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cause, &c. &c. in short mere Cesars, each of whom would have been an invaluable acquisition to America. You can have no conception how we are still besieged, and worried on this head, our time cut to pieces by personal applications, besides those contained in dozens of letters by every post, which are so generally refused, that scarce one in a hundred obtains from us a simple recommendation to civilities.

I hope, therefore, that favorable allowance will be made to my worthy colleague, on account of his situation at the time, as he has long since corrected that mistake, and daily approves himself to my certain knowledge an able, faithful, active, and extremely useful servant of the public; a testimony I think it my duty to take this occasion of giving to his merit, unasked, as, considering my great age, I may probably not live to give it personally in Congress, and I perceive he has enemies.

You will see the general news in the papers in particular; I can only say at present, that our affairs go well here; and that I am, with much respect, Sir, &c.




Passy, February 1st, 1778. My dear old Friend, You desired, that if I had no proposition to make, I would at least give my advice.

I think it is Ariosto who says, that all things lost on earth, are to be found in the moon ; on which somebody remarked, that there must be a great deal of good advice in the moon. If so there is a good deal of mine formerly given and lost in this business. I will, however, at your request give a little more, but without the least expectation, that it will be followed ; for none but God can at the same time give good counsel, and wisdom to make use of it.

You have lost by this mad war, and the barbarity with which it has been carried on, not only the government and commerce of America, and the public revenues and private wealth arising from that commerce, but what is more, you have lost the esteem, respect, friendship, and affection of all that great and growing people, who consider you at present, and whose posterity will consider you, as the worst and wickedest nation upon earth. A peace you may undoubtedly obtain, by dropping all your pretensions to govern us; and by your superior skill in huckstering negotiation, you may possibly make such an apparently advantageous bargain, as shall be applauded in your Parliament; but if you cannot, with the peace, recover the affections of that people, it will not be a lasting nor a profitable one, nor will it afford you any part of that strength, which you once had by your union with them, and might (if you had been wise enough to take advice) have still retained.

* This gentleman was for many years Secretary to the Society of Moravians, and sustained a very estimable character. He seems to have gone to Paris on some private agency with reference to a peace. An intimate friendship subsisted between him and Dr Franklin. He died in England, on the 25th of April, 1795, in his 80th year.

To recover their respect and affection, you must tread back the steps you have taken. .

Instead of honoring and rewarding the American advisers and promoters of this war, you should disgrace them; with all those who have inflamed the nation against America by their malicious writings; and all the ministers and generals who have prosecuted the war with such inhumanity. This would show a national change of disposition, and a disapprobation of what had passed.

In proposing terms, you should not only grant such as the necessity of your affairs may evidently oblige you to grant, but such additional ones as may show your generosity, and thereby demonstrate your good will. For instance, perhaps you might, by your treaty, retain all Canada, Nova Scotia, and the Floridas. But if you would have a real friendly as well as able ally in America, and avoid all occasion of future discord, which will otherwise be continually arising on your American frontiers, you should throw in those countries. And you may call it, if you please, an indemnification for the burning of their towns, which indemnification will otherwise be some time or other demanded.

I know your people will not see the utility of such measures, and will never follow them, and even call it insolence and impudence in me to mention them. I have,

however, complied with your desire, and am, as ever, your. affectionate friend,

B. FRANKLIN. P. S. February 12th, 1778. I wrote the above some time before I received yours, acquainting me with your speedy and safe return, which gave me pleasure. I doubted after I had written it, whether it would be well to send it; for as your proud nation despises us exceedingly, and demands and expects absolute and humble submission, all talk of treaty must appear imprudence, and tend to provoke rather than conciliate. As you still press me by your last to say something, I conclude to send what I had written, for I think the advice is good, though it must be useless; and I cannot, as some amongst you desire, make propositions, having none committed to me to make; but we can treat if any are made to us; which however we do not expect. I abominate with you all murder, and I may add, that the slaughter of men in an unjust cause is nothing less than murder; I therefore never think of your present ministers and their abettors, but with the image strongly painted in my view, of their hands, red, wet, and dropping with the blood of my countrymen, friends, and relations. No peace can be signed by those hands. ! Peace and friendship will, nevertheless, subsist for ever · between Mr Hutton and his affectionate friend,

B. F.


Passy, February 12th, 1778. . Dear Sir, A thousand thanks for your so readily engaging in the means of relieving our poor captives, and the pains you

tions will make our poor people as comfortable as their situatiou can permit. Adieu, my dear friend. Accept my thanks for the excellent papers you enclosed to me. Your endeavors for peace, though unsuccessful, will always be a comfort to you, and in time, when this mad war shall be universally execrated, will be a solid addition to your reputation. I am ever, with the highest esteem, &c.


P. S. An old friend of mine, Mr Hutton, a chief of the Moravians, who is often at the Queen's palace, and is sometimes spoken to by the King, was over here lately. He pretended to no commission, but urged me much to propose some terms of peace, which I avoided. He has written to me since his return, pressing the same thing, and expressing with some confidence his opinion, that we might have everything short of absolute independence, &c. Enclosed I send my answers open, that you may read them, and if you please copy, before you deliver or forward them. They will serve to show you more fully my sentiments, though they serve no other purpose. B. F.


Passy, February 26th, 1778. Dear Sir, I received yours of the 18th and 20th of this month, with Lord North’s proposed bills. The more I see of the ideas and projects of your Ministry, and their little arts and schemes of amusing and dividing us, the more I admire the prudent, manly, and magnanimous propositions contained

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