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To The Ret. Dr. Price.''' ". •
Reflections on life and death.

Philadelphia^ May 31, 1789.

My Very Dear Friend, ... .

I lately received your kind letter, enclosing one from Miss Kitty Shipley, informing me of the good bishop's decease, which afflicted me greatly. My friends drop off one after another, when my age and infirmities prevent my making new ones; and if I still retained the necessary activity and ability, 1 hardly see among; the existing generation where I could make them of equal goodness. So that the longer 1 live I must expect to be the more wretched. As we draw nearer the conclusion of life, nature furnishes with more helps to wean us from it, among which one of the most powerful is the loss of dear friends.

I send you with this the two volumes of our transactions, as I forget whether you had the first before. If you had, you will please to give this to the French ambassador, requesting his conveyance of it to the good Duke de la Rochefoucault.

My best wishes attend you; being ever, with sincere and great esteem, my dear friend, yours most affectionately,

B. Franklin.

To B. Vaughan, Esg.

. Relative to his (Dr. F.'s) own memoirs. • •

Philadelphia, June 3, 1789. .. My Dearest Friend, • .» .

I received your kind letter of March 4, and wish I may be able to complete what you so earnestly desire, the memoirs of my life. But of late I am so interrupted by extreme pain, which obliges me to have recourse to opium, that between the effects of both, I have but little time in which £ can write any thing. My grandson however is copying what is done, which will be sent to you for your opinion by the next vessel; and not merely for your advice; for I find it a difficult task to speak decently and properly of one's own conduct; and I feel the want of a judicious friend to encourage me in scratching out.

I have condoled sincerely with the Bishop of St. Asaph's family. He was an excellent man. Losing our friends thus one by one, is the tax we pay for long living; and it is indeed • heavy one!

I have not seen the king of Prussia's posthumous works; what you mention makes me desirous to have them. Please to mention it to your brother William, and that I request he would add them to the books I have desired him to buy for me.

Our new government is now ih train, and seems to promise well. But events are in the hand of God! I am ever, my dear friend, yours most affectionately,

B. Franklin.

To Mr. Wright, London.
Slate of America'—Abolition of the slave trade.

Philadelphia, Nov. 4, 1789.

Dear Friend,

I received your kind letter of July the 31st, which gave me great pleasure, as it informed me of the welfare both of yourself and your good lady, to whom please to present my respects. I thank you for the epistle of your yearly meeting, and for the card (a specimen of printing) which was enclosed.

We have now had one session of congress which was conducted under our new constitution, and with as much general satisfaction as could reasonably be expected. I wish the struggle in France may end as happily for that nation. We are now in the full enjoyment of our new government for eleven of the states, and it is generally thought that North Carolina is about to join it. Rhode Island will probably take longer time for consideration. We have had a most plentiful year for the fruits of the earth, and our people seem to be recovering fast from the extravagance and idle habits which the war had introduced j and to engage seriously in the contrary habits of temperance, frugality, and industry, which give the most pleasing prospect of future national felicity. Your merchants, however, are, I think, imprudent m crowding in upon us such quantities of goods for sale here, which are not written for by ours, and are beyond the faculties of this country to consume, in any reasonable time. This surplus of goods is therefore to raise present money, sent to the vendues, or auction-houses, of which we have six or seven in and near this city, where they are sold frequently for less than prime cost, to the great loss of the indiscreet adventurers. Our newspapers are doubtless to be seen at your coffee-houses near the exchange: in their advertise-* ments you may observe the constancy and quantity of this kind of sales, as well as the quantity of goods imported by our regular traders. I see in your English newspapers frequent mention of our being out of credit with you; to us it appears that we have abundantly too much, and that your exporting merchants are rather out of their senses.

I wish success to your endeavors for obtaining an abolition of the slave trade. The epistle from your yearly meeting for the year 1758, was not the first sowing of the good seed you mention; for I find by an old pamphlet m my possession, that George Keith, near an hundred years since, wrote a paper against the practice, said to be" given forth by the appointment of the meeting held by him, at Philip James's house, in the city of Philadelphia, about the year 1693;" wherein a strict charge was given to friends, ** that they should set their negroes at liberty after some reasonable time of service," 8lc. &c. And about the year 1728, or 29, I myself printed a book fox Ralph Saudyford, another of your friends in this city, against keeping negroes in slavery; two editions of which he distributed gratis. And about the year 1736 I printed another book on the same subject for Benjamin Lay, who also professed being one of your friends, and he distributed the books chiefly among them. By these instances it appears that the seed was indeed sown in the good ground of your profession, (though much earlier than the time you mention) aud its springing up to effect at last, though so late, is some confirmation of Lord Bacon's observation, that a good motion never dies; and may encourage us in making such; though hopeless of their taking immediate effect.

I doubt whether I shall be able to finish my memoirs, and if I finish them whether they will be proper'for publication: you seem to have too high an opinion of them, and to expect too much from them.

I think you are right in preferring a mixed form of government for your country, under its present circumstances; and if it were possible for you to reduce the enormous salaries and emoluments of great offices (which are at bottom the source of your violent factions) that form might be conducted more quietly and happily: but I am afraid that none of your factions, when they get uppermost, will ever have virtue enough to reduce those salaries and emoluments, but will rather choose to enjoy them. I am, my dear friend, yours very affectionately, B. Fr A N * Un ,

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To Dr. Rush.

Requesting him to suppress his encomium on the writer, in one of his discourses, if published.

Philadelphia, {without date, but supposed to be in 1789.]

My Dear Fribnd,

During our long acquaintance you have shown many instances of your regard for me, yet I must now desire you to add one more to the number, which is, that if you publish your ingenious discourse on the moral sense, you will totally omit and suppress that most extravagant encomium on your friend Franklin, which hurt me exceedingly in the unexpected hearing, and will mortify me beyond conception, if it should appear from the press. Confiding in your compliance with this earnest request, I am ever, my dear friend, yours most affectionately, B, Franklin.

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To Samuel More, Esq.

Dear Sir, Philadelphia, Nov. 5, 1789.

I received your favor of July 25, but had no opportunity of showing any civility to the bearer whom yon mention as coming under the auspices of William Franklin,- Esq. as he did not show himself to me. . I am obliged by your kind inquiries after my health, which is still tolerably good, the stone excepted; my constitution being such as, if it were not for that malady, might have held out.yet some years longer.

I hope the fire of liberty, which you mention as spreading itself over Europe, will act upon the inestimable rights of man, as common fire does upon gold j purify without destroy

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