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mentioned are also filled up by the growth and decomposition of vegetables, becoming at first marshy spots, and at length dry land.
The remainder of the operation is, to clothe these islands with soil and vegetation. This is the work of time, yet it is more rapid than would be expected. The first foundation of it is laid by the sand which the sea produces from the destruction of the corals, and by the sea plants which take root and grow upon it. Sea birds, finding a place to settle in, add something; and at length the seeds of various plants floating about the ocean are arrested, and begin to grow, when a vegetable covering succeeds. Among these plants, the most conspicuous are the Scævola, Pandanus, Cerbera, Morinda, Hernandia, and others, which first begin to grow on the outer bank, where their seeds are first arrested, and at length spread over the whole. Last of all comes man, and the island forms a part of the inhabited world.
SELECTED FROM THE LONDON MAGAZINE. ORIGINAL LETTERS OF DR. FRANKLIN, HITHERTO UNPUBLISHED.
TO HIS MOTHER.
Philadelphia, Sept. 17, 1749. Hond Mother,-We received your kind Letter by this Post, and are glad to hear you still continue to enjoy such a share of Health. Cousin Josiah and his Spouse arrived here hearty and well last Saturday noon ; I met them the Evening before at Trenton, 30 miles off and accompany'd them to Town. They went into their own House on Monday and I believe will do very well for he seems bent on Industry and she appears a discreet notable young woman. My Wife has been to see them every Day, calling in as she passes by, and I suspect has fallen in Love with our new Cousin, for she entertains me a deal when she comes home with what Cousin Sally does and what Cousin Sally says and what a good contriver she is and the like.
I believe it might be of service to me in the matter of getting in my debts, if I were to make a voyage to London ; but I have not yet determined on it in my own mind, and think I am grown almost too lazy to undertake it.
The Indians are gone homewards, loaded with presents ; in a week or two the Treaty with them will be printed and I will send you one.
My Love to Brother and sister Mecom and to all enquiring Friends. I am your dutiful Son
TO HIS DAUGHTER (AFTERWARDS MRS. RICH. BACHE.)
Reedy Island, Nov. 8th, 1764. 7 at night, My dear Sally,-We got down here at sunset having taken in more live stock at New Castle with some other things we wanted: Our good friends Mr. Galloway, Mr. Wharton and Mr. James came with me in the ship from Chester to New Castle and went ashore there. It was kind to favor me with their good company as far as they could. The affectionate leave taken of me by so many friends at Chester was very endearing. God bless them and all Pennsylvania.
My dear child, the natural prudence and goodness of heart God has blest you with, makes it less necessary for me to be particular in giving you advice; I shall therefore only say, that the more attentively dutiful and tender you are towards your good Mamma, the more you will recommend yourself to me; but why should I mention me when you have so much higher a promise in the commandments that such conduct will recommend you to the favor of GodYou know I have many enemies (all indeed on the public account, for I cannot recollect that I have in a private capacity given just cause of offence to any one whatever) yet they are enemies, and very bitter ones, and you must expect their enmity will extend in some degree to you, so that your slightest indiscretions will be magnified into crimes, in order the more sensibly to wound and afflict me. It is therefore the more necessary for you to be extremely circumspect in all your behavior that no advantage may be given to their malevolence.
Go constantly to church, whoever preaches; the act of derotion in the common prayer book is your principal business there, and if properly attended to, will do more towards amending the heart than Sermons generally can do. For they were composed by men of much greater piety and wisdom than our common composers of sermons can pretend to be ; and therefore I wish you would never miss the prayer days; yet I do not mean you should despise sermons even of the preachers you dislike, for the discourse is often much better than the man, as sweet and clear waters come through very dirty earth; I am the more particular on this head, as you seemed to express, a little before I came away, some inclination to leave our church which I would not have you do.
For the rest, I would only recommend to you in my absence to acquire those useful accomplishments, Arithmetic and Book-keeping. This you might do with ease if you would resolve not to see
company on the hours you set apart for those studies I think you and every body should if they could have certain days or hours
(a few lines lost] *** she cannot be spoken with; but will be glad to see you at such a time.
We expect to be at sea to-morrow if this wind holds, after which I shall have no opportunity of writing to you till I arrive (if it please God I do arrive) in England. I pray that his blessing may attend you, which is worth more than a thousand of mine, though they are never wanting. Give my love to your brother and sister* as I cannot write to them and remember me affectionately to the young ladies your friends and to our good neighbors. I am my dear child-Your affectionate father,
TO HIS SISTER MRS. JANE MECOM.
London, Jan. 13, 1772. My dear sister, I received your kind letters of September 12 and November 9th.—I have now been some weeks returning from my journey through Wales, Ireland, Scotland and the north of England, which besides being an agreeable tour with a pleasant com
anion, has contributed to the establishment of my health, and this is the first ship I have leard of by which I could write to you. I thank you for the receipts; they are as full and particular as one could wish—but can easily be practised only in America, no Bayberry wax nor any Brassiletto being here to be had, at least to my knowledge. I am glad however that those useful arts that have been so long in our family, are now put down in writing. Some future branch may be the better for it.-It gives me pleasure that those little things sent by Jonathan proved agreeable to you. I write now to Cousin Williams to press the payment of the bond : there has been forbearance enough on my part, seven years or more without receiving any principal or interest. It seems as if the Debtor was like a whimsical man in Pennsylvania, of whom it was said, that it being against his Principle to pay Interest and against his interest to pay the Principal he paid neither one por l'other. I doubt you have taken too old a pair of Glasses, being tempted by their magnifying greatly. But people in chusing should only aim at remedying the defect. The glasses that enable them to see as well at the same distance they used to hold their book or work while their eyes were good are those they should
* Governor Franklin and Lady.
chuse, not such as make them see better, for such contribute to hasten the time when still older glasses will be necessary.
All who have seen my grandson agree with you, in their accounts of his being an uncommonly fine boy, which brings often afresh to my mind the idea of my son Franky though now dead 36 years, whom I have seldom since seen equalled in every thing and wbom to this day I cannot think of without a sigb-Mr. Bache is here. I found him at Preston in Lancashire with his mother and sisters, very agreeable people, and I brought him to London with
I very much like his behavior. He returns in the next ship to Philadelphia. The gentleman who brought your last letter, Mr. Fox, staid but a few minutes with me, and has not since called as I desired him to do. I shall endeavor to get the arms you desire for Cousin Coffin; Having now many letters to write, I can now only add my love to cousin Jenny and that Sally Franklin presents her duty; Mrs. Stephenson desires to be affectionately remembered. I am as ever your affectionate brother,
B. FRANKLIN. P. S. No arms of The Folgers are to be found in the Herald's office. I am persuaded it was originally a Flemish family which came over with many others from that country in Qu. Elizabeth's time flying from the persecution then raging there.
NOTES. Dr. Franklin had three children, of whom the eldest Francis Folger Franklin died in childhood, his second son William was the Governor of New Jersey and sided with the crown in the revolutionary contest ; his only daughter Sarah, was married to Mr. Richard Bache mentioned above, whose children and grand children now reside in Philadelphia.
Cousin Josiah mentioned in the first letter was Dr. Franklin's nephew, a son of his favorite sister Jane to whom the last of the above letters is .addressed.
FROM THE LIFE OF JOSIAH QUINCY, JR.
Passy, April 22, 1779. Dear Sir, I received your very kind letter by Mr. Bradford, who appears a very sensible and amiable young gentleman, to whom I should with pleasure render any services in my power upon your much respected recommendation; but I understand be returns immediately.
It is with great sincerity I join you in acknowledging and admiring the dispensations of Providence in our favor. America has
only to be thankful, and to persevere. God will finish his work, and establish their freedom; and the lovers of liberty will flock from all parts of Europe with their fortunes to participate with us. of that freedom, as soon as peace is restored.
I am exceedingly pleased with your account of the French politeness and civility, as it appeared among the officers and people of their teet. They have certainly advanced in those respects many degrees beyond the English. I find them here a most amiable nation to live with. The Spaniards are by common opinion supposed to be cruel, the English proud, the Scotch insolent, the Dutch ava ricious, &c. but I think the French have no national vice ascribed to them. They have some frivolities, but they are harmless. To dress their heads so that a hat cannot be put on them, and then wear their hats under their arms, and to fill their noses with tobacco, may be called follies perhaps, but they are not vices. They are only the effects of the tyranny of custom. In short, there is nothing wanting in the character of a Frenchman, that belongs to that of an agreeable and worthy man. There are only some trifles surplus, or which might be spared.
Will you permit me, while I do them this justice, to bint a little censure on our own country people, which I do in good will, wishing the cause removed. You know the necessity we are under of supplies from Europe, and the difficulty we have at present in making returns. The interest bills would do a great deal towards purchasing arms, ammunition, clothing, sail cloth, and other necessaries for defence. Upon inquiry of those who present these bills to me for acceptance, what the money is to be laid out in, I find that most of it is for superfluities, and more than half of it for tea! How unhappily in this instance the folly of our people, and the avidity of our merchants, concur to weaken and impoverish our country! I formerly computed that we consumed before the war, in that single article, the value of £500,000 sterling annually. Much of this was saved by stopping the use of it. I honored the virtuous resolution of our women in foregoing that little gratification, and I lament that such virtue should be of so short duration ! Five hundred thousand pounds sterling, annually laid out in defending ourselves, or annoying our enemies, would have great effect. With what face can we ask aids and subsidies from our friends, while we are wasting our own wealth in such prodigality ? With great and sincere esteem I have the honor to be, Dear Sir,
Your most obedient servant, B. FRANKLIN.