Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Lord Kames, 18 February 1768

From Lord Kames

LS: American Philosophical Society

Edinburgh, 18th. Feby. [176]8

I begin to perceive in my decline of life4 that happiness, comfort at least, depends more upon what a Philosopher would call slight conveniences than a young man in the ardour of his studies is apt to imagine. I have bought a house in this Town which luckily is absolutely free of smoke except what is commonly called neighbour smoke; that is the smoke issuing from one vent sometimes goes down a neighbouring vent and issues into the Room when there is no fire in it. I apply to you for a remedy as to an universal Smoke Doctor; and if I had a remedy, mine would be the most compleat house in Edinburgh.

I have been thinking lately of adopting your Philadelphia Grate, as it promises to save Coal, and to diffuse an equal heat through the Room.5 But I first wish to learn from you whether it will perfectly answer its purpose, and whether you have made any improvement.

Will nothing again ever draw you to Scotland? I have got one of the finest places with an inchanting Winter Garden; and it would give me great joy to entertain you there.6 Your faithful friend

Henry Home

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4For a biographical note on BF’s old friend Lord Kames, who was now in his early seventies, see above, IX, 5 n. BF’s answer to this letter is below, Feb. 28, 1768.

5For BF’s Pennsylvania fireplace see above, II, 419–46; VIII, 195 n.

6Blair-Drummond, Perthshire; see above, XIII, 478 n.

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