Dr. Franklin, who had no Business to do, or who at least would do none, and who had
Mr. William Temple Franklin for his private Secretary, without consulting his Colleagues
and indeed without saying a Word to me, who lived in the same house with him and had
no private Secretary, though I had all the Business to do, thought fit to take into
the Family a French private Secretary, a young Man of civil deportment however and
good Understanding. He had some Knowledge of the Italian, German and English Languages.
For what reason or for what Purpose he was introduced I never knew. Whether it was
to be a Spy upon me, or whether Franklin was persuaded by some of his French Friends
to give him Employment, or whether it was to save Mr. William Temple the trouble of
Copying the Letters when I had written them, I gave myself no trouble to enquire.
I thought his Salary and his Keeping an unnecessary expence. The young Man however
continued with Us, as long as I remained at Passi, and conducted himself with propriety.
This day I dined at home, with this young Gentleman only. Having some Inclination
to look a little into the Italian Language, I asked him which was the best Dictionary
and Grammar of it. He said those of Veneroni: and the best Dictionary and Grammar
of the German, were those of Gottshed. I asked many questions about French books,
and particularly enquired about their Prosody, as I wished to understand something
of their Versification. He said the best Treatise of French Prosody was The Poetique
Francoise of Mr. Marmontell.