[dateline] Passi July 27. 1778
Your Letter of 26 May with Duplicats of those of 9 March and 20 May, arrived safe
at Passy by the Hand of Captn. Barnes the day before Yesterday. The two Letters for
your Son shall be conveyed, by the first Opportunity to him, who has taken his Residence,
at a Manufacturing Town in the Province of Guienne, where he will have an Opportunity
to learn the Language, and see the first Springs of Commerce. He proposes soon to
remove to Bourdeaux. Your son, sir, while I was with him conducted, with much Discretion
and very agreably: and I have no doubt he will continue to do so.
I am extreamly mortified at the Relation you give of the Conduct of Captain Thompson
of the Rawley, of whose Abilities, and Qualifications for his Command I had a good
opinion. I really know not the Cause, but the Continental officers of the Navy, have
not answerd the Public Expectation. Discipline is the soul of a Navy. With it every
Thing may be done—without it nothing. The Want of Discipline gives our Commanders
a Diffidence in their Crews, from whence I fear proceeds the Dread of Fighting, that
has appeared so often. The Voice of the World is very Severe against Thompson, but
perhaps the Facts are not sufficiently, which I sincerely wish may be the Case.
The News Papers are very acceptable and very Usefull. My Compliments to your Colleages
and to Mr. Story.1
I am sir with great Respect, your humble & Obedient servant.