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was made the vehicle of a ruthless attack upon William Temple Franklin and upon his editorial enterprise, which, coming as it did from a writer of some reputation, measures the marvelous change which must have taken place in the feelings of the French people toward him since he left Paris, to have rendered such an introduction of his grandfather's works acceptable to them. M. Malo accuses him of selecting from, abridging and belittling the works of the Doctor, and concludes with the question: "Ought we to inherit from one we have assassinated ?"*

* For a translation of this diatribe, see the Appendix, No. II. The author of it, M. Charles Malo, was a voluminous writer, something of a poet, and a warm republican. The list of his works alone fills nearly two pages of Quérard. It is not strange that one who published so much should make some ludicrous blunders, of which several specimens may be found among the notes with which he endeavored to illumine the writings of Franklin. In one of his letters Franklin remarks: "They thought a Yankee was a sort of Yahoo." Upon this M. Malo remarks:

"Yahoo. This must be an animal. They pretend it is an opossum ; but I have not found the word 'Yahoo' in any dictionary of natural history."

Again, in a letter to Buffon, Franklin wrote that he had escaped obesity by eating moderately, drinking neither wine nor cider, and in exercising himself daily with dumb-bells. M. Malo instructs his countrymen that "this term dumb-bell expresses among the English the motion a person seated makes in moving back and forth only the upper part of his body."

In one instance M. Malo presumed to act as a censor upon Dr. Franklin himself. In a letter of the Doctor's, he had quoted with a sort of humorous approval the following lines from an old song :

"With a courage undaunted may I face my last day,

And when I am gone may the better sort say,

In the morning when sober, in the evening when mellow:
He is gone, and has not left behind him his fellow;

For he governed his passions."

A feeling seems to have prevailed among the French editors of Franklin's writings that he was ashamed of his grandfather's humble origin and early employ


In the year 1807, there used to appear tri-weekly in Paris, and three columns to the page, a sort of embryo Galignani called The Argus or London Review in Paris. On the 28th of March of that year, under the heading of NEW YORK, 8th September, there appeared on the editorial page and in editorial type a review of Johnson's three-volume English edition of Dr. Franklin's works. The article was credited to the American Citizen, a journal then printed in New York, and was followed by an extract from the preface. The two pieces fill a column

of the Argus.

The spirit of the article may be inferred from the following passage:

"William Temple Franklin, without shame, without remorse, mean and mercenary, sold the sacred deposit, committed to his care by Dr. Franklin, to the British government. Franklin's works are therefore lost to the world."

In the next succeeding number of the Argus, March 31st, appeared the following:

M. Malo remarks upon this couplet: "I have not translated the third line literally, for it did not seem to me in very good taste to desire to be praised by honest people, who are sober in the morning and drunk in the evening." So he translated the verse as follows:

"Puissé je avec courage voir arriver mon dernier jour; et quand je ne serai plus, puissent les gens vertueux repeter souvent, 'il est mort, et n'a pas laissé son pareil au monde ! Car il avait sur ses passions un pouvoir absolu.'”

Tuesday, 31 March, 1807. DR. FRANKLIN :-MR. WILLIAM Temple Franklin, now in Paris, has just written to us the following letter, in order to vindicate his character from the foul expressions thrown out against him, in an article inserted in the last number of the Argus, extracted from the American Citizen. We publish this letter with the greater pleasure as it contains a full and satisfactory answer to the calumnies circulated on his conduct and announces sentiments worthy of the celebrated name he bears; at the same time that it gives the public the hope of seeing a genuine edition of the works of Dr. Franklin more conformable to the intentions and liberal principles of the author.

To the editor of the Argus.

PARIS, Saturday, 28 March, 1807.

SIR-In the Argus of this day I have read with equal indignation and surprise, the unfounded and illiberal attack made on my character, as well as the numerous falsehoods contained in extracts from an American paper and in the preface of a book which appears to be lately published in London, under the specious title of "The Works of Dr. Franklin," my worthy grandfather.

To those acquainted with me I flatter myself no justification is necessary to prove the falsehood of such unsupported assertions and insinuations, as base as they respect me, as they are ridiculous in regard to the British governBut out of respect to public opinion, to the name I bear, and to those who honor me with their friendship, I feel it incumbent on me thus publicly and solemnly to declare in answer to the libel in question:


1st. That it is false, as asserted, that I had my grand

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5th. That the affairs of Europe remaining in the same unsettled state, and the public mind continuing to be wholly interested therein, have alone influenced my not bringing forward a work which, to do it with propriety and becoming splendor in honor to my much revered ancestor's memory, would be attended with very considerable expense and a very uncertain success in such momentous times.*

I have now, sir, replied to the various heads of malevolent and interested accusation brought forward against me; and I hope I have justified my character in as satisfactory a manner as it is possible against accusations and insinuations without even a shadow of proof, nay even of probability, to support them. It is easy to accuse, not always to defend. But I hope, sir, you will show your justice and impartiality by inserting this letter in your next Argus as an antidote to the poison contained in the former one, as far as respects the character of your humble servant,


It is certainly a little remarkable 1st. That so large a portion of the available space of a small and obscure Paris newspaper, devoted mainly to the European affairs of those momentous times, should be given to a New York criticism of an English book; a criticism written in September, 1806, and which by March, 1807, had certainly lost much of its novelty.

2d. That William Temple Franklin, instead of presenting his defence against these foul aspersions, in one of the two countries where they had been circulated and *Sic in original.

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