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Two years after the French version first appeared in Paris two English versions were published in London, one for G. G. J. and J. Robinson, no date, Svo, the other for J. Parsons,* No. 21 Paternoster Row, and both translations from the French. The former was the only English version printed in America until that of William Temple Franklin appeared in 1817, and continues to this day to be republished by some of the largest houses, not only in Europe, but in America, under the impression that it is both genuine and complete. What measures were taken, if any, to prevent the appearance of an English translation have not transpired.

William Temple's expectations of getting to Paris in a few weeks do not seem to have been realized; for, from the following letter it appears that nearly two months had elapsed and he was still in London, but hoped to set out for France before the end of the month. A speculation, from which he had realized £7,000, is assigned as the cause of his delay. He professes to be much distressed at what M. le Veillard had suffered-in what way is not disclosed-from his not arriving in Paris:

"LONDON, 14 June, 1791.

"I am much distressed, my dear friend, at what you say you suffer from my not arriving in Paris. I have been wishing to be there as much as you could wish to see me, but I could not possibly think of leaving this, while a business I had undertaken was pending for which

*This edition contains the following dedication: "To Sir Henry Tempest of Tong, in the county of York, and Hope-end, in the county of Hereford, Bart., this life of Benjamin Franklin, a statesman, a philosopher and a patriot, is dedicated (as a mark of his esteem and regard) by the translator, London, July 1, 1793."

I rec'd a salary and which, being now completed, affords me a profit of seven thousand pounds sterling! This, my dear friend, has hitherto kept me here-having only been finally terminated on the 11th inst. I am in hopes you will think my excuse for staying till it was done a good one. I have now only some few arrangements to make in consequence of my success, and shall undoubtedly be with you before the conclusion of this month. My respects to your family and all inquiring friends, and believe me unalterably

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The letter which follows, dated seven months later than the preceding, authorizes the impression that William Temple Franklin had entered into engagements of some sort with M. le Veillard for bringing out his work simultaneously in France and in England. If so, his failure to keep those engagements furnishes a natural and obvious. explanation of the sufferings of M. le Veillard, referred to in the preceding letter:


"LONDON, 28 Feb., 1792.

"I received lately your favor of the 12th inst., and previous to it, the one you mention from M. Feuillet. I am exceedingly sorry that gentleman cannot complete the translation, as I am confident it would have been wel done; however, it shall not retard the publication of such parts as are translated at the time the original appears

*Le Veillard Collection.

here, which at present is not determined, but will not be delayed longer than is absolutely necessary for the arrangement of the materials. This might, perhaps, have been done sooner had I been better calculated for the business, or had not my fortune required my attention to other pursuits, by which it has been most materially benefited. Notwithstanding the opinion you entertain-that I have neglected the publication in question for business less important (which, by the way, you cannot possibly be a judge of)-I can assure you I have given it all the attention I could, consistent with the important concerns above alluded to, in which others being interested, required my first and most diligent care; and, however I may have lost something by not publishing sooner, yet it has been amply compensated by those pursuits you judge less important. I am now almost entirely employed in bringing forward the English edition, and shall not leave this till I have put it into such a train as not to require my presence; but this will take up more time than you are aware of; for however easy it may be to bring forward a brochure, it is no small labor to publish a voluminous work; and that, too, to be formed out of materials that were left in the greatest confusion. A few months will, I hope, satisfy your impatience and the public curiosity. When matters are in good train here, I shall immediately repair to Paris to forward the translation, and you may rely on it that at least the Life shall appear the same day in Paris as in London; sooner I see not the necessity for, and it might expose me hereafter to some difficulties here; 'as the French edition appearing previous to the English, a translation might be printed here to the prejudice of my сору.

"Adieu, my dearest friend; remember me, in the most affectionate manner, to Madame le Veillard, and every part of your family, and believe me, as ever and for ever,

"Sincerely yours,


"P. S.-You have heard, I suppose, of the nomination by the President of Mr. Gouverneur Morris to be minister at your Court? It has, however, suffered some demur in the Senate, and has not been yet confirmed.

"I have no doubt, however, but it will. From the wellknown sentiments of Mr. M., this appointment will not, I believe, be very agreeable to the National Assembly. Mr. Short goes to Holland, and I am totally neglected. I shall therefore lose no time, but turn my attention to other pursuits."*

No farther correspondence appears to have passed between William Temple Franklin and M. le Veillard, though the latter gentleman was living till 1794. The interruption to this correspondence was probably the result of an estrangement, of which the letters cited furnish some premonitory symptoms.

Whatever may have been the cause of the delay, William Temple's edition did not appear until 1817.

Nor, as I have before intimated, was this editio princeps of 1817 printed from the original manuscripts, but from the copy presented to M. le Veillard. The evi

*Le Veillard Collection.

dence of this may be found in the omission of the last eight pages, which are only to be found in the autograph, and in the following memorandum inscribed on its flyleaves in French and in English, in the handwriting, I presume, of M. de Senarmont, or of some member of his family. The English version runs as follows:



"The only Manuscript Entirely of his own Handwriting.

"Dr. Franklin, when Ambassador in France, was very intimate with M. le Veillard, gentilhomme ordinaire du Roi, his neighbor, near Paris. He presented his friend with a fine copy of the Memoirs of his own life.

"When William Temple Franklin, Dr. Franklin's grandson, came to Europe in order to publish the works of his illustrious grandfather, he required from Mad. le Veillard (M. le Veillard had perished on the Revolutionary scaf fold) the correct and fine copy given by his grandfather, as more convenient for the printer. If I give it to you, I shall have nothing more of our friend.' 'I will give you, in place of the copy, the original manuscript of my grandfather.'

"In this manner the original and only manuscript came by inheritance into the hands of M. de Senarmont, M. le Veillard's grand-nephew."

The precise time when the exchange here referred to was made does not appear, but the following paragraph from Sir Samuel Romilly's Diary of a Visit to France in 1802, informs us that he was shown the autograph; that

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