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of me to the presidentship, notwithstanding the different parties we are split into, being absolutely unanimous. This I tell you, not merely to indulge my own vanity, but because I know you love me, and will be pleased to hear of whatever happens that is agreeable to your friend.
I find Mr. Anstey, whom you recommend to me, a very agreeable sensible man, and shall render him any service that may lie in my power. I thank you for the New Bath Guide: I had read it formerly, but it has afforded me fresh pleasure.
Your newspapers, to please honest John Bull, paint our situation here in frightful colors, as if we were very miserable since we broke our connexion with bim. But I will give you some remarks by which you may form your own judg. ment. Our husbandmen, who are the bulk of the nation, have had plentiful crops, their produce sells at high prices and for ready hard money : wheat, for instance, at 8s. and 8s. 6d. per bushel. Our working-people are all employed and get high wages, are well fed and well clad. Our estates in houses are trebled in value by the rising of rents since the revolution. Buildings in Philadelphia increase amazingly, besides small towns arising in every quarter of the country. The laws govern, justice is well administered, and property as-secure as in any country on the globe. Our wilderness lands are daily buying up by new settlers, and our settlements extend rapidly to the westward. European goods were never so cheaply afforded us, as since Britain has no longer the monopoly of supplying us. In short, all among us may be happy, who have happy dispositions, such being necessary to happiness even in paradise.
: I speak these things of Pennsylvania, with which I am most acquainted : as to the other states, when I read in all the papers of the extravagant rejoicings every 4th of July, the day on which was signed the declaration of independence, f
am convinced that none of them are discontented with the revolution.
Adieu, my dear friend, and believe me ever, with sincere esteem and affection, yours most truly,
To Mr. SMALL.
Improvement in the Common Prayer Book, 8c. &c. Dear FRIEND, Philadelphia, Feb. 19, 1787.
I received your favor of June last, and thank you for the kind congratulations contained in it. What you have heard of my malady is true, “ that it does not grow worse." Thanks be to God I still enjoy pleasure in the society of my friends and books, and much more in the prosperity of my country, concerning which your people are continually deceiving themselves.
I am glad the improvement of the Book of Common Prayer has met with your approbation and that of good Mrs. Baldwin. It is not yet, that I know of, received in public practice any where; but as it is said that good motions never die, perhaps in time it may be found useful.
I read with pleasure the account you give of the florishing state of your commerce and manufactures, and of the plenty you have of resources to carry the nation through all its difficulties. You have one of the finest countries in the world, and if you can be cured of the folly of making war for trade, in which wars more has been always expended than the profits of any trade can compensate) you may make it one of the happiest. Make the best of your own natural advantages instead of endeavoring to diminish those of other
See Letter to Granville Sharpe, esq. July 5, 1785.
nations, and there is no doubt but you may yet prosper and forish. Your beginning to consider France no longer as a natural enemy, is a mark of progress in the good sense of the vation, of which posterity will find the benefit; in the rarity of wars, the diminution of taxes, and increase of riches. - - - As to the refugees whom you think we were so impolitic in rejecting, I do not find that they are missed here, or that any body regrets their absence. And certainly they must be happier where they are, under the government they admire, and be better received among a people whose cause they espoused and fought for, than among those who cannot so soon have forgotten the destruction of their habitations, and the spilt blood of their dearest friends and near relations.
I often think with great pleasure on the happy days I passed in England with any and your learned and ingenious friends, who have left us to join the majority in the world of spirits. Every one of them now knows niore than all of us they have left behind. It is to me a comfortable reflection, that since we must live for ever in a future state, there is a sufficient stock of amusement in reserve for us, to be found i constantly learning something new to eternity, the present quantity of human ignorance infinitely exceeding that of hu, man knowledge.
Adieu! my dear friend, and believe me in whatever world, yours most affectionately,
in his 89d year.
To M. LE VEILLARD.
Philadelphia, April 15, 1787. (EXTRACT.) "I am entirely of your opinion, that our independence is not quite complete till we have discharged our public debt. This state is not behind hand in its propor
tion, and those who are in arrear are actually employed in contriving means to discharge their respective balances, but they are not all equally diligent in the business, nor equally successful ; the whole will however be paid, I am persuaded, in a few years.
The English have not yet delivered up the posts on our frontier, agreeable to treaty; the pretence is, that our merchants here have not paid their debts. I was a little provoked when I first heard this, and I wrote some remarks upon it which I send you: they have been written near a year, but I have not yet published them, being unwilling to encourage any of our people who may be able to pay, in their neglect of thạt duty. The paper is therefore only for your amusement and that of our excellent friend the Duke de la Rochefoucault.
As to my malady, concerning which you so kindly inquire, I have never had the least doubt of its being the stone; and I am sensible that it has increased; but on the whole it does not give me more pain than when at Passy. People who live long, who will drink of the cup of life to the very bottom, must expect to meet with some of the usual dregs; and when I reflect on the number of terrible maladies human nature is subject to, I think myself favored in having to my share oply the stone and gout.
You were right in conjecturing that I wrote the remarks on the thoughts concerning executive justice.” I have no copy of those remarks at hand, and forget how the saying was introduced, that it is better a thousand guilty persons should escape, than one innocent suffer. Your criticisms thereon appear to be just, and I imagine you may have misapprehended my intention in mentioning it. I always thought with you, that the prejudice in Europe which supposes a family
See WRITINGS, PART II.
dishonored by the punishment of one of its members, was very absurd, it being on the contrary my opinion, “ that a rogue hanged out of a family does it more honor than ten that live in it."
TO THE DUKE DE LA ROCHEFOUCAULT, Paris.
Reply to his congratulations---State of America---Consti
tution thereof-Death of the Duchess D’Anville- Introduction of Thomas Paine.
Philadelphia, April 15, 1787. I have been happy in receiving three very kind letters from my greatly respected and esteemed friend, since my being in America. They are dated November S0, 85, February 8, 86, and January 14, 87. In mine of this date to M. le Veillard, I have made the best apology I could for my being so bad a correspondent. I will not trouble you with a repetition of it, as I know you often see him. I will only confess my fault, and trust to your candor and goodness for my pardon. : Your friendly congratulations on my arrival and reception here were very obliging. The latter was, as you have heard, extremely flattering. The two parties in the assembly and council, the constitutionists and anti-constitutionists joined in requesting my service as counsellor, and afterwards in electing me as president. Of seventy-four members in council and assembly who voted by ballot, there was in my first election but one negative beside my own; and in the second, after a year's service, only my own. And I experience from all the principal people in the government every attention and assistance that can be desired towards making the task as little burthensome to me as possible. So I am going on very comfortably hitherto with my second year, and I do not at present see any likelihood of a change: but future events are always