Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 89

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I enter'd upon the execution of this plan for self-examination, and
continu'd it with occasional intermissions for some time. I was
surpris'd to find myself so much fuller of faults than I had imagined;
but I had the satisfaction of seeing them diminish. To avoid the
trouble of renewing now and then my little book, which, by scraping
out the marks on the paper of old faults to make room for new ones in
a new course, became full of holes, I transferr'd my tables and
precepts to the ivory leaves of a memorandum book, on which the lines
were drawn with red ink, that made a durable stain, and on those lines
I mark'd my faults with a black-lead pencil, which marks I could
easily wipe out with a wet sponge. After a while I went thro' one
course only in a year, and afterward only one in several years, till
at length I omitted them entirely, being employ'd in voyages and
business abroad, with a multiplicity of affairs that interfered; but I
always carried my little book with me.

My scheme of Order gave me the most trouble;[70] and I found that, tho'
it might be practicable where a man's business was such as to leave
him the disposition of his time, that of a journeyman printer, for
instance, it was not possible to be exactly observed by a master, who
must mix with the world, and often receive people of business at their
own hours. _Order_, too, with regard to places for things, papers,
etc., I found extreamly difficult to acquire. I had not been early
accustomed to it, and, having an exceeding good memory, I was not so
sensible of the inconvenience attending want of method. This article,
therefore, cost me so much painful attention, and

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

Page 11
manner of forming and establishing this union was the next point.
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Nine several heads of complaint entered in the minutes of the assembly, as the ground of a representation to the proprietary; being the representation several times before cited.
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And surely, if the general opinions that possess the minds of the people may possibly be of consequence in public affairs, it must be fit to set those opinions right.
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That _all_ such unimproved lots of ground within the city and boroughs aforesaid, shall be rated and assessed according to their situation and value for, and towards raising the money hereby granted.
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Your exultation, however, was short.
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The rest of your friend's reasonings and propositions appear to me truly just and judicious; I.
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29, 1769.
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I had the misfortune to find these expectations disappointed, and to be treated as the cause of the mischief I was labouring to.
Page 291
Some, to make themselves considerable, pursue learning; others grasp at wealth; some aim at being thought witty; and others are only careful to make the most of an handsome person: but what is wit, or wealth, or form, or learning, when compared with virtue? It is true, we love the handsome, we applaud the learned, and we fear the rich and powerful; but we even worship and adore the virtuous.
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"He, that hath a trade, hath an estate; and he, that hath a calling, hath an office of profit and honour," as poor Richard says; but then the trade must be worked at, and the calling well followed, or neither the estate nor the office will enable us to pay our taxes.
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" Seventhly, if you are a spectator while others play, observe the most perfect silence.
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Mechanics, servants, farmers, and so forth, Are _copy-paper_, of inferior worth; Less priz'd, more useful, for your desk decreed, .
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For so would the body be easily destroyed: but when all parts join their endeavours for its security, it is often preserved.
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You have, my dear countrymen and fellow citizens, riches to tempt a considerable force to unite and attack you, but are under no ties or engagements to unite for your defence.
Page 373
FRANKLIN'S MANNERS AND CHARACTER.
Page 390
207.
Page 403
effects of, on conductors in Carolina, 361, 362, 364.
Page 405
155.
Page 406
6.