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ed himself to the pinnacle of politics and letters; a man who, from a humble printer's boy, had elevated himself to be the desirable companion of celebrated men; who, from trundling a wheel-barrow in bye. lanes, had been advanced to pass in splendour through the courts of kings; and from hawking ballads, to the contracting and signing treaties, which gave peace and independence to three millions of his fellow cit. izens, was a sight extremely interesting. I found the doctor surrounded by company, most of whom were young people.
He received me with attention; dispatched a person for the papers I wanted; asked me politely to be seated; enquired after my family, and told me a pleasing anecdote of my brave ancestop, Captain Underhill. I found in the doctor all that simplicity of language which is remarkable in his productions. I am convinced that men of gen. uine merit as they possess the essence, they need not the parade of great knowledge. A rich man is often plain in his attire; and the man who has abundant treasures of learning, simple in his manners and style.
The doctor, in early life, was economical from prin. ciple; in his latter days perhaps from habit. Poor Richard” held the purse-strings of the president of Philadelphia. Permit me to illustrate this observa. tion by an anecdote. Soon after I was introduced, an airy thoughtless relation of the doctor's, from a New England state, entered the room. It seems he was on a party of pleasure; and had been so much involved in it, for three weeks, as not to have paid his respects to his venerable relative. The purpose of his present visit was to solicit the loan of a small sum of money, to enable him to pay his bills, and transport himself home. He preluded his request with a detail of embarrassments which might have he
faller the most circumspect. The doctor enquiring how much was the sum, he replied, with some hesitation, fifty dollars. Franklin went to his escritor, and counted out a hundred. He received them with many promises of punctual payment, and hastily took up a pen to draw a note of hand for the cash. The doctor, who perceived the nature of the borrower's embarassments better than he was aware, and prepos. sessed with the improbability of ever recovering his cash again,' stepped across the room, and laying his hand gently upon his cousin's arm, said, “Stop, cou. sin, we will save the paper; a quarter of a sheet is not of great value, but it is worth saving :" comer. ing at once, a liberal gift and gentle reprimand for the borrower’s prevarication and extravagance.