Now, as a time traveler in this future world of yours, I have discovered that while many things have changed (for better or worse), there are still things that remain pretty much the same as during those simpler days back in the 18th century.
The tragic news out of Paris this week, about the terrorist attacks that left at least 129 dead and many more injured, is something quite different, which we didn't have in those earlier times. True, our world back then could be just as violent — only a short time after my departure from France (having successfully negotiated peace treaties as well as pledges of support), the French Revolution broke out, resulting in the deposing of the French royalty, and numerous deaths of others in a massive purge made even more infamous by the use of a new device called the guillotine.
But yet, despite those ignominious events, the spirit and passion of the French people remained intact. They recovered from that tragedy, and went on to greater things. Their sense of self-identity and national pride has served them well in the three centuries since then, through both good times and bad.
Now, their country is being tested once again, through these terrible events of terrorism that have occurred, much like a fearsome, contagious disease that has been spread from the Middle East into the nations of Europe. Yet, at the same time, in the aftermath, the tragic losses of the French people have also brought an outpouring of solidarité and support from all over the world, the United States included.
Because of the close kinship I myself felt with the French people during my years in Paris back in the 1770s, I too have been deeply touched by what has happened. I want them to know that they will be in my thoughts and prayers as we all wrestle with the questions raised by this horrific experience. And, more than anything else, I would hope that they will be reassured that this too shall pass. Vive la France!
Your humble servant,