Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 113

terms on which we
stood. Upon one of his arrivals from England at Boston, he wrote to me
that he should come soon to Philadelphia, but knew not where he could
lodge when there, as he understood his old friend and host, Mr.
Benezet was removed to Germantown. My answer was, "You know my house;
if you can make shift with its scanty accommodations, you will be most
heartily welcome." He reply'd, that if I made that kind offer for
Christ's sake, I should not miss of a reward. And I returned, "_Don't
let me be mistaken; it was not for Christ's sake, but for your sake._"
One of our common acquaintance jocosely remark'd, that, knowing it to
be the custom of the saints, when they received any favour, to shift
the burden of the obligation from off their own shoulders, and place
it in heaven, I had contriv'd to fix it on earth.

The last time I saw Mr. Whitefield was in London, when he consulted me
about his Orphan House concern, and his purpose of appropriating it to
the establishment of a college.

He had a loud and clear voice, and articulated his words and sentences
so perfectly, that he might be heard and understood at a great
distance, especially as his auditories, however numerous, observ'd the
most exact silence. He preach'd one evening from the top of the
Courthouse steps, which are in the middle of Market-street, and on the
west side of Second-street, which crosses it at right angles. Both
streets were fill'd with his hearers to a considerable distance. Being
among the hindmost in Market-street, I had the curiosity to learn how
far he could be heard, by retiring backwards down the street towards
the river; and I found his voice distinct till I came near
Front-street, when some noise in that street obscur'd it. Imagining
then a semicircle, of which my distance should be the radius, and that
it were fill'd with auditors, to each of whom I allow'd two square
feet, I computed that he might well be heard by more than thirty
thousand. This reconcil'd me to the newspaper accounts of his having
preach'd to twenty-five thousand people in the fields, and to the
ancient histories of generals haranguing whole armies, of which I had
sometimes doubted.

By hearing him often, I came to distinguish easily between sermons
newly compos'd, and those which he had often preach'd in the course of
his travels. His delivery of the latter was so improv'd by frequent
repetitions that every accent, every emphasis, every modulation of
voice, was so perfectly well turn'd and well

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 1 [of 3]

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Page 21
when the book had been lent me in the evening, and was to be returned the next morning, lest it might be missed or wanted! At length, Mr.
Page 38
Seeing no appearance of accommodating matters between my brother and me, he consented to my return to Philadelphia, advised me to be civil to every body, to endeavour to obtain general esteem, and avoid satire and sarcasm, to which he thought I was too much inclined; adding, that with perseverance and prudent economy, I might, by the time I became of age, save enough to establish myself in business; and that if a small sum should then be wanting, he would undertake to supply it.
Page 78
Let the citizens of America, then, encourage institutions calculated to diffuse knowledge amongst the people; and amongst these, public libraries are not the least important.
Page 84
He himself acknowledges, that Franklin first entertained the bold thought of bringing lightning from the heavens, by means of pointed rods fixed in the air.
Page 108
Page 112
with his family, and a few friends who visited him, but was often employed in doing business of a public as well as private nature, with various persons who waited on him for that purpose; and in every instance displayed, not only that readiness and disposition of doing good, which was the distinguishing characteristic of his life, but the fullest and clearest possession of his uncommon mental abilities; and not unfrequently indulged himself in those _jeux d'esprit_ and entertaining anecdotes, which were the delight of all who heard him.
Page 114
Out of the salary that may remain due to me, as president of the state, I give the sum of two thousand pounds to my executors, to be by them, the survivors or survivor of them, paid over to such person or persons as the legislature of this state, by an act of assembly, shall appoint to receive the same, in trust, to be employed for making the Schuylkil navigable.
Page 119
_It may not be improper to present the reader with the following extract from the preface to the first edition of Dr.
Page 122
This difference between fire-light and sun-light is another thing that seems new and extraordinary to us[20].
Page 150
Wood, rotting in old trees or buildings, does the same.
Page 174
I send you some that have had their heads and points melted off by our mimic lightning; and a pin that.
Page 182
I thought you had described it pretty fully[63].
Page 185
I observe, that when I hold my knuckle before the sulphur globe, while turning, the stream of fire between my knuckle and the globe seems to spread on its surface,.
Page 207
It seemed to him an universal blow throughout the body from head to foot, and was followed by a violent quick trembling in the trunk, which went off gradually, in a few seconds.
Page 213
Page 241
_ the natural state, it does not seem to me easy to suppose, that an attraction should suddenly take place between the air and the natural quantity of the electric fluid in the conductor, so as to draw it to, and accumulate it on the end opposite to that approached by the tube; since bodies, possessing.
Page 274
_ FOOTNOTES: [86] Mr.
Page 293
He informed me, by a letter from near Chelmsford, in Essex, dated August 12, 1752, that, on that day about noon, he perceived several electrical snaps, during, or rather at the end of a thunder-storm, from no other apparatus than an iron curtain rod, one end of which he put into the neck of a glass phial, and held this phial in his hand.
Page 332
_Political_ fragments, ii.