George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Paradise, 2 April 1790

From John Paradise

c.2 April 1790


I avail myself of the opportunity, afforded me by my friend Count Andriani, of conveying to you an ode, which Count Allien, the author of it, desired me long ago to convey to you.1 The rambling and of course unsettled condition I have been in since my return to Europe has entirely put it out of my power to comply sooner with Count Alfieri’s request; and this unpleasant condition added to an apprehension of being troublesome has likewise deprived me of the satisfaction of joining my most sincere congratulations with those of my fellow citizens on the auspicious event, which has placed you, the object of our veneration, love, confidence and gratitude at the helm of our government. That you may long, Sir live to make our country prosper is, I can assure you, the most ardent wish not only of us Americans, but of all those Europeans also, who, sensible of the value of liberty, know how much indebted they are to the example which the glorious cause you have so nobly defended has given to the world, for the rapid and successful strides that are now making in a considerable part of Europe towards the attainment of that invaluable blessing. There is not a more popular man in France than our gallant Marquis, your pupil; nor indeed can popularity be more justly merited—His actions are directed by the purest views, and his glory consists in doing good to mankind. May his labours, therefore, be crowned with success. Count Andriani is a nobleman from Milan, highly distinguished by every valuable endowment, and deserving of the honour of being presented to you. As he is thoroughly acquainted with the affairs of Europe, I have nothing further to say at present, than to offer my most respectful compliments to Mrs Washington, and subscribe myself with the greatest respect, Sir, your most obliged, and most obedient humble servant

John Paradise.


For an identification of John Paradise, see Lucy Paradise to GW, 12 May 1789, source note.

1The enclosed work was probably Bruto Primo, tragedia (Parigi, 1788), by Vittorio Alfieri (1749–1803). Three pages of this are devoted to a dedication, “Al chiarissimo e libero uomo il generale Washington.” A copy of this work is among GW’s books in the Boston Athenaeum (Griffin, Boston Athenaeum Collection, description begins Appleton P.C. Griffin, comp. A Catalogue of the Washington Collection in the Boston Athenæum. Cambridge, Mass., 1897. description ends 5). Count Andriani, the bearer of the letter, was a young Italian friend of John and Lucy Ludwell Paradise (Shepperson, John Paradise and Lucy Ludwell, description begins Archibald Bolling Shepperson. John Paradise and Lucy Ludwell of London and Williamsburg. Richmond, Va., 1942. description ends 93, 420–22). In a letter to John Adams, Richard Price described Andriani as “a respectable Nobleman from Milan . . . a friend to the liberties of mankind” (Price to Adams, 21 Mar. 1790, quoted in Boyd, Jefferson Papers, description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 40 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950—. description ends 16:294). John Paradise wrote a letter to Jefferson on 2 April 1790 to be delivered by Andriani, who apparently left for a tour of America shortly thereafter (ibid.; see also John Rutledge, Jr., to Jefferson, 25 Mar. 1790, ibid., 266–67).

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