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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,1 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 peopU ever were, and as firmly. B. Franklin,
To Mrs. Thompson, At Lisle.
Paris, Feb. 8, 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 uuder the tyranny of a bad husband, ought to be fixed in revolution principles, and act accordingly.
1 In October 1775.
In my way to Canada last spring, I saw dear Mrs. Barrow, at New York. Mr. Barrow had been from her two or three mouths to keep Governor Tryon, and other tories company on board the Asia, one of the king's ships which lay in the harbor; 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 behaved to her; she spoke in high terms of the respectful attention they had paid her, and the quiet and security they had procured her. I said I was glad of it; and that if they had used her ill, I would have turned tory. Then, said she, (with that pleasing gaiety so natural to her) J wish they had. For you must know she is a toryess as well as you, and can as flippantly call rebel. I drank tea with her; we talked affectionately of you and our other friends the Wilkes's, of whom she had received no late intelligence: what became of her since, I have not heard. The street she lived in was some months after chiefly burnt down; but as the town was then, and ever since has been, in possession of the king's troops, I have had no opportunity of knowing whether she suffered any loss in the conflagration. I hope she did not, as if she did, [ should wish 1 had not persuaded her to stay there. 1 am glad to learn from you that that unhappy, though deserving family, the W.'s, are getting into some business that may afford them subsistence. I pray that God will bless them, and JI ai they may see happier days. Mr. Cheap's and Dr. H.'s good fortunes please me. Pray learn, if you have not already learnt, like me, to be pleased with other people's pleasures, and happy with their happiness, when none occur of your own; then perhaps you will not so soon be weary of the place you chance to be in, and so fond of rambling to get rid of your ennui. I fancy you have hit upon the right reason of your being weary of St. Omers, viz. that you are out of temper, which is the effect of full living and idleness. A month in Bridewell, beating hemp, upon bread and water, would give you health and spirits, and subsequent cheerfulness and contentment, with every other situation. I prescribe that regimen for you, my dear, in pure good-will, without a fee. And let me tell you, if you do not get into temper, neither Brussels nor Lisle will suit you. I know nothing of the price of living in either of those places; but 1 am sure a single woman as you are, might with economy upon two hundred pounds a-year maintain herself comfortably any where; and me into the bargain. Do not invite me in earnest, however, to come aud live with you; for being posted here, I ought not to comply, and I am not sure I should be able to refuse. Present my respects to Mrs. Payne, and Mrs. Heathcot, for though I have not the honor of knowing them, yet as you say ihey are friends to the American cause, I am sure they must be •women of good understanding. I know you wish you could see me, but as you can't, I will describe myself to you. Figure me in your mind as jolly as formerly, and as strong and hearty, only a few years older; very plainly dressed, wearing my thin grey straight hair, that peeps out under my
only coiffure, a fine fur cap; which comes down my forehead almost to my spectacles. Think how this must appear, among the powdered heads of Paris! 1 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 tin peu dcrangees. Adieu! madcap; and believe me ever, your affectionate friend, and humble servant,
P. S. Don't be proud of this long letter. A fit of the gout, which has confined me five days, and made me refute 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, jou wish they had.
To Dr. Cooper, Boston.
Paris, May 1, 1777I 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 everywhere 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 lighting 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. 1 am ever, my dear friend, yours most affectionately.
To Mr. Winthrop, Boston. Dear Sir, Paris, May 1, 1777.
I received your kind letter of February 28, which gave me great pleasure;
I forwarded your letter to Dr. Price, who was well latdy; but Iiis friends, on his account, were under some appre