To Peter Timothy
ALS (letterbook draft): Library of Congress
London, Nov. 3. 1772
I received yours of Aug. 24. by Capt. Vanderhorst, to whom I should willingly have shown any Civilities in my Power, but I being gouty of late seldom go into the City, and he has not called on me since he delivered your Letter. I am sorry you talk of leaving off your Business with a View of getting some Post.9 It is so difficult a matter to obtain any thing of the kind, that I think to leave a good Trade in hopes of an Office, is quitting a Certainty for an Uncertainty, and losing Substance for Shadow. I have known so many here dangling and soliciting Years for Places, till they were reduc’d to the lowest Poverty and Distress, that I cannot but pity a Man who begins to turn his Thoughts that way: The Proverb says, He who has a Trade has an Office of Profit and Honour;1 because he does not hold it during any other Man’s Pleasure, and it affords him honest Subsistence with Independence. I hope therefore you will alter your mind and go on with your Business. I assure you it is not in my Power to procure you that Post you mention or any other, whatever my Wishes may be for your Prosperity. I am now thought here too much an American to have any Interest of the kind.
You have done me Honour in giving a Son my Name. I wish he may live to be an Honour and Comfort to you. With Compliments to Mrs. Timothy, I am ever, Dear Sir, Your faithful and most obedient Servant
9. The various matters that BF discusses in this letter are explained in the one from Timothy to which he is replying.
1. Poor Richard: above, VI, 321.