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DR. B. FRANKLIN.
Moral and Philosophical.
PUBLISHED BY R. & W. A. BARTOW & Co., AND BY
Gray & Bunce, Printers.
ESSAYS AND LETTERS
MORAL AND PHILOSOPHICAL SUBJECTS.
THE BUSY-BODY.-No. I.
From the American Weekly Mercury, from Tuesday,
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, I 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 man, that is, every one ought to mend one; yet it is too true in this case, that what
FRANKLIN'S ESSAYS AND LETTERS,
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 nobody'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 my remonstrances shall be conveyed to the world.
I am sensible I have in this particular, undertaken a very unthankful office, and 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 themselves 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 treat them and their affairs with the utmost decency 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 ge-n nius for every kind of science, and capable of ac