246 | To [Thomas Pownall?]

    Boston Nov. 26. 1763.

    My Dear Friend

    I had postponed answering your letter950 which Frank brought me untill his return, which I had intended to have been before now. But as he has defeated my purpose, I find in [it] necessary not only to account to you for the receipt of your letter which I have had now above a year, but also to prevent ^engage^ you to prevent the Deans resenting the abuse of the liberty which He gave to Frank to come hither; which I would never have asked if I had thought I should have been prevented in keeping my word in regard to his return: this I had intended should have been at the beginning of Octo last, & had bespoke a place for him in a good Ship with agreable company.951

    About the end of July last, he desird leave to go to New York & Philadelphia in company of a Gentleman whom I entrusted him to. Unluckily that gentleman being prevented going to Philadelphia, Frank takes up mony of him & goes on by himself. When He got to Philadelphia finding himself his own master with some money, not much, in his pocket, He sets out for Maryland, where he rambled about, as long as his money lasted, till Necessity fixed him at Alexandria 524 miles from hence; where he has lived above two months upon credit. As It is above a month since I sent necessary orders for his return, I expect him very Soon: as soon as he arrives I shall put him on board the first ship that sails for England.

    I shall not now comment upon this expedition nor express the resentment I have of it. I shall defer to another time the full consideration of his Subject; & at present only Say, that I have not as yet been able to come to, or rather to get him to come to any resolution concerning his future destination. Nothing less than travelling over the whole World will satisfy his Curiosity; and nothing more than residing at Colledge till he has determined for his Batchelor’s degree will suit my Concern for him. He will there have better Oppurtunities of acquiring that kind of Knowledge, which his present time of Life requires, than anywhere else. And if He does Nothing, else even Idleness there is more creditable & less dangerous than elsewhere. Besides I dont care that he should loose the gentile appointment, he has in that Society, till he has acquired another. When, or whether ever, he will qualify himself to be a Man of business, I cant foresee. He does not at present promise much: but time makes great alterations & with the help of reflexion, may do much with him. But If he will be nothing but a Pensioner upon my family Stock, He will find the Income of a StudentShip a comfortable addition to the pittance that will come to his Share.

    I have carried this Subject further than I Intended: and therefore we will now resort to our selves. I hear, from time to time of Spicer952 concerning your health: I am aware that it would not be very agreable to you for me to make such frequent enquiries of yourself. His Accounts of late have been good, but the last have so much of dubitation, that I am very impatient for the arrival of his next packet, which is now very late.__

    I propose to Inclose with this an original of the Seal & Hand of Oliver Cromwell, which I suppose will be acceptable to you, tho’ you have of the same. I have not been able to get you a Massachusets penny: all the rest of that coin you have; groats were never coined. I desire you will present my Compliments to the Dean & such other friends as remember me particularly Mr Barrington;953 to whom you may communicate what part of this letter you shall think proper I am &c


    Mrs Bernards compliments are joined with mine__

    L, AC BP, 10: 147-149.

    There is some doubt as to whether Thomas Pownall is the intended recipient. Pownall had been in Germany, having been appointed, on 29 Jun. 1760, a commissary to the British forces there, and evidently wrote FB on his return to England. FB used the salutation “My Dear Friend” only once before in his letterbooks—in a letter to Thomas Pownall of 4 Mar. 1760, BP, 1: 221-223. Their relationship would later deteriorate when Pownall criticised FB’s administration in Parliament. Nicolson, The ‘Infamas Govener’, 190.