Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Hugh Roberts, 29 April 1780

From Hugh Roberts3

ALS and ALS (draft): Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Philada: 29. 4 mo [April] 1780

My Dr. Friend BF

On revival of the memory of the many agreable hours I have formerly passed in thy Company; Joys of an elivating kind arise, and make them appear in prospect: yet to consider the length of time elapsed, it seems as if we had lived in a distant age, & risen to take a view of succeeding generations; where but little of the former appearances remain, or make any legible impression.

I frequently pass the length of a Street, without seeing a person with whom I have any acquaintance, for our old Friends are mostly departed; very few remain here but S: Rhoads, with whom I yet spend some agreable hours,4 and often make thee, our old friend the pleasing subject of conversation.

I sometimes visit thy daughter Sally with her three fine Children, where in thy late place of Abode, many things around, renew a lively impression of my worthy Friend BF— My former labours in the building, planting and gardening way, begin to appear as Solomon has truely described, to be Vanity;5 and no other conduct will give so firm a hope, as seeking that wisdom, that is from above—

I expect this will come by the hands of George Fox, a young man of our neighbourhood, of good Abilities and Literature, who now embarks for France, and I think intends to endeavour to improve in the Study of Physick; and if it should fall in thy way, to impart to him, some useful hints, for his conduct in a strange land, I shall accept it as a favour, and they may contribute to stimulate his Spirits to worthy Actions, when noticed by a Gentleman so much remarkt for a truely beneficent mind.

I remain with the greatest esteem for thee & thine

Hugh Roberts

To Benjamin Franklin

Addressed: To / Dr: Benjamin Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3Roberts had claimed the previous September that he was too old to write to BF: XXX, 394.

4XXX, 394–5.

5“Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.” Ecclesiastes 1:2.

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