Passy, May 12. 1784.

Revd Sir,

I received your kind Letter with your ex-
cellent Advice to the People of the United States, which I
read with great Pleasure, and hope it will be duly re-
garded. Such Writings tho they may be lightly pass'd
over by many Readers, yet if they make a deep Impression on
one active Mind in an hundred, the Effects may be
considerable. Permit me to mention one little Instance,
which tho' it relates to my self, will not be quite uninte-
resting to you. When I was a Boy, I met with a
Book intitled Essays to do Good, which I think
was written by your Father. It had been so little
regarded by a former Possessor, that several Leaves of it
were torn out: But the Remainder gave me such a
Turn of Thinking as to have an Influence on my Conduct
thro' Life; for I have always set a greater Value on the
Character of a Doer of Good, than on any other kind of
Reputation; and if I have been, as you seem to think,
a useful Citizen, the Publick owes the Advantage of it
to that Book. You mention your being in your 78th
Year. I am in my 79th. We are grown old together. It is
now more than 60 Years since I left Boston, but I re-
[Subscription (recipient's name at bottom of page 1)] Rev.d Dr. Mather

member well both your Father and Grandfather having heard
them both in the Pulpit, and seen them in their Houses. The
last Time I saw your Father was in the Beginning of 1724.
when I visited him after my first Trip to Pennsylvania. He
receiv'd me in his Library, and on my taking Leave show'd me
a shorter way out of the House thro' a narrow Passage which
was cross'd by a Beam overhead. We were still talking
as I withdrew, he accompanying me behind, and I turning
partly towards him, when he said hastily Stoop, Stoop! I did not
understand him till I felt my Head hit against the Beam.
He was a Man that never miss'd any Occasion of giving
Instruction, and upon this he said to me, You are young
and have the World before you; Stoop as you go through it,
and you will miss many hard Thumps
. This Advice,
thus beat into my head has frequently been of use to me,
and I often think of it when I see Pride mortified, & Mis-
fortunes brought upon People by their carrying their Heads
too high.

I long much to See again my native Place, and once hoped to
lay my Bones there. I left it in 1723; I visited it in
1733, 1743, 1753, & 1763. In 1773 I was in England; in 1775
I had a Sight of it, but could not enter, it being in Possession
of the Enemy. I did hope to have been there in 1783, but could
not obtain my Dismission from this Employment here. And

now I fear I shall never have that Happiness. My
best Wishes however attend my dear Country, Esto perpetua. It is now blest
with an excellent Constitution. May it last forever.

This powerful Monarchy continues its Friendship
for the United States. It is a Friendship of the utmost
Importance to our Security, & should be carefully cultiva-
ted. Britain has not yet well digested the Loss of
its Dominion over us, and has still at times some flattering
Hopes of recovering it. Accidents may encrease those
Hopes, and encourage dangerous Attempts. A Breach
between us and France would infallibly bring the English again
upon our Backs. And yet we have some wild Heads among
our Country-men, who are endeavouring to weaken that Con-
nection! Let us preserve our Reputation by perform-
ing our Engagements, our Credit by fulfilling our Contracts,
and our Friends by Gratitude & Kindness; for we know
not how soon we may again have occasion for all of

With great and sincere Esteem, I have the ho-
nour to be, Reverend Sir,
Your most obedient
& most humble Servant
B Franklin


Dr. Franklin to Dr. Mather