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The white-wash buckets are paraded, the brushes are ready, my husband is gone off- so much the better; when we are upon a thorough cleaning, the first dirty thing to be removed is one's husband. I am called for again. Adieu.



I CONFESS that I ao not entirely approve of this Consti tution at present; but, Sir, I am not sure I shall never approve it; for having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better inforination or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise. It is, therefore, that the older I grow the more apt I am to doubt my own judgment, and to pay more respect to the judgment of others. Most men, indeed, as well as most sects in religion, think themselves in possession of all truth, and that whenever others differ from them, it is so far error. Steele, a protestant, in a dedication, tells the Pope, that, the oily difference between our two churches, in their opinions to the certainty of their doctrines, is, the Romish church is infalible, and the church of England never in the wrong.' But, though many private persons think almost as highly of their own infallibility as that of their sect, few express it so naturally as a certain French lady, who, in a little dispute with her sister, said, 'I don't know how it happens, sister, but I meet with nobody but myself that is always in the right.' Il n'y a que moi qui a toujours rai

In these sentiments, Sir, I agree to this constitution, with all its faults, if they are such; because I think a general government necessary for us, and there is no form of government but what may be a blessing, if well administered; and I believe, farther, that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall becoine so corrupted as to need despotic govemment, being incapable of any other. I doubt, too, whether any other convention we can obtain, may be able to make a betterconstitution: for when you assemble a number of men, to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those men all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests, and their selfish views. From such an assembly can a perfect production be expected? It therefore astonishes me, Sir, to find this system app oaching so near to perfection as it does; and I think it will astonish our enemies, who are waiting with confidence to hear that our councils are confounded, like those of the builders of Babylon, and that our States are on the point of separation, only to meet hereafter for the purpose of cutting each other's throats.


*Our reasons fo“ ascribing this speech to Dr. Franklin are its internal evidence, and its having appeared with his name during his lifetime, uncontradicted, in an American periodical publications.

Thus I consent, Sir, to this constitution; because I expect no better, and because I am not sure that this is not the best. The opinions I have had of its errors, I sacrifice to the public good. I have never whispered a syllable of them abroad. Within these walls they were born, and here they shall die. If every one of us in returning to our constituents, were to report the objections he has had to it, and endeavor to gain partisans in support of them, we might prevent its being generally received, and thereby lose all the salutary effects and great advantages resulting naturally in our favor among foreign nations, as well as among ourselves, from our real or apparent unanimity. Much of the strength and efficiency of any government, in procuring and securing happiness to the people, depends on opinion; on the general opinion of the goodness of that government, as the wisdom and integrity of its governors.

I hope, therefore, that for our own sakes, as a part of the people, and for the sake of our posterity, we shall act heartily and unanimously in recommending this constitution, wherever our influence may extend, and turn our future thoughts and endeavors to the means of having it well administered.

On the whole, Sir, I cannot help expressing a wish that evers member of the Convention, who may still have objections, would with me, on this occasion, doubt a little of his

own infallibility, and, to make manifest our unanimity, put his name to this instruinent.

{The motion was then made for adding the last formula, viz:

Done in Convention, by the unanimous consent, &c. which was agreed to, and added accordingly.]




Philadelphia, Feb. 11, 1776. The bearer, Mons. Arundel, is directed by the Congress to repair to General Schuyler, in order to be employed by him in the artillery service. He proposes to wait on you in his way, and has requested me to introduce him by a line to you. He has been an officer in the French service, as you will see by his commissions; and professing a good will to our cause, I hope he may be useful in instructing our gunners and matrosses: perhaps he may advise in opening the nailed cannon.

I received the enclosed the other day from an officer, Mr. Newland, who served in the two last wars, and was known by General Gates, who spoke well of him to me when I was at Cambridge. He is desirous now ol' entering into your service. I have advised him to wait upon you at New York.

They still talk J. ; in England and threaten hard; but their ianguage is somewhat civiler, at least not quite so disrespectful to us. By degrees they come to their senses; but too late, I fancy, for their interest.

We have got a large quantity of saltpetre, one hundred and twenty tons, and thirty more expected. Powder mills are now wanting; I believe we must set to work and make it

But I still wish, with you, that pikes could be introduced, and I would add bows and arrows: these were good weapons, and not wisely laid aside.

1. Because a inan may shoot as truly with a bow as with a coinmou musket.

hy hand.

2. He can discharge four arrows in the time of charging and discharging one bullet.

3. His object is not taken from his view by the smoke of his own side.

4. A flight of arrows seen coming upon them terrifies and disturbs the enemy's attention to his business.

5. An arrow sticking in any part of a man, puts him hors du combat till it is extracted.

6. Bows and arrows are more easily provided every where than muskets and ammunition.

Polydore Virgil, speaking of one of our battles against the French, in Edward the Third's reign, mentions the great confusion the enemy was thrown into, sagittarum nube, from the English; and concludes, Est res profecto dictu mirabilis ut tantus ac potens exercitus u solis fere Anglicis sagitiariis victus fuerit; adeo Anglus est sagittipotens, et id genus armorum valet. If so much execution was done by arrows when men wore some defensive armor, how much more might be done now that it is out of use!

I am glad you are come to New York, but I also wish you could be in Canada. There is a kind of suspense in men's minds here at present,. waiting to see what terns will be offered from England. I expect none that we can accept; and when that is generally seen, we shall be more unanimous and more decisive: then your proposed solemn league and covenant will go better down, and perhaps most of our other strong measures be adopted.

I am always glad to hear from you, but I do not deserve your favors, being so bad a correspondent. My eyes will now hardly serve me to write by night, and these short days have been all taken up with such a variety of business that I seldom can sit down ten minutes without interruptionGod give you success!

I am, with the greatest esteem,

Yours affectionately,


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Passy, September 22, 1782. SIR,

I RETURN the papers with some corrections. I did not find coal mines under the calcareous rock in Derbyshire. I only remarked, that at the lowest part of that rocky mountain which was in sight, there were oyster shells mixed with the stone; and part of the high country of Derby being probably as much above the level of the sea, as the coal inines of Whitehaven were below, it seemed a proof that there had been a great bouleversement in the surface of that island, some part of it naving been de pressed under the sea, and other parts, which had been under it, being raised above it. Such changes in the superficial parts of the globe seemed to me unlikely io happen, if the earth were solid at the centre. I therefore imagined that the internal parts might be a fluid more dense, and of greater specific graiity than any of the solids we are acquainted with; which therefore might swim in or upon that fluid. Thus the surface of the globe would be a shell, capable of being broken and disordered by the violent movements of the fiuid on which it rested. And, as air has been compressed by art so as to be twice as dense as water, in which case, if such air and water could be contained in a strong glass vessel, the air would be seen to take the lowest place, and the water to float above and upon it; and, as we know not yet the degree of density to which air may be compressed, and M. Ainoutons calculated, that, its density increasing as it approached the centre in the same proportion as above the surface, it would, at the depth of - leagues, be heavier than gold, possibly the viense fluid occupying the internal parts of the globe might be air compressed. And as the force of expansion in dense air when heated, is in proportion to its density; this central air might afforl another agent to move the surface, as well as be of use in keeping alive the central fires; though, as you observe, the sudden rarefaction of water coming into contact with those fires, may

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