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aia h92 by ste Art.-V. A Collection of the Familiar Letters and Miscellaneous h Paperstof Benjamin Franklin, "now first published. I'vol. - Boston, United States of America. 1833. This work may be regarded as a supplement to the Memoirs of Flanklin's Life, written by himself up to a late period of his career, and continued by his son William. These letters have the advans tage of being written under circumstances in which the author could not have contemplated the possibility of their appearing before the world, and for this reason we may consider them as the faithful re. presentatives of the thoughts and feelings of that great philosopher.

The portion of the epistles, which relate to Franklin in his imme. diate relations with his family, is very small in this volume. The letters to his wife amount to no more than three, which were written i in 1756. They contain but little worthy of notice, except that they are remarkable for such endearing epithets as show affection on the part of the writer. In one of them he affects to be angry with his wife, on

vol, IV. (1833) NO. 11.

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account of her silencer'iand puts a postcript in his letter, informing her, playfully, that he has seratched out the loving words which he had written, forgetting, at the time when he wrote them, that he was angry. On another occasion, in a letter to a voung female correspondent, Franklin alludes to his wife, and wishes that she may live these hundred years, adding, “ for we are grown old together, and, if she has any faults, I am so used to them that I don't perceive them, as the song says,

"Some faults we have all, and so may my Joan,

But then they 're exceedingly small;
And now I'm used to 'em, they 're just like my own,' !
I scarcely can see them at all,

--3015!ita My dear friends,

I scarcely can see them at all.' $$ • Indeed I begin to think she has none, as I think of you.' 1 And since she is willing I should love you, as much as you are willing to be loved by me, let us join in wishing the old lady a long life and a happy.'”+pp. 33, 34.

There are several letters of Franklin's in this volume, which were addressed to his sister Jane, who afterwards became Mrs. Mecom. In one of them he tells her,

I am highly pleased with the account Captain Freeman gives me of you. I always judged by your behaviour when a child, that you would make a good, agreeable woman, and you know you were ever my peculiar favorite. I have been thinking what would be a suitable present for me to make, and for you to receive, as I hear you are grown a celebrated beauty. I had alınost determined on a tea table; but when I considered, that the character of a good housewife was far preferable to that of being only a pretty gentlewoman, I concluded to send you a spinning wheel, which I hope you will accept as a small token of my sincere love and affection.

• Sister, farewell, and remember that modesty, as it makes the most bomely virgin amiable and charming, so the want of it infallibly renders the most perfect beauty disagreeable and odious. But when that brightest of female virtues shines among other perfections of body and mind in the same person, it makes the woman more lovely than an angel. . Excuse this

freedom, and use the same with me.'--p. 251. 1. In another he expresses himself in the following terms:

I hope you visit sister as often as your affairs will permit, and afford her what assistance and comfort you can in her present situation. Old age, infirmities and poverty, joined, are afflictions enough. The neglect and slights of friends and near relations should never be added. People in her circumstances are apt to suspect this sometimes without a cause; appearances should therefore be attended to, in our conduct towards them, as well as realities. I write by this post to cousin Williams, to continue his care, which I doubt not he will do.'—p. 252.

It was a great source of bitterness to him to have found that between this sister, who then resided at Boston, and the family of her deceased brother, an altercation had taken place: he used means at a reconciliation. His letter on this occasion contains the following sensible passage :

WIKTO? • Above all things I dislike family quarrels, and when they happen

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among my relations, nothing gives me more pain. If I were to set myself up as a judge of those subsisting between you and brother's widow and children, how unqualified must I be, at this distance, to, determine rightly, especially having heard but one side. They always treated me with friendly and affectionate regard; and you have done the same. What can I say between you, but that I wish you were reconciled, and that I will love that side best, that is most ready to forgive and oblige the other ?

angry with me here, for putting you and them too much upon a footing; but I shall nevertheless be, dear sister, your truly affectionate brother.---pp. 56, 57.'

Franklin was the youngest of the brothers in a family of seventeen children. Thirteen of these, including himself, grew up and settled in the world, " I remember," writes Franklin, in a letter dated

1760, to his sister, “ these thirteen (some of us then very young), all Cat one table, when an entertainment was made at our house, on oecasion of the return of our brother Josiah, who had been absent in the East Indies, and unheard of for nine years. Of these thirteen, there now remain but three.' As our number diminishes, let our affection to each other rather increase; for, besides its being our duty, 'tis our interest, since the more affectionate relations are to each other, the more they are respected by the rest of the world.” 1 2 The writer of this letter proved by his practice how earnestly he desired that the advice contained in the last paragraph should influence his family, for an unpleasant occasion for his interference and his counsel occurred in the family of his favourite sister. Her son, who had been apprenticed, abruptly quitted his master's service and went on board a privateer. The following letter, written by him to his sister, in reference to this affair, is as remarkable for the judgment as the goodness of heart which it displays. arteshim I do not think his going on board the privateer arose from any difference between him and his master, or any ill usage he had received. When boys see prizes brouýht in, and quantities of money shared among the men, and their gay living, it fills their heads with notions, that half distract them, and put them quite out of conceit with trades and the dull way of getting money by working. This I suppose was Ben's case, the Catherine being just before arrived with three rich prizes; and that the glory of having taken a privateer of the enemy, for which both officers and men were highly extolled, treated, presented, &c., worked strongly on bis imagination, you will see, by his answer to my letter, is not unlikely. I send it to you enclosed. I wrote him largely on the occasion ; and though he might possibly, to excuse that slip to others, complain of his place, you may see he says not a syllable of any such thing to me. My only son, before I'permitted him to go to Albany, left my house unknown to us all, and got on board a privateer, from whence I fetched him. No one imagined it was

usage at home, that made him do this. Every one that knows me, " thinks I am too indulgent a parent, as well as master... I have a

very good opinion of Benny, (his sister's son) in the main, and have great hopes of his becoming a worthy man, his faults being only such as are commonly incident to boys of his years, and he has many good qualities for

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which I love him. I never knew an apprentice contented with the clothes allowed him by his master, let them be what they would. Jemmy Franklin, when with me, was always dissatisfied and grumbling. When I was last in Boston, his aunt bid him him go to a shop and please himself, which

the gentleman did, and bought a suit of clothes on my account, dearer by one half than I ever afforded myself, one suit excepted; which I don't mention by way of complaint of Jemmy, for he and I are good friends, but only to show

you the nature of boys.'-pp. 12-15. It would appear that Franklin indulged in a curious theory on the bringing up of children. In writing to a lady named Hewson on the treatment of her infant son, he does not hesitate to recommend that she should allow him every thing he liked. This advice he gives for a reason explained by himself, to the effect that, whilst the features are forming, the disturbance of their harmony by crying ought to be avoided as much as possible. When allowed to do every thing they please, and to have every thing they like, children get a pleasant air, which becomes natural, and is rendered permanent by habit. The result is, that the face is handsomer, and this, he says, is a qualification by no means unimportant to success in life, « Had I been,” concludes the writer, “ crossed as much in my infant likings and inclinations, as you know I have been of late years, I should have been, I was going to say, not near so handsome, but as the vanity of that expression would offend other folks' vanity, I change it, out of regard to them, and say, a great deal more homely.” * The allusion to his being crossed of late years refers to the reports which some malicious persons circulated of him whilst in England: He has been charged, and the accusation has been said to be supported by passages in his own writings, with having solicited from the King of Great Britain a grant for himself and his son. But there is no foundation whatever for such a statement. The affair in which the unjust charge originated is easily explained. When Franklin resided in England as the Pennsylvanian agent, a company was organized in America, having American objects in view, which the members believed could be considerably promoted if they could obtain a grant of land in the Ohio country. They applied to Franklin to use his influence in procuring the object of their wishes, He succeeded, and this was the only act of his which gave rise to the charge that he sought any compliment for himself or his son. It was a complete consciousness of his innocence that induced Franklin to speak of these calumnies with the contempt which they deserved." I give myself,” he writes, in one of his letters, “ as little concern about them as possible. I have often met with such treatment from people that I was all the while endeavouring to serve. At other times, I have been extolled where I had little or no merit. ... One's true happiness depends more upon one's own judgment of one's self, or a consciousness of rectitude in actiou and intention, and the approbation of those few who judge impartially, than upon

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the applause of the unthinking, andiscerning multitudewho are apt to cry Hosanna to-day, and to-motrow, Crucify him.'d mid bawolle ** In fact, there is only one passage in these letters in which we can trace any thing like a feeling of personal hostility; the bbject of it appears to be an English divine, a man whom Franklin'de clares he made his enemy solely by doing him too much kindness. This, however, he is consoled by knowing is the honestest way of acquiring an enemy; “ and since it is convenient,” he adds, with that sound practical philosophy which so much distinguished him, "since it is convenient to have at least one enemy, who, by his readiness to revile one on all occasions, may make one careful of one's conduct, I shall keep him an enemy for that purpose.". 1. Considering the decided part which Franklin took not only in politics but in reference to civil institutions---considering, also, the spirit of parsimony which is so strongly inculcated in his writings, it is really wonderful that he did not make more enemies for himself., To those who are willing to charge Franklin with a desire of establishing in the minds of the rising generation a penurious severity of restraint upon themselves, we would say, that this philosopher was taught by sad experience to estimate at their proper value both time and money; for, like many a young tradesman, he had to struggle in early life against poverty, from which he rehieved himself solely by industry and saving. The policy on which he acted is well developed in a letter to his mother, which he wrote to her from Philadelphia. As to your grand-children, Will is now nineteen years of age, à tall proper youth, and much of beau. He acquired a habit of idleness on the expedition, but begins, of late, to apply himself to business, and, I hope, will become an industrious man. He imagined his father had got enough for: him, but I have assured him that I intend to spend what little I have myself, if it please God that I live long enough; and, as he by no means wants acuteness, he can see, by my going on, that I mean to be as good as my word. Sally grows a fine girl, and is extremely industrious with her needle, and delights in her workis.dk Perhaps I flatter myself too much, but I have hopes that she will prove an ingenious, sensible, notable, and worthy woman, like her aunt Jenny. For my own part, at present I pass my time agreeably enough. I enjoy, through mercy, a tolerable share of health. I read a great deal, ride a little, do a little business for myselfnow and then for others, retire when I can, and go into company when I please; so the years roll round, and the last will come, when I would rather have it said, He lived usefully, than-He died richi, 1900

& CUB (19);"{} 97 Another passage

from one of his letters, respecting his nephew, declares the nature of this policy still more strikingly:-4. The truth is, I intended from the first to give him the printing-house; but, as he was young and inexperienced in the world, I thought It' best not to do it immediately, but to keep him a little depens

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