Imágenes de páginas


leaving out the repetitions (of which I found more
than I could have imagined) and the imprecations,
which appeared not to suit well the Christian doctrine
of forgiveness of injuries, and doing good to enemies.
The book was printed for Wilkie in St. Paul's Church-
yard, but never much noticed. Some were given
away, very few sold, and I suppose the bulk became
waste paper. In the prayers so much was retrenched,
that approbation could hardly be expected; but
I think with you a moderate abridgment might not
only be useful, but generally acceptable.

I am now on the point of departing for America,
where I shall be glad occasionally to hear from you,
and of your welfare; being with sincere and great
esteem, dear sir, your most obedient and most hum-
ble servant,


Passy, July 5, 1785.

I cannot quit the coasts of Europe without
taking leave of my ever dear friend Mr. Hartley.
We were long fellow-laborers in the best of all works,
the work of peace. I leave you still in the field;
but having finished my day's task, I am going home
to go to bed! Wish me a good night's rest, as I do you
a pleasant evening. Adieu! and believe me ever
yours most affectionately,
in his 80th year.


Philadelphia, Sept. 20, 1785.
I am just arrived from a country where the re-
putation of General Washington runs very high, and
where every body wishes to see him in person;


being told that it is not likely he ever will favor them with a visit, they hope at least for a sight of his perfect resemblance by means of their principal statuary, Mr. Houdon, whom Mr. Jefferson and myself agreed with to come over for the purpose of taking a bust, in order to make the intended statue for the state of Virginia. He is here; but, the materials and instruments he sent down the Seine from Paris not being arrived at Havre when we sailed, he was obliged to leave them, and is now busied in supplying himself here. As soon as that is done, he proposes to wait on you in Virginia, as he understands there is no prospect of your coming hither, which would indeed make me very happy, as it would give me the opportunity of congratulating with you personally on the final success of your long and painful labors in the service of our country, which have laid us all under eternal obligations. With the greatest and most sincere esteem and respect, I am, dear sir, your most obedient and most humble servant, B. FRANKLIN.



Philadelphia, Sept. 21, 1785. I received your very kind letter of the 16th, congratulating me on my safe arrival with my grandsons; an event that indeed makes me very happy, being what I have long ardently wished, and considering the growing infirmities of age, began 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 grandpapa, and afford me great pleasure. The affectionate welcome I met with from my fellow-citizens was far beyond my expecta

tion. I bore my voyage very well, and find myself rather better for it; so that I have every possible reason to be satisfied with my having undertaken and performed it. When I was at Passy I could not bear a wheel carriage; and being discouraged in my project of descending the Seine in a boat, by the difficulties and tediousness of its navigation in so dry a season, I accepted the offer of one of the king's litters, carried by large mules, which brought me well, though in walking slowly, to Havre. Thence I went over in a packet boat to Southampton, where I staid four days, till the ship came for me to Spithead. Several of my London friends came there to see me, particularly the good Bishop of St. Asaph and family, who staid with me to the last. In short I am now so well as to think it possible that I may once more have the pleasure of seeing you both perhaps at New York, with my dear young friends (who I hope may not have quite forgotten me); for I imagine that on the sandy road between Burlington and Amboy I could bear an easy coach, and the rest is water. I rejoice to hear that you continue well; being with true and great esteem and affection, your most obedient servant,




Philadelphia, Oct. 27, 1785. Your newspapers are filled with accounts of distresses and miseries that these states are plunged into since their separation from Britain. You may believe me when I tell you that there is no truth in those accounts. I find all property in lands and houses augmented vastly in value; that of houses

and towns at least fourfold. The crops have been plentiful, and yet the produce sells high, to the great profit of the farmer. At the same time all imported goods sell at low rates, some cheaper than the first cost. Working people have plenty of employ and high pay for their labor. These appear to me as certain signs of public prosperity. Some traders indeed complain that trade is dead; but this pretended evil is not an effect of inability in the people to buy, pay for, and consume the usual articles of commerce, as far as they have occasion for them, it is owing merely to there being too many traders who have crowded hither from all parts of Europe with more goods than the natural demand of the country requires. And what in Europe is called the debt of America is chiefly the debt of these adventurers and supercargoes to their principals, with which the settled inhabitants of America, who never paid better for what they want and buy, have nothing to do. As to the contentment of the inhabitants with the change of government, methinks a stronger proof cannot be desired, than what they have given in my reception. You know the part I had in that change; and you see in the papers the addresses from all ranks with which your friend was welcomed home, and the sentiments they contain confirmed yesterday in the choice of him for president by the council and new assembly, which was unanimous; a single voice in seventy-seven excepted.

I remember you used to wish for newspapers from America. Herewith I send you a few, and you shall be regularly supplied, if you can put me in a way of sending them, so as that you may not be obliged to pay postage.

With unchangeable esteem and respect, I am, my dear friend, yours most affectionately,




Philadelphia, Nov. 17, 1785. I received duly the letter you did me the honor of writing to me the 25th of June past, together with the collection you have made des comptes rendus de vos contrôleurs généraux; and your Discours sur les moyens d'encourager le patriotisme dans les monarchies. The first is a valuable work, as containing a great deal of useful information; but the second I am particularly charmed with, the sentiments being delightfully just, and expressed with such force and clearness, that I am persuaded the pamphlet, though small, must have a great effect on the minds of both princes and people, and thence be productive of much good to mankind. Be pleased to accept my hearty thanks for both.

It is right to be sowing good seed whenever we have an opportunity, since some of it may be productive. An instance of this you should be acquainted with, as it may afford you pleasure. The reading of Fortuné Ricard's Testament has put it into the head and heart of a citizen to leave two thousand pounds sterling to two American cities, who are to lend it in small sums at five per cent. to young beginners in business; and the accumulation, after an hundred years, to be laid out in public works of benefit to those cities.* With great esteem, I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient and most humble B. FRANKLIN.


* See codicil to Dr. Franklin's will, in Memoirs of his Life. Part v. p. 418, 4to. ed.

« AnteriorContinuar »