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the bills, hoping the Congress will approve of, and readily comply with the proposition, contained in a letter to your Excellency, accompanying this, dated the 2d instant. Probably an answer may arrive here before many of those bills shall become due, as few of them are yet arrived. If that answer ratifies the agreement I have made, I shall have no difficulty in finding means to pay the rest. If not, I shall scarce be able to bear the reproaches of merchants, that I have misled them to their loss by my acceptations, which gave a promise of payment, that, not being fulfilled, has deranged their affairs; to say nothing of the power I am told the Consul's Court has here over the persons, even of ministers, in the case of bills of exchange. Let me, therefore, beg your Excellency to use your endeavours with Congress, that this matter may be immediately attended to.
Mr. Jay, no doubt, has acquainted you with his difficulties respecting the drafts upon him. I am sorry I cannot extricate him, but I hope he will still find means.
The Mars, an armed ship belonging to the State of Massachusetts, in her way to France, took and sent to New England a Portuguese ship bound to Cork, with salt, belonging to some merchants there. The Portuguese captain, who is brought in here, complains heavily of ill usage and plunder, besides taking his vessel; and the ambassador of that nation has communicated to me these complaints, together with all the papers proving the property of the vessel, &.C., representing at the same time the good disposition of the Queen towards our States, and his wishes that nothing might lessen it, or tend to prevent or delay a complete good understanding between the two nations. I advised, that the owners should send over their claim, and empower some person to prosecute it, in which case I did not doubt our courts would do them justice. I hope the Congress may think fit to take some notice of this affair, and not only forward a speedy decision, but give orders to our cruisers not to meddle with neutral ships for the future, it being a practice apt to produce ill blood, and contrary to the spirit of the new league, which is approved by all Europe; and the English property found in such vessels, will hardly pay the damages brought on us by the irregular proceedings of our captains in endeavouring to get at such property. With the greatest respect, I have the honor to be, &c. B. Franklin.
TO CHARLES W. F. DCMAS.
Passy, 3 December, 1780.
I have before me yours of the 9th and 16th of November, which I think are the last I received from you. With regard to the augmentation of your salaly, I would not have you place too great a dependence on it, lest a disappointment should thereby be rendered more afflicting.
If a good peace were once established, we should soon be richer, and better able to reward those that serve us. At present the expense of the war hangs heavy on the United States, and we cannot pay like old and rich kingdoms. Mr. William Lee has, as you observe, acted very imprudently in that affair; but perhaps some good may come of it.
Mr. Adams has written to me for a copy of a letter
I formerly wrote to . If you have such a one
please to give it to him. I imagine that he rather means a letter I wrote to you, in which I representpersons here, whom I know to be very dear to you. Mr. and Mrs. Bache and their children are in excellent health. Mrs. Bache does not yet give up the hope of going to see you in France, and I urge her much to make the voyage. If there are in Europe any women, who need a model of attachment to domestic duties, and love for their country, Mrs. Bache may be pointed out to them as such. She passed a part of the last year in exertions to rouse the zeal of the Pennsylvania ladies; and she made on this occasion such a happy use of the eloquence, which you know she possesses, that a large part of the American army was provided with shirts, bought with their money, or made by their hands. In her applications for this purpose, she showed the most indefatigable zeal, and the most unwearied perseverance, and a courage in asking, which surpassed even the obstinate reluctance of the Quakers in refusing. Rivington tried to turn her zeal into ridicule. Her patriotism, he called superstition and foolish fanaticism; he pretended, that her officiousness went beyond all bounds. In a word, she could not have been praised more skilfully.” This honest Rivington made a fairer hit, in publishing lately a number of intercepted letters. You will see them in the English papers; therefore I will not anticipate the reflections they will lead you to make. Congress was wise enough to take no notice of them. The English may find there new proofs of the wants of the allies, but they can see neither discouragement, nor despondency, nor disaffection, nor the least trace of coldness between these allies, nor the shadow of a desire to draw nearer to themselves; and that is certainly what they would most desire to find. I am, with great respect, Sir, &c.
* See two letters from General Washington to Mrs. Bache and other ladies on this subject, in Washington's Writings, Vol. VII. pp. 376,408.
P. S. The Chevalier de la Luzerne begs to present you his respectful compliments. Have the goodness also to remember us to your grandson.
To BENJAMIN waterHouse.”
I received your obliging letter of the 16th past, enclosing one from my dear friend, Dr. Fothergill. I was happy to hear from him, that he was quite free of the disorder that had like to have removed him last summer. But I had soon after a letter from another friend, acquainting me, that he was again dangerously ill of the same malady; and the newspapers have since announced his death. I condole with you most sincerely on this occasion. I think a worthier man never lived. For, besides his constant readiness to serve his friends, he was always studying and projecting something for the good of his country and of mankind in general, and putting others, who had it in their power, on executing what was out of his own reach; but whatever was within it he took care to do himself; and his incredible industry and unwearied activity enabled him to do much more than can now be ever known, his modesty being equal to his other virtues.
I shall take care to forward his letter to Mr. Pem
* At this time a student of medicine at Leyden. VOL. VIII. 34
ed our girl as a jolly one, and who would be a good fortune in time, &.c. I have no copy of that. If you still have that letter, please to give Mr. Adams a copy of that also.
I wish much to see the answer, that their High Mightinesses will give to the insolent memorial presented by Sir Joseph Yorke. If they comply with it, and punish or censure the Pensionary of Amsterdam, I shall think it a pierre de touche for the Stadtholder, as well as for the King of England; and that neither Mr. Adams will be safe at Amsterdam, nor our ships in any port of Holland. Let me therefore know, by the earliest means, the turn this affair is like to take, that I may advertise our government and our merchants. I am, &c. B. Franklin.
FROM SAMUEL HUNTINGTON, PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS, TO B. FRANKLIN.
Instructions for procuring a further Loan in France.
Philadelphia, 1 January, 1781.
Sir, You will receive herewith enclosed a letter addressed to his Most Christian Majesty, also a copy of the same for your information, together with instructions of the 29th of November and 27th of December for your government on the important subject contained in the letter to the King of France; likewise a copy of the instructions given to Colonel Laurens on the "same subject, and a copy of the resolution of Congress respecting the declaration of the Empress of Russia.*
* See the above papers in Diplomatic Correspondence, Vol. III. pp. *
176, 185 j Vol. IX. p. 199.—Journals of Congress, October 5th, 1780.