Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
by Benjamin Franklin
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Oblig'd as we were to Mr. Collinson for his present of the tube, etc., I thought it right he should be inform'd of our success in using it, and wrote him several letters containing accounts of our experiments. He got them read in the Royal Society, where they were not at first thought worth so much notice as to be printed in their Transactions. One paper, which I wrote for Mr. Kinnersley, on the sameness of lightning with electricity,[107] I sent to Dr. Mitchel, an acquaintance of mine, and one of the members also of that society, who wrote me word that it had been read, but was laughed at by the connoisseurs. The papers, however, being shown to Dr. Fothergill, he thought them of too much value to be stifled, and advis'd the printing of them. Mr. Collinson then gave them to Cave for publication in his Gentleman's Magazine; but he chose to print them separately in a pamphlet, and Dr. Fothergill wrote the preface. Cave, it seems, judged rightly for his profit, for by the additions that arrived afterward, they swell'd to a quarto volume, which has had five editions, and cost him nothing for copy-money.

[107] See page 327.

It was, however, some time before those papers were much taken notice of in England. A copy of them happening to fall into the hands of the Count de Buffon,[108] a philosopher deservedly of great reputation in France, and, indeed, all over Europe, he prevailed with M. Dalibard[109] to translate them into French, and they were printed at Paris. The publication offended the Abbe Nollet, preceptor in Natural Philosophy to the royal family, and an able experimenter, who had form'd and publish'd a theory of electricity, which then had the general vogue. He could not at first believe that such a work came from America, and said it must have been fabricated by his enemies at Paris, to decry his system. Afterwards, having been assur'd that there really existed such a person as Franklin at Philadelphia, which he had doubted, he wrote and published a volume of Letters, chiefly address'd to me, defending his theory, and denying the verity of my experiments, and of the positions deduc'd from them.

[108] A celebrated French naturalist (1707-1788).

[109] Dalibard, who had translated Franklin's letters to Collinson into French, was the first to demonstrate, in a practical application of Franklin's experiment, that lightning and electricity are the same. "This was May 10th, 1752, one month before Franklin flew his famous kite at Philadelphia and proved the fact himself."—McMaster.

I once purpos'd answering the abbe, and actually began the answer; but, on consideration that my writings contained a description of experiments which anyone might repeat and verify, and if not to be verifi'd, could not be defended; or of observations offer'd as conjectures, and not delivered dogmatically, therefore not laying me under any obligation to defend them; and reflecting that a dispute between two persons, writing in different languages, might be lengthened greatly by mistranslations, and thence misconceptions of one another's meaning, much of one of the abbe's letters being founded on an error in the translation, I concluded to let my papers shift for themselves, believing it was better to spend what time I could spare from public business in making new experiments, than in disputing about those already made. I therefore never answered M. Nollet, and the event gave me no cause to repent my silence; for my friend M. le Roy, of the Royal Academy of Sciences, took up my cause and refuted him; my book was translated into the Italian, German, and Latin languages; and the doctrine it contain'd was by degrees universally adopted by the philosophers of Europe, in preference to that of the abbe; so that he lived to see himself the last of his sect, except Monsieur B——, of Paris, his eleve and immediate disciple.

What gave my book the more sudden and general celebrity, was the success of one of its proposed experiments, made by Messrs. Dalibard and De Lor at Marly, for drawing lightning from the clouds. This engag'd the public attention everywhere. M. de Lor, who had an apparatus for experimental philosophy, and lectur'd in that branch of science, undertook to repeat what he called the Philadelphia Experiments; and, after they were performed before the king and court, all the curious of Paris flocked to see them. I will not swell this narrative with an account of that capital experiment, nor of the infinite pleasure I receiv'd in the success of a similar one I made soon after with a kite at Philadelphia, as both are to be found in the histories of electricity.

Dr. Wright, an English physician, when at Paris, wrote to a friend, who was of the Royal Society, an account of the high esteem my experiments were in among the learned abroad, and of their wonder that my writings had been so little noticed in England. The society, on this, resum'd the consideration of the letters that had been read to them; and the celebrated Dr. Watson drew up a summary account of them, and of all I had afterwards sent to England on the subject, which he accompanied with some praise of the writer. This summary was then printed in their Transactions; and some members of the society in London, particularly the very ingenious Mr. Canton, having verified the experiment of procuring lightning from the clouds by a pointed rod, and acquainting them with the success, they soon made me more than amends for the slight with which they had before treated me. Without my having made any application for that honour, they chose me a member, and voted that I should be excus'd the customary payments, which would have amounted to twenty-five guineas; and ever since have given me their Transactions gratis. They also presented me with the gold medal of Sir Godfrey Copley[110] for the year 1753, the delivery of which was accompanied by a very handsome speech of the president, Lord Macclesfield, wherein I was highly honoured.

[110] An English baronet (died in 1709), donator of a fund of L100, "in trust for the Royal Society of London for improving natural knowledge."



Our new governor, Captain Denny, brought over for me the before mentioned medal from the Royal Society, which he presented to me at an entertainment given him by the city. He accompanied it with very polite expressions of his esteem for me, having, as he said, been long acquainted with my character. After dinner, when the company, as was customary at that time, were engag'd in drinking, he took me aside into another room, and acquainted me that he had been advis'd by his friends in England to cultivate a friendship with me, as one who was capable of giving him the best advice, and of contributing most effectually to the making his administration easy; that he therefore desired of all things to have a good understanding with me, and he begged me to be assured of his readiness on all occasions to render me every service that might be in his power. He said much to me, also, of the proprietor's good disposition towards the province, and of the advantage it might be to us all, and to me in particular, if the opposition that had been so long continu'd to his measures was dropt, and harmony restor'd between him and the people; in effecting which, it was thought no one could be more serviceable than myself; and I might depend on adequate acknowledgments and recompenses, etc., etc. The drinkers, finding we did not return immediately to the table, sent us a decanter of Madeira, which the governor made liberal use of, and in proportion became more profuse of his solicitations and promises.

My answers were to this purpose: that my circumstances, thanks to God, were such as to make proprietary favours unnecessary to me; and that, being a member of the Assembly, I could not possibly accept of any; that, however, I had no personal enmity to the proprietary, and that, whenever the public measures he propos'd should appear to be for the good of the people, no one should espouse and forward them more zealously than myself; my past opposition having been founded on this, that the measures which had been urged were evidently intended to serve the proprietary interest, with great prejudice to that of the people; that I was much obliged to him (the governor) for his professions of regard to me, and that he might rely on everything in my power to make his administration as easy as possible, hoping at the same time that he had not brought with him the same unfortunate instruction his predecessor had been hampered with.

On this he did not then explain himself; but when he afterwards came to do business with the Assembly, they appear'd again, the disputes were renewed, and I was as active as ever in the opposition, being the penman, first, of the request to have a communication of the instructions, and then of the remarks upon them, which may be found in the votes of the time, and in the Historical Review I afterward publish'd. But between us personally no enmity arose; we were often together; he was a man of letters, had seen much of the world, and was very entertaining and pleasing in conversation. He gave me the first information that my old friend Jas. Ralph was still alive; that he was esteem'd one of the best political writers in England; had been employed in the dispute[111] between Prince Frederic and the king, and had obtain'd a pension of three hundred a year; that his reputation was indeed small as a poet, Pope having damned his poetry in the Dunciad,[112] but his prose was thought as good as any man's.

[111] Quarrel between George II and his son, Frederick, Prince of Wales, who died before his father.

[112] A satirical poem by Alexander Pope directed against various contemporary writers.

The Assembly finally finding the proprietary obstinately persisted in manacling their deputies with instructions inconsistent not only with the privileges of the people, but with the service of the crown, resolv'd to petition the king against them, and appointed me their agent to go over to England, to present and support the petition. The House had sent up a bill to the governor, granting a sum of sixty thousand pounds for the king's use (ten thousand pounds of which was subjected to the orders of the then general, Lord Loudoun), which the governor absolutely refus'd to pass, in compliance with his instructions.

I had agreed with Captain Morris, of the packet at New York, for my passage, and my stores were put on board, when Lord Loudoun arriv'd at Philadelphia, expressly, as he told me, to endeavour an accommodation between the governor and Assembly, that his majesty's service might not be obstructed by their dissensions. Accordingly, he desir'd the governor and myself to meet him, that he might hear what was to be said on both sides. We met and discussed the business. In behalf of the Assembly, I urged all the various arguments that may be found in the public papers of that time, which were of my writing, and are printed with the minutes of the Assembly; and the governor pleaded his instructions, the bond he had given to observe them, and his ruin if he disobey'd, yet seemed not unwilling to hazard himself if Lord Loudoun would advise it. This his lordship did not chuse to do, though I once thought I had nearly prevail'd with him to do it; but finally he rather chose to urge the compliance of the Assembly; and he entreated me to use my endeavours with them for that purpose, declaring that he would spare none of the king's troops for the defense of our frontiers, and that, if we did not continue to provide for that defense ourselves, they must remain expos'd to the enemy.

I acquainted the House with what had pass'd, and, presenting them with a set of resolutions I had drawn up, declaring our rights, and that we did not relinquish our claim to those rights, but only suspended the exercise of them on this occasion thro' force, against which we protested, they at length agreed to drop that bill, and frame another conformable to the proprietary instructions. This of course the governor pass'd, and I was then at liberty to proceed on my voyage. But, in the meantime, the packet had sailed with my sea-stores, which was some loss to me, and my only recompense was his lordship's thanks for my service, all the credit of obtaining the accommodation falling to his share.

He set out for New York before me; and, as the time for dispatching the packet-boats was at his disposition, and there were two then remaining there, one of which, he said, was to sail very soon, I requested to know the precise time, that I might not miss her by any delay of mine. His answer was, "I have given out that she is to sail on Saturday next; but I may let you know, entre nous, that if you are there by Monday morning, you will be in time, but do not delay longer." By some accidental hindrance at a ferry, it was Monday noon before I arrived, and I was much afraid she might have sailed, as the wind was fair; but I was soon made easy by the information that she was still in the harbor, and would not move till the next day. One would imagine that I was now on the very point of departing for Europe. I thought so; but I was not then so well acquainted with his lordship's character, of which indecision was one of the strongest features. I shall give some instances. It was about the beginning of April that I came to New York, and I think it was near the end of June before we sail'd. There were then two of the packet-boats, which had been long in port, but were detained for the general's letters, which were always to be ready to-morrow. Another packet arriv'd; she too was detain'd; and, before we sail'd, a fourth was expected. Ours was the first to be dispatch'd, as having been there longest. Passengers were engaged in all, and some extremely impatient to be gone, and the merchants uneasy about their letters, and the orders they had given for insurance (it being war time) for fall goods; but their anxiety avail'd nothing; his lordship's letters were not ready; and yet whoever waited on him found him always at his desk, pen in hand, and concluded he must needs write abundantly.

Going myself one morning to pay my respects, I found in his antechamber one Innis, a messenger of Philadelphia, who had come from thence express with a packet from Governor Denny for the general. He delivered to me some letters from my friends there, which occasion'd my inquiring when he was to return, and where he lodg'd, that I might send some letters by him. He told me he was order'd to call to-morrow at nine for the general's answer to the governor, and should set off immediately. I put my letters into his hands the same day. A fortnight after I met him again in the same place. "So, you are soon return'd, Innis?" "Return'd! no, I am not gone yet." "How so?" "I have called here by order every morning these two weeks past for his lordship's letter, and it is not yet ready." "Is it possible, when he is so great a writer? for I see him constantly at his escritoire." "Yes," says Innis, "but he is like St. George on the signs, always on horseback, and never rides on." This observation of the messenger was, it seems, well founded; for, when in England, I understood that Mr. Pitt[113] gave it as one reason for removing this general, and sending Generals Amherst and Wolfe, that the minister never heard from him, and could not know what he was doing.

[113] William Pitt, first Earl of Chatham (1708-1778), a great English statesman and orator. Under his able administration, England won Canada from France. He was a friend of America at the time of our Revolution.

This daily expectation of sailing, and all the three packets going down to Sandy Hook, to join the fleet there, the passengers thought it best to be on board, lest by a sudden order the ships should sail, and they be left behind. There, if I remember right, we were about six weeks, consuming our sea-stores, and oblig'd to procure more. At length the fleet sail'd, the general and all his army on board, bound to Louisburg, with the intent to besiege and take that fortress; all the packet-boats in company ordered to attend the general's ship, ready to receive his dispatches when they should be ready. We were out five days before we got a letter with leave to part, and then our ship quitted the fleet and steered for England. The other two packets he still detained, carried them with him to Halifax, where he stayed some time to exercise the men in sham attacks upon sham forts, then altered his mind as to besieging Louisburg, and returned to New York, with all his troops, together with the two packets above mentioned, and all their passengers! During his absence the French and savages had taken Fort George, on the frontier of that province, and the savages had massacred many of the garrison after capitulation.

I saw afterwards in London Captain Bonnell, who commanded one of those packets. He told me that, when he had been detain'd a month, he acquainted his lordship that his ship was grown foul, to a degree that must necessarily hinder her fast sailing, a point of consequence for a packet-boat, and requested an allowance of time to heave her down and clean her bottom. He was asked how long time that would require. He answered, three days. The general replied, "If you can do it in one day, I give leave; otherwise not; for you must certainly sail the day after to-morrow." So he never obtain'd leave, though detained afterwards from day to day during full three months.

I saw also in London one of Bonnell's passengers, who was so enrag'd against his lordship for deceiving and detaining him so long at New York, and then carrying him to Halifax and back again, that he swore he would sue him for damages. Whether he did or not, I never heard; but, as he represented the injury to his affairs, it was very considerable.

On the whole, I wonder'd much how such a man came to be intrusted[114] with so important a business as the conduct of a great army; but, having since seen more of the great world, and the means of obtaining, and motives for giving places, my wonder is diminished. General Shirley, on whom the command of the army devolved upon the death of Braddock, would, in my opinion, if continued in place, have made a much better campaign than that of Loudoun in 1757, which was frivolous, expensive, and disgraceful to our nation beyond conception; for, tho' Shirley was not a bred soldier, he was sensible and sagacious in himself, and attentive to good advice from others, capable of forming judicious plans, and quick and active in carrying them into execution. Loudoun, instead of defending the colonies with his great army, left them totally expos'd while he paraded idly at Halifax, by which means Fort George was lost, besides, he derang'd all our mercantile operations, and distress'd our trade, by a long embargo on the exportation of provisions, on pretence of keeping supplies from being obtain'd by the enemy, but in reality for beating down their price in favour of the contractors, in whose profits, it was said, perhaps from suspicion only, he had a share. And, when at length the embargo was taken off, by neglecting to send notice of it to Charlestown, the Carolina fleet was detain'd near three months longer, whereby their bottoms were so much damaged by the worm that a great part of them foundered in their passage home.

[114] This relation illustrates the corruption that characterized English public life in the eighteenth century. (See page 308). It was gradually overcome in the early part of the next century.

Shirley was, I believe, sincerely glad of being relieved from so burdensome a charge as the conduct of an army must be to a man unacquainted with military business. I was at the entertainment given by the city of New York to Lord Loudoun, on his taking upon him the command. Shirley, tho' thereby superseded, was present also. There was a great company of officers, citizens, and strangers, and, some chairs having been borrowed in the neighborhood, there was one among them very low, which fell to the lot of Mr. Shirley. Perceiving it as I sat by him, I said, "They have given you, sir, too low a seat." "No matter," says he, "Mr. Franklin, I find a low seat the easiest."

While I was, as afore mention'd, detain'd at New York, I receiv'd all the accounts of the provisions, etc., that I had furnish'd to Braddock, some of which accounts could not sooner be obtain'd from the different persons I had employ'd to assist in the business. I presented them to Lord Loudoun, desiring to be paid the balance. He caus'd them to be regularly examined by the proper officer, who, after comparing every article with its voucher, certified them to be right; and the balance due for which his lordship promis'd to give me an order on the paymaster. This was, however, put off from time to time; and tho' I call'd often for it by appointment, I did not get it. At length, just before my departure, he told me he had, on better consideration, concluded not to mix his accounts with those of his predecessors. "And you," says he, "when in England, have only to exhibit your accounts at the treasury, and you will be paid immediately."

I mention'd, but without effect, the great and unexpected expense I had been put to by being detain'd so long at New York, as a reason for my desiring to be presently paid; and on my observing that it was not right I should be put to any further trouble or delay in obtaining the money I had advanc'd, as I charged no commission for my service, "O, Sir," says he, "you must not think of persuading us that you are no gainer; we understand better those affairs, and know that every one concerned in supplying the army finds means, in the doing it, to fill his own pockets." I assur'd him that was not my case, and that I had not pocketed a farthing; but he appear'd clearly not to believe me; and, indeed, I have since learnt that immense fortunes are often made in such employments. As to my balance, I am not paid it to this day, of which more hereafter.

Our captain of the paquet had boasted much, before we sailed, of the swiftness of his ship; unfortunately, when we came to sea, she proved the dullest of ninety-six sail, to his no small mortification. After many conjectures respecting the cause, when we were near another ship almost as dull as ours, which, however, gain'd upon us, the captain ordered all hands to come aft, and stand as near the ensign staff as possible. We were, passengers included, about forty persons. While we stood there, the ship mended her pace, and soon left her neighbour far behind, which prov'd clearly what our captain suspected, that she was loaded too much by the head. The casks of water, it seems, had been all plac'd forward; these he therefore order'd to be mov'd further aft, on which the ship recover'd her character, and proved the best sailer in the fleet.

The captain said she had once gone at the rate of thirteen knots, which is accounted thirteen miles per hour. We had on board, as a passenger, Captain Kennedy, of the Navy, who contended that it was impossible, and that no ship ever sailed so fast, and that there must have been some error in the division of the log-line, or some mistake in heaving the log.[115] A wager ensu'd between the two captains, to be decided when there should be sufficient wind. Kennedy thereupon examin'd rigorously the log-line, and, being satisfi'd with that, he determin'd to throw the log himself. Accordingly some days after, when the wind blew very fair and fresh, and the captain of the paquet, Lutwidge, said he believ'd she then went at the rate of thirteen knots, Kennedy made the experiment, and own'd his wager lost.

[115] A piece of wood shaped and weighted so as to keep it stable when in the water. To this is attached a line knotted at regular distances. By these devices it is possible to tell the speed of a ship.

The above fact I give for the sake of the following observation. It has been remark'd, as an imperfection in the art of ship-building, that it can never be known, till she is tried, whether a new ship will or will not be a good sailer; for that the model of a good-sailing ship has been exactly follow'd in a new one, which has prov'd, on the contrary, remarkably dull. I apprehend that this may partly be occasion'd by the different opinions of seamen respecting the modes of lading, rigging, and sailing of a ship; each has his system; and the same vessel, laden by the judgment and orders of one captain, shall sail better or worse than when by the orders of another. Besides, it scarce ever happens that a ship is form'd, fitted for the sea, and sail'd by the same person. One man builds the hull, another rigs her, a third lades and sails her. No one of these has the advantage of knowing all the ideas and experience of the others, and, therefore, cannot draw just conclusions from a combination of the whole.

Even in the simple operation of sailing when at sea, I have often observ'd different judgments in the officers who commanded the successive watches, the wind being the same. One would have the sails trimm'd sharper or flatter than another, so that they seem'd to have no certain rule to govern by. Yet I think a set of experiments might be instituted; first, to determine the most proper form of the hull for swift sailing; next, the best dimensions and properest place for the masts; then the form and quantity of sails, and their position, as the wind may be; and, lastly, the disposition of the lading. This is an age of experiments, and I think a set accurately made and combin'd would be of great use. I am persuaded, therefore, that ere long some ingenious philosopher will undertake it, to whom I wish success.

We were several times chas'd in our passage, but out-sail'd every thing, and in thirty days had soundings. We had a good observation, and the captain judg'd himself so near our port, Falmouth, that, if we made a good run in the night, we might be off the mouth of that harbor in the morning, and by running in the night might escape the notice of the enemy's privateers, who often cruis'd near the entrance of the channel. Accordingly, all the sail was set that we could possibly make, and the wind being very fresh and fair, we went right before it, and made great way. The captain, after his observation, shap'd his course, as he thought, so as to pass wide of the Scilly Isles; but it seems there is sometimes a strong indraught setting up St. George's Channel, which deceives seamen and caused the loss of Sir Cloudesley Shovel's squadron. This indraught was probably the cause of what happened to us.

We had a watchman plac'd in the bow, to whom they often called, "Look well out before there," and he as often answered, "Ay, ay"; but perhaps had his eyes shut, and was half asleep at the time, they sometimes answering, as is said, mechanically; for he did not see a light just before us, which had been hid by the studding-sails from the man at the helm, and from the rest of the watch, but by an accidental yaw of the ship was discover'd, and occasion'd a great alarm, we being very near it, the light appearing to me as big as a cartwheel. It was midnight, and our captain fast asleep; but Captain Kennedy, jumping upon deck, and seeing the danger, ordered the ship to wear round, all sails standing; an operation dangerous to the masts, but it carried us clear, and we escaped shipwreck, for we were running right upon the rocks on which the lighthouse was erected. This deliverance impressed me strongly with the utility of lighthouses, and made me resolve to encourage the building more of them in America if I should live to return there.

In the morning it was found by the soundings, etc., that we were near our port, but a thick fog hid the land from our sight. About nine o'clock the fog began to rise, and seem'd to be lifted up from the water like the curtain at a play-house, discovering underneath, the town of Falmouth, the vessels in its harbor, and the fields that surrounded it. This was a most pleasing spectacle to those who had been so long without any other prospects than the uniform view of a vacant ocean, and it gave us the more pleasure as we were now free from the anxieties which the state of war occasion'd.

I set out immediately, with my son, for London, and we only stopt a little by the way to view Stonehenge[116] on Salisbury Plain, and Lord Pembroke's house and gardens, with his very curious antiquities at Wilton. We arrived in London the 27th of July, 1757.[117]

[116] A celebrated prehistoric ruin, probably of a temple built by the early Britons, near Salisbury, England. It consists of inner and outer circles of enormous stones, some of which are connected by stone slabs.

[117] "Here terminates the Autobiography, as published by Wm. Temple Franklin and his successors. What follows was written in the last year of Dr. Franklin's life, and was never before printed in English."—Mr. Bigelow's note in his edition of 1868.

As soon as I was settled in a lodging Mr. Charles had provided for me, I went to visit Dr. Fothergill, to whom I was strongly recommended, and whose counsel respecting my proceedings I was advis'd to obtain. He was against an immediate complaint to government, and thought the proprietaries should first be personally appli'd to, who might possibly be induc'd by the interposition and persuasion of some private friends, to accommodate matters amicably. I then waited on my old friend and correspondent, Mr. Peter Collinson, who told me that John Hanbury, the great Virginia merchant, had requested to be informed when I should arrive, that he might carry me to Lord Granville's,[118] who was then President of the Council and wished to see me as soon as possible. I agreed to go with him the next morning. Accordingly Mr. Hanbury called for me and took me in his carriage to that nobleman's, who receiv'd me with great civility; and after some questions respecting the present state of affairs in America and discourse thereupon, he said to me: "You Americans have wrong ideas of the nature of your constitution; you contend that the king's instructions to his governors are not laws, and think yourselves at liberty to regard or disregard them at your own discretion. But those instructions are not like the pocket instructions given to a minister going abroad, for regulating his conduct in some trifling point of ceremony. They are first drawn up by judges learned in the laws; they are then considered, debated, and perhaps amended in Council, after which they are signed by the king. They are then, so far as they relate to you, the law of the land, for the king is the Legislator of the Colonies,"[119] I told his lordship this was new doctrine to me. I had always understood from our charters that our laws were to be made by our Assemblies, to be presented indeed to the king for his royal assent, but that being once given the king could not repeal or alter them. And as the Assemblies could not make permanent laws without his assent, so neither could he make a law for them without theirs. He assur'd me I was totally mistaken. I did not think so, however, and his lordship's conversation having a little alarm'd me as to what might be the sentiments of the court concerning us, I wrote it down as soon as I return'd to my lodgings. I recollected that about 20 years before, a clause in a bill brought into Parliament by the ministry had propos'd to make the king's instructions laws in the colonies, but the clause was thrown out by the Commons, for which we adored them as our friends and friends of liberty, till by their conduct towards us in 1765 it seem'd that they had refus'd that point of sovereignty to the king only that they might reserve it for themselves.

[118] George Granville or Grenville (1712-1770). As English premier from 1763 to 1765, he introduced the direct taxation of the American Colonies and has sometimes been called the immediate cause of the Revolution.

[119] This whole passage shows how hopelessly divergent were the English and American views on the relations between the mother country and her colonies. Grenville here made clear that the Americans were to have no voice in making or amending their laws. Parliament and the king were to have absolute power over the colonies. No wonder Franklin was alarmed by this new doctrine. With his keen insight into human nature and his consequent knowledge of American character, he foresaw the inevitable result of such an attitude on the part of England. This conversation with Grenville makes these last pages of the Autobiography one of its most important parts.

After some days, Dr. Fothergill having spoken to the proprietaries, they agreed to a meeting with me at Mr. T. Penn's house in Spring Garden. The conversation at first consisted of mutual declarations of disposition to reasonable accommodations, but I suppose each party had its own ideas of what should be meant by reasonable. We then went into consideration of our several points of complaint, which I enumerated. The proprietaries justify'd their conduct as well as they could, and I the Assembly's. We now appeared very wide, and so far from each other in our opinions as to discourage all hope of agreement. However, it was concluded that I should give them the heads of our complaints in writing, and they promis'd then to consider them. I did so soon after, but they put the paper into the hands of their solicitor, Ferdinand John Paris, who managed for them all their law business in their great suit with the neighbouring proprietary of Maryland, Lord Baltimore, which had subsisted 70 years, and wrote for them all their papers and messages in their dispute with the Assembly. He was a proud, angry man, and as I had occasionally in the answers of the Assembly treated his papers with some severity, they being really weak in point of argument and haughty in expression, he had conceived a mortal enmity to me, which discovering itself whenever we met, I declin'd the proprietary's proposal that he and I should discuss the heads of complaint between our two selves, and refus'd treating with anyone but them. They then by his advice put the paper into the hands of the Attorney and Solicitor-General for their opinion and counsel upon it, where it lay unanswered a year wanting eight days, during which time I made frequent demands of an answer from the proprietaries, but without obtaining any other than that they had not yet received the opinion of the Attorney and Solicitor-General. What it was when they did receive it I never learnt, for they did not communicate it to me, but sent a long message to the Assembly drawn and signed by Paris, reciting my paper, complaining of its want of formality, as a rudeness on my part, and giving a flimsy justification of their conduct, adding that they should be willing to accommodate matters if the Assembly would send out some person of candour to treat with them for that purpose, intimating thereby that I was not such.

The want of formality or rudeness was, probably, my not having address'd the paper to them with their assum'd titles of True and Absolute Proprietaries of the Province of Pennsylvania, which I omitted as not thinking it necessary in a paper, the intention of which was only to reduce to a certainty by writing, what in conversation I had delivered viva voce.

But during this delay, the Assembly having prevailed with Gov'r Denny to pass an act taxing the proprietary estate in common with the estates of the people, which was the grand point in dispute, they omitted answering the message.

When this act however came over, the proprietaries, counselled by Paris, determined to oppose its receiving the royal assent. Accordingly they petitioned the king in Council, and a hearing was appointed in which two lawyers were employ'd by them against the act, and two by me in support of it. They alledg'd that the act was intended to load the proprietary estate in order to spare those of the people, and that if it were suffer'd to continue in force, and the proprietaries, who were in odium with the people, left to their mercy in proportioning the taxes, they would inevitably be ruined. We reply'd that the act had no such intention, and would have no such effect. That the assessors were honest and discreet men under an oath to assess fairly and equitably, and that any advantage each of them might expect in lessening his own tax by augmenting that of the proprietaries was too trifling to induce them to perjure themselves. This is the purport of what I remember as urged by both sides, except that we insisted strongly on the mischievous consequences that must attend a repeal, for that the money, L100,000, being printed and given to the king's use, expended in his service, and now spread among the people, the repeal would strike it dead in their hands to the ruin of many, and the total discouragement of future grants, and the selfishness of the proprietors in soliciting such a general catastrophe, merely from a groundless fear of their estate being taxed too highly, was insisted on in the strongest terms. On this, Lord Mansfield, one of the counsel, rose, and beckoning me took me into the clerk's chamber, while the lawyers were pleading, and asked me if I was really of opinion that no injury would be done the proprietary estate in the execution of the act. I said certainly. "Then," says he, "you can have little objection to enter into an engagement to assure that point." I answer'd, "None at all." He then call'd in Paris, and after some discourse, his lordship's proposition was accepted on both sides; a paper to the purpose was drawn up by the Clerk of the Council, which I sign'd with Mr. Charles, who was also an Agent of the Province for their ordinary affairs, when Lord Mansfield returned to the Council Chamber, where finally the law was allowed to pass. Some changes were however recommended and we also engaged they should be made by a subsequent law, but the Assembly did not think them necessary; for one year's tax having been levied by the act before the order of Council arrived, they appointed a committee to examine the proceedings of the assessors, and on this committee they put several particular friends of the proprietaries. After a full enquiry, they unanimously sign'd a report that they found the tax had been assess'd with perfect equity.

The Assembly looked into my entering into the first part of the engagement, as an essential service to the Province, since it secured the credit of the paper money then spread over all the country. They gave me their thanks in form when I return'd. But the proprietaries were enraged at Governor Denny for having pass'd the act, and turn'd him out with threats of suing him for breach of instructions which he had given bond to observe. He, however, having done it at the instance of the General, and for His Majesty's service, and having some powerful interest at court, despis'd the threats and they were never put in execution.... [unfinished]



To Peter Collinson

[Philadelphia], Oct. 19, 1752.


As frequent mention is made in public papers from Europe of the success of the Philadelphia experiment for drawing the electric fire from clouds by means of pointed rods of iron erected on high buildings, &c., it may be agreeable to the curious to be informed, that the same experiment has succeeded in Philadelphia, though made in a different and more easy manner, which is as follows:

Make a small cross of two light strips of cedar, the arms so long as to reach to the four corners of a large, thin silk handkerchief when extended; tie the corners of the handkerchief to the extremities of the cross, so you have the body of a kite; which being properly accommodated with a tail, loop, and string, will rise in the air, like those made of paper; but this being of silk, is fitter to bear the wet and wind of a thunder-gust without tearing. To the top of the upright stick of the cross is to be fixed a very sharp-pointed wire, rising a foot or more above the wood. To the end of the twine, next the hand, is to be tied a silk ribbon, and where the silk and twine join, a key may be fastened. This kite is to be raised when a thunder-gust appears to be coming on, and the person who holds the string must stand within a door or window, or under some cover, so that the silk ribbon may not be wet; and care must be taken that the twine does not touch the frame of the door or window. As soon as any of the thunder clouds come over the kite, the pointed wire will draw the electric fire from them, and the kite, with all the twine will be electrified, and the loose filaments of the twine will stand out every way and be attracted by an approaching finger. And when the rain has wet the kite and twine, so that it can conduct the electric fire freely, you will find it stream out plentifully from the key on the approach of your knuckle. At this key the phial may be charged; and from electric fire thus obtained, spirits may be kindled, and all the electric experiments be performed, which are usually done by the help of a rubbed glass globe or tube, and thereby the sameness of the electric matter with that of lightning completely demonstrated.

B. Franklin.

[Illustration: Father Abraham in his STUDY with the following text:

The Shade of Him who Counsel can bestow, Still pleas'd to teach, and yet not proud to know; Unbias'd or by Favour or by Spite; Nor dully prepossess'd, nor blindly right; Tho learn'd, well-bred; and, tho well-bred, sincere; Modestly bold, and humanely severe; Who to a Friend his Faults can sweetly show. And gladly praise the Merit of a Foe. Here, there he sits, his chearful Aid to lend; A firm, unshaken, uncorrupted Friend, Averse alike to flatter or offend.

Printed by Benjamin Mecom, at the New Printing-Office, (near the Town-House, in Boston) where BOOKS are Sold, and PRINTING-WORK done, Cheap.

He's rarely warm in Censure or in Praise:

Good-Nature, Wit, and Judgment round him wait; And thus he sits inthron'd in Classick-State:

To Failings mild, but zealous for Desert; The clearest Head, and the sincerest Heart.

Few Men deserve our Passion either Ways.]

From "Father Abraham's Speech," 1760. Reproduced from a copy at the New York Public Library.


(From "Father Abraham's Speech," forming the preface to Poor Richard's Almanac for 1758.)

It would be thought a hard Government that should tax its People one-tenth Part of their Time, to be employed in its Service. But Idleness taxes many of us much more, if we reckon all that is spent in absolute Sloth, or doing of nothing, with that which is spent in idle Employments or Amusements, that amount to nothing. Sloth, by bringing on Diseases, absolutely shortens Life. Sloth, like Rust, consumes faster than Labor wears; while the used key is always bright, as Poor Richard says. But dost thou love Life, then do not squander Time, for that's the stuff Life is made of, as Poor Richard says. How much more than is necessary do we spend in sleep, forgetting that The sleeping Fox catches no Poultry, and that There will be sleeping enough in the Grave, as Poor Richard says.

If Time be of all Things the most precious, wasting Time must be, as Poor Richard says, the greatest Prodigality; since, as he elsewhere tells us, Lost Time is never found again; and what we call Time enough, always proves little enough: Let us then up and be doing, and doing to the Purpose; so by Diligence shall we do more with less Perplexity. Sloth makes all Things difficult, but Industry all easy, as Poor Richard says; and He that riseth late must trot all Day, and shall scarce overtake his Business at Night; while Laziness travels so slowly, that Poverty soon overtakes him, as we read in Poor Richard, who adds, Drive thy Business, let not that drive thee; and Early to Bed, and early to rise, makes a Man healthy, wealthy, and wise.

Industry need not wish, and he that lives upon Hope will die fasting.

There are no Gains without Pains.

He that hath a Trade hath an Estate; and he that hath a Calling, hath an Office of Profit and Honor; but then the Trade must be worked at, and the Calling well followed, or neither the Estate nor the Office will enable us to pay our Taxes.

What though you have found no Treasure, nor has any rich Relation left you a Legacy, Diligence is the Mother of Good-luck, as Poor Richard says, and God gives all Things to Industry.

One To-day is worth two To-morrows, and farther, Have you somewhat to do To-morrow, do it To-day.

If you were a Servant, would you not be ashamed that a good Master should catch you idle? Are you then your own Master, be ashamed to catch yourself idle.

Stick to it steadily; and you will see great Effects, for Constant Dropping wears away Stones, and by Diligence and Patience the Mouse ate in two the Cable; and Little Strokes fell great Oaks.

Methinks I hear some of you say, Must a Man afford himself no Leisure? I will tell thee, my friend, what Poor Richard says, Employ thy Time well, if thou meanest to gain Leisure; and, since thou art not sure of a Minute, throw not away an Hour. Leisure, is Time for doing something useful; this Leisure the diligent Man will obtain, but the lazy Man never; so that, as Poor Richard says, A Life of Leisure and a Life of Laziness are two things.

Keep thy Shop, and thy Shop will keep thee; and again, If you would have your business done, go; if not, send.

If you would have a faithful Servant, and one that you like, serve yourself.

A little Neglect may breed great Mischief: adding, for want of a Nail the Shoe was lost; for want of a Shoe the Horse was lost; and for want of a Horse the Rider was lost, being overtaken and slain by the Enemy; all for the want of Care about a Horse-shoe Nail.

So much for Industry, my Friends, and Attention to one's own Business; but to these we must add Frugality.

What maintains one Vice, would bring up two Children. You may think perhaps, that a little Tea, or a little Punch now and then, Diet a little more costly, Clothes a little finer, and a little Entertainment now and then, can be no great Matter; but remember what Poor Richard says, Many a Little makes a Mickle.

Beware of little expenses; A small Leak will sink a great Ship; and again, Who Dainties love, shall Beggars prove; and moreover, Fools make Feasts, and wise Men eat them.

Buy what thou hast no Need of, and ere long thou shalt sell thy Necessaries.

If you would know the Value of Money, go and try to borrow some; for, he that goes a borrowing goes a sorrowing.

The second Vice is Lying, the first is running in Debt.

Lying rides upon Debt's Back.

Poverty often deprives a Man of all Spirit and Virtue: 'Tis hard for an empty Bag to stand upright.

And now to conclude, Experience keeps a dear School, but Fools will learn in no other, and scarce in that; for it is true, we may give Advice, but we cannot give Conduct, as Poor Richard says: However, remember this, They that won't be counseled, can't be helped, as Poor Richard says: and farther, That if you will not hear Reason, she'll surely rap your Knuckles.


To Madame Brillon

Passy, November 10, 1779.

I am charmed with your description of Paradise, and with your plan of living there; and I approve much of your conclusion, that, in the meantime, we should draw all the good we can from this world. In my opinion, we might all draw more good from it than we do, and suffer less evil, if we would take care not to give too much for whistles. For to me it seems, that most of the unhappy people we meet with, are become so by neglect of that caution.

You ask what I mean? You love stories, and will excuse my telling one of myself.

When I was a child of seven year old, my friends, on a holiday, filled my pocket with coppers. I went directly to a shop where they sold toys for children; and being charmed with the sound of a whistle, that I met by the way in the hands of another boy, I voluntarily offered and gave all my money for one. I then came home, and went whistling all over the house, much pleased with my whistle, but disturbing all the family. My brothers, and sisters, and cousins, understanding the bargain I had made, told me I had given four times as much for it as it was worth; put me in mind what good things I might have bought with the rest of the money; and laughed at me so much for my folly, that I cried with vexation; and the reflection gave me more chagrin than the whistle gave me pleasure.

This, however, was afterwards of use to me, the impression continuing on my mind; so that often, when I was tempted to buy some unnecessary thing, I said to myself, Don't give too much for the whistle; and I saved my money.

As I grew up, came into the world, and observed the actions of men, I thought I met with many, very many, who gave too much for the whistle.

When I saw one too ambitious of court favor, sacrificing his time in attendance on levees, his repose, his liberty, his virtue, and perhaps his friends, to attain it, I have said to myself, This man gives too much for his whistle.

When I saw another fond of popularity, constantly employing himself in political bustles, neglecting his own affairs, and ruining them by neglect, He pays, indeed, said I, too much for his whistle.

If I knew a miser who gave up every kind of comfortable living, all the pleasure of doing good to others, all the esteem of his fellow citizens, and the joys of benevolent friendship, for the sake of accumulating wealth, Poor man, said I, you pay too much for your whistle.

When I met with a man of pleasure, sacrificing every laudable improvement of the mind, or of his fortune, to mere corporeal sensations, and ruining his health in their pursuit, Mistaken man, said I, you are providing pain for yourself, instead of pleasure; you give too much for your whistle.

If I see one fond of appearance, or fine clothes, fine houses, fine furniture, fine equipages, all above his fortune, for which he contracts debts, and ends his career in a prison, Alas! say I, he has paid dear, very dear, for his whistle.

When I see a beautiful, sweet-tempered girl married to an ill-natured brute of a husband, What a pity, say I, that she should pay so much for a whistle!

In short, I conceive that great part of the miseries of mankind are brought upon them by the false estimates they have made of the value of things, and by their giving too much for their whistles.

Yet I ought to have charity for these unhappy people, when I consider, that, with all this wisdom of which I am boasting, there are certain things in the world so tempting, for example, the apples of King John, which happily are not to be bought; for if they were put to sale by auction, I might very easily be led to ruin myself in the purchase, and find that I had once more given too much for the whistle.

Adieu, my dear friend, and believe me ever yours very sincerely and with unalterable affection,

B. Franklin.


Passy, May 12, 1784.

Revd Sir,

It is now more than 60 years since I left Boston, but I remember well both your father and grandfather, having heard them both in the pulpit, and seen them in their houses. The last time I saw your father was in the beginning of 1724, when I visited him after my first trip to Pennsylvania. He received me in his library, and on my taking leave showed me a shorter way out of the house through a narrow passage, which was crossed by a beam overhead. We were still talking as I withdrew, he accompanying me behind, and I turning partly towards him, when he said hastily, "Stoop, stoop!" I did not understand him, till I felt my head hit against the beam. He was a man that never missed any occasion of giving instruction, and upon this he said 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 head, 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.

B. Franklin.



The last and most complete edition of Franklin's works is that by the late Professor Albert H. Smyth, published in ten volumes by the Macmillan Company, New York, under the title, The Writings of Benjamin Franklin. The other standard edition is the Works of Benjamin Franklin by John Bigelow (New York, 1887). Mr. Bigelow's first edition of the Autobiography in one volume was published by the J. B. Lippincott Company of Philadelphia in 1868. The life of Franklin as a writer is well treated by J. B. McMaster in a volume of The American Men of Letters Series; his life as a statesman and diplomat, by J. T. Morse, American Statesmen Series, one volume; Houghton, Mifflin Company publish both books. A more exhaustive account of the life and times of Franklin may be found in James Parton's Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin (2 vols., New York, 1864). Paul Leicester Ford's The Many-Sided Franklin is a most chatty and readable book, replete with anecdotes and excellently and fully illustrated. An excellent criticism by Woodrow Wilson introduces an edition of the Autobiography in The Century Classics (Century Co., New York, 1901). Interesting magazine articles are those of E. E. Hale, Christian Examiner, lxxi, 447; W. P. Trent, McClure's Magazine, viii, 273; John Hay, The Century Magazine, lxxi, 447.

See also the histories of American literature by C. F. Richardson, Moses Coit Tyler, Brander Matthews, John Nichol, and Barrett Wendell, as well as the various encyclopedias. An excellent bibliography of Franklin is that of Paul Leicester Ford, entitled A List of Books Written by, or Relating to Benjamin Franklin (New York, 1889).

The following list of Franklin's works contains the more interesting publications, together with the dates of first issue.

1722. Dogood Papers.

Letters in the style of Addison's Spectator, contributed to James Franklin's newspaper and signed "Silence Dogood."

1729. The Busybody.

A series of essays published in Bradford's Philadelphia Weekly Mercury, six of which only are ascribed to Franklin. They are essays on morality, philosophy and politics, similar to the Dogood Papers.

1729. A Modest Enquiry into the Nature and Necessity of a Paper Currency.

1732. to 1757. Prefaces to Poor Richard's Almanac.

Among these are Hints for those that would be Rich, 1737; and Plan for saving one hundred thousand pounds to New Jersey, 1756.

1743. A Proposal for Promoting Useful Knowledge Among the British Plantations in America.

"This paper appears to contain the first suggestion, in any public form, for an American Philosophical Society." Sparks.

1744. An Account of the New Invented Pennsylvania Fire-Places.

1749. Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania.

Contains the plan for the school which later became the University of Pennsylvania.

1752. Electrical Kite.

A description of the famous kite experiment, first written in a letter to Peter Collinson, dated Oct. 19, 1752, which was published later in the same year in The Gentleman's Magazine.

1754. Plan of Union.

A plan for the union of the colonies presented to the colonial convention at Albany.

1755. A Dialogue Between X, Y and Z.

An appeal to enlist in the provincial army for the defense of Pennsylvania.

1758. Father Abraham's Speech.

Published as a preface to Poor Richard's Almanac and gathering into one writing the maxims of Poor Richard, which had already appeared in previous numbers of the Almanac. The Speech was afterwards published in pamphlet form as the Way to Wealth.

1760. Of the Means of disposing the Enemy to Peace.

A satirical plea for the prosecution of the war against France.

1760. The Interest of Great Britain Considered, with regard to her Colonies, and the Acquisitions of Canada and Guadaloupe.

1764. Cool Thoughts on the Present Situation of our Public Affairs.

A pamphlet favoring a Royal Government for Pennsylvania in exchange for that of the Proprietors.

1766. The Examination of Doctor Benjamin Franklin, etc., in The British House of Commons, Relative to The Repeal of The American Stamp Act.

1773. Rules by which A Great Empire May Be Reduced to a Small One.

Some twenty satirical rules embodying the line of conduct England was pursuing with America.

1773. An Edict of The King of Prussia.

A satire in which the King of Prussia was made to treat England as England was treating America because England was originally settled by Germans.

1777. Comparison of Great Britain and the United States in Regard to the Basis of Credit in The Two Countries.

One of several similar pamphlets written to effect loans for the American cause.

1782. On the Theory of the Earth.

The best of Franklin's papers on geology.

1782. Letter purporting to emanate from a petty German Prince and to be addressed to his officer in Command in America.

1785. On the Causes and Cure of Smoky Chimneys.

1786. Retort Courteous.

Sending Felons to America.

Answers to the British clamor for the payment of American debts.

1789. Address to the Public from the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting Abolition of Slavery.

1789. An Account of the Supremest Court of Judicature in Pennsylvania, viz. The Court of the Press.

1790. Martin's Account of his Consulship.

A parody of a pro-slavery speech in Congress.

1791. Autobiography.

The first edition.

1818. Bagatelles.

The Bagatelles were first published in 1818 in William Temple Franklin's edition of his grandfather's works. The following are the most famous of these essays and the dates when they were written:

1774? A Parable Against Persecution.

Franklin called this the LI Chapter of Genesis.

1774? A Parable on Brotherly Love.

1778. The Ephemera, an Emblem of Human Life.

A new rendition of an earlier essay on Human Vanity.

1779. The Story of the Whistle.

1779? The Levee.

1779? Proposed New Version of the Bible.

Part of the first chapter of Job modernized.

(1779. Published) The Morals of Chess.

1780? The Handsome and Deformed Leg.

1780. Dialogue between Franklin and the Gout.

(Published in 1802.)

1802. A Petition of the Left Hand.

1806. The Art of Procuring Pleasant Dreams.

[Transcriptions of newspaper pages]

[Page 1 of The Pennsylvania Gazette,].

Numb. XL.


Pennsylvania GAZETTE. Containing the freshest Advices Foreign and Domestick.

From Thursday, September 25. to Thursday, October 2. 1729.

The Pennsylvania Gazette being now to be carry'd on by other Hands, the Reader may expect some Account of the Method we design to proceed in.

Upon a View of Chambers's great Dictionaries, from whence were taken the Materials of the Universal Instructor in all Arts and Sciences, which usually made the First Part of this Paper, we find that besides their containing many Things abstruse or insignificant to us, it will probably be fifty Years before the Whole can be gone thro' in this Manner of Publication. There are likewise in those Books continual References from Things under one Letter of the Alphabet to those under another, which relate to the same Subject, and are necessary to explain and compleat it; those are taken in their Turn may perhaps be Ten Years distant; and since it is likely that they who desire to acquaint themselves with any particular Art or Science, would gladly have the whole before them in a much less Time, we believe our Readers will not think such a Method of communicating Knowledge to be a proper One.

However, tho' we do not intend to continue the Publication of those Dictionaries in a regular Alphabetical Method, as has hitherto been done; yet as several Things exhibited from them in the Course of these Papers, have been entertaining to such of the Curious, who never had and cannot have the Advantage of good Libraries; and as there are many Things still behind, which being in this Manner made generally known, may perhaps become of considerable Use, by giving such Hints to the excellent natural Genius's of our Country, as may contribute either to the Improvement of our present Manufactures, or towards the Invention of new Ones; we propose from Time to Time to communicate such particular Parts as appear to be of the most general Consequence.

As to the Religious Courtship, Part of which has been retal'd to the Publick in these Papers, the Reader may be inform'd, that the whole Book will probably in a little Time be printed and bound up by it-self; and those who approve of it, will doubtless be better pleas'd to have it entire, than in this broken interrupted Manner.

There are many who have long desired to see a good News-Paper in Pennsylvania; and we hope those Gentlemen who are able, will contribute towards the making This such. We ask Assistance, because we are fully sensible, that to publish a good New-Paper is not so easy an Undertaking as many People imagine it to be. The Author of a Gazette (in the Opinion of the Learned) ought to be qualified with an extensive Acquaintance with Languages, a great Easiness and Command of Writing and Relating Things cleanly and intelligibly, and in few Words; he should be able to speak of War both by Land and Sea; be well acquainted with Geography, with the History of the Time, with the several Interests of Princes and States, the Secrets of Courts, and the Manners and Customs of all Nations. Men thus accomplish'd are very rare in this remote Part of the World; and it would be well if the Writer of these Papers could make up among his Friends what is wanting in himself.

Upon the Whole, we may assure the Publick, that as far as the Encouragement we meet with will enable us, no Care and Pains shall be omitted, that may make the Pennsylvania Gazette as agreeable and useful an Entertainment as the Nature of the Thing will allow.

The Following is the last Message sent by his Excellency Governor Burnet, to the House of Representatives in Boston.

Gentlemen of the House of Representatives,

It is not with so vain a Hope as to convince you, that I take the Trouble to answer your Messages, but, if possible, to open the Eyes of the deluded People whom you represent, and whom you are at so much Pains to keep in Ignorance of the true State of their Affairs. I need not go further for an undeniable Proof of this Endeavour to blind them, than your ordering the Letter of Messieurs Wilks and Belcher of the 7th of June last to your Speaker to be published. This Letter is said (in Page 1. of your Votes) to inclose a Copy of the Report of the Lords of the Committee of His Majesty's Privy Council, with his Majesty's Approbation and Orders thereon in Council; Yet these Gentlemen had at the same time the unparallell'd Presumption to write to the Speaker in this Manner; You'll observe by the Conclusion, what is proposed to be the Consequence of your not complying with his Majesty's Instruction (the whole Matter to be laid

[Page 4 of The Pennsylvania Gazette.]

*terfeited but those of 13 d. And it is remarkable that all Attempts of this Kind upon the Paper Money of this and the neighbouring Provinces, have been detected and met with ill Success.

Custom-House, Philadelphia, Entred Inwards.

Sloop Hope, Elias Naudain, from Boston. Sloop Dove, John Howel, from Antigua. Brigt, Pennswood, Thomas Braly, from Madera.

Entred Outwards.

Scooner John, Thomas Wright, to Boston. Brigt. Richard and William, W. Mayle, for Lisbon. Ship Diligence, James Bayley, for Maryland

Cleared for Departure.

Ship London Hope, Thomas Annis, for London. Ship John and Anna, James Sherley, for Plymouth.


To be Sold by Edward Shippen, choice Hard Soap, very Reasonable.

Run away on the 25th of September past, from Rice Prichard of Whiteland in Chester County, a Servant Man named John Cresswel, of a middle Stature and ruddy Countenance, his Hair inclining to Red: He had on when he went away, a little white short Wig, an old Hat, Drugget Wastcoat, the Body lined with Linnen; coarse Linnen Breeches, grey woollen Stockings, and round toe'd Shoes.

Whoever shall secure the said Servant so that his Master may have him again, shall have Three Pounds Reward, and reasonable Charges paid, by

Rice Prichard.

Run away on the 10th of September past, from William Dewees of Germantown Township, in Philadelphia County, a Servant Man named Mekbizedarh Arnold, of a middle Stature and reddish curled Hair: He had on when he went away, a good Felt Hat, a dark Cinnamon-colour'd Coat, black Drugget Jacket, mouse-colour'd drugget Breeches, grey Stockings, and new Shoes.

Whoever secures the said Runaway, so that his Master may have him again, shall have Twenty Shillings Reward, and reasonable Charges paid, by me

William Dewees.

Lately Re-printed and Sold at the New Printing-Office near the Market.

The PSALMS of David, Imitated in the Language of the New Testament, and apply'd to the Christian State and Worship By I. Watts, V D M The Seventh Edition.

N. B. This Work has met with such a general good Reception and Esteem among the Protestant Dissenters in Great Britain, &c. whether Presbyterians, Independents, or Baptists, that Six large Impressions before This have been sold off in a very short Time.

The chief Design of this excellent Performance (as the Author acquaints us in his Advertisement to the Reader) is "to improve Psalmody or Religious Singing," and so encourage and assist the frequent Practice of it in publick Assemblies and private Families with more Honour and Delight; yet the Reading of it may also entertain the Parlour and the Closet with devout Pleasure and holy Meditations. Therefore he would request his Readers, at proper Seasons, to peruse it thro', and among 340 sacred Hymns they may find out several that suit their own Case and Temper, or the Circumstances of their Families or Friends, they may teach their Children such as are proper for their Age and by treasuring them in their Memory they may be furnish'd for pious Retirement, or may entertain their Friends with holy Melody.

Lately Imported from London, by Johu Le, and are to be sold by him at the lowest Prices, either by Wholesale or Retale, at his Shop in Market Street, over against the Presbyterian Meeting-House, these Goods following, viz.

Callicoes, divers Sorts. Hollands, and several sorts of Sheeting Linnen. Several sorts of Diapers and Table-Cloths. Several sorts of Cambricks. Mantua Silks, and Grassets. Beryllan, and plain Callimanco. Tamie yard-wide. Men's dyed shammie Gloves. Women's Ditto, Lamb. Stitching Silk, Thread and Silk. Twist for Women. Silk and Ribbands. Double Thread Stockings. Men's white shammie Gloves. Silk Handkerchiefs, & other sorts of Handkerchiefs. Men's glaz'd Gloves, Topp'd. Men's Shoe-Buckles, Bath-metal. Masks for Women. Several sorts of Penknives. Plain metal Buttons for Men's Coats and Jackets. Ivory Case-Knives, and several sorts of Pocket-Knives. Dowlasses several sorts. Huckabags, and Russia Linnen. Oznaburghs. Several sorts of Looking Glasses. Garlicks and brown Holland. Bag-Holland Ditto. Several sorts of Druggets. Fine Kerseys. Superfine double-mill'd Drab. Broad-Cloths. London Shalloons. Fine and coarse Hats. Men and Women's English Shoes. Stockings, several sorts, for Men, Women and Children. Several sorts of Caps. Women's Bonnets. Several sorts of Horn and Ivory Combs. Gun-powder, Shot, and Flints. Bibles of several sorts. Testaments, Psalters and Primers. Large Paper Books, and small ones, with Pocket-Books, and other Stationary Ware. Several sorts of Checquer'd Linnen. Flannels and Duroys. Scots-Snuff.

To be LET by the above Person. One Half of the House he now possesseth. Enquire of him and know further.

Bibles, Testaments, Psalters, Psalm-Books, Accompt-Books, Bills of Lading bound and unbound, Common Blank Bonds for Money, Bonds with Judgment, Counterbonds, Arbitration Bonds, Arbitration Bonds with Umpirage, Bail Bonds, Counterbonds to save Bail harmless, Bills of Sale, Powers of Attorney, Writs, Summons, Apprentices Indentures, Servants Indentures, Penal Bills, Promisory Notes, &c. all the Blanks in the most authentick Forms, and correctly printed; may be had At the Publishers of this Paper, who perform all above sorts of Printing at reasonable Rates.

Very good Live-Geese Feathers to be sold at Evan Powel's in Chesnut-street, next Door but one to Andrew Hamilton, Esq;

Just Published:

Titan Leeds's Almanack, for the Year, 1730 in his usual plain Method; being far preferable to any yet published in America To be Sold by David Harry at the late Printing Office of Samuel Keimer, at Three Shillings and nine-pence per Dozen.

N. B. As this Almanack for its Worth has met with universal Reception, it has raised the Price of the Copy to 25l. a year, for which Reason the Printer cannot afford them under the above-mentioned Price: But gives this Friendly Caution to the Publick, That when they buy Almanacks for 3s. a Dozen they must not expect Titan Leeds's, or any so valuable.

Speedily will be Published:

Godfrey's Almanack, for the Year 1730. Containing the Lunations, Eclipses, Judgment of the Weather, the Spring Tides, Moon's Rising and Setting, Sun's Rising and Setting, Length of Days, Seven Stars Rising, Southing and Setting, Time of High-Water, Fairs, Courts, and observable Days. Fitted to the Latitude of 40 Degrees, and a Meridian of Five Hours West from London. Beautifully Printed in Red and Black, on One Side of a large Demi Sheet of Paper, after the London Mariner. To be Sold by the Printers hereof, at the New Printing-Office near the Market, for 3 s. per Dozen.

Philadelphia: Printed by B. Franklin and H. Meredith, at the New Printing-Office near the Market, where Advertisements are taken in, and all Persons may be supplied with this Paper, at Ten Shillings a Year.

[First page of The New England Courant.]

[N^{o} 19


New-England Courant.

From MONDAY December 4. to MONDAY December 11. 1721.

On SYLVIA the Fair. A Jingle.

A Swarm of Sparks, young, gay, and bold, Lov'd Sylvia long, but she was cold; In'trest and Pride the Nymph control'd, So they in vain their Passion told. At last came Dalman, he was old; Nay, he was ugly, but had Gold. He came, and saw, and took the Hold, While t'other Beaux their Loss Condol'd. Some say, she's Wed; I say, she's sold.

The Letter against Inoculating the Small Pox, (Sign'd Absinthium) giving an Account of the Number of Persons who have dy'd under that Operation, will be Inserted in our next.


Ispahan, March 6. The Conspiracy form'd by the Grand Vizir last January was Twelvemonth, with design to make himself King of Persia, was seasonably discover'd, and himself and Accomplices secured; since which the State hath enjoy'd its former Tranquility, and a new Vizir is appointed in his room, The old one's Eyes being both put out, he is kept alive (but in Prison) to make him discover all his Riches; which must be immensely great, since they found in one of his Chests four hundred thousand Persian Ducats, beside Foreign Coin, and in another Place abundance of Jewels, Gold and Silver; and so in proportion among several of his Accomplices; by the help of which Treasure they hoped to compass their Ends.

Tripoli, July 12. As soon as our Squadron fitted out against the Famous Baffaw Gianur, Cogia, appear'd off Dasna and Bengan, with two thousand five hundred Moorish Horse, and a thousand Foot, and skirmish'd a little with his Squadron, he abandon'd both those Places, and fled to the Island of Serby in the Territories of Tunis; But the Bey of that Place having deny'd him Shelter, he sail'd farther away, in a French Barque, we know not whether; and his own Galleys and Barques, are gone after him, so that we are now entirely rid of that troublesome Guest. Our Rovers keep all in Port, for Fear of the Malteze.

Cadiz, Aug. 12. The Flota is expected Home from the West-Indies before the End of this Month. Thirteen Pieces of Cannon and two Mortars were lately sent from hence to Ceuta. The three Spanish Men of War of 50 to 60 Guns each, which carried the Spanish Cardinals to Italy, are now at Alicant: It is said they are to join the Dutch Vice-Admiral, who is now in this Bay with four Ships of his Squadron of 50 Guns each, and cruize against the Algerines. Wheat and Barley being very cheap in these Parts, great Quantities have been sent lately to the Canaries, where for some Time past the Inhabitants have been in great Want of Corn. On the 9th Instant died Mr. Charles, His Britannick Majesty's Consul at St. Lucas.

Berne, Aug. 20. The Deputies of this Canton who went to the Diet at Frawenfeldt, are now assembled at Baden with those of Zurich and Glaris, to regulate certain Affairs relating to the Town and County of Baden, which formerly belonged to the Eight Eldest Cantons, but in the last Swiss War was given up to Zurich and Berne in Propriety, with a Reservation to the Canton of Glaris (which is mostly Protestant) of the Share it had before in the Sovereignty of that District. The three Deputies of Zurich, Lucern &c Ury, who were commissioned by the late General Dyet to go to Wilchingen, to try to compose the Differences which have been long standing between the Inhabitants of that Place and the Canton of Schafhuysen whose Subjects they are, have offered those Inhabitonts a full Pardon for all past Misbehavior, and the Maintenance of their Privileges for the future, provided they forthwith return to their Duty; but it is advised that those of Wilchingen persist hitherto in this Disobedience.

Schaffhausen Sept. 1. They write from Italy, that the Plague is no longer observ'd at Marseilles, Aix, & several other Places; and that at Toulon it is very much decreas'd: But alas! how should it be otherwise, when the Distemper hath hardly any Objects left to work upon? At Arles it is likewise abated, we fear for the same Reason. Mean while, it spreads in the Gevaudan; and two large Villages in the Neighbourhood of Frejus were attack'd the beginning of this Month. The French Court hath prohibited all communication with the Gevaudan upon severe Penalties. The Plague is certainly got into the small Town of Marvegue in that District, which Town is shut in by eight hundred Men. Letters from Geneva say, the two Battalions employ'd in surrounding La Canourgue, are infected; and that Maages is very much suspected. The Marquis de Quelus had retired to a Castle near Avignon; but the Sickness being got among his Domesticks, he was fled farther away.

Paris, Sept. 5. The District over which the Duke of Berwick is to have the Command, extends to the Borders of the Bourbonnois; and the Court puts a great Confidence in the Care of that General to hinder the Infection from spreading. The Marquis de Verceil is actually drawing Lines to shut in the Gevaudan; and twelve Regiments of Foot, and as many of Dragoons, are marching to reinforce the Troops already posted on that side. The Plague seems to have almost spent itself in Provence. Tho' it is yet a great way off of us, Men talk nevertheless of laying up Magazines of all sort of Provisions here, and of making twenty thousand Beds, to be set up in the Hospitals and Tennis-Courts.

Hague, Sept. 9. The Deputies of our Admiralties had, last Saturday, an extraordinary Conference with those of the States General, upon the spreading of a Report, that ten or twelve Persons died daily at a certain Place in Normandy, which was therefore suspected to have received the Contagion; But upon the matter, it doth not appear there was the least Foundation for such a Report; tho' it is too plain the Distemper gains ground space in the Southern Parts of France.

We can by no means penetrate into the Designs of the Czar; who, notwithstanding 'tis confidently written that the Peace between him and Sweden is as good as concluded, hath a Fleet of thirty Men of War and two hundred Galleys at Sea near Aland. However, an Express gone by from Stockholm, doth not confirm.

[End of trancriptions.]

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