Imatges de pàgina

congress to be recalled, and Mr. Jefferson was appointed to succeed him in 1785. In September of the same year, Franklin arrived in Philadelphia. He was shortly after chosen a member of the supreme council for the city, and was soon elected president of the same body.

11. For the next three years Franklin still devoted himself to public business, and to his political and philosophical studies. He retained his desire of being useful to the last of his life. In 1788, his increasing infirmities compelled him to retire from public office. His complaints continued, and he suffered very severely from his sickness. He still, however, remained good-natured and cheerful, was perfectly resigned to his situation, acknowledging the justice and kindness of that Being who had seen fit that he should be thus afflicted.

12. On the 17th of April, 1790, about eleven o'clock at night, Dr. Franklin quietly expired. Ho had reached an honored and a happy old age. From small beginnings, by a uniform course of prudence and honesty, he had raised himself to high station, wealth and distinction.

13. In considering the character of Franklin, we perceive that the most marked trait was his habit of economy. By economy we do not mean merely

10. When did Franklin return to Philadelphia ? What honor was immediately conferred on him ? 11. When did he retire from public office ? On what account ? 12. When did Dr. Franklin die ? 13. What was the marked trait in Franklin's character ? 14. What other traits were conspicuous ?

care in gaining and keeping of his money. We mean care of time, of labor; frugality, industry, system, method in all his business. To this we may add economy of his health ; avoiding all excess and unnecessary exposure.

14. His cheerfulness and good nature were also remarkable. He was ever happy and entertaining His anecdotes and jests were always to the point, and his manner of conversing and writing was at once pleasing and effective.

15. For his public services his country owes him her respect and gratitude; while his philosophical discoveries have excited the admiration of the world. His name will live with the names of the few great men who have conferred enduring benefits on mankind.

The following epitaph on himself was written by him many years previous to his death :

The Body


[like the cover of an old book,

its contents torn out,
and stript of its lettering and gilding,]

lies here food for worms; yet the work itself shall not be lost, for it will (as he believed) appear once more

in a new
and more beautiful edition,
corrected and amended




We are acquainted with no writer who inculcates lessons

of practical wisdom in a more agreeable and popular manner than Dr. Franklin. His writings abound with infinite good sense, and a singular shrewdness, not at all inconsistent with the highest integrity and purity. We have selected a few of his lighter essays as a sequel to the Biography; desirable, both as displaying somewhat of the character of their author, and conveying common sense maxims likely to be of much service to the young.


A True Story-Written to his Nepher.

When I was a child, at seven years old, my friends, on a holyday, filled my pockets with coppers. I went directly to a shop where they sold toys for children; and being charmed with the sound of a whistle, that I met by the way in the hands of another boy, I voluntarily offered him all iny money for one. I then came home, and went whistling all over the house, much pleased with my whistle, but disturbing all the family. My brothers, and sisters, and cousins, understanding the bargain I had made, told ine I had given four times as much for it as it was worth. This put me in mind what good things I might have bought with the rest of the money; and they laughed at me so much for my folly, that I cried with vexation; and the reflection gave me more chagrin than the whistle gave me pleasure.

This, however, was afterwards of use to me, the impression continuing on my mind; so that often, when I was tempted to buy some unnecessary thing, I said to myself, Don't give too much for the whistle; and so I saved my money.

As I grew up, came into the world, and observed the actions of men, I thought I met with many, very many, who gave too much for their whistle.

When I saw any one too ambitious of court favor, sacrificing his time in attendance on levees, his repose, his liberty, his virtue, and perhaps his friends, to attain it, I have said to myself, This man gives too much for his whistle.

When I saw another fond of popularity, constantly employing himself in political bustles, neglecting his own affairs, and ruining them by that neglect, He pays, indeed, says I, too much for his whistle.

If I knew a miser, who gave up every kind of comfortable living, all the pleasure of doing good to others, all the esteem of his fellow citizens, and the joys of benevolent friendship, for the sake of accumulating wealth, Poor man, says I, you do indeed pay too much for your whistle.

When I meet a man of pleasure, sacrificing every laudable improvement of the mind, or of his fortune, to mere corporeal sensations, Mistaken man, says I, you are providing pain for yourself instead of pleasure ; you give too much for your whistle.

If I see one fond of fine clothes, fine furniture, fine equipages, all above his fortune, for which he contracts debts, and ends his career in prison, Alas, says I, he has paid dear, very dear, for his whistle.

When I see a beautiful, sweet-tempered girl, married to an ill-natured brute of a husband, What a pity it is, says I, that she has paid so much for a whistle!

In short, I conceived that great part of the miseries of mankind were brought upon them by the false estimates they had made of the value of things, and by their giving too much for their whistles.


THERE are two sorts of people in the world, who, with equal degrees of health and wealth, and the

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