« ZurückWeiter »
TO CHARLES J. FOX.
Passy, 5 September, 1783.
I received in its time the letter you did me the honor of writing to me by Mr. Hartley; and I cannot let him depart without expressing my satisfaction in his conduct towards us, and applauding the prudence of that choice, which sent us a man possessed of such a spirit of conciliation, and of all that frankness, sincerity, and candor, which naturally produce confidence, and thereby facilitate the most difficult negotiations. Our countries are now happily at peace, on which I congratulate you most cordially; and I beg you to be assured, that as long as I have any concern in public affairs, I shall readily and heartily concur with you in promoting every measure that may tend to promote the common felicity. With great and sincere esteem and respect, I have the honor to be, &c.
TO DAVID HARTLEY.
Passy, 6 September, 1783.
not mere professions. I really think him a great man, and I should not think so, if I did not believe he was at bottom, and would prove himself a good one. Guard him against mistaken notions of the American people. You have deceived yourselves too long with vain expectations of reaping advantage from our little discontents. We are more thoroughly an enlightened people, with respect to our political interests, than perhaps any other under heaven. Every man among us reads, and is so easy in his circumstances as to have leisure for conversations of improvement, and for acquiring information. Our domestic misunderstandings, when we have them, are of small extent, though monstrously magnified by your microscopic newspapers. He who judges from them, that we are on the point of falling into anarchy, or returning to the obedience of Britain, is like one who, being shown some spots in the sun, should fancy, that the whole disk would soon be overspread with them, and that there would be an end of daylight. The great body of intelligence among our people, surrounds and overpowers our petty dissensions, as the sun's great mass of fire diminishes and destroys his spots. Do not, therefore, any longer delay the evacuation of New York, in the vain hope of a new revolution in your favor, if such a hope has indeed had any effect in occasioning the delay. It is now nine months since the evacuations were promised. You expect with reason, that the people of New York should do your merchants justice in the payment of their old debts; consider the injustice you do them in keeping them so long out of their habitations, and out of their business, by which they might have been enabled to make payment.
There is no truth more clear to me than this, that the great interest of our two countries is a thorough
reconciliation. Restraints on the freedom of commerce and intercourse between us, can afford no advantage equivalent to the mischief they will do, by keeping up ill humor, and promoting a total alienation. Let you and me, my dear friend, do our best towards advancing and securing that reconciliation. We can do nothing, that will in a dying hour afford us more solid satisfaction.
I wish you a prosperous journey, and a happy sight of your friends. Present my best respects to your good brother and sister, and believe me ever, with sincere and great esteem, yours affectionately,
TO MRS. MARY HEWSON.
On the future Establishment of her Children.
Passy, 7 September, 1783. MY DEAR FRIEND, I received your kind letter of the 9th past. I am glad, that the little books are pleasing to you and your children, and that the children improve by them.
My grandson Bache has been four years at school at Geneva, and is but lately come home to me here. I find reason to be satisfied with the improvement he has made in his learning. He translates common Latin readily into French, but his English has suffered for want of use; though I think he would readily recover it, if he were awhile at your school at Cheam, and at the same time be going on with his Latin and Greek. You were once so kind as to offer to take him under your care; would that be still convenient to you? He is docile and of gentle manners, ready to receive and follow good advice, and will set no bad example to
your other children. He gains every day upon my affections.
I long much to see you and yours, and my other friends in England, but I have not yet determined on the journey. Our definitive treaty of peace being now signed, I have indeed less to confine me here, and might make a short excursion without much inconvenience; but short days and winter are coming on, and I think I can hardly undertake such an expedition before the spring of next year.
With regard to the future establishment of your children, which you say you want to consult me about, I am still of opinion, that America will afford you more chances of doing it well than England. All the means of good education are plenty there, the general manners are simple and pure, temptations to vice and folly fewer, the profits of industry in business as great and sure as in England; and there is one advantage more, which your command of money will give you there, I mean the laying out a part of your fortune in new land, now to be had extremely cheap; but which must be increased immensely in value, before your children come of age, by the rapid population of the country. If you should arrive there while I live, you know you may depend on every assistance in my power to afford you, and I think my children will have a pleasure too in serving their father's friend. I do not offer it as a motive, that you will be much esteemed and respected there; for that you are, and must be, everywhere; but give me leave to flatter myself, that my being made happier in my last years by your neighbourhood and society may be some inducement to you.
I forwarded your letter to Mr. Williams. Temple is always with me, being my secretary. He presents his respects to you. I have been lately ill with a fit