George Washington Papers

To George Washington from François-Jean de Beauvoir, marquis de Chastellux, 4 March 1783

Paris March 4. 1783

Dear general

nothing but the happy event upon which I give you Joy could Lessen my grief, while I think how far I am from your excellency; when I reflect that this sheet of paper must cross the atlantick—before it comes to your hands. is it the fate of man that no happiness is perfect and absolute. must the blessings of peace, be separated from others of friendship? I have seen your head crowned with Jewels and they suited very well the majesty of your countenance, but I wished to see your forehead [orned] with the olive, which suits as well the mildness of your features, and still more that of your heart. remember, my dear General, that you did not altogether discourage my hope to see your excellency in my country I am asked here every day, shall we see your great Washington? what can I answer? I have no courage to disapoint their fond expectation indeed, my dear general, if you are pleased with the alliance, if you wish to preserve a good harmony between france and america, you must yeld to my entreaties. Some bad consequences could follow your refusal; and, be it said in confidence I am afraid, less some french man of war might go up to the Patowmack, land a party of soldiers, an carry you away I Know [moreover] that the Marquess will make use of all his interest to obtain the command of the expedition this [pirate] is [Mercyless]. even [Mrs] Washington is exposed by the degredatory [scheme]; and the french in spite of their respect to the ladies—will approve the measure and sentence the pri[soners] pray my dear general pay some attention to this [hint] and do not lose time to prevent the [enterprise]. the only way to escape is to send me a [positive assurance] that you are coming, Oh! my dear general, would I hope to see the day where you land upon the french coast, my impatience should be a Kind of fever, and I would give to [ Time ] those rapid wings which [ Fame ] employed, for seven years past to spread your name all over the world; this very idea stop my pain, and methinksthat it is only in your bosom that I can express the feelings of respect gratitude and admiration with which I have the honor to be your most humble and obedient servant

le Ch. de chastellux

will you be so good to present my respect to Mrs Washington and to recall me to the remembrance, of the gentlemen of your [household] even your family. Peculiary to the colonel Tighman [   ] humphries, and Trumbull and to [   ] Walker.

A great change takes place in the brittish cabinet. I have received the tidings with the Greatest indiference, for it matter not, when the patient is dead, what doctor anatomise the corpse and inquire into the cause of his death.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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