Shades that the Jealousy and Envy of a Man's Countrymen and Contemporaries are ever endeavouring to cast over living Merit. Here you would know, and enjoy, what Posterity will say of Washington. For a 1000 Leagues have nearly the same Effect with 1000 Years. The feeble Voice of those groveling Passions cannot extend so far either in Time or Distance. At present I enjoy that Pleasure for you: as I frequently hear the old Generals of this martial Country, (who study the Maps of America, and mark upon them all your Operations) speak with sincere Approbation and great Applause of your Conduct, and join in giving you the Character of one of the greatest Captains of the Age.
I must soon quit the Scene, but you may live to see our Country flourish, as it will amazingly and rapidly after the War is over. Like a Field of young Indian Corn, which long Fair weather and Sunshine had enfeebled and discolour'd, and which in that weak State, by a Thunder Gust of violent Wind, Hail and Rain seem'd to be threatend with absolute Destruction; yet the Storm being once past, it recovers fresh Verdure, shoots up with double Vigour, and delights the Eye not of its Owner only, but of every observing Traveller.
The best Wishes that can be form'd, for your Health Honour and Happiness, ever attend you, from
Your Excellency's most obedient and most humble Servant
TWICE in the course of the Revolution the Marquis de Lafayette received leave from Congress to make extended visits to his home in France. During these sojourns he and Franklin had considerable business to transact with