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were going to complain of the gloss of the paper, some object to. "No, no," said he, " I have heard that mentioned, but it is not that; it is in the form and cut of the letters themselves: they have not that height and thickness of the stroke, which makes the common printing so much the mure comfortable to the eye."-r-You see this gentleman was a connoisseur. In vain I endeavored to support your character against the charge: he knew what he felt, and could see the reason of it, and several other gentlemen among his friends had made the same observation, &c. Yesterday he called to visit me, when, mischievously bent to try his judgment, I stepped into my closet, tore off the top of Mr. Caslon's' specimen, and produced it to him as yours, brought with me from Birmingham, saying I had been examining it since he spoke to me, and could not for my life perceive the disproportion he mentioned, desiring him to point it out to me. He readily undertook it, and went over the several founts, showing me everywhere what he thought instances of that disproportion; and declared, that he cquld not then read the specimen without feeling very strongly the paiu be bad mentioned to me. 1 spared him that time, the confusion of being told, that thi se were the tjpes he had been reading all his life with so much ease to his eyes; the types his adored Newton is printed with, on which he has pored not a little; nay, the very types his own book is printed w ith; (for he is
1765 he applied to Dr. Franklin, then at Paris, to sound the literati there respecting the purchase of his types, but the propusal «vas not accepted. They were many years after purchased by the celebrated M. De lieaiimarrhais, and employed in the printins; his edition of the works of Voltaire. Ba-kerwlle died at Birmingham, in 1775; and as l.e had an aversion to church-yards, he was by his own direcnon buried in a mausoleum erected on his own grounds.
1 An eminent type-engraver and letter-founder in London.
himself an author) and yet never discovered this painful disproportion in them till he thought they were yours.
I am, &c. B. Franklin.
To John Alleynk, Esq. On early Marriages. Dear Jack, Craven Street, August 9, 1768.
You desire, you say, my impartial thoughts on the subject of an early marriage, by way of answer to the numberless objections that have been made by numerous persons to your own. You may remember, when you consulted me on the occasion, that I thought youth on both sides to be no objection. Indeed, from the marriages that have fallen under my observation, I am rather inclined to think, that early ones stand the best chance of happiness. The temper and habits of the young are not yet become so stiff and uncomplying, as when more advanced in life: they form more easily to each other, and hence many occasions of disgust are removed. And if youth has less of that prudence which is necessary to manage a family, yet the parents and elder friends of young married persons are generally at hand to afford their advice, which amply supplies that defect; and by early marriage, youth is sooner formed to regular and useful life; and possibly some of those accidents or connexions, that might have injured the constitution, or reputation, or both, are thereby happily prevented. Particular circumstances of particular persons, may possibly sometimes make it prudent to delay entering into that state; but in general, when nature has rendered our bodies fit for it, the presumption is in nature's favor, that she has not judged amiss in making us desire it. Late marriages are often attended, too, with this further inconvenience, that there is not the same chance that the parents shall live to 6ee their offspring educated. "Late children," says the Spanish proverb, "are eurly orphans." A melan'choly reflection to those whose case it may be. With us in America, marriages are generally in the moining of life; our children are therefore educated and settled in the world by noon; 'and thus, our business being done, we have an afternoon and evening of cheerful leisure to ourselves; such as our friend at present enjoys. By these early marriages we are blessed with more children; and from the mode among us, founded by nature, of every mother suckling and nursing her own child, more of them are raised. Thence the swift progress of population among us, unparalleled in Europe. In fine, I am glad you are married, and congratulate you most cordially upon it. You are now in the way of becoming a useful citizen; and you have escaped the unnatural state of celibacy for life—the fate of many here, who never intended it, but who having too long postponed the change of their condition, find, at length, that it is too late to think of it, and so live all their lives in a situation that greatly lessens a man's value. An odd volume of a set of books bears not the value of its proportion to the set: what think you of the odd half of a pair of scissars? it can't well cut any thing; it may possibly serve to scrape a trencher.
Pray make my compliments and best wishes acceptable to your bride. I am old and heavy, or I should ere this have presented them in person. I shall make but small use of the old man's privilege, that of giving advice to younger friends. Treat yourwife always with respect; it will procure respect to you, not only from her, but from all that observe it. Never use a slighting expression to her, even in jest; for slights in jest, after frequent bandyings, are apt to end in angry earnest. Be studious in your profession, and you will be learned. Be industrious and frugal^ and you will be rich. Be sober and temperate, and you will be healthy. Be in general virtuous, and you will be happy. At least you will, by such conduct, stand the best ehauce for such consequences. I pray God to bless you both; being ever your affectionate friend,
To Michael Collinson, Esq. Respecting Mr. Peter Collinson. Dear Sir, ['so date.] (supposed to be in 1768 or 1709.)
Understanding that an account of our dear departed friend, Mr. Peter Collinson,1 is intended to be given to the public, I cannot omit expressing my approbation of the design. The characters of good men are exemplary, and often stimulate the well-disposed to an imitation, beneficial to mankind, and honorable to themselves. And as you may be unacquainted with the following instances of his zeal and usefulness in promoting knowledge, which fell within my observation, I take the liberty of informing you, that in 1730, a
'Peter Collinson, F.R.S., a very celebrated botanist, was descended from a family of ancient standing iu the county of Westmoreland, but born himself in 1603, in Clement's Lane, Lombard Street. His parents realised a handsome fortune by trade in Gracechurch Street, the.bulk of which coining to Peter, who was the eldest son, he was enabled to follow his favorite pursuit of natural history, lie had one of the finest gardens in England, at Peckham, in Surry, whence he removed in 1749 to Mill Hill, in the parish of Hendun ia Middlesex, where he died in 1768. Mr. Collinson kept up a correspondence with men of science in all parts of the world, and he sent the first electrical machine that was ever seen in America, as a present to the Philosophical Society at Philadelphia. He was also a liberal contributor to the public library of that city; and an intimate friend of Dr. Franklin, who received from him many hints and papers on the subject of electricity.
subscription library being set on foot at Philadelphia, he encouraged the design by making several very valuable presents to it, and procuring others from his friends: and as the library company had a considerable sum arising annually to be laid out in books, and needed a judicious friend in London to transact the business for them, he voluntarily and cheerfully undertook that service, and executed it for more than thirty years successively, assisting in the choice of books, and taking the whole care of collecting and shipping them, without ever charging or accepting any consideration for his trouble. The success of this library (greatly owing to his kiud countenance and good advice) encouraged the erecting others in different places on the same plan; and it is supposed there are now upwards of thirty subsisting in the several colonies, .which have contributed greatly to the spreading of useful knowledge in that part of the world; the books he recommended being all of that kind, and the catalogue of this first library being much respected and followed by those libraries that succeeded.
During the same time he transmitted to the directors of the library the earliest accounts of every new European improvement in agriculture and the arts, and every philosophical discovery; among which, in 1745, he sent over an account of the new German experiments in electricity, together witli a glass tube, and some directions for using it, so as to repeat those experiments. This was the first notice I had of that curious subject, which I afterwards prosecuted with some diligence, being encouraged by the friendly reception he gave to the letters I wrote to him upon it. Please to accept this small testimony of mine to his memory, for which I shall ever have the utmost respect; and believe me, with sincere esteem, dear Sir,
Your most humble servant, B. Franklin.