|*How much more then may be done by the superior Frugality and Industry of the Men?|
JAN INGENHOUSZ, a Dutch-born doctor of medicine and physicist, lived for some years in England before he became body physician to the Emperor of Austria at Vienna in 1769. During his English residence he and Franklin, both interested in scientific matters, struck up a friendship which they continued by correspondence almost to the end of Franklin's life. Most of their letters dealt with topics in the field of "philosophy," as science was then generally called, and even during the Revolution Ingenhousz kept Franklin posted on the latest developments which came to his attention in Vienna. Franklin, of course, was much too busy to indulge his own love for scientific experimentation during his years as minister to France, where he arrived late in 1776, but he welcomed his friend's letters and wrote back when he could. The letter here printed, written in two installments, is partly a reporting of personal and family news and partly a mixture of political discussion and scientific comment. In reading between the lines it is easy to recognize the hope of the aging American "philosopher"--now seventy-one--that a speedy and successful end to the war might yet enable him to return to his dearest love, the pursuit of scientific study and experimentation.
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Publication information: Book title: Mr. Franklin:A Selection from His Personal Letters. Contributors: Leonard W. Labaree - Editor, Benjamin Franklin - Author, Whitfield J. Bell Jr. - Editor. Publisher: Yale University Press. Place of publication: New Haven, CT. Publication year: 1956. Page number: 36.
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