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to my friends as a stranger of merit, worthy of their civilities, and to the Congress as an officer, who, if employed, may greatly serve a cause, which he has sincerely at heart. With great respect, &c.
TO MRS. MARY HEWSON.
Paris, 26 January, 1777.
I wrote a few lines to you by Dr. B , and have
since seen your letter to Jonathan, by which I have the great pleasure of learning, that you and yours were well on the 17th.
What has become of my and your dear Dolly? Have you parted? for you mention nothing of her. I know your friendship continues; but perhaps she is with one of her brothers. How do they all do?
I have not yet received a line from my dear old friend, your mother. Pray tell me where she is, and how it is with her. Jonathan, who is now at Nantes, told me that she had a lodging in Northumberland Court. I doubt her being comfortably accommodated there. Is Miss Barwell a little more at rest, or as busy as ever? Is she well? And how fares it with our good friends of the Henckell family?
But, principally, I want to know how it is with you. I hear you have not quite settled yet with those people. I hope, however, that you have a sufficient income, and live at your ease, and that your money is safe out of the funds. Does my godson remember any thing of his Doctor papa? I suppose not . Kiss the dear little fellow for me; not forgetting the others. I long to see them and you. What became of the lottery ticket I left with your good mother, which was to produce the diamond ear-rings for you? Did you get them? If not, Fortune has wronged you, for you ought to have had them. I am, my dear friend, ever yours with sincere esteem and affection,
P. S. January 27th. They tell me, that, in writing to a lady from Paris, one should always say something about the fashions. Temple observes them more than I do. He took notice, that at the ball in Nantes, there were no heads less than five and a few were seven lengths of the face, above the top of the forehead. You know that those who have practised drawing, as he has, attend more to proportions, than people in common do. Yesterday we dined at the Duke de Rochefoucauld's, where there were three duchesses and a countess, and no head higher than a face and a half. So, it seems, the farther from court, the more extravagant the mode.
TO JOSEPH PRIESTLEY.
Philosopher's Stone. — State of Jlffairs in America.
Paris, 27 January, 1777.
Dear Sir, I received your very kind letter of February last, some time in September. Major Carleton, who was so kind as to forward it to me, had not an opportunity of doing it sooner. I rejoice to hear of your continual progress in those useful discoveries; I find that you have set all the philosophers of Europe at work upon fixed air; and it is with great pleasure I observe how high you stand in their opinion; for I enjoy my friends' fame as my own.
The hint you gave me jocularly, that you did not quite despair of the philosopher's stone, draws from me a request, that, when you have found it, you will take care to lose it again; for I believe in my conscience, that mankind are wicked enough to continue slaughtering one another as long as they can find money to pay the butchers. But, of all the wars in my time, this on the part of England appears to me the wickedest; having no cause but malice against liberty, and the jealousy of commerce. And I think the crime seems likely to meet with its proper punishment; a total loss of her own liberty, and the destruction of her own commerce.
I suppose you would like to know something of the state of affairs in America. In all probability we shall be much stronger the next campaign than we were in the last; better armed, better disciplined, and with more ammunition. When I was at the camp before Boston,* the army had not five rounds of powder a man. This was kept a secret even from our people. The world wondered that we so seldom fired a cannon; we could not afford it; but we now make powder in plenty.
To me it seems, as it has always done, that this war must end in our favor, and in the ruin of Britain, if she does not speedily put an end to it. An English gentleman here the other day, in company with some French, remarked, that it was folly in France not to make war immediately; And in England, replied one of them, not to make peace.
Do not believe the reports you hear of our internal divisions. We are, I believe, as much united as any people ever were, and as firmly.
* In October, 1775. See above, p. 160. ,
FROM WILLIAM DODD TO B. FRANKLIN.
London, 29 January, 1777.
I make no apology for troubling you with a request I have heretofore made of conveying the enclosed letter, if possible, to a worthy young woman, who, in an unfortunate hour, went to America, and to whose fortunes and situation there I am a stranger.
Anxious for the success of the grand struggle, in which you are engaged, I could have been happy in conversing with you when I was at Paris, but you were rather reserved. If you should see or converse with Mr. Mante, who resides at Dieppe, but is frequently at Paris, he knows my sentiments, and would be happy to communicate with you.* I am, with very great esteem, &.c.
P. S. Is it not possible to effect a reconciliation? Happy could I be to be any way instrumental in it.
• Thomas Mante was the author of "The History of the Late War in North America, and the Islands of the West Indies, including the Campaigns of 1763 and 1764 against his Majesty's Indian Enemies;" heing a quarto volume published at London in 1772. It is the best history of the war which has been written. The author served in America; and, in the campaign against the Indians, in 1764, he acted as major of a brigade and aid-de-camp to General Bradstreet After he published his History, he engaged in extensive agricultural operations in France, where he fell into pecuniary difficulties, as he says, by the faithless conduct of a person with whom he was associated. He was imprisoned in Paris for debt In this condition, debilitated by disease and oppressed with want, he applied to Dr. Franklin for assistance. His creditors kept him long confined, during which time Dr. Franklin extended to him every friendly aid in his power, and generously supplied his necessities.
It was but six days after writing the above letter, that Dr. Dodd TO MRS. THOMPSON, AT LISLE.
Paris, 8 February, 1777.
You are too early, hussy, as well as too saucy, in calling me rebel; you should wait for the event, which will determine whether it is a rebellion or only a revolution. Here the ladies are more civil; they call us les insurgens, a character that usually pleases them: and methinks all other women who smart, or have smarted, under the tyranny of a bad husband, ought to be fixed in revolution principles, and act accordingly.
In my way to Canada last spring, I saw dear Mrs. Barrow at New York. Mr. Barrow had been from her two or three months to keep Governor Tryon and other Tories company on board the Asia, one of the King's ships which lay in the harbour; and in all that time that naughty man had not ventured once on shore to see her. Our troops were then pouring into the town, and she was packing up to leave it, fearing, as she had a large house, they would incommode her by quartering officers in it. As she appeared in great perplexity, scarce knowing where to go, I persuaded her to stay; and I went to the general officers then commanding there, and recommended her to their protection; which they promised and performed. On my return from Canada, where I was a piece of a governor (and I think a very good one) for a fortnight, and might have been so till this time if your wicked army, enemies to all good government, had not come and driven me out, I found her still in quiet possession of her house. I inquired how our people had
signed the bond, which he had forged as from Lord Chesterfield, and which proved his ruin. He was convicted on the 24th of February, and executed in June following.