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TO JOHN BARD AND MRS. BARD.
Philadelphia, 14 November, 1785.
I received your kind letter, which gave me great pleasure, as it informed me of your welfare. Your friendly congratulations are very obliging. I had on my return some right, as you observe, to expect repose; and it was my intention to avoid all public business. But I had not firmness enough to resist the unanimous desire of my country folks; and I find myself harnessed again in their service for another year. They engrossed the prime of my life. They have eaten my flesh, and seem resolved now to pick my bones. You are right in supposing, that I interest myself in every thing that affects you and yours, sympathizing in your afflictions, and rejoicing in your felicities; for our friendship is ancient, and was never obscured by the least cloud.
I thank you for your civilities to my grandson, and am ever, with sincere and great esteem and regard, my dear friends, yours most affectionately,
TO MATHON DE LA COUR.
Philadelphia, 18 November, 1785.
Sir, I received duly the letter you did me the honor of writing to me on the 25th of June past, together with the collection you have made des comptes rendus de vos controleurs generaux; and your Discours sur les Moyens iTencourager le Patriotisme dans les Monarchies. The first is a valuable work, as containing a great deal of useful information; but the second I am particularly charmed with, the sentiments being delightfully just, and expressed with such force and clearness, that I am persuaded the pamphlet, though small, must have a great effect on the minds of both princes and people, and thence be productive of much > good to mankind. Be pleased to accept my hearty thanks for both. It is right to be sowing good seed whenever we have an opportunity, since some of it may be productive. An instance of this you should be acquainted with, as it may afford you pleasure. The reading of FortunS RicarcPs Testament, has put it into the head and heart of a citizen to leave two thousand pounds sterling to two American cities, who are to lend it in small sums at five per cent to young beginners in business; and the accumulation, after a hundred years, to be laid out in public works of benefit to those cities.* With great esteem, I have the honor to be, Sir, &c. B. Franklin.
TO EDWARD BANCROFT.
Proposed new Edition of Dr. Franklin's Writings.
Philadelphia, 86 November, 1785.
Dear Sir, I received your kind letter of September 5th, informing me of the intention Mr. Dilly has of printing a new edition of my writings, and of his desire, that I would furnish him with such additions as I may think proper. At present all my papers and manuscripts are so mixed with other things, by the confusions occasioned in sudden and various removals during the late troubles, that I can hardly find any thing. But, having nearly finished an addition to my house, which will af
• See Dr. Franklin's Will.
ford me room to put all in order, I hope soon to be able to comply with such a request; but I hope Mr. Dilly will have a good understanding in the affair with Henry and Johnson, who, having risked the former impressions, may suppose they thereby acquired some right in the copy. As to the Life proposed to be written, if it be by the same hand who furnished a sketch to Dr. Lettsom, which he sent me, I am afraid it will be found too full of errors for either you or me to correct; and, having been persuaded by my friends, Messrs. Vaughan and M. Le Veillard, Mr. James of this place, and some others, that such a Life, written by myself, may be useful to the rising generation, I have made some progress in it, and hope to finish it this winter; so I cannot but wish that project of Mr. Dilly's biographer may be laid aside. I am nevertheless thankful to you for your friendly offer of correcting it.
As to public affairs, it is long since I gave over all expectations of a commercial treaty between us and Britain; and I think we can do as well, or better, without one than she can. Our harvests are plenty, our produce fetches a high price in hard money, and there are in every part of our country incontestable marks of public felicity. We discover, indeed, some errors in our general and particular constitutions; which it is no wonder they should have, the time in which they were formed being considered. But these we shall soon mend. The little disorders you have heard of in some of the States, raised by a few wrong heads, are subsiding, and will probably soon be extinguished. My best wishes, and those of my family, attend you. We shall be happy to see you here, when it suits you to visit us; being with sincere and great esteem, my dear friend, yours most affectionately,
B. Franklin, Vol. x. 31 v
FROM JONATHAN SHIPLEY, BISHOP OP ST. ASAPH, TO B. FRANKLIN.
Twyford, 27 Norember, 1785.
My Dear Friend,
I felt myself much obliged to your worthy nephew, Mr. Williams, for the account of your safe arrival, and very honorable reception at Philadelphia. Our last short interview at Southampton was so much in mixed company, and your hours were so entirely taken up with the final business of leaving this ungrateful country, that I hardly found a single opportunity for the confidential information, to which our old friendship seemed to entitle us, and I on my part was very ready to give.
But, to own the truth, I had but little curiosity to know the particulars of your negotiations with either the French or the English ministers. The event has shown, that, in their own arts, you were not inferior to the ablest of them. I had much rather hear from you, with what prudence and success your countrymen proceed in reviving and establishing that civil liberty, which is extinguished everywhere else. Sure there never was opened so fine a field for making experiments and improvements in the philosophy of government, which I take to be the noblest species of philosophy that can exercise the mind of man. But your great blessing is, that he, who is best able to serve his country, is sure of being rewarded. Make the most of the golden opportunity. It has seldom lasted long. I live in a very different scene, where the most unprofitable and perhaps the most dangerous part a man can act, is, to mention the faults or propose any amendment in our corrupt and shattered frame of government. Yet I feel every day more reason to be pleased with the part I myself have acted.
But whether you had rather give us only an account of your domestic circumstances, which I think must necessarily be happy, I fancy you will give me credit for saying, that nobody will be more warmly interested in what concerns you, than the part of my family you saw at Southampton. Mrs. Shipley and her daughter Kitty, in their passion for you, rival Georgians They agree with me in interesting ourselves for all the worthy family party we met with you. I wish your nephew, and my old friend, Mr. Williams, success in all his future views. He can hardly undertake any business for which he is unqualified. Your promising grandson, who has the courage to tread in your early steps, I hope, will preserve the same generous emulation through his life. Few professions are in my eyes more respectable, than the character of a printer, who excels in his art. Aldus and Stephens stand high as men of letters, and made their learning and criticism subservient to their business.
Let me hope, that you will sometimes remember, amidst the applauses of your countrymen, that there is a family in England, who love you as well as your own. Your ever affectionate
J. St. Asaph.
TO JAMES BOWDOIN.
Dr. Jeffries''s Jterial Voyage from England to France.
Philadelphia, 1 January, 1786.
My Dear Friend, It gave me great pleasure to receive your kind letter of congratulation, as it proved, that all my old friends in Boston were not estranged from me by the malevolent misrepresentations of my conduct, that had