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a cough and laborious breathing. During this state, when the severity of his pains drew forth a groan of complaint, he would observe, that he was afraid he did not bear them as he ought; acknowledging his grateful sense of the many blessings he had received from the Supreme Being, who had raised him, from small and low beginnings, to such high rank and consideration among men; and made no doubt but that his present afflictions were kindly intended to wean him from a world in which he was no longer fit to act the part assigned him. In this frame of body and mind, he continued until five days before his death, when the pain and difficulty of breathing entirely left him, and his family were flattering themselves with the hopes of his recovery; but an imposthume which had formed in his lungs, suddenly burst, and discharged a quantity of matter, which he continued to throw up while he had power; but, as that failed, the organs of respiration became gradually oppressed; a calm, lethargic state succeeded; and on the 17th instant (April, 1790), about eleven o'clock at night, he quietly expired, closing a long and useful life of eighty-four years and three months."

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In a letter from Dr. Rush to Dr. Price, dated at Philadelphia, a week after this event, the writer says; "The papers will inform you of the death of our late illustrious friend Dr. Franklin. The evening of his life was marked by the same activity of his moral and intellectual powers, which distinguished its meridian. His conversation with his family, upon the sub

* Dr. Jones added the following particulars. "In the year 1735, Dr. Franklin had a severe pleurisy, which terminated in an abscess of his lungs; and he was then almost suffocated by the quantity and suddenness of the discharge. A second attack, of a similar nature, happened some years after, from which he soon recovered; and he did not appear to suffer any inconvenience in his respiration from these diseases."

ject of his dissolution, was free and cheerful. A few days before he died, he rose from his bed, and begged that it might be made up for him, so that he might die in a decent manner. His daughter told him, that she hoped he would recover, and live many years longer. He calmly replied, 'I hope not.' Upon being advised to change his position in bed, that he might breathe easy, he said, 'A dying man can do nothing easy. All orders and bodies of people among us have vied with each other in paying tributes of respect to his memory." *

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The following extracts are from a letter written by Mrs. Mary Hewson to Mr. Viny, one of Dr. Franklin's early friends in England.

"We have lost that valued, that venerable, kind friend, whose knowledge enlightened our minds, and whose philanthropy warmed our hearts. But we have the consolation to think, that, if a life well spent in acts of universal benevolence to mankind, a grateful acknowledgment of Divine favor, a patient submission. under severe chastisement, and an humble trust in Almighty mercy, can insure the happiness of a future state, our present loss is his gain. I was the faithful witness of the closing scene, which he sustained with that calm fortitude which characterized him through life. No repining, no peevish expression, ever escaped him, during a confinement of two years, in which, I believe, if every moment of ease could be added together the sum would not amount to two whole months. When the pain was not too violent to be amused, he employed himself with his books, his pen, or in conversation with his friends; and upon every occasion displayed the clearness of his intellect and the cheerfulness of his temper. Even when the in

* See MORGAN's Life of Price, p. 147.

tervals from pain were so short, that his words were frequently interrupted, I have known him to hold a discourse in a sublime strain of piety. I say this to you, because I know it will give you pleasure."

"I never shall forget one day that I passed with our friend last summer. I found him in bed in great agony; but, when that agony abated a little, I asked if I should read to him. He said, Yes; and the first book I met with was Johnson's 'Lives of the Poets.' I read the Life of Watts, who was a favorite author with Dr. Franklin; and, instead of lulling him to sleep, it roused him to a display of the powers of his memory and his reason. He repeated several of Watts's 'Lyric Poems,' and descanted upon their sublimity in a strain worthy of them and of their pious author. It is natural for us to wish that an attention to some ceremonies had accompanied that religion of the heart, which I am convinced Dr. Franklin always possessed; but let us, who feel the benefit of them, continue to practise them, without thinking lightly of that piety, which could support pain without a murmur, and meet death without terror."*

The funeral solemnities took place on the 21st of April. It was computed that more than twenty thousand people were assembled. In the procession were the clergy, the Mayor and Corporation of the City, the members of the Executive Council and of the Assembly of Pennsylvania, the Faculty and Students. of the College of Philadelphia, the Philosophical Society, and several other societies, followed by a numerous train of citizens. All the bells of the city

* See the London Monthly Repository, Vol. XVI. p. 3. An account of Mrs. Hewson and of her family may be seen in the present work, Vol. VII. p. 150. The letter from which the above extracts are taken, is dated at Philadelphia, May 5th, 1790.

were muffled and tolled; the flags of the vessels in the harbour were raised half-mast high; and discharges of artillery announced the time when the body was laid in the earth. Franklin was interred by the side of his wife, in the cemetery of Christ's Church. A plain marble slab covers the two graves, according to the direction in his will, with no other inscription than their names and the year of his decease. It yet remains for the city of his adoption, by erecting an appropriate monument, to render the same tribute of respect to his memory, which the city of his birth has rendered to that of his father and mother.

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When the news of his death reached Congress, then sitting in New York, a resolution was moved by Mr. Madison, and unanimously adopted, that the members should wear the customary badge of mourning for one month, "as a mark of veneration due to the memory of a citizen, whose native genius was not more an ornament to human nature, than his various exertions of it have been precious to science, to freedom, and to his country." A similar resolution was passed by the Executive Council of Pennsylvania. The American Philosophical Society appointed one of their number, the Reverend Dr. William Smith, to pronounce a discourse commemorative of his character and his virtues. Nor were such honors confined to his own country. By a decree of the National Assembly of France, introduced by an eloquent speech from Mirabeau, and seconded by Lafayette and La Rochefoucauld, the members of that body wore a badge of mourning for three days, and the President wrote a letter of condolence to the Congress of the



United States. A public celebration was ordered by the Commune of Paris, which was attended by a large concourse of public officers and citizens, and a eulogy was pronounced by the Abbé Fauchet. Many other testimonies of respect were shown by the different scientific and literary societies in Paris, and eulogies were written by some of their most distinguished members.

Dr. Franklin was well formed and strongly built, in his latter years inclining to corpulency; his stature was five feet nine or ten inches; his eyes were grey, and his complexion light. Affable in his deportment, unobtrusive, easy, and winning in his manners, he rendered himself agreeable to persons of every rank in life. With his intimate friends he conversed freely, but with strangers and in mixed company he was reserved, and sometimes taciturn. His great fund of knowledge, and experience in human affairs, contributed to give a peculiar charm to his conversation, enriched as it was by original reflections, and enlivened by a vein of pleasantry, and by anecdotes and ingenious apologues, in the happy recollection and use of which he was unsurpassed.

The strong and distinguishing features of his mind were sagacity, quickness of perception, and soundness. of judgment. His imagination was lively, without being extravagant. In short, he possessed a perfect mastery over the faculties of his understanding and over his passions. Having this power always at command, and never being turned aside either by vanity or selfishness, he was enabled to pursue his objects with a directness and constancy, that rarely failed to insure success. It was as fortunate for the world, as it was for his own fame, that the benevolence of such a man was limited only by his means and opportuni

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