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give a letter of recommendation to some one of the chiefs of your army, in favor of a young man full of courage, and also of distinguished talents, who is at Bordeaux, ready to embark for America, where he proposes to settle himself in Pennsylvania, after having served in quality of volunteer, or otherwise, during the war. His name is Gerard. He carries with him a little adventure, sufficient for supporting him some years, and afterwards, if it is there customary, his father will make over to him his portion. I interest myself particularly in his favor, because he is the brother-in-law of one of our honestest commissaries.
I have the honor to wish you a good day, and to reiterate the assurances of my inviolable attachment.
TO RICHARD PETERS.
Passy, September 12th, 1777.
The bearer, Monsieur Gerard, is recommended to me by M. Dubourg, a gentleman of distinction here, and a hearty friend to our cause. I enclose his letter, that you may see the favorable manner in which he speaks of M. Gerard. I thereupon take the liberty of recommending the young gentleman to your civilities and advice, as he will be quite a stranger there, and to request that you would put him in the way of serving as a volunteer in our armies. I am, sir, &c.,
REMARKS ON A LOAN FOR THE UNITED STATES. *
In borrowing money, a man's credit depends on some, or all, of the following particulars :
First, His known conduct respecting former loans, and his punctuality in discharging them.
* This paper was written by Dr. Franklin in the summer of 1777, with the view of convincing Europeans, that it was more eligible to lend money to the United States at that time than to England. It was translated and sent to different parts of Europe. In Mr. Arthur Lee's letter to Baron de Schulenburg, dated September 21st, 1777, he mentions having sent a copy of it to that Minister.
public councils, and backwardness in going to them, the constant unwillingness to engage in any measure that requires thought and consideration, and the readiness for postponing every new proposition; which postponing is therefore the only part of business they come to be expert in, an expertness produced necessarily by so much daily practice. Whereas, in America, men bred to close employment in their private affairs, attend with ease to those of the public when engaged in them, and nothing fails through negligence.
3. Respecting frugality; the manner of living in America is more simple and less expensive than in England; plain tables, plain clothing, and plain furniture in houses prevail, with few carriages of pleasure; there an expensive appearance hurts credit, and is avoided; in England it is often assumed to gain credit, and continued to ruin. Respecting public affairs, the difference is still greater. In England the salaries of officers and emoluments of office are enormous. The King has a million sterling per annum, and yet cannot maintain his family free of debt; Secretaries of State, Lords of Treasury, Admiralty, &c., have vast appointments; an Auditor of the Exchequer has sixpence in the pound, or a fortieth part of all the public money expended by the nation ; so that when a war costs forty millions, one million is paid to him: an Inspector of the Mint, in the last new coinage, received as his fee £65,000 sterling per annum ; to all which rewards no service these gentlemen can render the public is by any means equivalent. All this is paid by the people, who are oppressed by taxes so occasioned, and thereby rendered less able to contribute to the payment of necessary national debts. In America, salaries, where indispensable, are extremely low; but much of the public business is done gratis. The honor of serving the public ably and faithfully is deemed sufficient. Public spirit really exists there, and has great effects. In England it is universally deemed a nonentity, and whoever pretends to it is laughed at as a fool, or suspected as a knave. The committees of Congress which form the Board of War, the Board of Treasury, the Board of Foreign Affairs, the Naval Board, that for Accounts, &c., all attend the business of their respective functions without any salary or emolument whatever, though they spend in it much more of their time than any Lord of the Treasury or Admiralty in England can spare from his amusements. A British Minister lately computed that the whole expense of the Americans in their civil government, over three with the increase of people; and the people, who double themselves by a natural propagation every twenty-five years, will double yet faster by the accession of strangers, as long as lands are to be had for new families; so that every twenty years there will be a double number of inhabitants obliged to discharge the public debts; and those inhabitants being more opulent may pay their shares with greater ease.
6. Respecting prudence in general affairs, and the advantages to be expected from the loan desired; the Americans are cultivators of land; those engaged in fishery and commerce are few compared with the others. They have ever conducted their several Governments with wisdom, avoiding wars and vain expensive projects, delighting only in their peaceable occupations, which must, considering the extent of their uncultivated territory, find them employment still for ages. Whereas England, ever unquiet, ambitious, avaricious, imprudent, and quarrelsome, is half of the time engaged in war, always at an expense infinitely greater than the advantages to be obtained by it, if successful. Thus they made war against Spain in 1739 for a claim of about £95,000, (scarce a groat for each individual of the nation,) and spent forty millions sterling in the war, and the lives of fifty thousand men; and finally made peace without obtaining satisfaction for the sum claimed. Indeed, there is scarce a nation in Europe against which she has not made war on some frivolous pretext or other, and thereby imprudently accumulated a debt that has brought her on the verge of bankruptcy. But the most indiscreet of all her wars is the present against America, with whom she might for ages have preserved her profitable connexion only by a just and equitable conduct. She is now acting like a mad shopkeeper, who, by beating those that pass his doors, attempts to make them come in and be his customers. America cannot submit to such treatment without being first ruined, and, being ruined, her custom will be worth nothing. England, to effect this, is increasing her debt, and irretrievably ruining herself. America, on the other hand, aims only to establish her liberty and that freedom of commerce which will be advantageous to all Europe; and by abolishing that monopoly which she labored under, she will profit infinitely more than enough to repay any debt which she may contract to accomplish it. .7. Respecting character in the honest payment of debts ; the