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you do ?” “ O Lord ! I am almost fatigued to death ; I have been all the morning making philosophical experiments." I was now more hardly put to it to smother a laugh, than I had been just before to contain my rage : my precious went out soon after, and I, as you may suppose, mustered all my forces, brushes, buckets, soap, sand limeskins, and cocoanut shells, with all the powers of housewifery, were immediately employed. I was certainly the best philosopher of the two; for my experiments succeeded, and his did not. All was well again, except my poor carpet-my vitrolized carpet, which still continued a mournful memento of philosophic fury, or rather philosophic folly. The operation was scarce over, when in came my experimental philosopher, and told me with all the indifference in the world, that he had invited six gentlemen to dine with him at three o'clock It was then past one. I complained of the short notice ; “Poh! poh!" said he,
you can get a leg of mutton, and a loin of veal, and a few potatoes, which will do well enough.' Heavens! what a chaos must the head of a philo. sopher_be! a leg of mutton, a loin of veal and potatoes! I was at a loss whether I should laugh or be angry; but there was no time for determining; I had but an hour and a half to do a world of business in My carpet, which had suffered in the cause of experimental philosophy in the morning, was destined to be more shamefully dishonoured in the afternoon by a deluge of nasty tobacco juice.“ Gentlemen smokers love cigars better than carpets. Think. Sir, what a woman must endure under such circumstances; and then, after all, to be reproached with her cleanliness, and to have her white-washings, her scourings, and scrubbings made the subject of ridicule, it is more than patience can put up with. What I have now exhibited is but a small specimen of the injuries we sustain from the boasted superiority of men. But we will not be laughed out of our cleanliness, A woman would rather be called any thing but a slut,
as a man would rather be thought a knave than a fool I had a great deal more to say, but am called away; we are just preparing to white-wash, and of course I have a deal of business on my hands. The white-wash buckets are paraded, the brushes are ready, my husband is gone off-50 'much the better; when we are upon a thorough cleaning, the first dirty thing to be removed is one's husband. I am called for again,
FINAL SPEECH OF DR. FRANKLIN IN THE
LATE FEDERAL CONVENTION.*
I CONFESS that I do not entirely approve of this constitution at present; but, sir, I am not sure I shall never approve it; for having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information, or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise. It is, therefore, that the older I grow, the more apt I am to doubt my own judgment, and to pay more respect to the judgment of others. Most men, indeed, as well as most sects in religion, think them. selves in possession of all truth, and that whenever others differ from them, it is so far error. Steel, a protestant, in a dedication tells the Pope, that "ibe only difference between our two churches, in their opinions of the certainty of their doctrines, is, the Romish church is infallible, and the church of England never in the wrong." But, though many private persons think almost as highly of their own infallibility as that of their sect, few express it so naturally as a certain French lady, who, in a little dispute with her sister, said, “I don't know how it happens, sister, but I meet with nobody but myself that is always in the right.” Il n'y a que moi qui toujours raison. In these sentiments, sir, I agree to this constitution, with all its faults, if they are
* Our reasons for ascribing this speech to Dr. Franklin, are its internal evidence, and its having appeared with his name during his life-time uncontradictea, in an American periodical publication.
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such; because I think a general government neces sary for us, and there is no form of government but what may be a blessing, if well administered ; and I believe, farther, that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need des: potic government, heing incapable of any other. I doubt too, whether any other convention we can obtain, may be able to make a better constitution : for when you assemble a number of men, to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those men all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinjon, their local interests, and their selfish views. From such an assembly can a perfect production be expected ? It therefore astonishes me, sir, to find this system approaching so near to perfection as it does; and I think it will nstonish our enemies, who are waiting with confidence, to hear that our councils are confounded, like those of the builders of Babylon, and that our States are on the point of separation, only to meet hereafter for thie purpose of cutting ench other's throats.
Thus I consent, sir, to this constitution, because I expect no better, and because I am not sure that this is not the best. The opinions I have had of its errors I sacrifice to the public good. I have never whispered a syllable of ihem abroad. Within these walls they were born, and here they shall die. If every one of 118, in returning to our constituents, were to report the objections he has had to it, and endeavour io gain partisans in support of them, we might prevent its being generally received, and thereby lose all the salutary effects and great advantages resulting naturally in our favour among foreign nations, as well as among ourselves, from our real or apparent unanimity. Much of the strength and efficiency of any government, in procuring and securing happiness to the people, depends on opinion; on the general opinion of the goodness of that government, as well as of the wisdom and integrity of its governors.
I hope, therefore, that for our own sakes, as a part of the people, and for the sake of our posterity, we
shall act heartily and unanimously in recommending this constitution, wherever our infuence may extend, and turn our future thoughts and endeavours to the means of having it well administered.
On the whole Sir, I cannot help expressing a wish, that every member of the Convention, who may stili have objections, would with me, on this occasion, doubt a little of his own infallibility, and, to make manifest our unanimity put his name to this instru" ment.
[The motion was then made for adding the last formula, viz.
Done in Convention, by the unanimous consent, &c. which was agreed to, and added accordingly.
PREFERENCE OF BOWS AND ARROWS
IN WAR TO FIRE-ARMS.
TO MAJOR-GENERAL LEE.
Philadelphia, Feb. 11, 1776.
DEAR SIR, The bearer, Mons. Arundel, is directed by the Congress to repair to General Schuyler, in order to be emploved by him in the artillery service. Hle proposes to wait on you in his way, and has requested me to introduce him by a line to you. lle has been an officer in the Freneb service, as you will see by his commissions ; and, professing a good will to our cause,
may be useful in instructing our gunners and matrosses : perhaps he may advise in opening the nailed cannon.
I received the inclosed the other day from an officer, Mr. Newland, who served in the iwo last wars. and was known by General Gates, who spoke well of