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respecting the first, in a little piece I send you, called Information to those who would remove to America.* The second is mathematically demonstrable to be an impossibility under the present rules of law and religion. Since, though the estate may remain entire, the family is continually dividing. For a man's son is but half of his family, his grandson but a fourth, his great grandson but an eighth, the next but a sixteenth of his family; and, by the same progression, in only nine generations the present proprietor's part in the then possessor of the estate will be but a five hundred and twelfth, supposing the fidelity of all the succeeding wives equally certain with that of those now existing; too small a portion, methinks, to be anxious about, so as to oppose a legal liberty of breaking entails and dividing estates, which would contribute so much to the prosperity of the country. With great and sincere esteem and respect, and best wishes for the success of your patriotic undertaking, I have the honor to be, Sir, &c. B. FRANKLIN.
My letter by Mr. Jay acquainted your Excellency, that the ratifications of the definitive treaty were exchanged. A copy of the British part was also sent by him.
Mr. Hartley remained here expecting instructions to
*See Vol. II. p. 467.
treat with us on the subject of commerce. The bustle attending a new election and meeting of Parliament, he imagined might occasion the long delay of those instructions. He now thinks, that, the affair of the American trade being under the consideration of Parliament, it is probable no treaty will be proposed till the result is known. Mr. Jay, who sailed for America the 1st instant from Dover, and who saw there several of our friends from London before his departure, and Mr. Laurens who left London the 6th to go on in the Falmouth packet, will be able to give you more perfect informations than I can, of what may be expected as the determination of the British government respecting our intercourse with their islands; and, therefore, I omit my conjectures, only mentioning, that from various circumstances there seems to be some lurking remains of ill humor there, and of resentment against us, which only wants a favorable opportunity to manifest itself.
This makes it more necessary for us to be upon our guard, and prepared for events, that a change in the affairs of Europe may produce; its tranquillity depending, perhaps, on the life of one man, and it being impossible to foresee in what situation a new arrangement of its various interests may place us. Ours will be respected in proportion to the apparent solidity of our government, the support of our credit, the maintenance of a good understanding with our friends, and our readiness for defence. All which I persuade myself will be taken care of.
Enclosed I send a copy of a letter from Mr. Hartley to me, respecting some supposed defects in the ratification, together with my answer, which he has transmitted to London. The objections appeared to me trivial and absurd; but I thought it prudent to treat
them with as much decency as I could, lest the ill temper should be augmented, which might be particularly inconvenient, while the commerce was under consideration. There has not yet been time for Mr. Hartley to hear whether my answer has been satisfactory, or whether the ministers will still insist on my sending for an amended copy from America, as they proposed.
I do not perceive the least diminution in the good disposition of this court towards us, and I hope care will be taken to preserve it.
The Marquis de Lafayette, who will have the honor of delivering this to you, has, ever since his arrival in Europe, been very industrious in his endeavours to serve us, and promote our interests, and has been of great use on several occasions. I should wish the Congress might think fit to express in some proper manner their sense of his merit.
My malady prevents my going to Versailles, as I cannot bear a carriage upon pavement; but my grandson goes regularly on court days to supply my place, and is well received there. The last letters I have had the honor of receiving from you, are of the 14th of January. With great respect, I am, Sir, &c. B. FRANKLIN.
FROM THOMAS JEFFERSON TO B. FRANKLIN.*
Boston, 19 June, 1784.
Supposing that Congress would communicate to you directly the powers committed to yourself, Mr. Adams,
Mr. Jefferson was appointed by Congress, on the 7th of May, a commissioner to join Dr. Franklin and Mr. Adams in negotiating treaties of commerce with the European powers. He sailed from Boston on the 5th of July, and arrived in Paris on the 6th of August.
and myself, I have delayed from day to day the honor of writing to you, in hopes that every day would open to me a certainty of the time and place at which I might sail. A French packet will leave New York early in the next month. By her I mean to take my passage, and may therefore expect, in the ordinary course of things, to have the pleasure of joining you at Paris in the middle or latter part of August, and of communicating the commissions and instructions under which we are to act. The latter are more special, than those heretofore sent. I shall then also have the pleasure of giving you more particular information of the situation of our affairs, than I can do by letter; in general, I may observe to you, that their aspect is encouraging.
Congress, understanding that Mr. Jay was probably on his passage to America, appointed him their secretary for foreign affairs. It would give me peculiar pleasure to meet with him before my departure, and to know that he will act in an office with which we shall be so immediately connected. Congress adjourned on the 3d of June, to meet at Trenton on the first Monday of November, leaving a committee of the States at the helm during their recess.
I have the pleasure to inform you, that Mrs. Bache and her family were well when I left Philadelphia, which was about three weeks ago. In hopes of joining you nearly as soon as you will receive this letter, I subscribe myself, with very sincere esteem and regard, dear Sir, your most affectionate humble servant, THOMAS JEfferson.
FROM WILLIAM CARMICHAEL TO B. FRANKLIN.
Madrid, 9 July, 1784.
I arrived here on the 26th of June. My first business was to present myself at Aranjuez, where the court then resided. I had, in some measure, engaged before my departure from Spain to return before the regal family left that residence. So far I have fulfilled my engagements. On this account I set off from Paris more abruptly than I wished to do. I do not know as yet, whether I may not have given more offence to my personal friends there, by the precipitation with which I left them, than I have given satisfaction to my political ones here, by the desire which I have manifested to return agreeably to my promise. I have, however, the consolation to find, that I have been received individually in a manner that is highly flattering to me.
I have delayed writing to your Excellency, because I expected to have an answer to send you to the letter, which you wrote to the Count de Campomanes by me. I have the honor to inform you, that you are chosen a member of the Royal Academy of History here, and that I shall have the pleasure of enclosing you the diploma, and the answer of the Count de Campomanes to your Excellency's letter, by the next post. The little works you gave me will soon appear in a Spanish dress. If they lose by the change of costume, I can assure you that it will not be the fault of the translator, who wishes to preserve the true sense, spirit, and simplicity of the original.
In a few days, as I hope to have more leisure, I shall have the honor of writing to you more explicitly. You seem to be a prophet on more than one occasion, for I shall have an opportunity of suggesting an idea, that