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of it in oil will, I am convinced, see Franklin as he really was. The care in details, the wrinkles, and the color of the skin give us confidence in it as a likeness. The round, strong, but crude form of the boy of twenty has been beaten and changed by time into a hundred qualities and accomplishments, yet the original form is still discernible, and the face looks straight at us : we see the eyes and every line close at hand.
In this, the best portrait for studying Franklin's eye, we see at once that it is the eye of a very sensuous man, and we also see many details which mark the self-made man, the man who never had been and never pretended to be an aristocrat. This is in strong contrast to Washington's portraits, which all disclose a man distinctly of the upper class and conscious of it.
But, in spite of this homeliness in the Duplessis portrait and the easy, careless manner in which the clothes are worn, there are no signs of what might be called vulgarity. The wonderful and many-sided accomplishments of the man carried him well above this. Brought up as a boy at candle- and soapmaking, he nevertheless, when prosperous, turned instinctively to higher things and refined accomplishments and was comparatively indifferent to material wealth. Nor do we find in him any of that bitter hostility and jealousy of the established and successful which more modern experience might lead us to expect.
The Duplessis portrait conforms to what we read of Franklin in representing him as hale and vigorous
at seventy-two. The face is full of lines, but they are the lines of thought, and of thought that has come easily and cheerfully; there are no traces of anxiety, gnawing care, or bitterness. In Paris, at the time the Duplessis portrait was painted, Franklin was regarded as a rather unusual example of vigor and good health in old age. John Adams in his Diary uses him as a standard, and speaks of other old men in France as being equal or almost equal to him in health.
Although not so free from disease as were his parents, he was not much troubled with it until late in life. When a young man of about twenty-one he had a bad attack of pleurisy, of which he nearly died, It terminated in an abscess of the left lung, and when this broke, he was almost suffocated by the quantity and suddenness of the discharge. A few years afterwards he had a similar attack of pleurisy, ending in the same way; and it was an abscess in his lung which finally caused his death. The two abscesses which he had when a young man seem to have left no ill effects; and after his two attacks of pleurisy he was free from serious sickness for many years, until at the age of fifty-one he went to England to represent the Province of Pennsylvania. Soon after landing he was attacked by an obscure fever, of which he does not give the name, and which disabled him for eight weeks. He was delirious, and they cupped him and gave him enormous quantities of bark.
After he had passed middle life he found that he could not remain entirely well unless he took a