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Bliss Perry, The American spirit in lierature: a chronicle of great interpreters, Chapter 3: the third and fourth generation (search)
don. The New England Courant, established in Boston in 1721 by James Franklin, is full of imitations of the Tatler, Spectator, and Guardian. opies of Milton and Shakespeare, we can appreciate the value of James Franklin's apprenticeship in London. Perhaps we can even forgive him fo brother to Philadelphia and to Bradford's American Mercury or to Franklin's own Pennsylvania Gazette, or if we study the Gazettes of Marylan months to a year late. London books are imported and reprinted. Franklin reprints Pamela, and his Library Company of Philadelphia has two cnial science were likewise chiefly indebted to London, but by 1751 Franklin's papers on electricity began to repay the loan. A university cluam, James Logan, James Godfrey, Cadwallader Colden, and above all, Franklin himself, were winning the respect of European students, and were to means sure that the Stamp Act meant the end of Colonialism. And Franklin's uncertainty was shared by Washington. When the tall Virginian t
pitiless change, of action rather than reflection, of the turning of many separate currents into one headlong stream. We must, indeed, all hang together, runs Franklin's well-known witticism in Independence Hall, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately. Excellently spoken, Doctor! And that homely, cheery, daring sentelihood. Rebellious Staymaker; unkempt, says Carlyle; but General Charles Lee noted that there was genius in his eyes, and he bore a letter of introduction from Franklin commending him as an ingenious, worthy young man, which obtained for him a position on the Pennsylvania magazine. Before he had been a year on American soil, Paca. The reputation of the rebellious Staymaker has suffered from certain grimy habits and from the ridiculous charge of atheism. He was no more an atheist than Franklin or Jefferson. In no sense an original thinker, he could impart to outworn shreds of deistic controversy and to shallow generalizations about democracy a person