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half referred to the American colonies delivered from the oppression of Great Britain ; but as Franklin grew to be more and more the favorite of that large class of people in Europe who were opposed to monarchy, and who believed that he would soon be instrumental in destroying or dethroning all kings and abolishing all monarchical government, Turgot suggested that the motto should read, Eripuit cælo fulmen ; mox septra tyrannis, which may be freely translated, “He has torn the lightning from the sky; soon he will tear their sceptres from the kings."

At first Adams took the quarrelling lightly, trying to ignore and keep clear of it; but in a little while he confesses that “the uncandor, the prejudices, the rage among several persons here make me sick as death.” After about a month he was so disgusted with the service, so fully convinced that the public business was being delayed and neglected on account of the disputes, that he determined to try to effect a change. He therefore wrote to Samuel Adams, then in Congress, declaring that the affairs of the embassy were in confusion, prodigious sums of money expended, large sums yet due, but no account-books or documents; the commissioners lived expensively, each one at the rate of from three to six thousand pounds a year; this would necessarily continue as long as their salaries were not definitely fixed, and it would be impossible to get an account of the expenditure of the public money. Equally ridiculous was the arrangement which made the envoys half ambassadors and half commercial agents. Instead of all this he suggested that Congress separate the offices

[graphic]

FRANKLIN TEARS THE LIGHTNING FROM THE SKY AND THE SCEPTRE

FROM THE TYRANTS

(From a French engraving)

of public ministers from those of commercial agents, recall all the envoys except one, define with precision the salary he should receive, and see that he got no more.

This is what Lee should have done long before. Franklin had indeed recommended a change in one of his letters, but not with such force as to cause its adoption. Now that Adams had set the example, they all wrote letters in the succeeding months begging for reform. The wisdom of Adams's plan was so apparent that when the facts were laid before Congress it was quickly adopted and Franklin made sole plenipotentiary.

But Lee and Izard retained their missions to other countries and remained in Paris, renewing their discussions and attacks on Franklin until the subject was again brought before Congress, and it was proposed to order all of them back to America and send others in their stead. Franklin had a narrow escape. The large committee which had the question before it was at one time within a couple of votes of recalling him and sending Arthur Lee in his place, which, whatever were the failings of Franklin, would have been a terrible misfortune. The French minister to the United States, M. Gérard, came to the rescue. He disclosed the extreme favor with which the French government regarded Franklin and its detestation of Lee. Franklin's wonderful reputation in Europe saved him, for it would have been folly to recall under a cloud the one man whom our allies took such delight in honoring.

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PLEASURES AND DIPLOMACY IN FRANCE

CONGRESS not only refused to recall Franklin, but relieved him entirely of the presence of Lee and Izard, so that the remaining six years of his service were peaceful and can be very briefly described. The improvement in the management of the embassy which immediately followed shows what a serious mistake the previous arrangement had been. Left entirely to his own devices, and master of the situation, he began the necessary reforms of his own accord, had complete books of account prepared, and managed the business without difficulty.

It is curious to read of the diverse functions the old man of seventy-four had to perform in this infancy of our diplomatic service. He was a merchant, banker, judge of admiralty, consul, director of the navy, ambassador to France, and negotiator with England for the exchange of prisoners and for peace, in addition to attending to any other little matter, personal or otherwise, which our representatives to other countries or the individual States of the Union might ask of him. The crudeness of the situation is revealed when we remember that not only was Congress obtaining loans of money and supplies of arms in Europe, but several of the States were doing the same thing, and it was often rather difficult for

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