網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

to an author, that his works should so soon be lost! So I can only send you my Observations on the Peopling of Countries, which happens to have been reprinted here; The Description of the Pennsylvania Fire-place, a machine of my contriving; and some little sketches that have been printed in the Grand Magazine, which I should hardly own, did I not know that your friendly partiality would make them seem at least tolerable.

How unfortunate I was, that I did not press you and Lady Kames more strongly to favor us with your company farther. How much more agreeable would our journey have been, if we could have enjoyed you as far as York. We could have beguiled the way, by discoursing on a thousand things, that now we may never have an opportunity of considering together; for conversation warms the mind, enlivens the imagination, and is continually starting fresh game, that is immediately pursued and taken, and which would never have occurred in the duller intercourse of epistolary correspondence. So that whenever I reflect on the great pleasure and advantage I received from the free communication of sentiment, in the conversation we had at Kames, and in the agreeable little rides to the Tweed side, I shall for ever regret our premature parting.

No one can more sincerely rejoice than I do, on the reduction of Canada; and this is not merely as I am a colonist, but as I am a Briton. I have long been of opinion, that the foundations of the future grandeur and stability of the British empire lie in Arnerica; and though, like other foundations, they are low and little now, they are, nevertheless, broad and strong enough to support the greatest political structure that human wisdom ever yet erected. I am, therefore, by no means for restoring Canada. If we keep it, all the country from the St. Lawrence to the Mississippi will in another century be filled with British people. Britain itself will become vastly more populous, by the immense increase of its commerce; the Atlantic sea will be covered with your trading ships; and your naval power, thence continually increasing, will extend your influence round the whole globe, and awe the world ! If the French remain in Canada, they will continually harass our colonies by the Indians, and impede if not prevent their growth; your progress to greatness will at best be slow, and give room for many accidents that may for ever prevent it. But I refrain, for I see you begin to think my notions extravagant, and look upon them as the ravings of a mad prophet.

Your Lordship's kind offer of Penn's picture is extremely obliging. But, were it certainly his picture, it would be too valuable a curiosity for me to think of accepting it. I should only desire the favor of leave to take a copy of it. I could wish to know the history of the picture before it came into your hands, and the grounds for supposing it his. I have at present some doubts about it; first, because the primitive Quakers declared against pictures as a vain expense; a man's suffering his portrait to be taken was conceived as pride; and I think to this day it is very little practised among them. Then, it is on a board ; and I imagine the practice of painting portraits on boards did not come down so low as Penn's time; but of this I am not certain. My other reason is an anecdote I have heard, viz. that when old Lord Cobham was adorning his gardens at Stow with busts of famous men, he made inquiry of the family for the picture of William Penn, in order to get a bust formed from it, but could find none; that Sylvanus Bevan, an old Quaker apothecary, remarkable for the notice he takes of countenances, and a knack he has of cutting in ivory strong likenesses of persons he has once seen, hearing of Lord Cobham's desire, set himself to recollect Penn's face, with which he had been well acquainted; and cut a little bust of him in ivory, which he sent to Lord Cobham, without any letter or notice that it was Penn's. But my Lord, who had personally known Penn, on seeing it, immediately cried out, “Whence comes this? It is William Penn himself !” And from this little bust, they say, the large one in the gardens was formed.

I doubt, too, whether the whisker was not quite out of use at the time when Penn must have been of an age appearing in the face of that picture. And yet, notwithstanding these reasons, I am not without some hope that it may be his; because I know some eminent Quakers have had their pictures privately drawn and deposited with trusty friends; and know, also, that there is extant at Philadelphia a very good picture of Mrs. Penn, his last wife. After all, I own I have a strong desire to be satisfied concerning this picture; and as Bevan is yet living here, and some other old Quakers that remember William Penn, who died but 1718, I would wish to have it sent to me carefully packed up in a box by the wagon, (for I would not trust it by sea,) that I may obtain their opinion. The charges I shall very cheerfully pay; and if it proves to be Penn's picture, I shall be greatly obliged to your Lordship for leave to take a copy of it, and will carefully return the original.*

* Dr. Franklin's doubts, respecting the above picture, were probably just. Mr. Tytler says, in his Life of Lord Kames, that it was sent to Dr. Franklin, and never returned; but the fact of its not having been known in Philadelphia, nor ever heard of since the above letter was

My son joins with me in the most respectful compliments to you and lady Kames. Our conversation, till we came to York, was chiefly a recollection of

written, is strong presumptive proof, that it was not a portrait of William Penn. The following particulars have been communicated to me by Mr. J. R. Tyson, and Mr. J. F. Fisher, of Philadelphia,

There are but two original authorities for the likeness of William Penn. One of these is the bust made by Sylvanus Bevan, from recollection after Penn's death. It is probable that Bevan himself executed several busts; and others have been carved in imitation of his model. Lord Le Despenser adorned his grounds at High Wycombe, in England, with a statue of Penn, the head of which is a copy of Bevan's bust. After the death of Lord Le Despenser, that statue was purchased by John Penn, and presented to the Pennsylvania Hospital, and it now stands in front of the hospital buildings. Its material is lead, bronzed. James Logan possessed one of Bevan's busts carved in wood, which was placed in the Loganian Library, and was burnt there in the year 1831. The engraved portraits of William Penn in Clarkson's Life of him, and in Proud's History, and also the medallions in common circulation, are all from the same model. They are consequently imperfect resemblances. Bevan's delineation 'was likewise drawn from the appearance of William Penn in the last years of his life, when old age, sedentary habits, and a decayed intellect, left little in his countenance but its good nature.

The other original likeness is a portrait taken in 1666, when he was twenty-two years old. An engraving of it is contained in Grenville Penn's “ Memorials of the Professional Life of Sir William Penn," the father of the founder of Pennsylvania. In that work the author says, “ It is the only portrait of William Penn that ever was painted.” A duplicate of this picture was presented by Grenville Penn to the Pennsylvania Historical Society in the year 1833. It is a highly interesting picture. The hair hangs in long, flowing locks, and the countenance is handsome, intelligent, expressive of benevolence, and somewhat pensive. The portrait was painted in the interval between his first serious impressions, and his final conversion to Quakerism. He had been in France, where his father's hope of his return to worldliness had been partially realized. For a short time, he had it in contemplation to accept a commission in the army. Hence he is attired in the armour, which was in fashion at that period, and the motto, Par quæritur Bello, inscribed on the picture, is significant of the principles he had adopted. This cannot be the portrait, mentioned in the above letter as belonging to Lord Kames, because the original has always been in pog. session of the Penn family. It is moreover painted on canvass, but Lord Kames's was on a board; and it is destitute of the “ whisker," with which the face of that picture was adorned.

what we had seen and heard, the pleasure we had enjoyed, and the kindnesses we had received, in Scotland, and how far that country had exceeded our expectations. On the whole, I must say, I think the time we spent there was six weeks of the densest happiness I have met with in any part of my life; and the agreeable and instructive society we found there in such plenty has left so pleasing an impression on my memory, that, did not strong connexions draw me elsewhere, I believe Scotland would be the country I should choose to spend the remainder of my days in. I have the honor to be, with the sincerest esteem and affection, my dear Lord, &c.

B. FRANKLIN.

TO JOHN HUGHES. Prospect of Peace. - Canada should be retained. Condition in which the Laws are sent to England.

London, 7 January, 1760. DEAR SIR, On my return from our northern journey I found several of your obliging favors, for which please to accept my hearty thanks. There has been for some time a talk of peace, and probably we should have had one this winter, if the King of Prussia's late misfortunes had not given the enemy fresh spirits, and encouraged them to try their luck another campaign, and exert all their remaining strength, in hopes of treating with Hanover in their hands. If this should be the case, possibly most of our advantages may be given up again at the treaty, and some among our great men begin already to prepare the minds of people for this, by discoursing that to keep Canada

COL

« 上一頁繼續 »