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long life early devoted to the public, to enjoy repose in the bosom of philosophic retirement, may be gratified by seeing some little sparks of the affection of his country rest on the only support of his age and hope of his family. Such are the effusions of my heart on this occasion, and I pour them into yours from a persuasion that they will meet with a hospitable reception from congenial emotions."


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COLONEL Jonx Laurens,' to Dr. FRANKLIN,

On Dr. Franklin's wish to retire-His grandson.

Leagues W. of Ortegal, June 9, 1781.

I snatch a moment to pay my last respects to your excellency, and to mention a matter which has occurred to me since my being on board. I have frequently reflected upon the mention which your excellency has made of retiring from your present important station, and have never varied the opinion which I took the liberty of giving you 'opce at the Count de Vergennes', viz. that the best arrangement would be to give your excellency an active intelligent secietary of the embassy, who might relieve you from the drudgery of office; and that your country should not be deprived of the advantages of your wisdom and influence. The difficulty hitherto has been to find a person properly qualified. The advantages which your grandson derives from his knowledge of the language and manners of the 'people, and his having been so long in your office, and with your excellency, 'are very great. The prejudices which have been entertained against him (owing to his father's politics and situation) may be removed by a personal introduction to congress, especially


*-5 Son of President Laurens, and employed in a secret military mis

to France.

if it is combined with rendering a popular service. I take the liberty therefore;" &c.

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To COLONEL LAURENS. EXTRACT. Answer to the foregoing. DEAR SIR,

Passy, Nov. 8, 1781. I received your very kind letter written at sea off the coast of Spain. I thank you for the friendly hint contained in it respecting my grandson: I see that what you propose for him might have a good effect; but I have too much occasion for his assistance, and cannot spare him to make the voyage. He must take his chance, and I hope he will in time obtain, as well as merit, the consideration of our government.”



Respecting Dr. Franklin's enemies in AmericaThe

English nation-M. La Motte-Piquet. Extract.

Passy, March 14, 1781, You mention my having enemies in America. You are luckier, for I think you have none here, nor any where. Your friends have heard of your being gone against the traitor Arnold, and are anxious to hear of your success, and that you have brought him to justice. Enclosed is a copy of a letter from his agent in England, by which the price of: his treason may be nearly guessed at. Judas sold only one man, Arnold three millions ; Judas got for his one man 30 pieces of silver, Arnold not a halfpenny a head. A miserable - bargainer! Especially when one considers the quantity of infamy he has acquired to 'himself, and entailed on his family.

The English are in a fair way of gaining still. more enemies ; they play a desperate game. Fortune may favor them as it sometimes does' a drunken dicer. But by their tyranny in the east they have at length roused the powers there against them; and I do not know that they have in the west a single friend. If they lose their India commerce, which is one of their present great supports, and one battle at sea, their credit is

gone and the power follows. Thus empires by pride, and folly, and extravagance, ruin themselves like individuals. M. La Motte Piquet has snatched from between their teeth, a good deal of their West India prey, having taken 22 sail of their homeward bound prizes; one of our American priva. teers has taken two more, and brought them into Brest; and two were burnt. There were 34 in company, with two men of war of the line and two frigates, who saved themselves by flight, but we do not hear of their being yet got in..


To Mr. Hodgson, LONDON. Abominable conduct of a Mr. Digges-Peace Proposals

of mediation.

Dear Sir,

Passy, April 1, 1781. I received your respected favor of the 20th past, and am shocked exceedingly at the account you give me of Digges. He that robs the rich even of a single guinea is a villain, but what is he who can break his sacred trust, by robbing a poor man and a prisoner of eighteen-pence given charitably for his relief, and repeat that crime as often as there are weeks in a winter, and multiply it by robbing as many poor men every week as make up the number of near 600? We have no name in our language for such atrocious

wickedness. If such a fellow is not damned, 'tis not worth while to keep a devil."

I am sorry you have been obliged to advance money. I desired Mr. Grand some time since to order 2001. to be paid you in London. If that is not done, draw on him for the sum of 250l. payable at 30 days' sight, and your bill shall be duly honored.

I enclose a copy of Digges's last letter to me, in which he acknowledges the drafts made on me, (omitting one of 75l.) and pretends that he only draws as he is drawn upon, by his friends who hand the money to the prisoners, and that those friends are almost tired of the charitable employment, but he encourages them, &c. Be so good as to let them know of this letter. I wish with you and with all good men for peace : proposals of mediation have been made, but the effect is yet uncertain. I shall be mindful of your request, and you may depend on my doing any thing in my power that may be serviceable to you. With sincere esteem, I am, dear sir, &c.



Passy, Aug. 20, 1781. -Digges, a Maryland merchant residing in London, who pretended to be a zealous American, and to have much concern for our poor people in the English prisons, drew upon me for their relief at different times last winter to the amount of 4951, sterling, which he said had been drawn for upon him by the gentlemen at Ports mouth and Plymouth, who had the care of the distribution. To my utter astonishment I have since learnt, that the villain had not apo plied above 301, of the money to that use, and that he has failed and absconded."

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Respecting Dr. Franklin's enemies in America, and various



Passy, April 12, 1781. I received your favor by M. Cabarras, and should have been glad if I could bave rendered him any service here. He appears an amiable man, and expert in affairs. I have also your obliging letters of the 28th of February, and the 12th and 30th of March. I thank you much for your friendly hints of the operations of my enemies, and of the means I might use to defeat then. Having in view, at present no other point to gain but that of rest, I do not take their malice so much amiss, as it may farther my project, and perhaps be some advantage to you.

* * * and * * * are open and so far honorable enemies; the ***, if enemies, are more covered. I never did any of them the least injury, and can conceive no other source of their malice but envy. To be sure the excessive respect shown me here by all ranks of people, and the little notice taken of them, was a mortifying circumstance; but it was what I could neither prevent or remedy. Those who feel pain at seeing others enjoy pleasure, and are unhappy, must meet daily with so many causes of torment, that I conceive them to be already in a state of damnation ; and on that account, I ought to drop all resentment with regard to those two gentlemen. But I cannot help being concerned at the mischief their ill tempers will be continually doing in our public affairs, whenever they have any concern in them.

"The American Chargé d'Affaires,


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