To William Short June 4, 1790
From the original letter at the Library of Congress.,
London June 4th 1790
This is the third letter I have written you and I begin it before I know what the News of the day is - You will hear something about the return of the English Messenger but you are to understand this is not the Messenger who was sent on the 6th of May with the peremptory demand - his name is Basilico - This is Flint who was sent off some days previous to B_ with dispatches overland to Gibralter - Flint I believe passed through Madrid on his return while B_ was there but nothing transpires from anything which Flint has brought - The Stocks rose upon the return of F_ and a report was immediately circulated that Spain had signed an unconditional Submission - They fell again (one 7s. 6d.) yesterday - The total inability of France to take any Part is yet in everybody’s mouth, but I believe some of them begin to fear or think otherwise.
The Statement delivered in by M. Necker has given me infinite pleasure - I never had any doubt upon the final Success of the French finances - National Wealth may be created by opinion as in England - But in France where there are mines of real resources, time and good management cannot fail to bring them forth -
The preparations for war here goes on - It signifies not doing things by halves - therefore till France and Spain exert themselves fully England will ever be an insolent neighbor - bullying first one, and then the other - yet were a combined fleet now to come up the Channel, this City (London) would be in the most perfect consternation, for they have lived so long without being molested at home that they are become Bullies abroad and Cowards at home. -
Doctor Franklin has finished his Career - he died the saturday before the 27th of April. Congress goes into Mourning a Month on the Occasion - old Mr. Vaughn who writes the letter from Philadelphia says that his funeral procession was attended by the greatest Concourse of people he ever saw except the Coronation at London - not only the Streets, Windows, and Roofs but the Tops of the Chimneys were covered with people.
Mr. Casertir shewed me a letter from Boyd & Carr house, Paris, which says that the Prussian Treasury is a sec (dry) - the letter is from Furguson.
I imagine that the King of Prussia has collected an Army too unwieldy for his resources.
Adieu. Let me hear from you some how or other - If you do not chuse to write by M. de la Lucerne’s dispatches, write to me under Cover to Mr. Parker No. 18 Leicester Square.
There is much talk that the fleet preparing here about 12 or 14 Sail of the Line will go into the Baltic