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To Mr. Le Chevalier De La Luzerne,
SiB) Pass//, March 5, 1780.
I received with great pleasure the letter you did me the honor of writing to me from Boston. I rejoiced to hear of your safe arrival, and that the reception you met with in my country, had been agreeable to you. 1 hope its air will suit you, and that while you reside in it you will enjoy constant health and happiness.
Your good brother does me sometimes the honor of calling on me, and we converse in English, which he speaks very intelligibly. 1 suppose that by this time you do the same. Mr. de Malesherbes did me lately the same honor. That great man seems to have no wish of returning into public employment, but amuses himself with planting, and is desirous of obtaining all those trees of North America that have not yet been introduced into France. Your sending him a box of the seeds would, I am persuaded, much oblige him. They may be obtained of my young friend Bertram, living near Philadelphia.
You will have heard that Spain has lately met with a little misfortune at sea, but the bravery with which her ships fought a vastly superior force, has gained her great honor. We are anxious here for farther news from that coast, which is daily expected. Great preparations are making here for the ensuing campaign, and we flatter ourselves that it will be more active and successful in Europe than the last.
One of the advantages of great states is, that the calamity occasioned by a foreign war falls only on a very small part of the community, who happen from their situation and particular J
circuf mstances to be exposed to it. Thus, as it is always fair weat^ifier in our parlors, it is at Paris always peace. The peopvje pursue their respective occupanons; the playhouses, the oty^era, and other public diversions, are as regularly and fully attended, as in times of profoundest tranquillity, and the same s^mall concerns divide us into parties. Within these few wji^eeks we are for or against Jeannot, a new actor. This man'sSk performance, and the marriage of the Duke de Richelieu, iiV.Hs up much more of our present conversation than any thir))g that relates to the war. A demonstration this of the public felicity!
My grtandson joins with me in best wishes for your health and prosperity. He is much flattered by your kind remembrance of j him. We desire also that M. de Marbois ' would accept our assurance of esteem.
I have the, honor to be with the greatest respect, Sir,
Yours, 8cc. B. Franklin.
F. Hopkinson, Esq. Philadelphia.
Political Squibs.—Dr. Ingenhausz's Experiments on the leaves of trees.—A new telescope for ascertaining distances.
Dear Sir, Patsy, March 16, 1780.
I thank you for your political Squibs: they are well made. 1 am glad to find you have such plenty of good powder.
You propose that Kill-pig, the butcher, should operate upon himself. You will find some thoughts on that subject in a little piece called "A merry Song about Murder," in a London newspaper I send herewith.
The greatest discovery made in Europe for some time is that of Dr. Ingenhausz's relating to the great use offr (he leaves of trees in producing wholesome air; I would sendHV0U bis book if I had it. A new instrument is lately invf ented here, * a kind of telescope, which by means of V celand crystal occasions the double appearance of an objectf^ anc) the two appearances being farther distant from each ot!^her m proportion to the distance of the object from the ey^ by moving an index on a graduated line till the two appear,^,,^ coincide, you find on the line the real distance of the Iobject. I am not enough master of this instrument to 'describe it accurately, having seen it but once; but it is verfc ingeniously contrived. /
Remember me respectfully to your mother and sisters, and believe me ever, my dear friend, /
yours most affectionately, B. Franklin.
To Dr. Bond, Philadelphia.
I received your kind letter of September the 22d, and 1 thank you for the pleasing account you give me of the health and welfare of my old friends, Hugh Roberts, Luke Morris, Philip Syng, Samuel Rhoades, &c. with the same of yourself and family. Shake the old ones by the band for me, and give the young ones my blessing. For my own part, I do not find that I grow any older. Being arrived at 70, and considering that by travelling further in the same road I should probably be led to the grave, I stopped short, turned about, and walked back again; which having done these four years, you may now call me 66. Advise those old friends of ours to follow my example; keep up your spirits and that will keep up your bodies; you will no more stoop under the weight of age thau if you had swallowed a handspike. But it is right to abate a little in the article of labor; and therefore as your demonstrations of midwifery " are useful, and it is a pity you should give them up, for want of subjects in the lying-in wards," I advise you to get some of your young pupils to help you.
I am glad the Philosophical Society made that compliment to Mr. Gerard. * I wish they would do the same to Mr. Feutry, a worthy gentleman here; and to Dr. Ingenhausz, who has made some great discoveries lately respecting the leaves of trees in improving air for the use of animals: he will send you his book. He is physician to the empress queen. I have not yet seen your piece on inoculation.
Remember me respectfully and affectionately to Mrs. Bond, your children, and all friends. I am ever,
yours, B. Franklin.
P. S. 1 have bought some valuable books which I intend to present to the society; but shall not send them till safer times.
To Dr. Cooper, Boston.
Relative to his grandson.—The alliance with France, #c.
Dear Sir, Passy, March 16, 1780.
I received your kind favor by Captain Chavagnes, which I communicated to the minister of marine, who was much pleased with the character you give of the captain. I have also yours of Nov. 12, by your grandson, who appears a very promising lad, in whom I think you will have much
* Formerly Minister from France to the United States.
satisfaction. He is in a boarding-school just by me, and was well last Sunday, when I had the pleasure of his company to dinner with Mr. Adam's sons and some other young Americans. He will Soon acquire the language; and if God spares his life, may make a very serviceable man to his country.
It gives me infinite satisfaction to find that with you the wisest and best among our people, are so hearty in endeavoring to strengthen the alliance. We certainly owe much to this nation; and we shall obtain much more, if the same prudent conduct towards them continues, for they really and strongly wish our prosperity, and will promote it by every means in their power. But we should at the same time do as much as possible for ourselves, and not ride (as we say) a free horse to death. There are some Americans returning hence, with whom our people should be upon their guard; as carrying with them a spirit of enmity to this country. Not being liked here themselves, they dislike the people; for the same reason, indeed, they ought to dislike all that know them.
With the sincerest respect and esteem, I am ever, my dear friend,
Yours most affectionately, fi. Franklin.
To C. Griffin, Esq.
Sir, Patsy, March 16, 1780.
I have just received the letter you have done me the honor to write to me, and shall immediately deliver the packet it recommends to my care. I will take the first opportunity of mentioning to Mr. Gerard what you hint, relative to our not entertaining strangers so frequently and liberally, as is the custom in France. But he has travelled in Europe, and knows that modes of nations differ. The French are convivial, live much at one another's tables, and are glad to feast travellers. In Italy and Spain a stranger, however re