Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Catharine Ray, 16 October 1755

To Catharine Ray

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Philadelphia Oct. 16. 1755

Dear Katy

Your Favour of the 28th of June8 came to hand but the 28th of September, just 3 Months after it was written. I had, two Weeks before, wrote you a long Chat, and sent it to the Care of your Brother Ward.9 I hear you are now in Boston, gay and lovely as usual. Let me give you some fatherly Advice. Kill no more Pigeons than you can eat. Be a good Girl, and don’t forget your Catechise. Go constantly to Meeting—or Church—till you get a good Husband; then stay at home, and nurse the Children, and live like a Christian. Spend your spare Hours, in sober Whisk, Prayers, or learning to cypher. You must practise Addition to your Husband’s Estate, by Industry and Frugality; Subtraction of all unnecessary Expences; Multiplication (I would gladly have taught you that myself, but you thought it was time enough, and wou’dn’t learn) he will soon make you a Mistress of it. As to Division, I say with Brother Paul, Let there be no Divisions among ye.1 But as your good Sister Hubbard2 (my Love to her) is well acquainted with The Rule of Two, I hope you will become as expert in the Rule of Three; that when I have again the Pleasure of seeing you, I may find you like my Grape Vine, surrounded with Clusters, plump, juicy, blushing, pretty little rogues, like their Mama. Adieu. The Bell rings, and I must go among the Grave ones, and talk Politicks. Your affectionate Friend

B Franklin

P.S. The Plums came safe, and were so sweet from the Cause you mention’d, that I could scarce taste the Sugar.

Miss Catherine Ray.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8See above, p. 96.

9See above, p. 182. “Brother Ward” was Samuel Ward, Katy’s brother-in-law. See above, V, 504 n.

1I Corinthians 1:10.

2Judith Ray Hubbart, wife of Thomas Hubbart, stepson of BF’s brother John.

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