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by Congress; and yesterday I received a high additional
A Petition of the Left Hand -
New Mode of Bathing
Observations on the generally prevailing
Doctrines of Life and Death
about to undertake a Sea Voyage
ons between England and America A Comparison of the Conduct of the Ancient
Jews, and of the Antifederalists in the United
States of America - -
Description of the Interest and Policy of
Information to those who would remove to
DOCTOR BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, &c.
MY DEAR SON, I HAVE amused myself with collecting fome little anecdotes of my family. You may remem. ber the enquiries I made, when you were with me in England, among such of my relations as were then living; and the journey I undertook for that purpose. To be acquainted with the particulars of my parentage and life, many of which are unknown to you, I flatter myself, will afford the same pleasure to you as, to me. I shall relate them upon paper: it will be an agreeable employment of a week's uninterrupted leisure, which I promise myself during my present retirement in the country. There are alfo other motives which induce me to the undertaking. From the bofom of poverty and obscu. rity, in which I drew my first breath and spent my earliest years, I have raised myself to a state of opulence and to some degree of celebrity in
the world. A constant good fortune has attended me through every period of life to my present advanced age; and my descendants may be desirous of learning what were the means of which I made use, and which, thanks to the assisting hand of Providence, have proved fo eminently successful. They may also, should they ever be placed in a similar situation, derive fome advantage from my narrative.
When I reflect, as I frequently do, upon the felicity I have enjoyed, I sometimes say to myself, that, were the offer made me, I would engage to run again, from beginning to end, the fame career of life. All I would ask should be the privilege of an author, to correct, in a second edition, certain errors of the first. I could wish, likewise, if it were in my power, to change fome trivial incidents and events for others more favourable. Were this however denied me, still would I not decline the offer. But since a lepetition of life cannot take place, there is nothing which, in my opinion, so nearly resembles it, as to call to mind all its circumstances, and, to ren. der their remembrance more durable, commit them to writing. By thus employing myself, I shall yield to the inclination, so natural in old men, to talk of themselves and their exploits, and may freely follow my bent, without being tiresome to those who, from respect to my age, might think themselves obliged to listen to me; as they will be at liberty to read me or not as they please. In fine-and I may as well avow it, since nobody would believe me were I to deny itshall perhaps, by this employment, gratify my vanity, Scarcely indeed have I ever heard or read the introductory phrase, “ I may say without vanity,” but some striking and characteristic inItance of vanity has immediately followed. The