Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

they would have done this, if they had thought our proposal bad in itself, or his opposition well founded; but I believe, if he had been on good terms with them, they would not have differed with him for so small a matter. The King, too, was tired of him and, of his administration, which had weakened the affection and respect of the colonies for a royal government, of which (I may say it to you) I used proper means from time to time that his Majesty should have due information and convincing proofs. More of this when I see you. The King's dislike made the others more firmly united in the resolution of disgracing Hillsborough, by setting at nought his famous report.” But, now that business is done, perhaps our affair may be less regarded in the cabinet and suffered to linger, and possibly may yet miscarry. Therefore let us beware of every word and action, that may betray a confidence in its success, lest we render ourselves ridiculous in case of disappointment. We are now pushing for a completion of the business; but the time is unfavorable, everybody gone or going into the country, which gives room for accidents. I am writing by Falconer, and therefore in this only add, that I am ever your affectionate father, B. FRANKLIN.

* P. S. The regard Lord Dartmouth has always done me the honor to express for me, gives me room to hope being able to obtain more in favor of our colonies upon occasion, than I could for some time past.

* See this Report, Vol. IV. p. 303.

TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN.

Use of bodily Exercise.

London, 19 August, 1772. DEAR SoN,

In yours of May 14th, you acquaint me with your indisposition, which gave me great concern. The resolution you have taken to use more exercise is extremely proper; and I hope you will steadily perform it. It is of the greatest importance to prevent diseases, since the cure of them by physic is so very precarious.

In considering the different kinds of exercise, I have thought, that the quantum of each is to be judged of, not by time or by distance, but by the degree of warmth it produces in the body. Thus, when I observe, if I am cold when I get into a carriage in a morning, I may ride all day without being warmed by it; that, if on horseback my feet are cold, I may ride some hours before they become warm; but, if I am ever so cold on foot, I cannot walk an hour briskly, without glowing from head to foot by the quickened circulation; I have been ready to say, (using round numbers without regard to exactness, but merely to make a great difference,) that there is more exercise in one mile's riding on horseback, than five in a coach; and more in one mile's walking on foot, than in five on horseback; to which I may add, that there is more in walking one mile up and down stairs, than in five on a level floor. The two latter exercises may be had within doors, when the weather discourages going abroad; and the last may be had when one is pinched for time, as containing a great quantity of exercise in a handful of minutes. The dumb bell is another exercise of the latter compendious kind. By the use of it I have in forty swings quickened my pulse from sixty to one hundred beats in a minute, counted by a second watch; and I suppose the warmth generally increases with quickness of pulse.

B. FRANKLIN.

TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN.

Lord Hillsborough refuses Admittance to him. His agreeable Situation in London. Desires to return Home. Chosen into the Royal Academy at Paris.

London, 19 August, 1772. DEAR SoN,

I received yours of June 30th. I am vexed that my letter to you, written at Glasgow, miscarried; not so much that you did not receive it, as that it is probably in other hands. It contained some accounts of what passed in Ireland, which were for you only.

As Lord Hillsborough in fact got nothing out of me, I should rather suppose he threw me away as an orange that would yield no juice, and therefore not worth more squeezing. When I had been a little while returned to London, I waited on him to thank him for his civilities in Ireland, and to discourse with him on a Georgia affair. The porter told me he was not at home. I left my card, went another time, and received the same answer, though I knew he was at home, a friend of mine being with him. After intermissions of a week each, I made two more visits, and received the same answer. The last time was on a levee day, when a number of carriages were at his door. My coachman driving up, alighted, and was opening the coach door, when the porter, seeing me, came out, and surlily chid the coachman for opening the door before he had inquired whether my Lord was at home; and then turning to me, said, “My Lord is not at home.” I have never since been nigh him, and we have only abused one another at a distance. The contrast, as you observe, is very striking between his conversation with the chief justice, and his letter to you concerning your province. I know him to be as double and deceitful as any man I ever met with. But we have done with him, I hope, for ever. His removal has, I believe, been meditated ever since the death of the Princess Dowager. For I recollect, that on my complaining of him about that time to a friend at court, whom you may guess, he told me, we Americans were represented by Hillsborough as an unquiet people, not easily satisfied with any ministry; that, however, it was thought too much occasion had been given us to dislike the present; and asked me, whether, if he should be removed, I could name another likely to be more acceptable to us. I said, “Yes, there is Lord Dartmouth; we liked him very well when he was at the head of the Board formerly, and probably should like him again.” This I heard no more of, but I am pretty sure it was reported where I could wish it, though I know not that it had any effect. As to my situation here, nothing can be more agreeable, especially as I hope for less embarrassment from the new minister; a general respect paid me by the learned, a number of friends and acquaintance among them, with whom I have a pleasing intercourse; a character of so much weight, that it has protected me when some in power would have done me injury, and continued me in an office they would have deprived me of; my company so much desired, that I seldom dine at home in winter, and could spend the whole

summer in the country-houses of inviting friends, if I chose it. Learned and ingenious foreigners, that come to England, almost all make a point of visiting me; for my reputation, is still higher abroad than here. Several of the foreign ambassadors have assiduously cultivated my acquaintance, treating me as one of their corps, partly I believe from the desire they have, from time to time, of hearing something of American affairs, an object become of importance in foreign courts, who begin to hope Britain's alarming power will be diminished by the defection of her colonies; and partly that they may have an opportunity of introducing me to the gentlemen of their country who desire it. The King, too, has lately been heard to speak of me with great regard. These are flattering circumstances; but a violent longing for home sometimes seizes me, which I can no otherwise subdue but by promising myself a return next spring or next fall, and so forth. As to returning hither, if I once go back, I have no thoughts of it. I am too far advanced in life to propose three voyages more. I have some important affairs to settle at home, and, considering my double expenses here and there, I hardly think my salaries fully compensate the disadvantages. The late change, however, being thrown into the balance, determines me to stay another winter. JAugust 22d. —I find I omitted congratulating you on the honor of your election into the Society for propagating the Gospel. There you match indeed my Dutch honor. But you are again behind, for last night I received a letter from Paris, of which the enclosed is an extract, acquainting me that I am chosen Associé Etranger (foreign member) of the Royal Academy there. There are but eight of these Associés Etrangers in all Europe, and those of the most distinguished

« ZurückWeiter »