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satisfied, that a general and permanent pacification would be the result.
The restoration of the English constitution to its primeval purity, appears to be an essential preliminary to an honorable and lasting peace.
Peace and war are relations which the inhabitants of different countries stand in to each other. In this sense the people of America are not at war with the people of England. The latter having lost their power of self-government are merely the instruments of administration. The present war is a war between the people of America and the administration of this country. Were the inhabitants of this country restored to their elective rights, and other constitutional franchises, a state of peace would immediately ensue.
Upon this idea alone can America have a proper security for the due observance of that solemn compact, which I should rejoice to see established between my native country, and her free and independent states.
The supporters of the septennial bill, at the time that ruinous and unconstutional measure took place, strongly insisted upon the advantages that would ensue from that increased confidence, which foreign nations would thenceforth repose in us, on account of the consequent stability of our public counsels.
Experience has shewn this measure to have been founded in policy the most unwise
Reason surely dictates, that the confidence, which nations repose in each other's public counsels, must be the greatest, where the agents speak the real sentiments of their constituent bodies.
It is also to be considered, that the changes of sentiment, in the constituent body of the nation, must unavoidably be gradual, as general interest, always slowly unveiling itself, shall direct. Whereas the agent, who has a permanent estate in his office, will vary his conduct in conformity to the quick revolutions of those numerous temptations, to
which views of private interest, and prospects of power huorly expose him.
For England therefore to be free, and to regain the confidence of nations, her parliaments must be free and independent: and the same measure which gives independency to the English parliament, will, under God's providence, restore to us peace with America and with all the world.
I write not thus, induced thereto solely from an attachment to my native soil the world is my country—and the region which is the seat of freedom has in my eyes charms more attractive than my native soil. I write not thus from an attachment to a favorite measure, but from a full conviction, that such a preliminary as I have mentioned, being inserted in every proposition for peace on the part of America, would lay a lasting foundation for that peace—and would be a perpetual security that the independence, which America so justly claims, and in the establishment of which every nation under Heaven is interested, would never be brought into question to the end of time.
The sum and substance of what I urge is this——That as a more' equal representation of the English people, in annual parliaments, is a point essential to the restoration of our freedom. It is equally essential, as a foundation for a federal union with the American states. . ,
After all the changes in the affairs of men, whether they be revolutions in the fortunes of nations, or of indivi. duals, are in the hands of Providence; and are directed by its resistless power to the general good. That good will finally prevail, whatever the hearts and heads of politicians may devise. The only differences will be, a difference in the time and manner in which the ends of providence are brought to pass; and a difference in the final fate of those who are employed as the means of their accomplishment.
The fell clestroyers of their species shall see their mea. sures, though planned with Machiavelian policy, and for à time successful, finally abortive_failing in the attainment of the evil wished for, and productive of the good they hate.
On the contrary, if virtue, honor, zeal for the interests of our country and of human kind form the outline of the character, the agent of heaven will be renowned in his day; and long futurity, through every successive age, shall impart increase of glory. The joys of self complacency shall gild the evening of his days. They will also be the earnest of an happiness which will know no bounds.
7. M. Dumas.
· Passy, December 3, 1780. DEÅR SIR, I HAVE before me yours of the 9th and 16th of No. vember, which I think are the last I received from you.
With regard to the augmentation of your salary, I would not have you place too great a dependance on it, lest a disappointment should thereby be rendered more afflicting. · If a good peace were once established, we should soon be richer, and better able to reward those that serve us. At present the expense of the war hangs heavy on the United States, and we cannot pay like old and rich kingdoms.
Mr. W. Lee has, as you observe, acted very imprudently in that affair: but perhaps some good may come of it.
Mr. A.dains has written to me for a copy of a letter I formerly wrote to 873, 373, 657. If you have such a one please to give it to him. I remember of but one, which went with a copy of 873, 897, 948, 337. I imagine that he ra. ther means a letter I wrote to you, in which I represented our girl as a jolly one, and who would be a good fortune in time, &c. I have no copy of that. If you still have that letter, please to give Mr. Adams a copy of that also. . I wish much to see the answer, that their high mightinesses will give to the insolent memorial presented by Sir Joseph Yorke. If they comply with it and punish or censure the pensionary of Amsterdam, I shall think it a pièrre de touche for the stadholder as well as for the king of England; and that neither Mr. Adams will be safe at Amsterdam, nor our ships in any port of Holland. Let me therefore know by the earliest means the turn this affair is like to take, that I may advertise our government and our merchants. With great esteem I am, dear Sir, &c.
To the same.
Passy, Jan. 18, 1781. DEAR Sir, SINCE my last I have been favored by yours of December 1, 7, 14, 21, 25, and January 1, by which you have kept me constantly well informed of the state of affairs. Accept my thanks. You may depend on my mentioning your diligence and services to congress, in the manner they merit.
Though I have been some weeks free from the gout, my feet are still tender, and my knees feeble, so that going up and down stairs is exceedingly difficult and inconvenient to me. This has prevented my going much out, so that I had not the honor I wished of waiting on the ambassador when he was here, and paying the respects I ove him; and he returned suddenly.
I much approve of the step you took the 16th of December before Messrs. Adams and Searle. I received the copy. I wondered to find that you had not in Holland, on the 28th, received the declaration of war, but have since learnt how it happened. Surely there never was a more unjust war ; it is manifestly such from their own manifesto. The spirit of rapine dictated it; and in my opinion every man in England who fits out a privateer to take advantage of it, has the same spirit, and would rob on the highway in his own country, if he was not restrained by fear of the gallows. They have qualified poor captain Jones, with the title of pirate, who was only at war with England: but if it be a good definition of a pirate that he is hostis humani generis, they are much more pirates than he, having al
ready made great progress towards being at war with all the world. If God governs, as I firmly believe, it is impossible such wickedness should long prosper.'
You will receive this by Mr. Deane, who has a great re. . gard for you, and whom I recommend to your civilities; though the gentleman at present with you may be preju. diced against him : prejudices that time will cause to vanish, by shewing they were groundless. I enclose a packet for Leyden, which I shall be glad to hear is delivered safe, and therefore desire your care of it. With great esteem I am ever, dear Sir, &c.
B. FRANKLIN. P. S. Jan. 20. Since writing the above I have received yours of the 12th instant. I am glad to hear that the af. fairs of the republic have taken so good a turn in Russia. If not inconvenient or improper, I should be glad to hear what passed relating to public affairs while 67 was at your 31, and whether he saw 25, &c.
With this you will receive three letters for Mr. Laurens, which I request you would forward to Mr. Adams.
Be of good courage, and keep up your spirits. Your last letter has a melancholy turn. Do you take sufficient bodily exercise ? Walking is an excellent thing for those whose employment is chiefly sedentary.
A MÉMORIAL. To their High Mightinesses, the States-General, of the United Pro.
vinces of the Low Countries. HIGH AND MIGHTY LORDS, THE subscriber, a minister plenipotentiary from the United States of America, has the honor to lay before your high mightinesses, as one of the high contracting parties to the maritime treaty lately concluded, relative to the rights of neutral vessels, a resolution of congress of the fifth of October last, concerning the same subject.