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disposition of this court towards us continues. I wish I could say as much for the rest of the European courts. I think that their desire of being connected with us by treaties is of late much abated; and this I suppose is occasioned by the pains Britain takes to represent us everywhere as distracted with divisions, discontented with our governments, the people unwilling to pay taxes, the Congress unable to collect them, and many desiring the restoration of the old government. The English papers are full of this stuff, and their ministers get it copied into the foreign papers. The moving about of the Congress from place to place has also a bad effect, in giving color to the reports of their being afraid of the people. I hope they will soon settle somewhere, and, by the steadiness and wisdom of their measures, dissipate all those mists of misrepresentation raised by the remaining malice of ancient enemies, and establish our reputation for national justice and prudence as they have done for courage and perseverance.

It grieves me that we have not been able to discharge our first year's payment of interest to this court, due the beginning of last month. I hope it will be the only failure, and that effectual measures will be taken to be exactly punctual hereafter. The good paymaster, says the proverb, is lord of another man's purse. The bad one, if he ever has again occasion to borrow, must pay dearly for his carelessness and injustice.

You are happy in having got back safe to your country. I should be less unhappy, if I could imagine the delay of my congi useful to the States, or in the least degree necessary. But they have many equally capable of doing all I have to do here. The new proposed treaties are the most important things; but two can go through them as well as three, if indeed any are likely to be completed, which I begin to doubt, since the new ones make little progress, and the old ones, which wanted only the fiat of Congress, seem now to be going rather backward; I mean those I had projected with Denmark and Portugal.

My grandsons are sensible of the honor of your remembrance, and present their respects to you and Mrs. Jay. I add my best wishes of health and happiness to you all, being with sincere esteem and affection, dear Sir, your most obedient humble servant,

B. Franklin.

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

Passy, 8 February, 1785.

Sir,

I received by the Marquis de Lafayette the two letters you did me the honor of writing to me the 11th and 14th of December; the one enclosing a letter from Congress to the King, the other a resolve of Congress respecting the convention for establishing consuls. The letter was immediately delivered and well received. The resolve came too late to suspend signing the convention, it having been done July last, and a copy sent so long since, that we now expected the ratification. As that copy seems to have miscarried I now send another.

I am not informed what objection has arisen in Congress to the plan sent me. Mr. Jefferson thinks it may have been to the part which restrained the consuls from all concern in commerce. That article was omitted, being thought unnecessary to be stipulated, since either party would always have the power of imposing such restraints on its own officers, whenever it should think fit. I am, however, of opinion

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disposition of this court towards us continues. I wish I could say as much for the rest of the European courts. I think that their desire of being connected with us by treaties is of late much abated; and this I suppose is occasioned by the pains Britain takes to represent us everywhere as distracted with divisions, discontented with our governments, the people unwilling to pay taxes, the Congress unable to collect them, and many desiring the restoration of the old government. The English papers are full of this stuff, and their ministers get it copied into the foreign papers. The moving about of the Congress from place to place has also a bad effect, in giving color to the reports of their being afraid of the people. I hope they will soon settle somewhere, and, by the steadiness and wisdom of their measures, dissipate all those mists of misrepresentation raised by the remaining malice of ancient enemies, and establish our reputation for national justice and prudence as they have done for courage and perseverance.

It grieves me that we have not been able to discharge our first year's payment of interest to this court, due the beginning of last month. I hope it will be the only failure, and that effectual measures will be taken to be exactly punctual hereafter. The good paymaster, says the proverb, is lord of another man's purse. The bad one, if he ever has again occasion to borrow, must pay dearly for his carelessness and injustice.

You are happy in having got back safe to your country. I should be less unhappy, if I could imagine the delay of my conge useful to the States, or in the least degree necessary. But they have many equally capable of doing all I have to do here. The new proposed treaties are the most important things; but two can go through them as well as three, if indeed any are likely to be completed, which I begin to doubt, since the new ones make little progress, and the old ones, which wanted only the fiat of Congress, seem now to be going rather backward; I mean those I had projected with Denmark and Portugal.

My grandsons are sensible of the honor of your remembrance, and present their respects to you and Mrs. Jay. I add my best wishes of health and happiness to you all, being with sincere esteem and affection, dear Sir, your most obedient humble servant,

B. Franklin.

TO THE PRESIDENT OP CONGRESS.

Passy, 8 February, 1785.

Sir,

I received by the Marquis de Lafayette the two letters you did me the honor of writing to me the 11th and 14th of December; the one enclosing a letter from Congress to the King, the other a resolve of Congress respecting the convention for establishing consuls. The letter was immediately delivered and well received. The resolve came too late to suspend signing the convention, it having been done July last, and a copy sent so long since, that we now expected the ratification. As that copy seems to have miscarried I now send another.

I am not informed what objection has arisen in Congress to the plan sent me. Mr. Jefferson thinks it may have been to the part which restrained the consuls from all concern in commerce. That article was omitted, being thought unnecessary to be stipulated, since either party would always have the power of imposing such restraints on its own officers, whenever it should think fit. I am, however, of opinion

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that this or any other reasonable article or alteration may be obtained at the desire of Congress, and established by a supplement.

Permit me, Sir, to congratulate you on your being called to the high honor of presiding in our national councils, and to wish you every felicity, being with the most perfect esteem, &c.

8. Framclix.

TO RICHARD PRICE.

Purchase of Books for the Town of Franklin.

Passy, 18 March, 1785.

Dear Friend, My nephew, Mr. Williams, will have the honor of delivering you this line. It is to request from you a list of a few good books, to the value of about twentyfive pounds, such as are most proper to inculcate principles of sound religion and just government. A new town in the State of Massachusetts having done me the honor of naming itself after me, and proposing to build a steeple to their meeting-house if I would give them a bell, I have advised the sparing themselves the expense of a steeple, for the present, and that they would accept of books instead of a bell, sense being preferable to sound. These are therefore intended as the commencement of a little parochial library for the use of a society of intelligent, respectable farmers, such as our country people generally consist of. Besides your own works, I would only mention, on the recommendation of my sister, "Stennett's Discourse on Personal Religion" which may be one book of the number, if you know and approve it.*

* Dr. Price complied with this request, as may be seen in his letter under the date of June 3d, 1785. The books were procured and for

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