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What a great ornament it is to the room! I have paid my debts, and find money in my pocket. I expect my dear home next Friday, and, as your paper is taken at the house where she is, I hope the reading of this will prepare her mind for the above surprising revolutions. If she can conform herself to this new manner of living, we shall be the happiest couple, perhaps, in the province, and, by the blessing of God, may soon be in thriving circumstances. I have reserved the great glass, because I know her heart is set upon it; I will allow her, when she comes in, to be taken suddenly ill with the headache, the stomach-ache, fainting-fits, or whatever other disorder she may think more proper, and she may retire to bed as soon as she pleases. But if I should not find her in perfect health, both of body and mind, the next morning, away goes the aforesaid great glass, with several other trinkets I have no occasion for, to the vendue, that very day; which is the irrevocable resolution
Of, sir, her loving husband and
Your very humble servant, ANTHONY AFTERWIT. P.S.-I would be glad to know how you approve my conduct.
Answer.-I don't love to concern myself in affairs between man and wife.
"Mrs. Abiah Franklin.
"Philadelphia, April (date uncertain). "HONOURED MOTHER,
"We received your kind letter of the 2d instant, by which we are glad to hear you still enjoy such a measure of health, notwithstanding your great age. We read your writings very easily. I never met with a word in your letter but what I could easily understand, for, though the hand is not always the best, the sense makes everything plain. My leg, which you inquire after, is now quite well. I shall keep these servants: but the man not in my own house. I have hired him out to the man that takes care of my Dutch printing-office, who agrees to keep him in victuals and clothes, and to pay me a dollar a week for his work. The wife, since that affair, behaves exceeding well: but we conclude to sell them both the first good opportunity, for we do not like negro servants. We got again about half what
As to your grandchildren, Will is now 19 years of age, a tall, proper youth, and much of a beau. He acquired a habit of idleness on the expedition, but begins, of late, to apply himself to business, and, I hope, will become an industrious man. He imagined his father had got enough for him; but I have assured him that I intend to spend what little I have myself, if it please God that I live long enough, and he can see, by my going on, that I mean to be as good as my word.
"Sally grows a fine girl, and is extremely industrious with her needle, and delights in her work. She is of a most affectionate temper, and perfectly dutiful and obliging to her parents and to all. Perhaps I flatter myself too much, but I have hope that she will prove an ingenious, sensible, notable, and worthy woman, like her aunt Jenny; she goes now to the dancing school.
"For my own part, at present, I pass my time agrecably enough; I enjoy (through mercy) a tolerable share of health. I read a great deal, ride a little, do a little business for myself (now and then for others), retire when I can, and go into company when I please so; the years roll round, and the last will come, when I would rather have it said he lived usefully than he died rich.
"Cousins Josiah and Sally are well, and I believe will do well, for they are an industrious, loving young couple; but they want a little more stock to go on smoothly with their business.
My love to brother and sister Mecom and their children, and to all my relations in general. I am your dutiful son,
"Miss Jane Franklin.*
"Philadelphia, January 6, 1726-7.
"I am highly pleased with the account Captain Freeman gives me of you. I always judged by your behaviour when a child, that you would make a good, agreeable woman, and you know you were ever my peculiar favourite. I have been thinking what would be a suitable present for me to make, and for you to receive, as I hear you are grown a celebrated beau
* His sister married Mr. Edward Mecom, July 27, 1727.
ty. I had almost determined on a teatable; but when I considered that the character of a good housewife was far preferable to that of being only a pretty gentlewoman, I concluded to send you a spinning-wheel, which I hope you will accept as a small token of my sincere love and affection.
"Sister, farewell, and remember that modesty, as it makes the most homely virgin amiable and charming, so the want of it infallibly renders the most perfect beauty disagreeable and odious. But when that brightest of female virtues shines among other perfections of body and mind in the same person, it makes the woman more lovely than an angel. Excuse this freedom, and use the same with me. I am, dear Jenny, your loving brother, "B. FRANKLIN."
To the same.
Philadelphia, July 28, 1743.
"DEAREST SISTER JENNY,
"I took your admonition very kindly, and was far from being offended at you for it. If I say anything about it to you, 'tis only to rectify some wrong opinions you seem to have entertained of me; and this I do only because they give you some uneasiness, which I am unwilling to be the cause of. You express yourself as if you thought I was against worshipping of God, and doubt that good works would merit heaven; which are both fancies of your own, I think, without foundation. I am so far from thinking that God is not to be worshipped, that I have composed and wrote a whole book of devotions for my own use, and I imagine there are few, if any, in the world so weak as to imagine that the little good we can do here can merit so vast a reward hereafter.
"There are some things in your New-England VOL. II.-10