Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to David Hartley, [29 April 1778]

To David Hartley

Reprinted from William Temple Franklin, ed., Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Benjamin Franklin . . . (4to ed.; 3 vols., London, 1817–18), II, 249.

[April 29, 17786]

I thank you for your kind caution, but having nearly finished a long life, I set but little value on what remains of it. Like a draper, when one chaffers with him for a remnant, I am ready to say, “As it is only the fag-end, I will not differ with you about it, take it for what you please.”7 Perhaps the best use such an old fellow can be put to, is to make a martyr of him,


[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6In the preceding letter Hartley said that he was leaving within hours; this reply must therefore have been almost immediate.

7He had used the same analogy when leaving for France: above, XXII, 625.

Index Entries