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of vanity has immediately followed. The generali. ty of men hate vanity in others, however strongly they may be tinctured with it themselves; for my. self, I pay obeisance to it wherever I meet with it, persuaded that it is advantageous, as well to the individual whom it governs, as to those who are within the fphere of its influence. Of consequence, it would in many cases, not be wholly absurd, that a man should count his vanity among the other sweets of life, and give thanks to providence for the blessing.
And here let me with all humility acknowledge, that to divine providence I am indebted for the felicity I have hitherto enjoyed. It is that power alone which has furnillied me with the means I have employed, and that has crowned them with success. My faith in this respect leads me to hope, though I cannot count upon it, that the divine goodness will still be exercised towards me, either by prolonging the duration of my happiness to the close of life, or by giving me fortitude to support any melancholy reverse, which may happen to me, as to so many others. My future fortune is unknown but to him in whose hand is our destiny, and who can make our very afflictis ons subservient to our benefit.
One of my uncles, desirous like myself, of col. le&ting anecdotes of our family, gave me some notes, from which I have derived many particulars refpecting our ancestors. From there I learn, that they had lived in the same village (Eatin in Northamptonshire) upon a freehold of about thirty acres, for the space at least of three hundred years. How long they bad resided there prior to that period, my uncle had been unable to discover; probably
ever since the institution of surnames, when they took the appellation of Franklin, which had for. merly been the name of a particular order of individuals *.
This petty estate would not have sufficed for their subfiitence, had they not added the trade of blacksmith, which was perpetuated in the family down to my uncle's tiine, the eldest fun having been uni
* As a proof that Franklin was anciently the common name ci an order of rank in England, fe Judge Forlescle, De luie.dibus legum iuglice, written about the year 14:2, in which is the following pañaze, to fhew that good juries might easily be formed in any part of England:
"Regio edim illa, ita relpería refertaque eft par lori. « bus terrizrain et agrorum, quod in ea, villularım par65 va reixriri non poterit, in qua non eit miles, armiger, vel so pater familias; qualis ibidem frenklin vizigaritur nun
curatur, magnis ditatus poilcfionibus, nec non libere, " tencntes 21 alii valec plurimi, suis patrimoniis fufici. be entes, ad faciendum juratam, in forina prænotata."
" Ivorcovcr, the same country is so filled and replenilh. 6 cl with lunded menne, that therein so small a thorpe 46 courot be found wherein dwelleth not a knight, an ef. 66 Guire, or such a householder as is there commonly called sa a franklin, enriched with great poffeflions ; and also " cther freeholders and many yeomen, able for their “ livelihoods to make a jury in form aforementioned,"
OLD TRANSLATION Chancer too calls his country gentlemen a fi tinklin, and after describing his good housekeeping, thus characterites hin :
This worthy frankip bore a purse o lilk,
-'formerlybrought up to this employment: a custom E, which both he and my father observed with respect to their eldest sons.
In the researches I made at Eaton, I found no account of their births, marriages and deaths, ear. - lier than the year 1555; the parish register not
extending farther back than that period. This re1. gister informed me, that I was the youngest son Fof the youngest branch of the family, counting five in generations. My grandfather, Thomas, who was - born in 1598, living at Eaton till he was too old
to continue his trade, when he retired to Banbury
in Oxfordshire, where his fon John, who was a -dyer, resided, and with whom my father was ap
prenticed. He died, and was buried there : we faw his monument in 1758. His eldest son lived in the family house at Eaton, which he bequeath
ed, with the land belonging to it, to his only dauch -- ter ; who, in concert with her husband, Mr. Fisher
of Wellingborough, afterwards sold it to Mr. Eitled, the present proprietor.
My grandfather had four surviving fons, Thos mas, John, Benjamin, and Jofias. I shall give you
such particulars of them as my memory will furniin, - not having my papers here, in which you will find
a more minute account, if they are not loit during my absence. i Thoinas had learned the trade of a blackfinith under his father ; but possesfing a good natural un. derstanding, he improved it by study, at the filici. tation of a gentleman by the name of Palmer, who was at that time the principal inhabitant of the vil. lage, and who encourged in like manner all my 'incies to improve their minds. Thomas thus renvered himielt competent to the functions of a coun.
of loulone mighe died, y to
try attorney; soon became an essential personage in the affairs of the village; and was one of the chief movers of every public enterprize, as wellrelative to the country as the town of Northampton. A variety of remarkable incidents were told us of him at Eaton. After enjoying the esteem and patronage of Lord Halifax, he died Jan. 6, 1702, precisely four years before I was born The recital that was made us of his life and character, by some aged persons of the village, struck you, I remember, as extraordinary, from its analogy to what you knew of myself. 6. Had he died,” said you, just four years later, one might have fuppofed a transmigration of souls.” · John, to the best of my belief, was brought up to the trade of a wool-dyer.
Benjamin served his apprenticeship in London to a silk-dyer. He was an industrious man : Ire. member him well; for, while I was a child, he i joined my father at Boston, and lived for some years in the house with us. A particular affection had always fubfifted between my father and him; and I was his godson. He arrived to a great age. He left behind him two quarto volumes of poems in manuscript, corfilling of little fugitive pieces addressed to the friends. He had invented a shori. hand, which he taught me, but having never made · use of it, I have now forgotten it. He was a man of piety, and a constant attendant on the best preachers, whose sermons he took a pleasure in writing down according to the expeditor y method he had devised. Many volumes were thus collect. ed by hini, he was also extremely fond of poli. tics, too much lo perhaps for his situation. Täiely found in London a collection which he had made
of all the principal pamphlets relative to public af.): fairs, from the year 1641 to 1717. Many volumes
are wanting, as appears by the series of numbers; 1 but their still remain eight in folio, and twenty four Us in quarto and octavo. The collection had fallen 1 into the bands of a second-hand bookseller, who, a knowing me by having fold me fome books, brought & it to me. My uncle, it seems, had left it behind es him on his departure for America, about fifty
years ago. : I found various notes of his writing in
the margins. His grandson, Samúel is now living E at Boston.
! Our humble family had early embraced the Re.
formation. They remained faithfully attached du. Fring the reign of Queen Mary, when they were in
danger of being molested on account of their zeal n against popery. They had an English Bible, and, ed to conceal it the more securely, they conceived the 32 prospect of fastening it, open, wich pack-threads a. 2 cross the leaves, on the inside of the lid of a clofe. 1 ftool. When my great-grandfather wished to read
to his family, he reversed the lid of the close-stool
upon his knees, and passed the leaves from one fide es to the other, which were held down on each by -s the pack-thread. One of the children was station.
ed at the door, to give notice if he saw the proctor (an officer of the spiritual court) make his appear. ance : in that case, the lid was restored to its place, with the Bible concealed under it as before. I had this anecdote froin my uncle Benjamin.
The whole family preserved its attachments 10' the Church of England till towards the close of the reigas Charles II. when certain 'ministers, who had been cjected as non-conformists, having held conventicles in Northamptonshire, they were join." :: VolI.