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lately, but his friends, on his account, were under some apprehensions from the violence of government; in consequence of his late excellent publications in favour of liberty. I wish all the friends of liberty and man would quit that sink of corruption, and leave it to its fate.
The people of this country are almost unanimously in our favour. The government has its reasons for postponing a war, but is making daily the most diligent preparations; wherein Spain goes hand in hand. In the mean time, America has the whole harvest of prizes made upon the British commerce; a kind of monopoly that has its advantages, as by affording greater encouragement to cruisers, it increases the number of our seamen, and thereby augments our naval power.
The conduct of those Princes of Germany, who have sold the blood of their people, has subjected them to the contempt and odium of all Europe. The Prince of Auspach, whose recruits mutinied and refused to march, was obliged to disarm, and fetter them, and drive them to the sea-side by the help of his guards; himself attending in person. In his return he was publicly hooted by mobs through every town he passed in Holland, with all sorts of reproachful epithets. The King of Prussia's humour of obliging those Princes to pay him the same toll per head for the men they drive through his dominions, as used to be paid him for their cattle, because they were sold as such, is generally spoken of with approbation; as containing a just reproof of those tyrants. I send you inclosed one of the many satires that have appeared on this occasion. . With best wishes of prosperity to yourself and to my dear country, where I hope to spend my last years, and lay my bones. I am ever, dear Sir, your affectionate friend,
. and humble servant,
To Mr. CUSHING, BOSTON. . Sir,
Paris, May 1, 1777. I thank you for your kind congratulations on my arrival here, and shall be happy in finding that our negociations on this side the water are of effectual service to our country.
The general news liere is, that all Europe is arming and preparing for war, as if it were soon expected. Many of the powers, however, have their reasons for endeavouring to postpone it, at least a few months longer.
Our enemies will not be able to send against us all the strength they intended : they can procure but few Germans; and their recruiting and impressing at home, goes on but heavily. They threaten, however, and give out, that Lord Howe is to bombard Boston this summer, and Burgoyne, with the troops from Canada, to destroy Providence, and lay waste Connecticut; while Howe marches against Philadelphia. They will do us undoubtedly as much mischief as they can; but the virtue and bravery of our countrymen, will, with the blessing of God, prevent part of what they intend, and nobly bear the rest. This campaign is entered upon with a mixture of rage and despair, as their whole scheme of reducing us depends upon its success; the wisest of the nation being clear, that if this fails, administration will not be able to support another.
B. FRANKLIN ,
To Mr. Thomas Viny, TENTERDEN, Kent. Dear Sir,
Passy, May 4, 1779. I received with great pleasure your kind letter, as I learnt by it that my hospitable friend still exists, and that his friendship for me had not abated.
We have had a hard struggle, but the Almighty has favoured the just cause, and I join most heartily with you in your prayers that he may perfect his work, and establish freedom in the new world, as an asylum for those of the old, who deserve it. I find that many worthy and wealthy families of this continent are determined to remove thither and partake of it, as soon as peace shall make the passage safer ; for which peace I also join your prayers most cordially, as I think the war a detestable one; and grieve much at the mischief and misery it occasions to many; my only consolation being that I did all in my power to prevent it.
When all the bustle is over, if my short remainder of life will permit my return thither, what a pleasure will it be to me to see my old friend and his children settled there! I hope he will find vines and figtrees there for all of them, under which we may sit and converse, enjoying peace and plenty, a good government, good laws and liberty, without which men lose half their value.
I am with much esteen, dear friend, yours, &c.
To Mrs. WRIGHT,' LONDON. DEAR MADAM,
Passy, May 4, 1779. I received your favour of the 14th of March past, and if you should continue in your resolution of returning to America, through France, I shall certainly render you any of the little services in my power : but there are so many difficulties at present in getting passages hence, particularly safe ones for women, that methinks I should advise your stay till more settled times, and, till a more frequent intercourse is established.
As to the exercise of your art here, I am in doubt whether it would answer your expectations. Here are
2 Mrs. MEHETABEL Weight was altogether a very extracrdinary woman, She was the niece of the celebrated John Wesley, but was born at Philadelphia, in which city her parents settled at an early period. Mrs. Wright was greatly distinguished as a modeller in wax; which art she turned to a remarkable account in the American war, by coming to England, and exhibiting her performances. This enabled her to procure much intelligence of importance, which she communicated to Dr. Franklin and others, with whom she corresponded during the whole war. As soon as a general was appointed, or a squadron begun to be fitted out, the old lady found means of access to some family where she could gain information, and thus without being at all suspected, she contrived to transmit an account of the number of the troops, and the place of their destination to her political friends abroad. She at one time had frequent access to Buckingham-House; and used, it was said, to speak her sentiments very freely to their Majesties. who were amused with her originality. The great Lord Chathana honoured her with his visits, and she took his likeness which appears in Westminster Abbey. Mrs. Wright died very old in February, 1786.
two or three who prosess it, and make a show of their works on the Boulevards ; but it is not the taste for persons of fashion to sit to these artists for their portraits : and both house-rent and living at Paris are very expensive.
I thought that friendship required I should acquaint you with these circumstances; after which you will use your discretion. I am, &c. B. FRANKLIN.
[Written in the envelope of the above.] P.S. My grandson, whom you may remember when a little saucy boy at school, being my amanuensis in writing the within letter, has been diverting me with his remarks. He conceives that your figures cannot be packed up, without damage from any thing you could fill the boxes with to keep them steady. He supposes, therefore, that you must put them into post-chaises, two and two, which will make a long train upon the road, and be a very expensive conveyance; but as they will eat nothing at the Inns, you may the better afford it. When they come to Dover, he is sure they are so like life and nature, that the master of the packet will not receive them on board without passes; which you will do well therefore to take out from the Secretary's Office, before you leave London ; where they will cost you only the modest price of two guineas and' sixpence each, which you will pay without grumbling, because you are sure the money will never be employed against your country. It will require, he says, five or sis of the long wicker French stage coaches to carry them as passengers from Calais to Paris, and a ship with good accommodations to convey them to America; where all the world will wonder at your clemency