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MY DEAR SISTER,
I received your kind letters of September 12th and November gth. I have now been some weeks returned from my journey through Wales, Ireland, Scotland, and the North of England, which, besides being an agreeable tour with a pleasant companion, has contributed to the establishment of my health; and this is the first ship I have heard 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 they can easily be practised only in America, no bayberry wax, nor any Brasiletto, being here to be had, at least to my knowledge. I am glad, however, that those useful arts, which have so long been 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 nor the other.
I doubt you have taken too old a pair of glasses, being tempted by their magnifying greatly. But people in choosing 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 choose; not such as make them see better, for such contribute to hasten the time when still older glasses will become 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 thirty-six years, whom I have seldom since seen equalled in every thing, and whom to this day I cannot think of without a sigh. 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 me. I very much like his behaviour. He returns in the next ship to Philadelphia. The gentleman, who brought your last letter, Mr. Fox, stayed but a few minutes with me, and has not since called, as I desired him to do.
I shall endeavour to get the arms you desire for cousin Coffin. Having many letters to write, I can now only add my love to cousin Jenny, and that I am, as ever, your affectionate
brother ' B. FRANKLIN.
P. S. Sally Franklin presents her duty. Mrs. Stevenson desires to be affectionately remembered. 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 Queen Elizabeth's time, flying from the persecution then raging there.
- Benjamin Franklin
- The Writings of Benjamin Franklin Volume V, Albert Henry Smyth, 1906