l’Orient august 23. 1783
the King having honored me since my return to Europe with a commission of inspector of his troops, and the Regiments, I am to inspect being scattered through all the frontiers of this Kingdom, I am engaged in a progress of four thousand miles; but I find myself presently as near america as possible; and I wish heartily that instead of travelling on by land, I might embark at this place and proceed to Virginy, where I am told, your excellency is retired like an other Cincinnatus. Lord shelburne told the house with a patriotical emphasis that the moment of your independency should be the sunset of the british glory and splendor, but there is no sunset for great Washington’s fame; and your making a pause to fighting and commanding is a [ ] not a sundown. may the american star [ ] all the astronomical rules, and proceed from west to east! every french [man] as well in the country [ ] as in the capitale, ask me: shall we see you great Washington? I never fail to answer I hope so; but tis always with a Sigh which betrays my doubts. you was so good, dear general, to testify, in your last letter, a resignation to your fate, when ever a [french pirate] undertakes to carry you off. the favorable opportunity is come. there was no taking you prisoner at the head of your army; but mount vernon is not a fortress, and if henceforth you walk around it will be only as the philosopher of homilies interger vita [ ] paras. but it will not do with [a privatear] it is a thousand times better to come without compulsion and add that now [directs to] the innumerous tittles you have to our enthusiasm.
You are sensible dear general, that I depend always upon your goodness and think you indulge my prattling with you. but I can see [ ] indulge the pleasure I find with conversing with your excellency. My post horses are ready and I must proceed to Bourdeaux thence to [ ] & [ ] necessity to spare you Time and [and may serve and] content myself with [ ], your excellency that that I am with respect, attachment and gratitude. Your most humble and obedient servant
[ ] chastellux
I take the liberty to offer my respects and [hommage] to Mrs Washington. be so good, dear general, to recall me to the memory of all the gentlemen of your family. I am happy to know of the [preferment] of colonel Tilghman to the [safty] & [ ] of a husband.
DLC: Papers of George Washington.