To Anonymous [1789]

To Anonymous [1789]

No. 31 KING STREET, Tuesday morning


On my return home last night I received your favor of Saturday. I was yesterday in the City, and called at your house in the evening. Had I known of your writing to me, I should have stayed or called again. From your house I went to Mr. Gregory, but he was not at home.

You ask if I am not a little severe in my strictures upon England. I confess I have no partiality for what is called or understood by, the National Character of England. Had you been in America you would have seen it in a different point of view to what presents itself to you here.

It appears to me that the Government has no good manners, and less principle. It acts wrong and it acts that wrong vulgarly. A Nation is only a great individual, and that which is good or bad character for an individual is good or bad character for a Nation. Make them an individual of the same disposition which marks the National character, and you will not admire him for a neighbor.

I will, with much pleasure, contribute my services to the business Mr. Forbes’ agency is upon to France. After writing this I go to my lodgings, where I remain for the day.

I expect some part of the bridge will be erected before Mr. Forbes’ return, and I wish him to see it, as he will most probably be asked some questions concerning it by my friends on the other side of the water. I will call on you tomorrow evening about eight o’clock.

Yours sincerely,