Front Page Titles (by Subject) CCCXVIII: TO THOMAS WHARTON - The Works of Benjamin Franklin, Vol. IV Letters and Misc. Writings 1763-1768
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CCCXVIII: TO THOMAS WHARTON - Benjamin Franklin, The Works of Benjamin Franklin, Vol. IV Letters and Misc. Writings 1763-1768 
The Works of Benjamin Franklin, including the Private as well as the Official and Scientific Correspondence, together with the Unmutilated and Correct Version of the Autobiography, compiled and edited by John Bigelow (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904). The Federal Edition in 12 volumes. Vol. IV (Letters and Misc. Writings 1763-1768).
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TO THOMAS WHARTON
London, 20 February, 1768.
I received your favors of November 17th and 18th, with another dozen of excellent wine, the manufacture of our friend Livezey. I thank you for the care you have taken in forwarding them, and for your kind good wishes that accompany them.1
The story you mention of secretary Conway’s wondering what I could be doing in England, and that he had not seen me for a considerable time, savours strongly of the channel through which it came, and deserves no notice. But, since his name is mentioned, it gives me occasion to relate what passed between us the last time I had the honor of conversing with him. It was at court, when the late changes were first rumored, and it was reported he was to resign the secretary’s office. Talking of America, I said I was sorry to find that our friends were one after another quitting the administration, that I was apprehensive of the consequences, and hoped what I heard of his going out was not true. He said it was really true, the employment had not been of his choice, he had never any taste for it, but had submitted to engage in it for a time, at the instance of his friends, and he believed his removal could not be attended with any ill consequences to America; that he was a sincere wellwisher to the prosperity of that country as well as this, and hoped the imprudences of either side would never be carried to such a height as to create a breach of the union, so essentially necessary to the welfare of both; that, as long as his Majesty continued to honor him with a share in his counsels, America should always find in him a friend, &c. This I write, as it was agreeable to me to hear, and I suppose will be so to you to read. For his character has more in it of the frank honesty of the soldier, than of the plausible insincerity of the courtier; and therefore what he says is more to be depended on.
The Proprietor’s dislike to my continuing in England, to be sure, is very natural; as well as to the repeated choice of Assembly men, not his friends; and probably he would, as they so little answer his purposes, wish to see elections as well as agencies abolished. They make him very unhappy, but it cannot be helped.
The proceedings in Boston, as the news came just upon the meeting of Parliament, and occasioned great clamor here, gave me much concern. And as every offensive thing done in America is charged upon all, and every province, though unconcerned in it, suffers in its interests through the general disgust given, and the little distinction here made, it became necessary, I thought, to palliate the matter a little for our own sakes; and therefore I wrote the paper, which probably you have seen printed in the Chronicle of January 7th, and signed F. S. Yours affectionately,
[1 ]He wrote the same day to Mr. Livezey, as follows: “I received your kind letter of November 18th, with a very welcome present of another dozen of your wine. The former had been found excellent by many good judges; my wine merchant in particular was very desirous of knowing what quantity of it might be had, and at what price, to which I could give him no satisfaction. I only said that the grapes, being uncultivated, were not very juicy; I apprehended, so many of them must be required, and so much labor in gathering and pressing them, to produce a little wine, that the price could not be very low. I shall apply this parcel as I did the last, towards warming the hearts of the friends of our country and well-wishers to the change of its government.”