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this enquiry shall occasionally have subjected him to the charge of a style in any respect bald or low : to imitate the admirable fimplicity of the author, is no easy task.
The Essays, which are now, for the first time, brought together from various resources, will be found to be more miscellaneous than any of Dr. Franklin's that have formerly been collected, and will therefore be more generally amusing. Dr. Franklin tells us, in his Life, that he was an assiduous imitator of Addifon; and from fonie of these papers it will be admitted that he was not an unhappy
The public will be amused with following a great philosopher in his relaxations, and observing in what refpects philosophy tends to elucidate and improve the most common subjects. The editor has purposely avoided such papers as, by their scientifical nature, were less adapted for general perusal. These he may probably hereafter pobilith in a volume by themselves.
He fubjoins a letter from the late celebrated and amia. ble Dr. Price, to a gentleman in Philadelphia, upon the subject of Dr. Franklin's memoirs of his own life.
Hackney, June 19, 1790 66 DEAR SIR, “ I AM hardly able to tell you how kindly I take the letters with which you
Your last, containing an account of the death of our excellent friend Dr. Franklin, and the circumstances attending it, deserves my par. ticular gratitude. The account which he has left of his life will show, in a striking example, how a man, by talents, industry, and integrity, may rise froin obfcurity to the first eininence and consequence in the world; but it brings his history no lower than the year 1757, and I understand that since he sent over the copy, which I have read, he has been able to make no additions to it. It is with a melancholy regret I think of his death ; but to death we are all bound by the irreversible order of nature, and in looking forward to it, there is comfort in being a.
ble to reflect-that we have not lived in vain, and that all the useful and virtuous shall meet in a better country beyond the gráve.
“ Dr. Franklin, in the last letter I received from him, after mentioning his age and infirmities, observes, that it has been kindly ordered by the Author of nature, that, as we draw nearer the conclusion of life, we are furnished with more helps to wean us from it, among which one of the strongest is the loss of dear friends. I was delighted with the account you gave in your letter of the honour fhewn to his memory at Philadelphia, and by Congress; and yesterday I received a high addicional pleasure, by being informed that the National Assembly of France had determined to go in mourning for him.--What a glorious scene is opened there! The annals of the world furnish no parallel to it. One of the honours of our departed friend is, that he has contributed much to it,
I am, with great respect,
HAVE amused myself with colle&ing some lit
tle anecdotes of my family. You may remember the enquiries I made, when you were with me in England, among such of my relations as were then living; and the journey I undertook for that purpose. To be acquainted with the particulars of my parentage and life, many of which are unknown to you, I flatter myself, will afford the fame pleasure to you as to me. I shall relate them upon paper: it will be an agreeable employment of a week's uninterrupted leisure, which I promise myself during my present retirement in the country. There are also other motives which induce me to the un. dertaking. From the bofom of poverty and obscurity, in which I drew my first breath and spent my earliest years, I have raised myselfto a state of opua, lence and to some degree of celebrity in the world. A conftant good fortune has attended me through
every period of life to my present advanced age; and my descendants may be defirous of learning what were the means of which I made use, and which, thanks to the assisting hand of providence, have proved so eminently successful. They may also, should they ever be placed in a similar situation, derive fome advantage from my narrative.
When I reflect, as I frequently do, upon the felicity I have enjoyed, I sometimes say to myself, that, were the offer made me, I would engage to run again, from beginning to end, the fame career of lite, All I would ask would be the privilege of an author, to correct in a second edition, certain errors of the first. I could wish, likewise, if it were in
my power, to change fome trivial incidents and events for others more favourable. Were this however denied me, still would I not decline the offer. But since a repetition of life cannot take place, there is nothing which, in my opinion, fo nearly resembles it, as to call to mind all its circumstances, and, to render their remembrance more durable, commit them to writing. By thus employing myself, I shall yield to the inclination, co natural to old men, to talk of themselves and their exploits, and may freely follow my bent, without being tiresome to those who, fron respect to my age, might think themselves obliged to liften to me; as they will be at liberty to read me or not as they please. In fine--and I may wellarow it, fince nobody would believe me were I to deny it--I shall perhaps, by this employment, gratify my vanity. Scarcely indeed have I ever heard or read the introductory phrase, as I may say without wanting ty, but forne. striking and characteristic ialar