Imágenes de páginas

must appear among the powdered heads of Paris! I wish every lady and gentleman in France would only be so obliging as to follow my fashion, comb their own heads as I do mine, dismiss their friseurs, and pay me half the money they paid to them. You see the gentry might well afford this, and I could then enlist these friseurs (who are at least 100,000), and with the money I would maintain them, make a visit with them to England, and dress the heads of your ministers and privy counsellors, which I conceive at present to be un peu dérangées. Adieu, madcap! and believe me ever, your affectionate friend, and humble servant, B. FRANKLIN.

P. S. Don't be proud of this long letter. A fit of the gout, which has confined me five days, and made me refuse to see company, has given me a little time to trifle; otherwise it would have been very short, visitors and business would have interrupted and perhaps, with Mrs. Barrow, you wish they had.


Paris, May 1, 1777.

I thank you for your kind congratulations on my safe arrival here, and for your good wishes. I am, as you supposed, treated with great civility and respect by all orders of people; but it gives me still greater satisfaction to find that our being here is of some use to our country. On that head I cannot be more explicit at present.

I rejoice with you in the happy change of affairs in America last winter: I hope the same train of success will continue through the summer. Our enemies are disappointed in the number of additional troops they purposed to send over. What they have

been able to muster will not probably recruit their army to the state it was in the beginning of last campaign; and ours I hope will be equally numerous, better armed, and better clothed, than they have been heretofore.

All Europe is on our side of the question, as far as applause and good wishes can carry them. Those who live under arbitrary power do nevertheless approve of liberty, and wish for it: they almost despair of recovering it in Europe: they read the translations of our separate colony constitutions with rapture; and there are such numbers every where who talk of removing to America, with their families and fortunes, as soon as peace and our independence shall be established, that it is generally believed we shall have a prodigious addition of strength, wealth, and arts, from the emigrations of Europe; and it is thought, that to lessen or prevent such emigrations, the tyrannies established there must relax, and allow more liberty to their people. Hence it is a common observation here, that our cause is the cause of all mankind; and that we are fighting for their liberty in defending our own. It is a glorious task assigned us by Providence; which has, I trust, given us spirit and virtue equal to it, and will at last crown it with success.

I am ever, my dear friend, yours most affectionately, B. FRANKLIN.



Paris, May 1, 1777.

I forwarded your letter to Dr. Price, who was well lately; but his friends, on his account, were

under some apprehensions from the violence of government, in consequence of his late excellent publications in favor of liberty. I wish all the friends of liberty and man would quit that sink of corruption, and leave it to its fate.

The people of this country are almost unanimously in our favor. The government has its reasons for postponing a war, but is making daily the most diligent preparations; wherein Spain goes hand in hand. In the mean time, America has the whole harvest of prizes made upon the British commerce; a kind of monopoly that has its advantages, as by affording greater encouragement to cruisers, it increases the number of our seamen, and thereby augments our naval power.

The conduct of those princes of Germany, who have sold the blood of their people, has subjected them to the contempt and odium of all Europe. The Prince of Anspach, whose recruits mutinied and refused to march, was obliged to disarm and fetter them, and drive them to the sea-side by the help of his guards, himself attending in person. In his return he was publicly hooted by mobs through every town he passed in Holland, with all sorts of reproachful epithets. The King of Prussia's humor of obliging those princes to pay him the. same toll per head for the men they drive through his dominions, as used to be paid him for their cattle, because they were sold as such, is generally spoken of with approbation; as containing a just reproof of those tyrants. I send you enclosed one of the many satires that have appeared on this occasion.

With best wishes of prosperity to yourself and to

my dear country, where I hope to spend my last years, and lay my bones,

I am ever, dear Sir, your affectionate friend, and humble servant, B. FRANKLIN.



Paris, May 1, 1777.

I thank you for your kind congratulations on my arrival here, and shall be happy in finding that our negotiations on this side the water are of effectual service to our country.

The general news here is, that all Europe is arming and preparing for war, as if it were soon expected. Many of the powers, however, have their reasons for endeavoring to postpone it, at least a few months longer.

Our enemies will not be able to send against us all the strength they intended: they can procure but few Germans; and their recruiting and impressing at home goes on but heavily. They threaten, however, and give out, that Lord Howe is to bombard Boston this summer, and Burgoyne, with the troops from Canada, to destroy Providence, and lay waste Connecticut; while Howe marches against Philadelphia. They will do us undoubtedly as much mischief as they can: but the virtue and bravery of our countrymen will, with the blessing of God, prevent part of what they intend, and nobly bear the rest. This campaign is entered upon with a mixture of rage and despair, as their whole scheme of reducing us depends upon its success; the wisest of the nation being clear, that if this fails, administration will not be able to support another. B. FRANKLIN.

TO MR. THOMAS VINY, TENTERDEN, KENT. DEAR SIR, Passy, May 4, 1779. I received with great pleasure your kind letter, as I learnt by it that my hospitable friend still exists, and that his friendship for me had not abated.

We have had a hard struggle, but the Almighty has favored the just cause, and I join most heartily with you in your prayers that he may perfect his work, and establish freedom in the new world, as an asylum for those of the old who deserve it. I find that many worthy and wealthy families of this continent are determined to remove thither and partake of it, as soon as peace shall make the passage safer; for which peace I also join your prayers most cordially, as I think the war a detestable one, and grieve much at the mischief and misery it occasions to many; my only consolation being that I did all in my power to prevent it.

When all the bustle is over, if my short remainder of life will permit my return thither, what a pleasure will it be to see my old friend and his children settled there! I hope he will find vines and fig-trees there for all of them, under which we may sit and converse, enjoying peace and plenty, a.good government, good laws and liberty, without which men lose half their value.

I am, with much esteem, dear friend, yours, &c. B. FRANKLIN.



Passy, May 4, 1779.
I received your favor of the 14th of March

* Mrs. MEHETABEL WRIGHT was altogether a very extraordinary woman. She was the niece of the celebrated John Wes

« AnteriorContinuar »