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any thing has happened endangering one of them, my comfort is, that I endeavored earnestly to prevent it, and gave honest, faithful advice, which, if it had been regarded, would have been effectual. And still, if proper means are used to produce, not only a peace, but what is much more interesting, a thorough reconciliation, a few years may heal the wounds that have been made in our happiness, and produce a degree of prosperity of which at present we can hardly form a conception. With great and sincere esteem and respect, I am, dear sir, your most obedient and humble servant, B. FRANKLIN.


Passy, Dec. 24, 1782.

I thank you for your ingenious paper in favor of the trees. I own I now wish we had two rows of them in every one of our streets. The comfortable shelter they would afford us, when walking, from our burning summer suns, and the greater coolness of our walls and pavements, would, I conceive, in the improved health of the inhabitants, amply compensate the loss of a house now and then by fire, if such should be the consequence: but a tree is soon felled; and as axes are at hand in every neighborhood, may be down before the engines arrive.

You do well to avoid being concerned in the pieces of personal abuse, so scandalously common in our newspapers, that I am afraid to lend any of them here, till I have examined and laid aside such as would disgrace us, and subject us among strangers to a reflection like that used by a gentleman in a coffee-house to two quarrellers, who after a mutually free use of the words rogue, villain, rascal, scoundrel,

&c. seemed as if they would refer their dispute to him: "I know nothing of you, or your affairs," said he; "I only perceive that you know one another."

The conductor of a newspaper should, methinks, consider himself as in some degree the guardian of his country's reputation, and refuse to insert such writings as may hurt it. If people will print their abuses of one another, let them do it in little pamphlets, and distribute them where they think proper. It is absurd to trouble all the world with them, and unjust to subscribers in distant places, to stuff their paper with matter so unprofitable and so disagreeable. With sincere esteem and affection, I am, my dear friend, ever yours, B. FRANKLIN.



Passy, Jan. 11, 1783.

The two first volumes of your excellent work, which were put into my hands by M. Pio, I perused with great pleasure. They are also much esteemed by some very judicious persons to whom I have lent them. I should have been glad of another copy for one of those friends, who is very desirous of procuring it, but I suppose those you mention to have sent to M. Pio did not arrive. I was glad to learn that you were proceeding to consider the criminal laws. None have more need of reformation. They are every where in so great disorder, and so much injustice is committed in the execution of them, that I have been sometimes inclined to imagine less would exist in the world if there were no such laws, and the punishment of injuries were left to private resentment. am glad therefore, that you have not suffered yourself to be discouraged by any objections or apprehensions,


and that we may soon expect the satisfaction of seeing the two volumes on that subject which you have now under the press.

With regard to your project of removing to America, though I am sure that a person of your knowledge, just sentiments, and useful talents, would be a valuable acquisition for our country, I cannot encourage you to undertake hastily such a voyage, because for a man to expatriate himself is a serious business, and should be well considered, especially where the distance is so great, and the expense of removing thither with a family, and of returning if the country should not suit you, will be so heavy. I have no orders or authority of any kind to encourage strangers with expectations of employment by our government, nor am I empowered to be at any expense in transporting them, though our country is open, and strangers may establish themselves there, where they soon become citizens, and are respected according to their conduct. Men know, because they feel, the inconveniences of their present situation; but they do not know those that may, if they change, attend the new one. I wish therefore you could see that country by yourself, before you carry thither the lady with whom you propose to be united in marriage. You will then be able to form a good judgment how far the removal is likely to be advantageous, and may proceed on surer grounds. England has now acknowledged our independence, and the sovereignty of our government; and several states of Europe, who think a commerce with us may be beneficial to them, are preparing to send ministers to reside near the congress. I think it possible to establish a profitable trade between the kingdoms of Naples and America.

Should your court be of that opinion, and think fit to employ some one to visit our several states, and take information of our productions and wants, the nature of our commerce, &c. &c., perhaps it could not find a fitter person than yourself for such a mission: I would afford you all the assistance in my power towards its due execution; and by this means your voyage would not only be without expense to you, but might afford you some profit.

With great and sincere esteem, I have the honor to be, sir, &c. B. FRANKLIN.



Passy, Jan. 8, 1783. I received yesterday your favor of the 27th past, which I immediately answer, as you desire to know soon my opinion respecting the publication of a certain paper. I see no objection, and leave it entirely to your discretion. discretion. I have had several letters from our inestimable friend that would do him honor, as they generally contained some schemes and plans for the public good; but they were left among my papers in America, and I know not how those have fared in our troubles. If I live to get home, I will send you what I can find; they may perhaps serve in a second edition of the work, which I am much pleased to hear is undertaken by so good a hand, and that it will have the benefit of your inspection. I thank you for the pamphlet you sent me. It is full of good sense, and I doubt not had great effect, as the sentiments it contains soon after became general. Your friends on both sides the Atlantic may be assured of whatever justice or favor I may be able to procure for them. My veneration for William Penn is not less than

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yours; and I have always had great esteem for the body of your people. With great and sincere respect, I am, dear Sir,

your most obedient

and most humble servant,


P. S. As possibly your wet harvest may have in some places produced a quantity of what is called grown corn, I send you enclosed a pamphlet published

here on that subject, which may contain some useful hints.



Passy, March 9, 1783. I think with you, that the making you pay 237. for our passport is a shameful imposition. Your secretaries had 200 of us, in exchange for as many of theirs indeed, but we had no occasion for a quarter of the number; and those that were wanted we gave away gratis. There is no bounds to the avidity of officers in old corrupt governments.

Your reasoning is right, that there is no occasion generally for an express treaty to enable subjects of different states in amity to trade with each other. But in the present case, you know you have acts of parliament forbidding you to trade with us; and our people have acts of congress forbidding all commerce with yours. It does not seem clear that a treaty of peace necessarily repeals these acts. A late act of parliament empowering the king to suspend them, implies that otherwise they would continue in force till repealed, and they are not as yet either repealed or suspended. It is probable, that when it shall be known in America that they are repealed, similar repeals will take place there. there. Till then I

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