Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

time or other acquaint the world with some of them. When shall we meet again in cheerful converse, talk over our adventures, and finish with a quiet game of chess?

[ocr errors]

The little dissensions between particular states in America are much magnified in England, and they once had great hopes from them. I consider them with you as the effects of apparent security, which do not affect the grand points of independence, and adherence to treaties, and which will vanish at a renewed appearance of danger. This court continues heartily our friend, and the whole nation are warm in our favor; excepting only a few West Indians, and merchants in that trade, whose losses make them a little uneasy.

With sincere and great esteem and affection,

I am ever, dear Sir, your most obedient, and most humble servant,

B. FRANKLIN.

TO R. BACHE, ESQ. (DR. FRANKLIN'S SON-IN-LAW).

Passy, June 2, 1779.

I am very easy about the efforts Messrs. L. and

are using (as you tell me) to injure me on that side of the water. I trust in the justice of the congress that they will listen to no accusations against me, that I have not first been acquainted with, and had an opportunity of answering. I know those gentlemen have plenty of ill-will to me, though I have never done to either of them the smallest injury, or given the least just cause of offence. But my too great reputation and the general good-will this people have for me, the respect they show me, and even the compliments they make me, all grieve

those unhappy gentlemen; unhappy indeed in their tempers, and in the dark uncomfortable passions of jealousy, anger, suspicion, envy, and malice. It is enough for good minds to be affected at other people's misfortunes; but they that are vexed at every body's good luck can never be happy. I take no other revenge of such enemies, than to let them remain in the miserable situation in which their malignant natures have placed them, by endeavoring to support an estimable character; and thus by continuing the reputation the world has hitherto indulged me with, I shall continue them in their present state of damnation; and I am not disposed to reverse my conduct for the alleviation of their

torments.

I am surprised to hear that my grandson, Temple Franklin, being with me, should be an objection against me, and that there is a cabal for removing him. Methinks it is rather some merit that I have rescued a valuable young man from the danger of being a tory, and fixed him in honest republican whig principles; as I think from the integrity of his disposition, his industry, his early sagacity, and uncommon abilities for business, he may in time become of great service to his country. It is enough that I have lost my son:* would they add my grandson? An old man of seventy, I undertook a winter voyage at the command of the congress, and for the public service, with no other attendant to take care of me. I am continued here in a foreign country, where, if I am sick, his filial attention comforts me, and, if I die, I have a child to close my eyes and

* Governor Franklin.

take care of my remains. remains. His dutiful behavior towards me, and his diligence and fidelity in business, are both pleasing and useful to me. His conduct as my private secretary has been unexceptionable, and I am confident the congress will never think of separating us.

I have had a great deal of pleasure in Ben* too. "Tis a good honest lad, and will make, I think, a valuable man. He has made as much proficiency in his learning as the boarding-school he was at could well afford him, and after some consideration where to find a better for him, I at length fixed on sending him to Geneva. I had a good opportunity by a gentleman of that city who had a place for him in his chaise, and has a son of about the same age at the same school. He promised to take care of him, and enclosed I send you the letters I have since received relating to him and from him. He went very cheerfully, and I understand is very happy. I miss his company on Sundays at dinner. But if I live, and I can find a little leisure, I shall make the journey next spring to see him, and to see at the same time the old thirteen United States of Switzerland.

Thanks be to God, I continue well and hearty. Undoubtedly I grow older, but I think the last ten years have made no great difference. I have some times the gout, but they say that is not so much a disease as a remedy. God bless you. God bless you. I am your affectionate father,

*Mr. Bache's eldest son.

B. FRANKLIN.

TO MRS. BACHE (DR. FRANKLIN'S DAUGHTER). DEAR SALLY, Passy, June 3, 1779. If you knew how happy your letters make me, and considered how many miscarry, I think you would write oftener.

I am much obliged to the Miss Cliftons for the kind care they took of my house and furniture.* Present my thankful acknowledgments to them, and tell them I wish them all sorts of happiness.

The clay medallion of me you say you gave to Mr. Hopkinson was the first of the kind made in France. A variety of others have been made since of different sizes; some to be set in lids of snuff-boxes, and some so small as to be worn in rings; and the numbers sold are incredible. These, with the pictures, busts, and prints, (of which copies upon copies are spread every where,) have made your father's face as well known as that of the moon; so that he durst not do any thing that would oblige him to run away, as his phiz would discover him wherever he should venture to show it. It is said by learned etymologists that the name doll, for the images children play with, is derived from the word IDOL: from the number of dolls now made of him, he may be truly said, in that sense, to be i-doll-ized in this country.

I think you did right to stay out of town till the summer was over for the sake of your child's health. I hope you will get out again this summer during the hot months; for I begin to love the dear little creature from your description of her.

I was charmed with the account you give me of your industry, the table-cloths of your own spinning, &c.; but the latter part of the paragraph, that you

* During the occupation of Philadelphia by a British army.

had sent for linen from France because weaving and flax were grown dear, alas! that dissolved the charm; and your sending for long black pins, and lace, and feathers! disgusted me as much as if you had put salt into my strawberries. The spinning, I see, is laid aside, and you are to be dressed for the ball! You seem not to know, my dear daughter, that of all the dear things in this world, idleness is the dearest, except mischief.

[ocr errors]

The project you mention of removing Temple from me was an unkind one: to deprive an old man sent to serve his country in a foreign one of the comfort of a child to attend him, to assist him in health and take care of him in sickness, would be cruel, if it was practicable. In this case it could not be done; for as the pretended suspicions of him are groundless, and his behavior in every respect unexceptionable, I should not part with the child, but with the employment. But I am confident that whatever may be proposed by weak or malicious people, the congress is too wise and too good to think of treating me in that manner.

Ben, if I should live long enough to want it, is like to be another comfort to me: as I intend him for a presbyterian as well as a republican, I have sent him to finish his education at Geneva. He is much grown, in very good health, draws a little, as you will see by the enclosed, learns Latin, writing, arithmetic, and dancing, and speaks French better than English. He made a translation of your last letter to him, so that some of your works may now appear in a foreign language. He has not been long from me. I send the accounts I have of him, and I shall put him in mind of writing to you. I cannot propose to you to part with your own dear Will. I must one

« AnteriorContinuar »