No. VII and his
estimate of Cowper (characterized by easiness in manner, correctness
in language, clarity of expression, perspicuity, and justness of the
sentiments) (_ibid._, VIII, 448-9), and the "Tears of Pleasure" he
shed over Thomson, all suggest that he was not wholly blind to poetry.
He hoped to see Philadelphia "become the Seat of the _American_ Muses"
(_ibid._, II, 245, 110; IV, 181, 184; VI, 437).
[i-151] A. Bosker, _Literary Criticism in the Age of Johnson_, 34. For
important qualifications see the thorough study by Donald F. Bond,
"'Distrust' of Imagination in English Neo-Classicism," _Philological
Quarterly_, XIV, 54-69 (Jan., 1935). Those interested in considering
Franklin with reference to contemporary literary theory will find full
materials in J. W. Draper's _Eighteenth-Century English Aesthetics: A
Bibliography_, and additions to it by R. S. Crane, _Modern Philology_,
XXIX, 25 ff. (1931); W. D. Templeman, _ibid._, XXX, 309-16; R. D.
Havens, _Modern Language Notes_, XLVII, 118-20 (1932).
[i-152] _Writings_, II, 24.
[i-153] _Ibid._, V, 182; also II, 43, and VIII, 128, 163, 604.
[i-154] See G. S. Eddy, "Dr. Benjamin Franklin's Library,"
_Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society_, N. S. XXXIV, 206-26
[i-155] See C. E. Jorgenson, "Benjamin Franklin and Rabelais,"
_Classical Journal_, XXIX, 538-40 (April, 1934).
[i-156] _The Travels of Cyrus._
[i-157] _Independent Whig_ and _Cato's Letters_.
[i-158] For an interesting summary of Franklin's references to the
classics, see R. M. Gummere, _op. cit._
[i-159] Add to this, Franklin's use of the Swiftian hoax and complex
irony. After writing _Rules by Which a Great Empire May Be Reduced to
a Small One_ (1773) he explained to a friend: "These odd ways of
presenting Matters to the publick View sometimes occasion them to be
more read, talk'd of, and more attended to" (_Writings_, VI, 137).
Parton observes that the _Edict of the King of Prussia_ "was the
nine-days' talk of the kingdom." Raynal unsuspectingly used Franklin's
_Polly Baker_, as an authentic document in his _Histoire ..._.
Franklin's _Exporting of Felons to the Colonies_, _The Sale of
Hessians_, and _A Dialogue between Britain, France, Spain, Holland,
Saxony, and America_ illustrate these trenchant devices used to
achieve a political purpose.
[i-160] _Writings_, I, 49.
[i-161] _The True Benjamin Franklin_, 158.
[i-162] _Writings_, I, 239.
[i-163] Smyth's note, _Writings_, VIII, 336.
[i-164] _Writings_, I, 238.
[i-165] _Writings_, X, 4 (to Mrs. Catherine Greene, March 2, 1789).
[i-166] There were eight towns in the colonies which had presses when
Franklin went into business for himself: Cambridge, Boston, New York,
Philadelphia, Annapolis, New London (Conn.), Woodbridge (N. J.), and
Williamsburg. See Isaiah Thomas, _The History of Printing in America_
(Worcester, 1810), II, _passim_.
[i-167] "A printer of first-rate eminence," according to Charles Henry
Timperley's _A Dictionary of
[Transcriber's Note: Every effort has been made to replicate this text as faithfully as possible, including obsolete and variant spellings and other inconsistencies.Page 1
What an animating example do they present of the power of industry, and of frugality and temperance, of moral rectitude, and unremitting perseverance, to overcome every difficulty! And what youth, fired with the generous love of knowledge, and an ardent desire of honourable distinction, need ever despair of success after reading the memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; who, from the humble station of a printer's apprentice, without fortune or other extraneous aid, through a manly confidence in his own powers, elevated himself to the highest stations of honour and usefulness.Page 7
It was in familiar verse, according to the taste of the times and people, and addressed to the government there.Page 10
They lived lovingly together in wedlock fifty-five years.Page 36
He himself had nothing to produce.Page 38
I have lately found him to be a complete rascal, and I will have nothing to do with him, nor receive any letters from him.Page 39
be acquainted with it; so, when he arrived in England, which was soon after, partly from resentment and ill will to Keith and Riddlesden, and partly from good will to him, I waited on him and gave him the letter.Page 57
often the characteristic.Page 93
I mention this affair chiefly for the sake of recommending that branch of education for our young women, as likely to be of more use to them and their children in case of widowhood than either music or.Page 113
But these holes being made for another purpose, viz.Page 116
James Alexander and Mr.Page 144
" I mentioned, but without effect, a great and unexpected expense I had been put to by being detained so long at New-York, as a reason for my desiring to be presently paid; and on my observing that it was not right I should be put to any farther trouble or delay in obtaining the money I had advanced, as I charged no commission for my service, "Oh," said he, "you must not think of persuading us that you are no gainer: we understand better those matters, and know that every one concerned in supplying the army, finds means, in the doing it, to fill his own pockets.Page 146
The captain, after his observation, shaped his course, as he thought, so as to pass wide of the Scilly rocks; but it seems there is sometimes a strong current setting up St.Page 167
Notwithstanding his distressed situation, neither his mental faculties nor his natural cheerfulness ever forsook him.Page 178
willing to become their sureties in a bond, with the applicants, for the repayment of the money so lent, with interest, according to the terms hereinafter prescribed; all which bonds are to be taken for Spanish milled dollars, or the value thereof in current gold coin: and the managers shall keep a bound book or books, wherein shall be entered the names of those who shall apply for and receive the benefit of this institution, and of their sureties, together with the sums lent, the dates, and other necessary and proper records respecting the business and concerns of this institution: and as these loans are intended to assist young married artificers in setting up their business, they are to be proportioned by the discretion of the managers, so as not to exceed sixty pounds sterling to one person, nor to be less than fifteen pounds.Page 180
Considering the accidents to which all human affairs and projects are subject in such a length of time, I have, perhaps, too much flattered myself with a vain fancy that these dispositions, if carried into execution, will be continued without interruption, and have the effects proposed; I hope, however, that if the inhabitants of the two cities should not think fit to undertake the execution, they will at least accept the offer of these donations as a mark of my good-will, a token of my gratitude, and a testimony of my earnest desire to be useful to them even after my departure.Page 192
_ But in places where they could be protected, would not the people use them rather than remain in such a situation, unable to obtain any right, or recover by law any debt? _A.Page 205
Thus when Ulysses tells Eumaeus, who doubted the truth of what he related, "If I deceive you in this, I should deserve death, and I consent that you should put me.Page 217