« ZurückWeiter »
such can make any impressions, which ought to give you pain.
I have not remitted bills for the salaries of the foreign ministers, because, the resolutions of Congress having varied, and Mr. Grand having informed me that he should pay them, I have left it as an account unsettled, to be arranged by Mr. Barclay; and, as I cannot doubt that the attachments will have been taken off, and as I have given* Mr. Grand a credit on the commissioners of the loan in Holland for four hundred thousand livres, and directed Messrs. Le Couteubx to pay over to him a balance in their hands, I have no doubt that he will be in cash for the purpose. I agree with you, that a fund ought to be set apart for contingencies, and, had I continued and been supported in administration, such a fund should certainly have been provided. I am at the same time an enemy to contingent .accounts, and therefore I should have urged the ascertainment of every allowance, as far as possible, thereby curtailing the account of contingencies; but, after all, it cannot be annihilated. Congress have made no determination on this subject. Indeed, it is very difficult, and even almost disreputable for them to make arrangements of expenditure, while the means of expenditure are so shamefully withheld by their constituents. These things, however, will mend; at least I hope so.
I have already said, that I expected the attachments laid on the public goods would be discharged. Your letter to the Count de Vergennes on that subject is perfect; and, if that minister did not immediately obtain a compliance with your request, I presume it must have been occasioned by some circumstances purely domestic, which we in this country cannot guess at; for certainly nothing can be more astonishing, than to find a subject countenanced in arresting the property of a sovereign power in this enlightened age, and in the country which of all others has been most eminent for a sacred regard to the rights of nations.
From your last letters to your friends, I find that your return to this country is somewhat doubtful . I am therefore disappointed in one of the great pleasures which I had promised myself. But, Sir, in whatever country you may be, and whether in public or in private life, be assured of my warmest and most respectful esteem, and that my best wishes for your happiness shall be clothed with the utmost efforts in my power to promote it on every proper occasion. I am, with sincere regard, &c.
TO CHARLES THOMSON.
Passy, 16 October, 1784.
It was intended by the Commissioners to write a joint letter to Congress, but I am afraid the opportunity may be missed. This may serve to inform you, that propositions of treating have been made by us to all the powers of Europe according to our instructions, and we are waiting for their answers. There are apprehensions here of a war between the Emperor and Holland; but, as the season is not proper for opening a campaign, I hope the winter will give time for mediators to accommodate matters. We have not yet heard that Mr. Jay has accepted the secretaryship of foreign affairs. I am ever, my dear friend, yours most affectionately,
Vol. x. 19 M
FROM RICHARD PRICE TO B. FRANKLIN.
Sinking Fund. — Balloons.
Newington Green, 21 October, 1784.
My Dear Friend,
I have promised to draw up a table, during the next session of Parliament, similar to the first in the French edict, and marking, as that does, distinctly for every year the progress of a sinking fund, in order to show its powers; and I have some reason to expect, that there will be a struggle in our Parliament to get such a fund established, and consigned to the care of commissioners in order to render diversions of it less practicable. I have enclosed a little pamphlet, published in April last, because I am doubtful whether it has been sent to you before.
We have at last begun to fly here. Such an ardor prevails, that probably we shall soon, in this instance, leave France behind us. Dr. Priestley, in a letter which I have just received from him, tells me, that he is eager in pursuing his experiments, and that he has discovered a method of filling the largest balloons with the lightest inflammable air in a very short time and at a very small expense.
I rent you a pretty long letter, with a parcel of my pamphlets on the American Revolution, about a fortnight ago. This letter will be conveyed by a countryman of yours, Mr. Jonathan Jackson, who has been in London some time, and in whose acquaintance I have been happy. I have sent a considerable number of these pamphlets to America, where I hope they will be favorably received, as a well-meant, though weak attempt to serve the best interests of civil society.
Mrs. Price, I thank God, continues better; she desires to be respectfully remembered to you. With the highest regard, I am ever yours,
TO CHARLES THOMSON.
Passy, II November, 1784.
Dear Friend, I received your kind letter of August 13th with the papers annexed, relative to the affair of Longchamps. I hope satisfaction will be given to M. Marbois. The Commissioners have written a joint letter to Congress. This serves to cover a few papers relative to matters with which I was particularly charged in the instructions. I shall write to you fully by the next opportunity, having now only time to add, that I am, as ever, yours most affectionately,
P. S. I executed the instructions of October 29th, 1783, as soon as I knew the commissions for treating with the Emperor, &c. were issued, which was not till July, 1784. The three letters between the Emperor's minister and me are what passed on that occasion.
FROM GEORGE WHATLEY TO B. FRANKLIN.
Principles of Trade. — Foundling Hospitals. — Spectacles. — Powers of Congress. — Toleration.
London, 15 November, 1784.
My Good Old Friend, You flatter my vanity in thinking of having a translation made of The Principles of Trade. I have given to your grandson one of them, and I shall with pleasure send some copies to America.
I should be glad to know what the success may be of the new institution at Paris for assisting women, so as to suckle their own children at home. I approve of it much; though I hold as an axiom, "that the children of poor or dishonest persons should be taken care of by the public in time, lest, instead of serving, they come to hurt the public either through distress or bad education, if it can be done without any violence to the natural right of the parent, as it is better to make men good than to hang those that are bad." You see the voluntary sending of children to the foundling hospital takes away the thought of any violence to the natural right; and to my mind, from whatever cause parents may divest themselves of their affection for their offspring, so as to put them away, it is the duty of the public to intervene and take up such offspring, upon the certain principle, that the number of subjects makes the riches of a State.
By good luck, I find I have kept your original notes on the Principles of Trade, those we agreed in, those I added, and those I dissented from, and were not published; moreover, some other ideas you favored me with. This I told your grandson, and wished to confer with him thereon, as well for his improvement, as to convey to you what we differed in, for your reconsideration. I have prepared copies of those notes, and shall hope to collate them with your grandson. If not so done, you may depend I have faithfully copied them.
Death is a concomitant of our existence. Your doctrine of our rising from it, or after it, refreshed in the morning, is what I do not comprehend. I have long contemplated the epitaph, thought to be written by the