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PREFACE.

FRANKLIN's personal celebrity has so eclipsed his literary fame, that justice has hardly been done to him as a writer and an essayist; and yet he has himself confessed that he was indebted mainly to his pen for his advancement in public life. He was singularly indifferent, however, to any reputation or profit that might accrue from his writings, and left it to his friends to collect and republish them as they might please. The consequences of this indifference are manifest even to the present time, in the absence of any cheap popular edition of his select works. He has been posthumously fortunate, however, in having so able an editor as Mr. Sparks, whose ten volumes of the Works of Franklin, with a memoir and notes, leave nothing to be desired in the way of an ample and accurate collection.

But Franklin's is a name so eminently and intimately popular, that the want of a collection of his best works, more generally accessible in respect to size and cost, has long been experienced ; and to supply this want the present edition is offered. In the introductory memoir, the editor

has been indebted for some new facts to the French memoirs by Mignet and Sainte-Beuve; and the works of John Adams, recently published, have supplied many interesting details, not embraced in any other biographical account. All Franklin's purely literary productions of merit are contained in the present collection, with liberal specimens of his philosophical writings, and the choicest of his letters. Much that he wrote was of merely local and temporary interest, designed to affect provincial legislation ; and, though valuable to the historian, is unprofitable to the general reader of a subsequent time.

The fine portrait, forming the frontispiece, is from the painting in the gallery of Versailles, and is now, it is believed, engraved for the first time. It is supposed to have been taken some eight years before that by Duplessis, a copy of which, cut on wood, is placed in juxtaposition.

CONTENTS.

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VIII.- Plan of a Continental Congress — Efforts to change the Ministry

Lord Chatham - Vindication of Franklin — Lord Mahon's Aspersion –

Efforts to negotiate - Overtures — Reply to Barclay - Lures rejected. 63

IX. - A Memorial - Death of Mrs. Franklin – Husband and Wife

Leaves for America - Delegate to Congress — First Plan of a Confedera-
tion -- Visits Washington's Head-quarters — Remark of Gen. Greene

- Various Public Duties — Declaration of Independence — Jefferson's
Anecdote President of the Pennsylvania Convention - Measures
Views in Congress — Conference with Lord Howe — John Adams - Anec-
dote - Commissioner to France - Arrival in Paris .

08

X. - Diplomatic Career - House at Passy – Vergennes — Secret Assistance

Lord Stormont - Surrender of Burgoyne Sheridan's Epigram -
Treaty with France - The Commissioners at Court - Voltaire — Harass-
ing Applications — Lafayette — Arthur Lee · Disagreement — Mr. Izard
- John Adams — Franklin Minister Plenipotentiary — Enemies - British

Negotiators John Paul Jones Conduct of the French — Requests his

Recall -- Anecdote - Commissioner for Peace — Treaty with Great Britain

- Chagrin of Vergennes Our Debt to France - Letter to Charles Thomp-

-Succeeded by Jefferson

75

XI. - Social Popularity - Madame Helvetius — Amusing Letter - French

Ladies — Bon-mot- Fête - French Men of Letters - Turgot's Compli-

ment — Portraits, Busts, &c. -- Mirabeau — Marat - Acquaintance with

French — Anecdote - Mesmerism - Cowper and his Poems Humane

Measures - Farewell Letter to Mr. Hartley - Departure from Passy-

Arrival at Southampton Embarkation -- Employments — Reception in

Philadelphia

. 90

XII. — Welcomes — President of Pennsylvania — Delegate to the Conven-

tion on the U. S. Constitution — Objects to the Salary Principle — Style
of Speaking - Motion for Daily Prayers On the Constitution - Private
Claims — Activity as a Writer — Last Public Act — Last Letter - Wash-
ington - Closing Years Lord Jeffrey on his Correspondence — His
Style — Sir H. Davy's Estimate — Generosity – Habits — Personal Ap-
pearance -- Sir F. Romilly's Description -- Last Illness Death - Obse-
quies -- Burial-place - Inscription - Epitaph - Proceedings of Congress

Mirabeau's Eulogy - Will — Descendants - Incident - False Views of
his Character - His Courtship -- Madame Helvetius — Described by Mrs.
Adams His Religious Views - Claims to Remembrance .

99

HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY.

quaintance with Gov. Keith – Visit to Boston — His Father's Advice -

Visits his Brother John at Newport — A Lure and an Escape - Stay in

New York - An Unruly Companion A Great Erratum — Big Promises

and Small Fulfilment An Uneasy Conscience — Abandons a Vegetable

Diet - Mode of Life with Keimer — Courtship — Acquaintances — Trials

at Composition Sails for London with Ralph — Looks into the Bag for

his Letters of Introduction

. 137

CHAPTER III. - - Arrival in London - Finds his Letters are worthless

Intimacy with Ralph --- Gets Work in a Printing-house — Metaphysical

Treatise — Frequents a Club – A Promise to see Sir Isaac Newton — Sir

Hans Sloane - A Dangerous Acquaintance — Offends Ralph — Watts's

Printing-house -- Press-work Mode of Life Habits of London Printers

- Makes a Reform A Landlady and a Recluse — Swimming — Anec-

dote of Mr. Denham — New Employment - Almost a Swimming-teacher

- Sir William Wyndham .

CHAPTER IV.-

Embarks for Philadelphia — Arrival — Illness and Disap-

pointment — Foreman to Keimer — Breaks with him Resolves to set

up for himself — Meredith - Engraves Plates — Views of Religion -- His

London Dissertation - New Convictions - Types from London – A Part-

A Croaker The Junto — Writes the Busy-body - Sets up a News-

paper - Friends in need — Dissolves with Partner Tract on a Paper

Currency — Open a Stationer's Shop — Thrifty Habits -- Matrimonial

Designs - Miss Read — Marriage - A Subscription Library. ...161

CHAPTER V. - Second Part of the Autobiography – The Philadelphia

Library - A Good Wife — Family Habits - Religious Views — Moral

Perfection aimed at - A Group of Virtues - Scheme for their Attainment

Mottoes and Prayers — Story of the Speckled Axe -- Result of the

Scheme - Project of a Treatise on the Art of Virtue.

. 179

CHAPTER VI. — Plan of a United Party for Virtue Poor Richard's Al-

Summary of Maxims - Mode of Conducting his Newspaper

Caution to Young Printers — Hint to Young Women Rev. Mr. Hemp-

hill — On the Study of Languages - Visit to Boston - To his Brother

James at Newport — The Junto - Clerk of the Assembly - Postmaster

- Public Reforms — The Watch - Forms the first Fire-company

CHAPTER VII. – Arrival of Whitefield — Effects of his Preaching — Church

for all Sects - Anecdote - Vindication of Whitefield - His Clear Voice

- Elocution improved by Practice - Mistake in Publishing – Franklin's

Partnerships in Printing - Proposals for an Academy - Philosophical

Society - Active in Measures for Defence — Chosen Colonel — Proposes a

Fast — The Quakers - James Logan — Anecdote of Penn - The Dunkers

– The Franklin Fire-place — Refuses a Patent for it.

202

CHAPTER VIII. Moves in the Cause of Education – An Academy - A

Trustee - New Partnership - Electrical Experiments — Public Employ-

ments — A Member of the Assembly — Commissioner to treat with Indi.

- The Pennsylvania Hospital - Advice in procuring Subsoriptions -

Street Paving, Cleaning and Lighting — Project for Cleaning Streets in

London - Postmaster-general of America Honorary Degrees . 213

CHAPTER IX. - Delegate to the Albany Convention — Proposes a Plan of

Union — Confers with Gov. Shirley at Boston — Meets Gov. Morris at

New York — Anecdote - Proprietary Quarrels War with France

Assists Mr. Quincy in procuring Supplies — Visits Braddock's Army-

Procures Horses and Wagons for it — Character of Braddock -

:- His Defeat

- Poor Reward of Franklin's Services .

224

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