Nants. I do not sopose Mr Collas will see you if he gits saif there but he thinks the mention of his wifes being a Relation of yrs was the means of her giting her Petion ansured in sending a person to Exchange for Him, & prehaps He thinks the Apearance of yr name may befriend him on some other ocation. I can hardly say I hope but I wish for his suckses, I think there was hardly Ever so unfourtunate a Famely I am not willing to think it is all oing to misconduct I have had some children that seemed to be doing well till they were taken off by Death. that the Blesing of God may atend you in Boath your Publick & private Affairs is the Prayer of yr Affectionat Sister
"A fine airy House upon a Hill"
[Printed first, and hitherto only, in Carl Van Doren, Benjamin Franklin's Autobiographical Writings, pp. 430-431, and here printed again from the manuscript in the American Philosophical Society. The Howes who in Paris were wrongly supposed to have gone to Boston were Admiral Richard, Earl Howe, and General Sir William Howe, the British commanders in North America who at the time Franklin wrote were completing the capture of Philadelphia. Peter Collas had not reached Passy when Franklin wrote, and could not have brought Jane Mecom's letter.]
Passy, near Paris, Oct. 5. 1777
I suppose some of your kind Letters to me have miscarried, as I have received but one since my Arrival in France. I hope nevertheless that you continue well, and that you are still with my Children, especially as it is supposed that the Howes are gone to Boston, where you must have been again disturb'd if you had return'd thither.
I enjoy here an exceeding good State of Health.--I live in a fine airy House upon a Hill, which has a large Garden with fine Walks in it, about & an hours Drive from the City of Paris. I walk a little every Day in the Garden, have a good Appetite & sleep well.--I think the French Cookery agrees with me better than the English;--I suppose because there is little