« 이전계속 »
young girl miserable may give you frequent bitter reflections, none of which can attend the making an old woman happy.
“.8th and lastly.
“Thus much for my paradox, but I still advise you to marry directly, being sincerely,
“ Your Affectionate Friend,
“ B. F."
Franklin, however, was capable of the most courteous gallantry to ladies. In France he delighted the most distinguished women of the court by his compliments and witticisms. When about fifty years old he wrote some letters to Miss Catharine Ray, of Rhode Island, which, as coming from an elderly man to a bright young girl who was friendly with him and told him her love-affairs, are extremely interest. ing. One of them about his wife we have already quoted. In a letter to him Miss Ray had asked, “How do you do and what are you doing? Does everybody still love you, and how do you make them do so ?” After telling her about his health, he said,
“As to the second question, I must confess (but don't you be jealous), that many more people love me now than ever did before ; for since I saw you, I have been able to do some general services to the country and to the army, for which both have thanked and praised me, and say they love me. They say so, as you used to do; and if I were to ask any favors of them, they would, perhaps, as readily refuse me; so that I find little real advantage in being beloved, but it pleases my humor.”
On another occasion he wrote to her,
“Persons subject to the hyp complain of the northeast wind as increasing their malady. But since you promised to send me kisses in that wind, and I find you as good as your word, it is to me the gayest wind that blows, and gives me the best spirits. I write this during a northeast storm of snow, the greatest we have had this
winter. Your favors come mixed with the snowy fleeces, which are pure as your virgin innocence, white as your lovely bosom, and-as cold. But let it warm towards some worthy young man, and may Heaven bless you both with every kind of happiness.”
He had another young friend to whom he wrote pretty letters, Miss Mary Stevenson, daughter of the Mrs. Stevenson in whose house he lived in London when on his diplomatic missions to England. He encouraged her in scientific study, and some of his most famous explanations of the operations of nature are to be found in letters written to her. He had hoped that she would marry his son William, but William's fancy strayed elsewhere.
“PORTSMOUTH, 11 August, 1762. « MY DEAR POLLY
“ This is the best paper I can get at this wretched inn, but it will convey what is intrusted to it as faithfully as the finest. It will tell my Polly how much her friend is afflicted that he must perhaps never again see one for whom he has so sincere an affection, joined to so perfect an esteem; who he once flattered himself might become his own, in the tender relation of a child, but can now entertain such pleasing hopes no more. Will it tell how much he is afflicted ? No, it cannot.
“ Adieu, my dearest child. I will call you so. Why should I not call you so, since I love you with all the tenderness of a father ? Adieu. May the God of all goodness shower down his choicest blessings upon you, and make you infinitely happier than that event would have made you. ..."
(Bigelow's Works of Franklin, vol. iii. p. 209.)
This correspondence with Miss Stevenson continued for a great many years, and there are beautiful letters to her scattered all through his published works. The letters both to her and to Miss Ray became more serious as the two young women grew older and married. Miss Stevenson sought his ad
vice on the question of her marriage, and his reply was as wise and affectionate as anything he ever wrote. She married Dr. Hewson, of London, and they migrated to Philadelphia, where she became the mother of a numerous family.
Franklin had a younger sister, Jane, a pretty girl, afterwards Mrs. Mecom, of whom he was very fond, and he kept up a correspondence with her all his life, sending presents to her at Boston, helping her son to earn a livelihood, and giving her assistance in her old age. Their letters to each other were most homely and loving, and she took the greatest pride in his increasing fame.
His correspondence with his parents was also pleasant and familiar. In one of his letters to his mother he amuses her by accounts of her grandchildren, and at the same time pays a compliment to his sister Jane.
“As to your grandchildren, Will is now nineteen years of age, a tall, proper youth, and much of a beau. He acquired a habit of idleness on the Expedition, but begins of late to apply himself to business, and I hope will become an industrious man. He imagined his father had got enough for him, but I have assured him that I intend to spend what little I have myself, if it pleases God that I live long enough ; and, as he by no means wants acuteness, he can see by my going on that I mean to be as good as my word.
"Sally grows a fine girl, and is extremely industrious with her needle, and delights in her work. She is of a most affectionate temper, and perfectly dutiful and obliging to her parents, and to all. Perhaps I flatter myself too much, but I have hopes that she will prove an ingenious, sensible, notable and worthy woman like her aunt Jenny.” (Bigelow's Works of Franklin, vol. ii. p. 154.)
Over the grave of his parents in the Granary Burial-Ground in Boston he placed a stone, and pre
pared for it one of those epitaphs in which he was so skilful and which were almost poems :
Josiah Franklin and Abiah his wife
lie here interred.
(with God's blessing,)
From this instance, reader,
and distrust not Providence.
Their youngest son,
places this stone.
BUSINESS AND LITERATURE
FRANKLIN's ancestors in both America and England had not been remarkable for their success in worldly affairs. Most of them did little more than earn a living, and, being of contented dispositions, had no ambition to advance beyond it. Some of them were entirely contented with poverty. All of them, however, were inclined to be economical and industrious. They had no extended views of business enterprise, and we find none of them among the great merchants or commercial classes who were reaching out for the foreign trade of that age. Either from lack of foresight or lack of desire, they seldom selected very profitable callings. They took what was nearest at hand-making candles or shoeing horses—and clung to it persistently.
Franklin advanced beyond them only because all their qualities of economy, thrift, industry, and serene contentedness were intensified in him. His choice of a calling was no better than theirs, for printing was not a very profitable business in colonial times, and was made so in his case only by his unusual sagacity.
I have already described his adventures as a young printer, and how he was sent on a wild-goose chase to London by Governor Keith, of Pennsylvania. I have also told how on his return to Philadelphia he