fond of giving Advice, having seldom seen it taken. An Italian Poet in his Account of a Voyage to the Moon, tells us that
All things lost on Earth are treasur'd there.
On which somebody observ'd, There must then be in the Moon a great deal of Good Advice.
Ben, concerning whom you enquire, is at the University, and very diligent in his Studies. Will is at the Episcopal Academy, & learns well, the rest are all promising, your Niece particularly; and the whole Family, Thanks to God, enjoy at present very good Health.--We join in Love to you & yours. I am ever,
Your affectionate Brother,
Love to Cousin Williams B FRANKLIN
[First printed, without the opening paragraph, in Sparks, Familiar Letters, pp. 209-210, as "To a Friend"; and in Sparks, Works, X, 264- 265, as "To Mrs. Jane Mecom." Printed by Smyth, Writings, IX, 522- 523, with some details from the letter-press copy in the Library of Congress but in part straight from Sparks. Here printed from the letter which was sent and is now in the American Philosophical Society. Franklin's memory was at fault about the signing of the Declaration, which had been voted on July 4, 1776, but signed on August 2, and by some of the Signers, still later.]
Philada July 4. 1786
I receiv'd the second Box of Soap, which appears very firm and very good, I am much obliged by the Pains you have taken to humour me in that Matter.
You need not be concern'd in writing to me about your bad Spelling: for in my Opinion as our Alphabet now Stands, the bad Spelling, or what is call'd so, is generally the best, as conforming to the Sound of the Letters and of the Words. To give you an Instance, A Gentleman receiving a Letter in which were these Words, Not finding Brown at hom, I delivered your Meseg to his yf. The Gentleman finding it bad Spelling, and