7 December 2015
FRANKLIN, Benjamin. Autograph letter signed (“B. Franklin”), to [William Strahan], [London] n.d., ca. 1759-62 or 1764-75. 1 page, small 4to, discreet mends on verso.
“THE LANGUAGE…REQUIRES A LITTLE FILING AND POLISHING, FOR THE READERS OF THE AGE GROW DELICATE”
Franklin’s appraisal of a “new work on Commerce.” He tells Strahan, the noted London publisher, that he has “perus’d the parts you put into my hands of the new work on commerce, and must own myself extremely pleased with it. It is a most valuable collection of facts which I should think every one in Britain, Ireland & the Colonies who has anything to do with Publick affairs, or is desirous of understanding that very interesting subject, would gladly be possessed of. The author appears to me, not a mere laborious compiler, but to have collected with judgment; & his own sentiments where he gives them are, I think, generally just. It would be a miracle in so large a work there should not be some mistakes; and some I conceive there are, which the author seems to have been almost unavoidably led into by the general current of commercial writers. The language too, I think, requires a little filing and polishing, for the readers of the Age grow delicate…” Published in Willcox, et al., ed. Papers 21:610.
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