Philadelphia, May 25, 1789
I am glad to see by the papers that our grand machine has at length begun to work. I pray God to bless and guide its operations. If any form of government is capable of making a nation happy, ours I think bids fair now for producing that effect. But after all, much depends upon the people who are to be governed. We have been guarding against an evil that old states are most liable to, excess of power in the rulers; but our present danger seems to be defect of obedience in the subjects. There is hope, however, from the enlightened state of this age and country, we may guard effectually against that evil as well as the rest.
My grandson, William Temple Franklin, will have the honor of presenting this line; he accompanied me to France, and remained with me during my mission: I beg leave to recommend him to your notice, and that you would believe me, my dear friend, yours most affectionately,
To the Hon. Charles Carrol, Esq.
Labels: Papers of Benjamin Franklin