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among them : it was resisting arbitrary impositions that were contrary to common right and to their fundamental constitutions, and to constant ancient usage.
It was indeed a resistance in favor of the liberties of England, which might have been endangered by success in the attempt against ours; and therefore a great man in your parliament' did not scruple to declare, he rejoiced that America had resisted! I, for the same reason, may
add this very
resistance to the other instances of their loyalty. I have already said, that i think it just you should reward those Americans who joined your troops in the war against their own country: but if ever honesty could be - inconsistent with policy, it is so in this instance.
To GRANVILLE SHARP, Esg. Law of Gavel-kind.-Election of Bishops.- Abridgment
of the Liturgy. DEAR SIR,
Passy, July 5, 1785. I received the books you were so kind as to send me by Mr. Drown. Please to accept my hearty thanks. Your writings, which always have some public good for their object, I always read with pleasure. I am perfectly of your opinion with respect to the salutary law of gavel kind, and hope it may in time be established throughout America. In six of the states already the lands of intestates are divided equally among the children if all girls; but there is a double share given to the eldest son, for which I see no more reason than in giving such share to the eldest daughter; and think there should be no dis
1 The first Lord Chatham.
tinction. Since my being last in France, I have seen several of our eldest sons, spending idly their fortunes by residing in Europe, and neglecting their own country; these are from the southern states. The northern young men stay at home, and are industrious useful citizens; the more equal division of their fathers' fortunes not enabling them to ramble and spend their shares abroad, which is so much the better for their country.
I like your piece on the election of bishops. There is a fact in Hollingshead's Chronicle, the latter part relating to Scotland, which shews, if my memory does not deceive me, that the first bishop in that country was elected by the clergy; I mentioned it some time past in a letter to two young men,' who asked my advice about obtaining ordination, which had been denied them by the bishops in England, unless they would take the oath of allegiance to the king; and I said, I imagine that unless a bishop is soon sent over, with a power to consecrate others, so that we may have no future occasion of applying to England for ordination, we may think it right, after reading your piece, to elect also.
The liturgy you mention, was an abridgment of that made by a noble lord of my acquaintance, who requested me to assist him by taking the rest of the book, viz. the catechism and the reading and singing psalms. These I abridged by retaining of the catechism only the two questions, What is your duty to God? What is your duty to your neighbour? with answers. The psalms were much contracted by leaving out the repetitions (of which I found more than I could have imagined) and the imprecations, which appeared not to suit well the christian doctrine of forgiveness of injuries, and doing good to enemies. The book was printed for Wilkie in St. Paul's church yard, but never much noticed.
1 See Letter to Messrs. Weems and Gant, July 18, 1784.
Some were given away, very few sold, and I suppose the bulk became waste paper. In the prayers so much was retrenched, that approbation could hardly be expected; but I think with you a moderate abridgment might not only be useful, but generally acceptable.
I am now on the point of departing for Aunerica, where I shall be glad occasionally to hear from you, and of your welfare; being with sincere and great esteem, dear. Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,
To David HARTLEY, Esq. M. P.
Passy, July 5, 1785. I cannot quit the coasts of Europe without taking leave of my ever dear friend Mr. Hartley. We were long fellow labourers in the best of all works, the work of peace. I leave you still in the field, but having finished my day's task, I am going home to go to bed : Wish me a good night's rest, as I do you a pleasant evening. Adieu! and believe me ever, yours most affectionately,
B. FRANKLIN, in his 80th year.
To His ExcelLENCY GENERAL WASHINGTON.
On his intended Bust, by Houdon. DEAR SIR,
Philadelphia, Sept. 20, 1785. I am just arrived from a country where the reputation of General Washington runs very high, and
where every body wishes to see him in person ; but being told that it is not likely' he ever will favor them with a visit, they hope at least for a sight of his perfect resemblance by means of their principal statuary, Mr. Houdon, whom Mr. Jefferson and myself agreed with to come over for the purpose of taking a bust, in order to make the intended statue for the state of Virginia. He is here, but the materials and instruments he sent down the Seine from Paris, not being arrived at Havre when we sailed, he was obliged to leave them, and is now busied in supplying himself here. As soon as that is done, he proposes to wait on you in Virginia, as he understands there is no prospect of your coming hither, which would indeed make me very happy; as it would give me the opportunity of congratulating with you personally on the final success of your long and painful labours in the service of our country which have laid us all under eternal obligations. With the greatest and most sincere esteem and respect, I am, dear Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,
AxSWER TO THE FOREGOING. TO THE HONOURABLE DR. FRANKLIN. Dear Sir, Mount Vernon, Sept. 26, 1785.
I had just written, and was about to put into the hands of Mr. Taylor, (a gentleman in the department of the secretary for foreign affairs,) the inclosed letter,' when I had the honor to receive your favor of the 20th instant.
I have a grateful sense of the partiality of the French
'This was a congratulatory letter to Dr. Franklin on his return to America, and will be found in the Memoirs of his Life,
nation towards me. And I feel very sensibly for the indulgent expression of your letter, which does me great honor.
When it suits Mr. Houdon to come hither, I will accommodate him in the best manner I am able, and shall endeavour to render his stay as agreeable as I can.
It would give me infinite pleasure to see you. At this place I dare not look for it, although to entertain you. under my own roof would be doubly gratifying. When, or whether ever, I shall have the satisfaction of seeing you at Philadelphia, is uncertain, as retirement from the walks of public life has not been so productive of that leisure and ease, as might have been expected. With very great esteem and respect, I am, dear Sir, your most obedient humble servant,
I received your very kind letter of the 16th congratulating me on my safe arrival with my grandsons ; an event that indeed makes me very happy, being what I have long ardently wished, and considering the growing infirmities of age, began almost to despair of. I am now in the bosom of my family, and find four new little prattlers, who cling about the knees' of their grandpapa, and afford me great pleasure. The affectionate welcome I met with from my fellow-citizens, was far beyond my expectation; I bore my voyage very well, and find myself rather better for it, so that I have every possible reason to be satisfied with my having undertaken and performed