- Project Runeberg -  America of the Fifties: Letters of Fredrika Bremer /
159

(1924) [MARC] Author: Fredrika Bremer
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benefactors of the human race. He was the third
man in that great triumvirate (Fox, Penn,
Franklin) and the first man in the battle of the press for
freedom of thought in America and for American
independence. Franklin, with his quiet demeanor,
his simple habits, his free, searching glance
directed always upon the simplest and the most
common laws as regarded everything, who “played
with the lightning as with a brother,” and
“without noise or tumult drew the lightning down from
the sky”—Franklin, with his practical philosophy
of life, which, however, was broad rather than
deep, his great activity and his excellent
temper—seems to me a fine representative of one phase of
American character.

But I must tell you a little more about the
Quakers, who not only founded Pennsylvania and
Philadelphia, and gave to the state and city their
peculiar character, but who exercised a deep and
lasting influence upon the spiritual life of the
people, both of England and New England. In
Sweden we know the Quakers merely as a strange
sect which says thou to everybody, will not take an
oath, and wear their broad-brimmed hats in the
presence of every one. We know them only from
little outward peculiarities. I have here become
acquainted with their inward significance for the
whole of humanity.

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