The Letters of Benjamin Franklin & Jane Mecom

By Carl Van Doren; Benjamin Franklin et al. | Go to book overview

"The Word Excellency does not belong to me"

[This letter, except for a few words of the opening sentence, was first published by Sparks, Familiar Letters, pp. 216-217. It was printed by Smyth, Writings, X, 33-34, from the defective letter-press copy in the Library of Congress. It is here printed, more correctly, from the letter sent, which is now in the American Philosophical Society. Franklin, having ceased to be President of Pennsylvania, was no longer to be called His Excellency.]

Philada Augt 3. 1789

DEAR SISTER,

I have receiv'd your kind Letter of the 23d past, and am glad to learn that you have at length got some of those I so long since wrote to you. I think your Post Office is very badly managed. I expect your Bill, & shall pay it when it appears.--I would have you put the Books into Cousin Jonathan's Hands who will dispose of them for you if he can, or return them hither. I am very much pleas'd to hear that you have had no Misunderstanding with his good Father. Indeed if there had been any such, I should have concluded that it was your Fault: for I think our Family were always subject to being a little Miffy.--By the way, is our Relationship in Nantucket quite worn out?--I have met with none from thence of late Years who were dispos'd to be acquainted with me, except Capt. Timothy Fulger. They are wonderfully shy. But I admire their honest plainness of Speech. About a Year ago I invited two of them to dine with me. Their Answer was that they would--if they could not do better. I suppose they did better, for I never saw them afterwards; and so had no Opportunity of showing my Miff, if I had one.--Give my Love to Cousin Williams's and thank them from me for all the Kindnesses to you, which I have always been acquainted with by you, and take as if done to myself. I am sorry to learn from his Son, that his Health is not so firm as formerly. A Journey hither by Land might do him good, and I should be happy to see him.--I shall make the Addition you desire to my Superscriptions, desiring in Return that you would make a Substraction from yours. The Word Excellency does not belong to me, and Dr will be

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