Abbildungen der Seite

mercial war she has begun with us, as she did by the military.* Adieu, my dear friend. I am yours ever,


P. S. This will be delivered to you by my grandson. I am persuaded you will afford him your civilities and counsels. Please to accept a little present of books, I send by him, curious for the beauty of the impression.


Remarks on Dr. Franklin's Writings.- His Discoveries. - Laws in Spain. Royal Academy of History.

Translation. W e 20

Madrid, 26 July, 1784. So SIR,

I have received, by the hands of my friend Mr. Carmichael, your estimable letter of the 5th of June, the collection of your miscellaneous writings, and the piece entitled, Information to those who would remove to America.f All these writings exhibit proofs of their having proceeded from a statesman, endowed with foresight, and vigilant for the best interests of his country, according to the political combinations and systems of government under which they were composed; and they manifest, at the same time, an ardent desire for the general happiness of mankind, founded on principles and calculations carried to as high a degree of demonstration, as the vicissitude and inconsistency of


A large portion of this letter is here omitted, which has usually been printed as a separate article, On Luxury, Idleness, and Industry. See Vol. II. p. 448.

+ See Vol. II. p. 467.

the various systems adopted for the government of men will admit. Your views and reflections show the solidity and permanence of your principles, whether considered as applicable to the American colonies in their former condition, or in that of independent States. In both cases your efforts have been directed to the general good, without running into those extremes, which are apt to lead astray weak minds in so long and arduous a contest, as we have seen in America, for the establishment of a new State consisting of thirteen provinces under different constitutions, and, at last, united in a bond of union for the mutual benefit of each other.

Nature, which you have profoundly studied, is indebted to you for investigating and explaining phenomena, which wise men had not before been able to understand ; and the great American philosopher, at the same time he discovers these phenomena, suggests useful methods for guarding men against their dangers.

The frankness, with which you dissuade people in Europe from emigrating inconsiderately to America, is a proof of your general philanthropy, and of a candor peculiar to a good man, true philosopher, and genuine patriot. You extend this same benevolence to Spain, in your remarks respecting the honor that is due to labor, and against the entailment of estates. The former is now confirmed among us by a recent law, a copy of which I send herewith, declaring the honorable light in which every description of artisans should be regarded. Laborers were always honored and favored by our laws. As to what regards entailments, I refer you to what I wrote in the year 1765, at the end of my treatise upon Mortmain, in which I think I have demonstrated, that another regulation ought to precede this in the progress of legislation. I

add also, that there is some diversity of circumstances between a monarchical and democratical constitution in this respect.

I should have great pleasure in extending these reflections, if time would permit, although your penetration and sagacity would render them unnecessary. The honor conferred upon me by the American Philosophical Society, in electing me a member on the 16th of January, lays me under the pleasing obligation of expressing my gratitude through you, the worthy President of the Society. Desirous of reciprocating in some manner this act of courtesy, I proposed you as an honorary member of the Royal Academy of History, of which I am President. The proposal was responded to by universal acclamation; the Academy feeling in the highest degree honored by having on its list the name of a man so eminent in the world of letters, and so distinguished for the part he has acted in a Revolution, the most memorable in the history of modern times. I am, &c.




Requesting him to engage an Artist for executing a Statue of General Washington.

Richmond, 27 July, 1784. SIR, The Assembly of this State have voted a statue of our late worthy Commander-in-chief, General Washington, and have directed one side of the pedestal to be filled with an inscription; the other three, with the dress, are left for the exercise of the genius of your humble servant and his Council; who are all too little acquainted with a business, that requires such a refinement of genius and taste, to venture any thing of their own to the eyes of the critical world.

It was natural, therefore, for us to look round for the assistance of some of our own friends; and we unanimously pitched on yourself and Mr. Jefferson, as the most likely to come up to our wishes and the expectations of the Assembly. The friendship you have honored me with gave me the confidence to assure the gentlemen, that they might depend on your complying with the request, and I am sure you will not disappoint me. I have written fully to Mr. Jefferson on the subject, enclosed to him a copy of the resolution of the Assembly, and ordered Mr. Peale to send to his address a full length picture of the General, and have requested the favor of him to confer with you on the whole of this business.

I have had the pleasure of several of your recommendations, and have on every occasion paid that attention to them you had so good a right to expect. If in this or any other way I can be of use to you, you will please to command me; for be assured nothing will make me happier, than to have it in my power to render you service. I have the honor to be, with the most perfect respect and esteem, dear Sir, &c.


* M. Houdon was the artist selected for executing the Statue, which was placed in the State House at Richmond. See SPARKS's Life of Washington, p. 390; and also his edition of Washington's Writings Vol. IX. pp. 131, 132.


Passy, 30 July, 1784.



I have the honor to communicate to your Excellency an extract from the instructions of Congress to their late Commissioners for treating of peace, expressing their desire to cultivate the friendship of his Imperial Majesty, and to enter into a treaty of commerce for the mutual advantage of his subjects and the citizens of the United States, which I request you will be pleased to lay before his Majesty. The appointing and instructing Commissioners for treaties of commerce with the powers of Europe generally has, by various circumstances, been long delayed, but is now done; and I have just received advice, that Mr. Jefferson, late Governor of Virginia, commissioned with Mr. Adams, our minister in Holland, and myself, for that service, is on his way hither, and may be expected by the end of August, when we shall be ready to enter into a treaty with his Imperial Majesty for the above purpose, if such should be his pleasure. With great and sincere respect, &c.




Paris, 30 July, 1784. Sir, I have received the letter you did me the honor to write to me this morning, and I shall lose no time to transmit the contents to my court.

* Austrian Ambassador at the Court of Versailles.

« ZurückWeiter »