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intimacy with Mr. Pitt, and I verily believe this paragraph contains the genuine creed of the nation and ministry. You will observe that the 4th article of our original draught of a treaty transmitted to the several courts was contrary to a right reserved by the states in the confederation. We shall correct it in every instance.
War and peace still doubtful. . It rather seems that the peace may continue a while yet but not very long. The Emperor has a head too combustible to be quiet. He is an eccentric character, all enterprise, without calculation, without principle, without feelings. Ambitious in the extreme but too unsteady to surmount difficulties. He had in view at one time to open the Scheld, to get Maestricht from the Dutch, to take a large district from the Turks, to exchange some of his Austrian Dominions for Bavaria, to create a ninth electorate, to make his nephew King of the Romans, and to change totally the Constitution of Hungary. Any one of these was as much as a wise prince would have undertaken at any one time. Quod ault, valde ault, sed non diu ault.
I send you Voltaire's legacy to the K. of Prussia, a libel which will do much more injury to Voltaire than to the King. Many of the traits in the character of the latter to which the former gives a turn satyrical & malicious, are real virtues. I should remind you that two packets have now come without bringing me a letter from you, and should scold you soundly, but that I consider it as certain evidence of your being sick. If this be so, you
prayers for better health, but why has no body else written to me? Is it that one is forgotten as soon as their back is turned ? I have a better opinion of men.
It must be either that they think that the details known to themselves are known to every body & so come to us thro' a thousand channels, or that we should set no value on them. Nothing can be more erroneous than both those opinions. We value those details little & great, public & private in proportion to our distance from our own country : and so far are they from getting to us through a thousand channels, that we hear no more of them or of our country here than if we were among the dead. I have never received a tittle from any member of Congress but yourself & one letter from Dr. Williamson. - The D. de Rochefoucault is kind enough to communicate to us the intelligence which he receives from Mr St John, & the M. de la F. what he gets from his correspondents. These have been our only sources of intelligence since the middle of December.
There are particular public papers here which collect and publish with a good deal of accuracy the facts connected with political arithmetic. In one of these I have just read the following table of the proportion between the value of gold & silver in several countries. Germany 1. to 1441. Spain 1. to 141%. Holland 1. to 14 England i to 151. France i to 14,4%. Savoy 1. to 14). Russia i to 15. The average is 1. to 145 As Congress were on this subject when I left them & I have not heard of their having finished it, I thought this worth your notice.
Since the warm weather has set in I am almost perfectly re-established. I am able now to walk six or eight miles a day which I do very regularly. This must supply the place of the journey I had meditated into the South of France. Tho' our business does not afford constant occupation, it is of such a nature one does not know when our presence may be wanted. I need add no signature but wishing you every happiness bid
TO JAMES MADISON.
PARIS, May 11, 1785.
DEAR SIR,—Your favor of Jan. 9 came to my hands on the 13th of April. The very full and satisfactory detail of the proceedings of Assembly which it contained, gave me the highest pleasure. The value of these communications can not be calculated at a shorter distance than the breadth of the Atlantic. Having lately made a cypher on a more convenient plan than the one we have used, I now transmit it to you by a Monsr. Doradour, who goes to settle in Virginia. His family will follow him next year. Should he have occasion of your patronage I beg leave to solicit it for him. They yesterday finished printing my notes. I had 200 copies printed, but do not put them out of my own hands, except two or three copies here & two which I shall send to America, to yourself & Colo Monroe, if they can be ready this evening, as promised. In this case you will receive one
by Monsr. Doradour. I beg you to peruse it carefully, because I ask your advice on it & ask no body's else. I wish to put it into the hands of the
young men at the college, as well on account of the political as physical parts. But there are sentiments on some subjects which I apprehend might be displeasing to the country, perhaps to the assembly or to some who lead it. I do not wish to be exposed to their censure ; nor do I know how far their influence, if exerted, might effect a misapplication of law to such a publication were it made. Communicate it then in confidence to those whose judgments & information you would pay respect to, & if you think it will give no offence I will send a copy to each of the students of W. M. C. and some others to my friends & to your disposal, otherwise I shall only send over a very few copies to particular friends in confidence & burn the rest.-Answer me soon & without reserve. Do not view me as an author & attached to what he has written. I am neither. They were at first intended only for Marbois. When I had enlarged them, I thought first of giving copies to three or four friends. I have since supposed they might set our young students into a useful train of thought, and in no event do I propose to admit them to go to the public at large. A variety of accidents have postponed my writing to you till I have no further time to continue my letter. The next packet will sail from Havre. I will then send your books & write more fully. But answer me immediately on the preceding subject.
V. S. A.
TO THE GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA.
PARIS, June 16, 1785. Sir,—I had the honor of receiving the day before yesterday the resolution of council of Mar. 10, and your letter of Mar. 30, and shall with great pleasure unite my endeavours with those of the M. de la Fayette and Mr. Barclay for the purpose of
procuring the arms desired. Nothing can be more wise than this determination to arm our people as it is impossible to say when our neighbors may think proper to give them exercise. I suppose that the establishing a manufacture of arms to go hand in hand with the purchase of them from hence is at present opposed by good reasons. This alone would make us independent for an article essential to our preservation, and workmen could probably be either got here, or drawn from England to be embarked hence.
In a letter of Jan. 12, to Govr. Harrison I informed him of the necessity that the statuary should see Genl. Washington, that we should accordingly send him over unless the Executive disapproved of it, in which case I prayed to receive their pleasure. Mr. Houdon being now re-established in his health, and no countermand received, I hope this measure meet the approbation of the Executive ; Mr. Houdon will therefore go over with Dr. Franklin some time in the next month.
I have the honour of inclosing you the substance of propositions which have been made from London to the Farmers general of this country to furnish them with the tobaccoes of Virginia & Maryland, which