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The source of the French strength (the credit of their assignats) is about to fail. Food is likely to fail them also. In a few months (I incline to believe) they will be low enough. We might have saved the original constitution, the king, Lafayette (lately it is said executed at Berlin), and the Feuillans, by preventing the invasion of France. Time would have strengthened regular government, in honest hands; time would have brought more strength into their constitution itself, and formed it more into the English model. Alas! alas ! what has followed ? What may yet follow?
In the mean time, we must all do our duty in our respective stations, and cling by the blessings we enjoy. The best news I wish to hear of
you is, that you have taken a French frigate of supe. rior force, the next best, a French St. Domingo
I have some little doubt whether honour or profit should come first. Since you must fight, I wish
Liverpool, Sept. 3. 1795. MY DEAR CAPTAIN,
You will enquire why I am so silent, if this be the state of my mind. If I were sure this letter would reach
you in safety, I would enter on this subject with you at large. In general, however, I may
observe, that I do not care to write to you on the subjects that have usually formed the principal points of our correspondence, and that I for some time had a little doubt whether it was proper for me to write to you at all. The times are very singular. Private correspondence has not been held sacred. The praises of Charles Grey, I have heard, were not of service to a captain in the navy, and I could suppose that he might not be benefited by corresponding with the reputed Jasper Wilson.
I believe that this spirit of insolence, bigotry, and malice decays; and that spies and informers are no longer in such a state of activity. But I feel delicately on a subject like this, and the very thought or suspicion, however unfounded, that
my correspondence might injure my friend, had something poisonous in its influence. It benumbed my exertions, and froze my impulses. Enough! Do not say much on this in your reply, if you at all notice it.
You will wish to know how I have gone on ; whether, for instance, I have suffered in my friendships or my practice by the spirit of the times. In my friendships, strictly speaking, I have not. All my friends, and indeed almost all the enlightened men I know, (yourself and two or three others excepted,) are of my way of thinking. In my practice I have suffered a little, perhaps, but not sufficiently to give me any uneasiness ; not sufficiently to diminish it on the whole. On the contrary, I am getting this year rather more than I ever did. I have, however, sacrificed a good deal to this same practice. It has kept me silent, not as to conversation, for I have not concealed my thoughts; but as to the public, which I have been a thousand times tempted to address once more, in defiance of every consideration of prudence.
The truth is, that, like one of the Hebrew prophets, I feel the spirit within me, and see, or think I see, the records of futurity. I am tempted to utter a warning voice that would save no man, and that would ruin myself.
Here has been a little fellow of the name of Hamilton * from India with us, whom I have taken to mightily. He tells me that he was at school with you and your brother James, whom he knows very well. He is an enlightened, learned, modest, and unaffected man. You
may what sort of a boy he was at school, for that throws much light on the man's character.
Here I must stop for the present, I will be a better correspondent in future. Let me know that you receive this safe, and tell me if the contents please you.
Farewell, my dear Graham. Fortune and honour attend you!
P.S. I have been reading your Father's two volumes on the French Revolution, which I think excellent.
* Afterwards Professor at the East India College, at Haileybury.
To Dr. Moore, London. (Among his father's papers, the Editor found the following letter without a date, endorsed, “ Intended letter to Dr. Moore," which is probably that alluded to in one of the preceding letters to Captain Moore. * If so, it must have been written before the end of November, 1792. Of its existence that gallant officer will be for the first time aware, on perusing these pages.)
DEAR SIR, Not having heard of your son Captain Moore's arrival in America, I use the freedom of enquiring after him from you.
When I laid the paper before me, it was my intention to write to him; but not knowing how to address him, this gives me something between an occasion and a pretence to write to you. Though I have not the pleasure of a personal acquaintance with you, yet I do not affect to introduce myself as one entirely unknown. I trust to the propensity of my gallant friend to talk of those he regards, for some mention of my name in your family, and indeed for much more honourable mention than I deserve. Though he