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procuring, will be lost, and fresh attacks upon us will be encouraged and promoted by better prospects of success. Let us therefore beware of being lulled into a dangerous security; and of being both enervated and impoverished by luxury; of being weakened by internal contentions and divisions; of being shamefully extravagant in contracting private debts, while we are backward in discharging honorably those of the public; of neglect in military exercises and discipline, and in providing stores of arms and munitions of war, to be ready on occasion ; for all these are circumstances that give confidence to enemies, and diffidence to friends; and the expenses required to prevent a war are much lighter than those that will, if not prevented, be absolutely necessary to maintain it.

I am long kept in suspense without being able to learn the purpose of Congress respecting my request of recall, and that of some employment for my secretary, William Temple Franklin. If I am kept here another winter, and as much weakened by it as by the last, I may as well resolve to spend the remainder of my days here; for I shall hardly be able to bear the fatigues of the voyage in returning. During my long absence from America, my friends are continually diminishing by death, and my inducements to return lessened in proportion. But I can make no preparations either for going conveniently, or staying comfortably here, nor take any steps towards making some other provision for my grandson, till I know what I am to expect. Be so good, my dear friend, as to send me a little private information. With great esteem, I am ever yours, &c.

B. FRANKLIN.

TO MR. AND MRS. JAY,

Passy, 13 May, 1784. MY DEAR FRIENDS, I find I shall not be able to see you again as I intended. My best wishes, however, go with you, that you may have a prosperous voyage and a happy sight of your friends and families.

Mr. Jay was so kind as to offer his friendly services to me in America. He will oblige me much by endeavouring to forward my discharge from this employment. Repose is now my only ambition. If too, he should think with me, that my grandson is qualified to serve the States as secretary to a future minister at this court, or as Chargé d'Affaires, and will be kind enough to recommend such an appointment, it will exceedingly oblige me. I have twice mentioned this in my letter to Congress, but have not been favored with any answer; which is hard, because the suspense prevents my endeavouring to promote him in some other way. I would not, however, be importunate; and therefore, if Mr. Jay should use his interest without effect, I will trouble them no more on the subject. My grandson's acquaintance with the language, with the court and customs here, and the particular regard M. de Vergennes has for him, are circumstances in his favor.

God bless and protect you both. Embrace my little friend for me, and believe me ever yours, &c.

B. FRANKLIN.

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FROM FRANCIS HOPKINSON TO B. FRANKLIN.

American Philosophical Society. Defects in the usual Methods of teaching Languages. Balloons.

Philadelphia, 24 May, 1784. DEAR FRIEND, I cannot suffer so good an opportunity to pass, without renewing my assurances of the love and respect I have for you, mine and my father's steady friend. It is, indeed, long since I have written to you, and much longer since I have received a letter from you. Your more serious and important avocations are doubtless the occasion of both. I am unwilling to intrude upon your time, and you are too much engaged in the embarrassing and vexatious duties of a public station and political character, to amuse yourself with letters of mere friendship and private concern.

I have long looked for the additional volumes of the new French Encyclopédie. You have forwarded three, namely, the first volumes of Jurisprudence, Natural History, and Mechanics; but I am told there are several more published.

I have industriously applied myself to raise from a state of lethargy our Philosophical Society. In this I have been assisted by the steady abilities of Mr. Rittenhouse, and the sanguine vivacity of Mr. Vaughan, whom you know. To this end I delivered a speech to the Society last winter, the purport of which was to rouse their attention to the objects of their institution, and to encourage a pursuit of experimental philosophy, by removing what I believed to be a great obstacle, especially in this country, that is, an idea that none but men of profound learning and scholastic education ought to meddle with pursuits of this kind. And this I did, by asserting, that many of the most important discoveries had been made by men, who had not liberal educations, but were led to the discovery of truth by a careful attention to facts, and a steady investigation of the phenomena of nature. *

I asserted, that the book of nature was the book of knowledge; that it was open to all; that it was not written in Latin, Greek, or Hebrew, but in a language intelligible to every one, who would take the pains to read and observe. This gave offence to some of the learned faculty, who think it impossible to attain wisdom, but by means of grammar rules, a system of logic, and the whole fabric of metaphysics. Perhaps I carried my doctrine a little too far, but it was with a view to encourage those, who had not the means of a learned education, to become useful by experimental inquiries. I would send you a copy of this speech, if I thought it worth your attention. It had, however, some good effect.

I have long thought, that a great reform is wanting in the education of youth. Too much of the ancient superstitions of the schools remains. A great deal of precious time is spent in forcing upon young minds logical and metaphysical subtilties, which can never afterwards be applied to any possible use in life; whilst the practical branches of knowledge are either slightly glanced over, or totally neglected. Even the learned languages are in my opinion taught by a wrong method. The grammar should be the last book put into the learner's hands. No language is built upon its grammar, but the grammar is deduced from the language. Elegance of style in speaking or writing can

• See this Address in HOPKINSON's Miscellaneous Essays and Occasional Writings, Vol. I. p 359.

FROM FRANCIS HOPKINSON TO B. FRANKLIN.

American Philosophical Society. - Defects in the usual Methods of teaching Languages. - Balloons.

Philadelphia, 24 May, 1784. * ' 2.1.1 DEAR FRIEND,

I cannot suffer so good an opportunity to pass, without renewing my assurances of the love and respect I have for you, mine and my father's steady friend. It is, indeed, long since I have written to you, and much longer since I have received a letter from you. Your more serious and important avocations are doubtless the occasion of both. I am unwilling to intrude upon your time, and you are too much engaged in the embarrassing and vexatious duties of a public station and political character, to amuse yourself with letters of mere friendship and private concern. - :17,180g ind • I have long looked for the additional volumes of the new French Encyclopédie. You have forwarded three, namely, the first volumes of Jurisprudence, Natural History, and Mechanics; but I am told there are several more published.

I have industriously applied myself to raise from a state of lethargy our Philosophical Society. In this I have been assisted by the steady abilities of Mr. Rittenhouse, and the sanguine vivacity of Mr. Vaughan, whom you know. To this end I delivered a speech to the Society last winter, the purport of which was to rouse their attention to the objects of their institution, and to encourage a pursuit of experimental philosophy, by removing what I believed to be a great obstacle, especially in this country, that is, an idea that none but men of profound learning and scholastic education ought to meddle with pursuits of this kind. And this

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