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properly. But, if they are obscurely printed, or dis. guised by omitting the capitals and long s's or otherwise, the reader is apt to modulate wrong; and, finding he has done so, he is obliged to go back and begin the sentence again, which lessens the pleasure of the hearers.
This leads me to mention an old error in our mode of printing. We are sensible, that, when a question is met with in reading, there is a proper variation to be used in the management of the voice. We have therefore a point called an interrogation, affixed to the question in order to distinguish it. But this is absurdly placed at its end; so that the reader does not discover it, till he finds he has wrongly modulated his voice, and is therefore obliged to begin again the sentence. To prevent this, the Spanish printers, more sensibly, place an interrogation at the beginning as well as at the end of a question. We have another error of the same kind in printing plays, where something often occurs that is marked as spoken aside. But the word aside is placed at the end of the speech, when it ought to precede it, as a direction to the reader, that he may govern his voice accordingly. The practice of our ladies in meeting five or six together to form a little busy party, where each is employed in some useful work while one reads to them, is so commendable in itself, that it deserves the attention of authors and printers to make it as pleasing as possible, both to the reader and hearers.
After these general observations, permit me to make one that I imagine may regard your interest. It is that your Spelling Book is miserably printed here, so as in many places to be scarcely legible, and on wretched paper. If this is not attended to, and the new one lately advertised as coming out should be preferable in these respects,
hurt the future sale of yours.
I congratulate you on your marriage, of which the newspapers inform me. My best wishes attend you, being with sincere esteem, Sir, &c.
FROM JOHN PAUL JONES TO B. FRANKLIN.
On his leaving the Employment of the Empress
Amsterdam, 27 December, 1789. DEAR SIR, The enclosed documents, from my friend the Count de Ségur, Minister Plenipotentiary of France at St. Petersburg, will explain to you in some degree my reasons for leaving Russia, and the danger to which I was exposed by the dark intrigues and mean subterfuges of Asiatic jealousy and malice. Your former friendship for me, which I remember with particular satisfaction, and have ever been ambitious to merit, will, I am sure, be exerted in the kind use you will make of the three pieces I now send you, for my justification in the eyes of my friends in America, whose good opinion is dearer to me than any thing else. I wrote to the Empress from Warsaw in the beginning of October, with a copy
of my Journal, which will show her Majesty how much she has been deceived by the account she had of our maritime operations last campaign. I can easily prove to the world, that I have been treated unjustly; but I intend to remain silent, at least till I know the fate of my Journal.
I shall remain in Europe till after the opening of the next campaign, and perhaps longer before I return to America. From the troubles in Brabant, and the measures now pursuing by the King of Prussia, I presume that peace is yet a distant object, and that the Baltic will witness warmer work than it has yet done. On the death of Admiral Greig, I was last year called from the Black Sea, by the Empress, to command a squadron in the Baltic. This set the invention of all my enemies and rivals at work, and the event has proved, that the Empress cannot always do as she pleases. I am, with sincere affection, dear Sir, &c.
J. PAUL JONES.
P. S. It is this day ten years since I left the Texel in the Alliance.
Construction of the Treaty of Commerce between France
and the United States.
Philadelphia, 19 January, 1790. SJR, I received the letter you did me the honor of writing to me respecting the construction of the eleventh article of the treaty of commerce between France and the United States. I was indeed one of the Commissioners for making that treaty, but the Commissioners have no right to explain the treaty. Its explanation is to be sought for in its own words, and, in case it cannot be clearly found there, then by an application to the contracting powers.
I certainly conceived, that when the droit d'aubaine was relinquished in favor of the citizens of the United States, the relinquishing clause was meant to extend to all the dominions of his most Christian Majesty; and I am of opinion, that this would not be denied, if an explanation were requested of the court of France; and it ought to be done, if any difficulties arise on this subject in the French Islands, which their courts do not determine in our favor. But, before Congress is petitioned to make such request, I imagine it would be proper to have the case tried in some of the West India islands, and the petition made in consequence of a determination against us. I have the honor to be, &c.
FROM EZRA STILES, PRESIDENT OF YALE COLLEGE,
TO B. FRANKLIN.
Requesting a Portrait of Dr. Franklin for Yale College. - Inquiry respecting his religious Sentiments.
Yale College, 28 January, 1790. SIR, We have lately received Governor Yale's portrait from his family in London, and deposited it in the College Library, where is also deposited one of Governor Saltonstall's. I have also long wished that we might be honored with that of Dr. Franklin. In the course of your long life, you may probably have become possessed of several portraits of yourself. Shall I take too great a liberty in humbly asking a donation of one of them to Yale College ? You obliged me with a mezzotinto picture of yourself many years ago, which I often view with pleasure. But the canvass is more permanent. We wish to be possessed of the durable resemblance of the American Patriot and Philosopher. You have merited and received all the honors of the republic of letters; and are going to a world, where all sublunary glories will be lost in the glories of immortality. Should you shine throughout the intellectual and stellary universe, with the eminence and distinguished lustre, with which you have appeared in this little detached part of the creation, you would be, what I most fervently wish to you, Sir, whatever may be my fate in eternity. The grand climacteric, in which VOL. X.
I now am, reminds me of the interesting scenes of futurity.
You know, Sir, that I am a Christian, and would to Heaven all others were such as I am, except my imperfections and deficiencies of moral character. As much as I know of Dr. Franklin, I have not an idea of his religious sentiments. I wish to know the opinion of my venerable friend concerning Jesus of Nazareth. He will not impute this to impertinence or improper curiosity, in one, who for so many years has continued to love, estimate, and reverence his abilities and literary character, with an ardor and affection bordering on adoration. If I have said too much, let the request be blotted out, and be no more; and yet I shall never cease to wish you that happy immortality, which I believe Jesus alone has purchased for the virtuous and truly good of every religious denomination in Christendom, and for those of every age, nation, and mythology, who reverence the Deity, are filled with integrity, righteousness, and benevolence. Wishing you every blessing, I am, dear Sir, your most obedient servant,
TO EZRA STILES.
Consents to have his Portrait taken. Explains his Sentiments on Religious Subjects.
Philadelphia, 9 March, 1790. REVEREND AND DEAR SIR, I received your kind letter of January 28th, and am glad you have at length received the portrait of Governor Yale from his family, and deposited it in the College Library. He was a great and good man, and had the merit of doing infinite service to your country by his munificence to that institution.
The honor you