I have twenty things to say to you, but my ill state of Health prevents my adding more than that I am, with sincere Regards to Mrs Lee in which Mrs A very cordially joyns
1 Cf. page 12.
TO RICHARD HENRY LEE.
[Ms., American Philosophical Society.]
Boston April 20 1778
My dear sir——
I most heartily congratulate you on the happy and important News from Europe which will be conveyd to Congress by Mr Dean the Brother of our late Commissioner who will be so kind as to deliver you this Letter. France has acted with Magnanimity; while Britain continues to discover that Meanness and Poverty of Spirit, which renders her still more than ever contemptible in the Eyes of all sensible People. The Moderation of France is such as becomes a great and powerful Nation. Britain forgetfull of her former Character, sinks into Baseness in the Extreme. The one is generously holding out the Arm of Protection to a People most cruelly oppressd while the other is practicing the Arts of Treachery and Deceit to subjugate and enslave them. This is a Contrast which an ancient Britain would have blushd to have had predicted to him. It is a true Contrast, and we will blush for them.
Commissioners we are again told are coming out to treat with us. This is what we had Reason to expect. Her only Design is to amuse us & thereby to retard our operations, till she can land her utmost Force in America. We see plainly what Part we are to take; to be before hand of her; and by an early Stroke to give her a mortal Wound. If we delay our vigorous Exertions till the Commissioners arrive, the People abroad may, many of them will be amusd with the flattering Prospect of Peace, and will think it strange if we do not consent to a Cessation of Arms till propositions can be made and digested. This carries with it an Air of Plausibility; but from the Moment we are brought into the Snare, we may tremble for the Consequence. As there [are] every where awful Tories enough, to distract the Minds of the People, would it not be wise for the Congress by a Publication of their own to set this important Intelligence in a clear Light before them, and fix in their Minds the first Impressions in favor of Truth? For I do assure you, it begins to be whisperd by the Tories & as soon as they dare to do it they will speak aloud,