Abbildungen der Seite


birint A new method of repaying money lent. DÉAR SIR, 1

1. Passy, April 22, 17841 ::.. I received yours of the 15th instant, and the memorial it enclosed. The account they give of your situation grieves me. I send you herewith a bill for ten Louis d'ors

do not pretend to give such a sum; I only lend it to you. When you shall return to your country with a good character, you cannot fail of getting into some business that will in time enable you to pay all your debts: in that case, when you meet with another honest man in similar distress, you mustepay me by lending this sum to him ; enjoining him to discharge the debt by a like operation when he shall be able, and shall meet with such another opportunity. I hope it may thus go through many hands before it meets with a knave that will stop, its progress. : This is a trick of mine for doingia deal of good with a little money. I am not rich enough to afford much in good works, and so am obliged to be cunning and make the most of a little. With best wishes for the success of your memorial, and your future prosperity, 2.119.png 90 ) I am, dear sir, your most obedient servant !


[ocr errors]

To The Rev. Doctor MATHER, Boston.. -j... 's On his advice to the people of Americasu os r Rév. Srr, "-3.)"; 17;?", "Passy, May 12, 1784. 3:10:... ', I received your kind letter with your excellent advice to the people of the United States, which I read with great pleasure, and hope it will be duly regarded. Such writings, though they may be lightly passed over by many readers, yet if they make a deep impression on one active mind in an hundred, the effects may be considerable. Permit

me to mention one little instance which though it relates to myself, will not be quite uninteresting to you. When I was á boy, I met with a book intitled Essays to do Good, which I think was written by your father. It had been so little regarded by a former possessor, that several leaves of it were torn. out; but the remainder gave me such a turn of thinking as to have an influence on my conduct through life; for I have always seta igreater value on the character of a doer of goud than on any other kind of reputation"; and if I have been, as you seem to thinky a useful citizen, the public owes the ad vantage of it ito that book. - You mention your being in your 78th year; I am in my 79th; we are grown old together. It is now more than sixty years since I left Boston, but I remember well both your father and grandfather, having heard them both in the pulpit, and seen them in their houses. The last time I saw your father was in the beginning of 1724, when I visited him after my first trip to Pennsylvania. He received me in his library, and on my taking leave showed me a shorter way outo of the house through a narrow passage, which was crossed by a beam over head. We were still talking as I withdrew, he accompanying me behind, and I turning partly towards him, when he said hastily, stoop, stoop! I did not understand him till I felt my head hit against the beam. He was a man that never missed any occasion of giving instruction, and upon this he said to me, you are young, and have the world before you; STOOP as you go through it, and you will miss many hard thumps. This advice thus beat into my head, has frequently been, of use to me, and I often think of it, when I see pride mortified, and misfortunes brought upon people by their carrying their heads too high.

I long much to see again my native place, and to lay my bones there. I left it in 1723; I visited it in 1733, 1743, 1753, and 1768. In 1773 I was in England; in 1775 I had

a sight of it, but could not enter, it being in possession of the enemy. I did hope to have been there in 1783, but could not obtain my dismission from this employment here; and now I fear I shall never have that liappiness. My best wishes however attend my dear country. Esto perpetua. It is now blest with an excellent constitution; may it last for ever!

This powerful monarchy continues its friendship for the United States. It is a friendship of the utmost importance to our security, and should be carefully cultivated. Britain has not yet well digested the loss of its dominion over us; and has still at times some flattering hopes of recovering it Accidents may increase those hopes, and encourage dangerous attempts. A breach between us and France would infallibly bring the English again upon our backs; and yet we have some wild heads among our countrymen who are endeavoring to weaken that connexion! Let us preserve our reputation by performing our engagements; our credit by fulfilling our contracts; and friends by gratitude and kindness; for we know not how soon we may again have occasion for all of them. With great and sincere esteem, I have the honor to be, &c.




Remarks on duelling.

Dear Sir,

Passy, July 17, 1784. I received yesterday by Mr. White your kind letter of May 11th, with the most agreeable present of

your new book.' I read it all before I slept, which is a proof of the good effects your happy manner has of drawing your reader on, by mixing little anecdotes and historical facts with

Moral and Literary Dissertations, second edition.

your instructions. Be pleased to accept my grateful acknow ledgments for the pleasure it has afforded me.

It is astonishing that the murderous practice of duellivg, which you so justly condemn, should continne so long in vogue. Formerly, when duels were used to determine law, suits, from an opinion that Providence would in every instance fayor truth and right with victory, they were excusable. At present, they decide nothing. A man says sonjething, which another tells him is a lie. They fight; but whichever is killed, the point in dispute remains unsettled. To this purpose they have a pleasant little story here. A gentleman in a coffee-house desired another to sit further from him. Why so ? Because, sir, you stipk! That is an affront, and you must fight me. I will fight you, if you insist upon it; but I do not see how that will mend the matter. For if

you kill me, I shall stink too; and if I kill you, you will stink, if possible, more than you do at present. How can such miserable sinners as we are entertain so' much pride, as to conceit that every offence against our imagined honor merits death? These petty princes in their own opinion would call that sovereign a tyrant, who should put one of them to death for a little uncivil language, though pointed at his sacred person; yet every one of them makes himself judge in his own cause, condemns the offender without a jury, and undertakes himself to be the executioner. With sincere and great esteem, I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,

B. FRANKLIN. P.S. Our friend, Mr. Vaughan, may perhaps communicate to you some conjectures of mine relating to the cold of last winter, which I sent him in return for the observations on cold of Professor Wilson. If he should, and you think them worthy so much notice, you may show them to your Philoso

phical Society, " to which I wish all imaginable success. Their rules appear to me excellent,


On their wish to obtain ordination.

GENTLEMEN, Passy, near Paris, July 18, 1784.,

On receipt of your letter, acquainting me that the archbishop of Canterbury ? would not permit you to be ordained unless you took the oath of allegiance, I applied to a clergyman of my acquaintance for information on the subject of your obtaining ordination here. . His opinion was, that it could not be done; and that if it were done, you would be required to vow obedience to the archbishop of Paris. , I next inquired of the pope's nuncio, whether you might not be ordained by their bishop in America, powers being sent him for that purpose, if he has them not already? The answer was, the thing is impossible, unless the gentlemen become Catholics.

This is an affair of which I know very little, and therefore I may ask questions and propose means that are improper or impracụcable. But what is the necessity of your being connected with the church of England? Would it not be as well if you were of the church of Ireland ? the religion is the same, though there is a different set of bishops and archbishops. Perhaps if you were to apply to the bishop of Derry, who is a man of liberal sentiments, he might give you orders as of that church. If both Britain and Ireland

: The Philosophical Society of Manchester, of which Dr. Percival was one of the principal founders and ornaments. - ? Dr. Moore.

3 Lord Bristol.

[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »