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once hoped to lay my bones there. I left it in 1723. I visited it in 1733, 1743, 1753, and 1763; and in 1773 I was in England. In 1775 I had a sight of it, but could not enter, it being in possession of the enemy. I did hope to have been there in 1783, but could not obtain my dismission from this employment here; and now I fear I shall never have that happiness. My best wishes, however, attend my dear country—esto perpetua. It is now blessed with an excellent constitution: may it last for ever.
This powerful monarchy continues its friendship for the United States. It is a friendship of the utmost importance to our security, and should be carefully cultivated. Britain has not yet well digested the loss of its dominion over us, and has still at times some flattering hopes of recovering it. Accidents may increase those hopes, and encourage dangerous attempts. A breach between us and France would infallibly bring the English again upon our backs; and yet we have some wild beasts among our countrymen, who are endeavouring to weaken that connexion.
Let us preserve our reputation, by performing our engagements; our credit, by fulfilling our contracts; and our friends,by gratitnde and kindness: for we know not how soon we may again have occasion for all of them.
With great and sincere esteem,
Passy, Nov. 10, 1779I Received my dear friend's two letters, one for Wednesday, and one for Saturday. This is again Wednesday. I do not deserve one for to-day, because I have not answered the former. But indolent as I am, and averse to writing, the fear of having no more of your pleasing epistles, if I do not contribute to the correspondence, obliges me to take up my pen; and, as Mr. 11. has kindly sent me word that he sets out to-morrow to see you, instead of spending this Wednesday evening, as I have done its namesakes, in your delightful company, I sit down to spend it in thinking of you, in writing to you, and in reading over and over again your letters.
I am charmed with your description of Paradise, and with your plan of living there; and I approve much of your conclusion, that, in the mean time, we should draw all the good we can from this world. In my opinion, we might all draw more good from it than we do, and suffer less evil, if we would but take care not to give too much for whistles. For to me it seems that most of the unhappy people we meet with are become so by neglect of that cantion.
You ask what 1 mean. You love stories, and will excuse my telling one of myself.
When I was a child, at seven years old, my friends, on a holyday, filled my pocket with coppers. I went directly to a shop where they sold toys for children; and being charmed with the sound of a whistle that I met by the way in the hands of another boy, I voluntarily offered him all my money for it. I then came home, and went whistling all over the house, much pleased with my whistle, but disturbing all the family. My brothers, and sisters, and cousins, understanding the bargain I had made, told me I had given four times as much for it as it was worth. This put me in mind what good things I might have bought with the rest of the money; and they langhed at me so much for my folly, that I cried with vexation; and the reflection gave me more chagrin than the whistle gave me pleasure.
This, however, was afterwards of use to me, the impression continuing on my mind; so that often, when I was tempted to buy some unnecessary thing, I said to myself, " Don't give too much for the whistle;" and so I saved my money.
As I grew up, came into the world, and observed the actions of men, I thought I met with many, very many, who gave too much for the whistle.
When I saw any one too ambitious of court favours, sacrificing his time in attendance on levees, his repose, his liberty, his virtue, and perhaps his friends, to attain it, I have said to myself, " This man gives too much for his whistle."
When I saw another fond of popularity, constantly employing himself in political bustles, neglecting his own affairs, and ruining them by that neglect, " He pays, indeed," says I, " too much for his whistle."
If I knew a miser, who gave up every kind of comfortable living, all the pleasure of doing good to others, all the esteem of his fellow-citizens, and the joys of benevolent friendship, for the sake of accumulating wealth, " Poor man," says I, " you pay too much for your whistle."
When I meet a man of pleasure sacrificing every landable improvement of the mind or of his fortune, to mere corporeal sensations, and ruining his health in their pursuit, " Mistaken man," says I, "you are providing pain for yourself, instead of pleasure: you give too much for your whistle."
If I see one fond of appearance, of fine clothes, fine houses, fine furniture, fine equipages, all above his fortune, for which he contracts debts, and ends his career in a prison, " Alas," says I, " he has paid dear, very dear, for his whistle."
When I see a beantiful, sweet-tempered girl married to an ill-natured brute of a husband, "What a pity it is," says I, " that she has paid so much for a whistle!"
Iu short, I conceived that great part of the miseries of mankind were brought upon them by the false estimates they had made of the value of things, and by their giving too much for their whistles.
Yet I ought to have charity for these unhappy people, when I consider, that, with all this wisdom of which I am boasting, there are certain things in the world so tempting, (for example, the apples of king John,) which happily are not to be bought; for if they were put to sale by anction, I might very easily be led to ruin myself in the purchase, and find that I had once more given too much for the whistle.
Adien, my dearest friend, and believe me ever yours very sincerely, and with unalterable affection,
A PETITION TO THOSE WHO HAVE THE SUPERINTENDENCY OF EDUCATION.
1 Address myself to all the friends of youth, and conjure them to direct their compassionate regards to my unhappy fate, in order to remove the prejndices of which I am the victim. There are twin sisters of us: and the two eyes of man do not more resemble, nor are capable of being upon better terms with each other than my sister and myself, were it not for the partiality of our parents, who make the most injurious distinctions between us. From my infancy, I have been led to consider my sister as a being of a more elevated rank. I was suffered to grow up without the least instruction, while nothing was spared in her education. She had masters to teach her writing, drawing, music, and other accomplishments; but if by chance I touched a pencil, a pen, or a needle, I was bitterly rebuked; and more than once I have been beaten for being awkward, and wanting a graceful manner. It is true, my sister associated me with her upon some occasions; but she always made a point of taking the lead, calling upon me only from necessity, or to figure by her side. But conceive not, sirs, that my complaints are instigated merely by vanity.—No; my uneasiness is occasioned by an object much more serious. It is the practice in our family that the whole business of providing for its subsistence falls upon my sister and myself. If any indisposition should attack my sister—and I mention it in confidence upon this occasion, that she is subject to the gout, the rhenmatism, and cramp, without making mention