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two different sources, and the copies compared word for word with each other.'-P. 208. The date, - April 18th,' of the letter from Lord Shelburne, may be a typographical error for the 13th.-P. 220. Instead of 21, the letter to Mr. Adams should have been dated the 20th, of April.-P. 223. The letter from Mr. Laurens of April 30th is misdated the 20th. P. 225. Lord Shelburne's letter was dated the 28th, instead of the 20th.-P. 240. Mr. Heartley's letter of May 3, 1782, is missing in Mr. Franklin's publication. (p. 339.) Our Philadelphia Editor was sure to display his ignorance of the classics, the very first time he should have an opportunity. In this, and in the following letter, he had occasion to print the expression-Da pacem, Domine, in diebus nostris; and in both instances he has it-Da pacem Domini in diebus nostris; an alteration which completely perverts the sense of the original; or rather takes away all sense from the passage--except it be by some syntaxical idea' of the Editor's.-P. 249. is a part of the Journal which is omitted in Mr. Franklin's edition. · May 26, (it says) I received the following letters, &c. from Mr. Heartley;' which letters, &c.' are not published in the Journal by Mr. Franklin; but placed before it in P. 303, et seq.-P. 260. There is a postscript to Mr. Heartley's letter, which is omitted in Mr. Franklin's edition, and from which we learn that the Preliminaries, printed at p. 350, of this gentleman's copy, were inclosed in that letter, and should have been inserted in p. 347.-P. 263. Here is a variation which we can hardly believe to have been accidental. •Mr. Oswald called on me, (it is said in this copy) being just returned and brought me the following letters from lord Shelburne, the first of which had been written before his arrival.' It stands in the Original, (p. 349,)- brought me the following letter from Mr. Heartley Esq. and two letters from Lord Shelburne, the first of which had been written before Mr. O's arrival in London. The letter from Mr. Heartley’ is not here; and we may of course leave our readers to their own conclusions about the cause of its not being mentioned.-P. 226. Three letters are omitted; one from W. H. Heartley, (see the Franklin edition, p. 361,) and another from Mr. Oswald, (id. p. 262)—along with the Doctor's answer.-P. 280. Here is a blunder which, since we are acquainted with this Editor's ideas,' we can by no means be surprised at. It is said in the Journal—The following is the paper mentioned in the above letters:'whereupon we have a mere continuation of the Journal; the “paper alluded to, which is in the Frank. Edit., p. 366, not being in the book at all.-P. 285, line 14, the reference ‘P.? VOL. IX.
is omitted.-P.289. Here are three errors. We have · Mr. Gi' instead of · Mr. J.,' l. 10, from the bottom: a long letter from Mr. Adams is left out; and the Editor tells us that a letter, there mentioned, to Mr. Livingston,' does not appear;' whereas, it he had known half as well as we do what he had been printing, he must have been aware of its being in this very volume, at p. 146. The letter to Mr. Morris is omitted.-P. 291. Here are some more blunders of the same sort. In 1. 13, from the top, we have unite,' for write;' in the next line, an omission of also' after the word 'wished;' and the Editor tells us, again, that a letter to Mr. Liv. ingston does not appear,' when it does appear, in p. 151. But what is worse than all, there is an omission of a letter to Dr. Cooper, and an elision of that clause in the Journal, which makes mention of it. • I accordingly wrote to Mr. Secretary Livingston'-is all we have in the Philadelphia Edition, and to my friend Dr. Cooper, of which the following are extracts'-is added in the original. p. 377.-In the letter to Mr. Strahan, (p. 350,) of which we give a facsimile in the present Number, there is a variation in almost every line. Instead of_your are a member of Parliament we have, you are a member of that Parliament;' instead of,
and one of that majority' - and have formed a part of that majority;' for 'doomed my country to destruction''condemned my native country to destruction;' for 'murder our people' -destroy their inhabitants;\" at your hands' for upon your hands;'“your relations and acquaintances', for your relations' simply; and a substitution of at present' for now.' In addition to all these charges, the different sentences are separated into paragraphs, and the words 'I am yours,' which in the original, fall down by steps in the subscription, as in common letters, and constitute a sort of double entendre-are here brought together and deprived of half their force. The Editor does not tell us whether this letter is in one of his two copies, which coincide with each other word for word.
It was formerly considered as a great reproach to the literary character of this country, that we had never published a complete edition of Dr. Franklin's works; but, if the volumes we have now been reviewing should ever get over the water, we are afraid we should be much more severely reproached for having attempted it at all. We are so much mortified at the ignorance and carelessness and disingenuity, with which the work has been performed, that we are sometimes almost inhuman enough to wish the vessel might sink, which should be transporting it to Europe. If the Editor had told his readers honestly, in what manner he
came by those parts of the work, which were never before published,—where he obtained the three copies,' which he has alluded to,—and what were the circumstances under which the whole was edited, we could have excused a great many of his sins: But he insults our understandings by withholding all the explanatory preface and annotation, which a reader has a right to demand of an editor; and goes on skulking and blundering in the dark,-attempting to palm upon us some works, which are not Dr. Franklin's, and presuming to do what he pleases with others, that are. One half of the time, he does not appear to know what is his duty—and the other half, he is not ingenuous enough to perform it. He has blown up two volumes into four; and, to sustain the consistency of his conduct, he has used mean paper, and employed unskilful typographers. The whole man, in short, seems to be a complete inversion of ordinary humanity. It is on no other supposition, that we can account for his busying himself with an office which he is every way so unfitted to discharge: And, we think, too, it is rather unfortunately ordered, that such rash, intruding,' Polonii should experience, when it is almost too late, that to be too busy, is some danger.'—We must now turn to the Doctor's Private Correspondence, published by his grandson, Mr. Franklin.
As far back as the year 1792, it was thought to be 'a little extraordinary,' that the memoirs and other manuscripts of Dr. Franklin, which were left behind him at his death,
should so long have been withheld from the Public.'* In 1817, it is extraordinary' in the last degree. We expected, that Mr. Franklin, to whom the manuscripts were bequeathed,t would have introduced the Private Correspondence
* Preface to the Edition of his Life and Essays, noticed above, p. 357.
+ In the letter of Aug. 16, 1784, mentioned above, (p. 356,) we find a passage which deserves our attention. On my leaving America,' says the Doctor, ‘I deposited with that friend' Mr. Galloway, Speaker of the House of Assembly of Pennsylvania, ‘for you,'Governor Franklin, “a chest of papers, among which was a manuscript of nine or ten volumes, relating to manufactures, commerce, finance, &c. which cost me in England, (for the execution, we suppose,) about seventy guineas; and eight quire books, containing the rough draughts of all my letters while I lived in London. These are missing; I hope you have got them: if not, they are lost.' Again, in the letter to Mr. Vaughan, above quoted, id. p., he says— If I should ever recover the pieces that were in the hands of my son, and those I left among my papers in America, I think there may be enough to make three more such volumes, of which a great part would be more interesting.' Now, what is the reason that we hear nothing about these manuscripts? Are they found? Or, what has become of them?
with some explanation of the causes which had delayed its appearance: But all we learn from the Preface—is, that • familiar letters have been usually considered as exhibiting a portraiture of the mind;' that the MEMOIRS and CORRESPONDENCE of Dr. FRANKLIN will show much more clearly the great chain on which the fate of nations depends, than the debates of senates, the cabals of cabinets, or the details of battles;' and that here will be seen to equal advantage, the philosopher and the man of business, the moralist and negotiator,' and so on, and so on. Not a reason is given, however, why 'the great chain' was not shown,' and all these fine things seen as many as twenty years ago. The plea, which the Editor urged in 1807, that the times were unpropitious' to such undertakings, we conceive to be very unsatisfactory. If this vague expression was intended to veil the plain truth, that the Correspondence exhibited proofs of corruption in the British Government, which it it would do the Administration no good to publish,—we cannot but reprobate the motive: and if it was meant to intimate, that the readers of England could not have afforded to purchase the Edition-we must deny the fact. They were even more able to buy books in 1807, than in 1817; and, indeed, we know not that, so far as this circumstance is concerned, the Editor could have chosen a more “unpro. pitious' season for the publication of this, or of any other book. It does seem to us, therefore, that Mr. Franklin has, by no means, treated his readers fairly. And indeed there is an air of mystery about his whole conduct, in this business, which requires a good deal of explanation. The writings of such a man as Dr. Franklin are public property; and, when they are deposited in the hands of an executor, he is accountable to that public for whatever he does with them.
Neither can we compliment Mr. Franklin on much editorial care and judgment—now that he has partially discharged his duty. Our readers will see, by what we have said above, that the Correspondence here given is by no means complete. Nearly all the Secret Letters contained in the fifth volume of the Philadelphia Edition, have been overlooked; and the many hiatus and discontinuities, occasioned by their absence, detracts a great deal from the interest and edification with which the work would otherwise be read. There are some letters written in character, for instance, which, though perhaps interpretable by us, ought nevertheless to have been submitted to our trial; and there are others, again, which, notwithstanding they relate to Mr. Franklin himself, it would have been no mark of indelicacy to publish. Indeed, whether it would have been so or not, we could not tolerate the omission of a single paper which in any way related to what the public is concerned in. And on this subject, perhaps our Editor would have done well to tread in the footsteps of his grandfather; who made it a point to preserve even little complimentary notes, when they came from eminent individuals; and once, in his Journal, makes an apology for neglecting to do so; thinking (Priv. Cor., p. 332) that though they seem almost of too trilling a nature, they serve usefully sometimes to settle dates, authenticate facts, and show something of the turn and manner of thinking of the writers, on particular occasions. The letters which gave rise to these remarks, might not have been readily accessible to Mr. Franklin; but it was his duty, we think, to spare no pains in obtaining them; and, indeed, he ought, in our opinion of editorship, to have prefaced so authentic a volume with a sort of sketch, something like our own, of the various unauthorized publications which have heretofore appeared.
We must complain a little, too, on the score of arrangement. The letters are distributed under three heads;—those on Miscellaneous Subjects, in Part I.—those on American Politics, in Part II.-—and those which relate to the Treaty of Peace, in Part III. Had such a distribution been strictly executed, it could not have been censured; but the truth is, that we find many letters under the Miscellaneous head, which are as much filled with politics, as a great part of those under the head, Political, and which, by being taken from their tions, have left disagreeable gaps, and broken off, in divers places, the continuity of the Dr.'s speculations. Some letters, too, are placed out of their chronological order; while others were omitted in the First Part, and had to come in as a supplement. Some pages are repeated—others are erroneously numbered: and, in short, both in great things and in little, we find a want of care in some places, and a want of judgment, in others, which we were not at all pleased to see.
With these exceptions, we know not that any late work has afforded us more pleasure, than the Private Correspondence of Dr. Franklin. Here are letters upon subjects of every sort-written to persons of almost every character; and yet the whole correspondence is carried on with such an easy and practised hand, that we are hardly capable of discerning what part is executed the best. We certainly think no writer has ever displayed more versatility of powers. Hardly any person suggests an inquiry which he does not seem to have anticipated, or which he does not satisfactorily answer: And