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peace. I suppose, you do not mean by the American treaty; for we were exceeding favorable in not insisting on the reparations so justly due for the wanton burnings of our fine towns and devastations of our plantations in a war now universally allowed to have been originally unjust. I may add that you will also see verified all I said about the article respecting the royalists, that it will occasion more mischief thau it was intended to remedy, and that it would have been better to have omitted all 'inention of them. England might have rewarded them according to their merits at no very great expence. After the harms they had done to us, it was imprudent to insist on our doing them good.
I am sorry for the overturn you mention of those beneficial systems of commerce that would have been exemplary to mankind. The making England entirely a free port would have been the wisest step ever taken for its advantage.
I wish much to see what you say, a respectable friend of mine has undertaken to write respecting the peace. It is a pity it has been delayed. If it had appeared earlier it might have prevented much mischief, by securing our friends in their situations ; for we know not who will suc. ceed them, nor what credit they will hold. ; : ..
By my doubts of the propriety of my going soon to London, I meant no reflection on my friends or yours. If I had any call there besides the pleasure of seeing those whom I love, I should have no doubts. If I live to arrive there I shall certainly embrace your kind invitation, and take up my abode with you. Make my compliments and respects acceptable to Mrs. Vaughan.., , I know not what foundation there can be for saying that
I abuse England as much as before the peace, I am not apt, I think, to be abusive: of the two I had rather be abused." .
. Inclosed are the letters you desire. I wish to hear from you more frequently, and to have through you such new pamphlets as you may think worth my reading. I am ever, my dear friend, yours most affectionately,
. B. FRANKLIN.
To David Hartley, Esg. Change in Administration. Hereditary great officers of
State, &c. MY DEAR FRIEND, Passy, Jan. 7, 1784.
I have this moment received your favor of the 25th past, acquainting me with the change in administration. I am not sure that in reforming the constitution, which is sometimes talked of, it would not be better to make your great officers of state hereditary than to suffer the inconvenience of such frequent and total changes. Much faction and cabal would be prevented by having än hereditary first Lord of the Treasury, an hereditary Lord Chancellor, Privy Seal, President of Council, Secretary of State, first Lord of the Admiralty &c. &c. It will not be said that the duties of these offices being important, we cannot trust to nature for the chance of requisite talents, since we have an hereditary set of judges in the last resort, the House of Peers ; an hereditary King; and in a certain German University, an hereditary professor of Mathematics.
We have not yet heard of the arrival of our express in America, who carried the definitive treaty. He sailed the 26th of September. As soon as the ratification arrives, I shall immediately send you word of it. . .'
With great esteem I am ever, my dear friend, yours most affectionately,
B. FRANKEIN. ' To the Hon. John JAY, New York. Dear Sir,
Passy, Feb. 8, 1785. I received by the Marquis de la Fayette your kind letter of the 13th of December. It gave me pleasure on two other accounts, as it informed me of the public welfare, and that of your, 1 may almost say out dear little family; for since I had the pleasure of their being with me in the same house, I have ever felt a tender affection for them, equal I believe to that of most fathers. I did hope to have heard by the last packet of your having accepted the secretaryship of foreign affairs, but was disappointed. I write to you now therefore only as a private friend; yet I may mention respecting public affairs, that as far as I can perceive, the good disposition of this court towards us continues. I wish I could say as much for the rest of the European courts. I think that their desire of being connected with us by treaties is of late much abated; and this I suppose occasioned by the pains Britain takes to represent us every where as distracted with divisions, discontented with our governments, the people unwilling to pay taxes, the congress unable to collect them, and many desiring the reso toration of the old government. The English papers are full of this stuff, and their ministers get it copied into the foreign papers. The moving about of the congress from place to place, has also a bad effect, in giving colour to the reports of their being afraid of the people. I hope
they will soon settle some where, and by the steadiness and wisdom of their measures dissipate all those mists of misrepresentation raised by the remaining malice of ancient enemies, and establish our reputation for national justice and prudence as they have done for courage and perseverance. :
It grieves we that we have not been able to discharge our first year's payment of interest to this court, due the beginning of last month. I hope it will be the only failure, and that effectual measures will be taken to be ex actly punctual hereafter. The good paymaster, says the proverb, is lord of another man's purse. The bad one, if he ever has again occasion to borrow, must pay dearly for his carelessness and injustice.
You are happy in having got back safe to your country. I should be less unhappy, if I could imagine the delay of niy congé useful to the states, or in the least degree neces sary. But they have mavy equally capable of doing all I have to do here. The new proposed treaties are the most important things; but two can go through them as well as three, if indeed any are likely to be completed which I begin to doubt, since the new ones make little progress, and the old ones which wanted only the fiat of congress seem now to be rather going backward; I mean those I had projected with Denmark and Portugal.
My grandsons are sensible of the honor of your remembrance and present their respects to you and Mrs. Jay. I add my best wishes of health and happiness to you all, being with sincere esteem and affection, dear Sir, your most obedient humble servant, B. FRANKLIN, : To MR. SMALL. American Taxation. --New form of Prayer.— American
Royalists, &c. Dear Sir, Philadelphia, Sept. 28, 1787.
I received your kind letter of June 6, 86, and I answered it, though long after the receipt. I do not perceive by your second favor of July 87, that my answer had then come to hand, but hope it may since that time.
I have not lost any of the principles of public economy you once knew me possessed of; but to get the bad customs of a country changed, and new ones, though better, introduced, it is necessary first to remove the prejudices of the people, enlighten their ignorance, and convince them that their interest will be promoted by the proposed changes : and this is not the work of a day. Our legislators are all land-holders ; and they are not yet persuaded that all taxes are finally paid by the land. Besides our country is so sparely settled, the habitations particularly in the back countries, being perhaps five or six miles distant from each other, that the time and labour of the collector in going from house to house, and being obliged to call often before he can recover the tax, amounts to more than the tax is worth, and therefore we have been forced into the mode of indirect taxes, i. e. duties on importation of goods, and excises.
I have made no attenspt to introduce the form of prayer here, which you and good Mrs. Baldwin do me the honor to approve. The things of this world take up too much of my tiine, of which indeed I have too little left, to un