Benjamin Franklin’s Toast with the French and British Ambassadors

FranklinFranceLong after Washington’s victories over the French and English had made his name familiar over all Europe, Dr. Franklin chanced to dine with the English and French ambassadors, when the following toasts were drunk:—By the British ambassador— “England—the sun whose beams enlighten and fructify the remotest corners of the earth.” The French ambassador, glowing with national pride, drank—” France—the moon whose mild, steady, cheering rays are the delight of all nations; consoling them in darkness and making their dreariness beautiful.” Dr. Franklin then rose, and with his usual dignified simplicity, said, “George Washington—the Joshua, who commanded the Sun and Moon to stand still, and they obeyed him.”

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