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able to write with urbanity in the language they profess. What would Virgil think, could he hear his beautiful poem frittered into its grammatical component parts in one of our schools? How would Horace swear, to hear one of his Odes parsed, as it is called, by mood and tense ? All the spirit of elegance must evaporate under such an operation. But I have inadvertently fallen upon a subject, that would require long discussion and argument to set it in a proper light; let us leave it.*
I enclose, for your amusement, a little piece which I published with a view of having our streets better attended to. They had been much neglected during the war, and of course they became shamefully dirty. My performance fully answered my intention, and above one hundred scavengers were employed in two or three days after its appearance, and our streets are now kept tolerably clean. I will also, if I can get it, enclose another squib, in which I have endeavoured to ridicule false learning; but no great effect is to be ex. pected from it, as rooted prejudices are not so easily shaken.
We have been diverting ourselves with raising paper balloons by means of burnt straw, to the great astonishment of the populace. This discovery, like electricity, magnetism, and many other important phenomena, serves for amusement at first; its uses and applications will hereafter unfold themselves. There may
be many mechanical means of giving the balloon a progressive motion, other than what the current of wind would give it. Perhaps this is as simple as any. Let the balloon be constructed of an oblong form, some
• Much more on the subject of education may be found in the Miscellaneous Essays, &c. Vol. I. p. 12; Vol. II. pp. 1, 41.
thing like the body of a fish, or of a bird, or a wherry, and let there be a large and light wheel in the stern, vertically mounted. This wheel should consist of many vanes or fans of canvass, whose planes should be considerably inclined with respect to the plane of its motion exactly like the wheel of a smoke-jack. If the navigator turns this wheel swiftly round by means of a winch, there is no doubt but it would (in a calm at least) give the machine a progressive motion, upon the same principle that a boat is sculled through the water.
But my paper is almost out, and perhaps your patience. If you can spare time, let me know that I live in your remembrance. Any philosophical communications will highly gratify me, and be thankfully received by our Society, who expect their president will now and then favor them with his notice. Are we to hope that you will revisit your native country or not; that country, for which you have done and suffered so much? Whilst there is any virtue left in America, the names of Franklin and Washington will be held in the highest esteem. Adieu, and be assured there is no one who loves you more, than your faithful and affectionate
FROM DAVID HARTLEY TO B. FRANKLIN.
Defects of Form in ratifying the Treaty.
Paris, 1 June, 1784. SIR, I have the honor to inform you, that I have transmitted to London the ratification on the part of Congress of the definitive treaty of peace between Great Britain and the United States of America, and I am ordered to represent to you, that a want of form appears in the first paragraph of that instrument, wherein the United States are mentioned before his Majesty, contrary to the established custom in every treaty in which a crowned head and a republic are parties. It is likewise to be observed, that the term definitive articles is used instead of definitive treaty, and the conclusion appears likewise deficient, as it is neither signed by the President, nor is it dated, and consequently is wanting in some of the most essential points of form necessary towards authenticating the validity of the instrument.
I am ordered to propose to you, Sir, that these defects in the ratification should be corrected; which might very easily be done, either by signing a declaration in the name of Congress for preventing the particular mode of expression, so far as it relates to precedency in the first paragraph, being considered as a precedent to be adopted on any future occasion, or else by having a new copy made out in America, in which these mistakes should be corrected, and which might be done without any prejudice arising to either of the parties from the delay.* I am, Sir, with great respect and consideration, &c.
• Lord Carmarthen had written as follows to Mr. Hartley. _“I received this morning the ratification of the treaty between Great Britain and the United States of America; and I own that it was with the greatest surprise, that I perceived so essential a want of form as appears in the very first paragraph of that instrument, wherein the United States are mentioned before his Majesty, contrary to the established custom observed in every treaty, in which a crowned head and a republic are contracting parties. The conclusion likewise appears extremely deficient, as it is neither signed by the President, nor is it dated, and consequently is wanting in some of the most essential points of form necessary towards authenticating the validity of the instrument.” - St. James's, May 28th,
TO DAVID HARTLEY.
Answer to Mr. Hartley's Objections to the form of the Ratification of the Treaty.
Passy, 2 June, 1784. SIR, I have considered the observations you did me the honor of communicating to me, concerning certain inaccuracies of expression, and supposed defects of formality, in the instrument of ratification, some of which are said to be of such a nature as to affect the validity of the instrument.
The first is, “ that the United States are named before his Majesty, contrary to the established custom observed in every treaty in which a crowned head and a republic are the contracting parties.” With respect to this, it seems to me we should distinguish between that act in which both join, to wit, the treaty, and that which is the act of each separately, the ratification. It is necessary, that all the modes of expression in the joint act should be agreed to by both parties, though in their separate acts each party is master of, and alone unaccountable for its own mode. And, on inspecting the treaty, it will be found that his Majesty is always regularly named before the United States. Thus “the established custom in treaties between crowned heads and republics,” contended for on your part, is strictly observed; and the ratification following the treaty contains these words. “Now know ye, that we, the United States in Congress assembled, having seen and considered the definitive articles aforesaid, have approved, ratified, and confirmed, and by these presents do approve, ratify, and confirm the said articles, AND EVERY PART AND CLAUSE THEREOF,” &c. Hereby all those articles, parts, and clauses, wherein the King is named before the United States, are approved, ratified, and confirmed, and this solemnly, under the signature of the President of Congress, with the public seal affixed by their order, and countersigned by their Secretary
No declaration on this subject more determinate or more authentic can possibly be made or given; which, when considered, may probably induce his Majesty's ministers to wave the proposition of our signing a similar declaration, or of sending back the ratification to be corrected in this point, neither appearing to be really necessary. I will, however, if it be still desired, , transmit to Congress the observation, and the difficulty occasioned by it, and request their orders. upon it. In the mean time I may venture to say, that I am confident there was no intention of affronting his Majesty by their order of nomination, but that it resulted merely from that sort of complaisance, which every nation seems to have for itself, and of that respect for its own government, customarily so expressed in its own acts, of which the English among the rest afford an instance, when in the title of the King they always name Great Britain before France.
The second objection is, “ that the term definitive articles is used instead of definitive treaty.” If the words definitive treaty had been used in the ratification instead of definitive articles, it might have been more correct, though the difference seems not great nor of much importance, as in the treaty itself it is called “the present definitive treaty.”
The other objections are, “ that the conclusion likewise appears deficient, as it is neither signed by the President, nor is it dated, and consequently is wanting in some of the most essential points of form necessary