I have the honor to be, with high respect, Gentlemen,
your most obedient
and most humble servant,
LETTER CXXVI.—TO MONSIEUR DESBORDES, October 12,1785
TO MONSIEUR DESBORDES.
Paris, October 12,1785.
There are, in the prison of St. Pol de Leon, six or seven citizens of the United States of America, charged with having attempted a contraband of tobacco, but, as they say themselves, forced into that port by stress of weather. I believe that they are innocent. Their situation is described to me to be as deplorable, as should be that of men found guilty of the worst of crimes. They are in close jail, allowed three sous a day only, and unable to speak a word of the language of the country. I hope their distress, which it is my duty to relieve, and the recommendation of Mr. Barclay to address myself to you, will apologize for the liberty I take, of asking you to advise them what to do for their defence, to engage some good lawyer for them, and to pass to them the pecuniary reliefs necessary. I write to Mr. Lister Asquith, the owner of the vessel, that he may draw bills on me, from time to time, for a livre a day for every person of them, and for what may be necessary to engage a lawyer for him. I will pray the favor of you to furnish him money for his bills drawn on me for these purposes, which I will pay on sight. You will judge if he should go beyond this allowance, and be so good as to reject the surplus. I must desire his lawyer to send me immediately a state of their case, and let me know in what court their process is, and when it is likely to be decided. I hope the circumstances of the case will excuse the freedom I take; and I have the honor to be, with great respect, Sir,
your most obedient, humble servant,
LETTER CXXVII.—TO HOGENDORP, October 13,1785
Paris, October 13,1785.
Having been much engaged lately, I have been unable sooner to acknowledge the receipt of your favor of September the 8th. What you are pleased to say on the subject of my Notes, is more than they deserve. The condition in which you first saw them, would prove to you how hastily they had been originally written; as you may remember the numerous insertions I had made in them, from time to time, when I could find a moment for turning to them from other occupations. I have never yet seen Monsieur de Buffon. He has been in the country all the summer. I sent him a copy of the book, and have only heard his sentiments on one particular of it, that of the identity of the mammoth and elephant. As to this, he retains his opinion that they are the same. If you had formed any considerable expectations from our revised code of laws, you will be much disappointed.