« ElőzőTovább »
acknowledged his greatful sense of the many blerfings he had received from that Supreme Being, who had raised him from small and low beginnings to such high rank and consideration among men-and made no doubt but his present afflictions were kindly intended to wean him from a world, in which he was no longer fit to act the part affigned him. In this frame of body and mind he continued till five days before his death, when his pain and difficulty of breathing entirely left him, and his family were flattering themTelves with the hopes of his recovery; when an impofthumation, which had formed itself in his lungs, suddenly burst, and discharged a great quantity of matter, which he continued to throw up while he had strength to do it; but, as that failed, the organs of respiration became gradually oppressed--a calm lethargic state succeeded, and, on the 17th of April, 1790, about eleven o'clock at night, he quietly expired, closing a long and useful life of eighty-four years and three months. 26
It may not be amiss to add to the above account, that Dr. Franklin, in the year 1735, had a severe pleurisy, which terminated in an abscess of the left lobe of his lungs, and he was then almost fuffocated with the quantity and suddenness of the discharge. A second attack of a similar nature happened some years after this, from which he foon recovered, and did not appear to suffer any inconvenience in his respiration from these diseases.”'
The following Epitaph on himself, was written by him many years previous to his death :
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, Printer,
Its contents torn out,
Lies here, food for worms;
In a new
EXTRACTS FROM THE LAST WILL AND
TESTAMENT OF DR. FRANKLIN.
WITH regard to my Books, those I had in
France, and those I left in Philadelphia, being now assembled together here, and a catalogue made of them, it is my intention to dispose of the same as follows:
My History of the Academy of Sciences, in fixty or seventy volumes quarto, I give to the philofophical society of Philadelphia, of which I have the honour to be president. My collection in folio of Les Arts &3 Les Metiers, 1 give to the philosophical society, established in NewEngland, of which I am a member. My quarte
edition of the same Arts and Metiers, I give to the Library Company of Philadelphia. Such and so many of my books as I shall mark, in the said catalogue, with the name of my grandson Benjamin Franklin Bache, I do hereby give to him : and such and so many of my books as I shall mark in the said catal ne, with the name of my grandson William Bache, I do hereby give to him ; and such as shall be marked with the name of Jonathan Williams, I hereby give to my cousin of that name. The residue and remainder of all my books, manuscripts and papers, I do give to my grandson William Temple Franklin. My share in the library company of Philadelphia I give to my grandson Benjamin Franklin Bache, confiding that he will permit his brothers and sisters to share in the use of it.
I was born in Boston, New-England, and owe my first instructions in literature to the free
grammar-schools established there. I therefore give one hundred pounds sterling to my exccutors, to be by them, the survivors or survivor of them, paid over to the managers or directors of the free Schools in my native town of Boston, to be by them, or the person or persons who shall have the superintendance and management of the said schools, put out to interest, and so continued at interest for ever; which interest annually shall be laid out in silver medals, and given as honorary rewards annually by the directors of the said free schools, for the encouragement of scholarship in the said schools, belonging to the faid toun, in such manner as to the discretion of the Lelect men of the said town shall seem meet.
Out of the salary that inay remain due to me, as president of the state, I give the sum of two thousand pounds to my executors, to be by them, the survivors or survivor of them, paid over to such person or persons as the legislature of this Atateby an act of assembly, fhall appoint to receive the same, in trust, to be employed for making the Schuylkill navigable.
During the number of years I was in business as a stationer, printer, and postmaster, a great many small sums became due to me, for books, advertisements, postage of letters, and other matters, which were not collected, when, in 1757, I was sent by the assembly to England as their agent--and, by subsequent appointments continued there till 1775—when, on my return, I was immediately engaged in the affairs of congress, and sent to France in 1776, where I remained nine years, not returning till 1785; and the said debts not being demanded in such a length of time, are become in a manner obsolete, yet are nevertheless juftly duc--Thcre, as they are stated in my great folio leger, E, I bequeath to the contributors of the Pennsylvania hospital ; hoping that those debtors, and the descendants of such as are deceased, who now, as I find, make fone difficulty of satisfying such an:iquared de.. mands as just debts, may however be induced to pay or give them as charity to that excellent inilitution. I am sensible that much must ineviiably be loft ; but I hope something couliderable anlay be recovered. It is pollible 100 ibát some of the parties charged may have exitling oid tuileiled accounts aguinil ine ; in which calo
the managers of the said hospital will allow and dedu&t the amount, and pay the balance, if they find it against me.
I request my friends, Henry Hill, Esq. John Jay, Eig. Francis Hopkinson, Elq. and Mr. Edward Duffield, of Bonfield, in Philadelphia county, to be the executors of this iny last will and teftament, and I hereby nominate and appoint them for that purpose.
I would have my body buried with as little expence or ceremony as may be.
Philadelphia, Fuly 17, 1788.
I Benjamin Franklin, in the foregoing or annexed last will and teítament, having ither considered the same, do think proper to 10 and publish the following codicil, or addiivid thereto:
It having long been a fixed political opinion of mine, that in a democratical state there ougat to be no offices of profit, for the reasons I had given in an article of my drawing in our constitution, it was my intention, when I accepted the office of president, to devote the appointed falary to some public use : Accordingly I had already, before I made my last will, in July last, given large sums of it to colleges, schools, building of churches, &c. and in that will I bequcathed two thousand pounds more to the state, for the purpose of inaking the Schuylkill navigable; but unde: itanding firce, that such a sum will do but little towar do accomplifing fuch a work, a:
luced ellent - in.