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To B. VAUGHAN, Esg.
Introduction of Count Mirabeau. MY DEAR FRLEND,
Passy, Sept. 7, 1784. This will be delivered to you by Count Mirabeau ;' son of the Marquis of that name, author of L'Ami des Hommes. This gentleman is esteemed here, and I recommend him to your civilities and counsels, particularly with respect to the printing of a piece he has written on the subject of hereditary nobility, on occasion of the order of Cincinnati lately attempted to be established in America, which cannot be printed here. I find that some of the best judges think it extremely well written, with great clearness, force, and elegance. If you can recommend him to an honest, reasonable bookseller, that will undertake it, you will do him service, and perhaps some to mankind, who are too much bigoted in many countries to that kind of imposition. I had formerly almost resolved to trouble you with no more letters of recommendation, but I think you will find this gentleman to possess talents that may render his acquaintance agreeable. With sincere esteem, I am ever, my dear friend, yours most affectionately,
To B. VAUGHAN, Esg.
Passy, April 21, 1785. 1 received your kind letter of the 23d past, by Mr. Perry, with the other bottle of Blackrie. I thank you much for your care in sending them. I should have been
* The same who afterwards so eminently distinguished himself by his eloquence in the early part of the French revolution.
glad to be of any use to Mr. Perry; but he had placed his children before I saw him, and he staid with me only a few minutes.
We see much in parliamentary proceedings, and in papers and pamphlets, of the injury the concessions to Ireland will do to the manufacturers of England, while the people of England seem to be forgotten, as if quite out of the question. If the Irish can manufacture cottons, and stuffs, and silks, and linens, and cutlery, and toys, and books, &c. &c. &c. so as to sell them cheaper in England than the manufacturers of England sell them, is not this good for the people of England, who are not manufacturers? And will not even the manufacturers themselves share the benefit; since if cottons are cheaper, all the other manufacturers who wear cottons will save in that article ; and so of the rest ? If books can be had much cheaper from Ireland, (which I believe, for I bought Blackstone there for 24s. when it was sold in England at four guineas) is not this an advantage, not to English booksellers indeed, but to English readers, and to learning? And of all the complainants, perhaps these booksellers are least worthy of consideration. The catalogue you last sent me amazes me by the high prices (said to be the lowest) affixed to each article. And one can scarce see a new book, without observing the excessive artifices inade use of to puff up a paper of verses into a pamphlet, a pamphlet into an octavo, and an octavo into a quarto, with scab-boardings, white lines, sparse titles of chapters, and exorbitant margins, to such a degree, that the selling of paper seems now the object; and printing on it only the pretence. I enclose the copy of a page in a late comedy. Between every two lines there is a white space equal to another line. You have a law, I think, against butchers blowing of veal to make it look fatter ; why not one against booksellers blowing of books to make them look
bigger. All this to yourself; you can easily guess the rea
My grandson is a little indisposed, but sends you two pamphlets, Figaro, and Le Roi Voyageur. The first is a play of Beaumarchais, which has had a great run here. The other a representation of all the supposed errors of government in this country, some of which are probably exaggerated. It is not publicly sold; we shall send some more shortly.
Please to remember me very respectfully and affectionately to good Dr. Price. I am glad that he has printed a translation of the Testament; it may do good. I am ever, my dear friend, yours most sincerely,
WILDMORE. I remember nothing : I shall soon forget my Christian
If this page was printed running on like Erasmus's Colloquies, it would not have made more than five lines.
FROM DR. FRANKLIN TO AN ENGRAVER IN PARIS.
Refusing his eulogium and dedication.
En relisant, Monsieur, le prospectus de votre estampe, je vois que vous m'attribuez toujours en entier le mérite d'avoir affranchi l'Amérique. J'ai cependant eu l'honneur de vous dire, dans notre première conversation, que je ne pouvois y consentir sans me rendre coupable d'injustice envers tant d'hommes sages et courageux qui n'ont pas craint de hasarder leur fortune et leur vie pour le succès de cette entreprise; je vous proposai donc, et je persiste dans la même pensée, de substituer à mon nom dans l'explication de l'estampe, ces mots : " Le congrès représenté par un sénateur habillé à la romaine,” &c.
Je ne puis non plus, Monsieur, en accepter la dédicace : je ne veux point que la France, et mon pays, me çroyent assez présomptueux pour convenir que je mérite des louanges aussi excessives ; et vous concevez qu'il me siéroit mal d'appuyer de ma recommandation le débit d'un ouvrage qui les contiendroit. D'après ces considérations je vous prie de vouloir bien changer votre explication dans un nouveau prospectus, et de dédier votre estampe au congrès. J'ai l'honneur d'être, &c.
To DR. INGENHAUSZ. On the stone- Invitation to come to Passy, and accompany
him to America, Idle stories respecting that country The Emperor of Germany.
Passy, April 29, 1785. I thank you much for the postscript respecting iny disorder, the stone. I have taken heretofore, and am now again taking the remedy you mention, which is called Blackrie's Solvent. It is the soap lie, with lime water, and I believe it may have some effect in diminishing the symptoms, and preventing the growth of the stone, which is all I expect from it. It does not hurt my appetite : I sleep well, and enjoy my friends in cheerful conversation as usual. But as I cannot use much exercise, I eat more sparingly than formerly, and I drink no wine.
I admire that you should be so timid in asking leave of your good imperial master, to make a journey for visiting a friend. I am persuaded you would succeed, and I hope the proposition I have repeated to you in this letter will assist your courage, and enable you to ask and obtain. If you come hither soon, you may, when present, get your book finished, and be ready to proceed with me to America. While writing this, I have received from congress my leave to return; and I believe I shall be ready to embark by the middle of July at farthest. I shall now be free from politics for the rest of my life. Welcome again, my dear philosophical amusements !
I see by a füll page of your letter, you have been possessed with strange ideas of America; that there is no justice to be obtained there, no recovery of debts, projects of insurrection to overturn the present government, &c. &c.; that a Virginia colonel, nephew of the governor, had cheated a