To Hugh Roberts
LS:7 Historical Society of Pennsylvania
London, Feb. 26, 1761.
I think I have before acknowledg’d the Receipt of your Favour of the 15th. of the 5th. Month 1760.8 (I use your own Notation because I cannot tell what Month it was, without Reckoning.)9 I thank you for it, however, once more; I receiv’d it by the hand of your Son,1 and had the Pleasure withal of seeing him grown up a solid sensible young Man. You will have, I see, a great deal of Satisfaction in him, and I congratulate you cordially on that head.
I was glad to hear that the Hospital is still supported. I write to the Managers by this Ship.2 In my Journeys thro’ England and Scotland, I have visited several of the same kind, which I think are all in a good Way.3 I send you by this Ship sundry of their Accounts and Rules, which were given me; possibly you may find a useful Hint or two in some of them. I believe we shall be able to make a small Collection here; but I cannot promise it will be very considerable.4
You tell me you sometimes visit the ancient Junto. I wish you would do it oftner. I know they all love and respect you, and regret your absenting yourself so much. People are apt to grow strange and not understand one another so well, when they meet but seldom. Since we have held that Club till we are grown grey together, let us hold it out to the End. For my own Part, I find I love Company, Chat, a Laugh, a Glass, and even a Song, as well as ever; and at the same Time relish better than I us’d to do, the grave Observations and wise Sentences of old Men’s Conversation: So that I am sure the Junto will be still as agreeable to me as it ever has been: I therefore hope it will not be discontinu’d as long as we are able to crawl together.
I thank you for the frequent kind Visits you are so good as to make my little Family. I now hope in a little Time to have the Pleasure of seeing them, and thanking my Friends in Person. With the sincerest Esteem and Regard, I am, Dear Friend, Yours affectionately
Billy presents his Respects.
To Mr. H. Roberts.
Addressed: To / Mr Hugh Roberts / Philadelphia / Per the Dragon / Capt. Hammet
Endorsed: Letter from Benja. Franklin London 26 Febry 1761 recd per the Dragon Hammet
7. In WF’s hand.
8. See above, pp. 113–16.
9. BF would never have teased a Quaker in this way except a very close friend.
1. George Roberts was in England to investigate the iron industry; see above, p. 116.
2. The letter to the managers of the Pa. Hospital has not been found. It was apparently in answer to theirs of Dec. 29, 1760; see above, p. 255.
3. BF probably visited the Edinburgh Infirmary during his Scottish trip in 1759 with Sir Alexander Dick, president of the College of Physicians of that city. He may also have visited the Infirmary at Worcester, with the physician of which, Dr. William Thomson (above, p. 243 n), he became friendly during a short stay in that city in September 1760.
4. On the eve of his departure for England in 1757 and again in December 1760, the managers of the Pa. Hospital had asked BF to help in soliciting contributions in London for the Hospital. The editors have found no evidence that BF succeeded in this endeavor.