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means of the press, till its divine flame reaches the skies!

For the purpose of aiding his press, and increasing the materials of information, one of the first societies formed by Dr. Franklin, was in the year 1728, about the 22d of his age, and was called the Junto. It consisted of a select number of his younger friends, who met weekly for the "Discussion of questions in morality, politics, and natural philosophy." The number was limited to twelve members, who were bound together in all the ties of friendship, and engaged to assist each other, not only in the mutual communication of knowledge, but in all their worldly undertakings. This society, after having subsisted forty years, and having contributed to the formation of some very great men, besides Dr. Franklin himself, became at last the foundation of the American Philosophical Society, now assembled to pay the debt of gratitude to his memory. A book containing many of the questions discussed by the Junto was, on the formation of the American Philosophical Society, delivered into my hands, for the purpose of being digested, and in due time published among the transactions of that body. Many of the questions are curious and curiously handled; such as the following:

Is sound an entity or body?

How may the phenomena of vapors be explained? Is self-interest the rudder that steers mankind; the universal monarch to whom all are tributaries?

Which is the best form of government, and what was that form which first prevailed among mankind?

Can any one particular form of government suit all mankind?

What is the reason that the tides rise higher in the bay of Fundy than in the bay of Delaware?

Is the emission of paper money safe?

What is the reason that men of the greatest knowledge are not the most happy?

How may the possession of the lakes be improved to our advantage?

Why are tumultuous, uneasy sensations united with our desires?

Whether it ought to be the aim of philosophy to eradicate the passions?

How may smoaky chimnies be best cured?

Why does the flame of a candle tend upwards in a spire?

Which is least criminal, a bad action joined with a good intention, or a good action with a bad intention?

Is it consistent with the principles of liberty in a free government, to punish a man as a libeller, when he speaks the truth?

These, and such similar questions of a very mixt nature, being proposed in one evening, were generally discussed the succeeding evening, and the substance of the arguments entered in their books.

But Dr. Franklin did not rest satisfied with the institution of this literary club for the improvement of himself and a few of his select friends. He proceeded year after year, in the projecting and establishing other institutions for the benefit of the community at large.

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Thus, in 1731, he set on foot the "Library company of the city of Philadelphia," a most important institution to all ranks of people; giving them access, at a small expense, to books on every useful subject; amounting in the whole to near ten thousand volumes and the number daily encreasing. The affairs of the company have been managed from the beginning by directors of the most respectable characters. Their estate is now of very considerable value; they have erected an elegant house, and over the front door of the building, have prepared a niche for the statue of their venerable founder; who, after the establishment of this company, still proceeded to promote other establishments and associations, such as fire-companies; the nightly-watch for the city of Philadelphia;

plan for cleaning, lighting and ornamenting the streets; and an association for insuring houses against damages by fire; to which, as collateral, he soon afterwards added his plan for improving chimnies and fire places, which was first printed at Philadelphia in 1745, entitled "An account of the new invented Pennsylvania fire places;" which gave rise to the open stoves now in general use, to the comfort of thousands, who, assembled round them in the wintry night, bless the name of the inventor which they yet bear!

The next institution, in the foundation of which he was the principal agent, was the academy and charitable school of the city of Philadelphia; the plan of which he drew up and published in the year 1749, as "suitable to the state of an infant country:" but

looking forward, as he did in all his plans, to a more improved state of society, he declared this academy to be "intended as a foundation for posterity to erect into a college or seminary of learning more extensive, and suitable to future circumstances;" and the same was accordingly erected into a college, or seminary of universal learning, upon the most enlarged and liberal plan, about five years afterwards.*

The Pennsylvania Hospital is the next monument of his philanthropy and public spirit; for the establishment and endowment of which, he was happily instrumental in obtaining a legislative sanction and grant, by his great influence in the general assembly, in the year 1752.

These various institutions, which do so much honour to Pennsylvania, he projected and saw established during the first twenty years of his residence in this state. Many more must have been his good offices and actions among his friends and fellow citizens during that period, which were done in secret, and of which no record remains: but they went before him to another world, and are written in durable characters by the pen of the recording Angel.

A life so assiduously employed in devising and executing schemes for the public good, could not fail to aid him in his political career. He first became clerk of the general assembly, and then a member of the same for the city of Philadelphia, for the space of fourteen years successively.

* It will be mentioned in another place, what countenance and assistance the author of this oration derived from Dr Franklin in digesting the plan of education, and erecting this institution into a college or seminary of universal learning.

In 1744, a Spanish privateer, having entered the bay of Delaware, ascended as high as New-Castle to the great terror of the citizens of Philadelphia. On occasion of this alarm, he wrote his first political pamphlet called Plain Truth, to exhort his fellow citizens to the bearing of arms; which laid the foundation of those military associations which followed, at different times, for the defence of the country.

His popularity was now great among all parties and denominations of men. But the unhappy divisions and disputes which commenced in the provincial politics of Pennsylvania, in the year 1754 obliged him soon afterwards to chuse his party. He managed his weapons like a veteran combatant; nor was he opposed with unequal strength or skill. The debates of that day have been read and admired as among the most masterly compositions of the kind, which our language affords; but it is happy for us, at the present day, that the subject of them is no longer interesting; and if it were, he who now addresses you was too much an actor in the scene to be fit for the discussion of it. Dr. Franklin, by the appointment of the general assembly, quitted the immediate field of controversy, and in June 1757, embarked for England, to contest his point at the court of Great-Britain, where he continued for several years with various success in the business of his agency. In the summer of 1762, he returned to America; but the disputes which had so long agitated the province, far from being quieted by his former mission, continued to rage with greater violence than ever, and he was again

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