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but the assembly contained a majority of his friends, who appointed bim provincial agent, and deputed him once more to Great Britain. He embarked for Holland, where he landed in 1766, and made a circuit which in cluded some German territory: After presenting his credentials in Great Britain, he also visited France, and became acquainted among men of letters and talent, who were afterwards to support the American cause. On returning to London, Dr. Franklin ohtained the secret correspondence of some over loyal Americans with the British government, by the publication of which a great odium was excited against them in America; and thus the friends of the British ascendancy were deterred from making the communications esseutial to their purposes.

The presentation of a petition from the Massachusets assembly occasioned Dr. Franklin to be called for examination before the Privy Council. The solicitor-general, Wedderburne, poured on him a torrent of abuse, and charged bim with sedition and disloyalty: there was foresight in the speech; he could perceive the drift without knowing how to intercept the purposes of Franklin. Hostilities having begun against the British government at Boston in 1774, Dr. Franklin returned, in 1775, to America, and was immediately elected a delegate to congress by the legislature of Pennsylvania. Under the command of Washington, the friends of independence displayed a perseverance in the field not unworthy of their conduct in the senate. Dr. Franklin was deputed to France in 1776, and accomplished, in 1778, an alliance between the United States and the French. This recognition of their independence was acceded to by the British king in 1782, and Dr. Franklin triumphantly signed the treaty extorted from his humbled sovereign. A purer Magna Charta of liberty was won for America than that which had been obtained of old at Runnemede: Franklin was the Langton, and Washington the Fitzwalter, of this new and greater revolution.

In 1787, Dr. Franklin projected and established the Pennsylvanian siiciety for promoting the Abolition of Slavery, and the relief of free negroes unlawfully held in bondage, and the improvement of the condition of 'the African race. The constitution of this society is far better devised than that of our English societies against the slave trade, which begin attempting the reform at the wrong end.

Dr. Franklin was not elected president of the United States, an instance of national ingratitude which deserves some reprobation. In political revolutions, the directing intellect is a higher power than the hand that executes. The Moses is entitled to a preference over the Joshua, the Daniel over the Darius, the Langton over the Fitzwalter, the Franklin over the Washingtoo, the Talleyrand orer the Buonaparte. Dr. Franklin, therefore, ought first to have ascended the seat of honour: nor was it probable, considering his great age, that the presidentship could ever be allotted to him, unless given at first ; whereas Washington could hope repeatedly to obtain it, after the end of Franklin's quaternion of years.

After the year 1788, Dr. Franklin was confined to his room, and died in 1790, aflicted with gout and stone, on the 17th of April. His will bequeaths a considerable fortune in public purposes.

The writings of Dr. Franklin are justly admired for a plain popularity of style, for the distinct picturesque character of idea, for humourous Socratie irony, and for the art of arguing to the selfishness. The reader is constantly put in mind of the use that will accrue to him, and such as him, from the adoption of Dr. Franklin's premises.

Even a question of science is never handled as a question of curiosity, where to evolve the truth is the disinterested end in view : it must be hooked to some petty practical purpose of private accommodation before it is held worthy of being investigated. This concatenation of the cui bono to every footstep is a clog for excellence. It illiberalizes science; but it seems to be the characteristic of American philosophy. The national foible is readily forgotten in Dr. Franklin, when his vast efficacy is contemplated. History will class him among her great men; among the strong minds employed in directing the important events. He had, perhaps, more of craft than of boldness, more of prudence than of magnanimity; but he obtained his ends without harshness or waste of effort. He early saw the scope of his pursuit, and proceeded towards it, step by step, with a singleness of purpose, and an undeviating perseverance, that rarely accompany a comprehensive mind. Indeed, Dr. Franklin's range of attention and idea was but narrow. The classical, poetical, and elegant writers, had employed little of his leisure; the moral, the sublime, the heroic delineations of the muse, seldom tinged his sentiments or actions ; nor had the luxuries and refinements of social life attraction enough to encroach much on his habits of snug sufficiency. He allowed himself time to think, and time to say but little: that little was always hitting: and what especially will consecrate his memory to the grateful veneration and glowing applause of the remotest posterity is, that he belonged among those worthies who have assisted the people to obtain liberty; and not among those cringelings, who have assisted sovereigns to extend their power.

A. A. R. ESSAY ON FOOLS AND JESTERS. FOOLS by profession, or (as they have sometimes heen called) jesters, were formerly of great account. Cardinal Wolsey, in 1529, presented his to Henry VIII. as a token of grateful and affectionate regard; as did Sir Thomas More his, upon resigning the seals, in 1532, to the Lord Mayor of London, and his successors in office.*

* Herbert's History of Henry.-Angeli was a fool of this surt in France. He had been a follower of the great Condé, and was given by him to the king; yet was far from wanting wit. He was once some time in company before he began to play the fool : when M. Bautru (who was the wit of the court) entering, “ I am glad,” said lie,

you are come: I was afraid I should have been alone." Menagiana. By his address in pleasing some, and in awing others, he made them all tributaries, and amassed so much money, that M. de Marigni said, “Of all the fools that had followed monsieur the prince, Angeli was the only one who had made his fortune.Ibid Boileau's slarved poet complains, that Angeli outstripped in preferment all competitors, of what merit soever:

“Et l'esprit le plus beau, l'auteur le plus poli,
N'y parviendra jamais au sort de l'Angeli."

Satire 1.

I have sometimes thought that these objects of mirth, however strangely and unnaturally they became so, might yet be made subservient to good purposes among the great, among king's ministers, and all who govern and bear influence with men. In the first place I would propose that the name of fool be discarded, and only that of jester retained. Fool implies a person deficient in understanding ; but natural deficiencies and imperfections must never be made objects of mirth. “Again, these fools, in reality, have not been such natural fools as some have imagined; on the contrary, if they were not the wisest persons at court, which yet roight sometimes admit a doubt, they have often been wiser, and known better what they were doing, than many who have laughed at them. The appellation of fools is therefore improperly applied to such,

Let me now set forth what idea I would include under the term jester ; by whom, then, I do not mean a person, who is merely to raise a laugh by doing absurd and ridiculous things: none of our kings have been so poorly attended, but who have abounded with servants qualified for this. By a jester, I mean one who should niix, utile dulci, the useful with the pleasant; who should instruct, at the same tin that he diverts; and, if the freedom may be allowed me, who should make the king wise as well as merry.

For this purpose, I would have him endowed with strong original powers, cultivated with letters, and thoroughly practised in the ways of men. Nor should his letters consist in a simple knowledge of languages, or in critical and philological matters; for these of themselves, though they excite admiration among the ignorant, yet leave the understanding as poor as they find it; but I would have them to consist of history, philosophy, and other branches of science and literature, which tend to make men knowing in human nature and human life. Thus accomplished, a jester may not only be diverting, according to the original institution of his place, but useful also and instructing, in a very superlative degree.

By profession, he is a manufacturer and dealer in apophthegms, proverbs, aphorisms, maxims, and bons mots of every kind : all which are not only highly calculated for wit and amusement, but (in the opinion of the wisest men) the inost efficacious means of convey, ing knowledge. Seneca says, that “even rude and uncultivated minds are struck, as it were, with these short but weighty sentences, which anticipate all reasoning, by Hashing truths upon them at once;” and he relates * " that Agrippa, the minister of Augustus Cæsar, used to own himself much indebted to that of Sallust, .concordiâ parvæ res crescunt; discordiâ maximæ dilabuntur:' a pithy sentence

ndeed, and which the good people of old England would, at all times, do well to ponder. Plutarch drew up and digested a collection of apophthegms for Trajan, and Erasmus did the same for a German prince; in the dedication to whom, after observing how finely fitted these close and pointed sentences are for instruction, he adds, that they are singularly accommodated to the situation and exigencies of a prince, who bas not time to read Plato, Aristotle, and other voluminous writers upon government, laws, and manuers.

Now with such instruments as these, managed judiciously, and with address, a jester may produce surprising effects; nay, Bayle has not scrupled to say, that "a sentence, taken from Livy or Tacitus, is capa ble of saving a nation, and, perhaps, bas saved more than one.”'t It is very well known that war, peace, and other important national events, have often originated, in secret, from very minute and (as would be thought) inadequate causes; while the reasons, pub!icly given out, have been merely ostensible. But a jester, such a one as I mean, is or may be often within the cabinet. He may therefore instruct his master, as I have said ; but he may do more; he may also, in some measure, regulate and direct his passions, and greatly influence his political conduct, while his apparent object shall only he to divert him. There was a jester among the household of Charles I. who was

ght before the council, and with much solemnity discarded from court, for pointing his raillery at Archbishop Laud; but many knowing ones have thought, that if the king had discarded the archbishop instead

* Epist. 94. + Project for a dictionary.

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