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stand he has received ample compensation in England for the part he lost.

I think you have made a happy choice of rural amusements: the protection of the bees, and the destruction of the hop insect. I wish success to your experiments, and shall be glad to hear the result. Your theory of insects appears the most ingenious and plausible of any that have hitherto been proposed by philosophers.

Our new constitution is now established with eleven states, and the accession of a twelfth is soon expected. We have had one session of congress under it, which was conducted with remarkable prudence, and a good deal of unanimity. Our late harvests were plentiful, and our produce still fetches a good price, through an abundant foreign demand, and the florishing state of our commerce. I am ever, my dear friend, yours most affectionately,

B. FRANKLIN.

TO MR. LE ROY, OF PARIS.

*

Philadelphia, Nov. 13, 1789.

'Tis now more than a year since I have heard from my dear friend Le Roy. What can be the reason? Are you still living? or have the mob of Paris mistaken the head of a monopoliser of knowledge for a monopoliser of corn, and paraded it about the streets upon a pole?

Great part of the news we have had from Paris, for near a year past, has been very afflicting. I sincerely wish and pray it may all end well and happy, both for the king and the nation. The voice

* A member of the French Academy of Sciences.

of philosophy I apprehend can hardly be heard among those tumults. If any thing material in that way had occurred, I am persuaded you would have acquainted me with it. However, pray let me hear from you a little oftener; for though the distance is great, and the means of conveying letters not very regular, a year's silence between friends must needs give uneasiness.

Our new constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency: but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes!

My health continues much as it has been for some time, except that I grow thinner and weaker; so that I cannot expect to hold out much longer.

My respects to your good brother, and to our friends of the academy, which always has my best wishes for its prosperity and glory. Adieu, my dear friend, and believe me ever yours most affectionately, B. FRANKLIN.

TO DAVID HARTLEY, ESQ.

MY VERY DEAR FRIEND,

Philadelphia, Dec. 4, 1789. Your kind condolences, on the painful state of my health, are very obliging. I am thankful to God, however, that among the numerous ills human life is subject to, one only of any importance is fallen to my lot; and that so late as almost to insure that it can be but of short duration.

The convulsions in France are attended with some disagreeable circumstances; but if by the struggle she obtains and secures for the nation its future liberty and a good constitution, a few years' enjoyment of those blessings will amply repair all the

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damages their acquisition may have occasioned. God grant that not only the love of liberty, but a thorough knowledge of the rights of man, may pervade all the nations of the earth, so that a philosopher may set his foot any where on its surface, and say, this is my country!-Your wishes for a cordial and perpetual friendship between Britain and her ancient colonies, are manifested continually in every one of your letters to me; something of my disposition on the same subject may appear to you in casting your eye over the enclosed paper.* I do not by this opportunity send you any of our gazettes; because the postage from Liverpool would be more than they are worth. I can now only add my best wishes of every kind of felicity for the three amiable Hartleys, to whom I have the honour of being an affectionate friend and most obedient humble servant, B. FRANKLIN.

DEAR SISTER,

TO MRS. MECOM, AT BOSTON.

Philadelphia, Dec. 17, 1789. You tell me you are desired by an acquaintance to ask my opinion whether the general circumstances mentioned in the history of Baron Trenck are founded in fact? to which I can only answer, that of the greatest part of those circumstances, the scene being laid in Germany, I must consequently be very ignorant; but of what he says, as having passed in France, between the ministers of that country, himself, and me, I can speak positively that it is founded in falsehood, and that the fact can only serve to confound, as I never saw him in that country, nor ever

* Uncertain what paper.

knew or heard of him any where, till I met with the above-mentioned history in print, in the German language, in which he ventured to relate it as a fact, that I had, with those ministers, solicited him to enter into the American service. A translation of that book into French has since been printed; but the translator has omitted that pretended fact, probably from an apprehension, that its being in that country known not to be true, might hurt the credit and sale of the translation.

I thank you for the sermon on sacred music; I have read it with pleasure. I think it a very ingenious composition. You will say this is natural enough, if you read what I have formerly written on the same subject in one of my printed letters, wherein you will find a perfect agreement of sentiment respecting the complex music, of late, in my opinion, too much in vogue; it being only pleasing to learned ears, who can be delighted with the difficulty of execution instead of harmony and melody. Your affectionate brother, B. FRANKLIN.

DEAR SIR,

TO NOAH WEBSTER, ESQ.

Philadelphia, Dec. 26, 1789. I received some time since "Dissertations your on the English Language." The book was not accompanied by any letter or message, informing me to whom I am obliged for it; but I suppose it is to yourself. It is an excellent work, and will be greatly useful in turning the thoughts of our countrymen to correct writing. Please to accept my thanks for the great honor you have done me in its dedication. I ought to have made this acknowledgment sooner, but much indisposition prevented me.

*

I cannot but applaud your zeal for preserving the purity of our language, both in its expressions and pronunciation, and in correcting the popular errors several of our states are continually falling into with respect to both. Give me leave to mention some of them, though possibly they may have already occurred to you. I wish however in some future publication of yours you would set a discountenancing mark upon them. The first I remember is the word improved. When I left New England in the year 1723, this word had never been used among us as far as I know, but in the sense of ameliorated, or made better, except once in a very old book of Dr. Mather's, intitled "Remarkable Providences." As that eminent man wrote a very obscure hand, I remember that when I read that word in his book, instead of the word imployed, I conjectured it was an error of the printer, who had mistaken a too short / in the writing for an r, and ay with too short a tail for a v; whereby imployed was converted into improved. But when I returned to Boston in 1733, I found this change had obtained favor, and was then become common; for I met with it often in perusing the newspapers, where it frequently made an appearance rather ridiculous. Such, for instance, as

* To IMPROVE, to occupy, make use of, employ. This word in the first sense, is in constant use in all parts of New England: but in the second sense (when applied to persons, as in the following example,) it is not so common: "In actions of trespass against several defendants, the plaintiff may, after issue is closed, strike out any of them for the purpose of improving them as witnesses." Swift's System of the Laws of Connecticut, vol. ii. p. 238. [Pickering's Vocabulary of Words peculiar to the United States of America. Boston, 1816.]

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