George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Antoine-Jean-Louis Le Bègue de Presle Duportail, 24 December 1783

paris 24 dec. 1783

Dear general

I arrived here ten days ago from london—I landed at plimouth traveled through england about three hundred miles—and stayd at london five days & i intended to stay some time longer but was prevented by different news I heard from here—your Excellency will not be surprised of that tour of mine—after the americain war it was Certainly Curious to see england & to observe the effect of their misfortunes, the alteration it ought to produce in their government &c. so for those Reasons I propose to Return there in two months hence—there is now in that City and throughout that Country another Cause of fermentation. it is the affair of the east indies—as you Receive probably the english papers, I think it superfluous to give your excellency any account of it—but I will be satisfied with saying to you that after all what I heard of the situation of their affairs in that part of the world it is a great pity that france has made peace with england so four one year more and probably they were irrecoverably lost there. it is what I imagined while in america—I Cannot give you any interesting news from this place. pleasure, diversions are the first objects which strike the attention here, and a person who is arriving should think that there are no other affairs in paris. to know that it is not so Requires some times so as I Cannot give you any thing interesting in politics. I am almost tempted to give you something in the phisical way. but I suppose this same ship will Carry you from every one of your Corrispondents great particulars about the merveille of the time, your Excellency Conceives that I am speaking of the air balloon, the most extraordinary discovery ever made—but in that very matter I am yet pretty ignorant, I had not yet time since I am here of penetrating into all the proceedings. Chv. de Chastillux to whom I delivered your letter told me that he intended to give your Excellency an account of it. nobody Can do it better than that gentleman.

every body here, dear general, asks me if you intend to Come over—I give them little hope after what you Told me. you may be Certain that your Excellency should be Receivd in france with great pleasure but nobody Could have a greater satisfaction to see you than myself—you may be an object of admiration for those who are at a distance and who know only your military and political life—but for those who are so happy as to be particularly acquainted with your excellency’s private Character you are equally an object of veneration and attachment—however if I have little hopes of seeing you in france I hope to see you in america—for I am far from Renouncing to that Country for ever. may be I shall be able to tell you more about it a few weeks hence. I suppose this letter will find your Excellency in virginia. permit me to present my Respects to Mrs Washington, and my Compliments to the gentleman our Companions in the war who are so happy as to live near you. I have the honour to be with great Respect and attachement dear general Your most obediant humble Servant


DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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