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her going to England. I enclose her letter, by which you will see, that, though she speaks the language prettily, she does not write it correctly. Indeed, abundance of the French are deficient in their own orthography. I offered her, as you desired, the money that might be necessary for the journey.
Temple is not yet quite well, having had several returns of his ague. Benjamin continues hearty, and has been very serviceable in packing. They both present their respects.
If you should write me a line before my departure, direct it to Havre de Grace. Adieu, my very dear friend, and believe me ever yours with sincerest respect and affection, B. FRANKLIN.
P. S. My love to every one of the children.
FROM RICHARD JACKSON TO B. FRANKLIN.
State of Affairs produced by the Peace. - Great Britain.-France.- East Indies.
MY DEAR SIR,
London, 27 June, 1785.
Though I wrote to you by your grandson, I cannot let Mr. Franklin, your son, visit you in France, without certifying my sincere good wishes, on your leaving Europe, that you may arrive safe, and long enjoy your health in America.*
You will arrive there deservedly covered with the glory of having had a large share in bringing about
* From this paragraph it would seem, that Governor Franklin designed to visit his father in France. But it does not appear that this design was accomplished. The father and son met at Northampton, when Dr. Franklin stopped there on his way to the United States.
an event, which I wish had not become necessary for the welfare of two great divisions of the English nation, or that, when it became so, it had been brought about with less profusion of blood and treasure. But the frame of human nature is inseparable from passions, that produce calamities, which the species will never be free from. It is, however, the part of the wise and good to afford that assistance to the species, which wisdom only can, and goodness only will give. I know I have no occasion to exhort you to this good work; but I have pleasure in assuring you, that I rely on the weight of your authority for establishing the opinion, that it is not only the interest of Great Britain and America to live upon good terms with one another, but that this friendship is perfectly compatible with a mutual friendship between France and both of them.
For my part, I entertain no apprehensions from the supposed ambition of that kingdom. It has frequently given proofs of its desire to preserve the peace of Europe, one very recent; and, except in the East Indies, the two kingdoms seem to have nothing to quarrel about. I except the East Indies, not because I think that either have any interest inconsistent with the interest of the other, but because I think it most likely, that one or the other may there mistake its interest. Sure I am, that it is the interest of Great Britain to make the trade of France perfectly easy there, and with such a secure and easy trade, I wish Great Britain could change situations with her ancient rival. Dominion at such a distance, and in a country where despotism seems the natural growth of the climate, cannot be well; and it cannot but in the end be mischievous to the State that possesses it, however the wealth it produces may force for a time the appear
ance of affluence at home; an affluence that may aid pernicious measures, but, at last, must be destructive in its consequences.
I cannot take my leave of you, without congratulating you on the benefaction conferred on mankind by M. Necker. I have read more than once his excellent work; and some of the concluding chapters with ecstasy and tears. I flatter myself, that the princes of the earth will read it, and that some of them will be affected as I have been; and perhaps some of their ministers. I need not say, that many of his thoughts have been yours and my own, though I have never been able to express them with the elegance he has done.* In 1772, and 1777, I gave to Lord North two or three sheets; in the former year, on the subject of money; in the latter, on that of peace. The opinions therein contained, I now find confirmed by an authority that I respect without bounds. I am, my dear Sir, your affectionate and faithful servant,
FROM MATHON DE LA COUR TO B. FRANKLIN.
Lyons, 30 June, 1785.
The Academy of Sciences, Belles Lettres, and Arts, of Lyons, informed by a letter from the Abbé Chalut,
* Necker's treatise, entitled Administration des Finances, was published in 1784. It is stated in the Biographie Universelle, that eighty thousand copies were sold in a few days. The writer adds; "Jamais sujet aussi sérieux n'avait excité une curiosité aussi universelle. C'était sans doute une chose nouvelle dans les habitudes d'une monarchie absolue, que de voir un ministre en retraite publier solennellement qu'il se consolait des disgraces de la cour avec les suffrages de la nation."
that you would willingly accept the title of its associate, hastened to offer it to you by a unanimous vote, and charges me to inform you of your election. We all feel, and we feel deeply, how much honor a name like yours confers upon a literary society, whose principal object is the study of the natural sciences, upon which you have shed so much light, and in which, at every step, we meet monuments consecrated to your discoveries.
During the last years of my residence at Paris, my heart often beat with joy, when I had an opportunity of joining my applause to that, which all France seemed to think due to you, wherever you appeared. I am still more happy at this time, since I am requested, in the name of my fellow citizens, to add one modest flower to the wreaths with which you are crowned, and am allowed the personal gratification of offering to you the homage of my profound veneration. The Academy has directed me to send to you the list of its members, and a table of the prizes, which have hitherto been given. I shall venture to add a dissertation on the laws of Lycurgus, by the author of the Testament de fortuné Ricard, which you condescended to receive with kindness, and your approbation of which has filled him with the liveliest gratitude. I have the honor to be, &c.
MATHON DE LA COUR.
FROM THOMAS POWNALL TO B. FRANKLIN.
Political Remarks. - England. America.
MY DEAR FRIEND,
Lausanne, 3 July, 1785.
I received at Marseilles your letter by Mr. Partridge, respecting the nature of the account made out by the
editor and bookseller of my map and description of the States of America. I had already done in the matter every thing in my power when I was on the spot, and pressed the point stronger than I should have done, had it been for my account; but, when I considered it, as what I really wished, the doing an act of charity to the daughter of an ingenious and illtreated man,* I exerted more pains about it than is my ordinary custom. I wished to make my intended charity as efficient and productive as possible. If I were on the spot I could not do more. I have prepared a second edition, with very many additions. If you will recommend to me any person who will translate it into French, I will publish this edition in France and give the whole profits to Evans's daughter.
I am told you are on the point of returning to your own country, a country which you have not only saved, but formed into a State, independent and sovereign. You must excuse me when I say what I feel, that I envy you. God has not only made you an instrument of good to your country, but has given you the most supreme of all happiness in this world, that of seeing your country and all the world acknowledging your deeds; that of, therefore, living to receive from their acknowledgments your reward in this world. It was your happiness to be in a situation of exerting your abilities in a line of politics, in which Providence had designed to lead the affairs of men.
I wished, in my line of conduct, to have served a country, which, alas! I could not, at least would not, believe was too far gone in corruption of all sorts, but especially in corruption of politics, to be served. This corruption sunk to ignorance and inspired with inso
* Lewis Evans, the geographer.