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vivors or survivor of them, within six months after my decease, to pay over the said sum of two thousand pounds sterling to such persons as shall be duly appointed by the select men of Boston and the corporation of Philadelphia to receive and take charge of their respective sums of one thousand pounds each, for the purposes aforesaid.—Considering the accidents to which all human affairs and projects are subject in such a length of time, I have perhaps too much flattered myself with a vain fancy, that these dispositions, if carried into execution, will be continued without interruption, and have the effects proposed; I hope however that if the inhabitants of the two cities should not think fit to undertake the execution, they will at least accept the offer of these donations as a mark of my good will, a token of my gratitude, and a testimony of my earnest desire to be useful to them, even after my departure. I wish indeed that they may both undertake to endeavor the execution of the project; because I think that though unforeseen difficulties may arise, expedients will be found to remove them, and the scheme be found practicable. If one of them accepts the money with the conditions, and the other refuses, my will then is that both sums be given to the inhabitants of the city accepting the whole, to be applied to the same purpose and under the same regulations directed for the separate parts, and if both refuse, the money of course remains in the mass of my estate, and it is to be disposed of therewith according to my will, made the seventeenth day of July, 1788.—I wish to be buried by the side of my wife, if it may be, and that a marble stone, to be made by Chambers, six feet long, four feet wide, plain with only a small moulding round the upper edge, and this inscription,
8c > Franklin. Deborah J
178 . be placed over us both. "My fine crabtree walking-stick, with a gold head curiously wrought in the form of the cap of liberty, I give to my friend and the friend of mankind, General Washington.—If it were a sceptre, he has merited it and would become it.—It was a present to me from that excellent woman Madame de Forback, the Dowager Duchess of Deux Ponts, connected with some verses which should go with it." ■ ,
Philadelphia, 23d June, 1789.
CHARACTERS, EULOGIUMS, AND ANECDOTES
SELECTED FROM VARIOUS WRITERS.
Letter from Dr. Price to a Gentleman in America.
Dear Sir, Hackney, June 19, 1790.
I AM hardly able to tell you how kindly I take the letters with which you favor me. Your last, containing an account of the death of our excellent friend, Dr. Franklin, and the circumstances attending it, deserves my particular gratitude. The account which he has left of his life will show, in a striking example, how a man, by talents, industry, and integrity, may rise from obscurity to the first eminence and consequence in the world; but it brings his history no lower than the year 1757, and I understand, that since he sent over the copy, which I have read, he has been able to make no additions to it. It is with a melancholy regret I think of his death; but to death we are all bound by the irreversible order of nature, and in looking forward to it, there is comfort in being able to reflect—that we have not lived in vain, and that all the useful and virtuous shall meet in a better country beyond the grave.
Dr. Franklin, in the last letter I received from him, after mentioning his age and infirmities, observes, that it has been kindly ordered by the author of nature, that, as we draw nearer the conclusion of life, we are furnished with more helps to wean us from it, among which one of the strongest is the loss of dear friends. I was delighted with the account you gave in your letter, of the honor shown to his memory at Philadelphia, and by congress; and yesterday I received a high additional pleasure, by being informed, that the national assembly of France had determined to go into mourning for him.—What a glorious scene is opened there! The annals of the world furnish no parallel to it.
I am, with great respect, your obliged and very humble servant,
Richard Price. Vol. I. . 3 H
Extract of a Letter from the Hon. Thomas Jefferson, Esq. to Dr. William Smith, of
I Feel both the wish and the duty to communicate, in compliance with your request, whatever, within my knowledge, might render justice to the memory of our great countryman, Dr. Franklin, in whom philosophy has to deplore one of its principal luminaries extinguished. But my opportunities of knowing the interesting facts of his life have not been equal to my desire of making them known.
I can only, therefore, testify in general, that there appeared to me more respect and veneration attached to the character of Dr. Franklin in France, than to that of any other person in the same country, foreign or native. I had opportunities of knowing particularly, how far these sentiments were felt by the foreign ambassadors and ministers at the court of Versailles. The fable of his capture by the Algerines, propagated by the English newspapers, excited no uneasiness, as it was seen at once to be a fabrication to please certain readers; but nothing could exceed the anxiety of his diplomatic brethren on a subsequent report of his death, w hich, although premature, bore some marks of authenticity.
I found the ministers of France equally impressed with his talents and integrity. The Count de Vergennes particularly gave me repeated and unequivocal demonstrations of his entire con'fidence in him.
When he left Passy, it seemed as if the village had lost its patriarch. On taking leave of the court, which he did by letter, the King ordered him to be handsomely complimented, and furnished him with a litter and mules of his own, the only kind of conveyance the state of his health could bear.
The succession to Dr. Franklin, at the court of France, was an excellent school of humility to me. On being presented to any one, as the minister of America, the common-place question to me was " e'est vous, Monsieur, qui remplacez le Docteur Franklin"—it is you, Sir, who replace Dr. Franklin. I generally answered—"No one can replace him, Sir; I am only his successor."
I could here relate a number of those bon-mots, with which he was used to charm every society, having heard many of them; but these are not your object. Particulars of greater dignity happened not to occur, during his stay of nine months after my arrival in France.
A little before that time, Argand had invented his celebrated lamp, in which the flame is spread into a hollow cylinder, and thus brought into contact with the air, within as well as without. Dr. Franklin had been on the point of the same discovery. The idea had occurred to him; but he had tried a bullrush as a wick, which did not succeed. His occupations did not permit him to repeat and extend his trials to the introduction of a larger column of air, than could pass through the stem of a bullrush.
1 Extracted from the Eulogium on Dr. Franklin, delivered by Dr. W. Smith, before the American Philosophical Society.