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their agent, with a handsome salary, which continued some years; and altthough I accidentally lost in their service, by transmitting governor Hutchinson's letters, much more than the amount of what they gave me, I do not think that ought in the least to diminish my gratitude. I have considered that, among artisans, good apprentices are most likely to make good citizens, and having myself been bred to a manual art, printing, in my native town, and afterwards assisted to set up my business in Philadelphia by kind loans of money from two friends there, which was the foundation of my fortune, and of all the utility in life that may be ascribed to me
-I vish to be irseful even after my death, if possible, in forming and advancing other young men, that may be serviceable to their country in both these towns.
To this end I devote two thousand pounds sterling, which I give, one thousand thereof to the inhabitants of the town of Boston, in Massachussets, and the other thousand to the inhabitants of the city of Philadelphia, in trust, to and for the uses, intents, and purposes, herein after mentioned and declared.
The said sum of one thousand pounds sterling, if ac cepted by the inhabitants of the town of Boston, shall be managed under the direction of the select men, united with the ministers of the oldest episcopalian, congregational, and presbyterian churches in thai town, who are to let out the same at five per cent. per annun, to such young married artificers, under the age of twenty-five years, as have served an apprenticeship in the said town, and faithfully fulfilled the duties required in their indentures, so as to obtain a good moral character from at least two respectable citizens, who are willing to become sureties in a bond, with the applicants, for the re-payment of the money so lent, with interest, according to the terms hereinafter prescribed; all which bonds are to be taken for Spanish milled dollars, or the value thereof in current gold coin: and the manager shall keep a bound book, or books. wherein shall be entered the names of those who shall apply for, and receive the benefit of this institution, and of their sureties, together with the sums lent, the dates, and other necessary and proper records, respeeting the business and concerns of this in. stitution ; and as these loans are intended to assist young married artificers, in setting up their business, they are to be proportioned by the discretion of the managers, so as not to exceed sixty pounds sterling to one person, nor to be less than fifteen pounds.
And if the number of appliers so entitled should be 60 large as that the sum will not suffice to afford to each as much as might otherwise not be improper, the propor. tion to each shall be diminished, so as to afford to every one some assistance. These aids may, therefore, be small at first, but as the capital increases by the accumulated interest, they will be more ample. And in order to serve
as many as possible in their turn, as well as to make the repayment of the principal borrowed more easy, each borrower shall be obliged to pay with the yearly interest, one tenth part of the principal; which sums of principal and interest so paid in, shall be again let out to freshi borrowers. And it is presumed, that there will be always found in Boston virtuous and benevolent citizens, willing to bestow a part of their time in doing good to the rising generation, by superintending and managing this institution gratis; it is hoped that no part of the money will at any time lie dead, or be diverted to other purposes, but be continually augmenting by the interest, in which case, there may in time be more than the oceasion in Boston may require; and then some may be spared to the neighbouring or other towns, in the said state of Massachusetts, which may desire to have it, such towns engaging to pay punctually the interest, and the proportion of the princi. pal annually to the inhabitants of the town of Boston. If this plan is executed, and succeeds, as projected, for one hundred years, the sum will then be one hundred and thirty thousand pounds, of which I would have the mana. gers of the donation to the town of Boston then lay out, at their discretion, one hundred thousand pounds in pu. blic works, which may be judged of most general utility to the inhabitants, such as fortifications, bridges, aque. ducts, public buildings, baths, pavements, or whatever may make living in the town more convenient to its peo. ple, and render it more agreeable to strangers resorting thither for health, or a temporary residence. The remain ing thirty-one thousand pounds I would have continued to be let out to interest, in the manner above directed, for one hundred years; as I hope it will have been found that the institution has had a good effect on the conduct of youth, and been of service to many worthy characters and useful citizens. At the end of this second term, if no unfortunate accident has prevented the operation, the sum will be four millions and sixty-one thousand poids sterling, of which I leave one million and sixty-one thou. sand pounds to the disposition and management of the inhabitants of the town of Boston, and the three millions to the disposition of the government of the state – not presnming to carry my views farther.
An the directions herein given respecting the disposition and management of the donation to the inhabitants of Boston, I would have observed respecting that to the inhabitants of Philadelphia ; only, as Philadelphia is incor. porated, I request the corporation of that city to undertake the management, agreeable to the said directions : and I do hereby vest them with full and ample powers for that purpose. And having considered that the covering its ground-plat with buildings and pavements, which carry off most of the rain, and prevent its soaking into the earth, and renewing and purifying the springs, whence the water of the wells must gradually grow worse, and
in time be unfit for use, as I find has happened in all old cities; I recommend, that, at the end of the first hund. red years, if not done before, the corporation of the city employ a part of the hundred thousand pounds in bringing by pipes the water of Wissahickon-creek into the town, so as to supply the inhabitants, which I apprehend may be done without great difficulty, the level of that creek being much above that of the city, and may be made higher by a dam. I also recommend making the Schuylkil completely navigable. At the end of the second hundred years, I would have the disposition of the four millions and sixty-one thousand pounds divided between the inhabitants of the city of Philadelphia and the government of Pennsylvania, in the same manner as herein directed with respect to that of the inhabitants of Boston and the government of Massachusetts. It is my desire that this institution should take place, and begin to operate within one year after my decease for which purpose due notice should be publicly given, , previous to the expiration of that year, that those for whose benefit this establishment is intended may make their respective applications: and I hereby direct my executors, the survivor or survivors of them, within six months after my decease, to pay over the said sum of two thousand pounds sterling to such persons as shall be duly appointed by the select inen of Boston, and the corporation of Philadelphia, to receive and take charge of their respective sums of one thousand pounds each, for the purpose aforesaid. Considering the accidents to which all huwan affairs and projects are sub. ject in such a length of time, I have, perhaps, too much flattered myself with a vain fancy, that these dispositions, if carried into execution, will be continued without interruption, and have the effects proposed : I hope, however, that if the inhabitants of the two cities should not think fit to undertake the execution, they will at least accept the offer of these donations, as a mark of my good will, token of my gratitude, and testimony of my desire to be useful to them even after my departure. I wish, indeed, that they may both undertake to endeavour the execution of my project, because I think, that, though unforeseen difficulties may arise, expedients will be found to remove them, and the scheme be found practicable. If one of them accepts the money with the conditions, and the other re. fuses, my will then is, that both suns be given to the inhabitants of the city accepting; the whole to be applied to the same purposes, and under the same regulations di. rected for the separate parts; and, if both refuse, the money remains of course in the mass of my estate, and it is to be disposed of therewith, according to my will made the seventeenth day of July 1788.
My fine crab-tree walking-stick, with a gold head curi. ously wrought in the form of the cap of Liberty, 1 give to my friend, and the friend of maukind, General Washington. If it was a sceptre, he lias merited it, and would become it.
THE BUSY BODY,
N. I. *)
MR. ANDREW BRADFORD,
I design this to acquaint you, that I, who have long been one of your courteous readers, have lately entertained some thought of setting up for an author myself; not out of the least vanity, 1 assure you, or desire of showing my parts, but purely for the good of my country.
I have often observed with concern, that your Mercury is not always equally entertaining. The delay of ships expected in, and want of fresh advices from Europe, make it frequently very dull; and I find the freezing of our river has the same effect on news as trade. - With more concern have I continually observed the growing vices and follies of my country folk: and though reformation is properly the concern of every inan, that is, every one ought to mend one; yet it is too true in this case, that what is every body's business is no body's business, and the business is done accordingly. I therefore, upon mature deliberation, think fit to take no body's business wholly into my own hands; and, out of zeal for the public good, design to erect myself into a kind of censor morum; purposing, with your allowance, to make use of the Weekly Mercury as a vehicle, in which ny remonstran. ces shall be conveyed to the world.
I am sensible 1 hàve, in this particular, undertaken a very unthankful office, aud expect little besides my labour for my pains. Nay, it is probable, I may displease a great number of your readers, who will not very well like to pay ten shillings a year for being told of their faults. But as most people delight in censure, when they then. selves are not the objects of it, if any are offended at my publicly exposing their private vices, I promise they shall have the satisfaction, in a very little time, of seeing their good friends and neighbours in the same circumstances.
However, let the fair sex be assured, that I shall always threat them and their affairs with the utmost de. cency and respect I intend now and then to dedicate a chapter wholly to their service; and if my lectures any way contribute to the embellishment of their minds, and brightening of their understandings, without offending their modesty, I doubt not of having their favour and encouragement,
It is certain, that no country in the world produces naturally finer spirits than ours, men of genius for every *) These papers appeared in the American Weekly Mercury, at various
times, during the year 1728 — 4, and are the humorous pieces » mentioned by Dr. Franklin in his memoirs.
kind of science, and capable of acquiring to perfection every qualification, that is in esteein, among mankind. Butas tew here have the advantage of good books, for want of which, good conversation is still more scarce, it would, doubtless, have been very acceptable to your readers, if, instead of an old out-of-date article from Muscovy or Hungary, you had entertained them with some well chosen extract from a good author. This I shall some. times do, when I happen to have nothing of my own to say that I think of more consequence. Sometimes, 1 pur. pose to deliver lectures of morality or philosophy, and (because I am naturally inclined to be meddling with things that do not concern me) perhaps I may sometimes talk politics. And if I can by any means furnish out a weekly entertainment for the public, that will give a rational diversion, and at the same time be instructive to the readers, I shall think my leisure hours well employed: and if you publish this, I hereby invite all ingenious gentlemen and others (that approve of such an undertaking) to my assistance and correspondence.
It is like, by this time, you have a curiosity to be acquainted with my name and character. As I do not aim at public praise, I design to remain concealed : and there are such numbers of our family and relations at this time in the country, that, though I have signed my name at full length, I am not under the least apprehension of be. ing distinguished and discovered by it. My character in. deed, I would favour you with, but that I am cautious of praising myself, lest I should be told, my trumpeter's dead: and I cannot find in my heart, at present, to say any thing to my own disadvantage.
It is very common with authors in their first perfor. mances, to talk to their readers thus, if this meets with a suitable reception, or, if this should meet with tue en. couragement, shall hereafter publish, etc. —.
This only manifests the value they put on their own writings, since they think to frighten the public into their applause, by threatening, that unless you approve what they have al. ready wrote, they intend never to write again; when perhaps it may not be a pin matter, whether they ever do
As I have not observed the critics to be more favourable on this account, I shall always avoid saying any thing of the kind; and conc'ude with telling you, that if you send me a bottle of ink and a quire of paper by the bearer, you may depend on hearing further from, Sir,
Your most humble servant,
THE BUSY BODY.