« AnteriorContinuar »
he was obliged to leave them, and is now bu- | about to put into the hands of Mr. Taylor, sied in supplying himself here. As soon as (a gentleman in the department of the secrethat is done, he proposes to wait on you in tary for foreign affairs,) the enclosed letter, Virginia, as he understands there is no pros- when I had the honour to receive your favour pect of your coming hither, which would in- of the 20th instant. deed make me very happy; as it would give “I have a grateful sense of the partiality of me the opportunity of congratulating with the French nation towards me. And I feel you personally on the final success of your very sensibly for the indulgent expression of long and painful labours in the service of our your letter, which does me
honour. country, which have laid us all under eternal 6 When it suits Mr. Houdon to come hiobligations.
ther, I will accommodate him in the best " With the greatest and most sincere es manner I am able, and shall endeavour to teem and respect, I am, dear sir, your most render his stay as agreeable as I can. obedient and most humble servant,
“ It would give me infinite pleasure to see “ B. FRANKLIN.” you. At this place I dare not look for it, al
though to entertain you under my own roof “ Mr. and Mrs. Jay.
would be doubly gratifying. When, or whe
ther ever, I shall have the satisfaction of see"PAILADELPHIA, Sept. 21, 1785.
ing you at Philadelphia, is uncertain, as re“ DEAR FRIENDS,-received your very tirement from the walks of public life has not kind letter of the 16th, congratulating me on been so productive of that leisure and ease, my safe arrival with my grandsons; an event as might have been expected. that indeed makes me very happy, being “With very great esteem and respect, I what I have long ardently wished; and con- am, dear sir, your most obedient humble sidering the growing infirmities of age, be- servant,
G. WASHINGTON.” gan almost to despair of. I am now in the bosom of my family, and find four new little prattlers, who cling about the knees of their
“ David Hartley. grandpapa, and afford me great pleasure.
" PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 27, 1785. The affectionate welcome I met with from
“ DEAR SIR,– I received at Havre de Grace my fellow-citizens, is far beyond my expect six copies of your print, which I have brought ation; I bore my voyage very well, and find with me hither. I shall frame and keep one myself rather better for it, so that I have of them in my best room. I shall send one to every possible reason to be satisfied with my Mr. Jay, and give the others among some having undertaken and performed it. When friends, who esteem and respect you as we do. I was at Passy, I could not bear a wheel car
"Your newspapers are filled with accounts riage ; and being discouraged in my project of distresses and miseries that these states are of descending the Seine in a boat, by the dif- plunged into since a separation from Britain. ficulties and tediousness of its navigation in
You so dry a season, I accepted the offer of one of is no truth in those accounts. I find all pro
may me, when I tell you there the king's litters, carried by large mules, which brought me well, though in walking perty in lands and houses augmented
vastly slowly, to Havre. Thence I went over in a fourfold. The crops have been plentiful, and
in value; that of houses and towns at least packet-boat to Southampton, where I staid
yet the produce sells high, to the great profit four days, till the ship came for me to Spit- of the farmer. At the same time all imported head. Several of my London friends came
goods sell at low rates, some cheaper than the there to see me, particularly the good bishop first cost. Working people have plenty of of St. Asaph and family, who staid with me to the last. "In short, I am now so well
, as to employ and high pay for their labour. These think it possible that I may once more have appear to me as certain signs of public pros the pleasure of seeing you both perhaps at trade is dead; but this pretended evil is not
perity: Some traders indeed complain that New York, with my dear young friends (who
an affect of inability in the people to buy, pay I hope may not have quite forgotten me) for for, and consume the usual articles of comI imagine that on a sandy road between Burlington and Amboy I could bear an easy it is owing merely to there being too many
merce, as far as they have occasion for them; coach, and the rest is water.
traders who have crowded hither from all I rejoice to hear that you continue well
, parts of Europe, with more goods than the being with true and great esteem and affec-natural demand of the country requires. And tion, your most obedient servant,
what in Europe is called the debt of America, “B. FRANKLIN."
is chiefly the debt of these adventurers and
supercargoes to their principals, with which Dr. Franklin.
the settled inhabitants of America, who never "Mount VERNON, Sept. 26, 1785. paid better, for what they want to buy, have “Dear Sir, —I had just written, and was nothing to do. As to the contentment of the
inhabitants with the change of government, confusions occasioned in sudden and various methinks a stronger proof cannot be desired, removals, during the late troubles, that I can than what they have given in my reception. hardly find any thing. But having nearly You know the part I had in that change, and finished an addition to my house, which will you see in the papers the addresses from all afford me room to put all in order, I hope ranks with which your friend was welcomed soon to be able to comply with such a request; home, and the sentiments they contain con- but I hope Mr. Dilly will have a good underfirmed yesterday in the choice of him for standing in the affair with Henry and Johnson, President, by the council and new assembly, who, having risked the former impressions, which was unanimous, a single voice in may suppose they thereby acquired some seventy-seven excepted.
right in the copy. As to the Life proposed “I remembered you used to wish for news- to be written, if it be by the same hand who papers from America. Herewith I send a furnished a sketch to Dr. Lettesom, which few, and you shall be regularly supplied, if he sent me, I am afraid it will be found too you can put me in a way of sending them, so full of errors for either you or me to correct : as that you may not be obliged to pay postage. and having been persuaded by my friends, -With unchangeable esteem and respect I Messrs. Vaughan and Monsieur Le Veillard, am, my dear friend, yours most affectionately. Mr. James of this place, and some others' * B. FRANKLIN." that such a Life, written by myself, may be
useful to the rising generation, I have made * Mathon de la Cour.
some progress in it, and hope to finish it this "PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 18, 1785.
winter : so I cannot but wish that project of “ Sır,—I received duly the letter you did Mr. Dilly's biographer may be laid aside. I me the honour of writing to me the 25th of am nevertheless thankful to you for your June past, together with the collection you friendly offer of correcting it
. have made comptes des rendus de vos con
“As to public affairs, it is long since I gave troleurs generaux ; and your Discours sur les
over all expectations of a commercial treaty moyens d'encourager le patriotisme dans les between us and Britain ; and I think we can monarchies. The first is a valuable work, do as well, or better without one than she can. as containing a great deal of useful informa- Our harvests are plenty, our produce fetches tion ; but the second I am particularly charm- a high price in hard money, and there is in ed with, the sentiments being delightfully just, every part of our country, incontestible marks and expressed with such force and clearness, of public felicity. We discover, indeed, some that I am persuaded the pamphlet, though errors in our general and particular constitusmall, must have a great effect on the minds tions; which it is no wonder they should have, of both princes and people
, and thence be pro considered. But these we shall soon mend.
the time in which they were formed being ductive of much good to mankind. Be pleased The little disorders you have heard of in some to accept my hearty thanks for both.
" It is right to be sowing good seed when- of the states, raised by a few wrong heads, ever we have an opportunity, since some of it are subsiding, and will probably soon be ex. may be productive. An instance of this tinguished.
you should be acquainted with, as it may afford you attend you. We shall be happy to see you
My best wishes, and those of my family pleasure. The reading of Fortune Ricard's
Testament, has put it into the head and heart here, when it suits you to visit us: being with of a citizen to leave two thousand pounds ster- sincere and great esteem, my dear friend, ling to two American cities, who are to lend yours most affectionately, it in small sums at five per cent. to young be
“B. FRANKLIN." ginners in business; and the accumulation, after an hundred years, to be laid out in public “ To the bishop of St. Asaph. works of benefit to those cities.
" PUILADELPHIA, Feb. 24, 1786 “ With great esteem, I have the honour be, sir, your most obedient and most humble kind letter of November 27. My reception
“ DEAR FRIEND,—I received lately your servant,
here, was, as you have heard, very honour
able indeed; but I was betrayed by it, and by “ Dr. Bancroft, F. R. S.
some remains of ambition, from which I had
imagined myself free, to accept of the chair of “Dear Sir, I received your kind letter of government for the state of Pennsylvania, September 5, informing me of the intention when the proper thing for me was repose and Mr. Dilly has of printing a new edition of my a private life. I hope however to be able t writings, and of his desire that I would furnish bear the fatigue for one year, and then to re him with such additions as I may think pro- tire. per. At present all my papers and manu- “I have much regretted our having so scripts are so mixt with other things, by the little opportunity for conversation when we
PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 26, 1785.
last met.* You could have given me informa-| house, with six grandchildren, the eldest of tions and counsels that I wanted, but we which you have seen, who is now at college were scarce a minute together without being in the next street, finishing the learned part broken in upon. I am to thank you however of his education ; the others promising both for the pleasure I had after our parting, in for parts and good dispositions. What their reading the new book you gave me, which conduct may be when they grow up and enI think generally well written and likely to ter the important scenes of life, I shall not do good : though the reading time of most live to see, and I cannot foresee. I therefore people is of late so taken up with newspapers, enjoy among them the present hour, and and little periodical pamphlets, that few now- leave the future to Providence. a-days venture to attempt reading a quarto “ He that raises a large family, does involume. I have admired to see that in the deed, while he lives to observe them, stand, tast century, a folio, Burton on Melancholy, as Watts says, a broader mark for sorrow ; went through six editions in about forty but then he stands a broader mark for pleayears. We have, I believe, more readers now, sure too. When we launch our little fleet of but not of such large books.
barks into the ocean, bound to different ports, “You seem desirous of knowing what pro- we hope for each a prosperous voyage; but gress we make here in improving our govern- contrary winds, hidden shoals, storms, and ments. We are, I think, in the right road of enemies come in for a share in the disposiimprovement, for we are making experiments. tion of events; and though these occasion a I do not oppose all that seem wrong, for the mixture of disappointment, yet considering multitude are more effectually set right by ex- the risk where we can make no insurance, perience, than kept from going wrong by rea- we should think ourselves happy if some resoning with them. And I think we are daily turn with success. My son's son, (Temple more and more enlightened ; so that I have no Franklin) whom you have also seen, having doubt of our obtaining in a few years as much had a fine farm of 600 acres conveyed to him public felicity as good government is capable by his father, when we were at Southampton, of affording. Your newspapers are filled with has dropped for the present his views of actfictitious accounts of anarchy, confusion, dis-ing in the political line, and applies himself tresses, and miseries we are supposed to be ardently to the study and practice of agriculinvolved in, as consequences of the revolu- ture. This is much more agreeable to me, tion; and the few remaining friends of the who esteem it the most useful, the most inold government among us, take pains to mag. dependent, and therefore the noblest of emnify every little inconvenience a change in ployments. His lands are on navigable wathe course of commerce may have occasioned. ter, communicating with the Delaware, and To obviate the complaints they endeavour to but about 16 miles from this city. He has excite, was written the enclosed little piece, associated to himself a very skilful English from which you may form a truer idea of our farmer, lately arrived here, who is to instruct situation, than your own public prints would him in the business, and partakes for a term give you. And I can assure you, that the of the profits ; so that there is a great appagreat body of our nation find themselves hap- rent probability of their suceess. You will py in the change, and have not the smallest kindly expect a word or two concerning myinclination to return to the domination of Bri- self. My health and spirits continue, thanks tain. There could not be a stronger proof of to God, as when you saw me.
The only the general approbation of the measures that complaint I then had, does not grow worse, promoted the change, and of the change itself, and is tolerable. I still have enjoyment in the than has been given by the assembly and company of my friends; and being easy in my Council of this state, in the nearly unanimous circumstances, have many reasons to like livchoice for their governor, of one who had ing. But the course of nature must soon put been so much concerned in those measures; a period to my present mode of existence. the assembly being themselves the unbribed This I shall submit to with less regret, as, choice of the people, and therefore may be having seen during a long life a good deal of truly supposed of the same sentiments. I this world, I feel a growing curiosity to be say nearly un animous, because of between acquainted with some other; and can cheerseventy and eighty votes, there were only my fully with filial confidence resign my spirit to own and one other in the negative. the conduct of that great and good Parent of
“ As to my domestic circumstances, of mankind who created it, and who has so grawhich
you kindly desire to hear something, ciously protected and prospered me from my they are ai present as happy as I could wish birth to the present hour." Wherever I am, them. I am surrounded by my offspring, a I always hope to retain the pleasing rememdutiful and affectionate daughter in my brance of your friendship, being with sincere
and great esteem, my dear friend, yours most. *At Southampton, previous to Dr. Franklin's embark affectionately,
B. FRANKLIN, ing for the United States, † Paley's Moral Philosophy.
“We all join in respects to Mrs. Shipley."
" M. Veillard.
also be so good as to present my " PHILADELPHIA, March 6, 1786. respectful compliments to madame la duchesse “MY DEAR FRIEND,—I received and read d'Enville, and to M. le duc de la Rochewith great pleasure your kind letter of Octo-foucault? you may communicate the political ber 9. It informed me of your welfare, and part of this letter to that excellent man. His that of the best of good women, and of her good heart will rejoice to hear of the welamiable daughter, who I think will tread in fare of America. her steps. My effects came all in the same “I made no progress when at sea in the his ship, in good order ; and we are now drink- tory you mention :* but I was not idle there, ing every day les eaux epurées de Passy, having written three pieces, each of some with great satisfaction, as they kept well, and length: one on nautical matters; another on seem to be rendered more agreeable by the Chimnies; and the third a description of my long voyage. I am here in the bosom of my Vase for consuming Smoke, with directions family, and am not only happy myself, but for using it. These are all now printing in have the felicity of seeing my country so. the Transactions of our Philosophical SocieBe assured that all the stories spread in the ty, of which I hope soon to send you a copy. English papers of our distresses, and confu- “My grandsons present their compliments
. sions, and discontents with our new govern- | The eldest is very busy in preparing for a ments, are as chimerical as the history of my country life, being to enter upon his farm the being in chains at Algiers. They exist only 25th instant. It consists of about 600 acres, in the wishes of our enemies. America ne- bounding on navigable water, sixteen miles ver was in higher prosperity, her produce from Philadelphia. The youngest is at colabundant and bearing a good price, her work- lege, very diligent in his studies. You know ing people all employed and well paid, and all my situation, involved in public cares, but property in lands and houses of more than they cannot make me forget that you and I treble the value it bore before the war; and love one another, and that I am ever, my dear our commerce being no longer the monopoly of friend, yours most affectionately, British merchants, we are furnished with all
“* B. FRÅNKLIN." the foreign commodities we need, at much more reasonable rates than heretofore. So that we have no doubt of being able to dis
“ Mrs. Hewson, London. charge more speedily the debt incurred by the
“ PHILADELPHIA, May 6, 178 war, than at first was apprehended. Our “ MY DEAR FRIEND,-A long winter has modes of collecting taxes are indeed as yet passed, and I have not had the pleasure of a imperfect, and we have need of more skill in line from you, acquainting me with your and financiering; but we improve in that kind of your children's welfare, since I left England. knowledge daily by experience. That our I suppose you have been in Yorkshire, out of people are contented with the revolution, the way and knowledge of opportunities; for with their new constitutions, and their foreign I will not think you have forgotten me. Το connexions, nothing can afford a stronger make me some amends, I received a few days proof, than the universally cordial and joyous past a large packet from Mr. Williams, dated reception with which they welcomed the re- September, 1776, near ten years since, conturn of one that was supposed to have had a taining three letters from you, one of De considerable share in promoting them. All cember 12, 1775. This packet had been rethis is in answer to that part of your letter, in ceived by Mr. Bache, after my departure for which you seem to have been too much im- France, lay dormant among his papers during pressed with some ideas, which those lying all my absence, and has just now broke out English papers endeavour to inculcate con- upon me like words, that had been as some cerning us.
body says, congealed in Northern air. “I am astonished by what you write con- Therein I find all the pleasing little family cerning the prince Evêque.* If the charges history of your children ; how William had against him are made good, it will be another begun to spell, overcoming by, strength of instance of the truth of those proverbs which memory all the difficulty occasioned by the teach us, that prodigality begets necessity, common wretched alphabet; while you were that without economy no revenue is sufficient, convinced of the utility of our new one. How and that it is hard for an empty sack to stand Tom, genius-like, struck out new paths, and upright.
relinquishing the old names of the letters “ I am glad to hear of the marriage of Miss called U bell and P bottle. How Eliza be Brillon; for every thing that may contribute gan to grow jolly, that is fat and handsome, to the happiness of that beloved family, gives resembling aunt Rooke, whom I used to call me pleasure. Be pleased to offer them my my lovely. Together with all the then news felicitations, and assure them of my best wishes.
* Dr. Franklin's "Memoirs of his Life."
† See “Letters and Papers on Philosophical sub jects."
The cardinal de Rohan.
of lady Blunt's having produced at length a when you knew him, so that I still think he boy ; of Dolly's being well, and of poor good will make you a good son. His younger Catherine's decease. Of your affairs with brothers and sisters are also all promising, apMuir and Atkinson, and of their contract for pearing to have good tempers and dispositions, feeding the fish in the channel. Of the Vinys, as well as good constitutions. As to myself, and their jaunt to Cambridge in the long I think my general health and spirits rather carriages. Of Dolly's journey to Wales with better than when you saw me, and the parMr. Scot. Of the Wilkes's, the Pearces, ticular malady I then complained of, continues Elphinston, &c. &c. Concluding with a tolerable.--With sincere and very great eskind of promise, that as soon as the ministry teem, I am ever my dear friend, yours most and congress agreed to make peace, I should affectionately
B. FRANKLIN." have you with me in America. That peace has been some time made, but alas! the pro- ) with me in best wishes for you and yours.
“P. S. My children and grandchildren join mise is not yet fulfilled. —And why is it not fulfilled ?
My love to my godson, to Eliza, and to ho"I have found my family here in health, nest Tom. They will all find agreeable good circumstances, and well respected by her she will do well to come with you.
companions here. Love to Dolly,* and tell their fellow-citizens. The companions of my youth are indeed almost all departed, but I find an agreeable society among their children
“ Mrs. Partridge, Boston. and grandchildren. I have public business
“ PHILADELPHIA, June 3, 1786. enough to preserve me from ennui, and private amusement besides, in conversation, books, “ MY DEAR CHILD,—I have just received my garden, and cribbage. Considering our your kind letter of the 14th past, which gave well furnished plentiful market as the best of me great pleasure, as it informed me of your gardens, I am turning mine, in the midst of welfare. You complain with reason of my which my house stands, into grass plats, and being a bad correspondent. I confess I have gravel walks with trees and flowering shrubs. long deserved that character. If you keep Cards we sometimes play here in long winter my old letters, as I once think you told me evenings, but it is as they play at chess, not you did, you will find in one of July 17, 1767, for money but for honour, or the pleasure of the best apology I could then make for that beating one another. This will not be quite fault, and I cannot now make a better. I a novelty to you; as you may remember we must therefore refer you to it, only requesting played together in that manner during the that you would ascribe my neglect of writing winter you helped me to pass so agreeably at to any cause rather than to a diminution of Passy. I have indeed now and then a little that tender, affectionate regard I always had, compunction in reflecting that I spend time and still retain for you. so idly; but another reflection comes to re- “I hoped for repose when I solicited my lieve me, (whispering] · You know the soul recall from France, but I have not met with is immortal; why then should you be such a it, being as much engaged in business as ever. niggard of a little time, when you have a I enjoy, however, a good share of health, (the whole eternity before you ?' So being easily stone excepted) as does all this family, who convinced, and, like other reasonable crea- join with me in best wishes of happiness to tures, satisfied with a small reason, when it is you and yours.-I am ever, my dear niece, in favour of doing what I have a mind to do, your affectionate uncle, I shuffle the cards again and begin another
« B. FRANKLIN." game.
“ As to public amusements, we have neither plays nor operas, but we had yesterday a kind
« Noah Webster. of oratorio, as you will see by the enclosed paper; and we have assemblies, balls, and con
PHILADELPHIA, June 18, 1786. certs, besides little parties at one another's “SIR, I received the letter you did me houses, in which there is sometimes dancing, the honour of writing to me the 24th past, and frequently good music; so that we jog on with the scheme enclosed of your reformed in life as pleasantly as you do in England, Alphabet. I think the reformation not only any where but in London ; for there you have necessary but practicable; but have so much plays performed by good actors. The how
say to you on the subject, that I wish to ever is, I think, the only advantage London see and confer with you upon it, as that would has over Philadelphia.
save much time and writing. Sounds, 'till “ Temple has turned his thoughts to agri- such an alphabet is fixed, not being easily exculture, which he pursues ardently, being in plained or discoursed of clearly upon paper. possession of a fine farm that his father lately I have formerly considered this matter pretty conveyed to him. Ben is finishing his studies at college, and continues to behave as well as
* Mrs. Dorothy Blunt.
In his 81st year.