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Two Days ago, I was favoured with your polite and elegant Letter of January 22. I have received so many of your Letters, within a few Months, containing such important Matter, in So masterly a style, that I am ashamed to confess I have answered but one of them, and that only with a few Lines. I beg you would not impute this omission to Inattention, Negligence, or Want of Regard, but to its...
I had the Pleasure of a Letter from you, a few days before I Sailed from Boston, which I have never been able to answer. I think I find more to do here; more Difficulty to do right and at the Same Time give Satisfaction, than I did, you know where. We Suffer here extreamly for Want of Intelligence from America, as We did there, and as I fear you do still for Want of it from Europe. We have...
I am indebted to you, for more Letters than I can repay at present. But declaring myself a Bankrupt, You must except of a few shillings in the Pound. Indeed I suspect the Debt is greater than I know of. I saw in the Courier de L’Europe, Part of a Letter from you to Dr. Dubourg, which was intercepted, in which you refer him to me for a long Letter you wrote me upon our military affairs &c. But...
I had the Pleasure of yours of August 19, by the last Post, and thank you for your kind Congratulations on my Return. You judge right, when you Suppose, that I cannot be idle, but my Industry will probably be directed, in a different manner, in future. My Principles are not in Fashion. I may be more usefull here, as you observe, than in the Cabinet of Louis the 16. But let me tell you, that...
Your favours of Octr. 12 and 19 are before me. I should not have left the first Seven days unanswered, if had not been for my new Trade of a Constitution monger. I inclose a Pamphlet as my Apology. It is only a Report of a Committee, and will be greatly altered no doubt. If the Committee had boldly made the Legislature consist of three Branches, I should have been better pleased. But I cannot...
I Yesterday, received your Favour of the 28 of April, the first Since my Arrival by Dr. John Foulke. This young Gentleman shall have every assistance in my power to procure him in the Prosecution of his Studies. When, or whether ever I Shall enter on the Business of my Mission, So as to restore Peace, Time only can discover. England is more disposed to a War with one another at home, and a War...
Yours of 13 July I have received. Your Account of the Resurrection of the Spirit of 65 and 6, is very refreshing. The Ladies having undertaken, to support American Independance settles the Point. Surely no Gentleman will ever dispute it against So many of the fair. The ill bred Fellows at St. James’s will continue to quarrell about it, but We knew long ago that they have no manners. If Mrs....
Mr Peter Paulus, is seized with an enthusiasm to go to Philadelphia, with his Journeymen. I Should be much obliged to you, for any Advice or Civility you may Show him. The Batavian Spirit is at last arroused, and has uttered its Voice, with Majesty, for the Souvereignty of the United States of America. The 19 of April, was the memorable day, when their High Mightinesses took, the Resolution....
Accept of my thanks for your favor of 28 th. Sept r. — The Analogy of Religion & of Manners are undoubtedly not less advantages in the Connection with Holland, than those of Commerce and Republicanism. The Influence of the Stadtholder & his Court, the Intrigues of the English; the Weight of a numerous, wealthy & powerful English Party; the secret and open Negotiations of Neutral Powers, were...
Give me Leave to introduce to Your Acquaintance and Friendship, M r Thaxter, who goes home with the definitive Treaty. This Treaty which is but a Repetition of the Provisional Articles was all We could obtain, a poor Compensation for nine Months Negotiation; but I assure you We were very glad to get the Hand put to this. I was in hopes to have Soon Seen you in Philadelphia, but Congress have...
The Letter that accompanies this, is from a Character so respectable, that I beg leave to recommend it to your particular Attention. The Correspondent will be found worthy of you.— I have taken Leave, and shall embark, as soon as the Equinoxial and its roughest Blusters are past. The Emperors Declaration of War announces louder Storms in Europe: but I hope to escape them all in a peaceful...
A multiplicity of avocations have prevented me, from answering your friendly Letter of the 2 d of July, till I am almost ashamed to answer it, at all. Your Congratulations on my Arrival and kind Reception are very agreable because I know them to be Sincere. your Compliments upon my poor Volumes are consolatory, because they give me grounds to hope that they may have done Some good. it is an...
Your obliging favor of the 22 d Ult I rec d. last night.— I remember so much of the transactions, at the formation of the Pensilvania Constitution, that I wish you could save time enough from almost any other pursuit, to arrange your materials for an History of the Revolution in Pensilvania, to be published hereafter; at present perhaps it might not be prudent. The four respectable characters,...
Your favour of the 19 of March deserves a particular consideration and answer, which I have not, till now, been able, from a multitude of avocations some frivolous yet indispensable, others of more consequence, to give it. The Influence which you Suppose I may have as President of the Senate, will be found to be very little, if any at all. you Say the Eastern States must not be Suspected: but...
No! You and I will not cease to discuss political questions: but We will agree to disagree , whenever We please, or rather whenever either of Us thinks he has reason for it.—I really know not what you mean by apeing the Corruptions of the British Court. I wish Congress had been called to meet at Philadelphia: but as it is now here, I can conceive of no Way to get it transported hither, without...
Your single principle, in your letter of the 15th. must fail you you say "that Republican Systems have never had a fair Tryal” what do you mean by a fair tryal? and what by republican systems—Every Government that has more than one man in its soverignty is a republican system. Tryals inumerable have been Made as many as there have existed Nations. There is not and never was, I believe on Earth...
Without waiting for an answer to my last, I will take a little more notice of a Sentiment in one your letters. You say you "abhor all Titles." I will take the familiar freedom of Friendship to say I don’t believe you.—Let me explain my self.—I doubt not your veracity, but I believe you deceive yourself, and have not yet examined your own heart, and recollected the feelings of every day and...
I have read Dr Rush, de moribus Germanorum, with pleasure. As I am a great lover of paradoxes, when defended with ingenuity, I have read also the Phillippic against Latin and Greek, with some amusement: but my reverence for those Languages, and the inestimable treasures hoarded up in them is not abated. Jean Jaques Rousseau’s phillippic against the arts and sciences amused informed and charmed...
I have persecuted you, too much with my letters.—I beg you would give yourself no trouble to answer them, but when you are quite at leisure, from more important Business or more agreable amusements. I deny, that there is or ever was in Europe a more free Republic than England, or that any Liberty on Earth ever equalled English liberty, notwithstanding the defects in their Constitution. The...
“The Characters I so much admire among the ancients.” were not “formed wholly by Republican forms of government."—I admire, Phillip and Alexander, as much as I do Themistocles and Pericles, nay as much as Demosthenes—I admire Pisistratus, almost as much as Solon: and think that the Arts, Elegance, Literature and Science of Athens, was his work, and that of his sons, more than of any or all the...
I cannot give up my dear Latin and Greek although Fortune has never permitted me to enjoy so much of them as I wished. I don’t love you the less however for your Indifference or even opposition to them. Pray do you carry your Theory so far as to wish to exclude French, Italian, Spanish, and Tudesque? I begun to fear that your multiplied phisical and other engagements had made you forget me....
I had heard before I recd your Letter of the 12th, of your new Engagements in the Colledge added to your extensive Practice and other virtuous Pursuits: and therefore was at no loss to account for your long Silence. I have no Pretensions to the Merit of your manly and successful opposition to the Constitution of Pensilvania: but I am very willing to be responsible, for any Consequences of its...
The Tories, are not only more united and attached to each other as you observe in your Letter of the 24th, but they are more skilful Politicians than the Whigs. They understand better how to influence the public opinion.—The Whigs never during the War, or at the Peace made the most of their own Actions as the Tories always do. it is really ridiculous to observe the Simplicity of our good...
The Tories as you observe in your friendly Letter of 24 Feb. are more attached to each other; they are also, We must candidly confess, more of real Politicians. They make to themselves more merit with the People, for the smallest services, than the Whigs are able to do for the greatest. The Arts the Tr umpetts the Puffs, are their old Instruments and they know how to employ them. The History...
Your Letter of April 13, Soars above the visible diurnal sphere.—I own to you that Avarice Ambition the Love of Fame &c are all mysterious Passions. They are the greatest absurdities, Delusions and Follies that can be imagined, if in this Life only We had hope. In the Boat on our Return from Point no Point, the principal Topick of Conversation was Independence —An intercepted Letter early in...
It seemeth unto me that you and I ought not to die without saying good-bye or bidding each other Adieu. Pray how do you do? How does that excellent Lady Mrs: Rush; How are the young ladies? Where is my Surgeon & Lieut? How fares the lawyer? Two learned & famous Physicians, Sydenham & Rush have taught us, that the plague & the yellow fever, and all other epidemic diseases when they prevail in a...
I have just now received your friendly letter of the 19th. and rejoice with you Sincerely in the Wellfare of your Family. I wish you had named the Captain in the British Army who has been So fortunate as to marry your Second daughter; Many of those officers are worthy Men, and you are much in the Wrong to deplore her as lost to you,—for life. Neither Upper Canada nor England are so far off,...
I am highly gratified, to possess So authentic an Account of the Several rising branches of your numerous and amiable Family, in whose Welfare I feel So much Interest, that I ask your Permission to add my Benediction to yours. It is to me highly probable that those who have been carried Captive into the British Dominions, will Succeed as Well in Life, as those who may be destined to enjoy all...
Your Letter, my dear Friend, of the 29th. of June, Suggets enough of Serious reflections, to compose a longer reply, than I am, at present disposed to write, or than you could read with any Satisfaction. John Ross, and I think, some others, whom you have not mentioned were in the Boat with us from Point no Point. I wish to ascertain, if I could the Month and Day as well as the names of the...
Your favour of the 14th gives an exact Analysis of Pennsylvania and its Parties: and from it, a probability results, that the Old Constitution will be revived. But, for what reason do you call it Dr. Franklins? I always understood it to be the Work of Cannon, Matlack, Young and Paine, and that Franklin, though President of the Convention, had no greater hand in its fabrick than the painted head...
Although it is a gratification to my feelings to write to you and a much greater pleasure to receive a Letter from you: Yet I have no desire to give you any trouble, or the least Anxiety on my Account when your Answer is delayed. I know your Avocations and respect them. No Apology is ever necessary, for any pause in our Correspondence. The Journals of Congress afford little light, in...
I am half inclined to be very angry with you for destroying the Anecdotes and documents you had collected for private Memoirs of the American Revolution. From the Memories of Individuals, the true Springs of Events and the real motives of Actions are to be made known to Posterity. The Period in the History of the World, the best understood, is that of Rome from the time of Marius to the Death...
The new Edition of your medical Works, mentioned in your favour of the sixth of this month, have been committed to mr Shaw: my Nephew whom you know, and will be sent to me from Boston in due time. Many of those compositions I have read and shall read again with much pleasure, and shall make them as generally useful as I can among the Physicians in my Neighbourhood: but as I feel as few as I...
Your favour of the fifteenth is received. In a cornfield, which I had manured with seaweed and Marsh mud, in a compost with other materials, I found, last fall, two plants of an uncommon Appearance which I Suspected to be the Kali: because—they resembled the descriptions of it which I had read in the Dictionary of natural History and in the Œconomical Dictionary, both of which quote Monsieur...
Your Letter of the tenth, like all others from your pen, notwithstanding all your apologies, was a cordial to my Spirit. I must confess to you, that the data, upon which you reason from the Prophecies concerning the future amelioration of the condition of mankind, are too obscure and uncertain, to authorize us to build any System upon them for the conduct of Nations—It is well to understand as...
I have two of your Letters to acknowledge, at once. The Treatise on the Spleen I have read, and been entertained by it, perhaps more than I should have been if I had been better acquainted with the sciences on which it depends. Your medical Speculations are to me as entertaining as Romances of which I am a great lover: but they are as much in request among the learned of your Profession: so...
Thanks for your favour of Aug. 22d. My Experience is perfectly conformable to yours, respecting silent Men. Silence is most commonly design and Intrigue. In Franklin it was very remarkable, because he was naturally a great Talker. I have conversed with him frequently in his garrulous humours, and his Grandson, or Son, Billy has told me that he never knew a greater Talker than his Grandfather....
When I recd your favour of the 24. Oct, I Soberly expected a grave dissertation on the Perfectibility of Man. Although I thank you for the political information you give me, which is amusing and although I doubt not your Physiological researches will result in something usefull to the publick, yet, as I have ever considered all Arts Sciences and Litterature as of small importance in comparison...
I thank you for yours of the twenty fifth of November. I was in hopes you would have explained to me the System of human Perfectibility which was is claimed as the Invention of Dr Priestley. The System of the French Œconomists I took some Pains, more than five and twenty years ago, to understand; but could not find one Gentleman among the Statesmen, Phylosophers and Men of Letters, who...
You make me very happy when you Say, that you agree with me upon the Subject of the Perfectibility of Man. Let every Man endeavor to amend and improve one and We Shall find ourselves in the right Road to all the Perfection We are capable of: but this rule Should by no means exclude our utmost exertions to amend and improve others, and in every Way and by all means in our Power to ameliorate...
Your favour of the 3d is received; I am willing to allow you Philosophers your opinion of the universal gravitation of matter, if you will allow mine that there is in some souls a principle of absolute levity that buoys them irresistibly into the Clouds. Whether you call it etherial spirit or inflammable air it has an uncontroulable tendency to ascend & has no capacity to ascertain the height...
I thank you, my dear Sir for the promptitude of your Answer to my last Letter, and for inclosing the misterious one to you, which however has every Appearance of honesty about it. My Daughter Started the Idea that it might be our Friend Wm. Smith of Charlestown who married Miss Izzard: but the Date of the Letter is New York. My Daughter, upon my Receipt of your Letter wrote to her Husband on...
I return you, the Letter of Edward Smith. Time may or may not unriddle this whimsical Mystery. It might however in the mean time to put Us on our guard against Intrigues. My not preserving a Copy of my Letter to Dr Nathan Webb (for he was a Physician) is no Wonder: for I never kept a Copy of any Letter, till I became a Member of Congress in 1774. The observation of your Son Richard is very...
I received at an Exhibition of Musick in our polite Village of Mount Woollaston, on thursday, your Letter relative to Mr Loude, and sent it immediately to Dr Tufts by his Lady, that the Young Gentlemans Friends might be informed of his Situation. I lament the untimely decline of a Youth, although I never Saw him, who has been represented to me, as one who injured his health by too intense an...
I have received your favour of the ninth of this Month, and conveyed to Dr Tufts your Letter to him, who desireses me to express to you the high sense he has of your Benevolence And Humanity to Mr John Loude. The Doctor will write you, as soon as he can find means of conveying to the Parents of that unfortunate youth the money you enclosed. What Shall We Say, my Friend? A pious and virtuous...
John Bunjan, if he had written my last Letter to you would have called it an history of Gods Judgments against Lyars and Libellers. Such indeed it seems to be. A great Number of others might have been added, and two or three at least ought to have been. Phillip Freneau is one of the Number: but I know not in what Light to consider him. A Libeller, he certainly was not only against me but...
I want to write an Essay.—Whom Shall I choose for a Model?—Plutarch, old Montaigne, Lord Bacon, Addison, Johnson, or Franklin? The last, if he had devoted his Life to the Study might have equalled Montaine in Essays or La Fontaine in Fables: for he was fitter more fitted for either or both than to conduct a Nation like Prony or Colbert. I am however too round about, to imitate the close,...
It is rare, that a Letter of yours remains so long upon my Table unacknowledged as has that of July 9th. Crudens Apophthagm is well worthy of your Remembrance and that of your Posterity for forty times forty years more. It is the only Clue to the Labyrinth of the World, the only key to the Riddle of the Universe. “Some Crimes are punished to prove a Providence; others escape to teach a future...
I have, long before the receipt of your favour of the 31 of October, supposed that either you were gazing at the Comet or curing the Influenza: and in either case, that you was much better employed than in answering my idle Letters. Pray! have our Astronomers at Phyladelphia, observed that Stranger in the Heavens? Have they noted its Bearings and Distances, its Course and progress! whence it...
I thank you for your printed lecture on the humanity Economy and other virtues, which require of us, more attention to our domestick animals, and especially to their diseases. We see our horses, horned cattle, sheep, swine and other species, as well as our cats and dogs, sick or wounded and no body knows what to do with them or for them, so that a broken bone or a fit of sickness is almost...