one another. It seems to me that they are a little misplac'd, and that the last should have been the first. However, I never made any Difficulty about that, but was always willing to obey them both whenever I had an Opportunity. Pray tell me, my dear Casuist, whether my keeping religiously these two Commandments, tho' not in the Decalogue, may not be accepted in Compensation for my breaking so often one of the Ten, I mean that which forbids Coveting my Neighbor's Wife, and which I confess I break constantly, God forgive me, as often as I see or think of my lovely Confessor: And I am afraid I should never be able to repent of the Sin, even if I had the full Possession of her.
And now I am consulting you upon a Case of Conscience, I will mention the Opinion of a certain Father of the Church, which I find myself willing to adopt, tho' I am not sure it is orthodox. It is this, That the most effectual Way to get rid of a certain Temptation, is, as often as it returns, to comply with and satisfy it. Pray instruct me how far I may venture to practise upon this Principle?
But why should I be so scrupulous, when you have promised to absolve me of the future!
Adieu, my charming Conductress, and believe me ever, with the sincerest Esteem and Affection,
Your most obedient and humble Servant
[ B. Franklin]
PERHAPS the heaviest sacrifice Franklin had to make for his country through service in France as American minister in France was separation from his family for nearly nine years. Many of his letters mention his longing to see his nearest relatives and his feeling of privation, in spite of his popularity in France. He had taken two grandsons with him to Europe. William Temple