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CORRESPONDENCE,

PART FIRST;

COMPRISING

PRIVATE LETTERS,

ΤΟ

THE TIME OF THE AUTHOR'S FIRST MISSION TO ENGLAND.

1725-1757.

T

CORRESPONDENCE.

SIR,

TO SIR HANS SLOANE.*

Offering a Purse made of Asbestos.

London, 2 June, 1725.

Having lately been in the northern parts of America, I have brought from thence a purse made of the asbestos, a piece of the stone, and a piece of the wood, the pithy part of which is of the same nature, and called by the inhabitants salamander cotton. As you are noted to be a lover of curiosities, I have informed you of these; and if you have any inclination to purchase or see them, let me know your pleasure by a line for me at the

*First printed in the GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE for September, 1780, among several letters to Sir Hans Sloane from Alexander Pope and others. The author was nineteen years old at the time this letter was written, and was then residing in London, employed as a printer. He speaks of the asbestos in his autobiography, and says, "Sir Hans Sloane came to see me, and invited me to his house in Bloomsbury Square, showed me all his curiosities, and persuaded me to add that to the number; for which he paid me handsomely."

N. B. In the preceding volumes, consisting of essays and miscellaneous papers, many notes have been subjoined, which were written by the author and other persons. The names or initials of the writers have been affixed to these notes; and those added by the Editor have likewise been designated. Throughout the CORRESPONDENCE very few notes will occur, which are not furnished by the Editor, and for all such as are not expressly assigned to some other person he is responsible.

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Golden Fan, Little Britain, and I will wait upon you with them. I am, Sir, your most humble servant, B. FRANKLIN.

P. S. I expect to be out of town in two or three days, and therefore beg an immediate answer.

TO MISS JANE FRANKLIN.*

DEAR SISTER,

Philadelphia, 6 January, 1726-7.

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 almost 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 homely 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. I am, dear Jenny, your loving brother, B. FRANKLIN.

His youngest sister, at this time nearly fifteen years old.

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