The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 3 [of 3]

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 325

to me: "You
are young, and have the world before you: stoop as you go through
it, and you will miss many hard thumps." This advice, thus beat into
my heart, has frequently been of use to me: and I often think of it,
when I see pride mortified, and misfortunes brought upon people by
their carrying their heads too high.

I long much to see again my native place; and once hoped to lay my
bones there. I left it in 1723. I visited it in 1733, 1743, 1753, and
1763; and in 1773 I was in England. In 1775 I had a sight of it, but
could not enter, it being in possession of the enemy. I did hope to
have been there in 1783, but could not obtain my dismission from this
employment here; and now I fear I shall never have that happiness. My
best wishes however attend my dear country, "_esto perpetua_." It is
now blessed with an excellent constitution: may it last for ever!

This powerful monarchy continues its friendship for the United
States. It is a friendship of the utmost importance to our security,
and should be carefully cultivated. Britain has not yet well digested
the loss of its dominion over us; and has still at times some
flattering hopes of recovering it. Accidents may increase those
hopes, and encourage dangerous attempts. A breach between us and
France would infallibly bring the English again upon our backs:
and yet we have some wild beasts among our countrymen, who are
endeavouring to weaken that connection.

Let us preserve our reputation, by performing our engagements; our
credit, by fulfilling our contracts; and our friends, by gratitude
and kindness: for we know not how soon we may again have occasion for
all of them.

With great and sincere esteem,

I have the honour to be,

Reverend Sir,

Your most obedient and most humble servant,


_Passy, May 12, 1784._


[181] From the American Museum, Vol. VII. p. 100. _Editor._

_The Whistle[182]._

_Passy, Nov. 10, 1779._

I received my dear friend's two letters, one for Wednesday, and one
for Saturday. This is again Wednesday. I do not deserve one for to
day, because I have not answered the former. But indolent as I am,
and averse to writing, the fear of having no more of your pleasing
epistles, if I do not contribute to the correspondence, obliges me to
take up my pen: and as Mr. B. has kindly sent me word, that he sets
out to-morrow to see you; instead of

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