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munication relating to this subject, evidently written by a person well acquainted with the character and habits of Dr. Franklin, the drift of which was to show, that he never pretended to have originated the idea of the Parable, that as an imitation it stood on the same ground as those of Pope and other writers, and that in this light it was eminently felicitous and successful.

"This great man, who at the same time that he was desirous of disseminating an amiable sentiment, was an extreme lover of pleasantry, often endeavoured to put off the parable in question upon his acquaintance, as a portion of Scripture, and probably thought this one of the most successful modes of circulating its moral. This object would certainly have been defeated, had he prefixed to the printed copies of the Parable, which he was fond of dispersing, an intimation of its author. He therefore gave no name whatever to it, much less his own. And often as I have heard of his amusing himself on this occasion, I never could learn that he ascribed to himself the merit of the invention. His good humor constantly led him into a train of amusing stories concerning the persons, who had mistaken it for Scripture, (for he had bound it up as a leaf in his Bible, the better to impose upon them,) which, perhaps, made the point of authorship forgotten.

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Indeed, to a man of his magnitude, the accession of fame from this circumstance was too small to make it worth any risk. Artifice must rob him of more than it could yield him; and the gain was temporary, while the injury, from any undue pretension, wast as permanent as his own immortal character. He was too wise to think, that the actions of a man like himself could be hid; or that the accidental researches of literary men would suffer a plagiarism of this sort to pass undiscovered, or the good nature or busy turn of mankind permit it to be unnoticed after its discovery. I am told that the Parable referred to is quoted or mentioned by Jeremy Taylor, in his Liberty of Prophesying. Possibly Dr. Franklin heard, from some quarter or other, some general and vague account of what has thus repeatedly appeared in print, and improved the idea in the way we have seen; without being able to give it back to its proper parent, and without knowing perhaps that it claimed a parent so learned, as that your erudite correspondent has pointed out."

More recently it has been found out, that the Parable is of eastern origin. Sadus, quoted by Gentius, is the celebrated Persian poet, Saadi; and in the second book of his "Bostàn" this story is contained substantially the same as in Gentius's Dedication. This fact was made known to Bishop Heber by Lord Teignmouth,

who furnished him with a translation from the Persian into English, which is inserted among the notes to Heber's Life of Jeremy Taylor. It is worthy of notice, that Saadi relates the story not as his own, but as having been told to him. Thus its fountain remains yet to be ascertained.

Franklin's version was imperfectly printed from Lord Kames's copy, whether designedly or by mistake is not known. The division into verses was not observed, and all that follows the eleventh verse was omitted. Mr. Vaughan restored the deficient verses in the CORRIGENDA to his edition, since which the Parable has usually been printed entire, although there are slight verbal differences in several of the impressions. - EDITOR.

1. And it came to pass after these things, that Abraham sat in the door of his tent, about the going down of the sun.

2. And behold a man, bowed with age, came from the way of the wilderness, leaning on a staff.

3. And Abraham arose and met him, and said unto him, "Turn in, I pray thee, and wash thy feet, and tarry all night, and thou shalt arise early on the morrow, and go on thy way."

4. But the man said, "Nay, for I will abide under this tree."

5. And Abraham pressed him greatly; so he turned, and they went into the tent, and Abraham baked unleavened bread, and they did eat.

6. And when Abraham saw that the man blessed not God, he said unto him, "Wherefore dost thou not worship the most high God, Creator of heaven and earth?"

7. And the man answered and said, "I do not worship the God thou speakest of, neither do I call upon his name; for I have made to myself a god, which abideth alway in mine house, and provideth me with all things."

8. And Abraham's zeal was kindled against the man, and he arose and fell upon him, and drove him forth with blows into the wilderness.

9. And at midnight God called unto Abraham, say

ing, Abraham, where is the stranger?"

10. And Abraham answered and said, "Lord, he would not worship thee, neither would he call upon thy name; therefore have I driven him out from before my face into the wilderness."

11. And God said, "Have I borne with him these hundred ninety and eight years, and nourished him, and clothed him, notwithstanding his rebellion against me; and couldst not thou, that art thyself a sinner, bear with him one night?"

12. And Abraham said, "Let not the anger of the Lord wax hot against his servant; lo, I have sinned; lo, I have sinned; forgive me, I pray thee."

13. And Abraham arose, and went forth into the wilderness, and sought diligently for the man, and found him, and returned with him to the tent; and when he had entreated him kindly, he sent him away on the morrow with gifts.

14. And God spake again unto Abraham, saying, "For this thy sin shall thy seed be afflicted four hundred years in a strange land;

15. "But for thy repentance will I deliver them; and they shall come forth with power, and with gladness of heart, and with much substance." *

* On the subject of this Parable, see also a letter from Dr. Franklin to Mr. Vaughan, dated November 2d, 1789, in which the author says, that he never published it, "nor claimed any other credit from it, than what related to the style, and the addition of the concluding threatening and promise.”. EDITOR.


1. In those days there was no worker of iron in all the land. And the merchants of Midian passed by with their camels, bearing spices, and myrrh, and balm, and wares of iron.

2. And Reuben bought an axe of the Ishmaelite merchants, which he prized highly, for there was none in his father's house.

3. And Simeon said unto Reuben his brother, “Lend me, I pray thee, thine axe." But he refused, and would not.

4. And Levi also said unto him, "My brother, lend me, I pray thee, thine axe;" and he refused him also.

5. Then came Judah unto Reuben, and entreated him, saying, "Lo, thou lovest me, and I have always loved thee; do not refuse me the use of thine axe."

6. But Reuben turned from him, and refused him likewise.

7. Now it came to pass, that Reuben hewed timber on the bank of the river, and his axe fell therein, and he could by no means find it.

8. But Simeon, Levi, and Judah had sent a messenger after the Ishmaelites with money, and had bought for themselves each an axe.

9. Then came Reuben unto Simeon, and said, “Lo, I have lost mine axe, and my work is unfinished; lend me thine, I pray thee."

10. And Simeon answered him, saying, "Thou wouldest not lend me thine axe, therefore will I not lend thee mine."

11. Then went he unto Levi, and said unto him, My brother, thou knowest my loss and my necessity; lend me, I pray thee, thine axe."

12. And Levi reproached him, saying, "Thou wouldest not lend me thine axe when I desired it, but I will be better than thou, and will lend thee mine."

13. And Reuben was grieved at the rebuke of Levi, and being ashamed, turned from him, and took not the axe, but sought his brother Judah.

14. And as he drew near, Judah beheld his countenance as it were covered with grief and shame; and he prevented him, saying, "My brother, I know thy loss; but why should it trouble thee? Lo, have I not an axe that will serve both thee and me? Take it, I pray thee, and use it as thine own."

15. And Reuben fell on his neck, and kissed him, with tears, saying, "Thy kindness is great, but thy goodness in forgiving me is greater. Thou art indeed my brother, and whilst I live, will I surely love thee."

16. And Judah said, "Let us also love our other brethren; behold, are we not all of one blood?"

17. And Joseph saw these things, and reported them to his father Jacob.

18 And Jacob said, "Reuben did wrong, but he repented. Simeon also did wrong; and Levi was not altogether blameless.

19. "But the heart of Judah is princely. Judah hath the soul of a king. His father's children shall bow down before him, and he shall rule over his brethren."

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