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To MR. BRIDGEN, LONDON.
On Copper Coinage for the United States. : · Dear Sir,
Passy, October 2, 1779.' . . I received your favor of the 17th past, and the two samples of copper are since come to hand. The metal seems to be very good, and the price reasonable, but I have not yet received the orders necessary to justify my making the purchase proposed. There has indeed been an intention to strike copper coin that may not only be useful as small change, but serve other purposes. Instead of repeating continually upon every halfpenny the dull story that every body knows, (and what it would have been no loss to mankind if nobody had ever known,) that Geo. III. is King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, &c. &c. to put on one side, some important Proverb of Solomon, some pious moral, prudential or economical precept, the frequent inculcation of which, by seeing it every time one receives a piece of money, might make an impression upon the mind, especially of young persons, and tend to regulate the conduct; such as on some, The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; on others, Honesty is the best policy; on others, He that by the plough would thrive, himself must eil her hold or drite ; ou others, Keep thy shop, and thy shop will keep thee; on others, A penny sared is a penny got; on others, He that buys what he has no need of, will soon be forced to sell his necessaries ; on others, Early to bed, and early to rise, will make a man healthy, wealthy and wise ; and so on to a great variety. The other side it was proposed to fill with good designs, drawn and engraved by the best artists in France, of all the different species of barbarity with
which the English have carried on the war in America, expressing every abominable circumstance of their cruelty and inhumanity, that figures can express, to make an impression on the minds of posterity as strong and durable as that on the copper. This resolution has been a long time forborne, but the late burning of defenceless towns in Connecticut, on the flimsy pretence that the people fired from behind their houses, when it is known to have been premeditated and ordered from England, will probably give the finishing provocation, and may occasion a vast demand for your metal. : I thank you for your kind wishes respecting my health, I return them most cordially fourfold into your own boz som. Adieu.
B. FRANKLIN :
To B. VAUGHAN, Esq. On his Edition of some of Dr. Franklin's Writings. DEAR SIR,
Pussy, Nov.9, 1779. I have received several kind letters from you, which I have not regularly answered. They gave me however great pleasure, as they acquainted me with your welfare, and that of your family, and other friends: and I hope you will continue writing to me as often as you can do it conveniently.
I thank you much for the great care and pains you have taken in regulating and correcting the edition of those papers. Your friendship for me appears in almost every page; and if the preservation of any of them should prove of use to the public, it is to you that the public will owe the obligation. In looking them over, I have noted some faults of impression that hurt the sense, and some other little unatters, which you will find all in a sheet uuder the title of Errata. You can best judge whether it may be worth while to add any of them to the errata already printed, or whether it may not be as well to reserve the whole for correction in another edition, if such should ever, be. Inclosed I send a more perfect copy of the chapter.'
If I should ever recover the pieces that were in the hands of my son, and those I left among my papers in America, I think there may be enough to make three more such volumes, of which a great part would be more interesting.
As to the time of publishing, of which you ask my opinion; I am not furnished with any reasons, or ideas of reasons on which to form any opinion. Naturally I should suppose the bookseller to be from experience the best judge, and I should be for leaving it to hiin..
I did not write the pamphlet you mention. I know nothing of it. I suppose it is the same, concerning which Dr. Priestley formerly asked me the same question. That for which he took it, was intitled, A Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain, with these lines in the title-page.
“ Whatever is, is right. But purblind man
" A parable against Persecution.-See Papers on Miscellaneous Subjects.
? See a full account of this Pamphlet in Memoirs of the Life of Doctor Franklin,
I return the manuscripts you were so obliging as to send me; I am concerned at your having no other copies, I hope these will get safe to your hands; I do not remember the Duke de Chartres showing me the letter you mention. I have received Dr. Crawford's book, but not your abstract, which I wait for as you desire.
I send you also Mr. Dupont's Table Economique, which I think an excellent thing, as it contains in a clear method all the principles of that new sect, called here les Economistes.
Poor Henley's dying in that manner is inconceivable to me. Is any reason given to account for it, besides insanity?
Remember me affectionately to all my good family, and believe me, with great esteem, my dear friend,
To Pe're BeccaRIA.'
Passy, November 19, 1779. Having some time since heard of your illness with great concern, it gave me infinite pleasure to learn this day from M. Chantel, (who did me the honor
Giovanni BATTISBE BECCARIA, a religious of the school of Piety, was a native of Mondovi. His celebrity as a teacher of mathematics and philosophy, first at Palermo, and afterwards at Rome, caused him to be invited to Turin, where he filled the chair of experimental lecturer, and was employed in the tuition of some branches of the Royal Family. His correspondence was sought by men of letters in various countries; and he imparted
of a visit) that you were so far recovered as to be able 10 make little excursions on horseback; I pray God that your convalescence may be quick and perfect, aud your health be again firmly established: science would lose too much in losing one so zealous and active in its cause, and so capable of accelerating its progress and augmenting its dominions.
I find myself here immersed in affairs, which absorb my attention, and prevent my pursuing those studies in which I always found the highest satisfaction; and I am now grown so old as hardly to hope for a return of that leisure and tranquillity so necessary for philosophical disquisitions. I have, however, not long since thrown a few thoughts on paper relative to the Aurora Borealis,' which I would send you, but that I suppose you may have seen them in the Journal of l'Abbé Rozier. If not I will inake out a copy and send it to you; perhaps with some corrections.
Every thing of your writing is always very welcome to me; if, therefore, you have lately published any new experiments or observations in physics, I shall be happy to see them, when you have an opportunity of sending them to me.
With the highest esteem, respect, and affection, I am, &c.
to Dr. Franklin in particular, many important facts on philosophical subjects. Father Beccaria died at Turin, in an advanced age, in 1781. His “ Dissertations on Electricity" have been published; but the most curious of his pieces is an Essay on the Cause of Storins and Tempests."
See“ Papers on Philosophical Subjects."