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“ Lord Kames.
“London, February 21, 1769. 6. MY DEAR FRIEND, “I received your excellent paper on the preferable use of oxen in agriculture, and have put it in the way of being communicated to the public here. I have observed in America that the farmers are more thriving in those parts of the country where horned cattle are used, than in those where the la. bour is done by horses. The latter are said to require twice the quantity of land to maintain them; and, after all, are not good to eat—at least we don't think them so. Here is a waste of land that might afford subsistence for so many of the human species. Perhaps it was for this reason that the Hebrew lawgiver, having promised that the children of Israel should be as numerous as the sands of the sea, not only took care to secure the health of individuals by regulating their diet, that they might be better fitted for producing children, but also forbid their using horses, as those animals would lessen the quantity of subsistence for man. Thus we find, when they took any horses from their enemies, they destroyed them; and in the commandments, where the labour of the ox and ass is mentioned, and forbidden on the Sabbath, there is no mention of the horse, probably because they were to have
And by the great armies suddenly raised in that small territory they inhabited, it appears to have been very full of people.* had preserved a copy of it, which was afterward transmitted to Lord Kames; but the wisdom that composed and conveyed it was thrown away upon the men at that time in power.
* There is not in the Jewish law any express prohibition against the use of horses: it is only enjoined that the kings should not multiply the breed, or carry on trade with Egypt for the purchase of horses.- Deut. xvii., 16. Solomon was the first of the kings of Judah who disregarded this ordinance. He bad 40,000 stalls of horses which he brought out of Egypt.1 Kings
“ Food is always necessary to all, and much the greatest part of the labour of mankind is employed in raising provisions for the mouth. Is not this kind of labour, then, the fittest to be the standard by which to measure the values of all other labour, and, consequently, of all other things whose value depends on the labour of making or procuring them? may not even gold and silver be thus valued ? If the labour of the farmer, in producing a bushel of wheat, be equal to the labour of the miner in producing an ounce of silver, will not the bushel of wheat just measure the value of the ounce of silver. The miner must eat; the farmer, indeed, can live without the ounce of silver, and so, perhaps, will have some advantage in settling the price. But these discussions I leave to you, as being more able to manage them: only, I will send you a little scrap I wrote some time since on the laws prohibiting foreign commodities.
“I congratulate you on your election as president of your Edinburgh Society. I think I formerly took notice to you in conversation, that I thought there had been some similarity in our fortunes and the circumstances of our lives. This is a fresh instance, for by letters just received I find that I was about the same time chosen President of our American Philosophical Society, established at Phladel. phia."
iv., 26, and x., 28. From this time downward horses were in constant use in the Jewish armies. It is true that the country, from its rocky surface and unfertile soil, was extremely unfit for the maintenance of those animals.-Note by Lord Kames.
* The American Philosophical Society was instituted in 1769, and was formed by the union of two societies which had formerly subsisted at Philadelphia, whose views and objects were of a similar nature. Its members were classed in the fol. lowing committees :
1. Geography, Mathematics, Natural Philosophy, and Astronomy.
2. Medicine and Anatomy.
“I have sent by sea, to the care of Mr. Alexander, a little box containing a few copies of the late edition of my books, for my friends in Scotland. One is directed for you, and one for your society, which I beg that you and they would accept as a small token of my respect. “ With the sincerest esteem and regard,
“ B. FRANKLIN. “P.S.-I am sorry my letter of 1767, concerning the American disputes, miscarried. I now send you a copy of it from my book. The examination mentioned in it you have probably seen. Things daily wear a worse aspect, and tend more and more to a breach and final separation.”
" John Alleyne.
“Craven-street, August 9, 1768. “ DEAR JACK, “You desire, you say, my impartial thoughts on the subject of an early marriage, by way of answer to the numberless objections that have been made by numerous persons to your own. You may remember, when you consulted me on the occasion, that I thought youth.on both sides to be no objection. Indeed, from the marriages that have fallen under my observation, I am rather inclined to think that early ones stand the best chance of happiness. The temper and habits of the young are not yet become so stiff and uncomplying as when more advanced in life; they form more easily to each other,
3. Natural History and Chymistry.
Several volumes have been published of the transactions of this American Society, in which are many papers by Dr. Frank. lin.--Note by Lord Kames.
and hence many occasions of disgust are removed. And if youth has less of that prudence which is necessary to manage a family, yet the parents and elder friends of young married persons are generally at hand to afford their advice, which amply supplies that defect; and, by early marriage, youth is sooner formed to regular and useful life; and possibly some of those accidents or connexions, that might have injured the constitution or reputation, or both, are thereby happily prevented. Particular circumstances of particular persons may possibly, sometimes, make it prudent to delay entering into that state; but, in general, when nature has rendered our bodies fit for it, the presumption is in nature's favour, for she has not judged amiss in making us desire it. Late marriages are often attended, too, with this farther inconvenience, that there is not the same chance that the parents shall live to see their offspringe ducated. • Late children,' says the Spanish proverb, "are early orphans.' A melancholy reflection to those whose case it may be! With us in America marriages are generally in the morning of life; our children are therefore educated and settled in the world by noon; and thus, our business being done, we have an afternoon and evening of cheerful leisure to ourselves, such as our friend at present enjoys. By these early marriages we are blessed with more children; and from the mode among us, founded by nature, of every mother suckling and nursing her own child, more of them are raised. Thence the swift progress of population among us, unparalleled in Europe. In fine, I am glad you are married, and congratulate you most cordially upon it. You are now in the way of becoming a useful citizen; and you have escaped the unnatural state of celibacy for life-the fate of many here who never intended it, but who, having too long postponed the change of their condition, find at length that it is too late to
think of it, and so live all their lives in a situation that greatly lessens a man's value. An odd volume of a set of books bears not the value of its proportion to the set: what think you of the odd half of a pair of scissors ? it can't well cut anything ; it may possibly serve to scrape a trencher.
Pray make my compliments and best wishes acceptable to your bride. I am old and heavy, or I should, ere this, have presented them in person. I shall make but small use of the old man's privilege, that of giving advice to younger friends. Treat your wife always with respect; it will procure respect to you, not only from her, but from all that observe it. Never use a slighting expression to her, even in jest; for slights in jest, after frequent bandyings, are apt to end in angry earnest. Be studious in your profession, and you will be learned. Be industrious and frugal, and you will be rich. Be sober and temperate, and you will be healthy. Be in general virtuous, and you will be happy. At least, you will, by such conduct, stand the best chance for such consequences.
“I pray God to bless you both, being ever your affectionate friend,
“ B. FRANKLIN.”
6 Governor Franklin.
“ London, Dec. 19, 1767. “ DEAR SIR, “ The resolutions of the Boston people concerning trade make a great noise here. Parliament has not yet taken notice of them, but the newspapers are in full cry against America. Colonel Onslow told me at court last Sunday, that I could not conceive how much the friends of America were run upon and hurt by them, and how much the Grenvillians triumphed. I have just written a paper for