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their fineness, and which are evidently not of half their due weight; the case at present with the sixpences in England; which, one with another, do not weigh three-pence.

You are now 78, and I am 82: you tread fast upon my heels; but though you have more strength and spirit, you cannot come up with me till I stop, which must now be soon; for I am grown so old as to have buried most of the friends of my youth, and I now often hear persons whom I knew when children, called old Mr. such-a-one, to distinguish them from their sons, now men grown and in business; so that by living twelve years beyond David's period, I seem to have intruded myself into the company of posterity, when I ought to have been a-bed and asleep. Yet had I gone at seventy it would have cut off twelve of the most active years of my life, employed too in matters of the greatest importance; but whether I have been doing good or mischief is for time to discover. I only know that I intended well, and I hope all will end well.

Be so good as to present my affectionate respects to Dr. Riley. I am under great obligations to him, and shall write to him shortly. It will be a pleasure to him to know that my malady does not grow sensibly worse; and that is a great point: for it has always been so tolerable, as not to prevent my enjoying the pleasures of society, and being cheerful in conversation: I owe this in a great measure to his good counsels.

Adieu, my dear friend, and believe me ever yours most affectionately, B. FRANKLIN.



Philadelphia, September 28, 1787.

I have not lost any of the principles of public economy you once knew me possessed of; but to get the bad customs of a country changed, and new ones, though better, introduced, it is necessary first to remove the prejudices of the people, enlighten their ignorance, and convince them that their interest will be promoted by the proposed changes: and this is not the work of a day. Our legislators are all landholders; and they are not yet persuaded that all taxes are finally paid by the land. Besides, our country is so sparely settled, the habitations, particularly in the back countries, being perhaps five or six miles distant from each other, that the time and labor of the collector in going from house to house, and being obliged to call often before he can recover the tax, amounts to more than the tax is worth, and therefore we have been forced into the mode of indirect taxes, i. e. duties on importation of goods, and excises.

I have made no attempt to introduce the form of prayer here, which you and good Mrs. Baldwin do me the honor to approve. The things of this world take up too much of my time, of which indeed I have too little left, to undertake any thing like a reformation in matters of religion. When we can sow good seed, we should however do it, and wait, when we can do no better, with patience, nature's time for their sprouting. Some lie many years in the ground, and at length certain favorable seasons or circumstances bring them forth with vigorous shoots and plentiful productions.

Had I been at home as you wish, soon after the peace, I might possibly have mitigated some of the severities against the royalists, believing as I do that fear and error, rather than malice, occasioned their desertion of their country's cause, and adoption of the king's. The public resentment against them is now so far abated, that none who ask leave to return are refused, and many of them now live among us much at their ease. As to the restoration of confiscated estates, it is an operation that none of our politicians have as yet ventured to propose. They are a sort of people that love to fortify themselves in their projects by precedent. Perhaps they wait to see your government restore the forfeited estates in Scotland to the Scotch, those in Ireland to the Irish, and those in England to the Welch.

I am glad that the distressed exiles who remain with you have received, or are likely to receive, some compensation for their losses, for I commiserate their situation. It was clearly incumbent on the king to indemnify those he had seduced by his proclamations: but it seems not so clearly consistent with the wisdom of parliament to resolve doing it for him. If some mad king should think fit in a freak to make war upon his subjects of Scotland, or upon those of England, by the help of Scotland and Ireland (as the Stuarts did), may he not encourage followers by the precedent of these parliamentary gratuities, and thus set his subjects to cutting one another's throats, first with the hope of sharing in confiscations, and then with that of compensation in case of disappointment? The council of brutes without a fable were aware of this. Lest that fable may perhaps not have fallen in your way, I enclose a copy of it.

Your commercial treaty with France seems to show a growing improvement in the sentiments of both nations in the economical science. All Europe might be a great deal happier, with a little more understanding. We in America have lately had a convention for framing a new constitution. Enclosed I send you the result of their deliberations. Whether it will be generally acceptable and carried into execution is yet to be seen; but present appearances are in its favor. I am always glad to hear from and of your welfare. I remember with pleasure the happy days we have spent together. Adieu, and believe me ever, my dear friend, yours most affectionately,





Philadelphia, November 19, 1787. I am honored by your letter desiring to know by what means I am relieved in a disorder, with which you are also unfortunately afflicted. I have tried all the noted prescriptions for diminishing the stone, without perceiving any good effect. But observing temperance in eating, avoiding wine and cyder, and using daily the dumb bell, which exercises the upper part of the body without much moving the parts in contact with the stone, I think I have prevented its increase. As the roughness of the stone lacerates a little the neck of the bladder, I find that when the urine happens to be sharp, I have much pain in making water and frequent urgencies. For relief under this circumstance, I take, going to bed, the bigness of a pigeon's egg of jelly of blackberries: the receipt for making it is enclosed. While I continue to do this

every night I am generally easy the day following,

making water pretty freely, and with long intervals. I wish most sincerely that this simple remedy may have the same happy effect with you. Perhaps currant jelly, or the jelly of apples, or of raspberries, may be equally serviceable; for I suspect the virtue of the jelly may lie principally in the boiled sugar which is in some degree candied by the boiling of the jelly. Wishing you for your own sake much more ease, and for the sake of mankind many more years, I remain with the greatest esteem and respect, dear sir, your most obedient and affectionate servant, B. FRANKLIN.



Philadelphia, December 15, 1787. I hope the disorders in Brabant and Holland may be rectified without bloodshed. But I fear the impending war with the Turks, if not prevented by prudent negociation, may in its consequences involve great part of Europe. I confide however that France and England will preserve their present peace with each other, notwithstanding some contrary appearances: for I think they have both of them too much sense to go to war without an important cause, as well as too little money at present.

As to the projected conquest from Turkey, I apprehend that if the emperor and empress would make some use of arithmetic, and calculate what annual revenues may be expected from the country they want, should they acquire it, and then offer the grand signior' a hundred times that annual revenue, to be paid down for an amicable purchase of it, it would be his interest to accept the offer, as well as theirs to make it, rather than a war for it should take place; since a war to acquire that territory and to retain it, will

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