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"However," continued the Druid, "there is a very good lesson to be learned from the evils that have befallen you on this occasion. Permit me, therefore, to entreat you never to enter into any dispute, for the fu
ture, till you have fairly considered both sides of the
How many disputes do you think would take place if the terms could be clearly defined and the precise point of inquiry settled in relation to every disputed question? Before a person enters into a dispute what should he always do?
Dr. Franklin's Visit to his Mother.
1. DOCTOR BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, after the death of his father returned from Philadelphia to Boston in order to pay his respects to his mother who resided in that city. He had been absent some years, and at that period of life when the greatest alteration is made in the human appearance; at a time when the shrill voice of the boy assumes the commanding tone of the man, and the smiling features of the youth are succeeded by the strong lines of manhood.
2. The Doctor was sensible that such was the alteration of his person that his mother would not know him except by that instinct, which some believe, will enable a mother to know her child, although the features may have entirely changed.
3. To discover the existence of this instinct, by actual experience, Franklin resolved to introduce himself as a stranger to his mother. With this view, when he arrived in Boston, he went to the house where his mother lived. It was a sour, chilly day, in the month of January. He knocked at the door and asked to speak with Mrs. Franklin. When he entered, he found the. old lady knitting before the parlor fire.
4. He introduced himself, by observing that he had been informed that she entertained travellers, and requested a night's lodging. The old lady dropped her knitting-work and looking up at him through her spectacles, assured him that he had been misinformed,that she did not keep tavern and never had.
5. But, she observed, that it was true, to oblige some members of the Leg-is-la-ture, she took a number of them into her family during the session; that she had four members of the council, and six of the house of Representatives, who boarded with her. The Doctor observed that the weather was cold, and that it was late in the afternoon, and although she did not keep tavern, he wished she would permit him to remain there that night.
6. Eyeing him with a cold look of disapprobation, she told him, that all her beds were full, and that she could not take any more,-and then she betook herself to her knitting with that intense application which expressed as forcibly as action could do, "if you have concluded your business the sooner you leave the house the better."
7. But, upon the Doctor's wrapping his coat around him-affecting to shiver with cold, and observing that it was very chilly,-she pointed to a chair and gave him leave to warm himself. He sat down, and now and then looked at his mother to see if she noticed him. But the old lady paid no attention whatever to him,plainly showing him by her actions that he was no welcome guest; and that the greatest pleasure he could confer upon her would be to leave her house.
8. About is time her boarders came in,-coffee was soon served, and the Doctor took a cup with the family. After coffee, as was customary in those days, apples were handed round, and after that pipes and tobacco. The Doctor helped himself with the others, and the whole family formed a cheerful smoking semicircle before the fire.
9. The Doctor as yet had said but little; but he now entered in conversation with the gentleman pres
ent, and soon drew the attention of the whole company by his just and modest remarks, and by the solidity of the arguments which he advanced. Perhaps no man ever lived who was more interesting in conversation than Franklin, and perhaps never was he more so, than on the present occasion. He instructed them by the varied, new, and striking lights in which he placed the subject of discourse, and amused them with apt and pleasing anecdotes.
Dr. Franklin's Visit to his Mother.-(continued.)
1. Thus employed, the hours passed merrily along, until eight o'clock in the evening. Punctual to a moment, Mrs. Franklin announced supper. Busied with her household affairs, she fancied the intruding stranger had left the house immediately after coffee. What was her surprise and indignation when she saw him walk in with her boarders, and seat himself at the table with the freedom of a member of the family.
2. Scarcely could she restrain her resentment, and as soon as supper was ended, she called an elderly gentleman, a member of the Council, aside. She complained to him bitterly of the rudeness of the stranger, told him how he came into the house, spake of her keeping tavern-observed that he appeared like an outlandish man, and she thought had something very suspicious in his appearance;-and concluded by asking his advice in respect to the best way she could get rid of him.
3. The old gentleman assured her, that the stranger was certainly a young man of education, and to all appearances a gentleman,-that perhaps being in agreeable company, he had paid no attention to the lateness of the hour; and advised her to call him aside, and tell him again that she was unable to lodge him.
4. Accordingly she sent her maid, and asked him to
step out, and then with as much composure as she could command, she told him that she could not furnish him with a bed, and as it was growing late, she advised him to go and find a lodging at some other place. The Doctor replied that he would by no means incommode her family; but that with her leave he would smoke one pipe more with her boarders and then retire.
5. He returned to the company, filled his pipe, and began again to talk. The company were all so agreeable, that before any was aware, the clock struck eleven. The patience of Mrs. Franklin was now exhausted. She entered the room, and before the whole company told him plainly that she felt herself abused and imposed upon by his conduct. She said it was true that she was a widow, a lone woman, but she had friends who would protect her,-and concluded by insisting on his leaving her house at once.
6. The Doctor made a slight apology--deliberately put on his great coat and hat, and politely bowing to the company left the room. The maid lighted him to the door, and Mrs. Franklin followed. While the Doctor and his companions had been enjoying themselves within, a most tremendous snow-storm had without, filled the streets knee-deep,-and no sooner had the maid raised the latch than a roaring gust of wind forced open the door, put out the light, and almost filled the entry with drifted snow and hail.
7. As soon as the candle was again lighted the Doctor cast a woful look towards the door, and thus addressed his mother;-"My dear Madam, can you turn me out of your house in this dreadful storm? I am a stranger in this town, and shall certainly perish in the streets. You look like a charitable lady: I shouldn't think you could turn a dog from your door in such a stormy night."
8. Don't tell me about charity," said the old lady, "don't tell me about charity. Charity begins at home. It is your own fault that you staid so long. To be
plain with you, sir, I do not like your looks or your conduct; and I fear you have some bad design in thus introducing yourself to my family."
9. The warmth of this conversation had drawn the company from the parlor, and they unanimously entreated her to permit him to lodge in the house. She at last reluctantly consented, and as there was no spare bed, he agreed to sleep in an easy chair before the parlor fire.
10. Although the boarders appeared to confide perfectly in the stranger's honesty,-it was not so with Mrs. Franklin. Before she retired, she took good care to secure every thing she could. She collected her silver spoons, pepper-box, and porringer, and carried them to her own room; and that he might not get out, she stuck a fork over the latch of the parlor door. She charged her negro man to sleep with his clothes on, and besides to take a large club to bed with him,—and to waken and seize the vagrant at the first noise he made in attempting to plunder the house. She then went to bed with her maid whom she compelled to sleep in her room.
11. Mrs. Franklin rose very early the next morning, roused her domestics,-and after listening a moment, she cautiously unfastened the parlor door, and was agreeably surprised to find her guest quietly sleeping in the chair. She now felt almost ashamed to think she had been so suspicious. She awakened him, and bid him good morning; asked him how he had rested, and invited him to stay and eat breakfast with her, which she took at an earlier hour than her boarders did.
12. When they were seated at the table,-"pray, sir," said the old lady, as she was sipping her coffee, 66 as you appear to be a stranger here, to what distant country do you belong?" "I, Madam, I belong to Philadelphia." At the mention of Philadelphia, the old lady started. "Philadelphia?" said she, "do you belong to Philadelphia?" "I do, madam," said he. She