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our women in foregoing that little gratification, and I lament that such virtue should be of so short duration! Five hundred thousand pounds sterling annually laid out in defending ourselves, or annoying our enemies, would have great effects. With what face can we ask aids and subsidies from Our friends while we are wasting our own wealth in such prodigality? With great and sincere esteem, I am, &c.
To The Marquis De La Fayette, At Havre De Grace.
Dear Sir, Passy, August 19, 1779•
I have just now received your favor of the 17th. I wrote to you a day or two ago, and have little to add. You ask my opinion what conduct the English will probably hold on this occasion,1 and whether they will not rather propose a negociation for a peace? I have but one rule to go by in judging of those people, which is, that whatever is prudent for them to do they will omit, and what is most imprudent to be done, they will do it. This, like other general rules, may sometimes have its exceptions; but 1 think it will hold good for the most part, at least while the present ministry continues, or rather while the present madman has the choice of ministers. You desire to know whether I am satisfied with the ministers here? It is impossible for any body to be more so. I see they exert themselves greatly in the common cause, and do every thing for us they can. We can wish for nothing more, unless our great want of money should make us wish for a subsidy, to enable us to act more vigorously in expelling the enemy from their remaining posts, and reducing Canada. But their own expenses are so great,
'Proposed descent of a Trench anny in England.
",. .! 1.1
Description of the sword given by congress to the Marquis de la Fayette.
On one side of the pommel are the marquis's arms, and on the other the device of a new moon, reflecting rays of light on a country partly covered with wood, and parlly cultivated. Symbol of the republic of the United States, with this motto, Crescam ut Prossim.' By this it was intended modestly to express,—
1. Her present mediocrity of strength, as'the light' of the moon,
though considerable, is weaker than that of the sun.
2. Her expectation of becoming more powerful as she increases, and
thereby rendering herself more useful to mankind.
3. The gratitude with which she remembers that the light she
spreads, is principally owing to the kind aids of a greater luminary1 in another hemisphere." *•
On the Bow is the legend, from the American congress to the Marquis
.ii. •"! ••• i de la Fayette; 1779. '"
i'.H /' • i ( w.» , • • L. -i • i ,' ',-i', ", »*;t
The handle is ornamented with two medallions. In one, America
represented by a woman presenting a branch of laurel to a Frenchman; in the other, a Frenchman is treading on a lion. . .. .
On the guard-are separately represented, in fine relievo—
The affair at Gloucester. ;-§»i.- . iii-; .i
The retreat off Rhode Island.
The battle of Monmouth, i. i l
And the retreat at Barren Hill.
The hilt is of massive gold, and the blade two-edged.
Cost two hundred Louis d'ors.
Made by Liger, sword cutler, Rue Coquilliere.
'.'" '. '. i i '•
The Marquis's Reply'.'
Sir, Havre, August 29, 177& 1
* Whatever expectations might have been raised
from the sense1 of past favors, the goodness of the United
States for me has ever been such, that on every occasion it
1 The king of France, whose symbol is the sun.'
far surpasses any idea I could have conceived. A new proof of that flattering truth, I find in the noble present which congress have been pleased to honor me with, and which is offered in such a manner by your excellency as will exceed any thing but the feelings of my unbounded gratitude. Some of the devices I cannot help finding too honorable a reward for those slight services, which in concert with my fellowsoldiers, and under the godlike American hero's orders, 1 had the good luck to render. The sight of these actions, where I was a witness of American bravery and patriotic spirit, I shall ever enjoy with that pleasure which becomes a heart glowing with love for the nation, and the most ardent zeal for their glory and happiness.
Assurances of gratitude, which I beg leave to present to your excellency, are much inadequate to my feelings, and nothing but those sentiments may properly acknowledge your kindness towards me. The polite manner in which Mr. Temple Franklin was pleased to deliver that inestimable sword, lays me under great obligations to him, and demands my particular thanks.
With the most perfect respect, I have the honor to be, &c. . •: La Fayette.
To John Jay, Esq. President Oj Congress.
[extract.] Passy, Oct. 4, 1779.
"We had reason to expect some great events from the action of the fleets this summer in the channel, but they are all now in port without having effected any thing. The junction was late, and the length of time the Brest squadron was at sea, (equal to an East India voyage,) partly on the hot Spanish coast, occasioned a sickness among the people that made their return necessary: they had chased the English fleet, which refused the combat. The sick men are recovering fast since they were landed; and the proposed descent on England does not yet seem to be quite given up, as the troops are not withdrawn from the ports. Holland has not yet granted the succors required by the English, nor even given an answer to the requisition presented by Sir Joseph Yorke. The aids will be refused ; and as the refusal must be disagreeable, it is postponed from time to time. The expectations of assistance from Russia and Prussia seem also to have failed the English, and they are as much at a loss to find effective friends in Europe as they have been in America. Portugal seems to have a better disposition towards us than heretofore. About thirty of our people taken, and set ashore on one of her islands by the English, were maintained comfortably by the governor during their stay there, furnished with every necessary, and sent to Lisbon; where, on inquiry to whom payment was to be made for the expense they had occasioned, they were told that no reimbursement was expected; that it was the queen's bounty, who had a pleasure in shewing hospitality to strangers in distress. 1 have been presented thanks by the Portuguese ambassador here in behalf of the congress: and I am given to understand that probably, in a little time, the ports of that nation will be as open to us as those of Spain. What relates to Spain I suppose Mr. Lee informs you of.
The sword ordered by congress for the Marquis de la Fayette, being at length finished, tl sent it down to him at Havre, where he was with the troops intended for the invasion. I wrote a letter with it, and received an answer, copies of both which I enclose, together with a description of the sword, and drawings of the work upon it, which was executed by the best artists in Paris, and cost altogether two hundred guineas. The present has given him great