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ance of affluence at home; an affluence that may aid pernicious measures, but, at last, must be destructive: in its consequences.
I cannot take my leave of you, without congratulating you on the benefaction conferred on mankind by M. Necker. I have read more than once his excellent work; and some of the concluding chapters with ecstasy and tears. I flatter myself, that the princes of the earth will read it, and that some of them will be affected as I have been; and perhaps some of their ministers. I need not say, that many of his thoughts have been yours and my own, though I have never been able to express them with the elegance he has done.* In 1772, and 1777, I gave to Lord North two or three sheets; in the former year, on the subject of money ; in the latter, on that of peace. The opinions therein contained, I now find confirmed by an authority that I respect without bounds. I am, my dear Sir, your affectionate and faithful servant,
FROM MATHON DE LA COUR TO B. FRANKLIN.
Lyons, 30 June, 1785.
The Academy of Sciences, Belles Lettres, and Arts, of Lyons, informed by a letter from the Abbé Chalut,
* Necker's treatise, entitled Administration des Finances, was published in 1784. It is stated in the Biographie Universelle, that eighty thousand copies were sold in a few days. The writer adds; “Jamais sujet aussi sérieux n'avait excité une curiosité mani universelle. C'etait sans doute une chose nouvelle dans les habitudes d'une monarchie absolue, que de voir un ministre en retraite publier solennellement qu'il se consolait des disgraces de la cour avec les suffrages de la nation." that you would willingly accept the title of its associate, hastened to offer it to you by a unanimous vote, and charges me to inform you of your election. We all feel, and we feel deeply, how much honor a name like yours confers upon a literary society, whose principal object is the study of the natural sciences, upon which you have shed so much light, and in which, at every step, we meet monuments consecrated to your discoveries.
During the last years of my residence at Paris, my heart often beat with joy, when I had an opportunity of joining my applause to that, which all France seemed to think due to you, wherever you appeared. I am still more happy at this time, since I am requested, in the name of my fellow citizens, to add one modest flower to the wreaths with which you are crowned, and am allowed the personal gratification of offering to you the homage of my profound veneration. The Academy has directed me to send to you the list of its members, and a table of the prizes, which have hitherto been given. I shall venture to add a dissertation on the laws of Lycurgus, by the author of the Testament de fortuné Ricard, which you condescended to receive with kindness, and your approbation of which has filled him with the liveliest gratitude. I have the honor to be, &c.
MATHON DE LA COUR.
FROM THOMAS POWNALL TO B. FRANKLIN.
Lausanne, 3 July, 1785.
editor and bookseller of my map and description of the States of America. I had already done in the matter every thing in my power when I was on the spot, and pressed the point stronger than I should have done, had it been for my account; but, when I considered it, as what I really wished, the doing an act of charity to the daughter of an ingenious and illtreated man,* I exerted more pains about it than is my ordinary custom. I wished to make my intended charity as efficient and productive as possible. If I were on the spot I could not do more. I have prepared a second edition, with very many additions. If you will recommend to me any person who will translate it into French, I will publish this edition in France and give the whole profits to Evans's daughter.
I am told you are on the point of returning to your own country, a country which you have not only saved, but formed into a State, independent and sovereign. You must excuse me when I say what I feel, that I envy you. God has not only made you an instrument of good to your country, but has given you the most supreme of all happiness in this world, that of seeing your country and all the world acknowledging your deeds; that of, therefore, living to receive from their acknowledgments your reward in this world. It was your happiness to be in a situation of exerting your abilities in a line of politics, in which providence had designed to lead the affairs of men.
I wished, in my line of conduct, to have served a country, which, alas! I could not, at least would not, believe was too far gone in corruption of all sorts, but especially in corruption of politics, to be served. This corruption sunk to ignorance and inspired with inso
* Lewis Evans, the geographer.
lence the nation, and Providence gave it leaders and governors exactly calculated to lead it to its just punishment. But, whatever my habitual love to my native country was, I thank God I always had a feeling for the welfare of the English nation, which superseded all local considerations; and I am happy in my hopes, that real political liberty, with all its concomitant and consequent happiness, will be established in that branch of the English nation, which Providence planted and nurtured in America. Providence now holds this out to them, and may they have the temper and wisdom to see what is their real interest, or, at least, to take the advice of those who do see. If God grants you life and health, what a glorious scene in this great drama have you before you, in giving and persuading your country to take your advice, as to the settlement of their independence in a sovereignty free and efficient to all the purposes of liberty and their real interest. I have the pleasing consciousness to think, that my Memoir* addressed to them, will not, when understood, be entirely useless and inefficient to those ends.
Adieu, my dear friend. You are going to a new world, formed to exhibit a scene which the old world never yet saw. You leave me here in the old world, which, like myself, begins to feel, as Asia hath felt, that it is wearing out apace. We shall never meet again on this earth; but there is another world, where we shall meet, and where we shall be understood, and those of us, who shall not have our reward here, will have it in all fulness there. If you receive this, pray let me hear from you before you depart, but more especially, if you have leisure, when you arrive at home. Studying the state of this country, with reference to what I know (as the workman knows his own metier) of America, I see many things which might be useful for America to copy. A temperate spirit and a homely wisdom have established real liberty and actual happiness here, with surer and a longer permanency, than any other country ever yet enjoyed in quiet. I shall not neglect to collect these experiences with reference to America; and if I can communicate them to you, or to any one where I can be sure they will be of use, I will with pleasure do it; and the more so, as I find, that the very spirit and true foundation of the constitutions of this country have not been understood ; first, by scribbling voyagers; and next, less so by speculating writers, who write from system, not from fuct. Once more, my dear friend, adieu. May you have an easy passage, with as little pain as possible, and a happy arrival at your home. Remember your old and affectionate friend,
* A tract entitled, “Memorial addressed to the Sovereigns of America,” published, 1783.
TO MRS. MARY HEWSON.
Leaves Passy. — Travels to Havre in the King's Litter.
Passy, 4 July, 1785. DEAR FRIEND, By this post I have given orders to engage a fine ship, now at London, to carry me and my family to Philadelphia. My baggage is already on the Seine, going down to Havre, from whence, if the captain cannot call for us there, we shall cross the channel, and meet him at Cowes, in the Isle of Wight. The ship has a large, convenient cabin, with good lodgingplaces. The whole to be at my disposition, and there