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to my own lively memory of our friendship, I am almost induced to discredit my arithmetic. The affection I still retain for a family with whom I once lived in so much intimacy and confidence recalls to my mind often and often the most pleasing reflections. That heaven may shield the breast in which your happiness is embarked and administer to you every comfort of this life is the prayer of your sincere and affectionate friend


PARIS, July 9, 1786.

DEAR SIR,—I wrote you last on the 16th of June. Since that your favors of May 21 and June 12 have come to hand. The accounts of the King of Prussia are such that we may expect his exit soon." He is like the snuff of a candle, sometimes seeming

1 Col. William Stephens Smith was born in New York City in 1755, and graduated at Princeton College in 1774. He served with distinction during the Revolutionary War; and on the opening of diplomatic relations was appointed first Secretary of Legation to the Court of Great Britain. He accompanied John Adams to London, and July 12, 1786, he was married by the Bishop of St. Asaph to Abigail, Mr. Adams's oldest child and only surviving daughter. After his return to America he held various civil appointments, and served one term in Congress. He died at Lebanon, N. Y., June 10, 1816. (See Journal and Correspondence of Miss Adams, daughter of John Adams, pp. 99-117; Appleton's Cyclopædia of American Biography, vol. v. p. 596; Lanman's Biographical Annals, p. 395.) The letter here given is printed from the original manuscript in the large and valuable collection of autograph letters given to the Historical Society by Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Washburn.-EDS.

2 Frederick the Great died at Potsdam, August 17, 1786, a little more than a month after the date of this letter.-Eds.

to be out, then blazing up again for a moment. It is thought here that his death will not be followed by any immediate disturbance of the public tranquillity; that his kingdom may be considered as a machine which will go of itself a considerable time with the winding up he has given it. Besides this he has for for some time employed his successor in his councils, who is endeavoring to possess himself of and to pursue his uncle's plan of policy.1

The connection which has long subsisted between the Van Staphorsts, the Grands, and this court is known to you. I think it probable that private solicitations first suggested the late appointment and might be the real efficient cause of it. The ostensible one, and which has some reality too, is the accommodation of the lenders in Holland. It will doubtless facilitate the borrowing money there for this country, and multiply the partisans of the new alliance. The policy of this country is indeed wise. What would have been said a dozen years ago had any one pretended to foretell that in that short space of time France would get Holland, America, and even England under her wing?

We have had here some strong altercations between the court and the parliament of Bordeaux. The latter used a language which a British parliament would not have dared to use. The court was in the wrong, and will have the wisdom and moderation

1 Frederick William II., nephew and successor of Frederick the Great, was born September 25, 1744, and died December 16, 1797.—Eds.

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to recede. The question is, whether lands, called Alluvions on the river Garonne, belong to the king or to the proprietors to whose soil they have been added.

I have received by Dr. Bancroft the portable copying-press; it is perfectly well made. Be so good as to present my compliments and thanks to Mr. Cavallo for his attention to it. To yourself I suppose you would rather I should present the money. This I will do the moment you will inform me of the sum. In your letter of May 21 you mention that you had paid the maker £5-10, but a former letter gave me reason to believe you had to pay something to another person for a board, or the box, or something else. I will beg the favor of you at the same time to inform me what a pair of chariot harness will cost in London, plated, not foppish but genteel, and I will add the price, or not add it to the bill I shall send you, according as I shall find it when compared with prices here. Cannot you invent some commissions for me here, by way of reprisal for the vexations I give you? Silk stockings, gillets, etc., for yourself, gewgaws and other contrivances for Madame? A propos, all hail, Madame! may your nights and days be many and full of joy! May their fruits be such as to make you feel the sweet union of parent and lover, but not so many as that you may feel their weight! May they be hand

some and good as their mother,

wise and honest as

their father, but more milky! For your old age I will compose a prayer thirty years hence.

To return to business (for I am never tempted to pray but when a warm feeling for my friends comes athwart my heart). They tell me that they are about altering Dr. Ramsay's book in London in order to accommodate it to the English palate and pride.1 I hope this will not be done without the consent of the author, and I do not believe that will be obtained. If the booksellers of London are afraid to sell it, I think it can be sold here. Even the English themselves will apply for it here. It is very much esteemed by those who have read it. The French translation will be out in a short time. There is no gutting in that. All Europe will read the English transactions in America as they really happened. To what purpose then hoodwink themselves? Like the foolish ostrich who, when it has hid its head, thinks its body cannot be seen. I will beg the favor of you to prevail on Mr. Dilly 2 to send me 50 copies by the diligence. We shall see by the sale of these what further number we may call for. I will undertake to justify this to the author. They must come unbound. It will be necessary at the

1 The reference is to David Ramsay's "History of the Revolution of South Carolina from a British Province to an Independent State," published at Trenton in 1785. A French translation was published in 1787; and an English edition in 1788. See Allibone's Dictionary of Authors, vol. iii. p. 1734.-EDS.

* Charles Dilly, a well-known London bookseller, was born May 22, 1739, and died May 4, 1807. Among the books published by him were Boswell's Corsica, Tour to the Hebrides, and Life of Johnson, and Lord Chesterfield's Miscellaneous Works. He and an elder brother, Edward, had an extensive trade with America. See Dictionary of National Biography, vol. xv. pp. 91, 92.—EDS.

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same time to put into some of the English papers the following advertisement.

"The bookseller to whom Dr. Ramsay's history of the revolution of South Carolina was addressed for sale, having been advised that the executing that commission would expose him to the actions of certain persons whose conduct in America, as therein represented, is not in their favor, the public are hereby notified that they may be furnished with the said work either in the original English, or well translated into French, by writing to Froullé, libraire au quai des Augustins à Paris, and franking their letters. An opportunity of sending it to London occurs every week by the diligence." Send me a paper or two with this advertisement in it.

To put an end to your trouble I will wish you a good night, I beg your pardon. I had forgot that you would have it without my wishes. I bid you, therefore, a simple adieu, with assurances of my friendship and esteem.


NEW YORK, May 16, 1790. MY DEAR PATSY,-Yours of the 25th of April came to hand ten days ago, and yesterday I received Mr.

1 Martha, eldest child of Thomas and Martha (Wayles Skelton) Jefferson was born at Monticello in September, 1772; and when in her twelfth year accompanied her father to France, where she was carefully educated. In 1789 she returned to America with her father, and on the 23d of the following February was married to her second

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