Benjamin Franklin Representative selections, with introduction, bibliograpy, and notes

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 100

For Bunyan's literary ideals, see the prefaces to
his works, especially that to _Grace Abounding_. The best study of
Defoe and Swift as literary theorists is W. Gueckel and E. Guenther, _D.
Defoes und J. Swifts Belesenheit und literarische Kritik_ (Leipzig,

[i-125] E. C. Cook, _Literary Influences in Colonial Newspapers,
1704-1750_, 15. This scholarly work shows the great influence in
America of neoclassical authors.

[i-126] For a generous catalog of the devices borrowed see _ibid._, 15

[i-127] _Spectator_, No. 167.

[i-128] For a fuller discussion of Franklin's view of the ancients,
see section on "Franklin's Theories of Education," p. xxxii above.

[i-129] Cited in R. F. Jones, "Science and English Prose Style ...,"
_Publications of the Modern Language Association_, XLV, 982 (Dec.,
1930). On the backgrounds of literary theories underlying the sermons
which Franklin heard, see scholarly studies such as Caroline F.
Richardson's _English Preachers and Preaching, 1640-1670_ (New York,
1928), and W. F. Mitchell's _English Pulpit Oratory_ (New York, 1932).
From 1750 on, however, the Puritan clergy in America increasingly
advocated a simple, clear, and easy style. See Howard M. Jones,
"American Prose Style; 1700-1770," _Huntington Library Bulletin_, No.
6, 115-51 (Nov., 1934).

[i-130] _History of the Royal Society ..._ (2d ed., London, 1702),

[i-131] R. F. Jones, _op. cit._, 989. Tillotson, whom Franklin
suggested as a model worthy of emulation (_Writings_, II, 391), was
"another great exponent of the new style" (R. F. Jones, _op. cit._,

[i-132] L. M. MacLaurin (_Franklin's Vocabulary_, 21) also suggests
Franklin's probable indebtedness to the Royal Society program.

[i-133] O. Elton, _The Augustan Age_, 8-12.

[i-134] A. O. Lovejoy, "The Parallel of Deism and Classicism," _Modern
Philology_, XXIX, 281-99 (Feb., 1932).

[i-135] Franklin's friend Henry Pemberton, in his _View of Sir Isaac
Newton's Philosophy_ (London, 1728), had said (pp. 2-3) that the
Newtonian thirst for knowledge, especially of the causes of the
operations of nature, had become "so general, that all men of letters,
I believe, find themselves influenced by it."

[i-136] _Writings_, II, 157.

[i-137] _Ibid._, I, 37.

[i-138] _Ibid._, I, ix.

[i-139] _Ibid._, III, 121. For his demand that sculpture and music
have "beautiful simplicity" of form see _ibid._, VII, 194; VIII, 578;
IV, 210, 377-8, 381; V, 530; VIII, 94. On the basis of confusion of
genres, Franklin disliked the opera.

[i-140] _Ibid._, I, 41. See also X, 33, 51.

[i-141] Miss MacLaurin's research has disclosed that Franklin's
vocabulary (4,062 words, between 1722 and 1751) contained only 19
words which "were discovered to be pure 'Americanisms,' and of these,
6 are the names of herbs or grasses; 1 is derived from the name of an
American university, and 1 from the name of an American state" (_op.

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Way to Wealth; or, "Poor Richard Improved"

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Proprietors, W.
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Judge, then, how much I must have been gratified by an incident I am going to relate to you.
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"One to-day.
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is worth two to-morrows," as Poor Richard says, and farther, "Never leave that till to-morrow, which you can do to-day.
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1, 1805.
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Remember what poor Richard says, "Buy what thou hast no need of, and ere long thou shalt sell thy necessaries.
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consult, consult your purse.
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Those have a short Lent, who owe money to be paid at Easter.
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Page 9, "grevious" changed to "grievous" (much more grievous) Page 11, "waisting" changed to "wasting" (wasting time must be) Page 12, "mak" changed to "make" (We may make).