Abbildungen der Seite

sions, letters, or messages, that you may have for England. We leave Paris on Wednesday morning.

My friend will always remember with gratitude the kindness you have shown him. Accept my hearty thanks for your obliging attention to me, and be assured of my eternal veneration and esteem.*

* The writer of this note was the celebrated Sir William Jones. The object of his visit to Paris at this time is not known; but it is supposed to have been political, and the "Fragment of Polybius," which he sent to Dr. Franklin, would seem to give countenance to such an opinion.

The following notes, in Mr. Jones's handwriting, are found among Dr. Franklin's papers.

"Hotel du Port Mahon, Rue Jacob, May 20th, 1779. — Mr. Paradise and Mr. Jones present their best respects to Dr. Franklin. They are just arrived at Paris; and, as they were desired by their worthy friends, Dr. Price and Dr. Priestley, to deliver to him their publications, they have left the books and letters at Passy, where they propose to have the honor of waiting upon the most respectable of patriots and philosophers, on any morning when they hear that he is likely to be at leisure."

"June 1st, 1779.— Mr. Paradise and Mr. Jones present their best respects to Dr. Franklin. Being informed that the King's passport was absolutely necessary for them to go out of France, they sent to Versailles for that purpose, and have just received the enclosed answer. May they trouble his Excellency to insert in his passport what they seem to want, namely, that Mr. Paradise is an American gentleman, born in Greece, (if ou Us sont nes must be taken literally,) and that Mr. Jones is an Englishman with one valet de chambre. They are ashamed of giving his Excellency this trouble, and wish him perfect health and happiness."

"Calais, June 5th, 1779. — Mr. Paradise and Mr. Jones present their respects to Dr. Franklin. They cannot leave France without repeating their hearty thanks for the kind attention, with which he received them at Passy, and the agreeable hours which they have spent in his company. They arrived here yesterday in very good time, and are to embark for England in two hours, an advantage which they owe to his kindness in procuring a pass from Versailles with so much expedition. They are much obliged to him for returning his own pass, which, even if it should not be immediately useful to them on the passage, will be a valuable testimony of his friendship. They will carefully deliver his two letters, and will make his friends happy with an account of his health, a long continuance of which, with all possible prosperity, they wish him from the bottom of their hearts. May the wisdom and virtues of their excellent and respectable friend secure the liberty of


Currency. Charges of Lee and Izard. Luzerne.

Passy, 2 June, 1779.

Sir, I received a few days since, via Eustatia and Holland, the triplicates of your several favors, of December

those, who now enjoy it, and teach those, who have it not, to know its value."

Mr. Jones visited France several times during the war. Lord Teignmoutli says, he made a journey to Paris in the summer of 1779, and in the autumn of 1780. Life of Sir William Jones, 2d ed., p. 188. He was there also in 1782, while the Commissioners were negotiating the treaty of peace. This last visit was connected with a project for going to America, with his friend Mr. Paradise, on some affair of business, which is partly explained by the following extract from a letter, written by Mr. Jones to Mr. Baron Eyre, and dated October 2d, 1782.

"I have been in England about a fortnight. The cause of my return is, in a few words, this; I ought to have foreseen, what I nevertheless did not expect, that the same timidity or imbecility, which made my unhappy friend declare, that he neither could nor would go to Virginia without me, would make him declare, when he saw the sails and tho waves, that he neither could nor would go at all. A dread of some imaginary danger so enervated him, that he kept his bed, and wrote me word, that, if he stayed a week longer at Nantes, he should lose his reason or his life. My expostulations had some little effect, but there was no dependence, I found, on a man who had none, he confessed, on himself; and, when I discovered, that no 6hip, with even tolerable accommodations, would sail till September, so that I could not keep my word with my friends in England, by returning from America before the new year, I came back through Normandy about the middle of August, and, having a few weeks to spare, made a very pleasant and improving excursion into Holland, which I traversed from south to north."

It was supposed by some in Paris, that this scheme of going to America had a political end in relation to the treaty, but this has neither been proved nor explained; nor is it easy to conceive, that the British government could have entertained hopes of any results from such a secret mission at this stage of the controversy. Dr. Franklin had been acquainted with Mr. Jones in England, not only as a Fellow of the Royal Society, but as an intimate acquaintance of the Shipley family. Mr. Jones afterwards married Anna Maria Shipley, daughter of the Bishop of St. Asaph.

See the Fragment Of Poltbius in the Appendix, No. I.

the 8th, January the 29th, and February the 8th. The preceding copies of the same dates never came to hand. I thank you very much for the newspapers, though the disputes I see in them give me pain. You observe rightly, that the want of good conveyances obstructs much the punctuality of your correspondence. The number of long letters I have written to America has almost discouraged me from writing, except by such an opportunity as this. You may judge of the uncertainty of your letters getting to hand, when I tell you, that though you mention having sent me quadruplicates of my credentials, only those by the Marquis de Lafayette have yet appeared.

I am glad to understand, that you are taking measures to restore the value of your money, by taxing largely to reduce the quantity. I believe no financier in the world can put you upon a more effectual method. The English have had a little flow of spirits, lately, from their success against the trade of France, and the news of the imagined conquest of Georgia; but the growing apprehension of a war with Spain, also, begins to sober them, and, like people who have been drunk with drams, they now seem to have both the head and the heart ache. The late letters from thence are in a more humble style, and some printed papers by the last post, known to be ministerial, appear intended to prepare the minds of the people for propositions of peace. But these ebbs and flows are common with them, and the duration of neither is to be relied on.

As I do not find, by any of yours, that a long letter of mine to you in July last, has come to hand, I send you herewith a copy of it (though now a little stale), as it serves to show my continued good opinion of a gentleman, who, by the papers you have sent me, seems to be hardly used. I have never meddled with the dispute between him and Mr. Lee, but the suspicion of having a good will to him has drawn upon me a great deal of ill will from his antagonist. The Congress have wisely enjoined the ministers in Europe to agree with one another. I had always resolved to have no quarrel, and have, therefore, made it a constant rule to answer no angry, affronting, or abusive letters, of which I have received many, and long ones, from Mr. Lee and Mr. Izard, who, I understand, and see indeed by the papers, have been writing liberally, or rather illiberally, against me, to prevent, as one of them says here, any impressions my writings against them might occasion to their prejudice; but I have never before mentioned them in any of my letters

Our scheme here for packet boats did not con tin tie.* I wish Congress could fall upon some method of sending some little light vessels once a month, to keep up a correspondence more regular. Even the receiving of letters of a certain date, though otherwise of no importance, might serve to refute the false news of our adversaries on both sides of the water, which have sometimes too long their intended effect before the truth arrives. I see that frequently little pilot boats, of twenty-five or thirty tons' burden, arrive safe from Virginia; the expense of such would not be great.

I beg leave to recommend earnestly to your civilities M. le Chevalier de la Luzerne, who goes over to succeed M. Gerard, as the King's minister to the Congress. He bears here a most amiable character, has great connexions, and is a hearty friend to the American cause. With great esteem, I am, Sir, &c.

B. Franklin.

• See Diplomatic Correspondence, Vol. I. p. 284. VOL. VIII. 24


Chevalier de Raymondis. Capitulation of Saratoga. Dissensions in America.

Pasey, 2 June, 1779.

Dear Sir,

I received your obliging letter by the Chevalier de Raymondis, who appears extremely sensible of the civilities he received at Boston, and very desirous of being serviceable to the American cause. His wound is not yet right, as he tells me there is a part of the bone still to be cut off. But he is otherwise well and cheerful, and has a great respect for you.

The pride of England was never so humbled by any thing as by your capitulation of Saratoga. They have not yet got over it, though a little elevated this spring by their success against the French commerce. But the growing apprehension of having Spain too upon their hands has lately brought them down to an humble seriousness, that begins to appear even in ministerial discourses, and the papers of ministerial writers. All the happy effects of that transaction for America are not generally known. I may some time or other acquaint the world with some of them. When shall we meet again in cheerful converse, talk over our adventures, and finish with a quiet game of chess?

The little dissensions between particular States in America are much magnified in England, and they once had great hopes from them. I consider them, with you, as the effects of apparent security; which do not affect the grand points of independence, and adherence to treaties; and which will vanish at a re

• At this time Major-General in the American army.

« ZurückWeiter »