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of employments. His lands are on navigable water, communicating with the Delaware, and but about sixteen miles from this city. He has associated to himself a very skilful English farmer lately arrived here, who is to instruct him in the business, and partakes for a term the profits; so that there is a great apparent probability of their success.
You will kindly expect a word or two concerning myself. My health and spirits continue, thanks to God, as when you saw me. The only complaint I then had, does not grow worse, and is tolerable. I still have enjoyment in the company of my friends; and, being easy in my circumstances, have many reasons to like living. But the course of nature must soon put a period to my present mode of existence. This I shall submit to with the less regret, as, having seen during a long life a good deal of this world, I feel a growing curiosity to be acquainted with some other; and can cheerfully, with filial confidence, resign my spirit to the conduct of that great and good Parent of mankind, who created it, and who has so graciously protected and prospered me from my birth to the present hour. Wherever I am, I hope always to retain the pleasing remembrance of your friendship, being with sincere and great esteem, my dear friend, yours most affectionately, B. Franklin.
P. S. We all join in respects to Mrs. Shipley, and best wishes for the whole amiable family.
TO M. LE VEILLARD, OF PASST.
Nourishing State of America. — Cardinal de Rohan.
.Philadelphia, 6 March, 1786.
Mr Dear Friend,
I received and read with great pleasure your kind letter of October 9 th. It informed me of your welfare, and that of the best of good women, and of her amiable daughter, who I think will tread in her steps. My effects came all in the same ship, in good order; and we are now drinking every day les eaux epurees de Passy with great satisfaction, as they kept well, and seem to be rendered more agreeable by the long voyage.
I am here in the bosom of my family, and am not only happy myself, but have the felicity of seeing my country so. Be assured, that all the stories spread in the English papers of our distresses, and confusions, and discontents with our new governments, are as chimerical as the history of my being in chains at Algiers. They exist only in the wishes of our enemies. America never was in higher prosperity, her produce abundant and bearing a good price, her working people all employed and well paid, and all property in lands and houses of more than treble the value it bore before the war; and, our commerce being no longer the monopoly of British merchants, we are furnished with all the foreign commodities we need, at much more reasonable rates than heretofore. So that we have no doubt of being able to discharge more speedily the debt incurred by the war, than at first was apprehended.
Our modes of collecting taxes are indeed as yet imperfect, and we have need of more skill in finan
VOl. X. V
ciering; but we improve in that kind of knowledge daily by experience. That our people are contented with the revolution, with their new constitutions, and their foreign connexions, nothing can afford a stronger proof, than the universally cordial and joyous reception with which they welcomed the return of one, that was Supposed to have had a considerable share in promoting them. All this is in answer to that part of your letter, in which you seem to have been too much impressed with some of the ideas, which those lying English papers endeavour to inculcate concerning us.
I am astonished by what you write concerning the Prince Eveque. If the charges against him are made good, it will be another instance of the truth of those proverbs which teach us, that Prodigality begets neces* sity, that Without economy no revenue is sufficient, and that // is hard for an empty sack to stand upright.
I am glad to hear of the marriage of Mademoiselle Brillon; for every thing, that may contribute to the happiness of that beloved family, gives me pleasure. Be pleased to offer them my felicitations, and assure them of my best wishes.
Will you also be so good as to present my respectful compliments to Madame la Duchesse d'Enville, and to M. le Due de la Rochefoucauld? You may communicate the political part of this letter to that excellent man. His good heart will rejoice to hear of the welfare of America.
I made no progress when at sea in the history you mention;* but I was not idle there, having written three pieces, each of some length; one on Nautical matters; another on Chimneys; and a third a Description of my Vase for consuming smoke, with directions for using it.* These are all now printing in the Transactions of our Philosophical Society, of which I hope soon to send you a copy.
* Memoirs of his own life.
My grandsons present their compliments. The eldest is very busy in preparing for a country life, being to enter upon his farm the 25th instant. It consists of about six hundred acres, bounding on navigable water, sixteen miles from Philadelphia. The youngest is at College, very diligent in his studies. You know my situation, involved in public cares; but they cannot make me forget, that you and I love one another, and that I am ever, my dear friend, yours most affectionately,
TO BENJAMIN RUSH.
Philadelphia, March, 1786.
My Dear Friend, During our long acquaintance, you have shown many instances of your regard for me; yet I must now desire you to add one more to the number, which is, that, if you publish your ingenious discourse on the Moral Sense, you will totally omit and suppress that most extravagant encomium on your friend Franklin, which hurt me exceedingly in the unexpected hearing, and will mortify me beyond conception, if it should appear from the press. Confiding in your compliance with this earnest request, I am ever, my dear friend, yours most affectionately,
• See Vol. VI. pp. 463, 505, 543.
f Dr. Rush replied to this letter as follows. "Agreeably to your request, 1 have suppressed the conclusion of my oration, but I cannot bear to think of sending it out of our State or to Europe without connecting it with your name. I have therefore taken the liberty of inscribing it to you by a simple dedication, of which the enclosed is a copy. And, as you have never in the course of our long acquaintance refused me a single favor, I must earnestly insist upon your adding to my great and numerous obligations to you the permission, which I now solicit, to aend my last as I did my Jirst publication into the world under the patronage of your name." — March Uth, 1786.
TO MRS. MARY HEWSON.
Humorous Account of a Letter received from her. — His Occupations and Amusements.
Philadelphia, 6 May, 1786.
My Dear Friend,
A long winter has past, and I have not had the pleasure of a line from you, acquainting me with your and your children's welfare, since I left England. I suppose you have been in Yorkshire, out of the way and knowledge of opportunities; for I will not think that you have forgotten me.
To make me some amends, I received a few days past a large packet from Mr. Williams, dated September, 1776, near ten years since, containing three letters from you, one of December 12th, 1775. This packet had been received by Mr. Bache, after my departure for France, lay dormant among his papers during all my absence, and has just now broke out upon me, like words, that had been, as somebody says, congealed in riorthern air. Therein I find all the pleasing little family history of your children; how William had begun to spell, overcoming, by strength of memory, all the difficulty occasioned by the common wretched alphabet, while you were convinced of the utility of our new one; how Tom, genius-like, struck out new paths, and, relinquishing the old names of
The discourse here alluded to, On the Influence of Physical Causes on the Moral Faculty, was delivered before the American Philosophical Society, February 27th, 178C, and published soon afterwards.