17 November 1774583

    London 13th [17th] Nov. 1774

    9 O’Clock in the Evening

    My amiable and Dear Friend

    About 10 hours ago I arrived in this great City, and am now snug at my lodgings near the Hay-market.584

    With you and my real friends, the first object of enquiry will be about my health and spirits. In one word (for just now I am a man of too much business and importance to use many) they are both surprisingly fine, rather bordering upon extravagance, than under par. Indeed how could they be otherwise? From sea I landed in fine health, and have now finished a delightfull—a surprisingly delightfull journey of 300 miles. The scenes of Plymouth Docks, Stonehenge, Wilton House (containing the Statues, the Paintings, the furniture of the Earl of Pembroke on which volumes have been published to the world) beggar all description: nay, I will venture to say, that the imagination stretched to its utmost limits can’t form any idea of their grandeur &c without a view. It wrecks my mind even in contemplation. The same may be said of Exeter and Salisbury Cathedrals. But why do I waste time upon any other subject, than my country?

    I have spent about 2 hours today with Dr. Franklin. He appears the staunch friend of America, and confident of the ultimate success of its friends. He has promised me his patronage, and I have reason to believe him sincere. He enquired particularly after “his old friend” my Father, and rejoiced “at his happiness.”

    Young Mr. Jonathan Williams hath waited on me and treated me with great ability and politeness.585 He lives with Dr Franklin, and told me, that on his waiting on him with intelligence of my arrival, he asked, if it was the author of the “Observation,” &c, and being answered in the affirmative, He replied “I am very glad of it.” You will discern a little vanity in the communication of this anecdote, but you have seen so many of my foibles before, I thought I would not hide this from you. Take care lest this communication don’t infect your heart with its contagion.

    Your Uncle B [Thomas Bromfield] hath showed me every mark of respect. He is a very amiable man. He told me, that when it was known today at the New England Coffeehouse, that I had arrived, certain Americans made a great wonderment—“what I had come for.”

    One of the friends of Liberty in this City came to him also, and told him, that a certain Gentleman in the Coffee Room said—“Yes Q has been blowing up the seeds of sedition in America, and has now come to do the same here.” I returned my compliments, and sent word, that, if I had done nothing but blow up seeds, they would probably be very harmless, as they would never take root, but if I should have the good fortune to sow any here, and they should afterwards ripen, He or the ministry might blow them about at their leisure.

    I am well informed, that the friends of America increase here every day. In the West of England a very considerable manufacturer told me, that if the Americans stood out “we must come to their terms.”

    I find Our friends here dread nothing so much, as lest the Congress should petition. Should they adopt that mode it will be injurious to Our Cause.

    The ministry have carried their men at the late election, but the people seem to be rousing.586

    You see I have been a short time in London. I can as yet communicate, but little intelligence. A large field is opening to me. I am preparing for the course, with feelings, which render me careless whether I shall be pursuing or pursued.

    Tell my political friends I shall soon write to them, and that when I informed Dr. Franklin of the pains I had taken to establish an extensive correspondence he rejoiced at it much. Let their intelligence be as frequent and as minute as possible. Let them all direct to Messrs Bromfield or Messer. Dilly.

    This is the third Letter to you and 1 to Mr P587 makes 4. Not a line as yet from America.

    Salute all my friends with due respect, and accept of mine with the affection and sincerity of an antient lover.

    JQ—y jr.

    PS. Present my Compliments to Mr. Jonathan Williams,588 and inform him of the health and happiness of his son, and those marks of respect and utility with which he has obliged me.