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[54] mentions Shakespeare. He had no reverence for Puritan New England. To its moral beauty, its fine severity, he was wholly blind. As a boy he thriftily sold his Pilgrim's progress. He became, in the new fashion of that day, a Deist. Like a true child of the eighteenth century, his attitude toward the seventeenth was that of amused or contemptuous superiority. Thackeray has somewhere a charming phrase about his own love for the back seat of the stage-coach, the seat which, in the old coaching days, gave one a view of the receding landscape. Thackeray, like Burke before him, loved historical associations, historical sentiment, the backward look over the long road which humanity has traveled. But Franklin faced the other way. He would have endorsed his friend Jefferson's scornful sentence, “The dead have no rights.” He joined himself wholly to that eighteenth century in which his own lot was cast, and, alike in his qualities and in his defects, he became one of its most perfect representatives.

To catch the full spirit of that age, turn for an instant to the London of 1724--the year of Franklin's arrival. Thirty-six years have elapsed since the glorious Revolution of 1688; the Whig principles, then triumphant, have been tacitly

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