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trousers; everything else about the bed was shockingly dirty.
As I hope in a little time to be with you and my family, and chat things over, I now only add that I am, dear Debby, your affectionate husband,
“ B. FRANKLIN."
66 To the same. “ Easton, Saturday morning, November 13, 1756. “My Dear CHILD, “I wrote to you a few days since by a special messenger, and enclosed letters for all our wives and sweethearts, expecting to hear from you by his return, and to have the northern newspapers and English letters per the packet; but he is just now returned without a scrap for poor us.
So I had a good mind not to write to you by this opportunity ; but I never can be ill-natured enough, even when there is the most. occasion. The messenger says he left the letters at your house, and saw you afterward at Mr. Dentie's, and told you when he would go, and that he lodged at Honey's, next door to you, and yet you did not write; so lei Goody Smith give one more just judgment, and say what should be done to you; I think I won't tell you that we are well, nor that we expect to return about the middle of the week, nor will I send you a word of news; that's poz. My duty to mother, love to the children, and to Miss Betsey and Gracey, &c., &c.
“ B. FRANKLIN. “P.S.--I have scratched out the loving words, be. ing written in haste by mistake, when I forgot was angry."
" Mrs. Jane Mecom, Boston.
New-York, April 19, 1757. “ DEAR SISTER, “I wrote a few lines to you yesterday, but omitted to answer yours relating to sister Dowse. As having their own way is one of the greatest comforts of life to old people, I think their friends should endeavour to accommodate them in that as well as anything else. When they have long lived in a house, it becomes natural to them; they are almost as closely connected with it as the tortoise with his shell: they die if you tear them out of it. Old folks and old trees, if you remove them, 'tis ten to one that you kill them, so let our good old sister be no more importuned on that head: we are growing old fast ourselves, and shall expect the same kind of indulgences; if we give them, we shall have a right to receive them in our turn.
“ And as to her few fine things, I think she is in the right not to sell them, and for the reason she gives, that they will fetch but little, when that little is spent, they would be of no farther use to her; but perhaps the expectation of possessing them at her death may make that person tender and careful of her, and helpful to her to the amount of ten times their value. If so, they are put to the best use they possibly can be.
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 firmities, 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 cause; appearances should therefore be attended to in our conduct towards them as well as relatives. I write by this post to cousin William, to continue his care, which I doubt not he will do.
“We expect to sail in about a week, so that I can hardly hear from you again on this side the water; but let me have a line from you now and then while I am in London ; I expect to stay there at least a twelvemonth. Direct your letters to be left for me at the Pennsylvania Coffee-house, in Birchin Lane, London.
“B. FRANKLIN. "P.S., April 25.-We are still here, and perhaps may be here a week longer. Once more adieu, my dear sister."
To the same. “Woodbridge, East New-Jersey, May 21, 1757. “ DEAR SISTER, “I received your kind letter of the 9th instant, in which you acquainted me with some of your late troubles. These are troublesome times to us all; but perhaps you have heard more than you should. I am glad to hear that Peter is at a place where he has full employ. A trade is a valuable thing; but unless a habit of industry be acquired with it, it turns out of little use; if he gets that in his new place, it will be a happy exchange, and the occasion not an unfortunate one.
“ It is very agreeable to me to hear so good an account of your other children: in such a number, to have no bad ones is a great happiness.
“ The horse sold very low indeed. If I wanted one to-morrow, knowing his goodness, old as he is, I should freely give more than twice the money for him; but you did the best you could, and I will take of Benny no more than he produced.
“I don't doubt but Benny will do very well when he gets to work : but I fear his things from England may be so long a coming as to occasion the loss of the rent. Would it not be better for you to move into the house? Perhaps not, if he is near being married. I know nothing of that affair but what you write me, except that I think Miss Betsey a very agreeable, sweet-tempered, good girl, who has had a housewifery education, and will make, to a good husband, a very good wife. Your sister and I have a great esteem for her, and if she will be kind enough to accept of our nephew, we think it will be his own fault if he is not as happy as the married state can make him. The family is a respectable one, but whether there be any fortune I know not; and as you do not inquire about this particular, I suppose you think with me, that where everything else desirable is to be met with, that is not very material. she does not bring a fortune she will have to make one. Industry, frugality, and prwdent economy in a wife, are to a tradesman, in their effects, a fortune; and a fortune sufficient for Benjamin, if his expectations are reasonable. We can only add, that if the young lady and her friends are willing, we give our consent heartily and our blessing. My love to brother and the children concludes with me.
To the same.
“New York, May 30, 1757. 6 DEAR SISTER, “I have before me yours of the 9th and 16th instant. I am glad you have resolved to visit sister Dowse oftener; it will be a great comfort to her to find she is not neglected by you, and your example may, perhaps, be followed by some other of her relations.
“ As Neddy is yet a young man, I hope he may get over the disorder he complains of, and in time wear it out. My love to him and his wife and the rest of your children. It gives me pleasure to hear
that Eben is likely to get into business at his trade. If he will be industrious and frugal, 'tis ten to one but he gets rich, for. he seems to have spirit and activity.
"I am glad that Peter is acquainted with the crown soap business, so as to make what is good of the kind. I hope he will always take care to make it faithfully, never slight manufacture, or attempt to deceive by appearances. Then he may boldly put his name and mark, and in a little time it will acquire as good a. character as that made by his late uncle, or any other person whatever. I believe his aunt at Philadelphia can help him to sell a good deal of it; and I doubt not of her doing everything in her power to promote his interest in that way. Let a box be sent to her (but not unless it be right good), and she will immediately return the ready money for it. It was beginning once to be in vogue in Philadelphia, but other John sent me one box, an ordinary sort, which checked its progress. I would not have him put the Franklin arms on it; but the soapboiler's arms he has a right to use, if he thinks fit. The other would look too much like an attempt to counterfeit. In his advertisements he may value himself on serving his time with the original maker, but put his own mark or device on the papers, or anything he may be advised as proper; only on the soap, as it is called by the name of crown soap, it seems necessary to use a stamp of that sort, and perhaps no soapboiler in the king's dominions has a better right to the crown than himself.
Nobody has wrote a syllable to me concerning his making use of the hammer, or made the least complaint of him or you. I am sorry, however, he took it without leave. It was irregular, and if you had not approved of his doing it I should have thought it indiscreet. Leave, they say, is light, and it seems to me a piece of respect that was due to his