תמונות בעמוד

Sister, farewell, and remember that modesty as it makes the most homely virtue amiable and charming, so the want of it infallibly renders the most perfect beauty disagreeable and odious. But when that brightest of female virtues shines among other perfections of body and mind in the same person, it makes the woman more lovely than an angel. Excuse this freedom, and use the same with me. I am, dear Jenny, Your loving brother. A very large progeny resulted from this marriage, in all of whom Franklin took an interest. “My compliments to my new niece, Miss Abiah, and pray her to accept the enclosed piece of gold, to cut her teeth; it may afterwards buy nuts for them to crack,” he wrote of one arrival; and gave material help to the children as they grew up, aiding one to sell the soap he made; taking a second as an apprentice in his printing-office, and afterward assisting in his establishment in that business; endeavoring to get a government position for a third; and, on the marriage of a fourth, sending a gift of "fifty FRANCIS FOLGER FRANKLIN, YOUNGER SON OF pounds, lawful money,” to be laid out in “furniture as my sister shall think proper.” From this niece he received an exuberant

acknowledgment, declaring that:

My Heart, has ever been suseptible of the warmest gratitude for your frequent Benefactions to the whole Family, but your last kind, unexpected, as well as undiserved, Noble presents in particular to me, calls for a particular acknowledgment from me. Except then dearest sir, my most sincere and hearty Thanks, with a promise, that your Kindness shall ever be gratefully remembered and your donation be made the best






use of.

Jane herself carried this admiration even to the point of veneration; yet when absent from her brother she expressed her regret, having“had time to reflect and see my error, in that I suffered my diffidence or the awe of your superiority to prevent the familiarity I might have taken with you, and which your kindness to me might have convinced me would be acceptable." Her feeling was further shown by her often-repeated prayer that he “pardon my bad writing and confused composure," which led the brother to answer that "you need not be afraid in writing to me about your bad spelling; for, in my opinion, as our alphabet now stands, the bad spelling, or what is called so, is generally the best, as conforming to the sound of the letters and of the words.” With extreme reverence she wrote to Franklin that “it is not Profanity to compare you to our Blessed Saviour who Employed much of his time while on Earth in doing good to the body's as well as souls of men & I am shure I think the compareson just."







This adoration is the more excusable when to embody in his Almanac; and Franklin, Franklin's services to her are weighed. Her from his own experience, could have added, husband's death left her a large family to with the humorous quirk he so often used, rear, and but for Benjamin's constant eking“ of his wife's relatives.” When he took unto of her means it would have fared hard with himself a helpmate, he brought to live with the widow. She told her brother that her them her mother, who henceforth conducted happiness was derived from “yr Bounty her trade at his printing-shop, making known without wich I must have been distressed to her customers, through advertisements as much as many others,” and assured him in her son-in-law's newspaper, that: “The that she could not “find expression suitable Widow Read (had) removed from the upper to acknowledge my gratitude; how I am by end of High-street, to the New Printing my dear brother enabled to live at ease in Office near the Market," where she sold my old age.” “My self and children have “ointments” for various ills that might always been a tax upon you,” she wrote to have been avoided by a better patronage of him, “but your great and uncommon good- the Franklin “crown soap.” ness has carried you cheerfully under it.” A brother and sister of his wife also lived Nor was Franklin's charity an enforced one: for a time with Franklin, and he aided the

former to get You always tell me that you live comfortably was some friction, however, with another of

government office. There [he chided), but I sometimes suspect that you may her relatives. At first Franklin told him

to difficulties, from an apprehension of giving me that his “ visits never had but one thing dispain. I wish you would let me know precisely agreeable in them; that is they are always your situation, that I may better proportion my too short”; but presently “Jemmy” Read assistance to your wants. Lest you should endeavored to get a “small office from me, be straightened during the present winter I send which I took ... amiss," and they ceased you fifty dollars.

to be “on speaking terms,” while the ill feelAnd not satisfied that she acknowledged all ing was deepened by Franklin's becoming the her needs, he questioned other relatives:

agent to enforce a business contract in which

Read proved to be delinquent, if not disHow has my poor old sister gone through the honest. winter? Tell me frankly whether she lives comfortably or is pinched. I am afraid she is too out of wedlock, but so far as lay within the

Franklin's eldest son, William, was born cautious of acquainting me of her difficulties, father's power he repaired the wrong to though I am always ready and willing to relieve her, when I am acquainted with them.

which, separated from the influence of both

father and mother, the fellow of twentyJane and Benjamin outlived all their four had let his “hard-to-be-governed pasbrothers and sisters, and Franklin, upon sion of youth" lead him. The boy was reared the death of one of the last, said to her: in Franklin's home, being openly acknow“Of these thirteen there now remain but ledged and treated as a son. A friend who three. As our number diminishes, let our saw much of the family declared that “his affection to each other rather increase.” In father. .. is at the same time his friend, one of her later letters the sister recurred his brother, his intimate, and easy companto this, writing: “You once told me, my dear ion,”a systematic kindness for which William brother, that as our number of brethren and Franklin thanked his father, saying: “I am sisters lessened the affection of those of us extremely obliged to you for your Care in that remained should increase to each other. supplying me with Money, and shall ever You and I are now left; my affection for you have a grateful Sense of that with the other has always been so great I see no room for numberless Indulgences I have received from increase, and you have manifested yours for your paternal Affection.” me in such large measure that I have no rea As the lad grew up, the parent came to son to suspect its strength.” Jane Mecom take positive pride in him, writing : “ Will is alone of Josiah Franklin's seventeen children now nineteen years of age, a tall, proper survived the famous son, and in his will youth, and much of a beau.” This opinion Franklin left to her“ a house and lot I have was echoed by William Strahan, who dein Unity Street, Boston,” gave her“ the yearly clared: “Your son I really think one of the sum of fifty pounds sterling,” and left a small prettiest young gentlemen I ever knew sum of money to her descendants.

from America,” proving that Franklin's “He who takes a wife, takes care,” runs praise was not wholly due to the parental an aphorism that Poor Richard thought fit fondness satirized in Poor Richard's lines :


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Where yet was ever found the mother ing his sorrow thus strongly, the father

Who id change her booby for another? added: “I ought not to blame you for differAs soon as William was old enough, ing in sentiment with me in public affairs,” Franklin obtained for him a commission in and “I should be glad to see you when conthe provincial forces, in which he served till venient.” The two met for a brief moment "peace cut off his prospect of advancement at Southampton, in 1785, when Franklin was in that way." Through the same influence returning from France to America. But the he was then made postmaster of Philadel- endeavor to revive the old relation seems to phia, and next clerk of the General Assem- have been unsuccessful; they never made bly of Pennsylvania, meantime having been further attempts to see each other, and in entered as a student of law at the Inns of Franklin's will, drawn up three years after Court in London. When he accompanied this meeting, though he left his son certain his father to England, in 1757, to complete property in Nova Scotia, he stated: “The his title to practise as a barrister, Franklin part he acted against me in the late war, sought to bring about a marriage between which is of public notoriety, will account for him and Miss Mary Stevenson, an English my leaving him no more of an estate he girl to whom he himself became much at- endeavoured to deprive me of.” tached during this visit. The son, however, The affection which Franklin no longer chose otherwise, and finally, with his father's gave to William he transferred to Wil“consent and approbation,” he married, so liam's illegitimate child, assuming from Franklin states, “a very agreeable West the first the relation of father to him. Indian lady.” Meantime, William Franklin Under his superintendence the boy was had secured the appointment as governor placed at school near London, and during of New Jersey, a selection much disrelished the many years of Franklin's stay in that at first by the province, and which, it has city he had the lad often to visit him, tellbeen suggested, was given to the son in the ing the father, on one occasion: "Temple hope of winning the father to the govern- has been at home with us during the Christment side. This, it is needless to say, it did mas Vacation from School. He improves not effect; but it at least served to seduce continually, and more and more engages the the son, and as the rift between the mother- regard of all that are acquainted with him country and the colonies widened, the father by his pleasing, sensible, manly Behaviour." accused him of having become “ a thorough At another time, in making up an account government man.” When the English gov- with William Franklin, and noting that the ernment removed Franklin from his post- heaviest part is the Maintenance & Educamaster-generalship, in 1774, he appealed to tion of Temple,” the grandfatherly pride the son to resign his office; and, on his re- expressed itself in the assertion: “But that fusal to resent the disgrace which his supe- his friends will not grudge when they see riors had sought to inflict on the father, the him.” On Franklin's return to America, in latter wrote to him bitterly: “You who are a 1775, he brought the lad with him, and the thorough courtier, see everything with gov- boy went to live with his father, taking at ernment eyes." His loyalty to the English the same time the family name, in place of government resulted not only in a complete that of William Temple- a change pleasing break with his father, and in his imprison- to at least one friend, who wrote Franklin: ment by the Continental Congress as an “I rejoice to hear he has the addition of active and dangerous Tory, but led him Franklin, which I always knew he had some eventually to leave America and take up his right to, and I hope will prove worthy the residence in England. On the conclusion of honorable Appellation.” peace, a feeble attempt at a renewal of the Temple Franklin, as he was customarily old-time relation was made. Franklin wrote called henceforth, returned soon to live with his son: “I am glad to find you desire to re- his grandfather, in order to attend college; vive the affectionate intercourse that for- but the plan was interfered with by Franklin's merly existed between us. It would be very being sent to France in 1776, and his desire agreeable to me; indeed, nothing has hurt to have the boy go with him. Once in Paris, me so much, and filled me with such keen the young fellow became Franklin's private sensations, as to find myself deserted in my secretary, and there are frequent references old age by my only son; and not only de- to him in that capacity in Franklin's letters, serted, but to find him taking up arms against as, for instance: “My grandson, whom you me in a cause wherein my good fame, fortune, may remember when a saucy boy at school," and life were all at stake.” Yet, in express- is my amanuensis in writing the within

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