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was president. The labours of these bodies have heen crowned with great success; and they continne to prosecute with unweared diligence, the laudable designs for which they were established.

Dr. Franklin's increasing infirmities prevented his regular attendance at the council chamber; and in 1788, he retired wholly from public life.

His constitution had been a remarkably good one. He had been little subject to disease, except an al tack of the gout occasionally, until about the year 1781, when he was first attacked with symptoms of the calculous complaint, which continued during his life. During the intervals of pain from this grievous disease, he spent many cheerful hours, conversing in the most agreeable and instructive manner. His faculties were entirely unimpaired, even to the hour of his death

His name as president of the abolition society, was signed to the memorial presented to the house of representatives of the United States, on the twelfth of February, 1789, praying them to exert the full extent of power vested in them by the constitution, in discouraging the traffic of the human species. This wne his last public act.-In the debates to which this memorial gave rise, several attempts were made to jus. tify the trade. In the Federal Gazette of March 25th, there appeared an essay, signed Historicus, written by Dr. Franklin, in which he communicated & speech, said to have been delivered in the Divan of Algiers, in 1587, in opposition to the prayer of the petition of a sect called Erika, or purists, for the abolition of piracy and slavery. This pretended African speech was an excellent parody of one delivered by Mr. Jackson of Georgia. All the arguments used in fa. vour of negro slavery, are applied with equal force to justify the plundering and enslaving of Europeans, It affords, at the same time, a demonstration of the furility of the arguments in desence of the slave trade, and of the strength of mind and ingenuity of the author, at his advanced period of life. It furnished tov, a no less convincing proof of his power of imitating the style of other times and nations than his celebrated paruble against persecution. And as the


latter led many persons to search the Scriptures with a view to find it, so the former caused inany persons to search the book-stores and libraries for the work from which it was said to be extracted.*

In the beginning of April following, he was attacked with fever and a complaint of his breast, which terminated his existence. The following account of his last illness was written by his friend and physician, Dr. Jones.

The stone, with which he had been afflicted for several years, had for the last twelve months confin. ed him chiefly to his bed; and during the extreme painful paroxysins, he was obliged to take large doses of laudanum to mitigate his tortures--still, in the intervals of pain, he not only, amused himself with reading and conversing cheerfully with his family, and a few friends who visited him, but was often employed in doing business of a public as well as private nature, with various persons who waited on him for that purpose; and in every instance displayed, not only that readiness and disposition of doing food, which was the distinguished characteristic of his life, but the fullest and clearest possession of his uncommon mental abilities : and not unfrequently indulged himself in those jeux d'esprit and enter. taining anecdotes, which were the delight of all who heard him.

About sixteen days befure his death, he was seized with a feverish indisposition, without any particular symptoms attending it, till the third or fourth day, when he complained of a pain in the loft breast, which increased till it became extremely acute, attended with a cough and laborious breathing. During this state, when the severity of his pains sometiines drew forth a groan of complaint, be would observe-that he was afraid he did not bear them as he ought acknowledged his grateful sense of the many blessings he had received from that Supreme Being, who had raised him from small and low beginnings to such high rank and consideration

* This speech will be found among his Essays,

among men and made no doubt but his present afflictions were kindly intended to wean him from a world, in which he was no longer fit to act the part assigned him. In this frame of body and mind he continued till five days before his death, when his pain and difficulty of breathing entirely left him, and his family were Battering themselves with the hopes of his recovery, when an imposthumation, which had formed itself in his lungs, suddenly burst, and discharged a great quantity of matter, which he con. tinued to throw up, while he had sufficient strength to do it ; but, as that failed, the organs of respiration became gradually oppressed-a calm lethargic state succeeded-and, on the 17th of April, 1790, about eleven o'clock at night, he quietly expired, elosing a long and useful life of eighty-four years and three months."

It may not be amiss to add to the above account, that Dr. Franklin, in the year 1735, had a severe pleurisy, which terminated in an abscess of the left lobe of his lungs, and he was then almost suffocated with the quantity and suddenness of the discharge. A second attack, of a similar nature, happened some years after this, from which he soon recovered, and did not appear to suffer any inconvenience in his respiration from these events.

The following epitaph on himself, was written by him many years previous to his death




(like the cover of an old book,

its contents torn out,
and stript of its lettering and gilding,)

lies here food for worms ;
yet the work itself shall not be lost,

for it will (as he believed) appear once more

in a new
and more beautiful edition,

corrected and amended






With regard to my books, those I had in France, and those I left in Philadelphia, being now assembled together here, and a catalogue made of them, it is iny intention to dispose of the same as follows:

My “History of the Academy of Sciences," in sixty or seventy volumes quarto, "I give to the philosophical society of Philadelphia, of which I have the honour to be president. My collection in folio of Les Arts et les Metiers," I give to the American philosophical society, established in New England, of which I am a member. My quarto edition of the same, “ Arts et Metiers," I give to the library company of Philadelphia. Such and so many of my hooks as I shall mark in the said catalogue, with the name of my grandson, Benjamin Franklin Bache, I do hereby give to him: and such and so many of my books as I shall mark in the said catalogue with the name of my grandson William Bache, I do hereby give to him; and such as shall be marked with the name of Jonathan Williams, I hereby give to my cousin of that name. The residue and remainder of all my books, manuscripts and papers, I do give to my grandson William Temple Franklin. My share in the library company of Philadelphia 1 give to my grandson Benjamin Franklin Bache, confiding that he will permit his brothers and sisters to share in the use of it.

I was born in Boston, in New England, and owe my first instructions in literature to the free grammar schools established there. I therefore give one hundred pounds sterling to my executors, to be by them, the survivors or survivor of them, paid over to the managers or directors of the free schools in my native town of Boston, to be by them, or the person or persons, who shall bave the superintendance and man. agement of the said schools, put out to interest, and so continued at interest for ever; which interest an. nually shall be laid out in silver medals, and given as honorary rewards annually by the directors of the said free schools, for the encouragement of scholar. ship in the said schools, belonging to the said town, in such manner as to the discretion of the select men of the said town shall seem meet.

Out of the salary that may remain due to me, as president of the state, I give ihe sum of iwo thousand pounds to my executors, to be by them, the survivors or survivor of them. paid over to such person or per. sons as the legislature of this state, by an act of the assembly, shall appoint to receive the same, in trust, to be employed for making the Schuylkill navigable.

During the number of years I was in business as a stationer, printer, and post-master, a great many small sums became due to me, for books, advertise. ments, postage of letters, and other matters, which were not collected, when, in 1757, I was sent by the Assembly to England as their agent-and by subse. quent appointments continued there till 1775 when, on my return, I was immediately engaged in the affairs of congress, and sent to France in 1776, where I remained nine years, not returning ull 1785; and the said debts not being demanded in such a length of time, have become in a manner obsolete, yet are nevertheless justly due. These as they are stated in my great folio ledger, E, I bequeath to the contribu. tors of the Pennsylvania hospital, hoping thot those debtors, and the descendants of such as are deceased, who now, as I find, make some difficulty of satisfying such antiquated demands as just debts, may, howa ever, be induced to pay or give them as charity to that excellent institution. I am sensible that much

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