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your amiable family, I am, Sir, your Excellency's most obedient and most humble servant,
TO MRS. MARY HEWSON.
Passy, 5 May, 1785. MY DEAR, DEAR FRIEND, I received your little letter from Dover, which gave me great pleasure, as it informed me of your happy progress so far in your way home. I hope the rest of your journey was as prosperous.*
You talk of obligations to me, when in fact I am the person obliged. I passed a long winter, which appeared the shortest of any I ever past. Such is the effect of pleasing society, with friends one loves.
I have now received my permission to return, and am making my preparations. I hope to get away in June. I promise myself, or rather flatter myself, that I shall be happy when at home. But, however happy that circumstance may make me, your joining me there will surely make me happier, provided your change of country may be for the advantage of your dear little family. When you have made up your mind on the subject, let me know by a line, that I may prepare a house for you as near me, and otherwise as convenient for you, as possible.
My neighbours begin to come out from Paris, and replace themselves in their Passy houses. They inquire after you, and are sorry you are gone before they could make themselves known to you. M. le Veillard, in particular, has told me at different times,
• Mrs. Hewson and her children had spent the winter with Dr. Franklin at Passy.
what indeed I knew long since, C'est une bien digne femme, cette Madame Hewson, une très aimable femme. I would not tell you this if I thought it would make you vain; but that is impossible; you have too much good sense.
So wish me a good voyage, and, when you pray at church for all that travel by land or sea, think of your ever affectionate friend,
P.S. My love to William, and Thomas, and Eliza, and tell them I miss their cheerful prattle. Temple being sick, and Benjamin at Paris, I have found it very triste breakfasting alone, and sitting alone, and without any tea in the evening.
FROM M. DE RAYNEVAL TO B. FRANKLIN.
Versailles, 8 May, 1785. SIR, I have learned with the greatest concern, that you are soon to leave us. You will carry with you the affections of all France, for nobody has been more esteemed than you. I shall call on you at Passy, to desire you to retain for me a share in your remembrance, and renew to you personally the assurances of the most perfect attachment, with which I have the honor to be, Sir, &c.
TO JOHN JAY.*
Passy, 10 May, 1785. DEAR SIR, I received your kind letter of the 8th of March, enclosing the resolution of Congress, permitting my return to America, for which I am very thankful, and am now preparing to depart the first good opportunity. Next to the pleasure of rejoining my own family will be that of seeing you and yours well and happy, and embracing once more my little friend, whose singular attachment to me I shall always remember.
I shall be glad to render any acceptable service to Mr. Randall. I conveyed the bayberry wax to Abbé de Chalut, with your compliments, as you desired. He returns his with many thanks. Be pleased to make my respectful compliments acceptable to Mrs. Jay, and believe me ever, with sincere and great respect and esteem, &c.
P.S. The striking of the medals being now in agitation here, I send the enclosed for consideration.
TO CHARLES THOMSO
TO CHARLES THOMSON.
Passy, 10 May, 1785. DEAR SIR, An old gentleman in Switzerland, long of the magistracy there, having written a book entitled Du Gouvernement et des Maurs, which is thought to contain many matters, that may be useful in America, desired to know of me how he could convey a number of printed
• Mr. Jay was now Secretary of Foreign Affairs, having been chosen as successor to Mr. Livingston, who had resigned.
copies, to be distributed gratis among the members of Congress. I advised his addressing the package to you by way of Amsterdam, whence a friend of mine would forward it. It is accordingly shipped there on board the Van Berckel, Captain W. Campbell. There are good things in the work, but his chapter on the liberty of the press appears to me to contain more rhetoric than reason. With great esteem, I am ever, &c.
TO JONATHAN WILLIAMS.
Passy, 19 May, 1785. - The conversations you mention respecting America are suitable. Those people speak what they wish; but she was certainly never in a more happy situation. They are angry with us, and speak all manner of evil of us; but we flourish, notwithstanding. They put me in mind of a violent High Church factor, resident in Boston, when I was a boy. He had bought upon speculation a Connecticut cargo of onions, which he flattered himself he might sell again to great profit, but the price fell, and they lay upon hand. He was heartily vexed with his bargain, especially when he observed they began to grow in the store he had filled with them. He showed them one day to a friend. “Here they are,” said he, “and they are growing too! I damn them every day ; but I think they are like the Presbyterians; the more I curse them, the more they grow." Yours,
TO GEORGE WHATLEY.
Passy, 19 May, 1785. DEAR OLD FRIEND, I received the very good letter you sent me by my grandson, together with your resemblance, which is placed in my chamber, and gives me great pleasure. There is no trade, they say, without returns, and therefore I am punctual in making those you have ordered.
I intended this should have been a long epistle, but I am interrupted, and can only add, that I am ever yours most affectionately,
FROM COUNT DE VERGENNES TO.B. FRANKLIN. Regrets Dr. Franklin's Departure. — Assures him of
the Esteem of the King.
Versailles, 22 May, 1785.
I have learned with much concern of your retiring, and of your approaching departure for America. You cannot doubt but that the regrets, which you will leave, will be proportionate to the consideration you so justly enjoy.
I can assure you, Sir, that the esteem the King entertains for you does not leave you any thing to wish, and that his Majesty will learn with real satisfaction, that your fellow citizens have rewarded, in a manner worthy of you, the important services that you have rendered them.
I beg, Sir, that you will preserve for me a share in