just also. Justice indeed, on our part, will save
us from those wars which would have been produced
by a contrary disposition. But how can we prevent
those produced by the wrongs of other nations?
By putting ourselves in a condition to punish them.
Weakness provokes insult and injury, while a condition
to punish, often prevents them. This reasoning
leads to the necessity of some naval force; that being
the only weapon with which we can reach an enemy.
I think it to our interest to punish the first insult:
because an insult unpunished is the parent of many
others. We are not, at this moment, in a condition
to do it, but we should put ourselves into it, as
soon as possible. If a war with England should
take place, it seems to me that the first thing necessary,
would be a resolution to abandon the carrying trade,
because we cannot protect it. Foreign nations
must, in that case, be invited to bring us what we
want, and to take our productions in their own bottoms.
This alone could prevent the loss of those productions
to us, and the acquisition of them to our enemy.
Our seamen might be employed in depredations on their
trade. But how dreadfully we shall suffer on our
coasts, if we have no force on the water, former experience
has taught us. Indeed, I look forward with horror
to the very possible case of war with an European
power, and think there is no protection against them,
but from the possession of some force on the sea.
Our vicinity to their West India possessions, and
to the fisheries, is a bridle which a small naval
force, on our part, would hold in the mouths of the
most powerful of these countries. I hope our
land office will rid us of our debts, and that our
first attention then will be, to the beginning a naval
force, of some sort. This alone can countenance
our people as carriers on the water, and I suppose
them to be determined to continue such.
I wrote you two public letters on the 14th instant,
since which I have received yours of July the 13th.
I shall always be pleased to receive from you, in
a private way, such communications as you might not
choose to put into a public letter.
I have the honor to be, with very sincere esteem,
your most obedient, humble servant,
LETTER XCVIII.—TO COLONEL MONROE, August 28, 1735
TO COLONEL MONROE.
Paris, August 28, 1735.
I wrote you on the 5th of July by Mr. Franklin, and
on the 12th of the same month by Monsieur Houdon.
Since that date, yours of June the 16th, by Mr. Mazzei,
has been received. Every thing looks like peace
here. The settlement between the Emperor and
Dutch is not yet published, but it is believed to
be agreed on. Nothing is done, as yet, between
him and the Porte. He is much wounded by the
confederation of several of the Germanic body, at
the head of which is the King of Prussia, and to which