Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.
Benjamin Franklin (170690)
Dr. FRANKLIN mentioned the case of the Prince of Orange [William V], during the late war. An arrangement was made between France and Holland, by which their two fleets were to unite at a certain time and place. The Dutch fleet did not appear. Every body began to wonder at it. At length it was suspected that the stadtholder was at the bottom of the matter. This suspicion prevailed more and more. Yet, as he could not be impeached, and no regular examination took place, he remained in his office; and strengthening his own party, as the party opposed to him became formidable, he gave birth to the most violent animosities and contentions. Had he been impeachable, a regular and peaceful inquiry would have taken place, and he would, if guilty, have been duly punished,if innocent, restored to the confidence of the public.
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, debates in the Constitutional Convention, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 20, 1787.James Madison, Debates on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, ed. Jonathan Elliot, vol. 5, p. 342 (1845).