cant be done without giving more or less unnecessary trouble.

    I am, with great respect, My Lord, Your Lordships most obedient & most humble Servant,

    Fra Bernard

    The right honble The Earl of Shelburne

    ALS, RC      CO 5/756, ff 130-131.