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the immense number, very fatiguing; with many other extra affairs, not usually occurring to other ministers, such as the care of the prisoners in England, and the constant correspondence relating to them; in all of which he served me as secretary, with the assistance only of a clerk at low wages (fifty louis a year), so that the saving has been very considerable to the public. I am, &c. B. FRANKLIN.

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TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

Recommending Mr. Hodgson as Consul in London.

Passy, 26 December, 1783.

SIR,

If the Congress should think it fit to have a consul or the United States in London, and do not appoint one of our own countrymen to that office, I beg leave to mention the merits of Mr. William Hodgson, a merchant of that city, who has always been a zealous friend of America, was a principal promoter of the subscription for the relief of American prisoners, and chairman of the committee for dispensing the money raised by that subscription. He also took the trouble of applying the moneys I furnished him with, when the subscription was exhausted, and constantly assisted me in al. the negotiations I had with the British ministers, in their favor, wherein he generally succeeded, being a man of weight and credit, very active, and much esteemed for his probity and integrity. These his services, continued steadily during the whole war, seem to entitle him to the favorable notice of Congress, when any occasion offers of doing him service or pleasure. With great respect, I have the honor to be, &c.

B. FRANKLIN.

TO MRS. MARY HEWSON.

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Passy, 26 December, 1783.

DEAR POLLY,

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In reading Mr. Viny's letter, when I received it, I missed seeing yours, which was written behind it in a corner. I thank you much for your kind offer respecting my grandson. I was fully resolved on sending him in September last, and engaged Mr. Jay, one of my colleagues, then going to England, to take him over in his company. But, when it came to be proposed to him, he showed such an unwillingness to leave me, and Temple such a fondness for retaining him, that I concluded to keep him till I should go over myself. He behaves very well, and we love him very much. T

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I send herewith two different French grammars, not knowing which to prefer, opinions here being divided. Your French master may take his choice, and you will present the other to my godson, as my new year's gift, with the two volumes of Synonymes Français, an excellent work. They will be left at Mr. Hodgson's, merchant in Coleman Street, where you may have them on sending for them.

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Adieu, my dear friend. I long to see you and yours, but God only knows when that may happen. I am, nevertheless, yours most affectionately,

B. FRANKLIN.

January 1st, 1784. Health, and prosperity, and many happy years to my dear friend and her children, for whom I send the enclosed little books.

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TO JOHN JAY.

Passy, 6 January, 1784.

DEAR SIR,

I received your kind letter of the 26th past, and immediately sent that enclosed to Mrs. Jay, whom I saw a few days since with the children, all perfectly well. It is a happy thing, that the little ones are so finely past the smallpox, and I congratulate you upon it most cordially.

It is true, as you have heard, that I have the stone, but not that I have had thoughts of being cut for it. It it as yet very tolerable. It gives me no pain but when in a carriage on the pavement, or when I make some sudden quick movement. If I can prevent its growing larger, which I hope to do by abstemious living and gentle exercise, I can go on pretty comfortably with it to the end of my journey, which can now be at no great distance. I am cheerful, enjoy the company of my friends, sleep well, have sufficient appetite, and my stomach performs well its functions. The latter is very material to the preservation of health. I therefore take no drugs lest I should disorder it. You may judge that my disease is not very grievous, since I am more afraid of the medicines than of the malady.

It gives me pleasure to learn from you, that my friends still retain their regard for me. I long to see them again, but I doubt I shall hardly accomplish it. If our commission for the treaty of commerce were arrived, and we were at liberty to treat in England, I might then come over to you, supposing the English ministry disposed to enter into such a treaty.

I have, as you observe, some enemies in England, but they are my enemies as an American; I have also two or three in America, who are my enemies as a

minister; but I thank God there are not in the whole world any who are my enemies as a man; for by his grace, through a long life, I have been enabled so to conduct myself, that there does not exist a human being who can justly say, "Ben. Franklin has wronged me." This, my friend, is in old age a comfortable reflection. You too have, or may have, your enemies; but let not that render you unhappy. If you make a right use of them, they will do you more good than harm. They point out to us our faults; they put us upon our guard, and help us to live more correctly.

My grandsons are sensible of the honor of your remembrance, and join their respectful compliments and best wishes with those of, dear Sir, your affectionate humble servant,

B. FRANKLIN.

TO SAMUEL CHASE.

Passy, 6 January, 1784.

DEAR SIR,

I duly received your letter of the 18th of September,* with the papers that accompanied it; but being at that time afflicted with two painful disorders, the gout and gravel, I could not then give any attention to business; and, before my recovery, the letters and papers were both most unaccountably missing. I spent hours, from time to time, in searching for them, and delayed writing in continual hopes of finding them, which I was not able to do till within these few days, when, on removing a writing-press in my closet, I discovered that they had fallen and lay concealed behind it.

* At the time of writing this letter Mr. Chase was in London.

I had delivered the letter you enclosed to the Marquis de Lafayette, 'and, as the court was then at Fontainebleau, and I could not follow it by reason of my illness, I requested him to sound the Marquis de Castries on the subject of the loss of your ship. He did so; and the result of the conversation was, that, if you thought fit to prosecute the matter, you should present a memorial, upon which he might regularly take the affair into consideration. You mentioned your coming to Paris before finishing your other business, in case I should think there was a probability of obtaining compensation, either from the property of the captain, or the generosity of the Prince. I have not yet been able to learn any thing of the captain's circumstances; and, as clear proof of his delinquency must precede an application to the King, and perhaps the protest of Captain Belt will hardly be thought sufficient testimony, and other evidences corroborating cannot be obtained but with great expense and loss of time, and as the chicanery practised in the courts here to procure delay is immense and endless; on these considerations I cannot advise your coming hither for the purpose of such a prosecution to the prejudice of your other affairs; though I shall be happy to see you, when it may be convenient to you, and, when you are here, we will take the advice of some judicious persons, and if it appear possible for me to serve your cause, I shall do it with great pleasure.

M. de Rochambeau was not in town, but I forwarded Mr. Carroll's letter to him. I have written, as you desired, to Brest, and, as soon as I receive an answer, I will communicate it to you. I am not enough acquainted with the French laws or customs to inform you what claims the widow of M. le Vaché may have on his property. I only think I have heard, that mar

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