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of the establishing manufactures in the colonies to the prejudice 2 of those of the kingdom. It is objected by superficial readers, who yet pretend to some knowledge of those countries, that such establishments are not only improbable, but impossible, for that their sheep have but little wool, not in the whole sufficient for a pair of stockings a year to each inhabitant; that, from the universal dearness of labor among them, the working of iron and other materials, except in a few coarse instances, is impracticable to any advantage.

Dear sir, do not let us suffer 4 ourselves to be amused with such groundless objections. The very tails of the American sheep are so laden with wool, that each has a little car or wagon on four little wheels, to support and keep it from trailing on the ground. Would they calk 5 their ships, would they even litter 6 their horses, with wool, if it were not both plenty and cheap? And what signifies the dearness of labor, when an English shilling passes for five and twenty? Their engaging three hundred silk throwsters 7 here in one week for New York was treated as a fable, because, forsooth, they have “no silk to throw."

1 establishing, etc.: an example shows the word to be derived from of the infinitive in -ing governing Latin calcare, to tread, to press close. a noun in the objective case. The primary notion in “calk” is 2 prejudice, damage.

that of forcing in by great pressure. 3 those countries: that is, the 6 litter (connected with French colonies.

lit, Latin lectus, a bed), to bed: to 4 suffer, permit.

furnish with a coarse bed of straw, 5 calk, to stop up the seams of etc. a ship. The etymology of this 7 throwster (throw + ster, one word in Webster is erroneous; as who), one who throws, twists, or Skeat (Etymological Dictionary) / winds silk.

Those who make this objection perhaps do not know that at the same time the agents from the King of Spain were at Quebec to contract 2 for one thousand pieces of cannon to be made there for the fortification of Mexico, and at New York engaging the usual4 supply of woolen floor-carpets for their West-India houses; other agents from the Emperor of China were at Boston treating about an exchange of raw silk for wool, to be carried in Chinese junks through the Straits of Magellan.

And yet all this is as certainly true, as the account said to be from Quebec, in all the papers of last week, that the inhabitants of Canada are making preparations for a cod and whale fishery this “summer in the upper lakes.” Ignorant 6 people may object, that the upper lakes are fresh, and that cod and whales are saltwater fish; but let them know, sir, that cod, like other fish when attacked by their enemies, fly into any water where they can be safest; that whales, when they have a mind to eat cod, pursue them wherever they fly; and that the grand leap of the whale in the chase up

the Falls of Niagara is esteemed, by all who have seen it, as one of the finest spectacles 8 in nature.

Really, sir, the world is grown too incredulous. It

1 agent. See Glossary.

6 ignorant. Show the apposite2 contract: from con and trahere, ness of the word as here used. to draw together, as a writing. 7 the grand leap, etc. The deli

8 pieces of cannon=cannon. The cious absurdity of this passage will idiom is French.

be taken in by every pupil. 4 usual. Notice the irony in the 8 spectacles: from specere, to see; use of this word.

hence, literally, sights. 5 junk, a Chinese vessel.

9 incredulous. See Glossary.

is like the pendulum ever swinging from one extreme to the other. Formerly every thing printed was believed, because it was in print: now things seem to be disbelieved for just the very same reason.



[In inclosing to a friend a copy of the following charming little allegorical sketch, Franklin wrote: “To understand it rightly you should be acquainted with some few circumstances. The person to whom it was addressed is Madame Brillon, a lady of most respectable character and pleasing conversation ; mistress of an amiable family in his neighborhood (Passy, now a part of Paris], with which I spend an evening twice in every week. She has, among other elegant accomplishments, that of an excellent musician. The Moulin Joly is a little island in the Seine, about two leagues hence, part of the country-seat of another friend, where we visit every summer. At the time when the letter was written, all conversations at Paris were filled with disputes about the music of Gluck and Picini, a German and Italian musician, who divided the town into violent parties.”']

You may remember, my dear friend, that when we lately spent that happy day in the delightful garden and sweet society of the Moulin Joly, I stopped a little in one of our walks, and stayed some time behind the company. We had been shown numberless skeletons of a kind of little fly, called an ephemera, whose successive generations, we were told, were bred and expired within the day. I happened to see a living

1 You may remember ... be- 2 ephemera: from Greek epi, for, hind the company. Period or loose and hemera, a day; hence, literally, sentence?

a fly that lives for a day only.

company of them on a leaf, who appeared to be engaged in conversation.

You know I understand all the inferior animal tongues. My too great application to the study of them is the best excuse I can give for the little progress I have made in your charming language. I listened, through curiosity, to the discourse of these little creatures; but as they, in their natural vivacity, spoke three or four together, I could make but little of their conversation. I found, however, by some broken expressions that I heard now and then, they were disputing warmly on the merit of two foreign musicians, one a piping gnat, the other a mosquito, in which dispute 3 they spent their time, seemingly as regardless of the shortness of life as if they had been sure of living a month.

Happy people!” thought I; “ you are certainly under a wise, just, and mild government, since you have no public grievances to complain of, nor any subject of contention 4 but the perfections and imperfections of foreign music.” I turned my head from them to an old gray-headed one, who was alone on another leaf, and talking to himself. Being amused with his soliloquy,” I put it down in writing, in hopes it will likewise



1 the inferior animal tongues. 8 dispute. See Glossary. Change to a neater form of expres subject of contention. It must sion.

be understood that all this has 2 yourcharming language: that oblique reference to the condition is, French, the language of the of the French people at this time. lady he was addressing, and in 5 soliloquy: from Latin solus, which this letter was originally alone, and loqui, to speak; a talkwritten.

|ing to one's self.

amuse her to whom I am so much indebted for the most pleasing of all amusements, her delicious company and heavenly harmony.

“It was,” said he, “the opinion of learned philosophers of our race, who lived and flourished long before my time, that this vast world, the Moulin Joly, could not itself subsist? more than eighteen hours; and I think there was some foundation for that opinion, since, by the apparent motion of the great luminary that gives life to all nature, and which in my time has evidently declined considerably towards the ocean at the end of our earth, it must then finish its course, be extinguished in the waters that surround us, and leave the world in cold and darkness, necessarily producing universal death and destruction.

“I have lived seven of those hours,- a great age, being no less than four hundred and twenty minutes of time. How very few of us continue so long! I have seen generations born, flourish, and expire. My present friends are the children and grandchildren of the friends of my youth, who are now, alas! no more. And I must soon follow them ; for by the course of nature, though still in health, I can not expect to live above seven or eight minutes longer.

What now avails all my toil and labor, in amassing honey-dew 3 on this leaf, which I can not live to enjoy? What the

1 her to whom, etc. No one ever | ous scientific and political prepossessed in a higher degree than occupations. Franklin the fine art of turning a 2 subsist=exist. graceful compliment to a lady; and 8 honey-dew. Give the meanthis he was always ready to do, ing (as applied to man) of this alleeven in the midst of his most seri- gorically used word.

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