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city and my house, made a prisoner of my portrait, and carried it off with them, leaving that of its companion, my wife, by itself, a kind of widow. You have replaced the husband, and the lady seems to smile as well pleased.
It is true, as you observe, that I enjoy here every thing that a reasonable mind can desire, a sufficiency of income, a comfortable habitation of my own building, having all the conveniences I could imagine; a dutiful and affectionate daughter to nurse and take care of mę, a number of promising grand-children, some old friends still remaining to converse with, and more respect, distinction, and public honors than I can possibly merit; these are the blessings of God, and de, pend on his coạtinued goodness : yet all do not make me forget Paris and the nine years' happiness I enjoyed there, in the sweet society of a people whose conyersation is instructive, whose maạners are highly pleasing, and who above all the nations of the world, have in the greatest perfection the art of making themselves beloved by strangers. And now, even in my sleep, I find, that the scenes of all my pleasant dreams are laid in that city, or in its neighborhood.
I like much young M, Dupont. He appears a very sensible and valuable man, and I think his father will have a great deal of satisfaction in him.
Please to present my thanks to M. Lavoisier for the Nomenclature Chimique he has been so good as to send me, (it must be a very useful book) and assure him of my great and sincere esteem and attachment. My best wishes attend you both ; and I think I cannot wish you and him greater happiness than a long continuance of the connexion.
With great regard and affection, I have the honor to be, my dear friend, your most obliged and most obedient humble servant,
To DR. INGENHAUS Z.
Relative to the state of his health-The steam boat. (EXTRACT.)
October 24, 1788. “ You have always been kind enough to interest yourself in what relates to my health : I ought therefore to acquaint you with what appears to me something curious respecting it: you may remember the cutaneous malady I formerly complained of, and for which you and Dr. Pringle favored me with prescriptions and advice. It vexed me near fourteen years, and was the beginning of this year as bad as
ever, covering almost my whole body except my face and hands, when a fit of the gout came on, without very much pain, but a swelling in both feet, which at last appeared also in both knees; and then in my hands. As these swellings increased and extended, the other malady diminished, and at length disappeared entirely. Those swellings have some time since begun to fall, and are now almost gone; perhaps the cutaneous may return, or perhaps it is worn out. I may hereafter let you know what happens. I am on the whole much weaker than when it began to leave me. But possibly that may be the effect of age, for I am now near 83, the age of commencing decrepitude.
I grieve at the wars Europe is engaged in, and wish they · Wete ended; for I fear even the victors will be losers. I am ever, my dear friend, yours most affectionately,
P.S. Our public affairs are drawing towards a settlement. I have served out the three years' term of my presi-, dentship, limited by the constitution; and being determined to engage no niore in public business, I hope, if health permits, to be a better correspondent. We have no philosophi
cal news here at present, except that a boat moved by a steam engine, rows itself against tide in our river, and it is apprehended the construction may be so simplified and improved as to become generally useful,”
To B. VAUGHAN, Esg. Relative to Dr. F's own memoirs—The Turkish warm?
Drs. Price and Priestley-Heresy. (EXTRACT.)
October 24, 1788. “Having now finished my term in the presidentship, and resolving to engage no more in public affairs, I hope to be a better correspondent for the little time I have to live. I am recovering from a long continued gout, and an diligently employed in writing the bistory of my life, to the doing of which the persuasions contained in your letter of January si, 1783, have not a little contributed. I am now in the year 1756, just before I was sent to England. To shorten the work, as well as for other reasons, I omit all facts and transactions that may not have a tendency to benefit the young reader, by showing him from my example, and my success in emerging from poverty, and acquiring some degree of wealth, power, and reputation, the advantages of certain modes of conduct which I observed, and of avoiding the errors which were prejudicial to me. If a writer can judge properly of his own work, I fancy on reading over what is already done, that the book may be found entertaining, interesting, and useful, more so than I expected when I began it. If my present state of health continues, I hope to finish it this winter : when done you shall have a manuscript copy of
See MEMOIRS OF THẾ Life, Part II. p. 59. 4to ed. Part III. Ovo ed.
it, that I may obtain from your judgment and friendship such remarks as may contribute to its improvement.
The violence of our party debates about the new constitu. tion seems much abated, indeed almost extinct, and we are getting fast into good order. I kept out of those disputes pretty well, having wrote only one little piece, which I send you enclosed.
I regret the immense quantity of misery brought upon mankind by this Turkish war; and I am afraid the king of Sweden may burn his fingers by attacking Russia. When will princes learn arithmetic enough to calculate if they want pieces of one another's territory, how much cheaper it would be to buy them, than to make war for them, even though they were to give an hundred years' purchase? But if glory cannot be valued, and therefore the wars for it cannot be subject to arithmetical calculation so as to show their advantage or disadvantage, at least wars for trade, which have gain for their object, may be proper subjects for such computation; and a trading nation as well as a single trader ought to calculate the probabilities of profit and loss, before engaging in any considerable adventure. This however nations seldom do, and we bave had frequent instances of their spending more money in wars for acquiring or securing branches of commerce, than an hundred years' profit or the full enjoyment of them can compensate..
Remember me affectionately to good Dr. Price and to the honest heretic Dr. Priestley. I do not call him honest by way of distinction; for I think all the heretics I have known have been virtuous men... They have the virtue of fortitude or they would not venture to own their heresy; and they cannot afford to be deficient in any of the other virtues, as that would give advantage to their many enemies; and they have not, like orthodox sinners, such a number of friends to excuse or justify them. Do not, however, mistake me. It is not to my good friend's heresy that I impute his honesty. On the contrary, 'tis his honesty that has brought upon him the character of herétic. I am ever, my dear friend, yours sincerely,
To Mrs. PARTRIDGE. On the death of Ben Kent Orthodoxy. (EXTRACT.)
Philadelphia, Nov. 26, 1787.
You tell me our poor friend Ben Kent is gone, I hope to the regions of the blessed; or at least to some place where souls are prepared for those regions! I found my hope on this, that though not so orthodox as you and I, he was an honest man, and had his virtues. If he had any hypocrisy, it was of that inverted kind, with which a man is not so bad as he seems to be. And with regard to future bliss, I cannot help imagining that multitudes of the zealously orthodox of differevt sects, who at the last day may flock together, in hopes of seeing each other damned, will be disappointed, and obliged to rest content with their own salvation. Yours, &c.
To Mrs. MECOM, Boston. (EXTRACT.)
Philadelphia, Nov. 26, 1789.
I never see any Boston newspapers. You mention there being often something in them to do me honor. I am obliged to them. On the other hand, some of our papers here are endeavoring to disgrace me. I have long been accustomed to receive more blame as well as more praise than I
1 Dr. Franklin's sister,