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I received some time ago a letter from Dr. White. Will you, should he happen to come in your way, deliver to him my respectful and grateful acknowledgments. I have thought it needless to trouble him with an answer to his letter. He probably soon found, that it was not possible to assist Mr. Workman, the person he recommended, in the manner he proposed.
Our King's insanity has brought us in this country into a state, that threatens us with much confusion. The Prince of Wales is likely to bring with him into power the coalition party. The King may recover, and this party may be soon routed again. A relapse may produce another rout, or the Prince, after being invested with power, may be too tenacious of it; and thus the worst evils may arise. The coalition party, however, will hardly do us more mischief than the late ministry seems to me to have done, by connecting us in such a manner with Prussia, Hesse, and Holland, as to subject us to the danger of being involved soon in another continental war. But I have gone beyond the bounds I intended in this letter. Accept my ardent wishes, that the remainder of your life may be as happy as possible. In hopes of not being forgotten by you, I am ever most affectionately yours,
TO THE ABBÉ MORELLET.*,
Philadelphia, 30 December, 1788. MY DEAR FRIEND, The suspension of the packet has interrupted our correspondence. It is a long, a very long time, since
* Translated from a French copy, as published in the Mémoires de PAbbé Morellet.
I have had any news from Auteuil. I lately learned from M. de Chaumont, that a great many letters, which I had sent to New York, remained there several months, no packet having sailed for France.
Let me know, I pray you, if you have received from me some remarks on the reasons alleged by the English for their refusal to deliver up the military posts on our frontiers. I sent them to you, more than a year since, in return for your excellent little humorous piece Des Guichets, and for your Essai de
Cométologie, which have amused me and several of my friends very much. In this dearth of news from the Academy of Auteuil, I read over and over again, with pleasure always new, your letters and those of the Abbé de La Roche, and the pieces which you sent me, in July, 1787, and the scrawl, as she herself calls it, of the good lady,* whom we all love, and whose remembrance I shall cherish while a breath of life remains; and whenever, in my dreams, I transport myself to France, to visit my friends there, I go first to Auteuil.
I send you something rather curious; some songs and music composed in America, and the first of our productions in that line. I thought some of them might be to your taste, from their simplicity and pathos. The poetry of the fifth pleases me particularly, and I wish you, or M. de Cabanis, to translate it into your own language, so that the translation may be sung to the same air.
My letter will be handed to you by Mr. Gouverneur Morris, formerly member of Congress, and a member of the Convention which framed the Federal Constitution. He is much esteemed here by all who know
• Madame Helvetius.
him; and, as he is my friend, I recommend him to your attentions, as well as to those of M. de Marmontel and all your family.
I flatter myself with the hope that your last troubles are quieted. I tenderly love your country, and consider myself deeply interested in its prosperity. Now that I have just finished the third year of my presidency, and as henceforward I shall not have to take part in public affairs, I begin to look upon myself, as a free man, who have nothing more to do, but to enjoy the little time which remains to me. I shall employ a part of it in writing my own history, which, in recalling the past to my remembrance, will, so to speak, make me begin life anew. I am always, my dear friend, &c.
TO ALEXANDER SMALL.
Philadelphia, 17 February, 1789. DEAR FRIEND, I have just received your kind letter of November 29th, and am much obliged by your friendly attention in sending me the receipt, which on occasion I may make trial of; but the stone I have being a large one, as I find by the weight it falls with when I turn in bed, I have no hope of its being dissoluble by any medicine; and having been for some time past pretty free from pain, I am afraid of tampering. I congratulate you on the escape you had by avoiding the one you mention, that was as big as a kidney bean; had it been retained, it might soon have become too large to pass, and proved the cause of much pain at times, as mine has been to me.
Having served my time of three years as president, I have now renounced all public business, and enjoy
the otium cum dignitate. My friends indulge me with their frequent visits, which I have now leisure to receive and enjoy. The Philosophical Society, and the Society for Political Inquiries, meet at my house, which I have enlarged by additional building, that affords me a large room for those meetings, another over it for my library now very considerable, and over all some lodging rooms. I have seven promising grandchildren by my daughter, who play with and amuse me, and she is a kind attentive nurse to me when I am at any time indisposed; so that I pass my time as agreeably as at my age a man may well expect, and have little to wish for, except a more easy exit than my malady seems to threaten.
The deafness you complain of gives me concern, as if great it must diminish considerably your pleasure in conversation. If moderate, you may remedy it easily and readily, by putting your thumb and fingers behind your ear, pressing it outwards, and enlarging it, as it were, with the hollow of your hand. By an exact experiment I found, that I could hear the tick of a watch at forty-five feet distance by this means, which was barely audible at twenty feet without it. The experiment was made at midnight when the house was still.
I am glad you have sent those directions respecting ventilation to the Edinburgh Society. I hope you have added an account of the experience you had of it at Minorca. If they do not print your paper, send it to me, and it shall be in the third volume, which we are about to publish of our Transactions.
Mrs. Hewson joins with us in best wishes for your health and happiness. Her eldest son has gone through his studies at our college, and taken his degree. The youngest is still there, and will be graduated this sumVOL. X.
mer. My grandson presents bis respects; and I am ever, my dear friend, yours most affectionately,
P. S. You never mention the receipt of any letters from me. I wish to know if they come to hand, particularly my last enclosing the Apologue. You mention some of my old friends being dead, but not their names.
TO MRS. CATHERINE GREENE.
Philadelphia, 2 March, 1789. DEAR FRIEND, Having now done with public affairs, which have hitherto taken up so much of my time, I shall endeavour to enjoy, during the small remainder of life that is left to me, some of the pleasures of conversing with my old friends by writing, since their distance prevents my hope of seeing them again.
I received one of the bags of sweet corn you were so good as to send me a long time since, but the other never came to hand. Even the letter mentioning it, though dated December 10th, 1787, has been above a year on its way; for I received it but about two weeks since from Baltimore in Maryland. The corn I did receive was excellent, and gave me great pleasure. Accept my hearty thanks.
I am, as you suppose in the abovementioned old letter, much pleased to hear, that my young friend Ray is “smart in the farming way," and makes such substantial fences. I think agriculture the most honorable of all employments, being the most independent. The farmer has no need of popular favor, nor the favor of the great; the success of his crops depending only