Front Page Titles (by Subject) CCXCIII: TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN - The Works of Benjamin Franklin, Vol. IV Letters and Misc. Writings 1763-1768
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CCXCIII: TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN - Benjamin Franklin, The Works of Benjamin Franklin, Vol. IV Letters and Misc. Writings 1763-1768 
The Works of Benjamin Franklin, including the Private as well as the Official and Scientific Correspondence, together with the Unmutilated and Correct Version of the Autobiography, compiled and edited by John Bigelow (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904). The Federal Edition in 12 volumes. Vol. IV (Letters and Misc. Writings 1763-1768).
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TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN
London, 22 June, 1767.
My Dear Child:—
Captain Falconer is arrived, and came yesterday to see me and bring my letters. I was extremely glad of yours, because I had none by the packet. It seems now as if I should stay here another winter, and therefore I must leave it to your judgment to act in the affair of our daughter’s match as shall seem best. If you think it a suitable one, I suppose the sooner it is completed the better. In that case I would advise that you do not make an expensive feasting wedding, but conduct every thing with frugality and economy, which our circumstances now require to be observed in all our expenses. For since my partnership with Mr. Hall is expired, a great source of our income is cut off, and if I should lose the post-office, which, among the many changes here is far from being unlikely, we should be reduced to our rents and interest of money for a subsistence, which will by no means afford the chargeable housekeeping and entertainments we have been used to.
For my own part, I live here as frugally as possible not to be destitute of the comforts of life, making no dinners for anybody, and contenting myself with a single dish when I dine at home, and yet such is the dearness of living here, in every article, that my expenses amaze me. I see, too, by the sums you have received in my absence, that yours are very great, and I am very sensible that your situation naturally brings you a great many visitors, which occasions an expense not easily to be avoided, especially when one has been long in the practice and habit of it. But when people’s incomes are lessened, if they cannot proportionately lessen their outgoings, they must come to poverty. If we were young enough to begin business again, it might be another matter; but I doubt we are past it, and business not well managed ruins one faster than no business. In short, with frugality and prudent care we may subsist decently on what we have, and leave it entire to our children; but without such care we shall not be able to keep it together; it will melt away like butter in the sunshine, and we may live long enough to feel the miserable consequences of our indiscretion.
I know very little of the gentleman or his character, nor can I at this distance. I hope his expectations are not great of any fortune to be had with our daughter before our death. I can only say that if he proves a good husband to her and a good son to me, he shall find me as good a father as I can be; but at present I suppose you would agree with me that we cannot do more than fit her out handsomely in clothes and furniture, not exceeding in the whole five hundred pounds of value. For the rest, they must depend, as you and I did, on their own industry and care, as what remains in our hands will be barely sufficient for our support, and not enough for them, when it comes to be divided at our decease.
Sally Franklin is well. Her father, who had not seen her for a twelvemonth, came lately and took her home with him for a few weeks to see her friends. He is very desirous I should take her with me to America.
I suppose the blue room is too blue, the wood being of the same color with the paper, and so looks too dark. I would have you finish it as soon as you can, thus: paint the wainscot a dead white; paper the walls blue, and tack the gilt border round just above the surbase and under the cornice. If the paper is not equally colored when pasted on, let it be brushed over again with the same color, and let the papier maché musical figures be tacked to the middle of the ceiling. When this is done, I think it will look very well.
I am glad to hear that Sally keeps up and increases the number of her friends. The best wishes of a fond father for her happiness always attend her. I am, my dear Debby, your affectionate husband,