Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Peter Timothy, 3 November 1772

To Peter Timothy

ALS (letterbook draft): Library of Congress

London, Nov. 3. 1772

Dear Sir,

I received yours of Aug. 24. by Capt. Vanderhorst, to whom I should willingly have shown any Civilities in my Power, but I being gouty of late seldom go into the City, and he has not called on me since he delivered your Letter. I am sorry you talk of leaving off your Business with a View of getting some Post.9 It is so difficult a matter to obtain any thing of the kind, that I think to leave a good Trade in hopes of an Office, is quitting a Certainty for an Uncertainty, and losing Substance for Shadow. I have known so many here dangling and soliciting Years for Places, till they were reduc’d to the lowest Poverty and Distress, that I cannot but pity a Man who begins to turn his Thoughts that way: The Proverb says, He who has a Trade has an Office of Profit and Honour;1 because he does not hold it during any other Man’s Pleasure, and it affords him honest Subsistence with Independence. I hope therefore you will alter your mind and go on with your Business. I assure you it is not in my Power to procure you that Post you mention or any other, whatever my Wishes may be for your Prosperity. I am now thought here too much an American to have any Interest of the kind.

You have done me Honour in giving a Son my Name. I wish he may live to be an Honour and Comfort to you. With Compliments to Mrs. Timothy, I am ever, Dear Sir, Your faithful and most obedient Servant

B F.

Mr Timothy

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9The various matters that BF discusses in this letter are explained in the one from Timothy to which he is replying.

1Poor Richard: above, VI, 321.

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