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safe one that may occur before your departure for America. I wish mine was as near. I think I have reason to complain that I am so long without an answer from congress to my request of recal. I wish rather to die in my own country than here; and though the upper part of the building appears yet tolerably firm, yet being undermined by the stone and gout united, its fall cannot be far distant. You are so good as to offer me your friendly services. You cannot do me one more acceptable at present than that of forwarding my dismission. In all other respects as well as that, I shall ever look on your friendship as an honor to me; being with sincere and great esteem, dear sir, &c. &c.

March 13, 1784.

P. S. Having had a tolerable night, I find myself something better this morning. In reading over my letter, I perceive an omission of my thanks for your kind assurances of never forsaking my defence, should there be need. I apprehend that the violent antipathy of a certain person to me may have produced some calumnies, which what you have seen and heard here may enable you to refute. You will thereby exceedingly oblige one, who has lived beyond all other ambition than that of dying with the fair character he has long endeavored to deserve. As to my infallibility, which you do not undertake to maintain, I am too modest myself to claim it, that is, in general; though when we come to particulars, I, like other people, give it up with difficulty. Steele says, that the difference between the Church of Rome and the Church of England on that point is only this; that the one pretends to be infallible, and the other to be never in the wrong. In this latter

sense we are most of us church of England men, though few of us confess it, and express it so naturally and frankly as a certain lady here, who said, I don't know how it happens, but I meet with nobody except myself, that is always in the right. Je ne trouve que moi qui a toujours raison.

My grandson joins me in affectionate respects to you and the young lady: with best wishes for your health and prosperity, yours,




Passy, April 17, 1784. I have received a book, for which I understand I am obliged to you, the Introduction to Logography. I have read it with attention, and as far as I understand it, am much pleased with it. I do not perfectly comprehend the arrangement of his cases; but the reduction of the number of pieces by the roots of words, and their different terminations, is extremely ingenious; and I like much the idea of cementing the letters, instead of casting words or syllables, which I formerly attempted and succeeded in, having invented a mould and method by which I could in a few minutes form a matrice and adjust it, of any word in any fount at pleasure, and proceed to cast from it. I send enclosed a specimen of some of my terminations, and would willingly instruct Mr. Johnson in the method if he desired it, but he has a better. He mentions some improvements that have been proposed, but takes no notice of one published here at Paris, in 1776; so I suppose he has neither seen nor heard of it. It is in a quarto pamphlet, intitled, Nouveau Systême Typogra

phique, ou Moyen de diminuer de moitié, dans toutes les Imprimeries de l'Europe, le travail et les frais de Composition, de Correction, et de Distribution, découvert en 1774, par Madame de ***. Frustra fit per plura quod potest fieri per pauciora. A Paris, de l'Imprimerie Royale, MDCCLXXVI. It is dedicated to the king, who was at the expense of the experiments. Two commissaries were named to examine and render an account of them; they were M. Desmarets, of the Academy of Sciences, and M. Barbou, an eminent printer. Their report concludes thus: "Nous nous contenterons de dire ici que M. de Saint Paul a rempli les engagemens qu'il avoit contractés avec le Gouvernement; que ses expériences projetées ont été conduites avec beaucoup de méthode et d'intelligence de sa part; et que par des calculs longs et pénibles, qui sont le fruit d'un grand nombre de combinaisons raisonnées, il en a déduit plusieurs résultats qui méritent d'être proposés aux artistes, et qui nous paroissent propres à éclairer la pratique de l'imprimerie actuelle, et à en abréger certainement les procédés. Son projet ne peut que gagner aux contradictions qu'il essuiera sans doute, de la part des gens de l'art. A Paris, le 8 Janvier, 1776." The pamphlet consists of sixty-six pages, containing a number of tables of words and parts of words, explanations of those tables, calculations, answers to objections, &c. I will endeavor to get one to send you if you desire it: mine is bound up with others in a volume. It was after seeing this piece that I cast the syllables I send you a sample of. I have not heard that any of the printers here make at present the least use of the invention of Madame de ***. You will observe that it pretended only to lessen

the work by one-half; Mr. Johnson's method lessens it three-fourths. I should be glad to know with what the letters are cemented. I think cementing better than casting them together, because if one letter happens to be battered, it may be taken away and another cemented in its place. I received no letter with the pamphlet.

I am, sir, &c.




Passy, April 22, 1784.

I received yours of the 15th instant, and the memorial it enclosed. The account they give of your situation grieves me. I send you herewith a bill for 10 Louis d'ors. I do not pretend to give such a sum; I only lend it to you. When you shall return to your country with a good character, you cannot fail of getting into some business that will in time enable you to pay all your debts in that case, when you meet with another honest man in similar distress, you must pay me by lending this sum to him; enjoining him to discharge the debt by a like operation when he shall be able, and shall meet with such another opportunity. I hope it may thus go through many hands before it meets with a knave that will stop its progress. This is a trick of mine for doing a deal of good with a little money. I am not rich enough to afford much in good works, and so am obliged to be cunning and make the most of a little. With best wishes for the success of your memorial, and your future prosperity, I am, dear sir, your most obedient B. FRANKLIN.




Passy, May 12, 1784. kind letter with your excellent

I received your kind letter with advice to the people of the United States, which I read with great pleasure, and hope it will be duly regarded. Such writings, though they may be lightly passed over by many readers, yet if they make a deep impression on one active mind in an hundred, the effects may be considerable. Permit me to

mention one little instance which, though it relates to myself, will not be quite uninteresting to you. When I was a boy, I met with a book intitled Essays to do Good, which I think was written by your father. It had been so little regarded by a former possessor, that several leaves of it were torn out; but the remainder gave me such a turn of thinking as to have an influence on my conduct through life; for I have always set a greater value on the character of a doer of good than on any other kind of reputation; and if I have been, as you seem to think, a useful citizen, the public owes the advantage of it to that book. You mention your being in your 78th year; I am in my 79th; we are grown old together. It is now more than sixty years since I left Boston, but I remember well both your father and grandfather, having heard them both in the pulpit, and seen them in their houses. The last time I saw your father was in the beginning of 1724, when I visited him after my first trip to Pennsylvania. He received me in his library, and on my taking leave showed me a shorter way out of the house through a narrow passage, which was crossed by a beam overhead. We were still talking as I withdrew, he accompanying me behind, and I turning partly towards him, when he said

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