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readers have reached the end of my work, without a deep feeling of love and respect for your fellow citizens, and no one has ever refused me the praise of being animated by the same sentiments.*
When you were in France, there was no need of praising the Americans. We had only to say, Look, here is their representative. But, however worthily your place may have since been filled, it is not unseasonable to arouse anew the interest of a kind-hearted but thoughtless nation, and to fix, from time to time, its attention upon the great event, to which it has had the happiness of contributing. Such has been my motive, in translating Colonel Humphreys's poem.t My success has fully equalled, and even surpassed, my expectation. Not only has the public received the work with favor, but it has succeeded perfectly at court, especially with the King and Queen, who have praised it highly.
I take the liberty of offering to you this translation, although it can have but little value to those, who have seen the original. But you are perfectly acquainted with our language, and, knowing better than any one else both the difficulty of translating into French verse, and of giving to prose sufficient sprightliness and brilliancy to express poetic ideas, you will be able to defend me before those, who may blame the freedom I have allowed myself; for I have taken more pains to render my work an agreeable one to read, than to make it an exact and faithful translation. Be this as it may, my intention will be my best excuse, and my attachment to you my best title to your indulgence. It is not my talents, that I wish to display before you, but the sentiments of respect and devotion with which I have the honor to be, &c.
* This letter was accompanied with a copy of the Marquis de Chastellux's Travels in America, which had recently been published.
A Poem addressed to the Armies of the United States, which was translated into French by the Marquis de Chastellux. See HumPHREYS's Miscellaneous Works, pp. 9 - 15.
THE MARQUIS DE CHASTELLUX.
P. S. Have the kindness to present my respects to Mr. and Mrs. Bache. I have no doubt, that the ladies of Philadelphia are as attentive to you as those of Paris; and I believe that I could find no one to recall me to their recollection in a more acceptable manner than yourself. Please to present my particular respects to Mrs. Morris, Mrs. Powel, Mrs. Meredith, Miss Cadwalader, and Mrs. Craig.
TO MRS. JANE MECOM.
Philadelphia, 4 July, 1786. - You need not be concerned, in writing to me, about your bad spelling; for, in my opinion, as our alphabet now stands, the bad spelling, or what is called so, is generally the best, as conforming to the sound of the letters and of the words. To give you an instance. A gentleman received a letter, in which were these words, — Not finding Brown at hom, I delivered your meseg to his yf. The gentleman finding it bad spelling, and therefore not very intelligible, called his lady to help him read it. Between them they picked out the meaning of all but the yf, which they could not understand. The lady proposed calling her chambermaid, because Betty, says she, has the best knack at reading bad spelling of any one I know. Betty came, and was surprised, that neither Sir nor Madam could tell what yf was. “Why,” says she, “y f spells wife; what else can it spell ?” And, indeed, it is a much better, as well as shorter method of spelling wife, than doubleyou, i, ef, e, which in reality spell doubleyifey.
There is much rejoicing in town to-day, it being the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, which we signed this day ten years, and thereby hazarded lives and fortunes. God was pleased to put a favorable end to the contest much sooner than we had reason to expect. His name be praised. Adieu,
TO MR. GRAND, BANKER IN PARIS.
Making Inquiry respecting a Million of Livres advanced by the French Government.
Philadelphia, 11 July, 1786. SIR, I send you enclosed some letters, that have passed between the Secretary of Congress and me, respecting three millions of livres, acknowledged to have been received, before the treaty of February, 1778, as don gratuit from the King, of which only two millions are found in your accounts; unless the million from the FarmersGeneral be one of the three. I have been assured, that all the money received from the King, whether as loan or gift, went through your hands; and as I al. ways looked on the million we had of the FarmersGeneral to be distinct from what we had of the crown, I wonder how I came to sign the contract, acknowl. edging three millions of gift, when, in reality, there were only two, exclusive of that from the Farmers; and, as both you and I examined the project of the
contract before I signed it, I am surprised, that neither of us took notice of the error.
It is possible, that the million furnished ostensibly by the Farmers, was in fact a gift of the crown, in which case, as Mr. Thomson observes, they owe us for the two ship loads of tobacco, which they received on account of it. I most earnestly request of you to get this matter explained, that I may stand clear before I die, lest some enemy should afterwards accuse me of having received a million not accounted for. I am, &c.
TO WILLIAM COCKE.
Name and Condition of the new State of Franklin.
Philadelphia, 12 August, 1786. SIR, I received yesterday the letter you did me the honor of writing me on the 15th of June past. I had never before been acquainted, that the name of your intended new State had any relation with my name, having understood that it was called Frankland. It is a very great honor indeed, that its inhabitants have done me, and I should be happy if it were in my power to show how sensible I am of it, by something more essential than my wishes for their prosperity.* · Having resided some years past in Europe, and being but lately arrived thence, I have not had an opportunity of being well informed of the points in dispute between you and the State of North Carolina. I can therefore only say, that I think you are perfectly right in resolving to submit them to the discretion of Con
• The name of this new State was afterwards changed to Tennessee.
gress, and to abide by their determination. It is a wise and impartial tribunal, which can have no sinister views to warp its judgment. It is happy for us all, that we have now in our own country such a council to apply to, for composing our differences, without being obliged, as formerly, to carry them across the ocean to be decided, at an immense expense, by a council which knew little of our affairs, would hardly take any pains to understand them, and which often treated our applications with contempt, and rejected them with injurious language. Let us, therefore, cherish and respect our own tribunal; for the more generally it is held in high regard, the more able it will be to answer effectually the ends of its institution, the quieting of our contentions, and thereby promoting our common peace and happiness.
I do not hear any talk of an adjournment of Congress, concerning which you inquire ; and I rather think it likely they may continue to sit out their year, as it is but lately they have been able to make a quorum for business, which must therefore probably be in arrear. If you proceed in your intended journey, I shall be glad to see you as you pass through Philadelphia. In the mean time I have the honor to be, very respectfully, Sir, your most obedient servant,
FROM JOHN COAKLEY LETTSOM TO B. FRANKLIN. Memoirs of Dr. Fothergill. — Plan for Discoveries in Natural History. — Cultivation of Rhubarb.
London, 14 August, 1786. RESPECTED FRIEND, Not having had the favor of a letter since thy arrival on thy native continent, I take the liberty of address