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[101] on which he printed number of bagatelles of an accomplished and charming levity : The ephemera (1778), The morals of Chess (1779), The whistle (1779), The dialogue between Franklin and the gout (1780.) In 1784 he resumed work on his unfinished autobiography, and published Advice to such as would remove to America and Remarks concerning the savages of North America. In his residence in France he began seriously to feel the siege of gout, the stone, and old age. In 1781, in reply to repeated supplications for leave to go home and die, Congress had appointed him a member of the commission to negotiate a treaty of peace between England and the United States. This last great task was completed in r785. In midsummer of that year he said a regretful farewell to his affectionate French friends, received the king's portrait set in four hundred diamonds, and in one of the royal litters was carried down to his point of embarkation at Havre de Grace.

Franklin arrived in Philadelphia in September, 1785, resolved to set his house in order. He was soon made aware that, like the hero in The Conquest of Granada, he had not “leisure yet to die.” He was overwhelmed with congratulations; or, as he put it with characteristic modesty of phrase in a letter to his English friend Mrs. Hewson: “I had the happiness of finding my family well, and of being very kindly received by my Country folk.” In the month after his arrival he was elected President of the State of Pennsylvania; and the honour was thrust upon him again in 1786 and in 1787. In a letter of 14 November, 1785, he says:

I had not firmness enough to resist the unanimous desire of my country folks; and I find myself harnessed again in their service for another year. They engrossed the prime of my life. They have eaten my flesh, and seem resolved now to pick my bones.

In 1787 he was chosen a delegate to the convention to frame the Constitution of the United States--an instrument which he deemed not perfect, yet as near perfection as the joint wisdom of any numerous body of men could bring it, handicapped by “their prejudices, their passions, their local interests, and their selfish views.” In 1789, as President of the Abolition Society, Franklin signed a memorial against slavery which was laid before the House of Representatives; and on 23 March, 1790,

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