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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.
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, when 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.
TO MRS. MARY HEWSON.
Philadelphia, 30 May, 1786.
I have just received your kind letter of April 2d, which made me some amends for your long silence. By the last ship from hence I wrote to you acknowledging the receipt of some very old letters, when I was sorry I could mention none of later date. I have, however, no right to complain, being so bad a correspondent myself. But my last was a long one, and I hope you have received it.
You seem now inclined to come over, if you could meet with a captain, that you know and like. We mentioned it to Captain Falconer. He goes no more to sea, but strongly recommends Captain Willet, who carries this letter, as a good man and excellent seaman. His ship is the Harmony, which lately brought over Mr. and Mrs. Bingham. Mr. Williams will hardly, I doubt, be with you in time this year to assist in your embarkation; but, if you apply to Messrs. Johnson and Company, American merchants, to whom I write, I am persuaded they will make the bargain for you, and assist you with their advice in every circumstance.
Temple, who presents his respects, has, however, no hopes of your coming. He says you were so long irresolute and wavering about the journey to Paris, that he thinks it unlikely you will decide firmly to make the voyage to America.
I enclose a truer state of affairs in our country, than your public prints will afford you, and I pray "God guide you."
This family are all well . and join in love to you and yours with your affectionate
P. S. Captain Willet is to leave London on his return about the 1st of August . Your son Ben, and all this family, join in the hope of your resolving to come over.*
FROM WILLIAM COCKE TO B. FRANKLIN.
Concerning a new State called Franklin.
State of Franklin, 15 June, 1786.
I make no doubt but you have heard, that the good people of this country have declared themselves a separate State from North Carolina; and that, as a testimony of the high esteem they have for the many important and faithful services you have rendered to your country, they have called the name of their State after you. I presume you have also heard the reasons, on which our separation is founded, some of which are as follows; that North Carolina had granted us a separation on certain well-known conditions, expressed in an act of the General Assembly of that State, which conditions, we think, she had no right to break through without our consent, as well as the consent of Congress. We therefore determine strictly to adhere to the conditions expressed in said act, and doubt not but Congress will be uniform in their just demands, as well as honorable in complying with their resolve to confirm all the just claims of such persons, as have purchased land under the laws of North Carolina, for which they have paid that State.
The confidence we have in the wisdom and justice of the United States inclines us to leave every matter of
• Mrs. Hewson boon afterwards came over with her family to America, and established herself at Philadelphia. See Vol. VII. p. 151.