To Nathaniel Barrell

    Philadelphia        10 January 1795

    My dear Sir—

    Yours of the fourth of last month has been recieved some time—a general state of tranquility & want of something that might be new to you is the reason I have not before taken notice of it—

    You know how long I have been trying to think well of our species, & by making apologies for their conduct to represent them, at least to myself, as good and amiable—But I confess I begin to suspect I must, at last, come over to your side of this question—this will be hard—people hate to change opinions, & to give them up to others, is a sacrif[ice] that pride & self-Love do not relish—

    I have pretty much given up the ol[d] definition of man which called hi[m] a rational animal—and have adopted another which I think corresponds much better to his conduct—viz, that man is a party animal—and is wholly governed by party principles & selfish views—

    Before I left home I was fully convinced of what you say of my old friends Nasen1 & the Brigadier—of the former more especially—I saw plainly that he imagined his prospects of geting into the Senate would be brightened by disposing of his competator some other way—And all his pretended friendship in conversation only served to make me entertain of him sentiments that derogated from his Honesty—Why could he not have spoke plainly—he must have thought more meanly of me than I have [g]iven him grounds to, before he could [s]uppose it would offend or hurt me to know he thought some other person ought to go to Congress in my room—or why had he not told me frankly—that I had, in his opinion, been elected long enough—Had he done this—he would have given evidence of his genuine Republicanism—

    enough of this—

    By late arrivals we have accounts of further French Victories—The Duke of York has once & again changed his position as he calls a retreat, with great loss—

    The King of Prussia & France concluded a separate peace at Neufchattle on the twelfth of October—The Emperor on behalf of the Empire is anxious to treat with France—the King of Spain has sent a Minister to Paris for the same purpose—Some of the States of Holland have explicetly declared to the States General that unless they immediately make a general peace with the French Republic, they will make a separate one for themselves—If this has not been done—before this time The French are in Amsterdam2

    The Poles have been defeated in some very important actions—on the tenth of october, Cusiusco with three of his Generals was taken prisoners by a detachment of the Russians3—And the cause of Liberty by the latest accounts from thence looks more desperate than at any former period—But I hope their prospects will yet brighten—And they will be free—

    The season is moderate—no snow, or ice—

    Please to make my respects to Elder [Jonathan] Seyward, and compliments of the season to Mrs. [Sarah Sayward] Barrell & [Sarah Barrell] Keating—And believe me to be with much esteem & respect, yours &c

    * * *

    ALS, Barrell Correspondence. Addressed to York; franked; postmarked.