Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Mary Hewson, 26 December 1783

To Mary Hewson

ALS: Yale University Library

Passy, Dec. 26. 1783.

Dear Polly,

In reading Mr Viny’s Letter when I receiv’d it, I miss’d seeing yours which was written behind it in a Corner.4 I thank you much for your kind Offer respecting my Grandson. I was fully resolv’d on sending him in September last, and engag’d Mr Jay, one of my Colleagues then going to England, to take him over in his Company:5 But when it came to be propos’d to him, he show’d such an Unwillingness to leave me, and Temple such a Fondness for retaining him, that I concluded to keep him till I should go over myself. He behaves very well, & we love him very much.

I send herewith two different French Grammars, not knowing which to prefer, Opinions here being divided. Your French Master may take his Choice, and you will present the other to my Godson6 as my New Year’s Gift, with the two Volumes of Synonymes Françoises,7 an excellent Work. They will be left at Mr. Hodgson’s, Merchant, in Coleman Street, where you may have them on sending for them. Adieu, my dear Friend. I long to see you and yours, but God only knows when that may happen. I am nevertheless Yours most affectionately

B Franklin

Mrs Hewson

Endorsed: B. F. Dec. 26 /— 83

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4Her note was on the verso of Viny’s letter, which is published under the date [after Nov. 28].

5BF also talked to Henry Dagge about escorting BFB. In a note to BF dated only “Saturday morning” (October, 1783?), Dagge wrote that because he had received no word from BF since his visit to Passy, and as he was leaving Paris the next day, he would not “have the pleasure of Escorting my young Friend to London.” He had just spoken to Walpole, and would soon send BF a memoir about the “Ohio Business.” Walpole would also discuss it with BF. APS. Dagge visited BF c. the end of September; see Dagge to BF, [Sept. 26] and, for the Walpole Co., the references cited there.

6William Hewson, Jr.: XIX, 43.

7BF misspelled the title of Gabriel Girard, Synonymes françois …, ed. Nicolas Beauzée (2 vols.; Paris, 1769). He had owned a set of these volumes since at least 1781, though it has not been located: XXXVI, 332. The work was reprinted several times in Paris and elsewhere, and a revised edition was published in Paris in 1780.

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