Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 2 of 2] With his Most Interesting Essays, Letters, and Miscellaneous Writings; Familiar, Moral, Political, Economical, and Philosophical, Selected with Care from All His Published Productions, and Comprising Whatever Is Most Entertaining and Valuable to the General Reader

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 157

Asaph._

"Philadelphia, Feb. 24, 1786.

"DEAR FRIEND,

"I received lately your kind letter of November 27. My reception here
was, as you have heard, very honourable indeed; but I was betrayed by
it, and by some remains of ambition, from which I had imagined myself
free, to accept of the chair of government for the State of
Pennsylvania, when the proper thing for me was repose and a private
life. I hope, however, to be able to bear the fatigue for one year, and
then retire.

"I have much regretted our having so little opportunity for conversation
when we last met.[31] You could have given me informations and counsels
that I wanted, but we were scarce a minute together without being broken
in upon. I am to thank you, however, for the pleasure I had, after our
parting, in reading the new book[32] you gave me, which I think
generally well written and likely to do good: though the reading time of
most people is of late so taken up with newspapers and little
periodical pamphlets, that few nowadays venture to attempt reading a
quarto volume. I have admired to see that in the last century a folio,
_Burton on Melancholy_, went through six editions in about forty years.
We have, I believe, more readers now, but not of such large books.

[31] At Southampton, previous to Dr. Franklin's embarking for the
United States.

[32] Paley's Moral Philosophy.

"You seem desirous of knowing what progress we make here in improving
our governments. We are, I think, in the right road of improvement, for
we are making experiments. I do not oppose all that seem wrong, for the
multitude are more effectually set right by experience, than kept from
going wrong by reasoning with them. And I think we are daily more and
more enlightened; so that I have no doubt of our obtaining, in a few
years, as much public felicity as good government is capable of
affording. * * * *

"As to my domestic circumstances, of which you kindly desire to hear
something, they are at present as happy as I could wish them. I am
surrounded by my offspring, a dutiful and affectionate daughter in my
house, with six grandchildren, the eldest of which you have seen,

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 2 of 2] With his Most Interesting Essays, Letters, and Miscellaneous Writings; Familiar, Moral, Political, Economical, and Philosophical, Selected with Care from All His Published Productions, and Comprising Whatever Is Most Entertaining and Valuable to the General Reader

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114 To the same 115 To the same 116 To Miss Stevenson 119 To Lord Kames 120 To the same 121 To the same 128 To John Alleyne .
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We had been shown numberless skeletons of a kind of little fly, called an ephemera, whose successive generations, we were told, were bred and expired within the day.
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[3] .
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* * * * * ON THE CRIMINAL LAWS AND THE PRACTICE OF PRIVATEERING.
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I would not have him put the Franklin arms on it; but the soapboiler's arms he has a right to use, if he thinks fit.
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Pennsylvania Assembly has made such a law; New-York Assembly has refused to do it; and now all the talk here is, of sending a force to compel them.
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[19] With safety.
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France, but all Europe, yourselves included, most certainly and for ever, would despise us if we were weak enough to accept your insidious propositions.
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His modesty detained it long in his own hands.
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, B.
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I have passed my seventy-fifth year, and I find that the long and severe fit of the gout which I had the last winter has shaken me exceedingly, and I am yet far from having recovered the bodily strength I before enjoyed.
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Fothergill, and Lord Kaimes and Lord Le Despencer; this has begun to take away the rest, and strikes the hardest.
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But we have risen by different modes.
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Asaph.
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FRANKLIN.
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"I am glad to hear that Mr.
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I must, however, no longer call it.
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You will likewise observe, that the leaden bar, as it has cooled the melted lead more than the wooden bars have done, so it is itself more heated by the melted lead.
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To give motion to the boat, I fixed one end of a long silk thread to its bow, just even with the water's edge; the other end passed over a well-made brass pully, of about an inch diameter, turning freely on a small axis; and a shilling was the weight.
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proverbs and feign parables for the guidance of apprenticed youths and servile maidens; and the hands that sketched a free constitution for a whole continent, or drew down the lightning from heaven, easily and cheerfully lent themselves to simplify the apparatus by which truths were to be illustrated or discoveries pursued.