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stranger of 100,000 livres, and that somebody was impris soned for only speaking of it, and the like very improbable stories ; they are all fictions or misrepresentations. If they were truths, all strangers would avoid such a country, and foreign merchants would as soon carry their goods to sell in Newgate as America. Think a little on the sums England has spent to preserve a monopoly of the trade of that people, with whom they had long been acquainted, and of the desire all Europe is now manifesting to obtain a share of thát trade. Our ports are full of their ships, their merchants buying and selling in our streets continually, and returning with our products. Would this happen? Could such commerce be continued with us, if we were such a collection of scoundrels and villains as we have been represented to you? And insurrections against our rulers are not only uplikely, as the rulers are the choice of the people, but unnecessary; as, if not liked, they may be changed annually by the new elections. I own you have cause, great cause, to complain of *****, but you are wrong to condemn a whole country by a single sample. I have seen many countries, and I do not know a country in the world in which justice is so well ada ministered, where protection and favor have so little power to impede its operations, and where debts are recovered with so much facility. If I thought it such a country as it has been painted to you, I should certainly never return to it. The truth, I believe, is, that more goods have been carried thither from all parts of Europe, than the consumption of the country requires, and it is natural that some of the adventurers are willing to discourage others from following them, lest the prices should still be kept down by the arrival of fresh cargoes ; and it is not uplikely that some negligent or unfaithful factors sent thither, may have given such accounts to excuse their not making remittances. And the
English magnify all this, and spread it abroad in their papers, , to dissuade foreigners from attempting to interfere with them in their commerce with us.
Your account of the emperor's condescending conver-, sation with you concerning me, is pleasing. I respect very much the character of that monarch, and think, that if I were one of his subjects, he would find ne a good one, I am glad that his difference with your country is likely to be accommodated without bloodshed, The Courier de l'Europe, and some other papers, printed a letter on that difference, which they ascribed to me. Be assured, my friend, that I vever wrote it, nor was ever presumptuous enough to meddle with an affair so much out of my way. Yours, &c.
To George WHEATLEY, Esg.;
On sending him his medallion. DEAR OLD FRIEND,
Passy, May 19, 1785. I received the very good letter you sent me by my grandson, together with your resemblance, which is placed in my chamber, and gives me great pleasure. There is no trade, they say, without returns, and therefore I am punctual in making those you have ordered.
I intended this should bave been a long epistle, but I am interrupted, and can only add, that I am ever yours most affectionately,
To JONATHAN WILLIAMS, Esq. (EXTRACT.)
Passy, May 19, 1785. “The conversations you mention respecting America are suitable. Those people speak what they wish; but she was certainly never in a more happy situation. They are angry with us, and speak all manner of evil of us;
but we forish notwithstanding. They put me in mind of a violent high-church factor, resident in Boston, when I was a boy. He had bought upon speculation a Connecticut cargo of onions, which he flattered himself he might sell again to great profit; but the price fell, and they lay upon hand. He was heartily vexed with his bargain, especially when he obu served they began to grow in the store he had filled with them. He showed them one day to a friend. - «Here they are,” said he, “and they are growing too! I damn them every day; but I think they are like the Presbyterians; the more I curse them, the more they grow.” Yours,
To GEORGE WHEATLEY, Esq.
at Paris-Office for nurses-- The Philadelphia Bank-
spectacles, &c. DEAR OLD FRIEND,
Passy, May 23, 1785. I sent you a few lines the other day, with my medallion, when I should have written more, but was prevented by the coming in of a bavard, who worried me till evening. I bore with him, and now you are to bear with me; for I shall probably bavarder in answering your letter.
I am not acquainted with the saying of Alphonsus, which you allude to as a sanctification of your rigidity in refusing to allow me the plea of old age as an excuse for my
want of exactness in correspondence. What was that saying? You do not, it seems, feel any occasion for such an excuse, though you are, as you say, rising seventy-five. But I am rising (perhaps more properly falling) eighty, and I leave the excuse with you until you arrive at that age; perhaps you
may then be more sensible of its validity, and see fit to use it for yourself,
I must agree with you that the gout is bad, and that the stone is worse. I am happy in not having them both together, and I join in your prayer, that you may live till you die without either. But I doubt the author of the epitaph you send me was a little mistaken, when he, speaking of the world, says, that
he ne'er cared a pin What they said, or may say, of the mortal within. It is so natural to wish to be well spoken of, whether alive or dead, that I imagine he could not be quite exempt from that desire; and that at least he wished to be thought a wit, or he would not have given himself the trouble of writing so good an epitaph to leave behind him. Was it not as worthy of his care that the world should say he was an honest and a good man?" I like better the concluding sentiment in the old song called the Old Man's Wish, wherein, after wishing for a warm house in a country town, an easy horse, some good authors, ingenious and cheerful companions, a pudding on Sundays, with stout ałe, and a bottle of Burgundy, &c. &c. in separate stanzas, each ending with this burthen,
May I govern my passions with absolute sway,
Without gout or stone, by a gentle decay.
With a courage undaunted may I face my last day
For he governed his passions, ģc. But what signifies our wishing? Things happen, after all, as they will happen. I have sung that wishing song a thou
sand times when I was young, and now find at four-score that the three contraries have befallen me, being subject to the gout and the stone, and not being yet master of all my passions. : Like the proud girl in my country, who wished and resolved not to marry a parson, nor a Presbyterian, nor an Irishman; and at length found herself married to an Irish Presbyterian parson. You see I have some reason to wish, that in a future state, I may not only be as well as was, but a little better. And I hope it: for I too, with your poet, trust in God. And when I observe that there is great frugality, as well as wisdom, in his works, since he has been evidently sparing both of labor and materials; for, by the various wonderful inventions of propagation, he has provided for the continual peopling his world with plants and animals, without being at the trouble of repeated new creations; and by the natural reduction of compound substances to their original elements, capable of being employed in new compositions, he has prevented the necessity of creating new matter; so that the earth, water, air, and perhaps fire, wbich being compounded from wood, do, when the wood is dissolved, return, and again become air, earth, fire, and water; I say, that when I see nothing annibilated, and not even a drop of water wasted, I cannot suspect the annihilation of souls, or believe that he will suffer the daily waste of millions of minds ready made that now exist, and put himself to the continual trouble of making new ones. Thus finding myself to exist in the world, I believe I shall, in some shape or other, always exist; and, with all the inconveniences human life is liable to, I shall not object to a new edition of mine ; hoping, however, that the erruta of the last may be corrected.
I return your note of children received in the Foundling Hospital at Paris, írom 1741 to 1755 inclusive; and I have