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With the highest esteem and respect, I am ever, my dear friend, yours most affectionately,
TO WILLIAM CARMICHAEl.
Passy, 22 March, 1785.
I received duly your letter of the 27th past, which gave me great pleasure, as the length of time since I had heard from you made me apprehensive that you might be ill. I immediately communicated the papers enclosed with it to my colleagues, Messrs. Adams and Jefferson, and we have had several meetings on the Barbary affair. Probably by next week's post we may write fully upon it to you, and to Morocco.
I am glad you are likely to succeed in obtaining the liberty of our silly countryman. The discipline they have given him is, however, not misapplied. Mr. Grand being now in cash, your bills on him for your salary will be duly honored. I mention your drawing on him, because probably I may not be here, as I expect daily the permission of Congress to return home, and shall embrace the first opportunity. Wherever I am, be assured of the invariable esteem and attachment of, dear Sir, your affectionate friend,
warded to the town of Franklin. The Reverend Nathaniel Emmons, clergyman of the parish for which the library was designed, preached a sermon, in commemoration of this bounty, entitled, " The Dignity of Man; a Discourse addressed to the Congregation in Franklin, upon the Occasion of their receiving from Dr. Franklin the Mark of his Respect in a rich Donation of Books, appropriated to the Use of a Parish Library." It was printed in the year 1787, and the following dedication was prefixed to it. "To his Excellency Benjamin Franklin, President of the State of Pennsylvania; the Ornament of Genius, the Patron of Science, and the Boast of Man; this Discourse is inscribed, with the greatest Deference, Humility, and Gratitude, by his obliged and most humble Servant, the Author." The words chosen by the preacher for his text were from the impressive charge of David to Solomon; uShou> thyself a Man." He enlarged upon the importance of intellectual and moral culture, pointing out the means, and enforcing the use of them by persuasive arguments. He referred his hearers to the example of Franklin, as affording a pertinent illustration of the text, and encouragement to the hopes of all, who would employ their powers for the attainment of high and useful objects.
TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.
Passy, 12 April, 1786.
M. de Chaumont, who will have the honor of presenting this line to your Excellency, is a young gentleman of excellent character, whose father was one of our most early friends in this country, which he manifested by crediting us with a thousand barrels of gunpowder and other military stores in 1776, before we had provided any apparent means of payment . He has, as I understand, some demands to make on Congress, the nature of which I am unacquainted with; but my regard for the family makes me wish, that they may obtain a speedy consideration, and such favorable issue as they may appear to merit .
To this end, I beg leave to recommend him to your countenance and protection, and am, with great respect, &c . B. Franklin.
TO BENJAMIN VAUGHAN.
Manufactures. — Books. — Loose Printing.
Passy, 21 April, 1785.
I received your kind letter of the 23d past, by Mr. Perry, with the other bottle of Blackrie. I thank you much for your care in sending them. I should have been glad to be of any use to Mr. Perry; but he had placed his children before I saw him, and he stayed with me only a few minutes.
We see much in parliamentary proceedings, and in papers and pamphlets, of the injury the concessions to Ireland will do to the manufacturers of England, while the people of England seem to be forgotten, as if quite out of the question. If the Irish can manufacture cottons, and stuffs, and silks, and linens, and cutlery, and toys, and books, &c. &.c. &c., so as to sell them cheaper in England than the manufacturers of England sell them, is not this good for the people of England, who are not manufacturers? And will not even the manufacturers themselves share the benefit? Since if cottons are cheaper, all the other manufacturers who wear cottons will save in that article; and so of the rest. If books can be had much cheaper from Ireland, (which I believe, for I bought Blackstone there for twenty-four shillings, when it was sold in England at four guineas,) is not this an advantage, not to English booksellers, indeed, but to English readers, and to learning? And of all the complainants, perhaps these booksellers are least worthy of consideration. The catalogue you last sent me amazes me by the high prices (said to be the lowest) affixed to each article. And one can scarce see a new book, without observ
Vol. x. 21 N*
ing the excessive artifices made use of to puff up a paper of verses into a pamphlet, a pamphlet into an octavo, and an octavo into a quarto, with scab-boardings, white-lines, sparse titles of chapters, and exorbitant margins, to such a degree, that the selling of paper seems now the object, and printing on it only the pretence. I enclose the copy of a page in a late comedy. Between every two lines there is a white space equal to another line. You have a law, I think, against butchers blowing of veal to make it look fatter; why not one against booksellers' blowing of books to make them look bigger. All this to yourself; you can easily guess the reason.
My grandson is a little indisposed, but sends you two pamphlets, Figaro, and Le Roy Voyageur. The first is a play of Beaumarchais, which has had a great run here. The other a representation of all the supposed errors of government in this country, some of which are probably exaggerated. It is not publicly sold; we shall send some more shortly.
Please to remember me very respectfully and affectionately to good Dr. Price. I am glad that he has printed a translation of the Testament, it may do good. I am ever, my dear friend, yours most sincerely,
Enclosed is the foregoing Letter.
Sir John and Wildmore.
Sir John. Whither so fast?
Wildmore. To the Opera.
Sir John. Never on a Sunday.
WILDMORE. Is this Sunday?
Sir John. Yes sure.
WILDMORE. I remember nothing; I shall soon forget my Christian name.”
If this page was printed running on like Erasmus's Colloquies, it would not have made more than five lines.
TO JOHN INGENHOUSZ.
Invitation to accompany him to America. — Idle Stories about that Country. — Emperor of Germany.
Passy, 29 April, 1785. DEAR SIR, I thank you much for the postscript respecting my disorder, the stone. I have taken heretofore, and am now again taking the remedy you mention, which is called Bluckrie's Solvent. It is the soap lie, with limewater, and I believe it may have some effect in diminishing the symptoms, and preventing the growth