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ed from the Congress last year my discharge from this public station, that I might enjoy a little lei sure in the evening of a long life of business; but it was refused me, and I have been obliged to drudge on a little longer.
“You are happy, as your years come on, in having that dear and most amiable family about you. Four daughters ! how rich! I have but one, and she necessarily detained from me at a thousand leagues' distance. I feel the want of that tender care of me which might be expected from a daughter, and would give the world for one. Your shades are all placed in a row over my tireplace, so that I not only have you always in my mind, but constantly before my eyes.
The cause of liberty and America has been greatly obliged to you. I hope you will live long to see that country flourish under its new constitution, which I am sure will give you great pleasure. Will you permit me to express another hope that, now your friends are in power, they will take the first opportunity of showing the sense they ought to have of your virtues and your merit?
"Please to make my best respects acceptable to Mrs. Shipley, and embrace for me tenderly all our dear children. With the utmost esteem, respect, and veneration, I am ever, my dear friend, yours most affectionately,
5 Miss Alexander.
“Passy, June 27, 1782. “I am not at all displeased that the thesis and dedi. cation with which we were threatened are blown over, for I dislike much all sorts of mummery. The republic of letters has gained no reputation, whatever else it may have gained, by the commerce of dedications; I never made one, and never de. sired 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 everything that ladies desire me to do: there is no refusing anything 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 twenty years younger, I would give your father one thousand guineas for you. I know you would be worth more to me as a menagére. I am covetous, and love good bargains. Adieu, my dear friend, and believe me ever yours most affectionately,
“ B. FRANKLIN.”
“ Benjamin Vaughan.
“ Passy, July 10, 1782. "By the original law of nations, war and extirpation was the punishment of injury. Humanizing by degrees, it admitted slavery instead of death. A farther step was the exchange of prisoners instead of slavery. Another, to respect more the property of private persons under conquest, and to be content with acquired dominion. "Why should not the law of nations go on improving ?. Ages have ir.cervened between its several steps ; but, as knowledge of late increases rapidly, why should not those steps be quickened? Why should it not be agreed to as the future law of nations, that in any war hereafter the following descriptions of men should be undisturbed, have the protection of both sides, and be permitted to follow their employments in surety ; viz.,
“1. Cultivators of the earth, because they labour for the subsistence of mankind.
“2. Fishermen, for the same reason.
“ 3. Merchants and traders in unarmed ships, who accommodate different nations by communioating and exchanging the necessaries and conveniences of life.
“4. Artists and mechanics, inhabiting and working in open towns.
“ It is hardly necessary to add, that the hospitals of enemies should be unmolested; they ought to be assisted.
“In short, I would have nobody fought with but those who are paid for fighting. If obliged to take corn from the farmer, friend or enemy, I would pay him for it; the same for the fish or goods of the others.
“ This once established, that encouragement to war which arises from a spirit of rapine would be taken away, and peace, therefore, more likely to continue and be lasting.
“ B. FRANKLIN."
“ Mrs. Hewson."
“ Passy, January 27, 1783. “ The departure of my deareat friend,t 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, and Lord Kaimes 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 eleven books, but lost the time in looking for the first. I wrote with that, and hope it came to hand. I therein asked 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 bringingf 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
* Widow of the eminent anatomist of that name, and for merly Miss Stevenson, to whom several of Dr. Franklin's let ters on Philosophical subjects are addressed. + Refers to Mrs Hewson's mother.
Benjamin Franklin Bache, a grandson of Dr. Franklin, by his daughter Sarah; he was the first editor of the AURORA at Philadelphia: died of yellow fever in September, 1798.
to do it even by the cast of a die, 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 quartor 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 conversed with each other much and often. It is to all our honcurs, 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 occasion to say to my other remaining old friends, the fewer we become, the more let us love one another.
“ B. FRANKLIN."
“ To David Hartley.
“Passy, May 8, 1783. “Dear FRIEND, “I send you enclosed the copies you desired of the papers I read to you yesterday. I should be happy if I could see, before I die, the proposed improvement of the law of nations established. The miseries of mankind would be diminished by it, and the happiness of millions secured and promoted.
* See the Proposition about Privateering, annexed toʻletter to R. Oswald, January 14, 1783.