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and they are extremely apt to entertain such sus picions. It was therefore that I proposed asking her to be of our late party; but your mother disliking it the motion was dropped, as some others have been, by my too great easiness, contrary to my judgment. Not but that I was sensible her being with us might have lessened our pleasure, but I hoped it might have prevented you some pain.
In fine, nothing can contribute to true happiness that is inconsistent with duty; nor can a course of action conformable to it be finally without an ample reward, for God governs and he is good. I pray him to direct you; and, indeed, you will never be without his direction if you humbly ask it and show yourself always ready to obey it.
Farewell, my dear friend, and believe me ever sin. cerely and affectionately yours,
TO MRS. STEVENSON.
25th JANUARY, 1779. It is always with great pleasure when I think of our long-continued friendship, which had not the least interruption in the course of twenty years (some of the happiest of my life) that I spent under your roof and in your company. If I do not write to you as often as I used to do when I happened to be absent from you, it is owing partly to the present difficulty of suro communication, and partly to an apprehension of somo inconvenience that my correspondence might possibly
occasion you. Be assured, my dear friend, that my regard, esteem, and affection for you are not in the least impaired or diminished, and that if circum. stances would pernit nothing would afford me so much satisfaction as to be with you in the same house, and to experience again your faithful, tender care and attention to my interests, health, and comfortable living, which so long and steadily attached me to you and which I shall ever remember with gratitude.
I thought I had mentioned to you before (and I believe I did, though my letter may have miscarried) that I received the white cloth suit, the sword, and the saddle for Temple, all in good order. I mention them now again because Polly tells me you had not heard of their arrival. I wore the clothes a good deal last summer. There is one thing more that I wish to have if you should meet with an opportunity of sending it. I mean the copper pot lined with silver, to roast fowls in by means of a heater. I should also be glad of the piece of elephant's tooth. It is old ivory, perhaps of the time before the flood, and would be a rarity to some friends here. But I doubt you will not be able to send them.
I rejoice to learn that your health is established and that you live pleasantly in a country town, with agreeable neighbors, and have your dear children about you. My love to every one of them. I long to see them and you ; but the times do not permit me the hope of it. Why do you never write to me? I used to love to read your letters, and I regret your long silence. They were seasoned with good sense and friendship, and even your spelling pleased me. Polly knows I think the worst spelling the best. I do not write to her by this conveyance. You will let her know that I acknowledge the receipt of her pleasing letter dated the 11th instant. I shall now only observe to you upon it that I know not how the patent can be taken out in Jacob's name. I am sure he had no claim to it; for when I first proposed to him the making of such wheels at Mr. Viney's in the country, he objected to it as impracticable. But Mr. Viney, who seized the thought and carried it into execution, had certainly the best right to the patent. I wish he would send me a good draw. ing, with the proportions of the little carriage with horses which his children came once in to see us. How do they all do, and particularly my little, patient Bessum ?
Since my coming here I have been told that Mr. Henley, the linen draper, had said, on my going to America, that I had gone away in his debt. I can hardly believe it. Let me know if you have heard such a thing, and what is the meaning of it. I thought he had been fully paid, and still tbink so, and shall till I am assured of the contrary. Let me know, at the same time, how my account stands with you.
You wish to know how I live. It is in a fine house, situated in a neat village, on high ground, half a mile from Paris, with a large garden to walk in. I havo abundance of acquaintance, dine abroad six days in seven. Sundays I reserve to dine at home with such Americans as pass this way; and I then bave my grandson Ben, with some other American children from the school.
If being treated with all the politeness of France and the apparent respect and esteem of all ranks, from the highest to the lowest, can make a man happy, I ought to be so. Indeed, I have nothing to complain of but a little too much business and the want of that order and economy in my family which reigned in it when under your prudent direction. My paper gives me only room to add that I am ever Yours most affectionately,
TO BENJAMIN WEBB.
Passy, 22d April, 1784. I RECEIVED yours of the 15th instant and the moinorial it inclosed. The account they give of your situation grieves me. I send you herewith a bill for ten louis d'ors. I do not pretend to give such a sum; I only lend it to you. When you shall return to your country with a good character, you cannot fail of getting into some business that will in time enable you to pay all your debts. In that case, when you meet with another honest man in similar distress you must pay me by lending this sum to him; enjoining him to discharge the debt by a like operation when he shall be able and shall meet with such another opportunity. I hope it may thus go through many hands before it meets with a knave that will stop its progress. This is a trick of mine for doing a deal of good with a little money.
I am not yet rich enough to afford much in good works, and so am obliged to be cunning and
make the most of a little. With best wishes for the success of your memorial and your future prosperity, I am, dear sir, your most: obedient serv
TO SAMUEL MATHER.
Passy, May 12th, 1784. I RECEIVED your kind letter, with your excellent advice to the people of the United States, which I read with great pleasure and hope it will be duly regarded. Such writings, though they may be lightly passed over by many readers, yet if they make a deep impression on one active mind in a hundred the effects may be considerable. Permit me to mention one little instance which, though it relates to myself, will not be quite uninteresting to you. When I was a boy I met with a book entitled "Essays to Do Good," which I think was written by your father.* It had been so little regarded by a former possessor that several leaves of it were torn out; but the remainder gave me such a turn of thinking as to have an influence on my conduct through life, for I have always set a greater value on the character of a doer of good than on any other kind of reputation ; and if I have been, as you seem to think, a useful citizen, the public owes the advantage of it to that book.
You mention your being in your seventy-eighth
* Cotton Mather.