[Parts of this letter were published in Sparks, Familiar Letters, pp. 171- 172, as "To a Relation in America." It was first printed in its entirety in Carl Van Doren, Benjamin Franklin's Autobiographical Writings, pp. 471-473, and is here again printed from the manuscript, apparently in Temple Franklin's hand, in the American Philosophical Society.]
Passy Oct. 25. 1779.
I received your kind Letter of Feb. 14. the Contents of which gave me a kind of melancholy Satisfaction. The greater Ease you will now enjoy makes some Compensation in my Mind for the uncomfortable Circumstance that brought it about. I hope you will have no more Afflictions of that kind, and that after so long and stormy a Day your Evening may be serene & pleasant.
Yours of June 23d by Mr Watson is also come safe to hand. The Description you give of your present Situation is pleasing. I rejoice to hear you have so much Comfort in your Grandaughter and her good Husband. Give my Love to them.
The Account you had from Jona Williams of the Vogue I am in here, has some Truth in it. Perhaps few Strangers in France have had the good Fortune to be so universally Popular: But the Story you allude to, which was in the News Papers, mentioning "mechanic Rust." &ca is totally without Foundation. The English Papers frequently take those Liberties with me. I remember to have once counted seven Paragraphs relating to me that came by one Post, all of which were Lies except one that only mentioned my living in the same House with Mr Deane.-- This Popularity has occasioned so many Paintings, Bust&s, Medals & Prints to be made of me, and distributed throughout the Kingdom, that my Face is now almost as well known as that of the Moon. But one is not to expect being always in Fashion. I hope however to preserve, while I stay, the Regard you mention of the French Ladies, for their Society and Conversation when I have time to enjoy it, is extreamly agreable.
The Enemy have been very near you indeed. When only at