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Eagles have been found in all countries, but the turkey was peculiar to ours; the first of the species seen in Europe, being brought to France by the Jesuits from Canada, and served up at the wedding table of Charles the Ninth.* He is besides (though a little vain and silly, 'tis 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 farm-yard with a red coat on.

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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

* A learned friend of the editor's has observed to him that this is a mistake, as turkies were found in great plenty by Cortes, when he invaded and conquered Mexico before the time of Charles the IXth. That this, and their being brought to old Spain, is mentioned by Peter Martyr of Angelina, who was secretary to the council of the Indies, established immediately after the discovery of America, and personally acquainted with Columbus.


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me recollect some story. He had built a very fine house, and thereby much impaired his fortune. He had a pride however in showing it to his acquaintance. One of them, after viewing it all, remarked a motto over the door, ŌIA VANITAS. What, says he, is the meaning of this OIA? 'tis 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 anciently very common in Latin manuscripts, whereby 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, said 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,



I received your favor of the 3rd instant by your son, with the newspapers, for which I thank you. The disorders of that government, whose constitution has been so much praised, are come to a height that threatens some violent convulsion, if not a dissolution; and its physicians do not even seem to guess at the cause of the disease, and therefore prescribe insufficient remedies, such as place bills, more equal representation, more frequent elections, &c. &c. In my humble opinion, the malady consists in the

enormous salaries, emoluments, and patronage of great offices. Ambition and avarice are separately strong passions: when they are united in pursuit of the same object, they are too strong to be governed by common prudence, or influenced by public spirit and love of country; they drive men irresistibly into factions, cabals, dissensions, and violent divisions, always mischievous to public councils, destructive to the peace of society, and sometimes fatal to its existence. As long as the immense profits of these offices subsist, members of the shortest and most equally chosen parliaments will have them in view, and contend for them, and their contentions will have all the same ruinous consequences. To me then there seems to be but one effectual remedy, and that not likely to be adopted by so corrupt a nation; which is, to abolish these profits, and make every place of honor a place of burthen. By that means the effect of one of the passions above mentioned would be taken away, and something would be added to counteract the other. Thus the number of competitors for great offices would be diminished, and the efforts of those who still would obtain them moderated.

Thank God we have now less connexion with the affairs of these people, and are more at liberty to take care of our own, which I hope we shall manage better.

We have a terrible winter here, such another in this country is not remembered by any man living. The snow has been thick upon the ground ever since Christmas; and the frost constant.

My grandson joins in best compliments to your

self and Miss Laurens. With sincere esteem and affection I have the honor to be, dear sir, &c. B. FRANKLIN.




Passy, Feb. 16, 1784. 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 don't see how to get over.

I lament with you the political disorders England at present labors 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 deplorable situation. 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 officers; and that you will never be at rest till they are all abolished, and every place of honor made at the same time, instead of a place of profit, a place of expense and burthen. 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 style (brother type), may

be good for the CHAPEL, but they are bad for the master, as they create constant quarrels that hinder the business. For example, here are 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 forced to be continually turning for them. However, to return to common (though perhaps too saucy) language, don't despair; you have still one resource left, and that not a bad one, since it may re-unite 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 chit-chat between ourselves, over the second bottle. If, therefore, you show it to any body, (except our indulgent friends, Dagge and Lady Strachan,) I will positively solles you. Yours ever most affectionately,



DEAR SIR, Passy, March 12, 1784. I write this in great pain from the gout in both feet; but my young friend your son having informed me that he sets out for London to-morrow, I could not slip the opportunity, as perhaps it is the only

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