Infomotions, Inc.Paris 1776-1785 / Franklin, Benjamin

Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Title: Paris 1776-1785
Publisher: Eris Etext Project
Tag(s): congress; america; american literature
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                             PARIS 1776-1785
                          by Benjamin Franklin

                                  _The Sale of the Hessians_

                                 IN AMERICA

        Rome, February 18, 1777.
        MONSIEUR LE BARON: -- On my return from Naples, I received at
Rome your letter of the 27th December of last year.  I have learned
with unspeakable pleasure the courage our troops exhibited at
Trenton, and you cannot imagine my joy on being told that of the
1,950 Hessians engaged in the fight, but 345 escaped.  There were
just 1,605 men killed, and I cannot sufficiently commend your
prudence in sending an exact list of the dead to my minister in
London.  This precaution was the more necessary, as the report sent
to the English ministry does not give but 1,455 dead.  This would
make 483,450 florins instead of 643,500 which I am entitled to demand
under our convention.  You will comprehend the prejudice which such
an error would work in my finances, and I do not doubt you will take
the necessary pains to prove that Lord North's list is false and
yours correct.

        The court of London objects that there were a hundred wounded
who ought not to be included in the list, nor paid for as dead; but I
trust you will not overlook my instructions to you on quitting
Cassel, and that you will not have tried by human succor to recall
the life of the unfortunates whose days could not be lengthened but
by the loss of a leg or an arm.  That would be making them a
pernicious present, and I am sure they would rather die than live in
a condition no longer fit for my service.  I do not mean by this that
you should assassinate them; we should be humane, my dear Baron, but
you may insinuate to the surgeons with entire propriety that a
crippled man is a reproach to their profession, and that there is no
wiser course than to let every one of them die when he ceases to be
fit to fight.

        I am about to send to you some new recruits.  Don't economize
them.  Remember glory before all things.  Glory is true wealth.
There is nothing degrades the soldier like the love of money.  He
must care only for honour and reputation, but this reputation must be
acquired in the midst of dangers.  A battle gained without costing
the conqueror any blood is an inglorious success, while the conquered
cover themselves with glory by perishing with their arms in their
hands.  Do you remember that of the 300 Lacedaemonians who defended
the defile of Thermopyl;ae, not one returned?  How happy should I be
could I say the same of my brave Hessians!

        It is true that their king, Leonidas, perished with them: but
things have changed, and it is no longer the custom for princes of
the empire to go and fight in America for a cause with which they
have no concern.  And besides, to whom should they pay the thirty
guineas per man if I did not stay in Europe to receive them?  Then,
it is necessary also that I be ready to send recruits to replace the
men you lose.  For this purpose I must return to Hesse.  It is true,
grown men are becoming scarce there, but I will send you boys.
Besides, the scarcer the commodity the higher the price.  I am
assured that the women and little girls have begun to till our lands,
and they get on not badly.  You did right to send back to Europe that
Dr. Crumerus who was so successful in curing dysentery.  Don't bother
with a man who is subject to looseness of the bowels.  That disease
makes bad soldiers.  One coward will do more mischief in an
engagement than ten brave men will do good.  Better that they burst
in their barracks than fly in a battle, and tarnish the glory of our
arms.  Besides, you know that they pay me as killed for all who die
from disease, and I don't get a farthing for runaways.  My trip to
Italy, which has cost me enormously, makes it desirable that there
should be a great mortality among them.  You will therefore promise
promotion to all who expose themselves; you will exhort them to seek
glory in the midst of dangers; you will say to Major Maundorff that I
am not at all content with his saving the 345 men who escaped the
massacre of Trenton.  Through the whole campaign he has not had ten
men killed in consequence of his orders.  Finally, let it be your
principal object to prolong the war and avoid a decisive engagement
on either side, for I have made arrangements for a grand Italian
opera, and I do not wish to be obliged to give it up.  Meantime I
pray God, my dear Baron de Hohendorf, to have you in his holy and
gracious keeping.

        _Model of a Letter of Recommendation_

        Sir Paris April 2, 1777
        The Bearer of this who is going to America, presses me to give
him a Letter of Recommendation, tho' I know nothing of him, not even
his Name.  This may seem extraordinary, but I assure you it is not
uncommon here.  Sometimes indeed one unknown Person brings me another
equally unknown, to recommend him; and sometimes they recommend one
another!  As to this Gentleman, I must refer you to himself for his
Character and Merits, with which he is certainly better acquainted
than I can possibly be; I recommend him however to those Civilities
which every Stranger, of whom one knows no Harm, has a Right to, and
I request you will do him all the good Offices and show him all the
Favour that on further Acquaintance you shall find him to deserve.  I
have the honour to be, &c.

        _The Twelve Commandments_


        Passy March 10.
        I am charm'd with the goodness of my spiritual guide, and
resign myself implicitly to her Conduct, as she promises to lead me
to heaven in so delicious a Road when I could be content to travel
thither even in the roughest of all ways with the pleasure of her

        How kindly partial to her Penitent in finding him, on examining
his conscience, guilty of only one capital sin and to call that by
the gentle name of Foible!

        I lay fast hold of your promise to absolve me of all Sins past,
present, & future, on the easy & pleasing Condition of loving God,
America and my guide above all things.  I am in Rapture when I think
of being absolv'd of the future.

        People commonly speak of Ten Commandments. -- I have been
taught that there are twelve.  The first was increase & multiply &
replenish the earth.  The twelfth is, A new Commandment I give unto
you, _that you love one another._ It seems to me that they are a
little misplaced, And that the last should have been the first.
However I never made any difficulty about that, but was always
willing to obey them both whenever I had an opportunity.  Pray tell
me my dear Casuist, whether my keeping religiously these two
commandments tho' not in the Decalogue, may not be accepted in
Compensation for my breaking so often one of the ten I mean that
which forbids Coveting my neighbour's wife, and which I confess I
break constantly God forgive me, as often as I see or think of my
lovely Confessor, and I am afraid I should never be able to repent of
the Sin even if I had the full Possession of her.

        And now I am Consulting you upon a Case of Conscience I will
mention the Opinion of a certain Father of the church which I find
myself willing to adopt though I am not sure it is orthodox.  It is
this, that the most effectual way to get rid of a certain Temptation
is, as often as it returns, to comply with and satisfy it.

        Pray instruct me how far I may venture to practice upon this

        But why should I be so scrupulous when you have promised to
absolve me of the future?

        Adieu my charming Conductress and believe me ever with the
sincerest Esteem & affection.
                                         Your most obed't hum. Serv.


_Petition of the Letter Z_



        He was always talking of his Family and of his being a Man of
        That your Petitioner is of as high extraction, and has as
good an Estate as any other Letter of the Alphabet.

        And complaining of his being treated, not with due Respect
        That there is therefore no reason why he should be treated as
he is with Disrespect and Indignity.

        At the tail of the Commission, of Ministers
        He was not of the Commission for France, A Lee being preferr'd
to him, which made him very angry; and the Character here given of S,
is just what he in his Passion gave Lee.
        That he is not only plac'd at the Tail of the Alphabet, when he
had as much Right as any other to be at the Head; but is, by the
Injustice of his enemies totally excluded from the Word WISE, and his
Place injuriously filled by a little, hissing, crooked, serpentine,
venemous Letter called s, when it must be evident to your Worship,
and to all the World, that Double U, I, S. E do not spell or sound
_Wize_, but _Wice._

        The most impatient Man alive
      Your Petitioner therefore prays that the Alphabet may by your
Censorial Authority be reformed, and that in Consideration of his
_Long-Suffering_ & _Patience_ he may be placed at the Head of it;
that S may be turned out of the Word Wise, and the Petitioner
employ'd instead of him;

        And your Petitioner (as in Duty bound) shall ever pray, &c.

        Mr. Bickerstaff having examined the Allegations of the above
Petition, judges and determines, that Z be admonished to be content
with his Station, forbear Reflections upon his Brother Letters, &
remember his own small Usefulness, and the little Occasion there is
for him in the Republick of Letters, since S, whom he so despises,
can so well serve instead of him.
         c. August, 1778

           _The Ephemera_

           Passy Sept 20, 1778

        You may remember, my dear Friend, that when we lately spent
that happy Day in the delightful Garden and sweet Society of the
Moulin Joli, I stopt a little in one of our Walks, and staid some
time behind the Company.  We had been shewn numberless Skeletons of a
kind of little Fly, called an Ephemere all whose successive
Generations we were told were bred and expired within the Day.  I
happen'd to see a living Company of them on a Leaf, who appear'd to
be engag'd in Conversation. -- You know I understand all the inferior
Animal Tongues: my too great Application to the Study of them is the
best Excuse I can give for the little Progress I have made in your
charming Language.  I listened thro' Curiosity to the Discourse of
these little Creatures, but as they in their national Vivacity spoke
three or four together, I could make but little of their Discourse.
I found, however, by some broken Expressions that I caught now &
then, they were disputing warmly the Merit of two foreign Musicians,
one a _Cousin_, the other a _Musketo_; in which Dispute they spent
their time seemingly as regardless of the Shortness of Life, as if
they had been Sure of living a Month.  Happy People! thought I, you
live certainly under a wise, just and mild Government; since you have
no public Grievances to complain of, nor any Subject of Contention
but the Perfection or Imperfection of foreign Music.  I turned from
them to an old greyheaded one, who was single on another Leaf, &
talking to himself.  Being amus'd with his Soliloquy, I have put it
down in writing in hopes it will likewise amuse her to whom I am So
much indebted for the most pleasing of all Amusements, her delicious
Company and her heavenly Harmony.

        "It was, says he, the Opinion of learned Philosophers of our
Race, who lived and flourished long before my time, that this vast
World, the _Moulin Joli_, could not itself subsist more than 18
Hours; and I think there was some Foundation for that Opinion, since
by the apparent Motion of the great Luminary that gives Life to all
Nature, and which in my time has evidently declin'd considerably
towards the Ocean at the End of our Earth, it must then finish its
Course, be extinguish'd in the Waters that surround us, and leave the
World in Cold and Darkness, necessarily producing universal Death and
Destruction.  I have lived seven of these Hours; a great Age; being
no less than 420 minutes of Time.  How very few of us continue So
long. -- I have seen Generations born, flourish and expire.  My
present Friends are the Children and Grandchildren of the Friends of
my Youth, who are now, alas, no more!  And I must soon follow them;
for by the Course of Nature, tho' still in Health, I cannot expect to
live above 7 or 8 Minutes longer.  What now avails all my Toil and
Labour in amassing Honey-Dew on this Leaf, which I cannot live to
enjoy!  What the political Struggles I have been engag'd in for the
Good of my Compatriotes, Inhabitants of this Bush, or my
philosophical Studies for the Benefit of our Race in general!  For in
Politics _what can Laws do without Morals._ (note-Ephemera-1, see
page 924) Our present Race of Ephemeres will in a Course of Minutes,
become corrupt like those of other and older Bushes, and consequently
as wretched.  And in Philosophy how small our Progress!  Alas, _Art
is long and Life is short_!  (note-Ephemera-2, see page 924) -- My
Friends would comfort me with the Idea of a Name they Say I shall
leave behind me; and they tell me I have _lived long enough, to
Nature and to Glory_; (note-Ephemera-3, see page 924) -- But what
will Fame be to an Ephemere who no longer exists?  And what will
become of all History in the 18th Hour, when the World itself, even
the whole _Moulin Joli_ shall come to its End, and be buried in
universal Ruin? -- To me, after all my eager Pursuits, no solid
Pleasures now remain, but the Reflection of a long Life spent in
meaning well, the sensible Conversation of a few good Lady-Ephemeres,
and now and then a kind Smile and a Tune from the ever-amiable

        _The Elysian Fields_


        Vexed by your barbarous resolution, announced so positively
last evening, to remain single all your life in respect to your dear
husband, I went home, fell on my bed, and, believing myself dead,
found myself in the Elysian Fields.

        I was asked if I desired to see anybody in particular.  Lead me
to the home of the philosophers. -- There are two who live nearby in
the garden: they are very good neighbors, and close friends of each
other. -- Who are they? -- Socrates and H ------ . -- I esteem them
both prodigiously; but let me see first H ------ , because I
understand a little French, but not one word of Greek.  He received
me with great courtesy, having known me for some time, he said, by
the reputation I had there.  He asked me a thousand things about the
war, and about the present state of religion, liberty, and the
government in France. -- You ask nothing then of your dear friend
Madame H ------ ; nevertheless she still loves you excessively and I
was at her place but an hour ago.  Ah! said he, you make me remember
my former felicity. -- But it is necessary to forget it in order to
be happy here.  During several of the early years, I thought only of
her.  Finally I am consoled.  I have taken another wife.  The most
like her that I could find.  She is not, it is true, so completely
beautiful, but she has as much good sense, a little more of Spirit,
and she loves me infinitely.  Her continual study is to please me;
and she has actually gone to hunt the best Nectar and the best
Ambrosia in order to regale me this evening; remain with me and you
will see her.  I perceive, I said, that your old friend is more
faithful than you: for several good offers have been made her, all of
which she has refused.  I confess to you that I myself have loved her
to the point of distraction; but she was hard-hearted to my regard,
and has absolutely rejected me for love of you.  I pity you, he said,
for your bad fortune; for truly she is a good and beautiful woman and
very loveable.  But the Abbee de la R ------ , and the Abbe M ------
, are they not still sometimes at her home?  Yes, assuredly, for she
has not lost a single one of your friends.  If you had won over the
Abbe M ------ (with coffee and cream) to speak for you, perhaps you
would have succeeded; for he is a subtle logician like Duns Scotus or
St. Thomas; he places his arguments in such good order that they
become nearly irresistible.  Also, if the Abbe de la R ----- had been
bribed (by some beautiful edition of an old classic) to speak against
you, that would have been better: for I have always observed, that
when he advises something, she has a very strong penchant to do the
reverse. -- At these words the new Madame H ------ entered with the
Nectar: at which instant I recognized her to be Madame F ------ , my
old American friend.  I reclaimed to her.  But she told me coldly, "I
have been your good wife forty-nine years and four months, nearly a
half century; be content with that.  Here I have formed a new
connection, which will endure to eternity."

        Offended by this refusal of my Eurydice, I suddenly decided to
leave these ungrateful spirits, to return to the good earth, to see
again the sunshine and you.  Here I am!  Let us revenge ourselves.

      December 7, 1778

        _Bilked for Breakfast_


        Upon my word, you did well, Madam, not to come so far, at so
inclement a Season, only to find so wretched a Breakfast.  My Son & I
were not so wise.  I will tell you the Story.

        As the Invitation was for eleven O'clock, & you were of the
Party, I imagined I should find a substantial Breakfast; that there
would be a large Company; that we should have not only Tea, but
Coffee, Chocolate, perhaps a Ham, & several other good Things.  I
resolved to go on Foot; my Shoes were a little too tight; I arrived
almost lamed.  On entering the Courtyard, I was a little surprised to
find it so empty of Carriages, & to see that we were the first to
arrive.  We go up the Stairs.  Not a Sound.  We enter the Breakfast
Room.  No one except the Abbe & Monsieur Cabanis.  Breakfast over, &
eaten!  Nothing on the Table except a few Scraps of Bread & a little
Butter.  General astonishment; a Servant sent running to tell Madame
Helvetius that we have come for Breakfast.  She leaves her toilet
Table; she enters with her Hair half dressed.  It is declared
surprising that I have come, when you wrote me that you would not
come.  I Deny it.  To prove it, they show me your Letter, which they
have received and kept.

        Finally another Breakfast is ordered.  One Servant runs for
fresh Water, another for Coals.  The Bellows are plied with a will.
I was very Hungry; it was so late; "a watched pot is slow to boil,"
as Poor Richard says.  Madame sets out for Paris & leaves us.  We
begin to eat.  The Butter is soon finished.  The Abbe asks if we want
more.  Yes, of course.  He rings.  No one comes.  We talk; he forgets
the Butter.  I began scraping the Dish; at that he seizes it & runs
to the Kitchen for some.  After a while he comes slowly back, saying
mournfully that there is no more of it in the House.  To entertain me
the Abbe proposes a Walk; my feet refuse.  And so we give up
Breakfast; & we go upstairs to his apartment to let his good Books
furnish the end of our Repast -- .

        I am left utterly disconsolate, having, instead of half a Dozen
of your sweet, affectionate, substantial, & heartily applied Kisses,
which I expected from your Charity, having received only the Shadow
of one given by Madame Helvetius, willingly enough, it is true, but
the lightest & most superficial kiss that can possibly be imagined.

        c. 1778

        _Passport for Captain Cook_

      To all Captains and Commanders of armed Ships acting by
Commission from the Congress of the United States of America, now in
war with Great Britain.

        A Ship having been fitted out from England before the
Commencement of this War, to make Discoveries of new Countries in
Unknown Seas, under the Conduct of that most celebrated Navigator and
Discoverer Captain Cook; an Undertaking truly laudable in itself, as
the Increase of Geographical Knowledge facilitates the Communication
between distant Nations, in the Exchange of useful Products and
Manufactures, and the Extension of Arts, whereby the common
Enjoyments of human Life are multiply'd and augmented, and Science of
other kinds increased to the benefit of Mankind in general; this is,
therefore, most earnestly to recommend to every one of you, that, in
case the said Ship, which is now expected to be soon in the European
Seas on her Return, should happen to fall into your Hands, you would
not consider her as an Enemy, nor suffer any Plunder to be made of
the Effects contain'd in her, nor obstruct her immediate Return to
England, by detaining her or sending her into any other Part of
Europe or to America, but that you would treat the said Captain Cook
and his People with all Civility and Kindness, affording them, as
common Friends to Mankind, all the Assistance in your Power, which
they may happen to stand in need of.  In so doing you will not only
gratify the Generosity of your own Dispositions, but there is no
doubt of your obtaining the Approbation of the Congress, and your
other American Owners.  I have the honour to be, Gentlemen, your most
obedient humble Servant.

        Given at Passy, near Paris, this 10th day of March, 1779.
        _Plenipotentiary from the Congress of the
        United States to the Court of France._

        _The Morals of Chess_

        [Playing at chess is the most ancient and most universal game
known among men; for its original is beyond the memory of history,
and it has, for numberless ages, been the amusement of all the
civilised nations of Asia, the Persians, the Indians, and the
Chinese.  Europe has had it above a thousand years; the Spaniards
have spread it over their part of America; and it has lately begun to
make its appearance in the United States.  It is so interesting in
itself, as not to need the view of gain to induce engaging in it; and
thence it is seldom played for money.  Those therefore who have
leisure for such diversions, cannot find one that is more innocent:
and the following piece, written with a view to correct (among a few
young friends) some little improprieties in the practice of it, shows
at the same time that it may, in its effects on the mind, be not
merely innocent, but advantageous, to the vanquished as well as the

        The Game of Chess is not merely an idle Amusement.  Several
very valuable qualities of the Mind, useful in the course of human
Life, are to be acquir'd or strengthened by it, so as to become
habits, ready on all occasions.  For Life is a kind of Chess, in
which we often have Points to gain, & Competitors or Adversaries to
contend with; and in which there is a vast variety of good and ill
Events, that are in some degree the Effects of Prudence or the want
of it.  By playing at Chess, then, we may learn,

        I. _Foresight_, which looks a little into futurity, and
considers the Consequences that may attend an action; for it is
continually occurring to the Player, "If I move this piece, what will
be the advantages or disadvantages of my new situation?  What Use can
my Adversary make of it to annoy me?  What other moves can I make to
support it, and to defend myself from his attacks?"

        II. _Circumspection_, which surveys the whole Chessboard, or
scene of action; the relations of the several pieces and situations,
the Dangers they are respectively exposed to, the several
possibilities of their aiding each other, the probabilities that the
Adversary may make this or that move, and attack this or the other
Piece, and what different Means can be used to avoid his stroke, or
turn its consequences against him.

        III. _Caution_, not to make our moves too hastily.  This habit
is best acquired, by observing strictly the laws of the Game; such
as, _If you touch a Piece, you must move it somewhere; if you set it
down, you must let it stand._ And it is therefore best that these
rules should be observed, as the Game becomes thereby more the image
of human Life, and particularly of War; in which, if you have
incautiously put yourself into a bad and dangerous position, you
cannot obtain your Enemy's Leave to withdraw your Troops, and place
them more securely, but you must abide all the consequences of your

        And _lastly_, we learn by Chess the habit of not being
discouraged by present appearances in the state of our affairs, the
habit of hoping for a favourable Change, and that of persevering in
the search of resources.  The Game is so full of Events, there is
such a variety of turns in it, the Fortune of it is so subject to
sudden Vicissitudes, and one so frequently, after long contemplation,
discovers the means of extricating one's self from a supposed
insurmountable Difficulty, that one is encouraged to continue the
Contest to the last, in hopes of Victory from our own skill, or at
least of getting a stale mate, from the Negligence of our Adversary.
And whoever considers, what in Chess he often sees instances of, that
particular pieces of success are apt to produce Presumption, & its
consequent Inattention, by which more is afterwards lost than was
gain'd by the preceding Advantage, while misfortunes produce more
care and attention, by which the loss may be recovered, will learn
not to be too much discouraged by any present success of his
Adversary, nor to despair of final good fortune upon every little
Check he receives in the pursuit of it.

        That we may therefore be induced more frequently to chuse this
beneficial amusement, in preference to others which are not attended
with the same advantages, every Circumstance that may increase the
pleasure of it should be regarded; and every action or word that is
unfair, disrespectful, or that in any way may give uneasiness, should
be avoided, as contrary to the immediate intention of both the
Players, which is to pass the Time agreably.

        Therefore, first, if it is agreed to play according to the
strict rules, then those rules are to be exactly observed by both
parties, and should not be insisted on for one side, while deviated
from by the other -- for this is not equitable.

        Secondly, if it is agreed not to observe the rules exactly, but
one party demands indulgencies, he should then be as willing to allow
them to the other.

        Thirdly, no false move should ever be made to extricate
yourself out of difficulty, or to gain an advantage.  There can be no
pleasure in playing with a person once detected in such unfair

        Fourthly, if your adversary is long in playing, you ought not
to hurry him, or express any uneasiness at his delay.  You should not
sing, nor whistle, nor look at your watch, nor take up a book to
read, nor make a tapping with your feet on the floor, or with your
fingers on the table, nor do any thing that may disturb his
attention.  For all these things displease; and they do not show your
skill in playing, but your craftiness or your rudeness.

        Fifthly, you ought not to endeavour to amuse and deceive your
adversary, by pretending to have made bad moves, and saying that you
have now lost the game, in order to make him secure and careless, and
inattentive to your schemes: for this is fraud and deceit, not skill
in the game.

        Sixthly, you must not, when you have gained a victory, use any
triumphing or insulting expression, nor show too much pleasure; but
endeavour to console your adversary, and make him less dissatisfied
with himself, by every kind of civil expression that may be used with
truth, such as, "you understand the game better than I, but you are a
little inattentive;" or, "you play too fast;" or, "you had the best
of the game, but something happened to divert your thoughts, and that
turned it in my favour."

        Seventhly, if you are a spectator while others play, observe
the most perfect silence.  For, if you give advice, you offend both
parties, him against whom you give it, because it may cause the loss
of his game, him in whose favour you give it, because, though it be
good, and he follows it, he loses the pleasure he might have had, if
you had permitted him to think until it had occurred to himself.
Even after a move or moves, you must not, by replacing the pieces,
show how they might have been placed better; for that displeases, and
may occasion disputes and doubts about their true situation.  All
talking to the players lessens or diverts their attention, and is
therefore unpleasing.  Nor should you give the least hint to either
party, by any kind of noise or motion.  If you do, you are unworthy
to be a spectator.  If you have a mind to exercise or show your
judgment, do it in playing your own game, when you have an
opportunity, not in criticizing, or meddling with, or counselling the
play of others.

        Lastly, if the game is not to be played rigorously, according
to the rules above mentioned, then moderate your desire of victory
over your adversary, and be pleased with one over yourself.  Snatch
not eagerly at every advantage offered by his unskilfulness or
inattention; but point out to him kindly, that by such a move he
places or leaves a piece in danger and unsupported; that by another
he will put his king in a perilous situation, &c.  By this generous
civility (so opposite to the unfairness above forbidden) you may,
indeed, happen to lose the game to your opponent; but you will win
what is better, his esteem, his respect, and his affection, together
with the silent approbation and good-will of impartial spectators.

        June, 1779

        _The Whistle_

        _Passy, November_ 10 1779.
        I received my dear Friend's two Letters, one for Wednesday &
one for Saturday.  This is again Wednesday.  I do not deserve one for
to day, because I have not answered the former.  But indolent as I
am, and averse to Writing, the Fear of having no more of your
pleasing Epistles, if I do not contribute to the Correspondance,
obliges me to take up my Pen: And as M. B. has kindly sent me Word,
that he sets out to-morrow to see you; instead of spending this
Wednesday Evening as I have long done its Name-sakes, in your
delightful Company, I sit down to spend it in thinking of you, in
writing to you, & in reading over & over again your Letters.

        I am charm'd with your Description of Paradise, & with your
Plan of living there.  And I approve much of your Conclusion, that in
the mean time we should draw all the Good we can from this World.  In
my Opinion we might all draw more Good, from it than we do, & suffer
less Evil, if we would but take care _not to give too much for our
Whistles._ For to me it seems that most of the unhappy People we meet
with, are become so by Neglect of that Caution.

        You ask what I mean? -- You love Stories, and will excuse my
telling you one of my self.  When I was a Child of seven Years old,
my Friends on a Holiday fill'd my little Pocket with Halfpence.  I
went directly to a Shop where they sold Toys for Children; and being
charm'd with the Sound of a Whistle that I met by the way, in the
hands of another Boy, I voluntarily offer'd and gave all my Money for
it.  When I came home, whistling all over the House, much pleas'd
with my Whistle, but disturbing all the Family, my Brothers, Sisters
& Cousins, understanding the Bargain I had made, told me I had given
four times as much for it as it was worth, put me in mind what good
Things I might have bought with the rest of the Money, & laught at me
so much for my Folly that I cry'd with Vexation; and the Reflection
gave me more Chagrin than the Whistle gave me Pleasure.

        This however was afterwards of use to me, the Impression
continuing on my Mind; so that often when I was tempted to buy some
unnecessary thing, I said to my self, _Do not give too much for the
Whistle_; and I sav'd my Money.

        As I grew up, came into the World, and observed the Actions of
Men, I thought I met many _who gave too much for the Whistle_. --
When I saw one ambitious of Court Favour, sacrificing his Time in
Attendance at Levees, his Repose, his Liberty, his Virtue and perhaps
his Friend, to obtain it; I have said to my self, _This Man gives too
much for his Whistle_. -- When I saw another fond of Popularity,
constantly employing himself in political Bustles, neglecting his own
Affairs, and ruining them by the Neglect, _He pays_, says I, _too
much for his Whistle_. -- If I knew a Miser, who gave up every kind
of comfortable Living, all the pleasure of doing Good to others, all
the Esteem of his Fellow Citizens, & the Joys of benevolent
Friendship, for the sake of Accumulating Wealth, _Poor Man_, says I,
_you pay too much for your Whistle_. -- When I met with a Man of
Pleasure, sacrificing every laudable Improvement of his Mind or of
his Fortune, to mere corporeal Satisfactions, & ruining his Health in
their Pursuit, _Mistaken Man_, says I, _you are providing Pain for
your self instead of Pleasure, you pay too much for your Whistle_. --
If I see one fond of Appearance, of fine Cloaths, fine Houses, fine
Furniture, fine Equipages, all above his Fortune, for which he
contracts Debts, and ends his Career in a Prison; _Alas_, says I, _he
has paid too much for his Whistle._ -- When I saw a beautiful
sweet-temper'd Girl, marry'd to an ill-natured Brute of a Husband;
_What a Pity_, says I, _that she should pay so much for a Whistle!_
-- In short, I conceiv'd that great Part of the Miseries of Mankind,
were brought upon them by the false Estimates they had made of the
Value of Things, and by their _giving too much for the Whistle._

        Yet I ought to have Charity for these unhappy People, when I
consider that with all this Wisdom of which I am boasting, there are
certain things in the World so tempting; for Example the Apples of
King John, which happily are not to be bought, for if they were put
to sale by Auction, I might very easily be led to ruin my self in the
Purchase, and find that I had once more _given too much for the

        Adieu, my dearest Friend, and believe me ever yours very
sincerely and with unalterable Affection.

        Passy, 1779

        _The Levee_

        In the first chapter of Job we have an account of a transaction
said to have arisen in the court, or at the _levee_, of the best of
all possible princes, or of governments by a single person, viz. that
of God himself.

        At this _levee_, in which the sons of God were assembled, Satan
also appeared.

        It is probable the writer of that ancient book took his idea of
this _levee_ from those of the eastern monarchs of the age he lived

        It is to this day usual at the _levees_ of princes, to have
persons assembled who are enemies to each other, who seek to obtain
favor by whispering calumny and detraction, and thereby ruining those
that distinguish themselves by their virtue and merit.  And kings
frequently ask a familiar question or two, of every one in the
circle, merely to show their benignity.  These circumstances are
particularly exemplified in this relation.

        If a modern king, for instance, finds a person in the circle
who has not lately been there, he naturally asks him how he has
passed his time since he last had the pleasure of seeing him? the
gentleman perhaps replies that he has been in the country to view his
estates, and visit some friends.  Thus Satan being asked whence he
cometh? answers, "From going to and fro in the earth, and walking up
and down in it." And being further asked, whether he had considered
the uprightness and fidelity of the prince's servant Job, he
immediately displays all the malignance of the designing courtier, by
answering with another question: "Doth Job serve God for naught?
Hast thou not given him immense wealth, and protected him in the
possession of it?  Deprive him of that, and he will curse thee to thy
face." In modern phrase, Take away his places and his pensions, and
your Majesty will soon find him in the opposition.

        This whisper against Job had its effect.  He was delivered into
the power of his adversary, who deprived him of his fortune,
destroyed his family, and completely ruined him.

        The book of Job is called by divines a sacred poem, and, with
the rest of the Holy Scriptures, is understood to be written for our

        What then is the instruction to be gathered from this supposed

        Trust not a single person with the government of your state.
For if the Deity himself, being the monarch may for a time give way
to calumny, and suffer it to operate the destruction of the best of
subjects; what mischief may you not expect from such power in a mere
man, though the best of men, from whom the truth is often
industriously hidden, and to whom falsehood is often presented in its
place, by artful, interested, and malicious courtiers?

        And be cautious in trusting him even with limited powers, lest
sooner or later he sap and destroy those limits, and render himself

        For by the disposal of places, he attaches to himself all the
with their numerous connexions, and also all the expecters and hopers
of places, which will form a strong party in promoting his views.  By
various political engagements for the interest of neighbouring states
or princes, he procures their aid in establishing his own personal
power.  So that, through the hopes of emolument in one part of his
subjects, and the fear of his resentment in the other, all opposition
falls before him.


        _Proposed New Version of the Bible_

        TO THE PRINTER OF * * *

        It is now more than one hundred and seventy years since the
translation of our common English Bible.  The language in that time
is much changed, and the style, being obsolete, and thence less
agreeable, is perhaps one reason why the reading of that excellent
book is of late so much neglected.  I have therefore thought it would
be well to procure a new version, in which, preserving the sense, the
turn of phrase and manner of expression should be modern.  I do not
pretend to have the necessary abilities for such a work myself; I
throw out the hint for the consideration of the learned; and only
venture to send you a few verses of the first chapter of Job, which
may serve as a sample of the kind of version I would recommend.
                                        A. B.

                 OLD TEXT                                NEW VERSION
Verse 6. Now there was a day            Verse 6. And it being _levee_
when the sons of God came to present    day in heaven, all God's nobility
themselves before the Lord, and         came to present themselves before
Satan came also amongst them.           him; and Satan also appeared in
                                        the circle, as one of the ministry.

7. And the Lord said unto                   7. And God said to Satan,
Satan, Whence comest thou?  Then        You have been some time absent;
Satan answered the Lord, and said,      where were you?  And Satan answered
From going to and fro in the earth,     I have been at my country-seat,
and from walking up and down in it.     and in different places visiting
                                        my friends.

8. And the Lord said unto                   8. And God said, Well what
Satan, Hast thou considered my          think you of Lord Job?  You see he
servant Job, that there is none like    is my best friend, a perfectly
him in the earth, a perfect and an      honest man, full of respect for
upright man, one that feareth God,      me, and avoiding every thing that
and escheweth evil?                     might offend me.

9. Then Satan answered the                  9. And Satan answered, Does
Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God       your Majesty imagine that his good
for naught?                             conduct is the effect of mere
                                        personal attachment and affection?

10. Hast thou not made an               10. Have you not protected
hedge about his house, and about all    him, and heaped your benefits upon
that he hath on every side?  Thou hast  him, till he is grown enormously
blessed the work of his hands, and      rich?
his substance is increased in the land.

11. But put forth thine hand                11. Try him; -- only withdraw
now, and touch all that he hath, and    your favor, turn him out of his
he will curse thee to thy face.         places, and withhold his pensions,
                                        and you will soon find him in the


        _Drinking Song_


        I have run over, my dear friend, the little book of poetry by
M. Helvetius, with which you presented me.  The poem on _Happiness_
pleased me much, and brought to my recollection a little drinking
song which I wrote forty years ago upon the same subject, and which
is nearly on the same plan, with many of the same thoughts, but very
concisely expressed.  It is as follows: --

        Fair Venus calls, her voice obey,
        In beauty's arms spend night and day.
        The joys of love, all joys excel,
        And loving's certainly doing well.

        Oh! no!
        Not so!
        For honest souls know,
        Friends and a bottle still bear the bell.

        Then let us get money, like bees lay up honey;
        We'll build us new hives, and store each cell.
        The sight of our treasure shall yield us great pleasure;
        We'll count it, and chink it, and jingle it well.

        Oh! no!
        Not so!
        For honest souls know,
        Friends and a bottle still bear the bell.

        If this does not fit ye, let's govern the city,
        In power is pleasure no tongue can tell;
        By crowds tho' you're teas'd, your pride shall be pleas'd,
        And this can make Lucifer happy in hell!

        Oh! no!
        Not so!
        For honest souls know,
        Friends and a bottle still bear the bell.

        Then toss off your glasses, and scorn the dull asses,
        Who, missing the kernel, still gnaw the shell;
        What's love, rule, or riches? wise Solomon teaches,
        They're vanity, vanity, vanity, still.

        That's true;
        He knew;
        He'd tried them all through;
        Friends and a bottle still bore the bell.

        'Tis a singer, my dear Abbe, who exhorts his companions to seek
_happiness_ in _love_, in _riches_, and in _power._ They reply,
singing together, that happiness is not to be found in any of these
things; that it is only to be found in _friends_ and _wine._ To this
proposition the singer at last assents.  The phrase _"bear the
bell,"_ answers to the French expression, _"obtain the prize."_

        I have often remarked, in reading the works of M. Helvetius,
that although we were born and educated in two countries so remote
from each other, we have often been inspired with the same thoughts;
and it is a reflection very flattering to me, that we have not only
loved the same studies, but, as far as we have mutually known them,
the same friends, and _the same woman._
                                         Adieu! my dear friend, &c.


           _A Tale_

        There was once an Officer, a worthy man, named Montresor, who
was very ill.  His parish Priest, thinking he would die, advised him
to make his Peace with God, so that he would be received into
Paradise.  "I don't feel much Uneasiness on that Score," said
Montresor; "for last Night I had a Vision which set me entirely at
rest." "What Vision did you have?" asked the good Priest.  "I was,"
he said, "at the Gate of Paradise with a Crowd of People who wanted
to enter.  And St. Peter asked each of them what Religion he belonged
to.  One answered, `I am a Roman Catholic.' `Very well,' said St.
Peter; `come in, & take your Place over there among the Catholics.'
Another said he belonged to the Anglican Church.  `Very well,' said
St. Peter; `come in, & take your Place over there among the
Anglicans.' Another said he was a Quaker.  `Very well,' said St.
Peter; `come in, & take a Place among the Quakers.' Finally he asked
me what my Religion was.  `Alas!' I replied, `unfortunately, poor
Jacques Montresor belongs to none at all.' `That's a pity,' said the
Saint.  `I don't know where to put you but come in anyway; just find
a Place for yourself wherever you can.'"


        _On Wine_


        You have often enlivened me, my dear friend, by your excellent
drinking-songs; in return, I beg to edify you by some Christian,
moral, and philosophical reflections upon the same subject.

        _In vino veritas_, says the wise man, -- _Truth is in wine._
Before the days of Noah, then, men, having nothing but water to
drink, could not discover the truth.  Thus they went astray, became
abominably wicked, and were justly exterminated by _water_, which
they loved to drink.

        The good man Noah, seeing that through this pernicious beverage
all his contemporaries had perished, took it in aversion; and to
quench his thirst God created the vine, and revealed to him the means
of converting its fruit into wine.  By means of this liquor he
discovered numberless important truths; so that ever since his time
the word to _divine_ has been in common use, signifying originally,
_to discover by means of_ WINE.  (VIN) Thus the patriarch Joseph took
upon himself to _divine_ by means of a cup or glass of wine, a liquor
which obtained this name to show that it was not of human but
_divine_ invention (another proof of the _antiquity_ of the French
language, in opposition to M. Geebelin); nay, since that time, all
things of peculiar excellence, even the Deities themselves, have been
called _Divine_ or Di_vin_ities.

        We hear of the conversion of water into wine at the marriage in
Cana as of a miracle.  But this conversion is, through the goodness
of God, made every day before our eyes.  Behold the rain which
descends from heaven upon our vineyards; there it enters the roots of
the vines, to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves
us, and loves to see us happy.  The miracle in question was only
performed to hasten the operation, under circumstances of present
necessity, which required it.

        It is true that God has also instructed man to reduce wine into
water.  But into what sort of water? -- _Water of Life._ (_Eaude
Vie._) And this, that man may be able upon occasion to perform the
miracle of Cana, and convert common water into that excellent species
of wine which we call _punch._ My Christian brother, be kind and
benevolent like God, and do not spoil his good drink.

        He made wine to gladden the heart of man; do not, therefore
when at table you see your neighbor pour wine into his glass, be
eager to mingle water with it.  Why would you drown _truth_?  It is
probable that your neighbor knows better than you what suits him.
Perhaps he does not like water; perhaps he would only put in a few
drops for fashion's sake; perhaps he does not wish any one to observe
how little he puts in his glass.  Do not, then, offer water, except
to children; 't is a mistaken piece of politeness, and often very
inconvenient.  I give you this hint as a man of the world; and I will
finish as I began, like a good Christian, in making a religious
observation of high importance, taken from the Holy Scriptures.  I
mean that the apostle Paul counselled Timothy very seriously to put
wine into his water for the sake of his health; but that not one of
the apostles or holy fathers ever recommended _putting water to

        P.S. To confirm still more your piety and gratitude to Divine
Providence, reflect upon the situation which it has given to the
_elbow._ You see (Figures 1 and 2) in animals, who are intended to
drink the waters that flow upon the earth, that if they have long
legs, they have also a long neck, so that they can get at their drink
without kneeling down.  But man, who was destined to drink wine, must
be able to raise the glass to his mouth.  If the elbow had been
placed nearer the hand (as in Figure 3), the part in advance would
have been too short to bring the glass up to the mouth; and if it had
been placed nearer the shoulder, (as in Figure 4) that part would
have been so long that it would have carried the wine far beyond the
mouth.  But by the actual situation, (represented in Figure 5), we
are enabled to drink at our ease, the glass going exactly to the
mouth.  Let us, then, with glass in hand, adore this benevolent
wisdom; -- let us adore and drink!


        _Dialogue Between the Gout and Mr. Franklin_

        MIDNIGHT, OCTOBER 22, 1780

        MR. F.
        Eh! oh! eh!  What have I done to merit these cruel sufferings?

        THE GOUT
        Many things; you have ate and drank too freely, and too much
indulged those legs of yours in their indolence.

        MR. F.
        Who is it that accuses me?

        THE GOUT
        It is I, even I, the Gout.

        MR. F.
        What! my enemy in person?

        THE GOUT
        No, not your enemy.

        MR. F.
        I repeat it, my enemy; for you would not only torment my body
to death, but ruin my good name; you reproach me as a glutton and a
tippler; now all the world, that knows me, will allow that I am
neither the one nor the other.

        THE GOUT
        The world may think as it pleases; it is always very
complaisant to itself, and sometimes to its friends; but I very well
know that the quantity of meat and drink proper for a man who takes a
reasonable degree of exercise, would be too much for another who
never takes any.

        MR. F.
        I take -- eh! oh! -- as much exercise -- eh! -- as I can, Madam
Gout.  You know my sedentary state, and on that account, it would
seem, Madam Gout, as if you might spare me a little, seeing it is not
altogether my own fault.

        THE GOUT
        Not a jot; your rhetoric and your politeness are thrown away;
your apology avails nothing.  If your situation in life is a
sedentary one, your amusements, your recreation, at least, should be
active.  You ought to walk or ride; or, if the weather prevents that,
play at billiards.  But let us examine your course of life.  While
the mornings are long, and you have leisure to go abroad, what do you
do?  Why, instead of gaining an appetite for breakfast by salutary
exercise, you amuse yourself with books, pamphlets, or newspapers,
which commonly are not worth the reading.  Yet you eat an inordinate
breakfast, four dishes of tea with cream, and one or two buttered
toasts, with slices of hung beef, which I fancy are not things the
most easily digested.  Immediately afterwards you sit down to write
at your desk, or converse with persons who apply to you on business.
Thus the time passes till one, without any kind of bodily exercise.
But all this I could pardon, in regard, as you say, to your sedentary
condition.  But what is your practice after dinner?  Walking in the
beautiful gardens of those friends with whom you have dined would be
the choice of men of sense; yours is to be fixed down to chess, where
you are found engaged for two or three hours!  This is your perpetual
recreation, which is the least eligible of any for a sedentary man,
because, instead of accelerating the motion of the fluids, the rigid
attention it requires helps to retard the circulation and obstruct
internal secretions.  Wrapt in the speculations of this wretched
game, you destroy your constitution.  What can be expected from such
a course of living but a body replete with stagnant humours, ready to
fall a prey to all kinds of dangerous maladies, if I, the Gout, did
not occasionally bring you relief by agitating those humours, and so
purifying or dissipating them?  If it was in some nook or alley in
Paris, deprived of walks, that you played a while at chess after
dinner, this might be excusable; but the same taste prevails with you
in Passy, Auteuil, Montmartre, or Sanoy, places where there are the
finest gardens and walks, a pure air, beautiful women, and most
agreeable and instructive conversation: all which you might enjoy by
frequenting the walks.  But these are rejected for this abominable
game of chess.  Fie, then, Mr. Franklin!  But amidst my instructions,
I had almost forgot to administer my wholesome corrections; so take
that twinge -- and that.

        MR. F.
        Oh! eh! oh! ohhh!  As much instruction as you please, Madam
Gout, and as many reproaches; but pray, Madam, a truce with your

        THE GOUT
        No, Sir, no, I will not abate a particle of what is so much for
your good -- therefore ------

        Mr. F.
        Oh! ehhh! -- It is not fair to say I take no exercise, when I
do very often, going out to dine and returning in my carriage.

        THE GOUT
        That, of all imaginable exercises, is the most slight and
insignificant, if you allude to the motion of a carriage suspended on
springs.  By observing the degree of heat obtained by different kinds
of motion, we may form an estimate of the quantity of exercise given
by each.  Thus, for example, if you turn out to walk in winter with
cold feet, in an hour's time you will be in a glow all over; ride on
horseback, the same effect will scarcely be perceived by four hours'
round trotting; but if you loll in a carriage, such as you have
mentioned, you may travel all day and gladly enter the last inn to
warm your feet by a fire.  Flatter yourself then no longer that half
an hour's airing in your carriage deserves the name of exercise.
Providence has appointed few to roll in carriages, while he has given
to all a pair of legs, which are machines infinitely more commodious
and serviceable.  Be grateful, then, and make a proper use of yours.
Would you know how they forward the circulation of your fluids in the
very action of transporting you from place to place, observe when you
walk that all your weight is alternately thrown from one leg to the
other; this occasions a great pressure on the vessels of the foot,
and repels their contents; when relieved, by the weight being thrown
on the other foot, the vessels of the first are allowed to replenish,
and by a return of this weight, this repulsion again succeeds; thus
accelerating the circulation of the blood.  The heat produced in any
given time depends on the degree of this acceleration; the fluids are
shaken, the humours attenuated, the secretions facilitated, and all
goes well; the cheeks are ruddy, and health is established.  Behold
your fair friend at Auteuil; a lady who received from bounteous
nature more really useful science than half a dozen such pretenders
to philosophy as you have been able to extract from all your books.
When she honours you with a visit, it is on foot.  She walks all
hours of the day, and leaves indolence, and its concomitant maladies,
to be endured by her horses.  In this, see at once the preservative
of her health and personal charms.  But when you go to Auteuil, you
must have your carriage, though it is no farther from Passy to
Auteuil than from Auteuil to Passy.

        Mr. F.
        Your reasonings grow very tiresome.

        THE GOUT
        I stand corrected.  I will be silent and continue my office;
take that, and that.

        MR. F.
        Oh! Ohh!  Talk on, I pray you.

        THE GOUT
        No, no; I have a good number of twinges for you tonight, and
you may be sure of some more tomorrow.

        MR. F.
        What, with such a fever!  I shall go distracted.  Oh! eh!  Can
no one bear it for me?

        THE GOUT
        Ask that of your horses; they have served you faithfully.

        MR. F.
        How can you so cruelly sport with my torments?

        THE GOUT
        Sport!  I am very serious.  I have here a list of offences
against your own health distinctly written, and can justify every
stroke inflicted on you.

        MR. F.
        Read it then.

        THE GOUT
        It is too long a detail; but I will briefly mention some

        MR. F.
        Proceed.  I am all attention.

        THE GOUT
        Do you remember how often you have promised yourself, the
following morning, a walk in the grove of Boulogne, in the garden de
La Muette, or in your own garden, and have violated your promise,
alleging, at one time, it was too cold, at another too warm, too
windy, too moist, or what else you pleased; when in truth it was too
nothing but your insuperable love of ease?

        MR. F.
        That I confess may have happened occasionally, probably ten
times in a year.

        THE GOUT
        Your confession is very far short of the truth; the gross
amount is one hundred and ninety-nine times.

        MR. F.
        Is it possible?

        THE GOUT
        So possible that it is fact; you may rely on the accuracy of my
statement.  You know M. Brillon's gardens, and what fine walks they
contain; you know the handsome flight of an hundred steps which lead
from the terrace above to the lawn below.  You have been in the
practice of visiting this amiable family twice a week, after dinner,
and it is a maxim of your own, that "a man may take as much exercise
in walking a mile up and down stairs, as in ten on level ground."
What an opportunity was here for you to have had exercise in both
these ways!  Did you embrace it, and how often?

        MR. F.
        I cannot immediately answer that question.

        THE GOUT
        I will do it for you; not once.

        MR. F.
        Not once?

        THE GOUT
        Even so.  During the summer you went there at six o'clock.  You
found the charming lady, with her lovely children and friends, eager
to walk with you, and entertain you with their agreeable
conversation; and what has been your choice?  Why, to sit on the
terrace, satisfying yourself with the fine prospect, and passing your
eye over the beauties of the garden below, without taking one step to
descend and walk about in them.  On the contrary, you call for tea
and the chess-board; and lo! you are occupied in your seat till nine
o'clock, and that besides two hours' play after dinner; and then,
instead of walking home, which would have bestirred you a little, you
step into your carriage.  How absurd to suppose that all this
carelessness can be reconcilable with health, without my

        MR. F.
        I am convinced now of the justness of Poor Richard's remark,
that "Our debts and our sins are always greater than we think for."

        THE GOUT
        So it is.  You philosophers are sages in your maxims, and fools
in your conduct.

        MR. F.
        But do you charge among my crimes that I return in a carriage
from M. Brillon's?

        THE GOUT
        Certainly; for having been seated all the while, you cannot
object the fatigue of the day, and cannot want therefore the relief
of a carriage.

        MR. F.
        What then would you have me do with my carriage?

        THE GOUT
        Burn it if you choose; you would at least get heat out of it
once in this way; or if you dislike that proposal, here's another for
you; observe the poor peasants who work in the vineyards and grounds
about the villages of Passy, Auteuil, Chaillot, etc.; you may find
every day among these deserving creatures four or five old men and
women, bent and perhaps crippled by weight of years, and too long and
too great labour.  After a most fatiguing day these people have to
trudge a mile or two to their smoky huts.  Order your coachman to set
them down.  This is an act that will be good for your soul; and, at
the same time, after your visit to the Brillons, if you return on
foot, that will be good for your body.

        MR. F.
        Ah! how tiresome you are!

        THE GOUT
        Well, then, to my office; it should not be forgotten that I am
your physician.  There.

        MR. F.
        Ohhh! what a devil of a physician!

        THE GOUT
        How ungrateful you are to say so!  Is it not I who, in the
character of your physician, have saved you from the palsy, dropsy,
and apoplexy?  One or other of which would have done for you long ago
but for me.

        MR. F.
        I submit, and thank you for the past, but entreat the
discontinuance of your visits for the future; for in my mind, one had
better die than be cured so dolefully.  Permit me just to hint that I
have also not been unfriendly to _you._ I never feed physician or
quack of any kind, to enter the list against you; if then you do not
leave me to my repose, it may be said you are ungrateful too.

        THE GOUT
        I can scarcely acknowledge that as any objection.  As to
quacks, I despise them; they may kill you indeed, but cannot injure
me.  And as to regular physicians, they are at last convinced that
the gout, in such a subject as you are, is no disease, but a remedy;
and wherefore cure a remedy? -- but to our business -- there.

        MR. F.
        Oh! oh! -- for Heaven's sake leave me! and I promise faithfully
never more to play at chess, but to take exercise daily, and live

        THE GOUT
        I know you too well.  You promise fair; but, after a few months
of good health, you will return to your old habits; your fine
promises will be forgotten like the forms of the last year's clouds.
Let us then finish the account, and I will go.  But I leave you with
an assurance of visiting you again at a proper time and place; for my
object is your good, and you are sensible now that I am your _real

        _The Handsome and the Deformed Leg_

        There are two Sorts of People in the World, who with equal
Degrees of Health & Wealth and the other Comforts of Life, become,
the one happy, the other unhappy.  This arises very much from the
different Views in which they consider Things, Persons, and Events;
and the Effect of those different Views upon their own Minds.

        In whatever Situation Men can be plac'd, they may find
Conveniencies and Inconveniencies: In whatever Company, they may find
Persons & Conversations more or less pleasing: At whatever Table they
may meet with Meats and Drinks of better and worse Taste, Dishes
better and worse dress'd: In whatever Climate they will find good and
bad Weather: Under whatever Government, they may find good and bad
Laws, and good and bad Administration of those Laws: In every Poem or
Work of Genius, they may see Faults and Beauties: In almost every
Face & every Person, they may discover fine Features and Defects,
good & bad Qualities.  Under these Circumstances, the two Sorts of
People above-mention'd fix their Attention, those who are to be
happy, on the Conveniencies of Things, the pleasant Parts of
Conversation, the well-dress'd & well-tasted Dishes, the Goodness of
the Wines, the Fine Weather, &c. &c. &c. and enjoy all with
Chearfulness: Those who are to be unhappy think and speak only of the
contraries.  Hence they are continually discontented themselves, and
by their Remarks sour the Pleasures of Society, offend personally
many People, and make themselves every where disagreable.

        If this Turn of Mind was founded in Nature, such unhappy
Persons would be the more to be pitied.  But as the Disposition to
criticise and be disgusted is perhaps taken up originally by
Imitation, and unawares grown into a Habit, which tho at present
strong, may nevertheless be cured, when those who have it are
convinc'd of its bad Effects on their Felicity, I hope this little
Admonition may be of Service to them, and put them on changing a
Habit, which tho in the Exercise is chiefly an Act of Imagination,
yet it has serious Consequences in Life, as it brings on real Griefs
and Misfortunes: For, as many are offended by, and nobody well loves
this sort of People, no one shows them more than the most common
Civility & Respect, and scarcely that; and this frequently puts them
out of humour, and draws them into Disputes and Contentions.  If they
aim at obtaining some Advantage in Rank or Fortune, nobody wishes
them Success, or will stir a Step, or speak a Word to favour their
Pretensions.  If they incur public Censure or Disgrace, no one will
defend or excuse, and many join to aggravate their Misconduct, and
render them compleatly odious. --

        If these People will not change this bad Habit, and condescend
to be pleas'd with what is pleasing, without fretting themselves and
others about the Contraries, it is good for others to avoid an
Acquaintance with them, which is always disagreable, and sometimes
very inconvenient, particularly when one finds one's self entangled
in their Quarrels.  An old philosophical Friend of mine was grown
from Experience very cautious in this particular and carefully shun'd
any intimacy with such People.  He had, like other Philosophers, a
Thermometer to show him the Heat of the Weather, & a Barometer to
mark when it was likely to prove good or bad; but there being no
Instrument yet invented to discover at first Sight this unpleasing
Disposition in a Person, he for that purpose made use of his Legs;
one of which was remarkably handsome, the other by some Accident
crooked and deform'd.  If a Stranger, at the first Interview,
regarded his ugly Leg more than his handsome one, he doubted him.  If
he spoke of it, and took no Notice of the handsome Leg, that was
sufficient to determine my Philosopher to have no farther
Acquaintance with him.

        Everybody has not this two-legged Instrument, but everyone with
a little Attention may observe Signs of that carping fault-finding
Disposition; and take the same Resolution of avoiding the
Acquaintance of those infected with it.

        I therefore advise these critical, querulous, discontented
unhappy People, that if they wish to be loved & respected by others
and happy in themselves, they should _leave off looking at the ugly

      November, 1780

        _To the Royal Academy of_ * * * * *

        I have perused your late mathematical Prize Question, proposed
in lieu of one in Natural Philosophy, for the ensuing year, viz.
_"Une figure quelconque donnee, on demande d'y inscrire le plus grand
nombre de fois possible une autre figure plus-petite quelconque, qui
est aussi donnee"._ I was glad to find by these following Words,
_"l'Acadeemie a jugee que cette deecouverte, en eetendant les bornes
de nos connoissances, ne seroit pas sans UTILITE"_, that you esteem
_Utility_ an essential Point in your Enquiries, which has not always
been the case with all Academies; and I conclude therefore that you
have given this Question instead of a philosophical, or as the
Learned express it, a physical one, because you could not at the time
think of a physical one that promis'd greater _Utility._

        Permit me then humbly to propose one of that sort for your
consideration, and through you, if you approve it, for the serious
Enquiry of learned Physicians, Chemists, &c. of this enlightened Age.

        It is universally well known, That in digesting our common
Food, there is created or produced in the Bowels of human Creatures,
a great Quantity of Wind.

        That the permitting this Air to escape and mix with the
Atmosphere, is usually offensive to the Company, from the fetid Smell
that accompanies it.

        That all well-bred People therefore, to avoid giving such
Offence, forcibly restrain the Efforts of Nature to discharge that

        That so retain'd contrary to Nature, it not only gives
frequently great present Pain, but occasions future Diseases, such as
habitual Cholics, Ruptures, Tympanies, &c. often destructive of the
Constitution, & sometimes of Life itself.

        Were it not for the odiously offensive Smell accompanying such
Escapes, polite People would probably be under no more Restraint in
discharging such Wind in Company, than they are in spitting, or in
blowing their Noses.

        My Prize Question therefore should be, _To discover some Drug
wholesome & not disagreable, to be mix'd with our common Food, or
Sauces, that shall render the natural Discharges of Wind from our
Bodies, not only inoffensive, but agreable as Perfumes._

        That this is not a chimerical Project, and altogether
impossible, may appear from these Considerations.  That we already
have some Knowledge of Means capable of _Varying_ that Smell.  He
that dines on stale Flesh, especially with much Addition of Onions,
shall be able to afford a Stink that no Company can tolerate; while
he that has lived for some Time on Vegetables only, shall have that
Breath so pure as to be insensible to the most delicate Noses; and if
he can manage so as to avoid the Report, he may any where give Vent
to his Griefs, unnoticed.  But as there are many to whom an entire
Vegetable Diet would be inconvenient, and as a little Quick-Lime
thrown into a Jakes will correct the amazing Quantity of fetid Air
arising from the vast Mass of putrid Matter contain'd in such Places,
and render it rather pleasing to the Smell, who knows but that a
little Powder of Lime (or some other thing equivalent) taken in our
Food, or perhaps a Glass of Limewater drank at Dinner, may have the
same Effect on the Air produc'd in and issuing from our Bowels?  This
is worth the Experiment.  Certain it is also that we have the Power
of changing by slight Means the Smell of another Discharge, that of
our Water.  A few Stems of Asparagus eaten, shall give our Urine a
disagreable Odour; and a Pill of Turpentine no bigger than a Pea,
shall bestow on it the pleasing Smell of Violets.  And why should it
be thought more impossible in Nature, to find Means of making a
Perfume of our _Wind_ than of our _Water_?

        For the Encouragement of this Enquiry, (from the immortal
Honour to be reasonably expected by the Inventor) let it be
considered of how small Importance to Mankind, or to how small a Part
of Mankind have been useful those Discoveries in Science that have
heretofore made Philosophers famous.  Are there twenty Men in Europe
at this Day, the happier, or even the easier, for any Knowledge they
have pick'd out of Aristotle?  What Comfort can the Vortices of
Descartes give to a Man who has Whirlwinds in his Bowels!  The
Knowledge of Newton's mutual _Attraction_ of the Particles of Matter,
can it afford Ease to him who is rack'd by their mutual _Repulsion_,
and the cruel Distensions it occasions?  The Pleasure arising to a
few Philosophers, from seeing, a few Times in their Life, the Threads
of Light untwisted, and separated by the Newtonian Prism into seven
Colours, can it be compared with the Ease and Comfort every Man
living might feel seven times a Day, by discharging freely the Wind
from his Bowels?  Especially if it be converted into a Perfume: For
the Pleasures of one Sense being little inferior to those of another,
instead of pleasing the _Sight_ he might delight the _Smell_ of those
about him, & make Numbers happy, which to a benevolent Mind must
afford infinite Satisfaction.  The generous Soul, who now endeavours
to find out whether the Friends he entertains like best Claret or
Burgundy, Champagne or Madeira, would then enquire also whether they
chose Musk or Lilly, Rose or Bergamot, and provide accordingly.  And
surely such a Liberty of _Expressing_ one's _Scentiments_, and
_pleasing one another_, is of infinitely more Importance to human
Happiness than that Liberty of the _Press_, or of _abusing one
another_, which the English are so ready to fight & die for. -- In
short, this Invention, if compleated, would be, as _Bacon_ expresses
it, _bringing Philosophy home to Mens Business and Bosoms._ And I
cannot but conclude, that in Comparison therewith, for _universal_
and _continual UTILITY_, the Science of the Philosophers
above-mentioned, even with the Addition, Gentlemen, of your _"Figure
quelconque"_ and the Figures inscrib'd in it, are, all together,
scarcely worth a

        Passy, c. 1781

        _Notes for Conversation_

        To make a Peace durable, what may give Occasion for future Wars
should if practicable be removed.

        The Territory of the United States and that of Canada, by long
extended Frontiers, touch each other.

        The Settlers on the Frontiers of the American Provinces are
generally the most disorderly of the People, who, being far removed
from the Eye and Controll of their respective Governments, are more
bold in committing Offences against Neighbours, and are for ever
occasioning Complaints and furnishing Matter for fresh Differences
between their States.

        By the late Debates in Parliament, and publick Writings, it
appears, that Britain desires a _Reconciliation_ with the Americans.
It is a sweet Word.  It means much more than a mere Peace, and what
is heartily to be wish'd for.  Nations make a Peace whenever they are
both weary of making War.  But, if one of them has made War upon the
other unjustly, and has wantonly and unnecessarily done it great
Injuries, and refuses Reparation, though there may, for the present,
be Peace, the Resentment of those Injuries will remain, and will
break out again in Vengeance when Occasions offer.  These Occasions
will be watch'd for by one side, fear'd by the other, and the Peace
will never be secure; nor can any Cordiality subsist between them.

        Many Houses and Villages have been burnt in America by the
English and their Allies, the Indians.  I do not know that the
Americans will insist on reparation; perhaps they may.  But would it
not be better for England to offer it?  Nothing could have a greater
Tendency to conciliate, and much of the future Commerce and returning
Intercourse between the two Countries may depend on the
Reconciliation.  Would not the advantage of Reconciliation by such
means be greater than the Expence?

        If then a Way can be proposed, which may tend to efface the
Memory of Injuries, at the same time that it takes away the Occasions
of fresh Quarrel and Mischief, will it not be worth considering,
especially if it can be done, not only without Expence, but be a
means of saving?

        Britain possesses Canada.  Her chief Advantage from that
Possession consists in the Trade for Peltry.  Her Expences in
governing and defending that Settlement must be considerable.  It
might be humiliating to her to give it up on the Demand of America.
Perhaps America will not demand it; some of her political Rulers may
consider the fear of such a Neighbour, as a means of keeping 13
States more united among themselves, and more attentive to Military
Discipline.  But on the Minds of the People in general would it not
have an excellent Effect, if Britain should voluntarily offer to give
up this Province; tho' on these Conditions, that she shall in all
times coming have and enjoy the Right of Free Trade thither,
unincumbred with any Duties whatsoever; that so much of the vacant
Lands there shall be sold, as will raise a Sum sufficient to pay for
the Houses burnt by the British Troops and their Indians; and also to
indemnify the Royalists for the Confiscation of their Estates?

        This is mere Conversation matter between Mr. O. and Mr. F., as
the former is not impower'd to make Propositions, and the latter
cannot make any without the Concurrence of his Colleagues.

         April 18, 1782

                                Numb. 705.
                         _Supplement to the Boston
                           Independent Chronicle_

                              BOSTON, March 12.
         _Extract of a Letter from Capt._ Gerrish, _of the_ New-England
                   _Militia,_ _dated_ Albany, March 7.

        ------ The Peltry taken in the Expedition [_See the Account of
the Expedition to_ Oswegatchie _on the River St._ Laurence, _in our
Paper of the_ 1_st Instant._] will as you see amount to a good deal
of Money.  The Possession of this Booty at first gave us Pleasure;
but we were struck with Horror to find among the Packages, 8 large
ones containing SCALPS of our unhappy Country-folks, taken in the
three last Years by the Senneka Indians from the Inhabitants of the
Frontiers of New-York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, and
sent by them as a Present to Col. Haldimand, Governor of Canada, in
order to be by him transmitted to England.  They were accompanied by
the following curious Letter to that Gentleman.

_May it please your Excellency, _Teoga, Jan._ 3_d,_ 1782.

         "At the Request of the Senneka Chiefs I send herewith to
your Excellency, under the Care of James Boyd, eight Packs of Scalps,
cured, dried, hooped and painted, with all the Indian triumphal
Marks, of which the following is Invoice and Explanation.

        No. 1.
        Containing 43 Scalps of Congress Soldiers killed in different
Skirmishes; these are stretched on black Hoops, 4 Inches diameter;
the inside of the Skin painted red, with a small black Spot to note
their being killed with Bullets.  Also 62 of Farmers, killed in their
Houses; the Hoops red; the Skin painted brown, and marked with a Hoe;
a black Circle all round, to denote their being surprised in the
Night; and a black Hatchet in the Middle, signifying their being
killed with that Weapon.

        No. 2.
        Containing 98 of Farmers killed in their Houses; Hoops red;
Figure of a Hoe, to mark their Profession; great white Circle and
Sun, to shew they were surprised in the Day-time; a little red Foot,
to shew they stood upon their Defence, and died fighting for their
Lives and Families.

        No. 3.
        Containing 97 of Farmers; Hoops green, to shew they were killed
in their Fields; a large white Circle with a little round Mark on it
for the Sun, to shew that it was in the Day-time; black Bullet-mark
on some, Hatchet on others.

        No. 4.
        Containing 102 of Farmers, mixed of the several Marks above;
only 18 marked with a little yellow Flame, to denote their being of
Prisoners burnt alive, after being scalped, their Nails pulled out by
the Roots, and other Torments: one of these latter supposed to be of
a rebel Clergyman, his Band being fixed to the Hoop of his Scalp.
Most of the Farmers appear by the Hair to have been young or
middle-aged Men; there being but 67 very grey Heads among them all;
which makes the Service more essential.

        No. 5.
        Containing 88 Scalps of Women; Hair long, braided in the Indian
Fashion, to shew they were Mothers; Hoops blue; Skin yellow Ground,
with little red Tadpoles to represent, by way of Triumph, the Tears
or Grief occasioned to their Relations; a black scalping Knife or
Hatchet at the Bottom, to mark their being killed with those
Instruments.  17 others, Hair very grey; black Hoops; plain brown
Colour; no Mark but the short Club or Cassetete, to shew they were
knocked down dead, or had their Brains beat out.

        No. 6.
        Containing 193 Boys' Scalps, of various Ages; small green
Hoops; whitish Ground on the Skin, with red Tears in the Middle, and
black Bullet-marks, Knife, Hatchet, or Club, as their Deaths

        No. 7.
        211 Girls' Scalps, big and little; small yellow Hoops; white
Ground; Tears; Hatchet, Club, scalping Knife, &c.

        No. 8.
        This Package is a Mixture of all the Varieties abovemention'd,
to the Number of 122; with a Box of Birch Bark, containing 29 little
Infants' Scalps of various Sizes; small white Hoops; white Ground; no
Tears; and only a little black Knife in the Middle, to shew they were
ript out of their Mothers' Bellies.

        With these Packs, the Chiefs send to your Excellency the
following Speech, delivered by Conejogatchie in Council, interpreted
by the elder Moore, the Trader, and taken down by me in Writing.

        We send you herewith many Scalps, that you may see we are not
idle Friends.

        _A blue Belt._

        We wish you to send these Scalps over the Water to the great
King, that he may regard them and be refreshed; and that he may see
our faithfulness in destroying his Enemies, and be convinced that his
Presents have not been made to ungrateful people.
        _A blue and white Belt with red Tassels._

        Attend to what I am now going to say: it is a Matter of much
Weight.  The great King's Enemies are many, and they grow fast in
Number.  They were formerly like young Panthers: they could neither
bite nor scratch: we could play with them safely: we feared nothing
they could do to us.  But now their Bodies are become big as the Elk,
and strong as the Buffalo: they have also got great and sharp Claws.
They have driven us out of our Country for taking Part in your
Quarrel.  We expect the great King will give us another Country, that
our Children may live after us, and be his Friends and Children, as
we are.  Say this for us to the great King.  To enforce it we give
this Belt.
        _A great white Belt with blue Tassels._

        We have only to say farther that your Traders exact more than
ever for their Goods: and our Hunting is lessened by the War, so that
we have fewer Skins to give for them.  This ruins us.  Think of some
Remedy.  We are poor: and you have Plenty of every Thing.  We know
you will send us Powder and Guns, and Knives and Hatchets: but we
also want Shirts and Blankets.
        _A little white Belt._

        I do not doubt but that your Excellency will think it proper to
give some farther Encouragement to those honest People.  The high
Prices they complain of, are the necessary Effect of the War.
Whatever Presents may be sent for them through my Hands, shall be
distributed with Prudence and Fidelity.  I have the Honour of being
                         Your Excellency's most obedient
                         And most humble Servant,
                         JAMES CRAUFURD."

        It was at first proposed to bury these Scalps: but Lieutenant
Fitzgerald, who you know has got Leave of Absence to go for Ireland
on his private Affairs, said he thought it better they should proceed
to their Destination; and if they were given to him, he would
undertake to carry them to England, and hang them all up in some dark
Night on the Trees in St. James's Park, where they could be seen from
the King and Queen's Palaces in the Morning; for that the Sight of
them might perhaps strike Muley Ishmael (as he called him) with some
Compunction of Conscience.  They were accordingly delivered to Fitz,
and he has brought them safe hither.  To-morrow they go with his
Baggage in a Waggon for Boston, and will probably be there in a few
Days after this Letter.
                                                 I am, &c.

        BOSTON, March 20.
        Monday last arrived here Lieutenant Fitzgerald abovementioned,
and Yesterday the Waggon with the Scalps.  Thousands of People are
flocking to see them this Morning, and all Mouths are full of
Execrations.  Fixing them to the Trees is not approved.  It is now
proposed to make them up in decent little Packets, seal and direct
them; one to the King, containing a Sample of every Sort for his
Museum; one to the Queen, with some of Women and little Children: the
Rest to be distributed among both Houses of Parliament; a double
Quantity to the Bishops.

        _Mr. Willis,_
        Please to insert in your useful Paper the following Copy of a
Letter, from Commodore Jones, directed
        _To Sir Joseph York, Ambassador from the King of England to the
States-general of the United Provinces._

        _Ipswich, New-England,
        Sir, _March_ 7, 1781.
        I have lately seen a memorial, said to have been presented by
your Excellency to their High Mightinesses the States-general, in
which you are pleased to qualify me with the title of _pirate._

        A pirate is defined to be _hostis humani generis_, [an enemy to
all mankind].  It happens, Sir, that I am an enemy to no part of
mankind, except your nation, the English; which nation at the same
time comes much more within the definition; being actually an enemy
to, and at war with, one whole quarter of the world, America,
considerable parts of Asia and Africa, a great part of Europe, and in
a fair way of being at war with the rest.

        A pirate makes war for the sake of _rapine._ This is not the
kind of war I am engaged in against England.  Our's is a war in
defence of _liberty_ . . . . the most just of all wars; and of our
_properties_, which your nation would have taken from us, without our
consent, in violation of our rights, and by an armed force.  Your's,
therefore, is a war of _rapine_; of course, a piratical war: and
those who approve of it, and are engaged in it, more justly deserve
the name of pirates, which you bestow on me.  It is, indeed, a war
that coincides with the general spirit of your nation.  Your common
people in their ale-houses sing the twenty-four songs of Robin Hood,
and applaud his deer-stealing and his robberies on the highway: those
who have just learning enough to read, are delighted with your
histories of the pirates and of the buccaniers: and even your
scholars, in the universities, study Quintus Curtius; and are taught
to admire Alexander, for what they call "his conquests in the
Indies." Severe laws and the hangmen keep down the effects of this
spirit somewhat among yourselves, (though in your little island you
have, nevertheless, more highway robberies than there are in all the
rest of Europe put together): but a foreign war gives it full scope.
It is then that, with infinite pleasure, it lets itself loose to
strip of their property honest merchants, employed in the innocent
and useful occupation of supplying the mutual wants of mankind.
Hence, having lately no war with your ancient enemies, rather than be
without a war, you chose to make one upon your friends.  In this your
piratical war with America, the mariners of your fleets, and the
owners of your privateers were animated against us by the act of your
parliament, which repealed the law of God -- "Thou shalt not steal,"
-- by declaring it lawful for them to rob us of all our property that
they could meet with on the Ocean.  This act too had a retrospect,
and, going beyond bulls of pardon, declared that all the robberies
you _had committed_, previous to the act, should be _deemed just and
lawful._ Your soldiers too were promised the plunder of our cities:
and your officers were flattered with the division of our lands.  You
had even the baseness to corrupt our servants, the sailors employed
by us, and encourage them to rob their masters, and bring to you the
ships and goods they were entrusted with.  Is there any society of
pirates on the sea or land, who, in declaring wrong to be right, and
right wrong, have less authority than your parliament?  Do any of
them more justly than your parliament deserve the _title_ you bestow
on me?

        You will tell me that we forfeited all our estates by our
refusal to pay the taxes your nation would have imposed on us,
without the consent of our colony parliaments.  Have you then forgot
the incontestible principle, which was the foundation of Hambden's
glorious lawsuit with Charles the first, that "what an English king
has no right to demand, an English subject has a right to refuse?"
But you cannot so soon have forgotten the instructions of your late
honourable father, who, being himself a sound Whig, taught you
certainly the principles of the Revolution, and that, "if subjects
might in some cases forfeit their property, kings also might forfeit
their title, and all claim to the allegiance of their subjects." I
must then suppose you well acquainted with those Whig principles, on
which permit me, Sir, to ask a few questions.

        Is not protection as justly due from a king to his people, as
obedience from the people to their king?

        If then a king declares his people to be out of his protection:

        If he violates and deprives them of their constitutional

        If he wages war against them:

        If he plunders their merchants, ravages their coasts, burns
their towns, and destroys their lives:

        If he hires foreign mercenaries to help him in their

        If he engages savages to murder their defenceless farmers,
women, and children:

        If he cruelly forces such of his subjects as fall into his
hands, to bear arms against their country, and become executioners of
their friends and brethren:

        If he sells others of them into bondage, in Africa and the East

        If he excites domestic insurrections among their servants, and
encourages servants to murder their masters: ------

        Does not so atrocious a conduct towards his subjects, dissolve
their allegiance?

        If not, -- please to say how or by what means it can possibly
be dissolved?

        All this horrible wickedness and barbarity has been and daily
is practised by the king _your master_ (as you call him in your
memorial) upon the Americans, whom he is still pleased to claim as
his subjects.

        During these six years past, he has destroyed not less than
forty thousand of those subjects, by battles on land or sea, or by
starving them, or poisoning them to death, in the unwholesome air,
with the unwholesome food of his prisons.  And he has wasted the
lives of at least an equal number of his own soldiers and sailors:
many of whom have been _forced_ into this odious service, and
_dragged_ from their families and friends, by the outrageous violence
of his illegal press-gangs.  You are a gentleman of letters, and have
read history: do you recollect any instance of any tyrant, since the
beginning of the world, who, in the course of so few years, had done
so much mischief, by murdering so many of his own people?  Let us
view one of the worst and blackest of them, Nero.  He put to death a
few of his courtiers, placemen, and pensioners, and among the rest
his _tutor._ Had George the third done the same, and no more, his
crime, though detestable, as an act of lawless power, might have been
as useful to his nation, as that of Nero was hurtful to Rome;
considering the different characters and merits of the sufferers.
Nero indeed wished that the people of Rome had but one neck, that he
might behead them all by one stroke: but this was a simple wish.
George is carrying the wish as fast as he can into execution; and, by
continuing in his present course a few years longer, will have
destroyed more of the British people than Nero could have found
inhabitants in Rome.  Hence, the expression of Milton, in speaking of
Charles the first, that he was _"Nerone Neronior,"_ is still more
applicable to George the third.  Like Nero and all other tyrants,
while they lived, he indeed has his flatterers, his addressers, his
applauders.  Pensions, places, and hopes of preferment, can bribe
even bishops to approve his conduct: but, when those fulsome,
purchased addresses and panegyrics are sunk and lost in oblivion or
contempt, impartial history will step forth, speak honest truth, and
rank him among public calamities.  The only difference will be, that
plagues, pestilences, and famines are of this world, and arise from
the nature of things: but voluntary malice, mischief, and murder are
all from Hell: and this King will, therefore, stand foremost in the
list of diabolical, bloody, and execrable tyrants.  His base-bought
parliaments too, who sell him their souls, and extort from the people
the money with which they aid his destructive purposes, as they share
his guilt, will share his infamy, -- parliaments, who to please him,
have repeatedly, by different votes year after year, dipped their
hands in human blood, insomuch that methinks I see it dried and caked
so thick upon them, that if they could wash it off in the Thames
which flows under their windows, the whole river would run red to the

        One is provoked by enormous wickedness: but one is ashamed and
humiliated at the view of human baseness.  It afflicts me, therefore,
to see a gentleman of Sir Joseph York's education and talents, for
the sake of a red riband and a paltry stipend, mean enough to stile
such a monster _his master_, wear his livery, and hold himself ready
at his command even to cut the throats of fellow-subjects.  This
makes it impossible for me to end my letter with the civility of a
compliment, and obliges me to subscribe myself simply,
                         JOHN PAUL JONES,
                 whom you are pleased to stile a _Pirate._

        Passy, April, 1782

        _Articles for a Treaty of Peace with Madame Brillon_

        Passy, July 27.
        What a difference, my dear Friend, between you and me! -- You
find my Faults so many as to be innumerable, while I can see but one
in you; and perhaps that is the Fault of my Spectacles. -- The Fault
I mean is that kind of Covetousness, by which you would engross all
my Affection, and permit me none for the other amiable Ladies of your
Country.  You seem to imagine that it cannot be divided without being
diminish'd: In which you mistake the nature of the Thing and forget
the Situation in which you have plac'd and hold me.  You renounce and
exclude arbitrarily every thing corporal from our Amour, except such
a merely civil Embrace now and then as you would permit to a country
Cousin, -- what is there then remaining that I may not afford to
others without a Diminution of what belongs to you?  The Operations
of the Mind, Esteem, Admiration, Respect, & even Affection for one
Object, may be multiply'd as more Objects that merit them present
themselves, and yet remain the same to the first, which therefore has
no room to complain of Injury.  They are in their Nature as divisible
as the sweet Sounds of the Forte Piano produc'd by your exquisite
Skill: Twenty People may receive the same Pleasure from them, without
lessening that which you kindly intend for me; and I might as
reasonably require of your Friendship, that they should reach and
delight no Ears but mine.

        You see by this time how unjust you are in your Demands, and in
the open War you declare against me if I do not comply with them.
Indeed it is I that have the most Reason to complain.  My poor little
Boy, whom you ought methinks to have cherish'd, instead of being fat
and Jolly like those in your elegant Drawings, is meagre and starv'd
almost to death for want of the substantial Nourishment which you his
Mother inhumanly deny him, and yet would now clip his little Wings to
prevent his seeking it elsewhere! --

        I fancy we shall neither of us get any thing by this War, and
therefore as feeling my self the Weakest, I will do what indeed ought
always to be done by the Wisest, be first in making the Propositions
for Peace.  That a Peace may be lasting, the Articles of the Treaty
should be regulated upon the Principles of the most perfect Equity &
Reciprocity.  In this View I have drawn up & offer the following,
viz. --

        ARTICLE 1.
        There shall be eternal Peace, Friendship & Love, between Madame
B. and Mr F.

        ARTICLE 2.
        In order to maintain the same inviolably, Made B. on her Part
stipulates and agrees, that Mr F. shall come to her whenever she
sends for him.

        ART. 3.
        That he shall stay with her as long as she pleases.

        ART. 4.
        That when he is with her, he shall be oblig'd to drink Tea,
play Chess, hear Musick; or do any other thing that she requires of

        ART. 5.
        And that he shall love no other Woman but herself.

        ART. 6.
        And the said Mr F. on his part stipulates and agrees, that he
will go away from M. B.'s whenever he pleases.

        ART. 7.
        That he will stay away as long as he pleases.

        ART. 8.
        That when he is with her, he will do what he pleases.

        ART. 9.
        And that he will love any other Woman as far as he finds her amiable.

        Let me know what you think of these Preliminaries.  To me they
seem to express the true Meaning and Intention of each Party more
plainly than most Treaties. -- I shall insist pretty strongly on the
eighth Article, tho' without much Hope of your Consent to it; and on
the ninth also, tho I despair of ever finding any other Woman that I
could love with equal Tenderness: being ever, my dear dear Friend,
                                                 Yours most sincerely



           Lion, king of a certain forest, had among his subjects a
body of faithful dogs, in principle and affection strongly attached
to his person and government, but through whose assistance he had
extended his dominions, and had become the terror of his enemies.

        Lion, however, influenced by evil counsellors, took an aversion
to the dogs, condemned them unheard, and ordered his tigers,
leopards, and panthers to attack and destroy them.

        The dogs petitioned humbly, but their petitions were rejected
haughtily; and they were forced to defend themselves, which they did
with bravery.

        A few among them, of a mongrel race, derived from a mixture
with wolves and foxes, corrupted by royal promises of great rewards,
deserted the honest dogs and joined their enemies.

        The dogs were finally victorious: a treaty of peace was made,
in which Lion acknowledged them to be free, and disclaimed all future
authority over them.

        The mongrels not being permitted to return among them, claimed
of the royalists the reward that had been promised.

        A council of the beasts was held to consider their demand.

        The wolves and the foxes agreed unanimously that the demand was
just, that royal promises ought to be kept, and that every loyal
subject should contribute freely to enable his majesty to fulfil

        The horse alone, with a boldness and freedom that became the
nobleness of his nature, delivered a contrary opinion.

        "The King," said he, "has been misled, by bad ministers, to war
unjustly upon his faithful subjects.  Royal promises, when made to
encourage us to act for the public good, should indeed be honourably
acquitted; but if to encourage us to betray and destroy each other,
they are wicked and void from the beginning.  The advisers of such
promises, and those who murdered in consequence of them, instead of
being recompensed, should be severely punished.  Consider how greatly
our common strength is already diminished by our loss of the dogs.
If you enable the King to reward those fratricides, you will
establish a precedent that may justify a future tyrant to make like
promises; and every example of such an unnatural brute rewarded will
give them additional weight.  Horses and bulls, as well as dogs, may
thus be divided against their own kind, and civil wars produced at
pleasure, till we are so weakened that neither liberty nor safety is
any longer to be found in the forest, and nothing remains but abject
submission to the will of a despot, who may devour us as he pleases."

        The council had sense enough to resolve -- that the demand be

         c. November, 1782

           _Remarks Concerning the Savages of North-America_

        Savages we call them, because their manners differ from ours,
which we think the Perfection of Civility; they think the same of

        Perhaps if we could examine the manners of different Nations
with Impartiality, we should find no People so rude as to be without
any Rules of Politeness; nor any so polite as not to have some
remains of Rudeness.

        The Indian Men, when young, are Hunters and Warriors; when old,
Counsellors; for all their Government is by the Counsel or Advice of
the Sages; there is no Force, there are no Prisons, no Officers to
compel Obedience, or inflict Punishment.  Hence they generally study
Oratory; the best Speaker having the most Influence.  The Indian
Women till the Ground, dress the Food, nurse and bring up the
Children, and preserve and hand down to Posterity the Memory of
Public Transactions.  These Employments of Men and Women are
accounted natural and honorable.  Having few Artificial Wants, they
have abundance of Leisure for Improvement by Conversation.  Our
laborious manner of Life compared with theirs, they esteem slavish
and base; and the Learning on which we value ourselves; they regard
as frivolous and useless.  An Instance of this occurred at the Treaty
of Lancaster in Pennsylvania, Anno 1744, between the Government of
Virginia & the Six Nations.  After the principal Business was
settled, the Commissioners from Virginia acquainted the Indians by a
Speech, that there was at Williamsburg a College with a Fund for
Educating Indian Youth, and that if the Chiefs of the Six-Nations
would send down half a dozen of their Sons to that College, the
Government would take Care that they should be well provided for, and
instructed in all the Learning of the white People.  It is one of the
Indian Rules of Politeness not to answer a public Proposition the
same day that it is made; they think it would be treating it as a
light Matter; and that they show it Respect by taking time to
consider it, as of a Matter important.  They therefore deferred their
Answer till the day following; when their Speaker began by expressing
their deep Sense of the Kindness of the Virginia Government, in
making them that Offer; for we know, says he, that you highly esteem
the kind of Learning taught in those Colleges, and that the
Maintenance of our Young Men while with you, would be very expensive
to you.  We are convinced therefore that you mean to do us good by
your Proposal, and we thank you heartily.  But you who are wise must
know, that different Nations have different Conceptions of things;
and you will therefore not take it amiss, if our Ideas of this Kind
of Education happen not to be the same with yours.  We have had some
Experience of it: Several of our Young People were formerly brought
up at the Colleges of the Northern Provinces; they were instructed in
all your Sciences; but when they came back to us, they were bad
Runners, ignorant of every means of living in the Woods, unable to
bear either Cold or Hunger, knew neither how to build a Cabin, take a
Deer, or kill an Enemy, spoke our Language imperfectly; were
therefore neither fit for Hunters, Warriors, or Counsellors; they
were totally good for nothing.  We are however not the less obliged
by your kind Offer, tho' we decline accepting it; and to show our
grateful Sense of it, if the Gentlemen of Virginia will send us a
dozen of their Sons, we will take great Care of their Education,
instruct them in all we know, and make _Men_ of them.

        Having frequent Occasions to hold public Councils, they have
acquired great Order and Decency in conducting them.  The old Men sit
in the foremost Ranks, the Warriors in the next, and the Women and
Children in the hindmost.  The Business of the Women is to take exact
notice of what passes, imprint it in their Memories, for they have no
Writing, and communicate it to their Children.  They are the Records
of the Council, and they preserve Tradition of the Stipulations in
Treaties a hundred Years back, which when we compare with our
Writings we always find exact.  He that would speak, rises.  The rest
observe a profound Silence.  When he has finished and sits down, they
leave him five or six Minutes to recollect, that if he has omitted
any thing he intended to say, or has any thing to add, he may rise
again and deliver it.  To interrupt another, even in common
Conversation, is reckoned highly indecent.  How different this is
from the Conduct of a polite British House of Commons, where scarce a
Day passes without some Confusion that makes the Speaker hoarse in
calling _to order_; and how different from the mode of Conversation
in many polite Companies of Europe, where if you do not deliver your
Sentence with great Rapidity, you are cut off in the middle of it by
the impatient Loquacity of those you converse with, & never suffer'd
to finish it.

        The Politeness of these Savages in Conversation is indeed
carried to excess, since it does not permit them to contradict, or
deny the Truth of what is asserted in their Presence.  By this means
they indeed avoid Disputes, but then it becomes difficult to know
their Minds, or what Impression you make upon them.  The Missionaries
who have attempted to convert them to Christianity, all complain of
this as one of the great Difficulties of their Mission.  The Indians
hear with Patience the Truths of the Gospel explained to them, and
give their usual Tokens of Assent and Approbation: you would think
they were convinced.  No such Matter.  It is mere Civility.

        A Suedish Minister having assembled the Chiefs of the
Sasquehanah Indians, made a Sermon to them, acquainting them with the
principal historical Facts on which our Religion is founded, such as
the Fall of our first Parents by Eating an Apple, the Coming of
Christ to repair the Mischief, his Miracles and Suffering, &c.  When
he had finished, an Indian Orator stood up to thank him.  What you
have told us, says he, is all very good.  It is indeed bad to eat
Apples.  It is better to make them all into Cyder.  We are much
obliged by your Kindness in coming so far to tell us those things
which you have heard from your Mothers.  In Return I will tell you
some of those we have heard from ours.

        In the Beginning our Fathers had only the Flesh of Animals to
subsist on, and if their Hunting was unsuccessful, they were
starving.  Two of our young Hunters having killed a Deer, made a Fire
in the Woods to broil some Parts of it.  When they were about to
satisfy their Hunger, they beheld a beautiful young Woman descend
from the Clouds, and seat herself on that Hill which you see yonder
among the blue Mountains.  They said to each other, it is a Spirit
that perhaps has smelt our broiling Venison, & wishes to eat of it:
let us offer some to her.  They presented her with the Tongue: She
was pleased with the Taste of it, & said, your Kindness shall be
rewarded.  Come to this Place after thirteen Moons, and you shall
find something that will be of great Benefit in nourishing you and
your Children to the latest Generations.  They did so, and to their
Surprise found Plants they had never seen before, but which from that
ancient time have been constantly cultivated among us to our great
Advantage.  Where her right Hand had touch'd the Ground, they found
Maize; where her left Hand had touch'd it, they found Kidney-beans;
and where her Backside had sat on it, they found Tobacco.  The good
Missionary, disgusted with this idle Tale, said, what I delivered to
you were sacred Truths; but what you tell me is mere Fable, Fiction &
Falsehood.  The Indian offended, reply'd, my Brother, it seems your
Friends have not done you Justice in your Education; they have not
well instructed you in the Rules of common Civility.  You saw that we
who understand and practise those Rules, believed all your Stories;
why do you refuse to believe ours?

        When any of them come into our Towns, our People are apt to
croud round them, gaze upon them, and incommode them where they
desire to be private; this they esteem great Rudeness, and the Effect
of want of Instruction in the Rules of Civility and good Manners.  We
have, say they, as much Curiosity as you, and when you come into our
Towns we wish for Opportunities of looking at you; but for this
purpose we hide ourselves behind Bushes where you are to pass, and
never intrude ourselves into your Company.

        Their Manner of entring one anothers Villages has likewise its
Rules.  It is reckon'd uncivil in travelling Strangers to enter a
Village abruptly, without giving Notice of their Approach.  Therefore
as soon as they arrive within hearing, they stop and hollow,
remaining there till invited to enter.  Two old Men usually come out
to them, and lead them in.  There is in every Village a vacant
Dwelling, called the Strangers House.  Here they are placed, while
the old Men go round from Hut to Hut acquainting the Inhabitants that
Strangers are arrived, who are probably hungry and weary; and every
one sends them what he can spare of Victuals and Skins to repose on.
When the Strangers are refresh'd, Pipes & Tobacco are brought; and
then, but not before, Conversation begins, with Enquiries who they
are, whither bound, what News, &c. and it usually ends with Offers of
Service, if the Strangers have Occasion of Guides or any Necessaries
for continuing their Journey; and nothing is exacted for the

        The same Hospitality, esteemed among them as a principal
Virtue, is practised by private Persons; of which _Conrad Weiser_,
our Interpreter, gave me the following Instance.  He had been
naturaliz'd among the Six-Nations, and spoke well the Mohock
Language.  In going thro' the Indian Country, to carry a Message from
our Governor to the Council at _Onondaga_, he called at the
Habitation of _Canassetego_, an old Acquaintance, who embraced him,
spread Furs for him to sit on, placed before him some boiled Beans
and Venison, and mixed some Rum and Water for his Drink.  When he was
well refresh'd, and had lit his Pipe, Canassetego began to converse
with him, ask'd how he had fared the many Years since they had seen
each other, whence he then came, what occasioned the Journey, &c. &c.
Conrad answered all his Questions; and when the Discourse began to
flag, the Indian, to continue it, said, Conrad, you have liv'd long
among the white People, and know something of their Customs; I have
been sometimes at Albany, and have observed that once in seven Days,
they shut up their Shops and assemble all in the great House; tell
me, what it is for? what do they do there?  They meet there, says
Conrad, to hear & learn _good things._ I do not doubt, says the
Indian, that they tell you so; they have told me the same; but I
doubt the Truth of what they say, & I will tell you my Reasons.  I
went lately to Albany to sell my Skins, & buy Blankets, Knives,
Powder, Rum, &c.  You know I used generally to deal with Hans Hanson;
but I was a little inclined this time to try some other Merchants.
However I called first upon Hans, and ask'd him what he would give
for Beaver; He said he could not give more than four Shillings a
Pound; but, says he, I cannot talk on Business now; this is the Day
when we meet together to learn _good things_, and I am going to the
Meeting.  So I thought to myself since I cannot do any Business to
day, I may as well go to the Meeting too; and I went with him.  There
stood up a Man in black, and began to talk to the People very
angrily.  I did not understand what he said; but perceiving that he
looked much at me, & at Hanson, I imagined he was angry at seeing me
there; so I went out, sat down near the House, struck Fire & lit my
Pipe; waiting till the Meeting should break up.  I thought too, that
the Man had mentioned something of Beaver, and I suspected it might
be the Subject of their Meeting.  So when they came out I accosted
any Merchant; well Hans, says I, I hope you have agreed to give more
than four Shillings a Pound.  No, says he, I cannot give so much.  I
cannot give more than three Shillings and six Pence.  I then spoke to
several other Dealers, but they all sung the same Song, three & six
Pence, three & six Pence.  This made it clear to me that my Suspicion
was right; and that whatever they pretended of Meeting to learn _good
things_, the real Purpose was to consult, how to cheat Indians in the
Price of Beaver.  Consider but a little, Conrad, and you must be of
my Opinion.  If they met so often to learn _good things_, they would
certainly have learnt some before this time.  But they are still
ignorant.  You know our Practice.  If a white Man in travelling thro'
our Country, enters one of our Cabins, we all treat him as I treat
you; we dry him if he is wet, we warm him if he is cold, and give him
Meat & Drink that he may allay his Thirst and Hunger, & we spread
soft Furs for him to rest & sleep on: We demand nothing in return (*
1).  But if I go into a white Man's House at Albany, and ask for
Victuals & Drink, they say, where is your Money? and if I have none,
they say, get out, you Indian Dog.  You see they have not yet learnt
those little _good things_, that we need no Meetings to be instructed
in, because our Mothers taught them to us when we were Children.  And
therefore it is impossible their Meetings should be as they say for
any such purpose, or have any such Effect; they are only to contrive
_the Cheating of Indians in the Price of Beaver._

        (* 1) _It is remarkable that in all Ages and Countries,
Hospitality has been allowed as the Virtue of those, whom the
civiliz'd were pleased to call Barbarians; the Greeks celebrated the
Scythians for it.  The Saracens possess'd it eminently; and it is to
this day the reigning Virtue of the wild Arabs.  S. Paul too, in the
Relation of his Voyage & Shipwreck, on the Island of Melita, says,_
The Barbarous People shew'd us no little Kindness; for they kindled a
Fire, and received us every one, because of the present Rain &
because of the Cold.

         Passy, 1783

           _Information to Those Who Would Remove to America_

        Many Persons in Europe having directly or by Letters, express'd
to the Writer of this, who is well acquainted with North-America,
their Desire of transporting and establishing themselves in that
Country; but who appear to him to have formed thro' Ignorance,
mistaken Ideas & Expectations of what is to be obtained there; he
thinks it may be useful, and prevent inconvenient, expensive &
fruitless Removals and Voyages of improper Persons, if he gives some
clearer & truer Notions of that Part of the World than appear to have
hitherto prevailed.

        He finds it is imagined by Numbers that the Inhabitants of
North-America are rich, capable of rewarding, and dispos'd to reward
all sorts of Ingenuity; that they are at the same time ignorant of
all the Sciences; & consequently that strangers possessing Talents in
the Belles-Letters, fine Arts, &c. must be highly esteemed, and so
well paid as to become easily rich themselves; that there are also
abundance of profitable Offices to be disposed of, which the Natives
are not qualified to fill; and that having few Persons of Family
among them, Strangers of Birth must be greatly respected, and of
course easily obtain the best of those Offices, which will make all
their Fortunes: that the Goverments too, to encourage Emigrations
from Europe, not only pay the expence of personal Transportation, but
give Lands gratis to Strangers, with Negroes to work for them,
Utensils of Husbandry, & Stocks of Cattle.  These are all wild
Imaginations; and those who go to America with Expectations founded
upon them, will surely find themselves disappointed.

        The Truth is, that tho' there are in that Country few People so
miserable as the Poor of Europe, there are also very few that in
Europe would be called rich: it is rather a general happy Mediocrity
that prevails.  There are few great Proprietors of the Soil, and few
Tenants; most People cultivate their own Lands, or follow some
Handicraft or Merchandise; very few rich enough to live idly upon
their Rents or Incomes; or to pay the high Prices given in Europe,
for Paintings, Statues, Architecture and the other Works of Art that
are more curious than useful.  Hence the natural Geniuses that have
arisen in America, with such Talents, have uniformly quitted that
Country for Europe, where they can be more suitably rewarded.  It is
true that Letters and mathematical Knowledge are in Esteem there, but
they are at the same time more common than is apprehended; there
being already existing nine Colleges or Universities, viz. four in
New-England, and one in each of the Provinces of New-York,
New-Jersey, Pensilvania, Maryland and Virginia, all furnish'd with
learned Professors; besides a number of smaller Academies: These
educate many of their Youth in the Languages and those Sciences that
qualify Men for the Professions of Divinity, Law or Physick.
Strangers indeed are by no means excluded from exercising those
Professions, and the quick Increase of Inhabitants every where gives
them a Chance of Employ, which they have in common with the Natives.
Of civil Offices or Employments there are few; no superfluous Ones as
in Europe; and it is a Rule establish'd in some of the States, that
no Office should be so profitable as to make it desirable.  The 36
Article of the Constitution of Pensilvania, runs expresly in these
Words: _As every Freeman, to preserve his Independance,_ (_if he has
not a sufficient Estate_) _ought to have some Profession, Calling,
Trade or Farm, whereby he may honestly subsist, there can be no
Necessity for, nor Use in, establishing Offices of Profit; the usual
Effects of which are Dependance and Servility, unbecoming Freemen, in
the Possessors and Expectants; Faction, Contention, Corruption, and
Disorder among the People.  Wherefore whenever an Office, thro'
Increase of Fees or otherwise, becomes so profitable as to occasion
many to apply for it, the Profits ought to be lessened by the

        These Ideas prevailing more or less in all the United States,
it cannot be worth any Man's while, who has a means of Living at
home, to expatriate himself in hopes of obtaining a profitable civil
Office in America; and as to military Offices, they are at an End
with the War; the Armies being disbanded.  Much less is it adviseable
for a Person to go thither who has no other Quality to recommend him
but his Birth.  In Europe it has indeed its Value, but it is a
Commodity that cannot be carried to a worse Market than to that of
America, where People do not enquire concerning a Stranger, _What IS
he?_ but _What can he DO?_ If he has any useful Art, he is welcome;
and if he exercises it and behaves well, he will be respected by all
that know him; but a mere Man of Quality, who on that Account wants
to live upon the Public, by some Office or Salary, will be despis'd
and disregarded.  The Husbandman is in honor there, & even the
Mechanic, because their Employments are useful.  The People have a
Saying, that God Almighty is himself a Mechanic, the greatest in the
Universe; and he is respected and admired more for the Variety,
Ingenuity and Utility of his Handiworks, than for the Antiquity of
his Family.  They are pleas'd with the Observation of a Negro, and
frequently mention it, that _Boccarorra_ (meaning the Whiteman) make
de Blackman workee, make de Horse workee, make de Ox workee, make
ebery ting workee; only de Hog.  He de Hog, no workee; he eat, he
drink, he walk about, he go to sleep when he please, _he libb like a
Gentleman._ According to these Opinions of the Americans, one of them
would think himself more oblig'd to a Genealogist, who could prove
for him that his Ancestors & Relations for ten Generations had been
Ploughmen, Smiths, Carpenters, Turners, Weavers, Tanners, or even
Shoemakers, & consequently that they were useful Members of Society;
than if he could only prove that they were Gentlemen, doing nothing
of Value, but living idly on the Labour of others, mere _fruges
consumere nati_ (* 1), and otherwise _good_
for _nothing_, till by their Death, their Estates like the Carcase of
the Negro's Gentleman-Hog, come to be _cut up._

(* 1) _There are a Number of us born Merely to eat up the Corn._

        With Regard to Encouragements for Strangers from Government,
they are really only what are derived from good Laws & Liberty.
Strangers are welcome because there is room enough for them all, and
therefore the old Inhabitants are not jealous of them; the Laws
protect them sufficiently, so that they have no need of the Patronage
of great Men; and every one will enjoy securely the Profits of his
Industry.  But if he does not bring a Fortune with him, he must work
and be industrious to live.  One or two Years Residence give him all
the Rights of a Citizen; but the Government does not at present,
whatever it may have done in former times, hire People to become
Settlers, by Paying their Passages, giving Land, Negroes, Utensils,
Stock, or any other kind of Emolument whatsoever.  In short America
is the Land of Labour, and by no means what the English call
_Lubberland_, and the French _Pays de Cocagne_, where the Streets are
said to be pav'd with half-peck Loaves, the Houses til'd with
Pancakes, and where the Fowls fly about ready roasted, crying, _Come
eat me!_

        Who then are the kind of Persons to whom an Emigration to
America may be advantageous? and what are the Advantages they may
reasonably expect?

        Land being cheap in that Country, from the vast Forests still
void of Inhabitants, and not likely to be occupied in an Age to come,
insomuch that the Propriety of an hundred Acres of fertile Soil full
of Wood may be obtained near the Frontiers in many Places for eight
or ten Guineas, hearty young Labouring Men, who understand the
Husbandry of Corn and Cattle, which is nearly the same in that
Country as in Europe, may easily establish themselves there.  A
little Money sav'd of the good Wages they receive there while they
work for others, enables them to buy the Land and begin their
Plantation, in which they are assisted by the Good Will of their
Neighbours and some Credit.  Multitudes of poor People from England,
Ireland, Scotland and Germany, have by this means in a few Years
become wealthy Farmers, who in their own Countries, where all the
Lands are fully occupied, and the Wages of Labour low, could never
have emerged from the mean Condition wherein they were born.

        From the Salubrity of the Air, the Healthiness of the Climate,
the Plenty of good Provisions, and the Encouragement to early
Marriages, by the certainty of Subsistance in cultivating the Earth,
the Increase of Inhabitants by natural Generation is very rapid in
America, and becomes still more so by the Accession of Strangers;
hence there is a continual Demand for more Artisans of all the
necessary and useful kinds, to supply those Cultivators of the Earth
with Houses, and with Furniture & Utensils of the grosser Sorts which
cannot so well be brought from Europe.  Tolerably good Workmen in any
of those mechanic Arts, are sure to find Employ, and to be well paid
for their Work, there being no Restraints preventing Strangers from
exercising any Art they understand, nor any Permission necessary.  If
they are poor, they begin first as Servants or Journeymen; and if
they are sober, industrious & frugal, they soon become Masters,
establish themselves in Business, marry, raise Families, and become
respectable Citizens.

        Also, Persons of moderate Fortunes and Capitals, who having a
Number of Children to provide for, are desirous of bringing them up
to Industry, and to secure Estates for their Posterity, have
Opportunities of doing it in America, which Europe does not afford.
There they may be taught & practice profitable mechanic Arts, without
incurring Disgrace on that Account; but on the contrary acquiring
Respect by such Abilities.  There small Capitals laid out in Lands,
which daily become more valuable by the Increase of People, afford a
solid Prospect of ample Fortunes thereafter for those Children.  The
Writer of this has known several Instances of large Tracts of Land,
bought on what was then the Frontier of Pensilvania, for ten Pounds
per hundred Acres, which, after twenty Years, when the Settlements
had been extended far beyond them, sold readily, without any
Improvement made upon them, for three Pounds per Acre.  The Acre in
America is the same with the English Acre or the Acre of Normandy.

        Those who desire to understand the State of Government in
America, would do well to read the Constitutions of the several
States, and the Articles of Confederation that bind the whole
together for general Purposes under the Direction of one Assembly
called the Congress.  These Constitutions have been printed by Order
of Congress in America; two Editions of them have also been printed
in London, and a good Translation of them into French has lately been
published at Paris.

        Several of the Princes of Europe having of late Years, from an
Opinion of Advantage to arise by producing all Commodities &
Manufactures within their own Dominions, so as to diminish or render
useless their Importations, have endeavoured to entice Workmen from
other Countries, by high Salaries, Privileges, &c.  Many Persons
pretending to be skilled in various great Manufactures, imagining
that America must be in Want of them, and that the Congress would
probably be dispos'd to imitate the Princes above mentioned, have
proposed to go over, on Condition of having their Passages paid,
Lands given, Salaries appointed, exclusive Privileges for Terms of
Years, &c.  Such Persons on reading the Articles of Confederation
will find that the Congress have no Power committed to them, or Money
put into their Hands, for such purposes; and that if any such
Encouragement is given, it must be by the Government of some separate
State.  This however has rarely been done in America; and when it has
been done it has rarely succeeded, so as to establish a Manufacture
which the Country was not yet so ripe for as to encourage private
Persons to set it up; Labour being generally too dear there, & Hands
difficult to be kept together, every one desiring to be a Master, and
the Cheapness of Land enclining many to leave Trades for Agriculture.
Some indeed have met with Success, and are carried on to Advantage;
but they are generally such as require only a few Hands, or wherein
great Part of the Work is perform'd by Machines.  Goods that are
bulky, & of so small Value as not well to bear the Expence of
Freight, may often be made cheaper in the Country than they can be
imported; and the Manufacture of such Goods will be profitable
wherever there is a sufficient Demand.  The Farmers in America
produce indeed a good deal of Wool & Flax; and none is exported, it
is all work'd up; but it is in the Way of Domestic Manufacture for
the Use of the Family.  The buying up Quantities of Wool & Flax with
the Design to employ Spinners, Weavers, &c. and form great
Establishments, producing Quantities of Linen and Woollen Goods for
Sale, has been several times attempted in different Provinces; but
those Projects have generally failed, Goods of equal Value being
imported cheaper.  And when the Governments have been solicited to
support such Schemes by Encouragements, in Money, or by imposing
Duties on Importation of such Goods, it has been generally refused,
on this Principle, that if the Country is ripe for the Manufacture,
it may be carried on by private Persons to Advantage; and if not, it
is a Folly to think of forceing Nature.  Great Establishments of
Manufacture, require great Numbers of Poor to do the Work for small
Wages; these Poor are to be found in Europe, but will not be found in
America, till the Lands are all taken up and cultivated, and the
excess of People who cannot get Land, want Employment.  The
Manufacture of Silk, they say, is natural in France, as that of Cloth
in England, because each Country produces in Plenty the first
Material: But if England will have a Manufacture of Silk as well as
that of Cloth, and France one of Cloth as well as that of Silk, these
unnatural Operations must be supported by mutual Prohibitions or high
Duties on the Importation of each others Goods, by which means the
Workmen are enabled to tax the home-Consumer by greater Prices, while
the higher Wages they receive makes them neither happier nor richer,
since they only drink more and work less.  Therefore the Governments
in America do nothing to encourage such Projects.  The People by this
Means are not impos'd on, either by the Merchant or Mechanic; if the
Merchant demands too much Profit on imported Shoes, they buy of the
Shoemaker: and if he asks too high a Price, they take them of the
Merchant: thus the two Professions are Checks on each other.  The
Shoemaker however has on the whole a considerable Profit upon his
Labour in America, beyond what he had in Europe, as he can add to his
Price a Sum nearly equal to all the Expences of Freight & Commission,
Risque or Insurance, &c. necessarily charged by the Merchant.  And
the Case is the same with the Workmen in every other Mechanic Art.
Hence it is that Artisans generally live better and more easily in
America than in Europe, and such as are good ;oEconomists make a
comfortable Provision for Age, & for their Children.  Such may
therefore remove with Advantage to America.

        In the old longsettled Countries of Europe, all Arts, Trades,
Professions, Farms, &c. are so full that it is difficult for a poor
Man who has Children, to place them where they may gain, or learn to
gain a decent Livelihood.  The Artisans, who fear creating future
Rivals in Business, refuse to take Apprentices, but upon Conditions
of Money, Maintenance or the like, which the Parents are unable to
comply with.  Hence the Youth are dragg'd up in Ignorance of every
gainful Art, and oblig'd to become Soldiers or Servants or Thieves,
for a Subsistance.  In America the rapid Increase of Inhabitants
takes away that Fear of Rivalship, & Artisans willingly receive
Apprentices from the hope of Profit by their Labour during the
Remainder of the Time stipulated after they shall be instructed.
Hence it is easy for poor Families to get their Children instructed;
for the Artisans are so desirous of Apprentices, that many of them
will even give Money to the Parents to have Boys from ten to fifteen
Years of Age bound Apprentices to them till the Age of twenty one;
and many poor Parents have by that means, on their Arrival in the
Country, raised Money enough to buy Land sufficient to establish
themselves, and to subsist the rest of their Family by Agriculture.
These Contracts for Apprentices are made before a Magistrate, who
regulates the Agreement according to Reason and Justice; and having
in view the Formation of a future useful Citizen, obliges the Master
to engage by a written Indenture, not only that during the time of
Service stipulated, the Apprentice shall be duly provided with Meat,
Drink, Apparel, washing & Lodging, and at its Expiration with a
compleat new suit of Clothes, but also that he shall be taught to
read, write & cast Accompts, & that he shall be well instructed in
the Art or Profession of his Master, or some other, by which he may
afterwards gain a Livelihood, and be able in his turn to raise a
Family.  A Copy of this Indenture is given to the Apprentice or his
Friends, & the Magistrate keeps a Record of it, to which Recourse may
be had, in case of Failure by the Master in any Point of Performance.
This Desire among the Masters to have more Hands employ'd in working
for them, induces them to pay the Passages of young Persons, of both
Sexes, who on their Arrival agree to serve them one, two, three or
four Years; those who have already learnt a Trade agreeing for a
shorter Term in Proportion to their Skill and the consequent
immediate Value of their Service; and those who have none, agreeing
for a longer Term, in Consideration of being taught an Art their
Poverty would not permit them to acquire in their own Country.

        The almost general Mediocrity of Fortune that prevails in
America, obliging its People to follow some Business for Subsistance,
those Vices that arise usually from Idleness are in a great Measure
prevented.  Industry and constant Employment are great Preservatives
of the Morals and Virtue of a Nation.  Hence bad Examples to Youth
are more rare in America, which must be a comfortable Consideration
to Parents.  To this may be truly added, that serious Religion under
its various Denominations, is not only tolerated but respected and
practised.  Atheism is unknown there, Infidelity rare & secret, so
that Persons may live to a great Age in that Country without having
their Piety shock'd by meeting with either an Atheist or an Infidel.
And the Divine Being seems to have manifested his Approbation of the
mutual Forbearance and Kindness with which the different Sects treat
each other, by the remarkable Prosperity with which he has been
pleased to favour the whole Country.

         Passy, February, 1784

        _An Economical Project_


        You often entertain us with accounts of new discoveries.
Permit me to communicate to the public, through your paper, one that
has lately been made by myself, and which I conceive may be of great

        I was the other evening in a grand company, where the new lamp
of Messrs.  Quinquet and Lange was introduced, and much admired for
its splendour; but a general inquiry was made, whether the oil it
consumed was not in proportion to the light it afforded, in which
case there would be no saving in the use of it.  No one present could
satisfy us in that point, which all agreed ought to be known, it
being a very desirable thing to lessen, if possible, the expense of
lighting our apartments, when every other article of family expense
was so much augmented.

        I was pleased to see this general concern for economy, for I
love economy exceedingly.

        I went home, and to bed, three or four hours after midnight,
with my head full of the subject.  An accidental sudden noise waked
me about six in the morning, when I was surprised to find my room
filled with light; and I imagined at first, that a number of those
lamps had been brought into it; but, rubbing my eyes, I perceived the
light came in at the windows.  I got up and looked out to see what
might be the occasion of it, when I saw the sun just rising above the
horizon, from whence he poured his rays plentifully into my chamber,
my domestic having negligently omitted, the preceding evening, to
close the shutters.

        I looked at my watch, which goes very well, and found that it
was but six o'clock; and still thinking it something extraordinary
that the sun should rise so early, I looked into the almanac, where I
found it to be the hour given for his rising on that day.  I looked
forward, too, and found he was to rise still earlier every day till
towards the end of June; and that at no time in the year he retarded
his rising so long as till eight o'clock.  Your readers, who with me
have never seen any signs of sunshine before noon, and seldom regard
the astronomical part of the almanac, will be as much astonished as I
was, when they hear of his rising so early; and especially when I
assure them, _that he gives light as soon as he rises._ I am
convinced of this.  I am certain of my fact.  One cannot be more
certain of any fact.  I saw it with my own eyes.  And, having
repeated this observation the three following mornings, I found
always precisely the same result.

        Yet it so happens, that when I speak of this discovery to
others, I can easily perceive by their countenances, though they
forbear expressing it in words, that they do not quite believe me.
One, indeed, who is a learned natural philosopher, has assured me
that I must certainly be mistaken as to the circumstance of the light
coming into my room; for it being well known, as he says, that there
could be no light abroad at that hour, it follows that none could
enter from without; and that of consequence, my windows being
accidentally left open, instead of letting in the light, had only
served to let out the darkness; and he used many ingenious arguments
to show me how I might, by that means, have been deceived.  I owned
that he puzzled me a little, but he did not satisfy me; and the
subsequent observations I made, as above mentioned, confirmed me in
my first opinion.

        This event has given rise in my mind to several serious and
important reflections.  I considered that, if I had not been awakened
so early in the morning, I should have slept six hours longer by the
light of the sun, and in exchange have lived six hours the following
night by candle-light; and, the latter being a much more expensive
light than the former, my love of economy induced me to muster up
what little arithmetic I was master of, and to make some
calculations, which I shall give you, after observing that utility
is, in my opinion the test of value in matters of invention, and that
a discovery which can be applied to no use, or is not good for
something, is good for nothing.

        I took for the basis of my calculation the supposition that
there are one hundred thousand families in Paris, and that these
families consume in the night half a pound of bougies, or candles,
per hour.  I think this is a moderate allowance, taking one family
with another; for though I believe some consume less, I know that
many consume a great deal more.  Then estimating seven hours per day
as the medium quantity between the time of the sun's rising and ours,
he rising during the six following months from six to eight hours
before noon, and there being seven hours of course per night in which
we burn candles, the account will stand thus; --

        In the six months between the 20th of March and the 20th of
September, there are
         Nights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .         183
         Hours of each night in which we burn
         candles  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .         7
         Multiplication gives for the total number of      ________
         hours  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .       1,281
         These 1,281 hours multiplied by 100,000, the
         number of inhabitants, give  . . . . . . . . . 128,100,000
         One hundred twenty-eight millions and one
         hundred thousand hours, spent at Paris by
         candle-light, which, at half a pound of wax
         and tallow per hour, gives the weight of . . .  64,050,000
         Sixty-four millions and fifty thousand of
         pounds, which, estimating the whole at the
         medium price of thirty sols the pound, makes
         the sum of ninety-six millions and
         seventy-five thousand livres tournois  . . . .  96,075,000

        An immense sum! that the city of Paris might save every year,
by the economy of using sunshine instead of candles.

        If it should be said, that people are apt to be obstinately
attached to old customs, and that it will be difficult to induce them
to rise before noon, consequently my discovery can be of little use;
I answer, _Nil desperandum._ I believe all who have common sense, as
soon as they have learnt from this paper that it is daylight when the
sun rises, will contrive to rise with him; and, to compel the rest, I
would propose the following regulations;

        First. Let a tax be laid of a louis per window, on every window
that is provided with shutters to keep out the light of the sun.

        Second. Let the same salutary operation of police be made use
of, to prevent our burning candles, that inclined us last winter to
be more economical in burning wood; that is, let guards be placed in
the shops of the wax and tallow chandlers, and no family be permitted
to be supplied with more than one pound of candles per week.

        Third. Let guards also be posted to stop all the coaches, &c.
that would pass the streets after sun-set, except those of
physicians, surgeons, and midwives.

        Fourth. Every morning, as soon as the sun rises, let all the
bells in every church be set ringing; and if that is not sufficient,
let cannon be fired in every street, to wake the sluggards
effectually, and make them open their eyes to see their true

        All the difficulty will be in the first two or three days;
after which the reformation will be as natural and easy as the
present irregularity; for, _ce n'est que le premier pas qui coute._
Oblige a man to rise at four in the morning, and it is more than
probable he will go willingly to bed at eight in the evening; and,
having had eight hours sleep, he will rise more willingly at four in
the morning following.  But this sum of ninety-six millions and
seventy-five thousand livres is not the whole of what may be saved by
my economical project.  You may observe, that I have calculated upon
only one half of the year, and much may be saved in the other, though
the days are shorter.  Besides, the immense stock of wax and tallow
left unconsumed during the summer, will probably make candles much
cheaper for the ensuing winter, and continue them cheaper as long as
the proposed reformation shall be supported.

        For the great benefit of this discovery, thus freely
communicated and bestowed by me on the public, I demand neither
place, pension, exclusive privilege, nor any other reward whatever.
I expect only to have the honour of it.  And yet I know there are
little, envious minds, who will, as usual, deny me this, and say,
that my invention was known to the ancients, and perhaps they may
bring passages out of the old books in proof of it.  I will not
dispute with these people, that the ancients knew not the sun would
rise at certain hours; they possibly had, as we have, almanacs that
predicted it; but it does not follow thence, that they knew _he gave
light as soon as he rose._ This is what I claim as my discovery.  If
the ancients knew it, it might have been long since forgotten; for it
certainly was unknown to the moderns, at least to the Parisians,
which to prove, I need use but one plain simple argument.  They are
as well instructed, judicious, and prudent a people as exist anywhere
in the world, all professing, like myself, to be lovers of economy;
and, from the many heavy taxes required from them by the necessities
of the state, have surely an abundant reason to be economical.  I say
it is impossible that so sensible a people, under such circumstances,
should have lived so long by the smoky, unwholesome, and enormously
expensive light of candles, if they had really known, that they might
have had as much pure light of the sun for nothing.  I am, &c.
                                                 A SUBSCRIBER.

        _Journal de Paris_, April 26, 1784

        _Loose Thoughts on a Universal Fluid_

        Passy, June 25, 1784.
        Universal Space, as far as we know of it, seems to be filled
with a subtil Fluid, whose Motion, or Vibration, is called Light.

        This Fluid may possibly be the same with that, which, being
attracted by, and entring into other more solid Matter, dilates the
Substance, by separating the constituent Particles, and so rendering
some Solids fluid, and maintaining the Fluidity of others; of which
Fluid when our Bodies are totally deprived, they are said to be
frozen; when they have a proper Quantity, they are in Health, and fit
to perform all their Functions; it is then called natural Heat; when
too much, it is called Fever; and, when forced into the Body in too
great a Quantity from without, it gives Pain by separating and
destroying the Flesh, and is then called Burning; and the Fluid so
entring and acting is called Fire.

        While organized Bodies, animal or vegetable, are augmenting in
Growth, or are supplying their continual Waste, is not this done by
attracting and consolidating this Fluid called Fire, so as to form of
it a Part of their Substance; and is it not a Separation of the Parts
of such Substance, which, dissolving its solid State, sets that
subtil Fluid at Liberty, when it again makes its appearance as Fire?

        For the Power of Man relative to Matter seems limited to the
dividing it, or mixing the various kinds of it, or changing its Form
and Appearance by different Compositions of it; but does not extend
to the making or creating of new Matter, or annihilating the old.
Thus, if Fire be an original Element, or kind of Matter, its Quantity
is fixed and permanent in the Universe.  We cannot destroy any Part
of it, or make addition to it; we can only separate it from that
which confines it, and so set it at Liberty, as when we put Wood in a
Situation to be burnt; or transfer it from one Solid to another, as
when we make Lime by burning Stone, a Part of the Fire dislodg'd from
the Wood being left in the Stone.  May not this Fluid, when at
Liberty, be capable of penetrating and entring into all Bodies
organiz'd or not, quitting easily in totality those not organiz'd;
and quitting easily in part those which are; the part assum'd and
fix'd remaining till the Body is dissolved?

        Is it not this Fluid which keeps asunder the Particles of Air,
permitting them to approach, or separating them more, in proportion
as its Quantity is diminish'd or augmented? Is it not the greater
Gravity of the Particles of Air, which forces the Particles of this
Fluid to mount with the Matters to which it is attach'd, as Smoke or

        Does it not seem to have a great Affinity with Water, since it
will quit a Solid to unite with that Fluid, and go off with it in
Vapour, leaving the Solid cold to the Touch, and the Degree
measurable by the Thermometer?

        The Vapour rises attach'd to this Fluid, but at a certain
height they separate, and the Vapour descends in Rain, retaining but
little of it, in Snow or Hail less.  What becomes of that Fluid? Does
it rise above our Atmosphere, and mix with the universal Mass of the
same kind? Or does a spherical Stratum of it, denser, or less mix'd
with Air, attracted by this Globe, and repell'd or push'd up only to
a certain height from its Surface, by the greater Weight of Air,
remain there, surrounding the Globe, and proceeding with it round the

        In such case, as there may be a Continuity or Communication of
this Fluid thro' the Air quite down to the Earth, is it not by the
Vibrations given to it by the Sun that Light appears to us; and may
it not be, that every one of the infinitely small Vibrations,
striking common Matter with a certain Force, enters its Substance, is
held there by Attraction, and augmented by succeeding Vibrations,
till the Matter has receiv'd as much as their Force can drive into

        Is it not thus, that the Surface of this Globe is continually
heated by such repeated Vibrations in the Day, and cooled by the
Escape of the Heat, when those Vibrations are discontinu'd in the
Night, or intercepted and reflected by Clouds?

        Is it not thus that Fire is amass'd, and makes the greatest
Part of the Substance of combustible Bodies?

        Perhaps, when this Globe was first form'd, and its original
Particles took their Place at certain Distances from the Centre, in
proportion to their greater or less Gravity, the fluid Fire,
attracted towards that Centre, might in great part be oblig'd, as
lightest, to take place above the rest, and thus form the Sphere of
Fire above suppos'd, which would afterwards be continually
diminishing by the Substance it afforded to organiz'd Bodies, and the
Quantity restor'd to it again by the Burning or other Separating of
the Parts of those Bodies.

        Is not the natural Heat of Animals thus produc'd, by separating
in Digestion the Parts of Food, and setting their Fire at Liberty?

        Is it not this Sphere of Fire, which kindles the wandring
Globes that sometimes pass thro' it in our Course round the Sun, have
their Surface kindled by it, and burst when their included Air is
greatly rarified by the Heat on their burning Surfaces? May it not
have been from such Considerations that the ancient Philosophers
supposed a Sphere of Fire to exist above the Air of our Atmosphere?

        _The Flies_


        The Flies of the Apartments of Mr. Franklin request Permission
to present their Respects to Madame Helvetius, & to express in their
best Language their Gratitude for the Protection which she has been
kind enough to give them,

        _Bizz izzzz ouizz a ouizzzz izzzzzzzz_, &c.

        We have long lived under the hospitable Roof of the said Good
Man Franklin.  He has given us free Lodgings; we have also eaten &
drunk the whole Year at his Expense without its having cost us
anything.  Often, when his Friends & he have emptied a Bowl of Punch,
he has left us a sufficient Quantity to intoxicate a hundred of us
Flies.  We have drunk freely of it, & after that we have made our
Sallies, our Circles & our Cotillions very prettily in the Air of his
Room, & have gaily consummated our little Loves under his Nose.  In
short, we should have been the happiest People in the World, if he
had not permitted a Number of our declared Enemies to remain at the
top of his Wainscoting, where they spread their Nets to catch us, &
tore us pitilessly to pieces.  People of a Disposition both subtle &
ferocious, abominable Combination! You, most excellent Woman, had the
goodness to order that all these Assassins with their Habitations &
their Snares should be swept away; & your Orders (as they always
ought to be) were carried out immediately.  Since that Time we live
happily, & we enjoy the Beneficence of the said Good Man Franklin
without fear.

        One Thing alone remains for us to wish in order to assure the
Permanence of our Good Fortune; permit us to say it,

        _Bizz izzzz ouizz a ouizzzz izzzzzzzz_, &c.

        It is to see the two of you henceforth forming a single




        _To Lord Howe_

        My Lord, Philada. July 20th. 1776.
        I received safe the Letters your Lordship so kindly forwarded
to me, and beg you to accept my Thanks.

        The Official Dispatches to which you refer me, contain nothing
more than what we had seen in the Act of Parliament, viz.  Offers of
Pardon upon Submission; which I was sorry to find, as it must give
your Lordship Pain to be sent so far on so hopeless a Business.

        Directing Pardons to be offered the Colonies, who are the very
Parties injured, expresses indeed that Opinion of our Ignorance,
Baseness, and Insensibility which your uninform'd and proud Nation
has long been pleased to entertain of us; but it can have no other
Effect than that of increasing our Resentment.  It is impossible we
should think of Submission to a Government, that has with the most
wanton Barbarity and Cruelty, burnt our defenceless Towns in the
midst of Winter, excited the Savages to massacre our Farmers, and our
Slaves to murder their Masters, and is even now bringing foreign
Mercenaries to deluge our Settlements with Blood.  These atrocious
Injuries have extinguished every remaining Spark of Affection for
that Parent Country we once held so dear: But were it possible for
_us_ to forget and forgive them, it is not possible for _you_ (I mean
the British Nation) to forgive the People you have so heavily
injured; you can never confide again in those as Fellow Subjects, and
permit them to enjoy equal Freedom, to whom you know you have given
such just Cause of lasting Enmity.  And this must impel you, were we
again under your Government, to endeavour the breaking our Sprit by
the severest Tyranny, and obstructing by every means in your Power
our growing Strength and Prosperity.

        But your Lordship mentions "the Kings paternal Solicitude for
promoting the Establishment of lasting _Peace_ and Union with the
Colonies." If by _Peace_ is here meant, a Peace to be entered into
between Britain and America as distinct States now at War, and his
Majesty has given your Lordship Powers to treat with us of such a
Peace, I may venture to say, tho' without Authority, that I think a
Treaty for that purpose not yet quite impracticable, before we enter
into Foreign Alliances.  But I am persuaded you have no such Powers.
Your Nation, tho' by punishing those American Governors who have
created and fomented the Discord, rebuilding our burnt Towns, and
repairing as far as possible the Mischiefs done us, She might yet
recover a great Share of our Regard and the greatest part of our
growing Commerce, with all the Advantage of that additional Strength
to be derived from a Friendship with us; I know too well her
abounding Pride and deficient Wisdom, to believe she will ever take
such Salutary Measures.  Her Fondness for Conquest as a Warlike
Nation, her Lust of Dominion as an Ambitious one, and her Thirst for
a gainful Monopoly as a Commercial one, (none of them legitimate
Causes of War) will all join to hide from her Eyes every View of her
true Interests; and continually goad her on in these ruinous distant
Expeditions, so destructive both of Lives and Treasure, that must
prove as perrnicious to her in the End as the Croisades formerly were
to most of the Nations of Europe.

        I have not the Vanity, my Lord, to think of intimidating by
thus predicting the Effects of this War; for I know it will in
England have the Fate of all my former Predictions, not to be
believed till the Event shall verify it.

        Long did I endeavour with unfeigned and unwearied Zeal, to
preserve from breaking, that fine and noble China Vase the British
Empire: for I knew that being once broken, the separate Parts could
not retain even their Share of the Strength or Value that existed in
the Whole, and that a perfect Re-Union of those Parts could scarce
even be hoped for.  Your Lordship may possibly remember the Tears of
Joy that wet my Cheek, when, at your good Sister's in London, you
once gave me Expectations that a Reconciliation might soon take
place.  I had the Misfortune to find those Expectations disappointed,
and to be treated as the Cause of the Mischief I was labouring to
prevent.  My Consolation under that groundless and malevolent
Treatment was, that I retained the Friendship of many Wise and Good
Men in that Country, and among the rest some Share in the Regard of
Lord Howe.

        The well founded Esteem, and permit me to say Affection, which
I shall always have for your Lordship, makes it painful to me to see
you engag'd in conducting a War, the great Ground of which, as
expressed in your Letter, is, "the Necessity of preventing the
American Trade from passing into foreign Channels." To me it seems
that neither the obtaining or retaining of any Trade, how valuable
soever, is an Object for which Men may justly Spill each others
Blood; that the true and sure means of extending and securing
Commerce is the goodness and cheapness of Commodities; and that the
profits of no Trade can ever be equal to the Expence of compelling
it, and of holding it, by Fleets and Armies.  I consider this War
against us therefore, as both unjust, and unwise; and I am persuaded
cool dispassionate Posterity will condemn to Infamy those who advised
it; and that even Success will not save from some degree of
Dishonour, those who voluntarily engag'd to conduct it.  I know your
great Motive in coming hither was the Hope of being instrumental in a
Reconciliation; and I believe when you find _that_ impossible on any
Terms given you to propose, you will relinquish so odious a Command,
and return to a more honourable private Station.  With the greatest
and most sincere Respect I have the honour to be, My Lord your
Lordships most obedient humble Servant


        _To Emma Thompson_

        Paris, Feb. 8. 1777
        You are too early, Hussy, (as well as too saucy) in calling me
Rebel; you should wait for the Event, which will determine whether it
is a Rebellion or only a Revolution.  Here the Ladies are more civil;
they call us _les Insurgens_, a Character that usually pleases them:
And methinks you, with all other Women who smart or have smarted
under the Tyranny of a bad Husband, ought to be fix'd in _Revolution_
Principles, and act accordingly.

        In my way to Canada last Spring, I saw dear Mrs. Barrow at New
York.  Mr. Barrow had been from her two or three Months, to keep Gov.
Tryon and other Tories Company, on board the Asia one of the King's
Ships which lay in the Harbour; and in all that time, naughty Man,
had not ventur'd once on shore to see her.  Our Troops were then
pouring into the Town, and she was packing up to leave it; fearing as
she had a large House they would incommode her by quartering Officers
in it.  As she appear'd in great Perplexity, scarce knowing where to
go I persuaded her to stay, and I went to the General Officers then
commanding there, and recommended her to their Protection, which they
promis'd, and perform'd.  On my Return from Canada, (where I was a
Piece of a Governor, and I think a very good one, for a Fortnight;
and might have been so till this time if your wicked Army, Enemies to
all good Government, had not come and driven me out) I found her
still in quiet Possession of her House.  I enquired how our People
had behav'd to her; she spoke in high Terms of the respectful
Attention they had paid her, and the Quiet and Security they had
procur'd her.  I said I was glad of it; and that if they had us'd her
ill, I would have turn'd Tory.  _Then_, says she, (with that pleasing
Gaiety so natural to her) _I wish they had._ For you must know she is
a Toryess as well as you and can as flippantly call Rebel.  I drank
Tea with her; we talk'd affectionately of you and our other Friends
the Wilkes's, of whom she had receiv'd no late Intelligence.  What
became of her since, I have not heard.  The Street she then liv'd in
was some Months after chiefly burnt down; but as the Town was then,
and ever since has been in Possession of the King's Troops, I have
had no Opportunity of knowing whether she suffer'd any Loss in the
Conflagration.  I hope she did not, as if she did, I should wish I
had not persuaded her to stay there.  I am glad to learn from you
that that unhappy tho' deserving Family the W's are getting into some
Business that may afford them Subsistence.  I pray that God will
bless them, and that they may see happier Days.  Mr. Cheap's and Dr.
Huck's good Fortunes please me.  Pray learn, (if you have not already
learnt) like me, to be pleas'd with other People's Pleasures, and
happy with their Happinesses; when none occur of your own; then
perhaps you will not so soon be weary of the Place you chance to be
in, and so fond of Rambling to get rid of your _Ennui._ I fancy You
have hit upon the right Reason of your being weary of St.  Omer, viz.
that you are out of Temper which is the effect of full living and
idleness.  A month in Bridewell, beating Hemp upon Bread and Water,
would give you Health and Spirits, and subsequent Chearfulness, and
Contentment with every other Situation.  I prescribe that Regimen for
you my Dear, in pure good Will, without a Fee.  And, if you do not
get into Temper, neither Brussels nor Lisle will suit you.  I know
nothing of the Price of Living in either of those Places; but I am
sure that a single Woman, as you are, might with Oeconomy, upon two
hundred Pounds a year, maintain herself comfortably any where, and me
into the Bargain.  Don't invite me in earnest, however, to come and
live with you; for being posted here I ought not to comply, and I am
not sure I should be able to refuse.  Present my Respects to Mrs.
Payne and Mrs. Heathcoat, for tho' I have not the Honour of knowing
them, yet as you say they are Friends to the American Cause, I am
sure they must be Women of good Understanding.  I know you wish you
could see me, but as you can't, I will describe my self to you.
Figure me in your mind as jolly as formerly, and as strong and
hearty, only a few Years older, very plainly dress'd, wearing my thin
grey strait Hair, that peeps out under my only Coiffure, a fine Fur
Cap, which comes down my Forehead almost to my Spectacles.  Think how
this must appear among the Powder'd Heads of Paris.  I wish every
Gentleman and Lady in France would only be so obliging as to follow
my Fashion, comb their own Heads as I do mine, dismiss their
Friseurs, and pay me half the Money they paid to them.  You see the
Gentry might well afford this; and I could then inlist those
Friseurs, who are at least 100,000; and with the Money I would
maintain them, make a Visit with them to England, and dress the Heads
of your Ministers and Privy Counsellors, which I conceive to be at
present _un peu derangees._ Adieu, Madcap, and believe me ever Your
affectionate Friend and humble Servant

        PS. Don't be proud of this long Letter.  A Fit of the Gout
which has confin'd me 5 Days, and made me refuse to see any Company,
has given me a little time to trifle.  Otherwise it would have been
very short.  Visitors and Business would have interrupted.  And
perhaps, with Mrs. Barrow, _you wish they had._


        _To -------- Lith

        Sir, Passy near Paris, April 6. 1777
        I have just been honoured with a Letter from you, dated the
26th past, in which you express your self as astonished, and appear
to be angry that you have no Answer to a Letter you wrote me of the
11th of December, which you are sure was delivered to me.

        In Exculpation of my self, I assure you that I never receiv'd
any Letter from you of that date.  And indeed being then but 4 Days
landed at Nantes, I think you could scarce have heard so soon of my
being in Europe.

        But I receiv'd one from you of the 8th of January, which I own
I did not answer.  It may displease you if I give you the Reason; but
as it may be of use to you in your future Correspondences, I will
hazard that for a Gentleman to whom I feel myself oblig'd, as an
American, on Account of his Good Will to our Cause.

        Whoever writes to a Stranger should observe 3 Points; 1. That
what he proposes be practicable.  2. His Propositions should be made
in explicit Terms so as to be easily understood.  3. What he desires
should be in itself reasonable.  Hereby he will give a favourable
Impression of his Understanding, and create a Desire of further
Acquaintance.  Now it happen'd that you were negligent in _all_ these
Points: for first you desired to have Means procur'd for you of
taking a Voyage to America _"avec Surete"_; which is not possible, as
the Dangers of the Sea subsist always, and at present there is the
additional Danger of being taken by the English.  Then you desire
that this may be _"sans trop grandes Depenses,"_ which is not
intelligible enough to be answer'd, because not knowing your Ability
of bearing Expences, one cannot judge what may be _trop grandes._
Lastly you desire Letters of Address to the Congress and to General
Washington; which it is not reasonable to ask of _one_ who knows no
more of you than that your Name is Lith_, and that you live at

        In your last, you also express yourself in vague Terms when you
desire to be inform'd whether you may expect _"d'etre recu d'une
maniere convenable"_ in our Troops?  As it is impossible to know what
your Ideas are of the _maniere convenable_, how can one answer this?
And then you demand whether I will support you by my Authority in
giving you Letters of Recommendation?  I doubt not your being a Man
of Merit; and knowing it yourself, you may forget that it is not
known to every body; but reflect a Moment, Sir, and you will be
convinc'd, that if I were to practice giving Letters of
Recommendation to Persons of whose Character I knew no more than I do
of yours, my Recommendations would soon be of no Authority at all.

        I thank you however for your kind Desire of being Serviceable
to my Countrymen: And I wish in return that I could be of Service to
you in the Scheme you have form'd of going to America.  But Numbers
of experienc'd Officers here have offer'd to go over and join our
Army, and I could give them no Encouragement, because I have no
Orders for that purpose, and I know it extremely difficult to place
them when they come there.  I cannot but think therefore, that it is
best for you not to make so long, so expensive, and so hazardous a
Voyage, but to take the Advice of your Friends, and _stay in
Franconia._ I have the honour to be Sir, &c.


        _To [Lebegue de Presle]_

        Sir Passy, Oct. 4 1777
        I am much oblig'd by your Communication of the Letter from
England.  I am of your Opinion that a Translation of it will not be
proper for Publication here.  Our Friend's Expressions concerning Mr.
Wilson will be thought too angry to be made use of by one Philosopher
when speaking of another; and on a philosophical Question.  He seems
as much heated about this one Point, as the Jansenists and Molinists
were about the Five.  As to my writing any thing on the Subject,
which you seem to desire, I think it not necessary; especially as I
have nothing to add to what I have already said upon it in a Paper
read to the Committee who ordered the Conductors at Purfleet, which
Paper is printed in the last French Edition of my Writings.  I have
never entered into any Controversy in defence of my philosophical
Opinions; I leave them to take their Chance in the World.  If they
are right, Truth and Experience will support them.  If wrong, they
ought to be refuted and rejected.  Disputes are apt to sour ones
Temper and disturb one's Quiet.  I have no private Interest in the
Reception of my Inventions by the World, having never made nor
proposed to make the least Profit by any of them.  The King's
changing his pointed Conductors for blunt ones is therefore a Matter
of small Importance to me.  If I had a Wish about it, it would be
that he had rejected them altogether as ineffectual, For it is only
since he thought himself and Family safe from the Thunder of Heaven,
that he dared to use his own Thunder in destroying his innocent

        Be pleased when you write to present my respectful Compliments
and Thanks to Mr. Magellans.  I have forwarded your Letter to your
Brother, and am with great Esteem, Sir Your most obedient humble


        _To Arthur Lee_

        SIR Passy, April 3, 1778
        It is true I have omitted answering some of your Letters.  I do
not like to answer angry Letters.  I hate Disputes.  I am old, cannot
have long to live, have much to do and no time for Altercation.  If I
have often receiv'd and borne your Magisterial Snubbings and Rebukes
without Reply, ascribe it to the right Causes, my Concern for the
Honour & Success of our Mission, which would be hurt by our
Quarrelling, my Love of Peace, my Respect for your good Qualities,
and my Pity of your Sick Mind, which is forever tormenting itself,
with its Jealousies, Suspicions & Fancies that others mean you ill,
wrong you, or fail in Respect for you. -- If you do not cure your
self of this Temper it will end in Insanity, of which it is the
Symptomatick Forerunner, as I have seen in several Instances.  God
preserve you from so terrible an Evil: and for his sake pray suffer
me to live in quiet.  I have the honour to be very respectfully,
                                 Sir, etc,


        _To Charles de Weissenstein_

        SIR, Passy, July 1, 1778.
        I received your letter, dated at Brussels the 16th past.  My
vanity might possibly be flattered by your expressions of compliment
to my understanding, if your _proposals_ did not more clearly
manifest a mean opinion of it.

        You conjure me, in the name of the omniscient and just God,
before whom I must appear, and by my hopes of future fame, to
consider if some expedient cannot be found to put a stop to the
desolation of America, and prevent the miseries of a general war.  As
I am conscious of having taken every step in my power to prevent the
breach, and no one to widen it, I can appear cheerfully before that
God, fearing nothing from his justice in this particular, though I
have much occasion for his mercy in many others.  As to my future
fame, I am content to rest it on my past and present conduct, without
seeking an addition to it in the crooked, dark paths, you propose to
me, where I should most certainly lose it.  This your solemn address
would therefore have been more properly made to your sovereign and
his venal Parliament.  He and they, who wickedly began, and madly
continue, a war for the desolation of America, are alone accountable
for the consequences.

        You endeavour to impress me with a bad opinion of French faith;
but the instances of their friendly endeavours to serve a race of
weak princes, who, by their own imprudence, defeated every attempt to
promote their interest, weigh but little with me, when I consider the
steady friendship of France to the Thirteen United States of
Switzerland, which has now continued inviolate two hundred years.
You tell me, that she will certainly cheat us, and that she despises
us already.  I do not believe that she will cheat us, and I am not
certain that she despises us; but I see clearly that you are
endeavouring to cheat us by your conciliatory bills; that you
actually despised our understandings, when you flattered yourselves
those artifices would succeed; and that not only France, but all
Europe, yourselves included, most certainly and for ever would
despise us, if we were weak enough to accept your insidious

        Our expectations of the future grandeur of America are not so
magnificent, and therefore not so vain or visionary, as you represent
them to be.  The body of our people are not merchants, but humble
husbandmen, who delight in the cultivation of their lands, which,
from their fertility and the variety of our climates, are capable of
furnishing all the necessaries and conveniences of life without
external commerce; and we have too much land to have the least
temptation to extend our territory by conquest from peaceable
neighbours, as well as too much justice to think of it.  Our militia,
you find by experience, are sufficient to defend our lands from
invasion; and the commerce with us will be defended by all the
nations who find an advantage in it.  We, therefore, have not the
occasion you imagine, of fleets or standing armies, but may leave
those expensive machines to be maintained for the pomp of princes,
and the wealth of ancient states.  We propose, if possible, to live
in peace with all mankind; and after you have been convinced, to your
cost, that there is nothing to be got by attacking us, we have reason
to hope, that no other power will judge it prudent to quarrel with
us, lest they divert us from our own quiet industry, and turn us into
corsairs preying upon theirs.  The weight therefore of an independent
empire, which you seem certain of our inability to bear, will not be
so great as you imagine.  The expense of our civil government we have
always borne, and can easily bear, because it is small.  A virtuous
and laborious people may be cheaply governed.  Determining, as we do,
to have no offices of profit, nor any sinecures or useless
appointments, so common in ancient or corrupted states, we can govern
ourselves a year, for the sum you pay in a single department, or for
what one jobbing contractor, by the favour of a minister, can cheat
you out of in a single article.

        You think we flatter ourselves, and are deceived into an
opinion that England _must_ acknowledge our independency.  We, on the
other hand, think you flatter yourselves in imagining such an
acknowledgment a vast boon, which we strongly desire, and which you
may gain some great advantage by granting or withholding.  We have
never asked it of you; we only tell you, that you can have no treaty
with us but as an independent state; and you may please yourselves
and your children with the rattle of your right to govern us, as long
as you have done with that of your King's being King of France,
without giving us the least concern, if you do not attempt to
exercise it.  That this pretended right is indisputable, as you say,
we utterly deny.  Your Parliament never had a right to govern us, and
your King has forfeited it by his bloody tyranny.  But I thank you
for letting me know a little of your mind, that, even if the
Parliament should acknowledge our independency, the act would not be
binding to posterity, and that your nation would resume and prosecute
the claim as soon as they found it convenient from the influence of
your passions, and your present malice against us.  We suspected
before, that you would not be actually bound by your conciliatory
acts, longer than till they had served their purpose of inducing us
to disband our forces; but we were not certain, that you were knaves
by principle, and that we ought not to have the least confidence in
your offers, promises, or treaties, though confirmed by Parliament.

        I now indeed recollect my being informed, long since, when in
England, that a certain very great personage, then young, studied
much a certain book, called _Arcana Imperii._ I had the curiosity to
procure the book and read it.  There are sensible and good things in
it, but some bad ones; for, if I remember rightly, a particular king
is applauded for his politically exciting a rebellion among his
subjects, at a time when they had not strength to support it, that he
might, in subduing them, take away their privileges, which were
troublesome to him; and a question is formally stated and discussed,
_Whether a prince, who, to appease a revolt, makes promises of
indemnity to the revolters, is obliged to fulfil those promises._
Honest and good men would say, Ay; but this politician says, as you
say, No.  And he gives this pretty reason, that, though it was right
to make the promises, because otherwise the revolt would not be
suppressed, yet it would be wrong to keep them, because revolters
ought to be punished to deter from future revolts.

        If these are the principles of your nation, no confidence can
be placed in you; it is in vain to treat with you; and the wars can
only end in being reduced to an utter inability of continuing them.

        One main drift of your letter seems to be, to impress me with
an idea of your own impartiality, by just censures of your ministers
and measures, and to draw from me propositions of peace, or
approbations of those you have enclosed to me which you intimate may
by your means be conveyed to the King directly, without the
intervention of those ministers.  You would have me give them to, or
drop them for, a stranger, whom I may find next Monday in the church
of Notre Dame, to be known by a rose in his hat.  You yourself, Sir,
are quite unknown to me; you have not trusted me with your true name.
Our taking the least step towards a treaty with England through you,
might, if you are an enemy, be made use of to ruin us with our new
and good friends.  I may be indiscreet enough in many things; but
certainly, if I were disposed to make propositions (which I cannot
do, having none committed to me to make), I should never think of
delivering them to the Lord knows who, to be carried to the Lord
knows where, to serve no one knows what purposes.  Being at this time
one of the most remarkable figures in Paris, even my appearance in
the church of Notre Dame, where I cannot have any conceivable
business, and especially being seen to leave or drop any letter to
any person there, would be a matter of some speculation, and might,
from the suspicions it must naturally give, have very mischievous
consequences to our credit here.

        The very proposing of a correspondence so to be managed, in a
manner not necessary where fair dealing is intended, gives just
reason to suppose you intend the contrary.  Besides, as your court
has sent Commissioners to treat with the Congress, with all the
powers that could be given them by the crown under the act of
Parliament, what good purpose can be served by privately obtaining
propositions from us?  Before those Commissioners went, we might have
treated in virtue of our general powers, (with the knowledge, advice,
and approbation of our friends), upon any propositions made to us.
But, under the present circumstances, for us to make propositions,
while a treaty is supposed to be actually on foot with the Congress,
would be extremely improper, highly presumptuous with regard to our
constituents, and answer no good end whatever.

        I write this letter to you, notwithstanding; (which I think I
can convey in a less mysterious manner, and guess it may come to your
hands;) I write it because I would let you know our sense of your
procedure, which appears as insidious as that of your conciliatory
bills.  Your true way to obtain peace, if your ministers desire it,
is, to propose openly to the Congress fair and equal terms, and you
may possibly come sooner to such a resolution, when you find, that
personal flatteries, general cajolings, and panegyrics on our
_virtue_ and _wisdom_ are not likely to have the effect you seem to
expect; the persuading us to act basely and foolishly, in betraying
our country and posterity into the hands of our most bitter enemies,
giving up or selling our arms and warlike stores, dismissing our
ships of war and troops, and putting those enemies in possession of
our forts and ports.

        This proposition of delivering ourselves, bound and gagged,
ready for hanging, without even a right to complain, and without a
friend to be found afterwards among all mankind, you would have us
embrace upon the faith of an act of Parliament!  Good God! an act of
your Parliament!  This demonstrates that you do not yet know us, and
that you fancy we do not know you; but it is not merely this flimsy
faith, that we are to act upon; you offer us _hope_, the hope of
PLACES, PENSIONS, and PEERAGES.  These, judging from yourselves, you
think are motives irresistible.  This offer to corrupt us, Sir, is
with me your credential, and convinces me that you are not a private
volunteer in your application.  It bears the stamp of British court
character.  It is even the signature of your King.  But think for a
moment in what light it must be viewed in America.  BY PLACES, you
mean places among us, for you take care by a special article to
secure your own to yourselves.  We must then pay the salaries in
order to enrich ourselves with these places.  But you will give us
PENSIONS, probably to be paid too out of your expected American
revenue, and which none of us can accept without deserving, and
perhaps obtaining, a SUS-_pension._ PEERAGES! alas!  Sir, our long
observation of the vast servile majority of your peers, voting
constantly for every measure proposed by a minister, however weak or
wicked, leaves us small respect for that title.  We consider it as a
sort of _tar-and-feather_ honour, or a mixture of foulness and folly,
which every man among us, who should accept it from your King, would
be obliged to renounce, or exchange for that conferred by the mobs of
their own country, or wear it with everlasting infamy.  I am, Sir,
your humble servant,


        _To David Hartley_

        DEAR SIR, Passy, Feb. 3, 1779.
        I have just received your favour of the 23d past, in which you
mention, "that the alliance between France and America is the great
StumblingBlock in the way of Making Peace;" and you go on to observe,
that "whatever Engagements America may have entred into, they may,
(at least by consent of Parties) _be relinquished_, for the purpose
of removing so material an Obstacle to any general Treaty of free and
unengaged Parties" adding, that "if the parties could meet for the
sake of Peace upon _free_ and _open_ Ground, you should think _that_
a very fair Proposition to be offered to the People of England, and
an equitable Proposition in itself."

        The long, steady, & kind regard you have shown for the Welfare
of America, by the whole Tenour of your Conduct in Parliament,
satisfies me, that this Proposition never took its Rise with you, but
has been suggested from some other quarter; and that your Excess of
Humanity, your Love of Peace, & your fears for us, that the
Destruction we are threatened with will certainly be effected, have
thrown a Mist before your Eyes, which hindred you from seeing the
Malignity and Mischief of it.  We know that your King hates Whigs and
Presbyterians; that he thirsts for our Blood, of which he has already
drunk large Draughts; that his servile unprincipled Ministers are
ready to execute the wickedest of his Orders, and his venal
Parliament equally ready to vote them just.  Not the Smallest
Appearance of a Reason can be imagined capable of inducing us to
think of relinquishing a Solid Alliance with one of the most amiable,
as well as most powerful Princes of Europe, for the Expectation of
unknown Terms of Peace, to be afterwards offer'd to us by _such a
government_; a Government, that has already shamefully broke all the
Compacts it ever made with us!  This is worse than advising us to
drop the Substance for the Shadow.  The Dog after he found his
Mistake, might possibly have recover'd his Mutton; but we could never
hope to be trusted again by France, or indeed by any other Nation
under heaven.  Nor does there appear any more Necessity for
dissolving an Alliance with France before you can treat with us, than
there would of dissolving your alliance with Holland, or your Union
with Scotland, before we could treat with you.  Ours is therefore no
_material Obstacle_ to a Treaty as you suppose it to be.  Had Lord
North been the Author of such a Proposition, all the World would have
said it was insidious, and meant only to deceive & divide us from our
Friends, and then to ruin us; supposing our Fears might be strong
enough to procure an Acceptance of it; but thanks to God, that is not
the Case!  We have long since settled all the Account in our own
Minds.  We know the worst you can do to us, if you have your Wish, is
to confiscate our Estates & take our Lives, to rob & murder us; and
this you have seen we are ready to hazard, rather than come again
under your detested Government.

        You must observe, my dear Friend, that I am a little warm. --
Excuse me. -- 'Tis over. -- Only let me counsel you not to think of
being sent hither on so fruitless an Errand, as that of making such a

        It puts me in mind of the comick Farce intitled, _God-send or
The Wreckers._ You may have forgotten it; but I will endeavour to
amuse you by recollecting a little of it.

        SCENE. _Mount's Bay._

        [_A Ship riding at anchor in a great Storm.  A Lee Shore full
of Rocks, and lin'd with people, furnish'd with Axes & Carriages to
cut up Wrecks, knock the Sailors on the Head, and carry off the
Plunder; according to Custom._]

        1_st. Wrecker._ This Ship rides it out longer than I expected.
She must have good Ground Tackle.

        2 _Wrecker._ We had better send off a Boat to her, and persuade
her to take a Pilot, who can afterwards run her ashore, where we can
best come at her.

        3 _Wrecker._ I doubt whether the boat can live in this Sea; but
if there are any brave Fellows willing to hazard themselves for the
good of the Public, & a double Share, let them say aye.

        _Several Wreckers._ I, I, I, I.

        [_The Boat goes off, and comes under the Ship's Stern._]

        _Spokesman._ So ho, the Ship, ahoa!

        _Captain._ Hulloa.

        _Sp._ Wou'd you have a Pilot?

        _Capt._ No, no!

        _Sp._ It blows hard, & you are in Danger.

        _Capt._ I know it.

        _Sp._ Will you buy a better Cable?  We have one in the boat

        _Capt._ What do you ask for it?

        _Sp._ Cut that you have, & then we'll talk about the price of

        _Capt._ I shall not do such a foolish Thing.  I have liv'd in
your Parish formerly, & know the Heads of ye too well to trust ye;
keep off from my Cable there; I see you have a mind to cut it
yourselves.  If you go any nearer to it, I'll fire into you and sink

        _Sp._ It is a damn'd rotten French Cable, and will part of
itself in half an hour.  Where will you be then, Captain?  You had
better take our offer.

        _Capt._ You offer nothing, you Rogues, but Treachery and
Mischief.  My cable is good & strong, and will hold long enough to
baulk all your Projects.

        _Sp._ You talk unkindly, Captain, to People who came here only
for your Good.

        _Capt._ I know you come for all our _Goods_, but, by God's
help, you shall have none of them; you shall not serve us as you did
the Indiaman.

        _Sp._ Come, my Lads, let's be gone.  This Fellow is not so
great a Fool as we -- took him to be.


        _To Sarah Bache_

        DEAR SALLY, Passy, June 3, 1779.
        I have before me your letters of October 22d and January 17th.
They are the only ones I received from you in the course of eighteen
months.  If you knew how happy your letters make me, and considered
how many miscarry, I think you would write oftener.

        I am much obliged to the Miss Cliftons for the kind care they
took of my house and furniture.  Present my thankful acknowledgments
to them, and tell them I wish them all sorts of happiness.

        The clay medallion of me you say you gave to Mr. Hopkinson was
the first of the kind made in France.  A variety of others have been
made since of different sizes; some to be set in the lids of
snuffboxes, and some so small as to be worn in rings; and the numbers
sold are incredible.  These, with the pictures, busts, and prints,
(of which copies upon copies are spread everywhere,) have made your
father's face as well known as that of the moon, so that he durst not
do any thing that would oblige him to run away, as his phiz would
discover him wherever he should venture to show it.  It is said by
learned etymologists, that the name _doll_, for the images children
play with, is derived from the word IDOL.  From the number of _dolls_
now made of him, he may be truly said, _in that sense_, to be
_i-doll-ized_ in this country.

        I think you did right to stay out of town till the summer was
over, for the sake of your child's health.  I hope you will get out
again this summer, during the hot months; for I begin to love the
dear little creature from your description of her.

        I was charmed with the account you gave me of your industry,
the tablecloths of your own spinning, &c.; but the latter part of the
paragraph, that you had sent for linen from France, because weaving
and flax were grown dear, alas, that dissolved the charm; and your
sending for long black pins, and lace, and _feathers!_ disgusted me
as much as if you had put salt into my strawberries.  The spinning, I
see, is laid aside, and you are to be dressed for the ball!  You seem
not to know, my dear daughter, that, of all the dear things in this
world, idleness is the dearest, except mischief.

        The project you mention, of removing Temple from me was an
unkind one.  To deprive an old man, sent to serve his country in a
foreign one, of the comfort of a child to attend him, to assist him
in health and take care of him in sickness, would be cruel, if it was
practicable.  In this case it could not be done; for, as the
pretended suspicions of him are groundless, and his behaviour in
every respect unexceptionable, I should not part with the child, but
with the employment.  But I am confident, that, whatever may be
proposed by weak or malicious people, the Congress is too wise and
too good to think of treating me in that manner.

        Ben, if I should live long enough to want it, is like to be
another comfort to me.  As I intend him for a Presbyterian as well as
a republican, I have sent him to finish his education at Geneva.  He
is much grown, in very good health, draws a little, as you will see
by the enclosed, learns Latin, writing, arithmetic, and dancing, and
speaks French better than English.  He made a translation of your
last letter to him, so that some of your works may now appear in a
foreign language.  He has not been long from me.  I send the accounts
I have of him, and I shall put him in mind of writing to you.  I
cannot propose to you to part with your own dear Will.  I must one of
these days go back to see him; happy to be once more all together!
but futurities are uncertain.  Teach him, however, in the mean time,
to direct his worship more properly, for the deity of Hercules is now
quite out of fashion.

        The present you mention as sent by me was rather that of a
merchant at Bordeaux; for he would never give me any account of it,
and neither Temple nor I know any thing of the particulars.

        When I began to read your account of the high prices of goods,
"a pair of gloves, $7; a yard of common gauze, $24, and that it now
required a fortune to maintain a family in a very plain way," I
expected you would conclude with telling me, that everybody as well
as yourself was grown frugal and industrious; and I could scarce
believe my eyes in reading forward, that "there never was so much
pleasure and dressing going on;" and that you yourself wanted black
pins and feathers from France to appear, I suppose, in the mode!
This leads me to imagine, that perhaps it is not so much that the
goods are grown dear, as that the money is grown cheap, as every
thing else will do when excessively plenty; and that people are still
as easy nearly in their circumstances, as when a pair of gloves might
be had for half a crown.  The war indeed may in some degree raise the
prices of goods, and the high taxes which are necessary to support
the war may make our frugality necessary; and, as I am always
preaching that doctrine, I cannot in conscience or in decency
encourage the contrary, by my example, in furnishing my children with
foolish modes and luxuries.  I therefore send all the articles you
desire, that are useful and necessary, and omit the rest; for, as you
say you should "have great pride in wearing any thing I send, and
showing it as your father's taste," I must avoid giving you an
opportunity of doing that with either lace or feathers.  If you wear
your cambric ruffles as I do, and take care not to mend the holes,
they will come in time to be lace; and feathers, my dear girl, may be
had in America from every cock's tail.

        If you happen again to see General Washington, assure him of my
very great and sincere respect, and tell him, that all the old
Generals here amuse themselves in studying the accounts of his
operations, and approve highly of his conduct.

        Present my affectionate regards to all friends that inquire
after me, particularly Mr. Duffield and family, and write oftener, my
dear child, to your loving father,


        _To Edward Bridgen_

        DEAR SIR, Passy, Octo'r 2'd 1779.
        I received your Favor of the 17th past, and the two Samples of
Copper are since come to hand.  The Metal seems to be very good, and
the price reasonable; but I have not yet received the Orders
necessary to justify my making the Purchase proposed.  There has
indeed been an intention to strike Copper Coin, that may not only be
useful as small Change, but serve other purposes.

        Instead of repeating continually upon every halfpenny the dull
story that everybody knows, (and what it would have been no loss to
mankind if nobody had ever known,) that Geo. III is King of Great
Britain, France, and Ireland, &c. &c., to put on one side, some
important Proverb of Solomon, some pious moral, prudential or
economical Precept, the frequent Inculcation of which, by seeing it
every time one receives a piece of Money, might make an impression
upon the mind, especially of young Persons, and tend to regulate the
Conduct; such as, on some, _The fear of the Lord is the beginning of
Wisdom_; on others, _Honesty is the best Policy_; on others, _He that
by the Plow would thrive, himself must either hold or drive_; on
others, _Keep thy Shop, and thy Shop will keep thee_; on others, _A
penny saved is a penny got_; on others, _He that buys what he has no
need of, will soon be forced to sell his necessaries_; on others,
_Early to bed and early to rise, will make a man healthy, wealthy,
and wise_; and so on, to a great variety.

        The other side it was proposed to fill with good Designs, drawn
and engraved by the best artists in France, of all the different
Species of Barbarity with which the English have carried on the War
in America, expressing every abominable circumstance of their Cruelty
and Inhumanity, that figures can express, to make an Impression on
the minds of Posterity as strong and durable as that on the Copper.
This Resolution has been a long time forborne; but the late burning
of defenceless Towns in Connecticut, on the flimsy pretence that the
people fired from behind their Houses, when it is known to have been
premeditated and ordered from England, will probably give the
finishing provocation, and may occasion a vast demand for your Metal.

        I thank you for your kind wishes respecting my Health.  I
return them most cordially fourfold into your own bosom.  Adieu.


        _To Elizabeth Partridge_

        MRS. PARTRIDGE Passy, Oct. 11. 1779.
        Your kind Letter, my dear Friend, was long in coming; but it
gave me the Pleasure of knowing that you had been well in October and
January last.  The Difficulty, Delay & Interruption of Correspondence
with those I love, is one of the great Inconveniencies I find in
living so far from home: but we must bear these & more, with
Patience, if we can; if not, we must bear them as I do with

        You mention the Kindness of the French Ladies to me.  I must
explain that matter.  This is the civilest nation upon Earth.  Your
first Acquaintances endeavour to find out what you like, and they
tell others.  If 'tis understood that you like Mutton, dine where you
will you find Mutton.  Somebody, it seems, gave it out that I lov'd
Ladies; and then every body presented me their Ladies (or the Ladies
presented themselves) to be _embrac'd_, that is to have their Necks
kiss'd.  For as to kissing of Lips or Cheeks it is not the Mode here,
the first, is reckon'd rude, & the other may rub off the Paint.  The
French Ladies have however 1000 other ways of rendering themselves
agreable; by their various Attentions and Civilities, & their
sensible Conversation.  'Tis a delightful People to live with.

        I thank you for the Boston Newspapers, tho' I see nothing so
clearly in them as that your Printers do indeed want new Letters.
They perfectly blind me in endeavouring to read them.  If you should
ever have any Secrets that you wish to be well kept, get them printed
in those Papers.  You enquire if Printers Types may be had here?  Of
all Sorts, very good, cheaper than in England, and of harder Metal.
-- I will see any Orders executed in that way that any of your
Friends may think fit to send.  They will doubtless send Money with
their Orders.  Very good Printing Ink is likewise to be had here.  I
cannot by this opportunity send the miniature you desire, but I send
you a little Head in China, more like, perhaps, than the Painting
would be.  It may be set in a Locket, if you like it, cover'd with
Glass, and may serve for the present.  When Peace comes we may afford
to be more extravagant.  I send with it a Couple of Fatherly Kisses
for you & your amiable Daughter, the whole wrapt up together in
Cotton to be kept warm.

        Present my respectful Compliments to Mr Partridge.
        Adieu, my dear Child, & believe me ever
        Your affectionate Papah


        _To John Paul Jones_

        DEAR SIR, Passy, Oct. 15, 1779.
        I received the Account of your Cruize and Engagement with the
_Serapis_, which you did me the honour to send me from the Texel.  I
have since received your Favor of the 8th, from Amsterdam.  For some
Days after the Arrival of your Express, scarce any thing was talked
of at Paris and Versailles, but your cool Conduct and persevering
Bravery during that terrible Conflict.  You may believe, that the
Impression on my Mind was not less strong than on that of others; but
I do not chuse to say in a letter to yourself all I think on such an

        The Ministry are much dissatisfied with Captain Landais, and M.
de Sartine has signified to me in writing that it is expected that I
should send for him to Paris, and call him to Account for his Conduct
particularly for deferring so long his coming to your Assistance, by
which Means, it is supposed, the States lost some of their valuable
Citizens, and the King lost many of his Subjects, Volunteers in your
Ship, together with the Ship itself.

        I have, accordingly, written to him this Day, acquainting him
that he is charged with Disobedience of Orders in the Cruize, and
Neglect of his Duty in the Engagement; that, a Court-Martial being at
this Time inconvenient, if not impracticable, I would give him an
earlier Opportunity of offering what he has to say in his
Justification, and for that Purpose direct him to render himself
immediately here, bringing with him such Papers or Testimonies, as he
may think useful in his Defence.  I know not whether he will obey my
orders, nor what the Ministry will do with him, if he comes; but I
suspect that they may by some of their concise Operations save the
Trouble of a Court-Martial.  It will be well, however, for you to
furnish me with what you may judge proper to support the Charges
against him, that I may be able to give a just and clear Account of
the Affair to Congress.  In the mean time it will be necessary, if he
should refuse to come, that you should put him under an Arrest, and
in that Case, as well as if he comes, that you should either appoint
some Person to command his Ship or take it upon yourself; for I know
of no Person to recommend to you as fit for that Station.

        I am uneasy about your Prisoners; I wish they were safe in
France.  You will then have compleated the glorious work of giving
Liberty to all the Americans that have so long languished for it in
the British Prisons; for there are not so many there, as you have now

        I have the Pleasure to inform you, that the two Prizes sent to
Norway are safely arrived at Berghen.  With the highest Esteem, I am,

        P.S. I am sorry for your Misunderstanding with M. de Chaumont,
who has a great Regard for you.


        _To Benjamin Vaughan_

        DEAR SIR, Passy, Nov. 9. 1779.
        I have received several kind Letters from you, which I have not
regularly answered.  They gave me however great Pleasure, as they
acquainted me with your Welfare, and that of your Family and other
Friends; and I hope you will continue writing to me as often as you
can do it conveniently.

        I thank you much for the great Care and Pains you have taken in
regulating and correcting the Edition of those Papers.  Your
Friendship for me appears in almost every Page; and if the
Preservation of any of them should prove of Use to the Publick, it is
to you that the Publick will owe the Obligation.  In looking them
over, I have noted some Faults of Impression that hurt the Sense, and
some other little Matters, which you will find all in a Sheet under
the title of _Errata._ You can best judge whether it may be worth
while to add any of them to the Errata already printed, or whether it
may not be as well to reserve the whole for Correction in another
Edition, if such should ever be.  Inclos'd I send a more perfect copy
of the _Chapter._

        If I should ever recover the Pieces that were in the Hands of
my Son, and those I left among my Papers in America, I think there
may be enough to make three more such Volumes, of which a great part
would be more interesting.

        As to the _Time_ of publishing, of which you ask my Opinion I
am not furnish'd with any Reasons, or Ideas of Reasons, on which to
form any Opinion.  Naturally I should suppose the Bookseller to be
from Experience the best Judge, and I should be for leaving it to

        I did not write the Pamphlet you mention.  I know nothing of
it.  I suppose it is the same, concerning which Dr. Priestley
formerly asked me the same Question.  That for which he took it was
intitled, _A Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and
Pain_, with these Lines in the TitlePage.

        "Whatever is, is right.  But purblind Man
        Sees but a part o' the Chain, the nearest Link;
        His eye not carrying to that equal Beam,
        That poises all above."                         DRYDEN.

        _London, Printed M.D.C.C.X.X.V._

        It was addressed to Mr. J. R., that is, James Ralph, then a
youth of about my age, and my intimate friend; afterwards a political
writer and historian.  The purport of it was to prove the doctrine of
fate, from the supposed attributes of God; in some such manner as
this: that in erecting and governing the world, as he was infinitely
wise, he knew what would be best; infinitely good, he must be
disposed, and infinitely powerful, he must be able to execute it:
consequently all is right.  There were only an hundred copies
printed, of which I gave a few to friends, and afterwards disliking
the piece, as conceiving it might have an ill tendency, I burnt the
rest, except one copy, the margin of which was filled with manuscript
notes by Lyons, author of the Infallibility of Human Judgment, who
was at that time another of my acquaintance in London.  I was not
nineteen years of age when it was written.  In 1730, I wrote a piece
on the other side of the question, which began with laying for its
foundation this fact: "That almost all men in all ages and countries,
have at times made use of prayer." Thence I reasoned, that if all
things are ordained, prayer must among the rest be ordained.  But as
prayer can produce no change in things that are ordained, praying
must then be useless and an absurdity.  God would therefore not
ordain praying if everything else was ordained.  But praying exists,
therefore all things are not ordained, etc.  This pamphlet was never
printed, and the manuscript has been long lost.  The great
uncertainty I found in metaphysical reasonings disgusted me, and I
quitted that kind of reading and study for others more satisfactory.

        I return the Manuscripts you were so obliging as to send me; I
am concern'd at your having no other copys, I hope these will get
safe to your hands.  I do not remember the Duke de Chaulnes showing
me the Letter you mention.  I have received Dr. Crawford's book, but
not your Abstract, which I wait for as you desire.

        I send you also M. Dupont's _Table Economique_, which I think
an excellent Thing, as it contains in a clear Method all the
principles of that new sect, called here _les Economistes._

        Poor Henley's dying in that manner is inconceivable to me.  Is
any Reason given to account for it, besides insanity?

        Remember me affectionately to all your good Family, and believe
me, with great Esteem, my dear Friend, yours, most sincerely,


        _To Joseph Priestley_

        DEAR SIR, Passy, Feb. 8. 1780.
        Your kind Letter of September 27 came to hand but very lately,
the Bearer having staied long in Holland.  I always rejoice to hear
of your being still employ'd in experimental Researches into Nature,
and of the Success you meet with.  The rapid Progress _true_ Science
now makes, occasions my regretting sometimes that I was born so soon.
It is impossible to imagine the Height to which may be carried, in a
thousand years, the Power of Man over Matter.  We may perhaps learn
to deprive large Masses of their Gravity, and give them absolute
Levity, for the sake of easy Transport.  Agriculture may diminish its
Labour and double its Produce; all Diseases may by sure means be
prevented or cured, not excepting even that of Old Age, and our Lives
lengthened at pleasure even beyond the antediluvian Standard.  O that
moral Science were in as fair a way of Improvement, that Men would
cease to be Wolves to one another, and that human Beings would at
length learn what they now improperly call Humanity!

        I am glad my little Paper on the _Aurora Borealis_ pleased.  If
it should occasion further Enquiry, and so produce a better
Hypothesis, it will not be wholly useless.  I am ever, with the
greatest and most sincere Esteem, dear Sir, yours very affectionately

        I have consider'd the Situation of that Person very
attentively.  I think that, with a little help from the _Moral
Algebra_, he might form a better judgment than any other Person can
form for him.  But, since my Opinion seems to be desired, I give it
for continuing to the End of the Term, under all the present
disagreeable Circumstances.  The connection will then die a natural
Death.  No Reason will be expected to be given for the Separation,
and of course no Offence taken at Reasons given; the Friendship may
still subsist, and in some other way be useful.  The Time diminishes
daily, and is usefully employ'd.  All human Situations have their
Inconveniencies; we _feel_ those that we find in the present, and we
neither _feel_ nor _see_ those that exist in another.  Hence we make
frequent and troublesome Changes without Amendment, and often for the

        In my Youth, I was Passenger in a little Sloop, descending the
River Delaware.  There being no Wind, we were obliged, when the Ebb
was spent, to cast anchor, and wait for the next.  The Heat of the
Sun on the Vessel was excessive, the Company Strangers to me, and not
very agreable.  Near the river Side I saw what I took to be a
pleasant green Meadow, in the middle of which was a large shady Tree,
where it struck my Fancy I could sit and read, (having a Book in my
Pocket,) and pass the time agreably till the tide turned.  I
therefore prevail'd with the Captain to put me ashore.  Being landed,
I found the greatest part of my Meadow was really a Marsh, in
crossing which, to come at my Tree, I was up to my Knees in Mire; and
I had not placed myself under its Shade five Minutes, before the
Muskitoes in Swarms found me out, attack'd my Legs, Hands, and Face,
and made my Reading and my Rest impossible; so that I return'd to the
Beach, and call'd for the Boat to come and take me aboard again,
where I was oblig'd to bear the Heat I had strove to quit, and also
the Laugh of the Company.  Similar Cases in the Affairs of Life have
since frequently fallen under my Observation.

        I have had Thoughts of a College for him in America.  I know no
one who might be more useful to the Publick in the Instruction of
Youth.  But there are possible Unpleasantnesses in that Situation; it
cannot be obtain'd but by a too hazardous Voyage at this time for a
Family; and the Time for Experiments would be all otherwise engaged.


        _To George Washington_

        SIR, Passy, March 5 1780.
        I have received but lately the Letter your Excellency did me
the honour of writing to me in Recommendation of the Marquis de la
Fayette.  His modesty detained it long in his own Hands.  We became
acquainted, however, from the time of his Arrival at Paris; and his
Zeal for the Honour of our Country, his Activity in our Affairs here,
and his firm Attachment to our Cause and to you, impress'd me with
the same Regard and Esteem for him that your Excellency's Letter
would have done, had it been immediately delivered to me.

        Should peace arrive after another Campaign or two, and afford
us a little Leisure, I should be happy to see your Excellency in
Europe, and to accompany you, if my Age and Strength would permit, in
visiting some of its ancient and most famous Kingdoms.  You would, on
this side of the Sea, enjoy the great Reputation you have acquir'd,
pure and free from those little Shades that the Jealousy and Envy of
a Man's Countrymen and Cotemporaries are ever endeavouring to cast
over living Merit.  Here you would know, and enjoy, what Posterity
will say of Washington.  For 1000 Leagues have nearly the same Effect
with 1000 Years.  The feeble Voice of those grovelling Passions
cannot extend so far either in Time or Distance.  At present I enjoy
that Pleasure for you, as I frequently hear the old Generals of this
martial Country, (who study the Maps of America, and mark upon them
all your Operations,) speak with sincere Approbation and great
Applause of your conduct; and join in giving you the Character of one
of the greatest Captains of the Age.

        I must soon quit the Scene, but you may live to see our Country
flourish, as it will amazingly and rapidly after the War is over.
Like a Field of young Indian Corn, which long Fair weather and
Sunshine had enfeebled and discolored, and which in that weak State,
by a Thunder Gust, of violent Wind, Hail, and Rain, seem'd to be
threaten'd with absolute Destruction; yet the Storm being past, it
recovers fresh Verdure, shoots up with double Vigour, and delights
the Eye, not of its Owner only, but of every observing Traveller.

        The best Wishes that can be form'd for your Health, Honour, and
Happiness, ever attend you from your Excellency's most obedient and
most humble servant


        _To Thomas Bond_

        DEAR SIR, Passy, March 16, 1780.
        I received your kind letter of September the 22d, and I thank
you for the pleasing account you give me of the health and welfare of
my old friends, Hugh Roberts, Luke Morris, Philip Syng, Samuel
Rhoads, &c., with the same of yourself and family.  Shake the old
ones by the hand for me, and give the young ones my blessing.  For my
own part, I do not find that I grow any older.  Being arrived at
seventy, and considering that by travelling further in the same road
I should probably be led to the grave, I stopped short, turned about,
and walked back again; which having done these four years, you may
now call me sixty-six.  Advise those old friends of ours to follow my
example; keep up your spirits, and that will keep up your bodies; you
will no more stoop under the weight of age, than if you had swallowed
a handspike.

        I am glad the Philosophical Society made that compliment to M.
Gerard.  I wish they would do the same to M. Feutry, a worthy
gentleman here; and to Dr. Ingenhousz, who has made some great
discoveries lately respecting the leaves of trees in improving air
for the use of animals.  He will send you his book.  He is physician
to the Empress Queen.  I have not yet seen your piece on inoculation.
Remember me respectfully and affectionately to Mrs. Bond, your
children, and all friends.  I am ever, &c.

        P.S. I have bought some valuable books, which I intend to
present to the Society; but shall not send them till safer times.


        _To William Carmichael_

        DEAR SIR, Passy, June 17, 1780.
        Your favours of the 22d past came duly to hand.  Sir John
Dalrymple has been here some time, but I hear nothing of his
political operations.  The learned talk of the discovery he has made
in the Escurial Library, of forty Epistles of Brutus, a missing part
of Tacitus, and a piece of Seneca, that have never yet been printed,
which excite much curiosity.  He has not been with me, and I am told,
by one of his friends, that, though he wished to see me, he did not
think it prudent.  So I suppose I shall have no communication with
him; for I shall not seek it.  As Count de Vergennes has mentioned
nothing to me of any memorial from him, I suppose he has not
presented it; perhaps discouraged by the reception it met with in
Spain.  So I wish, for curiosity's sake, you would send me a copy of

        The Marquis de Lafayette arrived safely at Boston on the 28th
of April, and, it is said, gave expectations of the coming of a
squadron and troops.  The vessel that brings this left New London the
2d of May; her captain reports, that the siege of Charleston was
raised, the troops attacked in their retreat, and Clinton killed; but
this wants confirmation.  London has been in the utmost confusion for
seven or eight days.  The beginning of this month, a mob of fanatics,
joined by a mob of rogues, burnt and destroyed property to the
amount, it is said, of a million sterling.  Chapels of foreign
ambassadors, houses of members of Parliament that had promoted the
act for favouring Catholics, and the houses of many private persons
of that religion, were pillaged and consumed, or pulled down, to the
number of fifty; among the rest, Lord Mansfield's is burnt, with all
his furniture, pictures, books, and papers.  Thus he, who approved
the burning of American houses, has had fire brought home to him.  He
himself was horribly scared, and Governor Hutchinson, it is said,
died outright of the fright.  The mob, tired with roaring and rioting
seven days and nights, were at length suppressed, and quiet restored
on the 9th, in the evening.  Next day Lord George Gordon was
committed to the tower.

        Enclosed I send you the little piece you desire.  To understand
it rightly you should be acquainted with some few circumstances.  The
person to whom it was addressed is Madame Brillon, a lady of most
respectable character and pleasing conversation; mistress of an
amiable family in this neighbourhood, with which I spend an evening
twice in every week.  She has, among other elegant accomplishments,
that of an excellent musician; and, with her daughters, who sing
prettily, and some friends who play, she kindly entertains me and my
grandson with little concerts, a cup of tea, and a game of chess.  I
call this _my Opera_, for I rarely go to the Opera at Paris.

        The Moulin Joli is a little island in the Seine about two
leagues hence, part of the country-seat of another friend, where we
visit every summer, and spend a day in the pleasing society of the
ingenious, learned, and very polite persons who inhabit it.  At the
time when the letter was written, all conversations at Paris were
filled with disputes about the music of Gluck and Picini, a German
and Italian musician, who divided the town into violent parties.  A
friend of this lady having obtained a copy of it, under a promise not
to give another, did not observe that promise; so that many have been
taken, and it is become as public as such a thing can well be, that
is not printed; but I could not dream of its being heard of at
Madrid!  The thought was partly taken from a little piece of some
unknown writer, which I met with fifty years since in a newspaper,
and which the sight of the Ephemera brought to my recollection.
Adieu, my dear friend, and believe me ever yours most affectionately,


        _To Samuel Huntington_

        SIR, Passy, August 9, 1780.
        With this your Excellency will receive a Copy of my last, dated
May 31st, the Original of which, with Copies of preceding Letters,
went by the _Alliance_, Capt. Landais, who sailed the Beginning of
last Month, and who I wish may arrive safe in America, being
apprehensive, that by her long Delay in Port, from the Mutiny of the
People, who after she was ready to sail refused to weigh Anchor till
paid Wages, she may fall in the Way of the English Fleet now out; or
that her Crew, who have ever been infected with Disorder and Mutiny,
may carry her into England.  She had, on her first coming out, a
Conspiracy for that purpose; besides which her Officers and Captain
quarrell'd with each other, the Captain with Comm'e Jones, and there
have been so many Embroils among them, that it was impossible to get
the Business forward while she staied, and she is at length gone,
without taking the Quantity of Stores she was capable of taking, and
was ordered to take.

        I suppose the Conduct of that Captain will be enquired into by
a Court-Martial.  Capt. Jones goes home in the _Ariel_, a Ship we
have borrowed of Government here, and carries 146 Chests of Arms, and
400 Barrels of Powder.  To take the rest of the Stores, and Cloathing
I have been obliged to freight a Ship, which, being well arm'd and
well mann'd, will, I hope, get safe.  The cloathes for 10,000 Men
are, I think, all made up; there are also Arms for 15,000, new and
good, with 2,000 Barrels of Powder.  Besides this, there is a great
Quantity of Cloth I have bought, of which you will have the Invoices,
sent by Mr. Williams; another large Quantity purchas'd by Mr. Ross;
all going in the same Ship.

        The little Authority we have here to govern our armed Ships,
and the Inconvenience of Distance from the Ports, occasion abundance
of Irregularities in the Conduct of both Men and Officers.  I hope,
therefore, that no more of those Vessels will be sent hither, till
our Code of Laws is perfected respecting Ships abroad, and proper
Persons appointed to manage such Affairs in the SeaPorts.  They give
me infinite Trouble; and, tho' I endeavour to act for the best, it is
without Satisfaction to myself, being unacquainted with that kind of
Business.  I have often mention'd the Appointment of a Consul or
Consuls.  The Congress have, perhaps, not yet had time to consider
that Matter.

        Having already sent you, by different Conveyances, Copies of my
Proceedings with the Court of Denmark, relative to the three Prizes
delivered up to the English, and requested the Instructions of
Congress, I hope soon to receive them.  I mention'd a Letter from the
Congress to that Court, as what I thought might have a good Effect.
I have since had more Reasons to be of that Opinion.

        The unexpected Delay of Mr. Dean's Arrival has retarded the
Settlement of the joint Accounts of the Commission, he having had the
chief Management of the commercial Part, and being therefore best
able to explain Difficulties.  I have just now the Pleasure to hear
that the _Fier Rodrique_, with her Convoy from Virginia, arrived at
Bordeaux, all safe except one Tobacco Ship, that foundered at Sea,
the Men saved; and I have a letter from Mr. Deane that he is at
Rochelle, proposes to stop a few Days at Nantes, and then proceed to
Paris, when I shall endeavour to see that Business completed with all
possible Expedition.

        Mr. Adams has given Offence to the Court here, by some
Sentiments and Expressions contained in several of his Letters
written to the Count de Vergennes.  I mention this with Reluctance,
tho' perhaps it would have been my Duty to acquaint you with such a
Circumstance, even were it not required of me by the Minister
himself.  He has sent me Copies of the Correspondence, desiring I
would communicate them to Congress; and I send them herewith.  Mr.
Adams did not show me his Letters before he sent them.  I have, in a
former Letter to Mr. Lovell, mentioned some of the Inconveniencies,
that attend the having more than one Minister at the same Court; one
of which Inconveniencies is, that they do not always hold the same
Language, and that the Impressions made by one, and intended for the
Service of his Constituents, may be effaced by the Discourse of the
other.  It is true, that Mr. Adams's proper Business is elsewhere;
but, the Time not being come for that Business, and having nothing
else here wherewith to employ himself, he seems to have endeavoured
to supply what he may suppose my Negociations defective in.  He
thinks, as he tells me himself, that America has been too free in
Expressions of Gratitude to France; for that she is more oblig'd to
us than we to her; and that we should show Spirit in our
Applications.  I apprehend, that he mistakes his Ground, and that
this Court is to be treated with Decency and Delicacy.  The King, a
young and virtuous Prince, has, I am persuaded, a Pleasure in
reflecting on the generous Benevolence of the Action in assisting an
oppressed People, and proposes it as a Part of the Glory of his
Reign.  I think it right to encrease this Pleasure by our thankful
Acknowledgments, and that such an Expression of Gratitude is not only
our Duty, but our Interest.  A different Conduct seems to me what is
not only improper and unbecoming, but what may be hurtful to us.  Mr.
Adams, on the other hand, who, at the same time means our Welfare and
Interest as much as I, or any man, can do, seems to think a little
apparent Stoutness, and greater air of Independence and Boldness in
our Demands, will procure us more ample Assistance.  It is for
Congress to judge and regulate their Affairs accordingly.

        M. Vergennes, who appears much offended, told me, yesterday,
that he would enter into no further Discussions with Mr. Adams, nor
answer any more of his Letters.  He is gone to Holland to try, as he
told me, whether something might not be done to render us less
dependent on France.  He says, the Ideas of this Court and those of
the People in America are so totally different, that it is impossible
for any Minister to please both.  He ought to know America better
than I do, having been there lately, and he may chuse to do what he
thinks will best please the People of America.  But, when I consider
the Expressions of Congress in many of their public Acts, and
particularly in their Letter to the Chev. de la Luzerne, of the 24th
of May last, I cannot but imagine, that he mistakes the Sentiments of
a few for a general Opinion.  It is my Intention, while I stay here,
to procure what Advantages I can for our Country, by endeavouring to
please this Court; and I wish I could prevent any thing being said by
any of our Countrymen here, that may have a contrary Effect, and
increase an Opinion lately showing itself in Paris, that we seek a
Difference, and with a view of reconciling ourselves to England.
Some of them have of late been very indiscreet in their

        I received, eight months after their Date, the Instructions of
Congress relating to a new Article for guaranteeing the Fisheries.
The expected Negociations for a Peace appearing of late more remote,
and being too much occupied with other Affairs, I have not hitherto
proposed that Article.  But I purpose doing it next Week.  It appears
so reasonable and equitable, that I do not foresee any Difficulty.
In my next, I shall give you an Account of what passes on the

        The Silver Medal ordered for the Chev'r de Fleury, has been
delivered to his Order here, he being gone to America.  The others,
for Brigadier-General Wayne and Colonel Stuart, I shall send by the
next good Opportunity.

        The Two Thousand Pounds I furnished to Messrs. Adams and Jay,
agreable to an Order of Congress, for themselves and Secretaries,
being nearly expended, and no Supplies to them arriving, I have
thought it my Duty to furnish them with further Sums, hoping the
Supplies promised will soon arrive to reimburse me, and enable me to
pay the Bills drawn on Mr. Laurens in Holland, which I have engaged
for, to save the public Credit, the Holders of those Bills
threatening otherwise to protest them.  Messrs. de Neufville of
Amsterdam had accepted some of them.  I have promised those Gentlemen
to provide for the Payment before they become due, and to accept such
others as shall be presented to me.  I hear, and hope it is true,
that the Drawing of such Bills is stopped, and that their Number and
Value is not very great.

        The Bills drawn in favour of M. de Beaumarchais for the
Interest of his Debt are paid.

        The German Prince, who gave me a Proposal some Months since for
furnishing Troops to the Congress, has lately desired an Answer.  I
gave no Expectation, that it was likely you would agree to such a
Proposal; but, being pressed to send it you, it went with some of my
former Letters.

        M. Fouquet, who was employ'd by Congress to instruct People in
making Gunpowder, is arriv'd here, after a long Passage; he has
requested me to transmit a Memorial to Congress, which I do,

        The great public Event in Europe of this Year is the Proposal,
by Russia, of an armed Neutrality for protecting the Liberty of
Commerce.  The proposition is accepted now by most of the maritime
Powers.  As it is likely to become the Law of Nations, _that free
Ships should make free Goods_, I wish the Congress to consider,
whether it may not be proper to give Orders to their Cruizers not to
molest Foreign Ships, but conform to the Spirit of that Treaty of

        The English have been much elated with their Success at
Charlestown.  The late News of the Junction of the French and Spanish
Fleets, has a little abated their Spirits; and I hope that Junction,
and the Arrival of the French Troops and Ships in N. America, will
soon produce News, that may afford us also in our Turn some

        Application has been made to me here, requesting that I would
solicit Congress to permit the Exchange of William John Mawhood, a
Lieutenant in the 17th Regiment, taken Prisoner at Stony Point, July
15th, 1779, and confin'd near Philadelphia; or, if the exchange
cannot conveniently be made, that he may be permitted to return to
England on his Parole.  By doing this at my Request, the Congress
will enable me to oblige several Friends of ours, who are Persons of
Merit and Distinction in this country.

        Be pleased, Sir, to present my Duty to Congress, and believe me
to be, with great Respect, &c.

        P.S. A similar Application has been made to me in favour of
Richard Croft, Lieutenant in the 20th Regiment, a Prisoner at
Charlottesville.  I shall be much obliged by any Kindness shown to
that young Gentleman, and so will some Friends of ours in England,
who respect his Father.


        _To John Jay_

        DEAR SIR, Passy, October 2d, 1780.
        I received duly and in good order the several letters you have
written to me of August 16th, 19th, September 8th, and 22d.  The
papers that accompanied them of your writing gave me the pleasure of
seeing the affairs of our country in such good hands, and the
prospect, from your youth, of its having the service of so able a
minister for a great number of years.  But the little success that
has attended your late applications for money mortified me
exceedingly; and the storm of bills which I found coming upon us
both, has terrified and vexed me to such a degree that I have been
deprived of sleep, and so much indisposed by continual anxiety, as to
be rendered almost incapable of writing.

        At length I got over a reluctance that was almost invincible,
and made another application to the government here for more money.
I drew up and presented a state of debts and newly-expected demands,
and requested its aid to extricate me.  Judging from your letters
that you were not likely to obtain any thing considerable from your
court, I put down in my estimate the 25,000 dollars drawn upon you,
with the same sum drawn upon me, as what would probably come to me
for payment.  I have now the pleasure to acquaint you that my
memorial was received in the kindest and most friendly manner, and
though the court here is not without its embarrassments on account of
money, I was told to make myself easy, for that I should be assisted
with what was necessary.  Mr. Searle arriving about this time, and
assuring me there had been a plentiful harvest, and great crops of
all kinds; that the Congress had demanded of the several States
contributions in produce, which would be cheerfully given; that they
would therefore have plenty of provisions to dispose of; and I being
much pleased with the generous behaviour just experienced, I
presented another paper, proposing, in order to ease the government
here, which had been so willing to ease us, that the Congress might
furnish their army in America with provisions in part of payment for
the services lent us.  This proposition, I was told, was well taken;
but it being considered that the States having the enemy in their
country, and obliged to make great expenses for the present campaign,
the furnishing so much provisions as the French army might need,
might straiten and be inconvenient to the Congress, his majesty did
not at this time think it right to accept the offer.  You will not
wonder at my loving this good prince: he will win the hearts of all

        If you are not so fortunate in Spain, continue however the even
good temper you have hitherto manifested.  Spain owes us nothing;
therefore, whatever friendship she shows us in lending money or
furnishing clothes, &c. though not equal to our wants and wishes, is
however _tant de gagne_; those who have begun to assist us, are more
likely to continue than to decline, and we are still so much obliged
as their aids amount to.  But I hope and am confident, that court
will be wiser than to take advantage of our distress, and insist on
our making sacrifices by an agreement, which the circumstances of
such distress would hereafter weaken, and the very proposition can
only give disgust at present.  Poor as we are, yet as I know we shall
be rich, I would rather agree with them to buy at a great price the
whole of their right on the Mississippi, than sell a drop of its
waters.  A neighbour might as well ask me to sell my street door.

        I wish you could obtain an account of what they have supplied
us with already in money and goods.

        Mr. Grand, informing me that one of the bills drawn on you
having been sent from hence to Madrid, was come back unaccepted, I
have directed him to pay it; and he has, at my request, undertaken to
write to the Marquis D'Yranda, to assist you with money to answer
such bills as you are not otherwise enabled to pay, and to draw on
him for the amount, which drafts I shall answer here as far as 25,000
dollars.  If you expect more, acquaint me.  But pray write to
Congress as I do, to forbear this practice, which is so extremely
hazardous, and may, some time or other, prove very mischievous to
their credit and affairs.  I have undertaken, too, for all the bills
drawn on Mr. Laurens, that have yet appeared.  He was to have sailed
three days after Mr. Searle, that is, the 18th July.  Mr. Searle
begins to be in pain for him, having no good opinion of the little
vessel he was to embark in.

        We have letters from America to the 7th August.  The spirit of
our people was never higher.  Vast exertions making preparatory for
some important action.  Great harmony and affection between the
troops of the two nations.  The new money in good credit, &c.

        I will write to you again shortly, and to Mr. Carmichael.  I
shall now be able to pay up your salaries complete for the year; but
as demands unforeseen are continually coming upon me, I still retain
the expectations you have given me of being reimbursed out of the
first remittances you receive.

        If you find any inclination to hug me for the good news of this
letter, I constitute and appoint Mrs. Jay my attorney, to receive in
my behalf your embraces.  With great and sincere esteem,
             I have the honour to be, dear sir,
               Your most obedient and most humble servant,


        _To Richard Price_

        DEAR SIR, Passy, Oct. 9, 1780.
        Besides the Pleasure of their Company, I had the great
Satisfaction of hearing by your two valuable Friends, and learning
from your Letter, that you enjoy a good State of Health.  May God
continue it, as well for the Good of Mankind as for your Comfort.  I
thank you much for the second Edition of your excellent Pamphlet.  I
forwarded that you sent to Mr. Dana, he being in Holland.  I wish
also to see the Piece you have written (as Mr. Jones tells me) on
Toleration.  I do not expect that your new Parliament will be either
wiser or honester than the last.  All Projects to procure an honest
one, by Place Bills, &c., appear to me vain and Impracticable.  The
true Cure, I imagine, is to be found only in rendring all Places
unprofitable, and the King too poor to give Bribes and Pensions.
Till this is done, which can only be by a Revolution (and I think you
have not Virtue enough left to procure one), your Nation will always
be plundered, and obliged to pay by Taxes the Plunderers for
Plundering and Ruining.  Liberty and Virtue therefore join in the

        I am fully of your Opinion respecting religious Tests; but,
tho' the People of Massachusetts have not in their new Constitution
kept quite clear of them, yet, if we consider what that People were
100 Years ago, we must allow they have gone great Lengths in
Liberality of Sentiment on religious Subjects; and we may hope for
greater Degrees of Perfection, when their Constitution, some years
hence, shall be revised.  If Christian Preachers had continued to
teach as Christ and his Apostles did, without Salaries, and as the
Quakers now do, I imagine Tests would never have existed; for I think
they were invented, not so much to secure Religion itself, as the
Emoluments of it.  When a Religion is good, I conceive that it will
support itself; and, when it cannot support itself, and God does not
take care to support, so that its Professors are oblig'd to call for
the help of the Civil Power, it is a sign, I apprehend, of its being
a bad one.  But I shall be out of my Depth, if I wade any deeper in
Theology, and I will not trouble you with Politicks, nor with News
which are almost as uncertain; but conclude with a heartfelt Wish to
embrace you once more, and enjoy your sweet Society in Peace, among
our honest, worthy, ingenious Friends at the _London._ Adieu,


        _To Benjamin Waterhouse_

        SIR, Passy, Jan. 18. 1781.
        I received your obliging Letter of the 16th past, enclosing one
from my dear Friend, Dr. Fothergill.  I was happy to hear from him,
that he was quite free of the Disorder that had like to have remov'd
him last summer.  But I had soon after a Letter from another Friend,
acquainting me, that he was again dangerously ill of the same Malady;
and the newspapers have since announced his Death!  I condole with
you most sincerely on this Occasion.  I think a worthier Man never
lived.  For besides his constant Readiness to serve his Friends, he
was always studying and projecting something for the Good of his
Country and of Mankind in general, and putting others, who had it in
their Power, on executing what was out of his own reach; but whatever
was within it he took care to do himself; and his incredible Industry
and unwearied Activity enabled him to do much more than can now be
ever known, his Modesty being equal to his other Virtues.

        I shall take care to forward his Letter to Mr. Pemberton.
Enclos'd is one I have just received under Cover from that Gentleman.
You will take care to convey it by some safe Opportunity to London.

        With hearty Wishes for your Prosperity and Success in your
Profession, and that you may be a good Copy of your deceas'd
Relation, I am, Sir, etc.,


        _To John Adams_

        SIR, Passy, Feb. 22. 1781
        I received the Letter your Excell'y did me honour of writing to me
the 15th Inst. respecting Bills, presented to you for Acceptance drawn by
Congress in favour of N. Tracey for 10,000 pounds Sterling payable 90 Days
Sight; and desiring to know if I can furnish Funds for the Payment.

        I have lately made a fresh & strong Application for more Money.
I have not yet received a positive Answer.  I have however two of the
Christian Graces, Faith & Hope.  But my Faith is only that of which
the Apostle Speaks, the Evidence of things not seen.  For in Truth I
do not see at present how so many Bills drawn at random on our
Ministers in France, Spain & Holland, are to be paid.  Nor that
anything but omnipotent Necessity can excuse the Imprudence of it.
Yet I think Bills drawn upon us by the Congress ought at all Risques
to be accepted.  I shall accordingly use my best Endeavours to
procure Money for their honourable Discharge against they become due,
if you should not in the meantime be provided; and if those
Endeavours fail, I shall be ready to break, run away, or go to prison
with you, as it shall please God.

        Sir G. Grand has returned to me the remainder of the Book of
Promisses, sign'd by us, which his House had not an Opportunity of
issuing.  Perhaps the late Charge of Affairs in that Country may open
a way for them.  If on consulting him you should be of that Opinion,
I will send them to you. -- With great Respect, I have the honour to
        P. S. Late Advices from Congress mention that Col.  Laurens is
coming over as Envoy extraordinary to this Court & Col.  Palfray as
Consul General.  They may be expected every day.


        _To Court de Gebelin_

        DEAR SIR, Passy, May 7, 1781.
        I am glad the little Book prov'd acceptable.  It does not
appear to me intended for a Grammar to teach the Language.  It is
rather what we call in English a _Spelling Book_, in which the only
Method observ'd is, to arrange the Words according to their Number of
Syllables, placing those of one Syllable together, then those of two
Syllables, and so on.  And it is to be observ'd, that _Sa ki ma_, for
Instance, is not three Words, but one Word of three Syllables; and
the reason that _Hyphens_ are not plac'd between the Syllables is,
that the Printer had not enough of them.

        As the Indians had no Letters, they had no Orthography.  The
Delaware Language being differently spelt from the Virginian may not
always arise from a Difference in the Languages; for Strangers who
learn the Language of an Indian Nation, finding no Orthography, are
at Liberty in writing the Language to use such Compositions of
Letters as they think will best produce the Sounds of the Words.  I
have observ'd, that our Europeans of different Nations, who learn the
same Indian Language, form each his own Orthography according to the
usual Sounds given to the Letters in his own Language.  Thus the same
Words of the Mohawk Language written by an English, a French, and a
German Interpreter, often differ very much in the Spelling; and,
without knowing the usual Powers of the Letters in the Language of
the Interpreter, one cannot come at the Pronunciation of the Indian
Words.  The Spelling Book in question was, I think, written by a

        You mention a Virginian Bible.  Is it not the Bible of the
Massachusetts Language, translated by Elliot, and printed in New
England, about the middle of the last Century?  I know this Bible,
but have never heard of one in the Virginian Language.  Your
Observations of the Similitude between many of the Words, and those
of the ancient World, are indeed very curious.

        This Inscription, which you find to be Phenician, is, I think,
near _Taunton_ (not _Jannston_, as you write it).  There is some
Account of it in the old _Philosophical Transactions._ I have never
been at the Place, but shall be glad to see your Remarks on it.

        The Compass appears to have been long known in China, before it
was known in Europe; unless we suppose it known to Homer, who makes
the Prince, that lent Ships to Ulysses, boast that they had a
_spirit_ in them, by whose Directions they could find their way in a
cloudy Day, or the darkest Night.  If any Phenicians arriv'd in
America, I should rather think it was not by the Accident of a Storm,
but in the Course of their long and adventurous Voyages; and that
they coasted from Denmark and Norway, over to Greenland, and down
Southward by Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, &c., to New England; as the
Danes themselves certainly did some ages before Columbus.

        Our new American Society will be happy in the Correspondence
you mention, and when it is possible for me, I shall be glad to
attend the Meetings of your Society, which I am sure must be very
instructive.  With great and sincere esteem, I have the honour to be,


        _To Comte de Vergennes_

        SIR, Passy. June 10'th. 1781
        I received the letter your Excellency did me the honour of
writing to me on the 8'th. Inst. in answer to mine of the 4'th.

        The state of M'r. Laurens's transaction in Holland, as I understood
it, is this.  Capt. Gillon represented to him, that he had bought clothing
&c. for the troops of South Carolina, to the value of 10,000 pounds sterling,
which were actually shipp'd in the _Indienne_; that he now wanted money to
get his ship out, and therefore proposed to M'r. Laurens to take those goods
of him for the United States.  M'r.  Laurens agreed to take such as would
suit their wants, and to pay for the same by Bills upon me at six months'
sight; and proposed to send in her some other articles that could be bought
in Holland.  His motives were that this fine ship, if she could be got out,
would be a safe conveyance; and that she would afterwards be useful to the
Congress on our Coasts.  He informed me that he had mentioned to your
Excellency Capt. Gillon's proposal, and that you seem'd to approve of it.  I
accordingly consented to his ordering those drafts upon me; but this will not
be any great addition to my difficulty, since in the term of 6 months, I can
probably receive from Congress the Power which you judge necessary for
applying any part of the loan opened in Holland, to the discharge of those

        With regard to the drafts made by Congress on M'r. Jay, in
expectation of a friendly loan from the Court of Spain, on M'r.
Laurens and M'r. Adams in Holland, from assurances given by some
People of that Country that a loan might be easily by them obtained
there; and large drafts upon myself, exclusive of the Loan Office
Interest Bills; these all together occasion an embarrassment, which
it is my duty to lay before your Excellency, and to acquaint you with
the consequences I apprehend may attend their not being duly
discharged.  Those Bills were occasioned first by the sums necessary
last year to assemble our army and put it in a condition to act
vigorously with the King's Sea and Land Forces arrived and expected
to arrive from France against New York, and to defend the Southern
Colonies.  Our main Army was accordingly put into such a condition as
to face M'r. Clinton before New York all summer; but the additional
forces expected from France not arriving, the project was not
pursued, and the advantage hoped for from that exertion and expence
was not obtained, tho' the funds of Congress were thereby equally
exhausted.  A second necessity for drawing those Bills, arose from
the delay of five months in the sailing of M'r. de Chaumont's ship,
occasioned by the distraction of his affairs, whereby the clothing
for the army not arriving in time before winter, the Congress were
obliged to purchase the cloths taken by Privateers from the Quebec
Fleet; and this could only be done by payment for the same in Bills.
All these Bills were drawn by solemn resolutions of Congress; and it
seems to me evident, that if no part of the aids lately resolved on
by his Majesty can be applied to their discharge, with out an express
order from Congress for that purpose, the Public Credit of the United
States instead of being "re-animated" as his Majesty graciously
intended, will be destroy'd; for the Bills unpaid, must, according to
the usual Course be returned under protest, long before such order
can be obtained, which protest will by our laws, entitle the Holders
to a Damage of 20 p'r cent, whereby the public will incur a net loss
of one fifth of the whole sum drawn for; an effect, that will be made
use of by their Enemies to discredit their Government among the
People, and must weaken their hands much more in that respect, than
by the mere loss of so much money.  On these considerations, and also
from an opinion that a bill already drawn by order of Congress, was
as good and clear a declaration of their will with regard to the
disposition of so much of any funds they might have at their disposal
in Europe, as any future order of theirs could be, I ventured to
accept and to promise payment of all the Bills above mention'd.  What
I have requested of your Excellency in my late letter, and what I now
beg leave to repeat, is only that so much of the intended aid may be
retained, as shall be necessary to pay those acceptances as they
become due.  I had not the least apprehension that this could meet
with any difficulty; and I hope on reconsideration, your Excellency
may still judge, that it will be for the advantage of the common
cause if this request is granted.

        I have already paid most of the Bills drawn on M. Jay, which
the Money furnish'd to him by the Court of Spain did not suffice to
pay: I have also paid a part of those drawn on M'r Laurens, M'r.
Adams and myself: To do this I have been obliged to anticipate our
funds, so that, as our Banker informs me, I shall by the end of this
month owe him about 400,000 Livres, tho' he has already rec'd from M.
D'Harvelay for the quarter of August.  I have acted imprudently in
making these acceptances and entering into these engagements without
first consulting your Excellency and obtaining your explicit
approbation; but I acted as I thought for the best; I imagined it a
case of absolute necessity, and relying on assistance from the new
aids intended us, and considering the fatal consequence of protests,
I thought at the time that I acted prudently and safely.

        The supplies I shall want for the payment of these Bills will
be gradual: If I cannot obtain them but by an order from Congress, I
must not only stop payment of those not yet become due, but I
apprehend that I shall be obliged to refuse acceptance of some of the
interest Bills, having disabled myself from paying them, by paying so
many others.

        I therefore beg your Excellency would reconsider this important
affair.  I am sorry to find myself under a necessity of giving you so
much trouble.  I wish rather to diminish your cares than to increase
them; being with the most perfect Respect, Sir, Your Excellency's
                                         obedient and most humble servant


        _To William Jackson_

        SIR, Passy, July 10, 1781.
        Last Night I received your 4th Letter on the Same Subject.  You are
anxious to carry the Money with you, because it will reanimate the Credit of
America.  My Situation and long Acquaintance with affairs relating to the
public Credit enables me, I think, to judge better than you can do, who are a
Novice in them, what Employment of it will most conduce to that End; and I
imagine the retaining it to pay the Congress Drafts has infinitely the
Advantage.  You repeat that the Ship is detain'd by my Refusal.  You forget
your having written to me expressly that she waited for Convoy.  You remind
me of the great Expence the Detention of the Ship occasions.  Who has given
Orders to stop her?  It was not me.  I had no Authority to do it.  Have you?
And do you imagine, if you had taken such Authority upon you, that the
Congress ought to bear the Expence occasion'd by your Imprudence? and that
the Blame of detaining the necessary Stores the Ship contains will be excus'd
by your fond Desire of carrying the Money?  The Noise you have rashly made
about this Matter, contrary to the Advice of Mr. Adams, which you ask'd and
receiv'd, and which was to comply with my Requisition, has already done great
Mischief to our Credit in Holland.  Messrs. Fizeaux have declar'd they will
advance to him no more Money on his Bills upon me to assist in paying the
Congress Drafts on him.  Your Commodore, too, complains, in a Letter I have
seen, that he finds it difficult to get Money for my Acceptances of your
Drafts in order to clear his Ship, tho' before this Proceeding of yours Bills
on me were, as Mr. Adams assures me, in as good Credit on the Exchange of
Amsterdam as those of any Banker in Europe.  I suppose the Difficulty
mention'd by the Commodore is the true Reason of the ship's Stay, if in fact
the Convoy is gone without her.  Credit is a delicate thing, capable of being
blasted with a Breath.  The public Talk you have occasion'd about my Stopping
the Money, and the Conjectures of the Reasons or Necessity of doing it, have
created Doubts and Suspicions of most pernicious Consequence.  It is a Matter
that should have pass'd in Silence.  You repeat as a Reason for your Conduct,
that the Money was obtain'd by the great Exertions of Col. Laurens.  Who
obtain'd the Grant is of no Importance, tho' the Use I propose to make of it
is of the greatest.  But the Fact is not as you state it.  I obtain'd it
before he came.  And if he were here I am sure I could convince him of the
Necessity of leaving it.  Especially after I should have inform'd him that
you had made in Holland the enormous Purchase of 40,000 pounds Sterling's
worth of Goods over and above the 10,000 pounds worth, which I had agreed
should be purchased by him on my Credit, and that you had induc'd me to
engage for the Payment of your Purchase by showing me a Paper said to contain
his Orders to you for making it, which I then took to be his Handwriting,
tho' I afterwards found it to be yours, and not sign'd by him.  It would be
an additional Reason with him, when I should remind him that he himself, to
induce me to come into the Proposal of Commodore Gillon and the rest of the
Holland Transaction, to which I was averse, assur'd me that he had mention'd
it to the Minister, and that it was approv'd of: That on the contrary I find
the Minister remembers nothing of it, very much dislikes it, and absolutely
refuses to furnish any Money to discharge that Account.  You finish your
Letter by telling me that, "the daily Enhancement of Expence to the United
States from these Difficulties is worthy the Attention of those whose _Duty_
is to oeconomize the Public Money, and to whom the commonWeal is intrusted
without deranging the special Department of another." The Ship's lying there
with 5 or 600 Men on board is undoubtedly a great daily Expence, but it is
you that occasion it; and these Superior Airs you give yourself, young
Gentleman, of Reproof to me, and Reminding me of my Duty do not become you,
whose special Department and Employ in public Affairs, of which you are so
vain, is but of yesterday, and would never have existed but by my
Concurrence, and would have ended in the Disgrace if I had not supported your
enormous Purchases by accepting your Drafts.  The charging me with want of
oeconomy is particularly improper in _you_, when the only Instance you know
of it is my having indiscreetly comply'd with your Demand in advancing you
120 Louis for the Expence of your Journey to Paris and when the only Instance
I know of your ;oeconomizing Money is your sending me three Expresses, one
after another, on the same Day, all the way from Holland to Paris, each with
a Letter saying the same thing to the same purpose.  This Dispute is as
useless as it is unpleasant.  It can only create ill Blood.  Pray let us end
it.  I have the honour to be, etc.,


        _To William Nixon_

        REV'D SIR, Passy, Sept. 5, 1781.
        I duly received the Letter you did me the Honour of writing to
me the 25th past, together with the valuable little Book, of which
you are the Author.  There can be no doubt, but that a Gentleman of
your Learning and Abilities might make a very useful Member of
Society in our new Country, and meet with Encouragement there, either
as an Instructor in one of our Universities, or as a Clergyman of the
Church of Ireland.  But I am not impowered to engage any Person to go
over thither, and my Abilities to assist the Distressed are very
limited.  I suppose you will soon be set at Liberty in England by the
Cartel for the Exchange of Prisoners.  In the mean time, if Five
_Louis-d'ors_ may be of present Service to you, please to draw on me
for that Sum, and your Bill shall be paid on Sight.  Some time or
other you may have an Opportunity of assisting with an equal Sum a
stranger who has equal need of it.  Do so.  By that means you will
discharge any Obligation you may suppose yourself under to me.
Enjoin him to do the same on Occasion.  By pursuing such a Practice,
much Good may be done with little money.  Let kind Offices go round.
Mankind are all of a Family.  I have the honour to be, Rev'd Sir, &c.


        _To William Strahan_

        DEAR SIR, Passy, December 4, 1781.
        Not remembering precisely the address of Mrs. Strange, I beg
leave to request you would forward the Enclosed to her, which I
received under my Cover from America.

        I formerly sent you from Philadelphia part of an Edition of
"Tully on Old Age," to be sold in London; and you put the Books, if I
remember right, into the Hands of Mr. Becket for that Purpose.
Probably he may have some of them still in his Warehouse, as I never
had an account of their being sold.  I shall be much oblig'd by your
procuring and sending me one of them.

        A strong Emulation exists at present between Paris and Madrid,
with regard to beautiful Printing.  Here a M. Didot _le jeune_ has a
Passion for the Art, and besides having procured the best Types, he
has much improv'd the Press.  The utmost Care is taken of his
Presswork; his Ink is black, and his Paper fine and white.  He has
executed several charming Editions.  But the "Salust" and the "Don
Quixote" of Madrid are thought to excel them.  Didot however,
improves every day, and by his zeal and indefatigable application
bids fair to carry the Art to a high Pitch of Perfection.  I will
send you a Sample of his Work when I have an opportunity.

        I am glad to hear that you have married your Daughter happily,
and that your Prosperity continues.  I hope it may never meet with
any Interruption having still, tho' at present divided by public
Circumstances, a Remembrance of our ancient private Friendship.
Please to present my affectionate Respects to Mrs. Strahan, and my
Love to your Children.  With great Esteem and Regard, I am, dear Sir,

                 Your most humble and most obedient Servant,


        _To John Adams_

        SIR Passy, Dec. 17, 1781
        I have received the Packet containing the correspondence
relating to the Goods.  I suppose that M'r Barclay is there before
this time, and the Affair in a way of Accommodation.  Young M'r
Neufville is here; but I have thought it best not to give him as yet
any Hopes of my paying the Bills unless the Goods are delivered.  I
shall write fully by next Post.  This serves chiefly to acquaint you
that I will endeavour to pay the Bills that have been presented to
you drawn on M'r Laurens.  But you terrify me, by acquainting me that
there are yet a great number behind.  It is hard that I never had any
information sent me of the Sums drawn, a Line of Order to pay, nor a
Syllable of Approbation for having paid any of the Bills drawn on M'r
Laurens, M'r Jay or yourself.  As yet I do not see that I can go any
further, and therefore can engage for no more than you have
                 With great Esteem, I have the honour to be Sir
                         Your Excellency's
                                 most obedient and most
                                         humble Servant


        _To Robert R. Livingston_

        SIR, Passy, March 4, 1782.
        Since I wrote the two short letters, of which I herewith send
you copies, I have been honoured with yours, dated the 16th of

        Enclosed I send two letters from Count de Vergennes, relating
to certain complaints from Ostend and Copenhagen against our
cruisers.  I formerly forwarded a similar complaint from Portugal, to
which I have yet received no answer.  The ambassador of that kingdom
frequently teazes me for it.  I hope now, that by your means this
kind of affairs will be more immediately attended to; ill blood and
mischief may be thereby sometimes prevented.

        The Marquis de Lafayette was at his return hither received by
all ranks with all possible distinction.  He daily gains in the
general esteem and affection, and promises to be a great man here.
He is warmly attached to our cause; we are on the most friendly and
confidential footing with each other, and he is really very
serviceable to me in my applications for additional assistance.

        I have done what I could in recommending Messieurs Duportail
and Gouvion, as you desired.  I did it with pleasure, as I have much
esteem for them.

        I will endeavour to procure a sketch of an emblem for the
purpose you mention.  This puts me in mind of a medal I have had a
mind to strike, since the late great event you gave me an account of,
representing the United States by the figure of an infant Hercules in
his cradle, strangling the two serpents; and France by that of
Minerva, sitting by as his nurse, with her spear and helmet, and her
robe specked with a few _fleurs de lis._ The extinguishing of two
entire armies in one war is what has rarely happened, and it gives a
presage of the future force of our growing empire.

        I thank you much for the newspapers you have been so kind as to
send me.  I send also to you, by every opportunity, packets of the
French, Dutch, and English papers.  Enclosed is the last _Courier of
Europe_, wherein you will find a late curious debate on continuing
the war with America, which the minister carried in the affirmative
only by his own vote.  It seems the nation is sick of it, but the
King is obstinate.  _There is a change made of the American
Secretary_, and another is talked of in the room of Lord Sandwich.
But I suppose we have no reason to desire such changes.  If the King
will have a war with us, his old servants are as well for us as any
he is likely to put in their places.  The ministry, you will see,
declare, that the war in America is for the future to be only
_defensive._ I hope we shall be too prudent to have the least
dependence on this declaration.  It is only thrown out to lull us;
for, depend upon it, the King hates us cordially, and will be content
with nothing short of our extirpation.

        I shall be glad to receive the account you are preparing of the
wanton damages done our possessions.  I wish you could also furnish
me with one, of the barbarities committed on our people.  They may
both be of excellent use on certain occasions.  I received the
duplicate of yours in cipher.  Hereafter, I wish you would use that
in which those instructions were written, that relate to the future
peace.  I am accustomed to that, and I think it very good and more
convenient in the practice.

        The friendly disposition of this court towards us continues.
We have sometimes pressed a little too hard, expecting and demanding,
perhaps, more than we ought, and have used improper arguments, which
may have occasioned a little dissatisfaction, but it has not been
lasting.  In my opinion, the surest way to obtain liberal aid from
others is vigorously to help ourselves.  People fear assisting the
negligent, the indolent, and the careless, lest the aids they afford
should be lost.  I know we have done a great deal; but it is said, we
are apt to be supine after a little success, and too backward in
furnishing our contingents.  This is really a generous nation, fond
of glory, and particularly that of protecting the oppressed.  Trade
is not the admiration of their noblesse, who always govern here.
Telling them, their _commerce_ will be advantaged by our success, and
that it is their _interest_ to help us, seems as much as to say,
"Help us, and we shall not be obliged to you." Such indiscreet and
improper language has been sometimes held here by some of our people,
and produced no good effects.

        The constant harmony, subsisting between the armies of the two
nations in America, is a circumstance, that has afforded me infinite
pleasure.  It should be carefully cultivated.  I hope nothing will
happen to disturb it.  The French officers, who have returned to
France this winter, speak of our people in the handsomest and kindest
manner; and there is a strong desire in many of the young noblemen to
go over to fight for us; there is no restraining some of them; and
several changes among the officers of their army have lately taken
place in consequence.

        You must be so sensible of the utility of maintaining a perfect
good understanding with the Chevalier de la Luzerne, that I need say
nothing on that head.  The affairs of a distant people in any court
of Europe will always be much affected by the representations of the
minister of that court residing among them.

        We have here great quantities of supplies, of all kinds, ready
to be sent over, and which would have been on their way before this
time, if the unlucky loss of the transports, that were under M. de
Guichen, and other demands for more ships, had not created a
difficulty to find freight for them.  I hope however, that you will
receive them with the next convoy.

        The accounts we have of the economy introduced by Mr. Morris
begin to be of service to us here, and will by degrees obviate the
inconvenience, that an opinion of our disorders and mismanagements
had occasioned.  I inform him by this conveyance of the money aids we
shall have this year.  The sum is not so great as we could wish; and
we must so much the more exert ourselves.  A small increase of
industry in every American, male and female, with a small diminution
of luxury, would produce a sum far superior to all we can hope to beg
or borrow from all our friends in Europe.

        There are now near a thousand of our brave fellows prisoners in
England, many of whom have patiently endured the hardships of that
confinement several years, resisting every temptation to serve our
enemies.  Will not your late great advantages put it in your power to
do something for their relief?  The slender supply I have been able
to afford, of a shilling a week to each, for their greater comfort
during the winter, amounts weekly to fifty pounds sterling.  An
exchange would make so many of our countrymen happy, add to our
strength, and diminish our expense.  But our privateers, who cruise
in Europe, will not be at the trouble of bringing in their prisoners,
and I have none to exchange for them.

        Generals Cornwallis and Arnold are both arrived in England.  It
is reported, that the former, in all his conversations, discourages
the prosecution of the war in America; if so, he will of course be
out of favour.  We hear much of audiences given to the latter, and of
his being present at councils.

        You desire to know, whether any intercepted letters of Mr.
Deane have been published in Europe?  I have seen but one in the
English papers, that to Mr. Wadsworth, and none in any of the French
and Dutch papers, but some may have been printed that have not fallen
in my way.  There is no doubt of their being all genuine.  His
conversation, since his return from America, has, as I have been
informed, gone gradually more and more into that style, and at length
come to an open vindication of Arnold's conduct; and, within these
few days, he has sent me a letter of twenty full pages,
recapitulating those letters, and threatening to write and publish an
account of the treatment he has received from Congress, &c.  He
resides at Ghent, is distressed both in mind and circumstances, raves
and writes abundance, and I imagine it will end in his going over to
join his friend Arnold in England.  I had an exceeding good opinion
of him when he acted with me, and I believe he was then sincere and
hearty in our cause.  But he is changed, and his character ruined in
his own country and in this, so that I see no other but England to
which he can now retire.  He says, that we owe him about twelve
thousand pounds sterling; and his great complaint is, that we do not
settle his accounts and pay him.  Mr. Johnston having declined the
service, I proposed engaging Mr. Searle to undertake it; but Mr.
Deane objected to him, as being his enemy.  In my opinion he was, for
that reason, even fitter for the service of Mr. Deane; since accounts
are of a mathematical nature, and cannot be changed by an enemy,
while that enemy's testimony, that he had found them well supported
by authentic vouchers, would have weighed more than the same
testimony from a friend.

        With regard to negotiations for a peace, I see but little
probability of their being entered upon seriously this year, unless
the English minister has failed in raising his funds, which it is
said he has secured; so that we must provide for another campaign, in
which I hope God will continue to favour us, and humble our cruel and
haughty enemies; a circumstance which, whatever Mr. Deane may say to
the contrary, will give pleasure to all Europe.

        This year opens well, by the reduction of Port Mahon, and the
garrison prisoners of war, and we are not without hopes, that
Gibraltar may soon follow.  A few more signal successes in America
will do much towards reducing our enemies to reason.  Your
expressions of good opinion with regard to me, and wishes of my
continuance in this employment, are very obliging.  As long as the
Congress think I can be useful to our affairs, it is my duty to obey
their orders; but I should be happy to see them better executed by
another, and myself at liberty, enjoying, before I quit the stage of
life, some small degree of leisure and tranquillity.  With great
esteem, &c.


        _To John Adams_

        SIR Passy, April 22, 1782
        Mess'rs. Fizeaux and Grand have lately sent me two accounts of
which they desire my approbation.  As they relate to Payments made by
those Gentlemen of your Acceptances of Bills of Exchange, your
Approbation must be of more importance than mine, you having more
certain knowledge of the Affair.  I therefore send them enclos'd to
you and request you would be pleas'd to compare them with your List
of Acceptations, and return them to me with your opinion, as they
will be my Justification for advancing the Money.

           I am very happy to hear of the rapid progress of your
affairs.  They fear in England that the States will make with us an
alliance offensive and defensive, and the public Funds which they had
puff'd up four or five per cent by the hope of a Separate Peace with
Holland are falling again.  They fill their papers continually with
lies to raise and fall the Stocks.  It is not amiss that they should
thus be left to ruin one another, for they have been very --
mischievous to the rest of mankind.  I send enclosed a paper, of the
Veracity of which I have some doubt, as to the Form, but none as to
the Substance, for I believe the Number of People actually scalp'd in
this murdering war by the Indians to exceed what is mentioned in
invoice, and that Muley Istmael (a happy name for a prince as
obstinant as a mule) is full as black a Tyrant as he is represented
in Paul Jones' pretended letter.  These being _substantial_ Truths
the Form is to be considered as Paper and Packthread.  If it were
republish'd in England it might make them a little asham'd of
                 I am very respectfully
                         Your Excellency's
                                 most obedient and most
                                         humble Servant


     _To Joseph Priestley_

     DEAR SIR, Passy near Paris, June 7, 1782.
     I received your kind Letter of the 7th of April, also one of the
3d of May.  I have always great Pleasure in hearing from you, in
learning that you are well, and that you continue your Experiments.
I should rejoice much, if I could once more recover the Leisure to
search with you into the Works of Nature; I mean the _inanimate_, not
the _animate_ or moral part of them, the more I discover'd of the
former, the more I admir'd them; the more I know of the latter, the
more I am disgusted with them.  Men I find to be a Sort of Beings
very badly constructed, as they are generally more easily provok'd
than reconcil'd, more disposed to do Mischief to each other than to
make Reparation, much more easily deceiv'd than undeceiv'd, and
having more Pride and even Pleasure in killing than in begetting one
another; for without a Blush they assemble in great armies at NoonDay
to destroy, and when they have kill'd as many as they can, they
exaggerate the Number to augment the fancied Glory; but they creep
into Corners, or cover themselves with the Darkness of night, when
they mean to beget, as being asham'd of a virtuous Action.  A
virtuous Action it would be, and a vicious one the killing of them,
if the Species were really worth producing or preserving; but of this
I begin to doubt.

        I know you have no such Doubts, because, in your zeal for their
welfare, you are taking a great deal of pains to save their Souls.
Perhaps as you grow older, you may look upon this as a hopeless
Project, or an idle Amusement, repent of having murdered in mephitic
air so many honest, harmless mice, and wish that to prevent mischief,
you had used Boys and Girls instead of them.  In what Light we are
viewed by superior Beings, may be gathered from a Piece of late West
India News, which possibly has not yet reached you.  A young Angel of
Distinction being sent down to this world on some Business, for the
first time, had an old courier-spirit assigned him as a Guide.  They
arriv'd over the Seas of Martinico, in the middle of the long Day of
obstinate Fight between the Fleets of Rodney and De Grasse.  When,
thro' the Clouds of smoke, he saw the Fire of the Guns, the Decks
covered with mangled Limbs, and Bodies dead or dying; the ships
sinking, burning, or blown into the Air; and the Quantity of Pain,
Misery, and Destruction, the Crews yet alive were thus with so much
Eagerness dealing round to one another; he turn'd angrily to his
Guide, and said, "You blundering Blockhead, you are ignorant of your
Business; you undertook to conduct me to the Earth, and you have
brought me into Hell!" "No, Sir," says the Guide, "I have made no
mistake; this is really the Earth, and these are men.  Devils never
treat one another in this cruel manner; they have more Sense, and
more of what Men (vainly) call _Humanity._"

        But to be serious, my dear old Friend, I love you as much as
ever, and I love all the honest Souls that meet at the London
Coffee-House.  I only wonder how it happen'd, that they and my other
Friends in England came to be such good Creatures in the midst of so
perverse a Generation.  I long to see them and you once more, and I
labour for Peace with more Earnestness, that I may again be happy in
your sweet society.

        I show'd your letter to the Duke de Larochefoucault, who thinks
with me, the new Experiments you have made are extremely curious; and
he has given me thereupon a Note, which I inclose, and I request you
would furnish me with the answer desired.

        Yesterday the Count du Nord was at the Academy of Sciences,
when sundry Experiments were exhibited for his Entertainment; among
them, one by M. Lavoisier, to show that the strongest Fire we yet
know, is made in a Charcoal blown upon with dephlogisticated air.  In
a Heat so produced, he melted Platina presently, the Fire being much
more powerful than that of the strongest burning mirror.  Adieu, and
believe me ever, yours most affectionately,


        _To Richard Price_

        DEAR SIR, Passy, June 13, 1782.
        I congratulate you on the late revolution in your public
affairs.  Much good may arise from it, though possibly not all, that
good men and even the new ministers themselves may have wished or
expected.  The change, however, in the sentiments of the nation, in
which I see evident effects of your writings, with those of our
deceased friend Mr. Burgh, and others of our valuable Club, should
encourage you to proceed.

        The ancient Roman and Greek orators could only speak to the
number of citizens capable of being assembled within the reach of
their voice.  Their _writings_ had little effect, because the bulk of
the people could not read.  Now by the press we can speak to nations;
and good books and well written pamphlets have great and general
influence.  The facility, with which the same truths may be
repeatedly enforced by placing them daily in different lights in
_newspapers_, which are everywhere read, gives a great chance of
establishing them.  And we now find, that it is not only right to
strike while the iron is hot, but that it may be very practicable to
heat it by continually striking.

        I suppose all may now correspond with more freedom, and I shall
be glad to hear from you as often as may be convenient to you.
Please to present my best respects to our good old friends of the
London Coffee-House.  I often figure to myself the pleasure I should
have in being once more seated among them.  With the greatest and
most sincere esteem and affection, I am, my dear friend, yours ever,


        _To Miss Alexander_

        Passy, June 24, 1782.
        -- I am not at all displeas'd, that the Thesis and Dedication,
with which we were threatned, are blown over, for I dislike much all
sorts of Mummery.  The Republic of Letters has gained no Reputation,
whatever else it may have gain'd, by the Commerce of Dedications; I
never made one, and I never desir'd, that one should be made to me.
When I submitted to receive this, it was from the bad Habit I have
long had of doing every thing that Ladies desire me to do; there is
no refusing any thing to Madame la Marck, nor to you.  I have been to
pay my Respects to that amiable lady, not merely because it was a
Compliment due to her, but because I love her; which induces me to
excuse her not letting me in; the same Reason I should have for
excusing your faults, if you had any.

        I have not seen your Papa since the Receipt of your pleasing
Letter, so could arrange nothing with him respecting the Carriage.
During seven or eight days, I shall be very busy; after that you
shall hear from me, and the Carriage shall be at your Service.  How
could you think of writing to me about Chimneys and Fires, in such
Weather as this!  Now is the time for the frugal Lady you mention to
save her Wood, obtain _plus de Chaleur_, and lay it up against
Winter, as people do Ice against Summer.  Frugality is an enriching
Virtue; a Virtue I never could acquire in myself; but I was once
lucky enough to find it in a Wife, who thereby became a Fortune to
me.  Do you possess it?  If you do, and I were 20 Years younger, I
would give your Father 1,000 Guineas for you.  I know you would be
worth more to me as a _Menagere_, but I am covetous, and love good
Bargains.  Adieu, my dear Friend, and believe me ever yours most


        _To James Hutton_

        MY OLD AND DEAR FRIEND, Passy, July 7, 1782.
        A Letter written by you to M. Bertin, _Ministre d'Etat_,
containing an Account of the abominable Murders committed by some of
the frontier People on the poor Moravian Indians, has given me
infinite Pain and Vexation.  The Dispensations of Providence in this
World puzzle my weak Reason.  I cannot comprehend why cruel Men
should have been permitted thus to destroy their Fellow Creatures.
Some of the Indians may be suppos'd to have committed Sins, but one
cannot think the little Children had committed any worthy of Death.
Why has a single Man in England, who happens to love Blood and to
hate Americans, been permitted to gratify that bad Temper by hiring
German Murderers, and joining them with his own, to destroy in a
continued Course of bloody Years near 100,000 human Creatures, many
of them possessed of useful Talents, Virtues and Abilities to which
he has no Pretension!  It is he who has furnished the Savages with
Hatchets and Scalping Knives, and engages them to fall upon our
defenceless Farmers, and murder them with their Wives and Children,
paying for their Scalps, of which the account kept in America already
amounts, as I have heard, to near _two Thousand_!

        Perhaps the people of the frontiers, exasperated by the
Cruelties of the Indians, have been induced to kill all Indians that
fall into their Hands without Distinction; so that even these horrid
Murders of our poor Moravians may be laid to his Charge.  And yet
this Man lives, enjoys all the good Things this World can afford, and
is surrounded by Flatterers, who keep even his Conscience quiet by
telling him he is the best of Princes!  I wonder at this, but I
cannot therefore part with the comfortable Belief of a Divine
Providence; and the more I see the Impossibility, from the number &
extent of his Crimes, of giving equivalent Punishment to a wicked Man
in this Life, the more I am convinc'd of a future State, in which all
that here appears to be wrong shall be set right, all that is crooked
made straight.  In this Faith let you & I, my dear Friend, comfort
ourselves; it is the only Comfort, in the present dark Scene of
Things, that is allow'd us.

        I shall not fail to write to the Government of America, urging
that effectual Care may be taken to protect & save the Remainder of
those unhappy People.

        Since writing the above, I have received a Philadelphia Paper,
containing some Account of the same horrid Transaction, a little
different, and some Circumstances alledged as Excuses or Palliations,
but extreamly weak & insufficient.  I send it to you inclos'd.  With
great and sincere Esteem, I am ever, my dear Friend, yours most


        _To Robert R. Livingston_

        SIR, Passy, August 12, 1782.
        I have lately been honoured with your several letters, of March
9th, and May 22d, and 30th.  The paper, containing a state of the
commerce in North America, and explaining the necessity and utility
of convoys for its protection, I have laid before the minister,
accompanied by a letter, pressing that it be taken into immediate
consideration; and I hope it may be attended with success.

        The order of Congress, for liquidating the accounts between
this court and the United States, was executed before it arrived.
All the accounts against us for money lent, and stores, arms,
ammunition, clothing, &c., furnished by government, were brought in
and examined, and a balance received, which made the debt amount to
the even sum of eighteen millions, exclusive of the Holland loan, for
which the King is guarantee.  I send a copy of the instrument to Mr.
Morris.  In reading it, you will discover several fresh marks of the
King's goodness towards us, amounting to the value of near two
millions.  These, added to the free gifts before made to us at
different times, form an object of at least twelve millions, for
which no returns but that of gratitude and friendship are expected.
These, I hope, may be everlasting.  The constant good understanding
between France and the Swiss Cantons, and the steady benevolence of
this crown towards them, afford us a well grounded hope that our
alliance may be as durable and as happy for both nations; there being
strong reasons for our union, and no crossing interests between us.
I write fully to Mr. Morris on money affairs, who will doubtless
communicate to you my letter, so that I need say the less to you on
that subject.

        The letter to the King was well received; the accounts of your
rejoicings on the news of the Dauphin's birth gave pleasure here; as
do the firm conduct of Congress in refusing to treat with General
Carleton, and the unanimous resolutions of the Assemblies of
different States on the same subject.  All ranks of this nation
appear to be in good humour with us, and our reputation rises
throughout Europe.  I understand from the Swedish ambassador, that
their treaty with us will go on as soon as ours with Holland is
finished; our treaty with France, with such improvements as that with
Holland may suggest, being intended as the basis.

        There have been various misunderstandings and mismanagements
among the parties concerned in the expedition of the _Bon Homme
Richard_, which have occasioned delay in dividing the prize money.
M. de Chaumont, who was chosen by the captains of all the vessels in
the expedition as their agent, has long been in a state little short
of bankruptcy, and some of the delays have possibly been occasioned
by the distress of his affairs.  He now informs me, that the money is
in the hands of the minister of the marine.  I shall in a few days
present the memorial you propose, with one relating to the prisoners,
and will acquaint you with the answer.  Mr. Barclay is still in
Holland; when he returns he may take into his hands what money can be
obtained on that account.

        I think your observations respecting the Danish complaints
through the minister of France perfectly just.  I will receive no
more of them by that channel, and will give your reasons to justify
my refusal.

        Your approbation of my idea of a medal, to perpetuate the
memory of York and Saratoga victories, gives me great pleasure, and
encourages me to have it struck.  I wish you would acquaint me with
what kind of a monument at York the emblems required are to be fixed
on; whether an obelisk or a column; its dimensions; whether any part
of it is to be marble, and the emblems carved on it, and whether the
work is to be executed by the excellent artists in that way which
Paris affords; and, if so, to what expense they are to be limited.
This puts me in mind of a monument I got made here and sent to
America, by order of Congress, five years since.  I have heard of its
arrival, and nothing more.  It was admired here for its elegant
antique simplicity of design, and the various beautiful marbles used
in its composition.  It was intended to be fixed against a wall in
the State House of Philadelphia.  I know not why it has been so long
neglected; it would, methinks, be well to inquire after it, and get
it put up somewhere.  Directions for fixing it were sent with it.  I
enclose a print of it.  The inscription in the engraving is not on
the monument; it was merely the fancy of the engraver.  There is a
white plate of marble left smooth to receive such inscription as the
Congress should think proper.

        Our countrymen, who have been prisoners in England, are sent
home, a few excepted, who were sick, and who will be forwarded as
soon as recovered.  This eases us of a very considerable charge.

        I communicated to the Marquis de Lafayette the paragraph of
your letter which related to him.  He is still here, and, as there
seems not so much likelihood of an active campaign in America, he is
probably more useful where he is.  His departure, however, though
delayed, is not absolutely laid aside.

        The second changes in the ministry of England have occasioned,
or have afforded, pretences for various delays in the negotiation for
peace.  Mr. Grenville had two successive imperfect commissions.  He
was at length recalled, and Mr. Fitzherbert is now arrived to replace
him, with a commission in due form to treat with France, Spain, and
Holland.  Mr. Oswald, who is here, is informed by a letter from the
new Secretary of State, that a commission, empowering him to treat
with the Commissioners of Congress, will pass the seals, and be sent
him in a few days; till he arrives, this court will not proceed in
its own negotiation.  I send the _Enabling Act_, as it is called.
Mr. Jay will acquaint you with what passes between him and the
Spanish ambassador, respecting the proposed treaty with Spain.  I
will only mention, that my conjecture of that court's design to coop
us up within the Allegany Mountains is now manifested.  I hope
Congress will insist on the Mississippi as the boundary, and the free
navigation of the river, from which they could entirely exclude us.

        An account of a terrible massacre of the Moravian Indians has
been put into my hands.  I send you the papers, that you may see how
the fact is represented in Europe.  I hope measures will be taken to
secure what is left of those unfortunate people.

        Mr. Laurens is at Nantes, waiting for a passage with his family
to America.  His state of health is unfortunately very bad.  Perhaps
the sea air may recover him, and restore him well to his country.  I
heartily wish it.  He has suffered much by his confinement.  Be
pleased, Sir, to present my duty to the Congress, and assure them of
my most faithful services.  With great esteem, I have the honour to
be, &c.


        _To the Marquis de Lafayette_

        DEAR SIR Passy, Sept. 17. 1782.
        I continue to suffer from this cruel Gout: But in the midst of
my Pain the News of Mad'm de la Fayette's safe Delivery, and your
Acquisition of a Daughter gives me Pleasure.

        In naming your Children I think you do well to begin with the
most antient State.  And as we cannot have too many of so good a Race
I hope you & Me. de la Fayette will go thro the Thirteen.  But as
that may be in the common Way too severe a Task for her delicate
Frame, and Children of Seven Months may become as Strong as those of
Nine, I consent to the Abridgement of Two Months for each; and I wish
her to spend the Twenty-six Months so gained, in perfect Ease, Health
& Pleasure.

        While you are proceeding, I hope our States will some of them
new-name themselves.  Miss Virginia, Miss Carolina, & Miss Georgiana
will sound prettily enough for the Girls; but Massachusetts &
Connecticut, are too harsh even for the Boys, unless they were to be

        That God may bless you in the Event of this Day as in every
other, prays
        Your affectionate Friend & Servant


        _To the Abbe Soulavie_

        SIR, Passey, September 22, 1782.
        I return the papers with some corrections.  I did not find coal
mines under the Calcareous rock in Derby Shire.  I only remarked that
at the lowest part of that rocky mountain which was in sight, there
were oyster shells mixed in the stone; and part of the high county of
Derby being probably as much above the level of the sea, as the coal
mines of Whitehaven were below it, seemed a proof that there had been
a great bouleversement in the surface of that Island, some part of it
having been depressed under the sea, and other parts which had been
under it being raised above it.  Such changes in the superficial part
of the globe seemed to me unlikely to happen if the earth were solid
to the centre.  I therefore imagined that the internal part might be
a fluid more dense, and of greater specific gravity than any of the
solids we are acquainted with; which therefore might swim in or upon
that fluid.  Thus the surface of the globe would be a shell, capable
of being broken and disordered by the violent movements of the fluid
on which it rested.  And as air has been compressed by art so as to
be twice as dense as water, in which case if such air and water could
be contained in a strong glass vessel, the air would be seen to take
the lowest place, and the water to float above and upon it; and as we
know not yet the degree of density to which air may be compressed;
and M. Amontons calculated, that its density increasing as it
approached the centre in the same proportion as above the surface, it
would at the depth of ------ leagues be heavier than gold, possibly
the dense fluid occupying the internal parts of the globe might be
air compressed.  And as the force of expansion in dense air when
heated is in proportion to its density; this central air might afford
another agent to move the surface, as well as be of use in keeping
alive the subterraneous fires: Though as you observe, the sudden
rarefaction of water coming into contact with those fires, may also
be an agent sufficiently strong for that purpose, when acting between
the incumbent earth and the fluid on which it rests.

        If one might indulge imagination in supposing how such a globe
was formed, I should conceive, that all the elements in separate
particles being originally mixed in confusion and occupying a great
space, they would as soon as the almighty fiat ordained gravity or
the mutual attraction of certain parts, and the mutual repulsion of
other parts to exist, all move towards their common centre: That the
air being a fluid whose parts repel each other, though drawn to the
common centre by their gravity, would be densest towards the centre,
and rarer as more remote; consequently all matters lighter than the
central part of that air and immersed in it, would recede from the
centre and rise till they arrived at that region of the air which was
of the same specific gravity with themselves, where they would rest;
while other matter, mixed with the lighter air would descend, and the
two meeting would form the shell of the first earth, leaving the
upper atmosphere nearly clear.  The original movement of the parts
towards their common centre, would naturally form a whirl there;
which would continue in the turning of the new formed globe upon its
axis, and the greatest diameter of the shell would be in its equator.
If by any accident afterwards the axis should be changed, the dense
internal fluid by altering its form must burst the shell and throw
all its substance into the confusion in which we find it.

        I will not trouble you at present with my fancies concerning
the manner of forming the rest of our system.  Superior beings smile
at our theories, and at our presumption in making them.  I will just
mention that your observation of the ferruginous nature of the lava
which is thrown out from the depths of our valcanos, gave me great
pleasure.  It has long been a supposition of mine that the iron
contained in the substance of this globe, has made it capable of
becoming as it is a great magnet.  That the fluid of magnetism exists
perhaps in all space; so that there is a magnetical North and South
of the universe as well as of this globe, and that if it were
possible for a man to fly from star to star, he might govern his
course by the compass.  That it was by the power of this general
magnetism this globe became a particular magnet.  In soft or hot iron
the fluid of magnetism is naturally diffused equally; when within the
influence of a magnet, it is drawn to one end of the iron, made
denser there, and rarer at the other, while the iron continues soft
and hot, it is only a temporary magnet: If it cools or grows hard in
that situation, it becomes a permanent one, the magnetic fluid not
easily resuming its equilibrium.  Perhaps it may be owing to the
permanent magnetism of this globe, which it had not at first, that
its axis is at present kept parallel to itself, and not liable to the
changes it formerly suffered, which occasioned the rupture of its
shell, the submersions and emersions of its lands and the confusion
of its seasons.  The present polar and equatorial diameters differing
from each other near ten leagues; it is easy to conceive in case some
power should shift the axis gradually, and place it in the present
equator, and make the new equator pass through the present poles,
what a sinking of the water would happen in the present equatorial
regions, and what a rising in the present polar regions; so that vast
tracts would be discovered that now are under water, and others
covered that now are dry, the water rising and sinking in the
different extremes near five leagues. -- Such an operation as this,
possibly, occasioned much of Europe, and among the rest, this
mountain of Passy, on which I live, and which is composed of lime
stone, rock and sea shells, to be abandoned by the sea, and to change
its ancient climate, which seems to have been a hot one.  The globe
being now become a permanent magnet, we are perhaps safe from any
future change of its axis.  But we are still subject to the accidents
on the surface which are occasioned by a wave in the internal
ponderous fluid; and such a wave is producible by the sudden violent
explosion you mention, happening from the junction of water and fire
under the earth, which not only lifts the incumbent earth that is
over the explosion, but impressing with the same force the fluid
under it, creates a wave that may run a thousand leagues lifting and
thereby shaking successively all the countries under which it passes.
I know not whether I have expressed myself so clearly, as not to get
out of your sight in these reveries.  If they occasion any new
enquiries and produce a better hypothesis, they will not be quite
useless.  You see I have given a loose to imagination; but I approve
much more your method of philosophizing, which proceeds upon actual
observation, makes a collection of facts, and concludes no farther
than those facts will warrant.  In my present circumstances, that
mode of studying the nature of this globe is out of my power, and
therefore I have permitted myself to wander a little in the wilds of
fancy.  With great esteem I have the honour to be, &c.

        P. S. I have heard that chemists can by their art decompose
stone and wood, extracting a considerable quantity of water from the
one, and air from the other.  It seems natural to conclude from this,
that water and air were ingredients in their original composition.
For men cannot make new matter of any kind.  In the same manner may
we not suppose, that when we consume combustibles of all kinds, and
produce heat or light, we do not create that heat or light; but only
decompose a substance which received it originally as a part of its
composition?  Heat may thus be considered as originally in a fluid
state, but, attracted by organized bodies in their growth, becomes a
part of the solid.  Besides this, I can conceive that in the first
assemblage of the particles of which this earth is composed each
brought its portion of the loose heat that had been connected with
it, and the whole when pressed together produced the internal fire
that still subsists.


        _To Comte de Vergennes_

        SIR, Passy, December 17, 1782.
        I received the letter your Excellency did me the honour of
writing to me on the 15th instant.  The proposal of having a passport
from England was agreed to by me the more willingly, as I at that
time had hopes of obtaining some money to send in the _Washington_,
and the passport would have made its transportation safer, with that
of our despatches, and of yours also, if you had thought fit to make
use of the occasion.  Your Excellency objected, as I understood it,
that the English ministers, by their letters sent in the same ship,
might convey inconvenient expectations into America.  It was
therefore I proposed not to press for the passport till your
preliminaries were also agreed to.  They have sent the passport
without being pressed to do it, and they have sent no letters to go
under it, and ours will prevent the inconvenience apprehended.  In a
subsequent conversation, your Excellency mentioned your intention of
sending some of the King's cutters, whence I imagined, that detaining
the _Washington_ was no longer necessary; and it was certainly
incumbent on us to give Congress as early an account as possible of
our proceedings, who will think it extremely strange to hear of them
by other means, without a line from us.  I acquainted your
Excellency, however, with our intention of despatching that ship,
supposing you might possibly have something to send by her.

        Nothing has been agreed in the preliminaries contrary to the
interests of France; and no peace is to take place between us and
England, till you have concluded yours.  Your observation is,
however, apparently just, that, in not consulting you before they
were signed, we have been guilty of neglecting a point of
_bienseance._ But, as this was not from want of respect for the King,
whom we all love and honour, we hope it will be excused, and that the
great work, which has hitherto been so happily conducted, is so
nearly brought to perfection, and is so glorious to his reign, will
not be ruined by a single indiscretion of ours.  And certainly the
whole edifice sinks to the ground immediately, if you refuse on that
account to give us any further assistance.

        We have not yet despatched the ship, and I beg leave to wait
upon you on Friday for your answer.

        It is not possible for any one to be more sensible than I am,
of what I and every American owe to the King, for the many and great
benefits and favours he has bestowed upon us.  All my letters to
America are proofs of this; all tending to make the same impressions
on the minds of my countrymen, that I felt in my own.  And I believe,
that no Prince was ever more beloved and respected by his own
subjects, than the King is by the people of the United States.  _The
English, I just now learn, flatter themselves they have already
divided us._ I hope this little misunderstanding will therefore be
kept a secret, and that they will find themselves totally mistaken.
With great and sincere respect, I am, Sir, &c.


        _To Mary Hewson_

        Passy, Jan. 27. 1783.
        -- The Departure of my dearest Friend, which I learn from your
last Letter, greatly affects me.  To meet with her once more in this
Life was one of the principal Motives of my proposing to visit
England again, before my Return to America.  The last Year carried
off my Friends Dr. Pringle, and Dr. Fothergill, Lord Kaims, and Lord
le Despencer.  This has begun to take away the rest, and strikes the
hardest.  Thus the Ties I had to that Country, and indeed to the
World in general, are loosened one by one, and I shall soon have no
Attachment left to make me unwilling to follow.

        I intended writing when I sent the 11 Books, but I lost the
Time in looking for the 12th.  I wrote with that; and hope it came to
hand.  I therein ask'd your Counsel about my coming to England.  On
Reflection, I think I can, from my Knowledge of your Prudence,
foresee what it will be, viz. not to come too soon, lest it should
seem braving and insulting some who ought to be respected.  I shall,
therefore, omit that Journey till I am near going to America, and
then just step over to take Leave of my Friends, and spend a few days
with you.  I purpose bringing Ben with me, and perhaps may leave him
under your Care.

        At length we are in Peace, God be praised, and long, very long,
may it continue.  All Wars are Follies, very expensive, and very
mischievous ones.  When will Mankind be convinced of this, and agree
to settle their Differences by Arbitration?  Were they to do it, even
by the Cast of a Dye, it would be better than by Fighting and
destroying each other.

        Spring is coming on, when Travelling will be delightful.  Can
you not, when your children are all at School, make a little Party,
and take a Trip hither?  I have now a large House, delightfully
situated, in which I could accommodate you and two or three Friends,
and I am but half an Hour's Drive from Paris.

        In looking forward, Twenty-five Years seems a long Period, but,
in looking back, how short!  Could you imagine, that 'tis now full a
Quarter of a Century since we were first acquainted?  It was in 1757.
During the greatest Part of the Time, I lived in the same House with
my dear deceased Friend, your Mother; of course you and I saw and
convers'd with each other much and often.  It is to all our Honours,
that in all that time we never had among us the smallest
Misunderstanding.  Our Friendship has been all clear Sunshine,
without the least Cloud in its Hemisphere.  Let me conclude by saying
to you, what I have had too frequent Occasions to say to my other
remaining old Friends, "The fewer we become, the more let us love one
another." Adieu, and believe me ever yours most affectionately,

        _To Robert R. Livingston_

        SIR, Passy, July 22, 1783.
        You have complain'd, sometimes with reason, of not hearing from
your foreign Ministers; we have had cause to make the same Complaint,
six full Months having interven'd between the latest date of your
preceding Letters and the receipt of those by Captain Barney.  During
all this time we were ignorant of the Reception of the Provisional
Treaty, and the Sentiments of Congress upon it, which, if we had
received sooner, might have forwarded the Proceedings on the
Definitive Treaty, and, perhaps, brought them to a Conclusion at a
time more favourable than the present.  But these occasional
Interruptions of Correspondence are the inevitable Consequences of a
State of War, and of such remote Situations.  Barney had a short
Passage, and arrived some Days before Colonel Ogden, who also brought
Dispatches from you, all of which are come safe to hand.  We, the
Commissioners, have in our joint Capacity written a Letter to you,
which you will receive with this.

        I shall now answer yours of March 26, May 9, and May 31.  It
gave me great Pleasure to learn by the first, that the News of the
Peace diffused general Satisfaction.  I will not now take upon me to
justify the apparent Reserve, respecting this Court, at the
Signature, which you disapprove.  We have touch'd upon it in our
general Letter.  I do not see, however, that they have much reason to
complain of that Transaction.  Nothing was stipulated to their
Prejudice, and none of the Stipulations were to have Force, but by a
subsequent Act of their own.  I suppose, indeed, that they have not
complain'd of it, or you would have sent us a Copy of the Complaint,
that we might have answer'd it.  I long since satisfi'd Comte de V.
about it here.  We did what appear'd to all of us best at the Time,
and, if we have done wrong, the Congress will do right, after hearing
us, to censure us.  Their Nomination of Five Persons to the Service
seems to mark, that they had some Dependence on our joint Judgment,
since one alone could have made a Treaty by Direction of the French
Ministry as well as twenty.

        I will only add, that, with respect to myself, neither the
Letter from M. Marbois, handed us thro' the British Negociators (a
suspicious Channel), nor the Conversations respecting the Fishery,
the Boundaries, the Royalists, &c., recommending Moderation in our
Demands, are of Weight sufficient in my Mind to fix an Opinion, that
this Court wish'd to restrain us in obtaining any Degree of Advantage
we could prevail on our Enemies to accord; since those Discourses are
fairly resolvable, by supposing a very natural Apprehension, that we,
relying too much on the Ability of France to continue the War in our
favour, and supply us constantly with Money, might insist on more
Advantages than the English would be willing to grant, and thereby
lose the Opportunity of making Peace, so necessary to all our

        I ought not, however, to conceal from you, that one of my
Colleagues is of a very different Opinion from me in these Matters.
He thinks the French Minister one of the greatest Enemies of our
Country, that he would have straitned our Boundaries, to prevent the
Growth of our People; contracted our Fishery, to obstruct the
Increase of our Seamen; and retained the Royalists among us, to keep
us divided; that he privately opposes all our Negociations with
foreign Courts, and afforded us, during the War, the Assistance we
receiv'd, only to keep it alive, that we might be so much the more
weaken'd by it; that to think of Gratitude to France is the greatest
of Follies, and that to be influenc'd by it would ruin us.  He makes
no Secret of his having these Opinions, expresses them publicly,
sometimes in presence of the English Ministers, and speaks of
hundreds of Instances which he could produce in Proof of them.  None
of which however, have yet appear'd to me, unless the Conversations
and Letter above-mentioned are reckoned such.

        If I were not convinc'd of the real Inability of this Court to
furnish the further Supplys we ask'd, I should suspect these
Discourses of a Person in his Station might have influenced the
Refusal; but I think they have gone no farther than to occasion a
Suspicion, that we have a considerable Party of Antigallicans in
America, who are not Tories, and consequently to produce some doubts
of the Continuance of our Friendship.  As such Doubts may hereafter
have a bad Effect, I think we cannot take too much care to remove
them; and it is, therefore, I write this, to put you on your guard,
(believing it my duty, tho' I know that I hazard by it a mortal
Enmity), and to caution you respecting the Insinuations of this
Gentleman against this Court, and the Instances he supposes of their
ill will to us, which I take to be as imaginary as I know his Fancies
to be, that Count de V. and myself are continually plotting against
him, and employing the News-Writers of Europe to depreciate his
Character, &c.  But as Shakespear says, "Trifles light as Air," &c.
I am persuaded, however, that he means well for his Country, is
always an honest Man, often a wise one, but sometimes, and in some
things, absolutely out of his senses.

        When the Commercial Article, mentioned in yours of the 26th was
struck out of our propos'd Preliminaries by the then British
Ministry, the reason given was, that sundry Acts of Parliament still
in force were against it, and must be first repeal'd, which I believe
was really their Intention, and sundry Bills were accordingly bro't
in for that purpose; but, new Ministers with different Principles
succeeding, a commercial Proclamation totally different from those
Bills has lately appeared.  I send enclos'd a Copy of it.  We shall
try what can be done in the Definitive Treaty towards setting aside
that Proclamation; but, if it should be persisted in, it will then be
a Matter worthy the attentive Discussion of Congress, whether it will
be most prudent to retort with a similar Regulation in order to force
its Repeal (which may possibly tend to bring on another Quarrel), or
to let it pass without notice, and leave it to its own Inconvenience,
or rather Impracticability, in the Execution, and to the Complaints
of the West India Planters, who must all pay much dearer for our
Produce, under those Restrictions.

        I am not enough Master of the Course of our Commerce to give an
Opinion on this particular Question, and it does not behove me to do
it; yet I have seen so much Embarrassment and so little Advantage in
all the Restraining and Compulsive Systems, that I feel myself
strongly inclin'd to believe, that a State, which leaves all her
Ports open to all the World upon equal Terms, will, by that means,
have foreign Commodities cheaper, sell its own Productions dearer,
and be on the whole the most prosperous.  I have heard some Merchants
say, that there is 10 per cent Difference between _Will you buy?_ and
_Will you sell?_ When Foreigners bring us their Goods, they want to
part with them speedily, that they may purchase their Cargoes and
despatch their Ships, which are at constant Charges in our Ports; we
have then the Advantage of their _Will you buy?_ And when they demand
our Produce, we have the Advantage of their _Will you sell?_ And the
concurring Demands of a Number also contribute to raise our Prices.
Thus both those Questions are in our favour at home, against us

        The employing, however, of our own Ships and raising a Breed of
Seamen among us, tho' it should not be a matter of so much private
Profit as some imagine, is nevertheless of political Importance, and
must have weight in considering this Subject.

        The Judgment you make of the Conduct of France in the Peace,
and the greater Glory acquired by her Moderation than even by her
Arms, appears to me perfectly just.  The Character of this Court and
Nation seems, of late years, to be considerably changed.  The Ideas
of Aggrandizement by Conquest are out of fashion, and those of
Commerce are more enlightened and more generous than heretofore.  We
shall soon, I believe, feel something of this in our being admitted
to a greater Freedom of Trade with their Islands.  The Wise here
think France great enough; and its Ambition at present seems to be
only that of Justice and Magnanimity towards other Nations, Fidelity
and Utility to its Allies.

        The Ambassador of Portugal was much pleas'd with the
Proceedings relating to their Vessel, which you sent me, and assures
me they will have a good Effect at his Court.  He appears extremely
desirous of a Treaty with our States; I have accordingly propos'd to
him the Plan of one (nearly the same with that sent me for Sweden),
and, after my agreeing to some Alterations, he has sent it to his
Court for Approbation.  He told me at Versailles, last Tuesday, that
he expected its Return to him on Saturday next, and anxiously desired
that I would not despatch our Pacquet without it, that Congress might
consider it, and, if approv'd, send a Commission to me or some other
Minister to sign it.

        I venture to go thus far in treating, on the Authority only of
a kind of general Power, given formerly by a Resolution of Congress
to Messrs. Franklin, Deane, and Lee; but a special Commission seems
more proper to compleat a Treaty, and more agreable to the usual
Forms of such Business.

        I am in just the same Situation with Denmark; that Court, by its
Minister here, has desired a Treaty with us.  I have propos'd a Plan formed
on that sent me for Sweden; it had been under Consideration some time at
Copenhagen, and is expected here this Week, so that I may possibly send that
also by this Conveyance.  You will have seen by my Letter to the Danish Prime
Minister, that I did not forget the Affair of the Prizes.  What I then wrote,
produc'd a verbal Offer made me here, of 10,000 pounds Sterling, propos'd to
be given by his Majesty to the Captors, if I would accept it as a full
Discharge of our Demand.  I could not do this, I said, because it was not
more than a fifth Part of the Estimated Value.  In answer, I was told, that
the Estimation was probably extravagant, that it would be difficult to come
at the Knowledge of their true Value, and that, whatever they might be worth
in themselves, they should not be estimated as of such Value to us when at
Bergen, since the English probably watched them, and might have retaken them
in their Way to America; at least, they were at the common Risques of the
Seas and Enemies, and the Insurance was a considerable Drawback; that this
Sum might be consider'd as so much sav'd for us by the King's Interference;
for that, if the English Claimants had been suffered to carry the Cause into
the common Courts, they must have recovered the Prizes by the Laws of
Denmark; it was added, that the King's Honour was concern'd, that he
sincerely desir'd our Friendship, but he would avoid, by giving this Sum in
the Form of a Present to the Captors, the Appearance of its being exacted
from him as the Reparation of an Injury, when it was really intended rather
as a Proof of his strong Disposition to cultivate a good Understanding with

        I reply'd, that the Value might possibly be exaggerated; but
that we did not desire more than should be found just upon Enquiry,
and that it was not difficult to learn from London what Sums were
insur'd upon the Ships and Cargoes, which would be some Guide; and
that a reasonable Abatement might be made for the risque; but that
the Congress could not, in justice to their Mariners, deprive them of
any Part that was truly due to those brave Men, whatever Abatement
they might think fit to make (as a Mark of their Regard for the
King's Friendship) of the Part belonging to the publick; that I had,
however, no Instructions or Authority to make any Abatement of any
kind, and could, therefore, only acquaint Congress with the Offer,
and the Reasons that accompanied it, which I promised to state fully
and candidly (as I have now done), and attend their Orders; desiring
only that it might be observ'd, we had presented our Complaint with
Decency, that we had charg'd no Fault on the Danish Government, but
what might arise from Inattention or Precipitancy, and that we had
intimated no Resentment, but had waited, with Patience and Respect,
the King's Determination, confiding, that he would follow the
equitable Disposition of his own Breast, by doing us Justice as soon
as he could do it with Conveniency; that the best and wisest Princes
sometimes erred, that it belong'd to the Condition of Man, and was,
therefore, inevitable, and that the true Honour in such Cases
consisted, not in disowning or hiding the Error, but in making ample
Reparation; that, tho' I could not accept what was offered on the
Terms proposed, our Treaty might go on, and its Articles be prepared
and considered, and, in the mean time, I hoped his Danish Majesty
would reconsider the Offer, and make it more adequate to the Loss we
had sustained.  Thus that matter rests; but I hourly expect to hear
farther, and perhaps may have more to say on it before the Ship's

        I shall be glad to have the Proceedings you mention respecting
the Brig _Providentia._ I hope the Equity and Justice of our
Admiralty Courts respecting the Property of Strangers will always
maintain their Reputation; and I wish particularly to cultivate the
Disposition of Friendship towards us, apparent in the late
Proceedings of Denmark, as the Danish Islands may be of use to our
West India Commerce, while the English impolitic Restraints continue.

        The Elector of Saxony, as I understand from his Minister here,
has thoughts of sending one to Congress, and proposing a Treaty of
Commerce and Amity with us.  Prussia has likewise an Inclination to
share in a Trade with America, and the Minister of that Court, tho'
he has not directly propos'd a Treaty, has given me a Pacquet of
Lists of the several Sorts of Merchandise they can furnish us with,
which he requests me to send to America for the Information of our

        I have received no Answer yet from Congress to my Request of
being dismiss'd from their Service.  They should, methinks, reflect,
that if they continue me here, the Faults I may henceforth commit,
thro' the Infirmities of Age, will be rather theirs than mine.  I am
glad my Journal afforded you any Pleasure.  I will, as you desire,
endeavour to continue it.  I thank you for the Pamphlet; it contains
a great deal of Information respecting our Finances.  We shall, as
you advise, avoid publishing it.  But I see they are publishing it in
the English Papers.  I was glad I had a copy authenticated by the
Signature of Secr'y Thomson, by which I could assure M. de Vergennes,
that the Money Contract I had made with him was ratified by Congress,
he having just before express'd some uneasiness to me at its being so
long neglected.  I find it was ratified soon after it was receiv'd,
but the Ratification, except in that Pamphlet, has not yet come to
hand.  I have done my best to procure the farther Loan directed by
the Resolution of Congress.  It was not possible.  I have written on
that Matter to Mr. Morris.  I wish the rest of the Estimates of
Losses and Mischiefs were come to hand; they would still be of Use.

        Mr. Barclay has in his Hands the Affair of the _Alliance_ and
_Bon Homme Richard._ I will afford him all the Assistance in my
Power, but it is a very perplex'd Business.  That Expedition, tho'
for particular Reasons under American Commissions and Colours, was
carry'd on at the King's expence, and under his Orders.  M. de
Chaumont was the Agent appointed by the Minister of the Marine to
make the Outfit.  He was also chosen by all the Captains of the
Squadron, as appears by an Instrument under their Hands, to be their
Agent, receive, sell, and divide Prizes, &c.  The Crown bought two of
them at public Sale, and the Money, I understand, is lodg'd in the
Hands of a responsible Person at L'Orient.  M. de Chaumont says he
has given in his Accounts to the Marine, and that he has no more to
do with the Affair, except to receive a Ballance due to him.  That
Account, however, is I believe unsettled, and the Absence of some of
the Captains is said to make another Difficulty, which retards the
Completion of the Business.  I never paid or receiv'd any thing
relating to that Expedition, nor had any other Concern in it, than
barely ordering the _Alliance_ to join the Squadron, at M. de
Sartine's Request.  I know not whether the other Captains will not
claim a Share in what we may obtain from Denmark, tho' the Prizes
were made by the _Alliance_, when separate from the Squadron.  If so,
that is another Difficulty in the way of making Abatement in our
Demand, without their Consent.

        I am sorry to find, that you have Thoughts of quitting the
Service.  I do not think your Place can be easily well supply'd.  You
mention, that an entire new Arrangement, with respect to foreign
Affairs, is under Consideration.  I wish to know whether any Notice
is likely to be taken in it of my Grandson.  He has now gone through
an Apprenticeship of near seven Years in the ministerial Business,
and is very capable of serving the States in that Line, as possessing
all the Requisites of Knowledge, Zeal, Activity, Language, and
Address.  He is well lik'd here, and Count de Vergennes has express'd
to me in warm Terms his very good Opinion of him.  The late Swedish
Ambassador, Count de Creutz, who has gone home to be Prime Minister,
desir'd I would endeavour to procure his being sent to Sweden, with a
public Character, assuring me, that he should be glad to receive him
there as our Minister, and that he knew it would be pleasing to the
King.  The present Swedish Ambassador has also propos'd the same
thing to me, as you will see by a Letter of his, which I enclose.
One of the Danish Ministers, M. Walterstorff, who will probably be
sent in a public Character to Congress, has also express'd his Wish,
that my Grandson may be sent to Denmark.  But it is not my Custom to
solicit Employments for myself, or any of my Family, and I shall not
do it in this Case.  I only hope, that if he is not to be employ'd in
your new Arrangement, I may be inform'd of it as soon as possible,
that, while I have Strength left for it, I may accompany him in a
Tour to Italy, returning thro' Germany, which I think he may make to
more Advantage with me than alone, and which I have long promis'd to
afford him, as a Reward for his faithful Service, and his tender
filial Attachment to me.

        _July_ 25.  While I was writing the above, M. Walterstorff came
in, and deliver'd me a Pacquet from M. de Rosencrone, the Danish
Prime Minister, containing the Project of the Treaty with some
proposed Alterations, and a Paper of Reasons in support of them.
Fearing that we should not have time to copy them, I send herewith
the Originals, relying on his Promise to furnish me with Copies in a
few Days.  He seemed to think, that the Interest of the Merchants is
concern'd in the immediate Conclusion of the Treaty, that they may
form their Plans of Commerce, and wish'd to know whether I did not
think my general Power, above mentioned, sufficient for that purpose.
I told him, I thought a particular Commission more agreable to the
Forms; but, if his Danish Majesty would be content for the present
with the general Authority, formerly given me, I believ'd I might
venture to act upon it, reserving, by a separate Article, to Congress
a Power of shortning the Term, in Case any Part of the Treaty should
not be to their mind, unless the Alteration of such Part should
hereafter be agreed on.

        The Prince de Deux-Ponts was lately at Paris, and apply'd to me
for Information respecting a Commerce which is desired between the
Electorate of Bavaria and America.  I have it also from a good Hand
at the Court of Vienna, that the Emperor is desirous of establishing
a Commerce with us from Trieste as well as Flanders, and would make a
Treaty with us, if propos'd to him.  Since our Trade is laid open,
and no longer a Monopoly to England, all Europe seems desirous of
sharing in it, and for that purpose to cultivate our Friendship.
That it may be better known everywhere, what sort of People, and what
kind of Government they will have to treat with, I prevailed with a
Friend, the Duc de Rochefoucauld, to translate our Book of
Constitutions into French, and I presented Copies to all the foreign
Ministers.  I send you one herewith.  They are much admired by the
Politicians here, and it is thought will induce considerable
Emigrations of substantial People from different Parts of Europe to
America.  It is particularly a Matter of Wonder, that, in the Midst
of a cruel War raging in the Bowels of our Country, our Sages should
have the Firmness of Mind to sit down calmly and form such compleat
Plans of Government.  They add considerably to the Reputation of the
United States.

        I have mentioned above the Port of Trieste, with which we may
possibly have a Commerce, and I am told that many useful Productions
and Manufactures of Hungary may be had extreamly cheap there.  But it
becomes necessary first to consider how our Mediterranean Trade is to
be protected from the Corsaires of Barbary.  You will see by the
enclos'd Copy of a Letter I receiv'd from Algiers, the Danger two of
our Ships escap'd last Winter.  I think it not improbable that those
Rovers may be privately encouraged by the English to fall upon us, to
prevent our Interference in the Carrying Trade; for I have in London
heard it is a Maxim among the Merchants, that, if _there were no
Algiers, it would be worth England's while to build one_.  I wonder,
however, that the rest of Europe do not combine to destroy those
Nests, and secure Commerce from their future Piracies.

        I made the Grand Master of Malta a Present of one of our Medals
in Silver, writing him a Letter, of which I enclose a Copy; and I
believe our People will be kindly receiv'd in his Ports; but that is
not sufficient; and perhaps, now we have Peace, it will be proper to
send Ministers, with suitable Presents, to establish a Friendship
with the Emperor of Morocco, and the other Barbary States, if
possible.  Mr. Jay will inform you of some Steps, that have been
taken by a Person at Alicant, without Authority, towards a Treaty
with that Emperor.  I send you herewith a few more of the
above-mentioned Medals, which have given great Satisfaction to this
Court and Nation.  I should be glad to know how they are lik'd with

        Our People, who were Prisoners in England, are now all
discharg'd.  During the whole War, those who were in Forton prison,
near Portsmouth, were much befriended by the constant charitable Care
of Mr. Wren, a Presbyterian Minister there, who spared no Pains to
assist them in their Sickness and Distress, by procuring and
distributing among them the Contributions of good Christians, and
prudently dispensing the Allowance I made them, which gave him a
great deal of trouble, but he went through it chearfully.  I think
some public Notice should be taken of this good Man.  I wish the
Congress would enable me to make him a Present, and that some of our
Universities would confer upon him the Degree of Doctor.

        The Duke of Manchester, who has always been our Friend in the
House of Lords, is now here as Ambassador from England.  I dine with
him to-day, (26th,) and, if any thing of Importance occurs, I will
add it in a Postcript.  Be pleased to present my dutiful Respects to
the Congress, assure them of my most faithful Services, and believe
me to be, with great and sincere Esteem, Sir, &c.


        _To Sir Joseph Banks_

        DEAR SIR, Passy, July 27, 1783.
        I received your very kind letter by Dr. Blagden, and esteem
myself much honoured by your friendly Remembrance.  I have been too
much and too closely engaged in public Affairs, since his being here,
to enjoy all the Benefit of his Conversation you were so good as to
intend me.  I hope soon to have more Leisure, and to spend a part of
it in those Studies, that are much more agreable to me than political

        I join with you most cordially in rejoicing at the return of
Peace.  I hope it will be lasting, and that Mankind will at length,
as they call themselves reasonable Creatures, have Reason and Sense
enough to settle their Differences without cutting Throats; for, in
my opinion, _there never was a good War, or a bad Peace._ What vast
additions to the Conveniences and Comforts of Living might Mankind
have acquired, if the Money spent in Wars had been employed in Works
of public utility!  What an extension of Agriculture, even to the
Tops of our Mountains: what Rivers rendered navigable, or joined by
Canals: what Bridges, Aqueducts, new Roads, and other public Works,
Edifices, and Improvements, rendering England a compleat Paradise,
might have been obtained by spending those Millions in doing good,
which in the last War have been spent in doing Mischief; in bringing
Misery into thousands of Families, and destroying the Lives of so
many thousands of working people, who might have performed the useful

        I am pleased with the late astronomical Discoveries made by our
Society.  Furnished as all Europe now is with Academies of Science,
with nice Instruments and the Spirit of Experiment, the progress of
human knowledge will be rapid, and discoveries made, of which we have
at present no Conception.  I begin to be almost sorry I was born so
soon, since I cannot have the happiness of knowing what will be known
100 years hence.

        I wish continued success to the Labours of the Royal Society,
and that you may long adorn their chair; being, with the highest
esteem, dear Sir, &c.

        P. S. Dr. Blagden will acquaint you with the experiment of a
vast Globe sent up into the Air, much talked of here, and which, if
prosecuted, may furnish means of new knowledge.


        _To Sir Joseph Banks_

        SIR, Passy, Aug. 30. 1783.
        On Wednesday the 27'th Instant, the new aerostatic Experiment,
invented by Mess'rs. Mongolfier of Annonay was repeated by M'r.
Charles; Professor of Experimental Philosophy at Paris.

        A hollow Globe 12 feet diameter was formed of what is called in
England Oiled Silk, here Taffetas _gommee_, the Silk being
impregnated with a Solution of Gumelastic in Lint-seed Oil, as is
said.  The Parts were sewed together while wet with the Gum, and some
of it was afterwards passed over the Seams, to render it as tight as

        It was afterwards filled with the inflammable Air that is
produced by pouring Oil of Vitriol upon Filings of Iron, when it was
found to have a Tendency upwards so strong as to be capable of
lifting a Weight of 39 Pounds, exclusive of its own weight which was
25 lb, and the Weight of the Air contain'd.

        It was brought early in the Morning to the _Champ de Mars_, a
Field in which Reviews are sometimes made, lying between the Military
School and the River.  There it was held down by a Cord, till 5 in
the Afternoon, when it was to be let loose.  Care was taken before
the Hour to replace what Portion had been lost of the inflammable
Air, or of its Force, by injecting more.

        It is supposed that not less than 50,000 People were assembled
to see the Experiment.  The Champ de Mars being surrounded by
Multitudes, and vast Numbers on the opposite Side of the River.

        At 5 o Clock Notice was given to the Spectators by the Firing
of two Cannon, that the Cord was about to be cut.  And presently the
Globe was seen to rise, and that as fast as a Body of 12 feet
diameter with a force only of 39 pounds, could be suppos'd to move
the resisting Air out of its way.  There was some Wind, but not very
strong.  A little Rain had wet it, so that it shone, and made an
agreable Appearance.  It diminish'd in Apparent Magnitude as it rose,
till it enter'd the Clouds, when it seem'd to me scarce bigger than
an Orange, and soon after became invisible, the Clouds concealing it.

        The Multitude separated, all well satisfied & much delighted
with the Success of the Experiment, and amusing one another with
Discourses of the various Uses it may possibly be apply'd to, among
which many were very extravagant.  But possibly it may pave the Way
to some Discoveries in Natural Philosophy of which at present we have
no Conception.

        A Note secur'd from the Weather had been affix'd to the Globe,
signifying the Time & Place of its Departure, and praying those who
might happen to find it, to send an Account of its State to certain
Persons at Paris.  No News was heard of it till the next Day, when
Information was receiv'd, that it fell a little after 6 oClock at
Gonesse, a Place about 4 Leagues distance; and that it was rent open,
and some say had Ice in it.  It is suppos'd to have burst by the
Elasticity of the contain'd Air when no longer compress'd by so heavy
an Atmosphere.

        One of 38 feet Diameter is preparing by M. Mongolfier himself
at the Expence of the Academy, which is to go up in a few Days.  I am
told it is constructed of Linen & Paper, and is to be filled with a
different Air, not yet made public, but cheaper than that produc'd by
the Oil of Vitriol of which 200 Paris Pints were consum'd in filling
the other.

        It is said that for some Days after its being fill'd, the Ball
was found to lose an eighth Part of its Force of Levity in 24 Hours:
Whether this was from Imperfection in the Tightness of the Ball, or a
Change in the Nature of the Air, Experiments may easily discover.

        I thought it my Duty, Sir, to send an early Account of this
extraordinary Fact, to the Society which does me the honour to reckon
me among its Members; and I will endeavour to make it more perfect,
as I receive farther Information.
                         With great Respect, I am, Sir,

        P. S. Since writing the above, I am favour'd with your kind
Letter of the 25'th.  I am much oblig'd to you for the Care you have
taken to forward the Transactions, as well as to the Council for so
readily ordering them on Application. -- Please to accept and present
my Thanks.

        I just now learn, that some Observers say, the Ball was 150
seconds in rising, from the Cutting of the Cord till hid in the
Clouds; that its height was then about 500 Toises, but, mov'd out of
the Perpendicular by the Wind, it had made a Slant so as to form a
Triangle, whose base on the Earth was about 200 Toises.  It is said
the Country people who saw it fall were frightened, conceiv'd from
its bounding a little when it touch'd the Ground, that there was some
living Animal in it, and attack'd it with Stones and Knives, so that
it was much mangled; but it is now brought to Town & will be
repaired. --

        The great one of M. Mongolfier, is to go up as is said, from
Versailles, in about 8 or 10 Days.  It is not a Globe but of a
different form, more convenient for penetrating the Air.  It contains
50,000 cubic Feet, and is supposed to have a Force of Levity equal to
1500 pounds weight.  A Philosopher here, M. Pilatre de Rozier, has
seriously apply'd to the Academy for Leave to go up with it, in order
to make some Experiments.  He was complimented on his Zeal and
Courage for the Promotion of Science, but advis'd to wait till the
Management of these Balls was made by Experience more certain & safe.
They say the filling of it in M. Mongolfier's Way will not cost more
than half a Crown.  One is talk'd of to be 110 feet Diameter.
Several Gentlemen have ordered small ones to be made for their
Amusement; one has ordered four of 15 feet diameter each; I know not
with what Purpose; but such is the present Enthusiasm for promoting &
improving this Discovery, that probably we shall soon make
considerable Progress in the Art of constructing and Using the
Machines. --

        Among the Pleasantries Conversation produces on this Subject,
some suppose Flying to be now invented, and that since Men may be
supported in the Air, nothing is wanted but some light handy
Instruments to give and direct Motion.  Some think Progressive Motion
on the Earth may be advanc'd by it, and that a Running Footman or a
Horse slung & suspended under such a Globe so as to leave no more of
Weight pressing the Earth with their Feet, than perhaps 8 or 10
Pounds, might with a fair Wind run in a straight Line across
Countries as fast as that Wind, and over Hedges, Ditches, & even
Waters.  It has been even fancied that in time People will keep such
Globes anchored in the Air, to which by Pullies they may draw up Game
to be preserved in the Cool, & Water to be frozen when Ice is wanted.
And that to get Money, it will be contrived to give People an
extensive view of the Country, by running them upon an Elbow Chair a
Mile high for a Guinea, &c. &c.

        A Pamphlet is printing in which we are to have a full and
perfect Account of the Experiments hitherto made, & I will send it to
you.  M. Mongolfier's Air to fill the Globe has hitherto been kept
secret.  Some suppose it to be only common Air heated by passing
thro' the Flame of burning Straw, & thereby extreamly rarified.  If
so its Levity will soon be diminished by Condensation when it comes
into the cooler Regions above.

        Sept. 2d. -- I add this paper just now given me, B. F.  The
print contains a view of Champ de Mars, and the ball in the air with
this subscription:

        Experience de la machine aerostatique de M'essrs. de
Montgolfier, d'Anonai en Vivarais, reepetee a Paris le 27 Aout. 1783
au Champ de Mars, avec un ballon de taffetas enduit de gomme
elastique, de 36 pieds 6 onces de circonference.  Le ballon plein
d'air inflammable a ete execute par Mons. Robert, en vertu d'une
souscription nationale, sous la direction de Mr. Faujas de Saint Fond
(et M. Charles).

        N. B. -- M. Charles' name is wrote with pen, not engraved.

        Calculas du Ballon do 12 pieds de diametre enleve le Mercredy
27 Aout 1783.

        Circonference du grand cercle. . . .  37 pieds
         Diametre . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    12
         Surface  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   444
         Tiers du rayon . . . . . . . . . . .     2
         Solidite . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   888 pieds cubes
         Air atm. a 12 gros le pied . . . . .    12
         Pesanteur de l'air atm.  . . . . .  10,656 gros

                 26 { 8            /16
                    { ____ ounces  ___
                 25,{ 1332         /83 lb., 4 ounces
                  6     52

        L'air atmospherique dont le ballon occupait la place, pesant 83
lb. 4 onces et sa force pour s'elever etant de 40 lb. il falloit que
son enveloppe et l'air inflammable qu'elle contenoit ne pesassent que
42 lb. 4 onces.  L'enveloppe en pesoit 25, reste pour l'air
inflammable 18 lb. 4 onces.

        En supposant le ballon de 6 pieds de diametre, son volume etant
le 8me, du ier le poids de l'air dont il occupoit la place seroit le
8me, de 83 lb., 4 onces = 10 lb., 6 onces, 4 gros.  L'air inflammable
1/8 de 18 lb., 4 onces = 2 lb., 4 onces, 4 gros.  L'enveloppe 1/4 de
25 lb., = 6 lb., 4 onces.  Les dernieres valeurs reunies sont 8 lb.,
8 onces, 4 gros, qui otes de 10 lb., 6 onces, 4 gros pesanteur de
l'air atmospherique dont le ballon occupoit la place, laisse pour sa
force d'elevation 1 lb., 14 onces.


        _To John Jay_

        SIR, Passy, September 10, 1783.
        I have received a letter from a very respectable person in
America, containing the following words, viz.

        "It is confidently reported, propagated, and believed by some
among us, that the Court of France was at the bottom against our
obtaining the fishery and territory in that great extent, in which
both are secured to us by the treaty; that our Minister at that Court
favored, or did not oppose this design against us; and that it was
entirely owing to the firmness, sagacity, and disinterestedness of Mr
Adams, with whom Mr Jay united, that we have obtained these important

        It is not my purpose to dispute any share of the honor of that
treaty, which the friends of my colleagues may be disposed to give
them, but having now spent fifty years of my life in public offices
and trusts, and having still one ambition left, that of carrying the
character of fidelity at least to the grave with me, I cannot allow
that I was behind any of them in zeal and faithfulness.  I therefore
think, that I ought not to suffer an accusation, which falls little
short of treason to my country, to pass without notice, when the
means of effectual vindication are at hand.  You, Sir, were a witness
of my conduct in that affair.  To you and my other colleagues I
appeal, by sending to each a similar letter with this, and I have no
doubt of your readiness to do a brother Commissioner justice, by
certificates, that will entirely destroy the effect of that

        I have the honor to be, with much esteem, &c.


        _To Robert Morris_

        SIR, Passy, Dec. 25, 1783.
        I have received your Favour of the 30'th of September, for
which I thank you.  My Apprehension, that the Union between France
and our States might be diminished by Accounts from hence, was
occasioned by the extravagant and violent Language held here by a
Public Person, in public Company, which had that Tendency; and it was
natural for me to think his Letters might hold the same Language, in
which I was right; for I have since had Letters from Boston informing
me of it.  Luckily here, and I hope there, it is imputed to the true
Cause, a Disorder in the Brain, which, tho' not constant, has its
Fits too frequent.  I will not fill my Letter with an Account of
those Discourses.  Mr. Laurens, when you see him, can give it to you;
I mean such as he heard in Company with other Persons, for I would
not have him relate private Conversations.  They distress'd me much
at the time, being then at your earnest Instances soliciting for more
aids of Money; the Success of which Solicitation such ungrateful and
provoking Language might, I feared, have had a Tendency to prevent.
Enough of this at present.

        I have been exceedingly hurt and afflicted by the Difficulty
some of your late Bills met with in Holland.  As soon as I receiv'd
the Letter from Messrs. Willinck & Co., which I inclose, I sent for
Mr. Grand, who brought me a Sketch of his Account with you, by which
it appear'd that the Demands upon us, existing and expected, would
more than absorb the Funds in his Hands.  We could not indulge the
smallest Hope of obtaining further Assistance here, the Public
Finances being in a state of Embarrassment, private Persons full of
Distrust occasioned by the late Stoppage of Payment at the _Caisse
d'Escompte_, and money in general extreamly scarce.  But he agreed to
do what I propos'd, lend his Credit in the Way of Drawing and
Redrawing between Holland and Paris, to gain Time till you could
furnish Funds to reimburse Messrs. Willenck & Co.  I believe he made
this Proposition to them by the Return of the Express.  I know not
why it was not accepted.  Mr. Grand, I suppose, will himself give you
an Account of all the Transaction, and of his Application to Messrs.
Couteulx & Co.; therefore, I need not add more upon this disagreable

        I have found Difficulties in settling the Account of Salaries
with the other Ministers, that have made it impracticable for me to
do it.  I have, therefore, after keeping the Bills that were to have
been proportioned among us long in my hands, given them up to Mr.
Grand, who, finding the same Difficulties, will, I suppose, return
them to you.  None has come to hand for the two or three last
Quarters, and we are indebted to his Kindness for advancing us Money,
or we must have run in Debt for our Subsistence.  He risques in doing
this, since he has not for it your Orders.

        There arise frequently contingent Expences, for which no
provision has yet been made.  In a former letter to the Secretary for
Foreign Affairs, I gave a List of them, and desired to know the
Pleasure of Congress concerning them.  I have only had for Answer,
that they were under Consideration, and that he believed House-Rent
would not be allowed; but I am still in Uncertainty as to that and
the Rest.  I wish some resolutions were taken on this Point of
Contingencies, that I may know how to settle my Accounts with Mr.
Barclay.  American Ministers in Europe are too remote from their
Constituents to consult them, and take their Orders on every
Occasion, as the Ministers here of European Courts can easily do.
There seems, therefore, a Necessity of allowing more to their
Discretion, and of giving them a Credit to a certain Amount on some
Banker, who may answer their Orders; for which, however, they should
be accountable.  I mention this for the sake of other Ministers,
hoping and expecting soon to be discharg'd myself, and also for the
Good of the Service.

        The Remissness of our People in Paying Taxes is highly
blameable; the Unwillingness to pay them is still more so.  I see, in
some Resolutions of Town Meetings, a Remonstrance against giving
Congress a Power to take, as they call it, the People's Money out of
their Pockets, tho' only to pay the Interest and Principal of Debts
duly contracted.  They seem to mistake the Point.  Money, justly due
from the People, is their Creditors' Money, and no longer the Money
of the People, who, if they withold it, should be compell'd to pay by
some Law.

        All Property, indeed, except the Savage's temporary Cabin, his
Bow, his Matchcoat, and other little Acquisitions, absolutely
necessary for his Subsistence, seems to me to be the Creature of
public Convention.  Hence the Public has the Right of Regulating
Descents, and all other Conveyances of Property, and even of limiting
the Quantity and the Uses of it.  All the Property that is necessary
to a Man, for the Conservation of the Individual and the Propagation
of the Species, is his natural Right, which none can justly deprive
him of: But all Property superfluous to such purposes is the Property
of the Publick, who, by their Laws, have created it, and who may
therefore by other Laws dispose of it, whenever the Welfare of the
Publick shall demand such Disposition.  He that does not like civil
Society on these Terms, let him retire and live among Savages.  He
can have no right to the benefits of Society, who will not pay his
Club towards the Support of it.

        The Marquis de la F., who loves to be employ'd in our Affairs,
and is often very useful, has lately had several Conversations with
the Ministers and Persons concern'd in forming new Regulations,
respecting the Commerce between our two Countries, which are not yet
concluded.  I therefore thought it well to communicate to him a Copy
of your Letter, which contains so many sensible and just Observations
on that Subject.  He will make a proper Use of them, and perhaps they
may have more Weight, as appearing to come from a Frenchman, than
they would have if it were known that they were the Observations of
an American.  I perfectly agree with you in all the Sentiments you
have express'd on this Occasion.

        You have made no Answer to the Proposition I sent of furnishing
Tobacco to the Farmers General.  They have since made a Contract with
Mess'rs Alexander & Williams for the same Purpose but it is such a
one as does not prevent their making another with you if hereafter it
should suit you.

        I am sorry for the Publick's sake, that you are about to quit
your Office, but on personal Considerations I shall congratulate you;
for I cannot conceive of a more happy Man, than he, who having been
long loaded with public Cares, finds himself reliev'd from them, and
enjoying private repose in the Bosom of his Friends and Family.

        The Government here has set on foot a new Loan of an Hundred
Millions.  I enclose the Plan.

        It is thought very advantageous for the Lenders.  You may judge
by that how much the Money is wanted, and how seasonable the Peace
was for all concerned.

        If Mr. Alexander, who is gone to Virginia, should happen to
come to Philadelphia, I beg leave to recommend him to your Civilities
as an old Friend of mine whom I very much esteem.
                 With sincere Regard & Attachment, I am ever, Dear Sir,
                                                 Your most etc.


        _To ------- _

        Your Queries concerning the Value of Land in different
Circumstances & Situations, Modes of Settlement, &c. &c. are quite
out of my Power to answer; having while I lived in America been
always an Inhabitant of Capital Cities, and not in the way of
learning any thing correctly of Country Affairs.  There is a Book
lately published in London, written by Mr. Hector St. John, its
Title, Letters from an American Farmer, which contains a good deal of
Information on those Subjects; and as I know the Author to be an
observing intelligent Man, I suppose the Information to be good as
far as it goes, and I recommend the Book to your perusal.

        There is no doubt but great Tracts may be purchased on the Frontiers
of Virginia, & the Carolinas, at moderate Rates.  In Virginia it used to be
at 5 pounds Sterling the 100 Acres.  I know not the present Price, but do not
see why it should be higher.

        Emigrants arriving pay no Fine or Premium for being admitted to
all the Privileges of Citizens.  Those are acquired by two Years

        No Rewards are given to encourage new Settlers to come among
us, whatever degree of Property they may bring with them, nor any
Exemptions from common Duties.  Our Country offers to Strangers
nothing but a good Climate, fertile Soil, wholesome Air, Free
Governments, wise Laws, Liberty, a good People to live among, and a
hearty Welcome.  Those Europeans who have these or greater Advantages
at home, would do well to stay where they are.

         January, 1784?


        _To Sarah Bache_

        MY DEAR CHILD, Passy, Jan. 26, 1784.
        Your Care in sending me the Newspapers is very agreable to me.
I received by Capt. Barney those relating to the _Cincinnati._ My
Opinion of the Institution cannot be of much Importance; I only
wonder that, when the united Wisdom of our Nation had, in the
Articles of Confederation, manifested their Dislike of establishing
Ranks of Nobility, by Authority either of the Congress or of any
particular State, a Number of private Persons should think proper to
distinguish themselves and their Posterity, from their fellow
Citizens, and form an Order of _hereditary Knights_, in direct
Opposition to the solemnly declared Sense of their Country!  I
imagine it must be likewise contrary to the Good Sense of most of
those drawn into it by the Persuasion of its Projectors, who have
been too much struck with the Ribbands and Crosses they have seen
among them hanging to the Buttonholes of Foreign Officers.  And I
suppose those, who disapprove of it, have not hitherto given it much
Opposition, from a Principle somewhat like that of your good Mother,
relating to punctilious Persons, who are always exacting little
Observances of Respect; that, _"if People can be pleased with small
Matters, it is a pity but they should have them."_

        In this View, perhaps, I should not myself, if my Advice had
been ask'd, have objected to their wearing their Ribband and Badge
according to their Fancy, tho' I certainly should to the entailing it
as an Honour on their Posterity.  For Honour, worthily obtain'd (as
for Example that of our Officers), is in its Nature a _personal_
Thing, and incommunicable to any but those who had some Share in
obtaining it.  Thus among the Chinese, the most ancient, and from
long Experience the wisest of Nations, honour does not _descend_, but
_ascends_.  If a man from his Learning, his Wisdom, or his Valour, is
promoted by the Emperor to the Rank of Mandarin, his Parents are
immediately entitled to all the same Ceremonies of Respect from the
People, that are establish'd as due to the Mandarin himself; on the
supposition that it must have been owing to the Education,
Instruction, and good Example afforded him by his Parents, that he
was rendered capable of serving the Publick.

        This _ascending_ Honour is therefore useful to the State, as it
encourages Parents to give their Children a good and virtuous
Education.  But the _descending Honour_, to Posterity who could have
no Share in obtaining it, is not only groundless and absurd, but
often hurtful to that Posterity, since it is apt to make them proud,
disdaining to be employ'd in useful Arts, and thence falling into
Poverty, and all the Meannesses, Servility, and Wretchedness
attending it; which is the present case with much of what is called
the _Noblesse_ in Europe.  Or if, to keep up the Dignity of the
Family, Estates are entailed entire on the Eldest male heir, another
Pest to Industry and Improvement of the Country is introduc'd, which
will be followed by all the odious mixture of pride and Beggary, and
idleness, that have half depopulated and _decultivated_ Spain;
occasioning continual Extinction of Families by the Discouragements
of Marriage and neglect in the improvement of estates.

        I wish, therefore, that the Cincinnati, if they must go on with
their Project, would direct the Badges of their Order to be worn by
the Parents, instead of handing them down to their Children.  It
would be a good Precedent, and might have good Effects.  It would
also be a kind of Obedience to the Fourth Commandment, in which God
enjoins us to _honour_ our Father and Mother, but has nowhere
directed us to honour our Children.  And certainly no mode of
honouring those immediate Authors of our Being can be more effectual,
than that of doing praiseworthy Actions, which reflect Honour on
those who gave us our Education; or more becoming, than that of
manifesting, by some public Expression or Token, that it is to their
Instruction and Example we ascribe the Merit of those Actions.

        But the Absurdity of _descending Honours_ is not a mere Matter
of philosophical Opinion; it is capable of mathematical
Demonstration.  A Man's Son, for instance, is but half of his Family,
the other half belonging to the Family of his Wife.  His Son, too,
marrying into another Family, his Share in the Grandson is but a
fourth; in the Great Grandson, by the same Process, it is but an
Eighth; in the next Generation a Sixteenth; the next a Thirty-second;
the next a Sixty-fourth; the next an Hundred and twenty-eighth; the
next a Two hundred and Fifty-sixth; and the next a Five hundred and
twelfth; thus in nine Generations, which will not require more than
300 years (no very great Antiquity for a Family), our present
Chevalier of the Order of Cincinnatus's Share in the then existing
Knight, will be but a 512th part; which, allowing the present certain
Fidelity of American Wives to be insur'd down through all those Nine
Generations, is so small a Consideration, that methinks no reasonable
Man would hazard for the sake of it the disagreable Consequences of
the Jealousy, Envy, and Ill will of his Countrymen.

        Let us go back with our Calculation from this young Noble, the
512th part of the present Knight, thro' his nine Generations, till we
return to the year of the Institution.  He must have had a Father and
Mother, they are two.  Each of them had a father and Mother, they are
four.  Those of the next preceding Generation will be eight, the next
Sixteen, the next thirty-two, the next sixty-four, the next one
hundred and Twenty-eight, the next Two hundred and fifty-six, and the
ninth in this Retrocession Five hundred and twelve, who must be now
existing, and all contribute their Proportion of this future
_Chevalier de Cincinnatus._ These, with the rest, make together as

                 Total        1022

        One Thousand and Twenty-two Men and Women, contributors to the
formation of one Knight.  And, if we are to have a Thousand of these
future knights, there must be now and hereafter existing One million
and Twenty-two Thousand Fathers and Mothers, who are to contribute to
their Production, unless a Part of the Number are employ'd in making
more Knights than One.  Let us strike off then the 22,000, on the
Supposition of this double Employ, and then consider whether, after a
reasonable Estimation of the Number of Rogues, and Fools, and
Royalists and Scoundrels and Prostitutes, that are mix'd with, and
help to make up necessarily their Million of Predecessors, Posterity
will have much reason to boast of the noble Blood of the then
existing Set of Chevaliers de Cincinnatus.  The future genealogists,
too, of these Chevaliers, in proving the lineal descent of their
honour through so many generations (even supposing honour capable in
its nature of descending), will only prove the small share of this
honour, which can be justly claimed by any one of them; since the
above simple process in arithmetic makes it quite plain and clear
that, in proportion as the antiquity of the family shall augment, the
right to the honour of the ancestor will diminish; and a few
generations more would reduce it to something so small as to be very
near an absolute nullity.  I hope, therefore, that the Order will
drop this part of their project, and content themselves, as the
Knights of the Garter, Bath, Thistle, St. Louis, and other Orders of
Europe do, with a Life Enjoyment of their little Badge and Ribband,
and let the Distinction die with those who have merited it.  This I
imagine will give no offence.  For my own part, I shall think it a
Convenience, when I go into a Company where there may be Faces
unknown to me, if I discover, by this Badge, the Persons who merit
some particular Expression of my Respect; and it will save modest
Virtue the Trouble of calling for our Regard, by awkward roundabout
Intimations of having been heretofore employ'd in the Continental

        The Gentleman, who made the Voyage to France to provide the
Ribands and Medals, has executed his Commission.  To me they seem
tolerably done; but all such Things are criticis'd.  Some find Fault
with the Latin, as wanting classic d Correctness; and, since our Nine
Universities were not able to furnish better Latin, it was pity, they
say, that the Mottos had not been in English.  Others object to the
Title, as not properly assumable by any but Gen.  Washington, and a
few others who serv'd without Pay.  Others object to the _Bald Eagle_
as looking too much like a _Dindon_, or Turkey.  For my own part, I
wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen as the Representative of our
Country; he is a Bird of bad moral Character; he does not get his
living honestly; you may have seen him perch'd on some dead Tree,
near the River where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the
Labour of the Fishing-Hawk; and, when that diligent Bird has at
length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the support of
his Mate and young ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him, and takes it
from him.  With all this Injustice he is never in good Case; but,
like those among Men who live by Sharping and Robbing, he is
generally poor, and often very lousy.  Besides, he is a rank Coward;
the little _KingBird_, not bigger than a Sparrow, attacks him boldly
and drives him out of the District.  He is therefore by no means a
proper emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America, who
have driven all the _Kingbirds_ from our Country; though exactly fit
for that Order of Knights, which the French call _Chevaliers

        I am, on this account, not displeas'd that the Figure is not
known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turk'y.  For in Truth,
the Turk'y is in comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal
a true original Native of America.  Eagles have been found in all
Countries, but the Turk'y was peculiar to ours; the first of the
Species seen in Europe being brought to France by the Jesuits from
Canada, and serv'd up at the Wedding Table of Charles the Ninth.  He
is, though a little vain and silly, it is true, but not the worse
emblem for that, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack
a Grenadier of the British Guards, who should presume to invade his
FarmYard with a _red_ Coat on.

        I shall not enter into the Criticisms made upon their Latin.
The gallant officers of America may not have the merit of being great
scholars, but they undoubtedly merit much, as brave soldiers, from
their Country, which should therefore not leave them merely to _Fame_
for their _"Virtutis Premium,"_ which is one of their Latin Mottos.
Their _"Esto perpetua,"_ another, is an excellent Wish, if they meant
it for their Country; bad, if intended for their Order.  The States
should not only restore to them the _Omnia_ of their first Motto,
which many of them have left and lost, but pay them justly, and
reward them generously.  They should not be suffered to remain, with
all their new-created Chivalry, _entirely_ in the Situation of the
Gentleman in the Story, which their _omnia reliquit_ reminds me of.
You know every thing makes me recollect some Story.  He had built a
very fine House, and thereby much impair'd his Fortune.  He had a
Pride, however, in showing it to his Acquaintance.  One of them,
after viewing it all, remark'd a Motto over the Door, "OIA VANITAS."
"What," says he, "is the Meaning of this OIA? it is a word I don't
understand." "I will tell you," said the Gentleman; "I had a mind to
have the Motto cut on a Piece of smooth Marble, but there was not
room for it between the Ornaments, to be put in Characters large
enough to be read.  I therefore made use of a Contraction antiently
very common in Latin Manuscripts, by which the _m_'s and _n_'s in
Words are omitted, and the Omission noted by a little Dash above,
which you may see there; so that the Word is _omnia_, OMNIA VANITAS."
"O," says his Friend, "I now comprehend the Meaning of your motto, it
relates to your Edifice; and signifies, that, if you have abridged
your _Omnia_, you have, nevertheless, left your VANITAS legible at
full length." I am, as ever, your affectionate father,


        _To William Strahan_

        DEAR SIR, Passy, Feb. 16, 1784.
        I receiv'd and read with Pleasure your kind Letter of the first
Inst, as it inform'd me of the Welfare of you and yours.  I am glad
the Accounts you have from your Kinswoman at Philadelphia are
agreable, and I shall be happy if any Recommendations from me can be
serviceable to Dr. Ross, or any other friend of yours, going to

        Your arguments, persuading me to come once more to England, are
very powerful.  To be sure, I long to see again my Friends there,
whom I love abundantly; but there are difficulties and Objections of
several kinds, which at present I do not see how to get over.

        I lament with you the political Disorders England at present
labours under.  Your Papers are full of strange Accounts of Anarchy
and Confusion in America, of which we know nothing, while your own
Affairs are really in a Situation deplorable.  In my humble Opinion,
the Root of the Evil lies not so much in too long, or too unequally
chosen Parliaments, as in the enormous Salaries, Emoluments, and
Patronage of your great Offices; and that you will never be at rest
till they are all abolish'd, and every place of Honour made at the
same time, instead of a Place of Profit, a place of Expence and

        Ambition and avarice are each of them strong Passions, and when
they are united in the same Persons, and have the same Objects in
view for their Gratification, they are too strong for Public Spirit
and Love of Country, and are apt to produce the most violent Factions
and Contentions.  They should therefore be separated, and made to act
one against the other.  Those Places, to speak in our old stile
(Brother Type), may be for the good of the _Chapel_, but they are bad
for the Master, as they create constant Quarrels that hinder the
Business.  For example, here are near two Months that your Government
has been employed in _getting its form to press_; which is not yet
fit to _work on_, every Page of it being _squabbled_, and the whole
ready to fall into _pye._ The Founts too must be very scanty, or
strangely _out of sorts_, since your _Compositors_ cannot find either
_upper_ or _lower case Letters_ sufficient to set the word
ADMINISTRATION, but are forc'd to be continually _turning for them._
However, to return to common (tho' perhaps too saucy) Language, don't
despair; you have still one resource left, and that not a bad one,
since it may reunite the Empire.  We have some Remains of Affection
for you, and shall always be ready to receive and take care of you in
Case of Distress.  So if you have not Sense and Virtue enough to
govern yourselves, e'en dissolve your present old crazy Constitution,
and _send members to Congress._

        You will say my _Advice_ "smells of _Madeira._" You are right.
This foolish Letter is mere chitchat _between ourselves_ over the
_second bottle._ If, therefore, you show it to anybody, (except our
indulgent Friends, Dagge and Lady Strahan) I will positively
_Solless_ you.  Yours ever most affectionately,


        _To La Sabliere de la Condamine_

        SIR, Passy, March 19, 1784
        I receiv'd the very obliging Letter you did me honour of
writing to me the 8'th Inst. with the epigram &c. for which please to
accept my Thanks.

        You desire my Sentiments concerning the Cures perform'd by
Comus & Mesmer.  I think that in general, Maladies caus'd by
Obstructions may be treated by Electricity with Advantage.  As to the
Animal Magnetism, so much talk'd of, I am totally unacquainted with
it, and must doubt its Existence till I can see or feel some Effect
of it.  None of the Cures said to be perform'd by it, have fallen
under my Observation; and there being so many Disorders which cure
themselves and such a Disposition in Mankind to deceive themselves
and one another on these Occasions; and living long having given me
frequent Opportunities of seeing certain Remedies cry'd up as curing
everything, and yet soon after totally laid aside as useless, I
cannot but fear that the Expectation of great Advantage from the new
Method of treating Diseases, will prove a Delusion.  That Delusion
may however in some cases be of use while it lasts.  There are in
every great rich City a Number of Persons who are never in health,
because they are fond of Medicines and always taking them, whereby
they derange the natural Functions, and hurt their Constitutions.  If
these People can be persuaded to forbear their Drugs in Expectation
of being cured by only the Physician's Finger or an Iron Rod pointing
at them, they may possibly find good Effects tho' they mistake the
Cause.  I have the honour to be, Sir, &c.

        "STOOP, STOOP!"

        _To Samuel Mather_

        REV'd SIR, Passy, May 12, 1784.
        I received your kind letter, with your excellent advice to the
people of the United States, which I read with great pleasure, and
hope it will be duly regarded.  Such writings, though they may be
lightly passed over by many readers, yet, if they make a deep
impression on one active mind in a hundred, the effects may be
considerable.  Permit me to mention one little instance, which,
though it relates to myself, will not be quite uninteresting to you.
When I was a boy, I met with a book, entitled _"Essays to do Good,"_
which I think was written by your father.  It had been so little
regarded by a former possessor, that several leaves of it were torn
out; but the remainder gave me such a turn of thinking, as to have an
influence on my conduct through life; for I have always set a greater
value on the character of a _doer of good_, than on any other kind of
reputation; and if I have been, as you seem to think, a useful
citizen, the public owes the advantage of it to that book.

        You mention your being in your 78'th year; I am in my 79'th; we
are grown old together.  It is now more than 60 years since I left
Boston, but I remember well both your father and grandfather, having
heard them both in the pulpit, and seen them in their houses.  The
last time I saw your father was in the beginning of 1724, when I
visited him after my first trip to Pennsylvania.  He received me in
his library, and on my taking leave showed me a shorter way out of
the house through a narrow passage, which was crossed by a beam over
head.  We were still talking as I withdrew, he accompanying me
behind, and I turning partly towards him, when he said hastily,
_"Stoop, stoop!"_ I did not understand him, till I felt my head hit
against the beam.  He was a man that never missed any occasion of
giving instruction, and upon this he said to me, _"You are young, and
have the world before you;_ STOOP _as you go through it, and you will
miss many hard thumps."_ This advice, thus beat into my head, has
frequently been of use to me; and I often think of it, when I see
pride mortified, and misfortunes brought upon people by their
carrying their heads too high.

        I long much to see again my native place, and to lay my bones
there.  I left it in 1723; I visited it in 1733, 1743, 1753, and
1763.  In 1773 I was in England; in 1775 I had a sight of it, but
could not enter, it being in possession of the enemy.  I did hope to
have been there in 1783, but could not obtain my dismission from this
employment here; and now I fear I shall never have that happiness.
My best wishes however attend my dear country.  _Esto perpetua._ It
is now blest with an excellent constitution; may it last for ever!

        This powerful monarchy continues its friendship for the United
States.  It is a friendship of the utmost importance to our security,
and should be carefully cultivated.  Britain has not yet well
digested the loss of its dominion over us, and has still at times
some flattering hopes of recovering it.  Accidents may increase those
hopes, and encourage dangerous attempts.  A breach between us and
France would infallibly bring the English again upon our backs; and
yet we have some wild heads among our countrymen, who are
endeavouring to weaken that connexion!  Let us preserve our
reputation by performing our engagements; our credit by fulfilling
our contracts; and friends by gratitude and kindness; for we know not
how soon we may again have occasion for all of them.  With great and
sincere esteem, I have the honour to be, &c.


        _To Charles Thomson_

        DEAR SIR, Passy, May 13, 1784.
        Yesterday evening Mr. Hartley met with Mr. Jay and myself when
the ratifications of the Definitive Treaty were exchanged.  I send a
copy of the English Ratification to the President.

        Thus the great and hazardous enterprize we have been engaged in
is, God be praised, happily compleated; an event I hardly expected I
should live to see.  A few years of Peace, will improve, will restore
and encrease our strength; but our future safety will depend on our
union and our virtue.  Britain will be long watching for advantages,
to recover what she has lost.  If we do not convince the world, that
we are a Nation to be depended on for fidelity in Treaties; if we
appear negligent in paying our Debts, and ungrateful to those who
have served and befriended us; our reputation, and all the strength
it is capable of procuring, will be lost, and fresh attacks upon us
will be encouraged and promoted by better prospects of success.  Let
us therefore beware of being lulled into a dangerous security; and of
being both enervated and impoverished by luxury; of being weakened by
internal contentions and divisions; of being shamefully extravagant
in contracting private debts, while we are backward in discharging
honorably those of the public; of neglect in military exercises and
discipline, and in providing stores of arms and munitions of war, to
be ready on occasion; for all these are circumstances that give
confidence to enemies, and diffidence to friends; and the expenses
required to prevent a war are much lighter than those that will, if
not prevented, be absolutely necessary to maintain it.

        I am long kept in suspense without being able to learn the
purpose of Congress respecting my request of recall, and that of some
employment for my secretary, William Temple Franklin.  If I am kept
here another winter, and as much weakened by it as by the last, I may
as well resolve to spend the remainder of my days here; for I shall
be hardly able to bear the fatigues of the voyage in returning.
During my long absence from America, my friends are continually
diminishing by death, and my inducements to return in proportion.
But I can make no preparations either for going conveniently, or
staying comfortably here, nor take any steps towards making some
other provision for my grandson, till I know what I am to expect.  Be
so good, my dear friend, as to send me a little private information.
With great esteem, I am ever yours, most affectionately


        _To Mason Locke Weems and Edward Gant_

        GENTLEMEN, Passy, July 18, 1784.
        On receipt of your Letter, acquainting me that the Archbishop
of Canterbury would not permit you to be ordain'd, unless you took
the Oath of Allegiance, I apply'd to a Clergyman of my Acquaintance
for Information on the Subject of your obtaining Ordination here.
His Opinion was, that it could not be done; and that, if it were
done, you would be requir'd to vow Obedience to the Archbishop of
Paris.  I next inquired of the Pope's Nuncio, whether you might not
be ordain'd by their Bishop in America, Powers being sent him for
that purpose, if he has them not already.  The answer was, "The Thing
is impossible, unless the Gentlemen become Catholics."

        This is an Affair of which I know very little, and therefore I
may ask Questions and propose means that are improper or
impracticable.  But what is the necessity of your being connected
with the Church of England?  Would it not be as well, if you were of
the Church of Ireland?  The Religion is the same, tho' there is a
different set of Bishops and Archbishops.  Perhaps if you were to
apply to the Bishop of Derry, who is a man of liberal Sentiments, he
might give you Orders as of that Church.  If both Britain and Ireland
refuse you, (and I am not sure that the Bishops of Denmark or Sweden
would ordain you, unless you become Lutherans,) what is to be done?
Next to becoming Presbyterians, the Episcopalian clergy of America,
in my humble Opinion, cannot do better than to follow the Example of
the first Clergy of Scotland, soon after the Conversion of that
Country to Christianity, who when their King had built the Cathedral
of St. Andrew's, and requested the King of Northumberland to lend his
Bishops to ordain one for them, that their Clergy might not as
heretofore be obliged to go to Northumberland for Orders, and their
Request was refused; they assembled in the Cathedral; and, the Mitre,
Crosier, and Robes of a Bishop being laid upon the Altar, they, after
earnest Prayers for Direction in their Choice, elected one of their
own Number; when the King said to him, _"Arise, go to the Altar, and
receive your Office at the Hand of God."_ His brethren led him to the
Altar, robed him, put the Crozier in his Hand, and the Mitre on his
Head, and he became the first Bishop of Scotland.

        If the British Isles were sunk in the Sea (and the Surface of this
Globe has suffered greater Changes), you would probably take some such Method
as this; and, if they persist in denying you Ordination, 'tis the same thing.
An hundred years hence, when People are more enlightened, it will be wondered
at, that Men in America, qualified by their Learning and Piety to pray for
and instruct their Neighbors, should not be permitted to do it till they had
made a Voyage of six thousand Miles out and home, to ask leave of a cross old
Gentleman at Canterbury; who seems, by your Account, to have as little Regard
for the Souls of the People of Maryland, as King William's Attorney-General,
Seymour, had for those of Virginia.  The Reverend Commissary Blair, who
projected the College of that Province, and was in England to solicit
Benefactions and a Charter, relates, that the Queen, in the King's Absence,
having ordered Seymour to draw up the Charter, which was to be given, with
2000 pounds in Money, he oppos'd the Grant; saying that the Nation was
engag'd in an expensive War, that the Money was wanted for better purposes,
and he did not see the least Occasion for a College in Virginia.  Blair
represented to him, that its Intention was to educate and qualify young Men
to be Ministers of the Gospel, much wanted there; and begged Mr. Attorney
would consider, that the People of Virginia had souls to be saved, as well as
the People of England.  _"Souls!"_ says he, _"damn your Souls.  Make
Tobacco!"_ I have the honour to be, Gentlemen, &c.


        _To William Franklin_

        DEAR SON, Passy, Aug. 16, 1784.
        I received your Letter of the 22d past, and am glad to find
that you desire to revive the affectionate Intercourse, that formerly
existed between us.  It will be very agreable to me; indeed nothing
has ever hurt me so much and affected me with such keen Sensations,
as to find myself deserted in my old Age by my only Son; and not only
deserted, but to find him taking up Arms against me, in a Cause,
wherein my good Fame, Fortune and Life were all at Stake.  You
conceived, you say, that your Duty to your King and Regard for your
Country requir'd this.  I ought not to blame you for differing in
Sentiment with me in Public Affairs.  We are Men, all subject to
Errors.  Our Opinions are not in our own Power; they are form'd and
govern'd much by Circumstances, that are often as inexplicable as
they are irresistible.  Your Situation was such that few would have
censured your remaining Neuter, _tho' there are Natural Duties which
precede political ones, and cannot be extinguish'd by them._

        This is a disagreable Subject.  I drop it.  And we will
endeavour, as you propose mutually to forget what has happened
relating to it, as well as we can.  I send your Son over to pay his
Duty to you.  You will find him much improv'd.  He is greatly
esteem'd and belov'd in this Country, and will make his Way anywhere.
It is my Desire, that he should study the Law, as a necessary Part of
Knowledge for a public Man, and profitable if he should have occasion
to practise it.  I would have you therefore put into his hands those
Law-books you have, viz. Blackstone, Coke, Bacon, Viner, &c.  He will
inform you, that he received the Letter sent him by Mr. Galloway, and
the Paper it enclosed, safe.

        On my leaving America, I deposited with that Friend for you, a
Chest of Papers, among which was a Manuscript of nine or ten Volumes,
relating to Manufactures, Agriculture, Commerce, Finance, etc., which
cost me in England about 70 Guineas; eight Quire Books, containing
the Rough Drafts of all my Letters while I liv'd in London.  These
are missing.  I hope you have got them, if not, they are lost.  Mr.
Vaughan has publish'd in London a Volume of what he calls my
Political Works.  He proposes a second Edition; but, as the first was
very incompleat, and you had many Things that were omitted, (for I
used to send you sometimes the Rough Drafts, and sometimes the
printed Pieces I wrote in London,) I have directed him to apply to
you for what may be in your Power to furnish him with, or to delay
his Publication till I can be at home again, if that may ever happen.

        I did intend returning this year; but the Congress, instead of
giving me Leave to do so, have sent me another Commission, which will
keep me here at least a Year longer; and perhaps I may then be too
old and feeble to bear the Voyage.  I am here among a People that
love and respect me, a most amiable Nation to live with; and perhaps
I may conclude to die among them; for my Friends in America are dying
off, one after another, and I have been so long abroad, that I should
now be almost a Stranger in my own Country.

        I shall be glad to see you when convenient, but would not have
you come here at present.  You may confide to your son the Family
Affairs you wished to confer upon with me, for he is discreet.  And I
trust, that you will prudently avoid introducing him to Company, that
it may be improper for him to be seen with.  I shall hear from you by
him and any letters to me afterwards, will come safe under Cover
directed to Mr. Ferdinand Grand, Banker at Paris.  Wishing you
Health, and more Happiness than it seems you have lately experienced,
I remain your affectionate father,


        _To William Strahan_

        DEAR FRIEND, Passy, Aug't 19.'th 1784.
        I received your kind Letter of Ap'l 17th.  You will have the
goodness to place my delay in answering to the Account of
Indisposition and Business, and excuse it.  I have now that letter
before me; and my Grandson, whom you may formerly remember a little
Scholar of Mr. Elphinston's, purposing to set out in a day or two on
a visit to his Father in London, I set down to scribble a little to
you, first recommending him as a worthy young Man to your Civilities
and Counsels.

           You press me much to come to England.  I am not without
strong Inducements to do so; the Fund of Knowledge you promise to
Communicate to me is an Addition to them, and no small one.  At
present it is impracticable.  But, when my Grandson returns, come
with him.  We will then talk the matter over, and perhaps you may
take me back with you.  I have a Bed at your service, and will try to
make your Residence, while you can stay with us, as agreable to you,
if possible, as I am sure it will be to me.

        You do not "approve the annihilation of profitable Places; for
you do not see why a Statesman, who does his Business well, should
not be paid for his Labour as well as any other Workman." Agreed.
But why more than any other Workman?  The less the Salary the greater
the Honor.  In so great a Nation, there are many rich enough to
afford giving their time to the Public; and there are, I make no
doubt, many wise and able Men, who would take as much Pleasure in
governing for nothing, as they do in playing Chess for nothing.  It
would be one of the noblest of Amusements.  That this Opinion is not
Chimerical, the Country I now live in affords a Proof; its whole
Civil and Criminal Law Administration being done for nothing, or in
some sense for less than nothing; since the Members of its Judiciary
Parliaments buy their Places, and do not make more than _three per
cent_ for their Money by their Fees and Emoluments, while the legal
Interest is _five_; so that in Fact they give two per cent to be
allow'd to govern, and all their time and trouble into the Bargain.
Thus _Profit_, one Motive for desiring Place, being abolish'd, there
remains only _Ambition_; and that being in some degree ballanced by
_Loss_, you may easily conceive, that there will not be very violent
Factions and Contentions for such Places, nor much of the Mischief to
the Country, that attends your Factions, which have often occasioned
Wars, and overloaded you with Debts impayable.

        I allow you all the Force of your Joke upon the Vagrancy of our
Congress.  They have a right to sit _where_ they please, of which
perhaps they have made too much Use by shifting too often.  But they
have two other Rights; those of sitting _when_ they please, and as
_long_ as they please, in which methinks they have the advantage of
your Parliament; for they cannot be dissolved by the Breath of a
Minister, or sent packing as you were the other day, when it was your
earnest desire to have remained longer together.

        You "fairly acknowledge, that the late War terminated quite
contrary to your Expectation." Your expectation was ill founded; for
you would not believe your old Friend, who told you repeatedly, that
by those Measures England would lose her Colonies, as Epictetus
warned in vain his Master that he would break his Leg.  You believ'd
rather the Tales you heard of our Poltroonery and Impotence of Body
and Mind.  Do you not remember the Story you told me of the Scotch
sergeant, who met with a Party of Forty American Soldiers, and, tho'
alone, disarm'd them all, and brought them in Prisoners?  A Story
almost as Improbable as that of the Irishman, who pretended to have
alone taken and brought in Five of the enemy by _surrounding_ them.
And yet, my Friend, sensible and Judicious as you are, but partaking
of the general Infatuation, you seemed to believe it.

        The Word _general_ puts me in mind of a General, your General
Clarke, who had the Folly to say in my hearing at Sir John Pringle's,
that, with a Thousand British grenadiers, he would undertake to go
from one end of America to the other, and geld all the Males, partly
by force and partly by a little Coaxing.  It is plain he took us for
a species of Animals very little superior to Brutes.  The Parliament
too believ'd the stories of another foolish General, I forget his
Name, that the Yankeys never _felt bold._ Yankey was understood to be
a sort of Yahoo, and the Parliament did not think the Petitions of
such Creatures were fit to be received and read in so wise an
Assembly.  What was the consequence of this monstrous Pride and
Insolence?  You first sent small Armies to subdue us, believing them
more than sufficient, but soon found yourselves obliged to send
greater; these, whenever they ventured to penetrate our Country
beyond the Protection of their Ships, were either repulsed and
obliged to scamper out, or were surrounded, beaten, and taken
Prisoners.  An American Planter, who had never seen Europe, was
chosen by us to Command our Troops, and continued during the whole
War.  This Man sent home to you, one after another, five of your best
Generals baffled, their Heads bare of Laurels, disgraced even in the
Opinion of their Employers.

        Your contempt of our Understandings, in Comparison with your
own, appeared to be not much better founded than that of our Courage,
if we may judge by this Circumstance, that, in whatever Court of
Europe a Yankey negociator appeared, the wise British Minister was
routed, put in a passion, pick'd a quarrel with your Friends, and was
sent home with a Flea in his Ear.

        But after all, my dear Friend, do not imagine that I am vain
enough to ascribe our Success to any superiority in any of those
Points.  I am too well acquainted with all the Springs and Levers of
our Machine, not to see, that our human means were unequal to our
undertaking, and that, if it had not been for the Justice of our
Cause, and the consequent Interposition of Providence, in which we
had Faith, we must have been ruined.  If I had ever before been an
Atheist, I should now have been convinced of the Being and Government
of a Deity!  It is he who abases the Proud and favours the Humble.
May we never forget his Goodness to us, and may our future Conduct
manifest our Gratitude.

        But let us leave these serious Reflections and converse with
our usual Pleasantry.  I remember your observing once to me as we sat
together in the House of Commons, that no two Journeymen Printers,
within your Knowledge, had met with such Success in the World as
ourselves.  You were then at the head of your Profession, and soon
afterwards became a Member of Parliament.  I was an Agent for a few
Provinces, and now act for them all.  But we have risen by different
Modes.  I, as a Republican Printer, always liked a Form well _plain'd
down_; being averse to those _overbearing_ Letters that hold their
Heads so _high_, as to hinder their Neighbours from appearing.  You,
as a Monarchist, chose to work upon _Crown_ Paper, and found it
profitable; while I work'd upon _pro patria_ (often indeed call'd
_Fools Cap_) with no less advantage.  Both our _Heaps hold out_ very
well, and we seem likely to make a pretty good day's Work of it.
With regard to Public Affairs (to continue in the same stile), it
seems to me that the Compositors in your Chapel do not _cast off
their Copy_ well, nor perfectly understand _Imposing_; their _Forms_,
too, are continually pester'd by the _Outs_ and _Doubles_, that are
not easy to be corrected.  And I think they were wrong in laying
aside some _Faces_, and particularly certain _Head-pieces_, that
would have been both useful and ornamental.  But, Courage!  The
Business may still flourish with good Management; and the Master
become as rich as any of the Company.

        By the way, the rapid Growth and extension of the English
language in America, must become greatly Advantageous to the
booksellers, and holders of Copy-Rights in England.  A vast audience
is assembling there for English Authors, ancient, present, and
future, our People doubling every twenty Years; and this will demand
large and of course profitable Impressions of your most valuable
Books.  I would, therefore, if I possessed such rights, entail them,
if such a thing be practicable, upon my Posterity; for their Worth
will be continually augmenting.  This may look a little like Advice,
and yet I have drank no _Madeira_ these Ten Months.

        The Subject, however, leads me to another Thought, which is,
that you do wrong to discourage the Emigration of Englishmen to
America.  In my piece on Population, I have proved, I think, that
Emigration does not diminish but multiplies a Nation.  You will not
have fewer at home for those that go Abroad; and as every Man who
comes among us, and takes up a piece of Land, becomes a Citizen, and
by our Constitution has a Voice in Elections, and a share in the
Government of the Country, why should you be against acquiring by
this fair Means a Repossession of it, and leave it to be taken by
Foreigners of all Nations and Languages, who by their Numbers may
drown and stifle the English, which otherwise would probably become
in the course of two Centuries the most extensive Language in the
World, the Spanish only excepted?  It is a Fact, that the Irish
emigrants and their children are now in Possession of the Government
of Pennsylvania, by their Majority in the Assembly, as well as of a
great Part of the Territory; and I remember well the first Ship that
brought any of them over.  I am ever, my dear Friend, yours most


        _To Joseph Priestley_

        DEAR SIR, Passy, Aug't 21, 1784.
        Understanding that my Letter intended for you by General
Melvill, was lost at the Hotel d'Espagne, I take this Opportunity by
my Grandson to give you the purport of it, as well as I can
recollect.  I thank'd you for the Pleasure you had procured me of the
General's Conversation, whom I found a judicious, sensible, and
amiable Man.  I was glad to hear that you possess'd a comfortable
Retirement, and more so that you had Thoughts of removing to
Philadelphia, for that it would make me very happy to have you there.
Your _Companions_ would be very acceptable to the Library, but I
hoped you would long live to enjoy their Company yourself.  I agreed
with you in Sentiments concerning the Old Testament, and thought the
Clause in our Constitution, which required the Members of Assembly to
declare their belief, _that the whole of it was given by divine
Inspiration_, had better have been omitted.  That I had opposed the
Clause; but, being overpower'd by Numbers, and fearing more might in
future Times be grafted on it, I prevailed to have the additional
Clause, "that _no further or more extended Profession of Faith should
ever be exacted._" I observ'd to you too, that the Evil of it was the
less, as _no Inhabitant_, nor any Officer of Government, except the
Members of Assembly, were oblig'd to make that Declaration.

        So much for that Letter; to which I may now add, that there are
several Things in the Old Testament, impossible to be given by
_divine_ Inspiration; such as the Approbation ascribed to the Angel
of the Lord, of that abominably wicked and detestable Action of Jael,
the wife of Heber, the Kenite.  If the rest of the Book were like
that, I should rather suppose it given by Inspiration from another
Quarter, and renounce the whole.

        By the way, how goes on the Unitarian Church in Essex Street?
And the honest Minister of it, is he comfortably supported?  Your old
Colleague, Mr. Radcliff, is he living?  And what became of Mr.

        My Grandson, who will have the honour of delivering this to
you, may bring me a Line from you; and I hope will bring me an
Account of your continuing well and happy.

        I jog on still, with as much Health, and as few of the
Infirmities of old Age, as I have any Reason to expect.  But whatever
is impair'd in my Constitution, my Regard for my old Friends remains
firm and entire.  You will always have a good Share of it, for I am
ever with great and sincere esteem, dear Sir, &c.


        _To Richard Price_

        DEAR FRIEND, Passy, March 18, 1785.
        My nephew, Mr. Williams, will have the honour of delivering you
this line.  It is to request from you a List of a few good Books, to
the Value of about Twenty-five Pounds, such as are most proper to
inculcate Principles of sound Religion and just Government.  A New
Town in the State of Massachusetts having done me the honour of
naming itself after me, and proposing to build a Steeple to their
meeting-house if I would give them a Bell, I have advis'd the sparing
themselves the Expence of a Steeple, for the present, and that they
would accept of Books instead of a Bell, Sense being preferable to
Sound.  These are therefore intended as the Commencement of a little
Parochial Library for the Use of a Society of intelligent,
respectable Farmers, such as our Country People generally consist of.
Besides your own Works, I would only mention, on the Recommendation
of my sister, "Stennet's _Discourses on Personal Religion_," which
may be one Book of the Number, if you know and approve of it.

        With the highest Esteem and Respect, I am ever, my dear Friend,
yours most affectionately,


        _To George Whatley_

        DEAR OLD FRIEND, Passy, May 23, 1785.
        I sent you a few Lines the other Day, with the Medallion, when
I should have written more, but was prevented by the coming in of a
_Bavard_, who worried me till Evening.  I bore with him, and now you
are to bear with me; for I shall probably _bavarder_ in answering
your Letter.

        I am not acquainted with the Saying of Alphonsus, which you
allude to as a Sanctification of your Rigidity, in refusing to allow
me the Plea of Old Age, as an Excuse for my Want of Exactness in
Correspondence.  What was that Saying?  You do not, it seems, feel
any occasion for such an Excuse, though you are, as you say, rising
75.  But I am rising (perhaps more properly falling) 80, and I leave
the Excuse with you till you arrive at that Age; perhaps you may then
be more sensible of its Validity, and see fit to use it for yourself.

        I must agree with you, that the Gout is bad, and that the Stone
is worse.  I am happy in not having them both together, and I join in
your Prayer, that you may live till you die without either.  But I
doubt the Author of the Epitaph you send me was a little mistaken,
when he, speaking of the World, says, that

                         "he ne'er car'd a pin
                 What they said or may say of the Mortal within."

        It is so natural to wish to be well spoken of, whether alive or
dead, that I imagine he could not be quite exempt from that Desire;
and that at least he wish'd to be thought a Wit, or he would not have
given himself the Trouble of writing so good an Epitaph to leave
behind him.  Was it not as worthy of his Care, that the World should
say he was an honest and a good Man?  I like better the concluding
Sentiment in the old Song, call'd _The Old Man's Wish_, wherein,
after wishing for a warm House in a country Town, an easy Horse, some
good old authors, ingenious and cheerful Companions, a Pudding on
Sundays, with stout Ale, and a bottle of Burgundy, &c. &c., in
separate Stanzas, each ending with this burthen,

                 "May I govern my Passions with an absolute sway,
                 Grow wiser and better as my Strength wears away,
                 Without Gout or Stone, by a gentle Decay;"

         he adds,

                 "With a Courage undaunted may I face my last day,
                 And, when I am gone, may the better Sort say,
                 `In the Morning when sober, in the Evening when mellow,
                 He's gone, and has not left behind him his Fellow;
                         For he governed his Passions, &c.'"

        But what signifies our Wishing?  Things happen, after all, as
they will happen.  I have sung that _wishing Song_ a thousand times,
when I was young, and now find, at Fourscore, that the three
Contraries have befallen me, being subject to the Gout and the Stone,
and not being yet Master of all my Passions.  Like the proud Girl in
my Country, who wished and resolv'd not to marry a Parson, nor a
Presbyterian, nor an Irishman; and at length found herself married to
an Irish Presbyterian Parson.

           You see I have some reason to wish, that, in a future State,
I may not only be _as well as I was_, but a little better.  And I
hope it; for I, too, with your Poet, _trust in God._ And when I
observe, that there is great Frugality, as well as Wisdom, in his
Works, since he has been evidently sparing both of Labour and
Materials; for by the various wonderful Inventions of Propagation, he
has provided for the continual peopling his World with Plants and
Animals, without being at the Trouble of repeated new Creations; and
by the natural Reduction of compound Substances to their original
Elements, capable of being employ'd in new Compositions, he has
prevented the Necessity of creating new Matter; so that the Earth,
Water, Air, and perhaps Fire, which being compounded form Wood, do,
when the Wood is dissolved, return, and again become Air, Earth,
Fire, and Water; I say, that, when I see nothing annihilated, and not
even a Drop of Water wasted, I cannot suspect the Annihilation of
Souls, or believe, that he will suffer the daily Waste of Millions of
Minds ready made that now exist, and put himself to the continual
Trouble of making new ones.  Thus finding myself to exist in the
World, I believe I shall, in some Shape or other, always exist; and,
with all the inconveniencies human Life is liable to, I shall not
object to a new Edition of mine; hoping, however, that the _Errata_
of the last may be corrected.

        I return your Note of Children receiv'd in the Foundling
Hospital at Paris, from 1741 to 1755, inclusive; and I have added the
Years preceding as far back as 1710 together with the general
Christnings of the City, and the Years succeeding down to 1770.
Those since that Period I have not been able to obtain.  I have noted
in the Margin the gradual Increase, viz. from every tenth Child so
thrown upon the Public, till it comes to every third!  Fifteen Years
have passed since the last Account, and probably it may now amount to
one half.  Is it right to encourage this monstrous Deficiency of
natural Affection?  A Surgeon I met with here excused the Women of
Paris, by saying, seriously, that they _could not_ give suck;
_"Car,"_ dit il, _"elles n'ont point de tetons."_ He assur'd me it
was a Fact, and bade me look at them, and observe how flat they were
on the Breast; "they have nothing more there," said he, "than I have
upon the Back of my hand." I have since thought that there might be
some Truth in his Observation, and that, possibly, Nature, finding
they made no use of Bubbies, has left off giving them any.  Yet,
since Rousseau, with admirable Eloquence, pleaded for the Rights of
Children to their Mother's Milk, the Mode has changed a little; and
some Ladies of Quality now suckle their Infants and find Milk enough.
May the Mode descend to the lower Ranks, till it becomes no longer
the Custom to pack their Infants away, as soon as born, to the
_Enfans Trouves_, with the careless Observation, that the King is
better able to maintain them.

        I am credibly inform'd, that nine-tenths of them die there
pretty soon, which is said to be a great Relief to the Institution,
whose Funds would not otherwise be sufficient to bring up the
Remainder.  Except the few Persons of Quality above mentioned, and
the Multitude who send to the Hospital, the Practice is to hire
Nurses in the Country to carry out the Children, and take care of
them there.  There is an Office for examining the Health of Nurses,
and giving them Licenses.  They come to Town on certain Days of the
Week in Companies to receive the Children, and we often meet Trains
of them on the Road returning to the neighbouring Villages, with each
a Child in her Arms.  But those, who are good enough to try this way
of raising their Children, are often not able to pay the Expence; so
that the Prisons of Paris are crowded with wretched Fathers and
Mothers confined _pour Mois de Nourrice_, tho' it is laudably a
favorite Charity to pay for them, and set such Prisoners at Liberty.
I wish Success to the new Project of assisting the Poor to keep their
Children at home, because I think there is no Nurse like a Mother (or
not many), and that, if Parents did not immediately send their
Infants out of their Sight, they would in a few days begin to love
them, and thence be spurr'd to greater Industry for their
Maintenance.  This is a Subject you understand better than I, and,
therefore, having perhaps said too much, I drop it.  I only add to
the Notes a Remark, from the _History of the Academy of Sciences_,
much in favour of the Foundling Institution.

        The Philadelphia Bank goes on, as I hear, very well.  What you
call the Cincinnati Institution is no Institution of our Government,
but a private Convention among the Officers of our late Army, and so
universally dislik'd by the People, that it is supposed it will be
dropt.  It was considered as an Attempt to establish something like
an hereditary Rank or Nobility.  I hold with you, that it was wrong;
may I add, that all _descending_ Honours are wrong and absurd; that
the Honour of virtuous Actions appertains only to him that performs
them, and is in its nature incommunicable.  If it were communicable
by Descent, it must also be divisible among the Descendants; and the
more ancient the Family, the less would be found existing in any one
Branch of it; to say nothing of the greater Chance of unlucky

        Our Constitution seems not to be well understood with you.  If
the Congress were a permanent Body, there would be more Reason in
being jealous of giving it Powers.  But its Members are chosen
annually, cannot be chosen more than three Years successively, nor
more than three Years in seven; and any of them may be recall'd at
any time, whenever their Constituents shall be dissatisfied with
their Conduct.  They are of the People, and return again to mix with
the People, having no more durable preeminence than the different
Grains of Sand in an Hourglass.  Such an Assembly cannot easily
become dangerous to Liberty.  They are the Servants of the People,
sent together to do the People's Business, and promote the public
Welfare; their Powers must be sufficient, or their Duties cannot be
performed.  They have no profitable Appointments, but a mere Payment
of daily Wages, such as are scarcely equivalent to their Expences; so
that, having no Chance for great Places, and enormous Salaries or
Pensions, as in some Countries, there is no triguing or bribing for

        I wish Old England were as happy in its Government, but I do
not see it.  Your People, however, think their Constitution the best
in the World, and affect to despise ours.  It is comfortable to have
a good Opinion of one's self, and of every thing that belongs to us;
to think one's own Religion, King, and Wife, the best of all possible
Wives, Kings, or Religions.  I remember three Greenlanders, who had
travell'd two Years in Europe under the care of some Moravian
Missionaries, and had visited Germany, Denmark, Holland, and England.
When I asked them at Philadelphia, where they were in their Way home,
whether, now they had seen how much more commodiously the white
People lived by the help of the Arts, they would not choose to remain
among us; their Answer was, that they were pleased with having had an
Opportunity of seeing so many fine things, _but they chose to_ live
_in their own Country._ Which Country, by the way, consisted of rock
only, for the Moravians were obliged to carry Earth in their Ship
from New York, for the purpose of making there a Cabbage Garden.

        By Mr. Dollond's Saying, that my double Spectacles can only
serve particular Eyes, I doubt he has not been rightly informed of
their Construction.  I imagine it will be found pretty generally
true, that the same Convexity of Glass, through which a Man sees
clearest and best at the Distance proper for Reading, is not the best
for greater Distances.  I therefore had formerly two Pair of
Spectacles, which I shifted occasionally, as in travelling I
sometimes read, and often wanted to regard the Prospects.  Finding
this Change troublesome, and not always sufficiently ready, I had the
Glasses cut, and half of each kind associated in the same Circle,
thus, (Illustration omitted)

         By this means, as I wear my Spectacles constantly, I have
only to move my Eyes up or down, as I want to see distinctly far
or near, the proper Glasses being always ready.  This I find more
particularly convenient since my being in France, the Glasses that
serve me best at Table to see what I eat, not being the best to see
the Faces of those on the other Side of the Table who speak to me;
and when one's Ears are not well accustomed to the Sounds of a
Language, a Sight of the Movements in the Features of him that speaks
helps to explain; so that I understand French better by the help of
my Spectacles.

        My intended translator of your Piece, the only one I know who
understands the _Subject_, as well as the two Languages, (which a
translator ought to do, or he cannot make so good a Translation,) is
at present occupied in an Affair that prevents his undertaking it;
but that will soon be over.  I thank you for the Notes.  I should be
glad to have another of the printed Pamphlets.

        We shall always be ready to take your Children, if you send
them to us.  I only wonder, that, since London draws to itself, and
consumes such Numbers of your Country People, the Country should not,
to supply their Places, want and willingly receive the Children you
have to dispose of.  That Circumstance, together with the Multitude
who voluntarily part with their Freedom as Men, to serve for a time
as Lackeys, or for Life as Soldiers, in consideration of small Wages,
seems to me a Proof that your Island is over-peopled.  And yet it is
afraid of Emigrations!  Adieu, my dear Friend, and believe me ever
yours very affectionately,


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