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ing Ben' with me, and perhaps may leave him under your care.
At length we are in peace, God be praised; and long, very long may it continue. All wars are follies, very expensive and very mischievous ones : when will mankind be convinced of this, and agree to settle their differences by arbitration? were they to do it even by the cast of a dye, it would be better than by fighting and destroying each other.
Spring is coming on when travelling will be delightful. Can you not, when your children are all at school, make a little party and take a trip hither! I have now a large house, delightfully situated, in which I could accommodate you and two or three friends; and I am but half an hour's drive from Paris.
In looking forward, twenty-five years seem a long period; but in looking back, how short! could you imagine that 'tis now full a quarter of a century since we were first acquainted ! it was in 1757. During the greatest part of the time I lived in the same house with my dear deceased friend your mother; of course you and I saw and conversed with each other much and often. It is to all our honors, that in all that time we never had among us the smallest misunderstanding. Our friendship has been all clear sunshine, without any the least cloud in its hemisphere. Let me conclude by saying to you, what I have had too frequent occasions to say to my other remaining old friends, the fewer we become, the more let us love oue another. Adieu, &c.
' Benjamin Franklin Bache, a grandson of Dr. Franklin, by his daughter.
To the LORD BISHOP OF St. Asaph, (Dr. Shipley.)
On the Peace with America.
Passy, March 17, 1783. I received with great pleasure my dear and respected friend's letter of the 5th instant, as it informed me of the welfare of a family I so much esteem and love.
The clamour against the peace in your parliament would alarm me for its duration, if I were not of opinion with you, that the attack is rather against the minister. I am confident none of the opposition would have made a better peace for England if they had been in his place; at least I am sure that Lord Stormont, who seems loudest in railing at it, is not the man that could have mended it. My reasons I will give you when I have what I hope to bave, the great happiness of seeing you once more, and conversing with you. They talk much of there being no reciprocity in our treaty: they think nothing then of our passing over in silence the atrocities committed by their troops and demanding no satisfaction for their wanton burnings and devastations of our fair towns and countries. They have heretofore confessed the war to be unjust, and nothing is plainer in reasoning than that the mischiefs done in an unjust war should be repaired. Can Englishmen be so partial to themselves, as to imagine they have a right to plunder and destroy as much as they please, and then without satisfying for the injuries they have done, to have peace on equal terms? We were favorable, and did not demand what justice entitled us to. We shall probably be blamed for it by our constituents: and I still think it would be the interest of England voluntarily to offer reparation of those injuries, and effect it as much as may be in her power. But this is an interest she will never see.
. Let us now forgive and forget. Let'each country seek its advancement in its own internal advantages of arts and agriculture, not in retarding or preventing the prosperity of the other. America will, with God's blessing, become a great and happy country; and England, if she has at length gained wisdom, will have gained something more valuable, and more essential to her prosperity, than all she has lost; and will still be a great and respectable nation. Her great disease at present is the number and enormous salaries and emoluments of office. Avarice and ambition are strong passions, and separately act with great force on the human mind; but when both are united, and may be gratified in the same object, their violence is almost irresistible, and they hurry men headlong into factions and contentions destructive of all good government. As long therefore as these great emoluments subsist, your parliament will be a stormy sea, and your public councils confounded by private interests. But it requires much public spirit and virtue to abolish them; more perhaps than can now be found in a nation so long corrupted.
To Sir Joseph BANKS.
On the Return of Peace. DEAR SIR,
Passy, July 27, 1783. I received your very kind letter by Dr. Blagden, and esteem myself much honored by your friendly remembrance. I have been too much and too closely
engaged in public affairs since his being here, to enjoy all the benefit of his conversation you were so good as to intend me. I hope soon, to have more leisure, and to spend a part of it in those studies that are much more agreeable to me than political operations. .
I join with you most cordially in rejoicing at the return of peace. I hope it will be lasting, and that mankind will at length, as they call themselves reasonable creatures, have reason and sense enough to settle their differences without cutting throats: for in my opinion, there never was a good war, or'a bad peace. What vast additions to the conveniences and comforts of living might mankind have acquired, if the money spent in wars had been employed in works of public utility! What an extension of agriculture, even to the tops of our mountains; what rivers rendered navigable, or joined by canals ; what bridges, aqueducts, new roads, and other public works, edifices and improvements, rendering England a complete paradise, might not have been obtained by spending those millions in doing good, which in the last war have been spent in doing mischief; in bringing misery into thousands of families, and destroying the lives of so many thousands of working people, who might have performed the useful labour !
I am pleased with the late astronomical discoveries made by our Society. Furnished as all Europe now is with academies of science, with nice instruments and the spirit of experiment, the progress of human knowledge
* THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF LONDON, of which Dr. Franklin was gratuitously and without solicitation elected a Fellow, in consequence of his discoveries in Electricity. See Memoirs of his life.
will be rapid, and discoveries made, of which we have at present no conception. I begin to be almost sorry I was born go soon, since I cannot have the happiness of knowing what will be known one hundred years hence.
I wish continued success to the labours of the Royal Society, and that you may long adorn their chair ; being with the highest esteem, dear Sir, &c. B. FRANKLIN.
Dr. Blagden will acquaint you with the experiment of a vast globe sent up into the air, much talked of here, and which, if prosecuted, may furnish means of new knowledge.
To BeAND HOLLIS, Esq.
Eulogium of Thomas Hollis, Sir, . .. Passy, near Paris, Oct. 5, 1783. * - I received but lately (though-sent in June) your most valuable present of the Memoirs of Thomas Hollis, Esq., who was truly, as you describe him in your letter," a good citizen of the world, and a faithful friend of America." America too is extremely sensible of his benevo. lence and great beneficence towards her, and will ever revere his memory. These volumes are a proof of what I have sometimes had occasion to say, in encouraging people to undertake difficult public services; that it is prodigious the quantity of good that may be done by one man, if he will make a business of it. It is equally surprising to think of the very little that is done by many; for such is the general frivolity of the employments and amusements of the rank we call gentlemen, that every century may have seen three successions of a set of a thousand each, in every kingdom of Europe, (gentlemen too, of equal or superior fortune) no one of which set, in the course of their lives,