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Letter from Claude Crespigny to Ralph Izard



Teignmouth, Devonshire, England, August 25, 1776.

DEAR SIR: I was favoured with yours of the 12th, and though I have neither information nor entertainment to send you in return for it, I am at least bound to send you my best thanks; this, indeed, I should have done sooner, if I had not for some days past been rambling about the country; among other places to Mount Edgecombe, which, for its views, is, I think, much the finest place in England.

Mrs˙ is much obliged to you for your good wishes. The benefit she receives from bathing is really wonderful. All the symptoms of weakness and relaxation which she brought with her entirely vanished within a week, and have not since appeared.

We shall remain till the 13th September, when I hope to return to Bath. This place is exceedingly private, (not even a publick room or coffee-house,) and would, of course, be dull, if it were not for our own society. Two of them are well known to you, and send their compliments — C˙ Townshend and Ley.

We find all our Ministerial acquaintance very happy with the contents of the Gazette of the 10th. I confess I do not see any great cause for exultation. It seems fortunate, indeed, that General Howe had attempted nothing without his reinforcements; but it by no means seems clear that with these reinforcements he will be able, to act to any effectual purpose. From what I have heard, it is probable, that instead of making an attempt against New York, as was intended, all his force will be bent against Philadelphia.

The hopes from Lord Howe' s negotiation are, I find, entirely vanished before the opening of his commission. In short, I believe that at St˙ James' s they have only now the wicked hopes of being able to protract the war; and this, I believe in my conscience, they will do, so long as fleets and armies can be paid for. They laugh at the Declaration of Independence; and though cool and serious people must think it the worst piece of intelligence that was ever communicated to this country, I have no doubt but it will be made a matter of triumph with the Government as fulfilling the Ministerial prophecies of that event. In their exultation, they will not choose to remember, that Independence was not predetermined in America, but is only the immediate and necessary consequence of their own acts. I can only say, as Lord Chatham did upon some such occasion: "God may perhaps forgive them, but their country never will."

By the post of today, we have just heard that Sir Peter Parker and General Clinton have been but indifferently received at South Carolina. I suppose the Gazette will not give any particular accounts of this expedition; but if the experiment is lost, some notice must be taken of it.

I have not at present a single correspondent in London, so that I shall be much obliged to you for any particulars that may arrive upon the interesting subject of America, especially such as are not likely to make their appearance in the Gazette.

Mrs˙ unites with me in sincerest regards and wishes to you and Mrs˙ Izard.

I am, dear sir, very heartily yours, C˙ C.