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My dear General,
I have received your affectionate letter of the 8th j and from the known sentiments of my heart to you, you will easily guess what my feelings have been in perusing the tender expressions of your friendship.
No, my beloved General, our late parting was not by any means a last interviev/. My wliole soul revolts at the idea ; and could I harbour it an instant, indeed, my dear General, it would make me miserable. I well see you never will go to France. The inexpressible pleasure of embracing you in my own house, of welcoming you in a family where your name is adored, I do not much expect to experience; but to you I shall return, and, within the walls of Mount Vernon, we shall yet often speak of old times. My firm plan is to visit now and then my friend on this side of the Atlantic ; and the most beloved of all friends I ever had, or ever shall have anywhere, is too strong an inducement for me to return to him, not to think that whenever it is possible I shall renew my so pleasing visits to Mount Yernon.
Since I have left you, my dear General, we have passed through Philadelphia to Trenton, where I was happy to find a numerous and well-chosen Congress. Their testimonies of kindness to me, and my answer to them, you will see in the newspapers. As to my services abroad, it has been (on motion respecting what I told you) universally decided that public confidence in me was a matter of course, a doubt of which ought not to be expressed. But, as I know the sense of the Congress, and as Mr. Jay has accepted, and Mr. Jeflerson will be Minister in France, my situation in that respect will be very agreeable.
Orders have been sent to Canada to reenforce the Lake posts, put the vessels in commission, and repel force by force. But I. think that if once Congress have the trade to regulate, mercantile interdictions Philadelphia will set these people to rights. Although party spirit had a little subsided in New York, yet that city is not by any means settled. How far from Boston !
Although your nephew is not arrived, I will hope for the pleasure to see him in Paris. General Greene was in Hartford when the letter reached him, from where he came to New York, and I had the pleasure to spend some days with him. Inclosed I send you a small cipher. Should any public political business require a fuller one, I will write to you a complete cipher I have had long ago with Mr. Jay's present department.
Mr. Carey, printer of the Volunteer journal, has been obliged to fly for his life, and now lives at Mr. Sutler's, hatter. Front street, in Philadelphia, where he is going to set up a paper. A letter from you, becoming a subscriber, and telling him I have mentioned it to you, will the most oblige me, as I have promised him to recommend him to my friends. He is now an American; and we have nothing to do with his quarrel with the Duke of Rutland, which disputes, by the by, seem to subside, and vanish into nothing. The French packet is not yet arrived.
The Chevalier de Caraman and Captain Grandchain beg leave to offer their respects to you, Mrs. Washington, and all the family. My most tender, affectionate respects wait upon Mrs. Washington and all the family. I beg she will give a kiss for me to the little girls, my friend ; and I beg Mrs.
Stuart, the Doctor, Mr. Lund Washington, and all our friends, to receive my best compliments. I hope Mr. Harrison will be soon appointed, and I wish his cousin may know it.
Adieu, adieu, my dear General. It is with inexpressible pain that I feel I am going to be severed from you by the Atlantic. Every thing, that admiration, respect, gratitude, friendship, and filial love, can inspire, is combined in my affectionate heart to devote me most tenderly to you. In your friendship I find a delight which words cannot express. Adieu, my dear General. It is not without emotion that I write this word, although I know I shall soon visit you again. Be attentive to your health. Let me hear from you every month. Adieu, adieu.
- General Lafayette
- Correspondence of the American Revolution; Being Letters of Eminent Men to George Washington, from the Time of His Taking Command of the Army to the End of His Presidency, Volume IV., Jared Sparks, 1853