To Benjamin Franklin
Mount Vernon 26th Septr 1785.
I had just written, & was about to put into the hands of Mr Taylor, (a Gentleman in the Department of the Secretary for foreign Affairs) the enclosed Letter, when I had the honor to receive by Post your favor of the 20th inst.1
I have a grateful sense of the partiality of the French nation towards me; & feel very sensibly the indulgent expression of your letter which does me great honor.
When it suits Mr Houdon to come hither, I will accommodate him in the best manner I am able, & shall endeavour to render his stay as agreeable as I can.2
It would give me infinite pleasure to see you: at this place I dare not look for it; tho’ to entertain you under my own roof would be doubly gratifying. When, or whether ever I shall have the satisfaction of seeing you at Philada is uncertain; as retirement from the public walks of life has not been so productive of the leisure & ease as might have been expected. With very great esteem & respect, I am Dr Sir, Your most obt &c.
1. GW’s 25 Sept. letter of welcome to Franklin from Mount Vernon reads: “Dear Sir, Amid the public gratulations on your safe return to America, after a long absence, and the many eminent services you have rendered it—for which as a benefited person I feel the obligation—permit an individual to join the public voice in expressing his sense of them; and to assure you, that as no one entertains more respect for your character, so none can salute you with more sincerity, or with greater pleasure than I do on the occasion. I am—Dear Sir Yr most Obedt and Most Hble Servt Go: Washington” (ALS [facsimile], NN: Emmet Collection; LB DLC:GW). See also George Taylor, Jr., to GW, 17 October.