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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 necessily, 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 1 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 MKS. MART HEWSON.
Humorous Account of a Letter received from her. — His Occupations and J/musements.
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 northern 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 letters, called U bell, and P bottle; how Eliza began to grow jolly, that is, fat and handsome, resembling aunt Rooke, whom I used to call my lovely. Together with all the then news of lady Blount's having produced at length a boy; of Dolly's being well, and of poor good Catherine's decease; of your affairs with Muir and Atkinson, and of their contract for feeding the fish in the channel; of the Vinys and their jaunt to Cambridge in the long carriage; of Dolly's journey to Wales with Mrs. Scott; of the Wilkeses, the Pearces, Elphinstones, &c.; — concluding with a kind of promise, that, as soon as the ministry and Congress agreed to make peace, I should have you with me in America. That peace has been some time made; but, alas! the promise is not yet fulfilled.
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 send my last as I did my first publication into the world under the patronage of your name." — March Wh, 1786.
The discourse here alluded to, Or? the Influence of Physical Causes on the Moral Faculty, was delivered before the Amorican Philosophical Society, February 27th, 1786, and published soon afterwards.
I have found my family here in health, good circumstances, and well respected by their fellow citizens. The companions of my youth are indeed almost all departed, but I find an agreeable society among their children and grandchildren. I have public business enough to preserve me from ennui, and private amusement besides in conversation, books, my garden, and cribbage. Considering our well-furnished, plentiful market as the best of gardens, I am turning mine, in the midst of which my house stands, into grass plots and gravel walks, with trees and flowering shrubs. Cards we sometimes play here, in long winter evenings; but it is as they play at chess, not for money, but for honor, or the pleasure of beating one another. This will not be quite a novelty to you, as you may remember we played together in that manner during the winter at Passy. I have indeed now and then a little compunction in reflecting that I spend time so idly; but another reflection comes to relieve me, whispering, "You know that the soul is immortal; why then
Vol. x. 33 v*
should you be such a niggard of a little time, token you have a whole eternity before you?" So, being easily convinced, and, like other reasonable creatures, satisfied with a small reason, when it is in favor of doing what I have a mind to, I shuffle the cards again, and begin another game.
As to public amusements, we have neither plays nor operas, but we had yesterday a kind of oratorio, as you will see by the enclosed paper; and we have assemblies, balls, and concerts, besides little parties at one another's houses, in which there is sometimes dancing, and frequently good music; so that we jog on in life as pleasantly as you do in England; anywhere but in London, for there you have plays performed by good actors. That, however, is, I think, the only advantage London has over Philadelphia.
Temple has turned his thoughts _to agriculture, which he pursues ardently, being in possession of a fine farm, that his father lately conveyed to him. Ben is finishing his studies at college, and continues to behave as well as when you knew him, so that I think he will make you a good son. His younger brothers and sisters are also promising, appearing to have good tempers and dispositions, as well as good constitutions. As to myself, I think my general health and spirits rather better than when you saw me. The particular malady I then complained of continues tolerable. With sincere and very great esteem, I am ever, my dear friend, yours most affectionately,
P. S. My children and grandchildren join with me in best wishes for you and yours. My love to my godson, to Eliza, and to honest Tom. They will all find agreeable companions here. Love to Dolly, and tell her she will do well to come with you.