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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 161

University." These range from 1731 to Franklin's latest
correspondence. Only a few of these pieces are described.)

Stevens, Henry. _Benjamin Franklin's Life and Writings. A
Bibliographical Essay on the Stevens Collection of Books and
Manuscripts Relating to Doctor Franklin._ London: 1881. (Pp. 21-40
contain a list of "Franklin's Printed Works.")

Swift, Lindsay. "Catalogue of Works Relating to Benjamin Franklin in the
Boston Public Library," _Bulletin of the Boston Public Library_, V,
217-31, 276-84, 420-33. Boston: 1883. (Including Dr. S. A. Green's
collection, this was the "immediate predecessor" to Ford.)

For current articles the student should consult especially the
bibliographies in _Philological Quarterly_, _American Literature_,
_Publications of the Modern Language Association_, bibliographical
bulletins of the Modern Humanities Research Association, and Grace G.
Griffin's annual bibliography, _Writings on American History_.




*

_Selections from_
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

*

NOTE: Superior figures through the text refer to notes in pp. 529 ff.


_From the_ AUTOBIOGRAPHY[1]

TWYFORD, at the Bishop of St. Asaph's, 1771.

DEAR SON, I have ever had a Pleasure in obtaining any little Anecdotes
of my Ancestors. You may remember the Enquiries I made among the Remains
of my Relations when you were with me in England; and the journey I
undertook for that purpose. Now imagining it may be equally agreable to
you to know the Circumstances of _my_ Life, many of which you are yet
unacquainted with; and expecting a Weeks uninterrupted Leisure in my
present Country Retirement, I sit down to write them for you. To which I
have besides some other Inducements. Having emerg'd from the Poverty and
Obscurity in which I was born and bred, to a State of Affluence and some
Degree of Reputation in the World, and having gone so far thro' Life
with a considerable Share of Felicity, the conducing Means I made use
of, which, with the Blessing of God, so well succeeded, my Posterity may
like to know, as they may find some of them suitable to their own
Situations, and therefore fit to be imitated. That Felicity, when I
reflected on it, has induc'd me sometimes to say, that were it offer'd
to my Choice, I should have no Objection to a Repetition of the same
Life from its Beginning, only asking the Advantages Authors have in a
second Edition to correct some Faults of the first. So would I if I
might,

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Text Comparison with The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 0
In politics he proved very able both as an administrator and as a controversialist; but his record as an office-holder is stained.
Page 4
My grandfather had four sons that grew up, viz.
Page 11
Plutarch's Lives there was in which I read abundantly, and I still think that time spent to great advantage.
Page 12
I stood out some time, but at last was persuaded, and signed the indentures when I was yet but twelve years old.
Page 21
De Foe in his Cruso, his Moll Flanders, Religious Courtship, Family Instructor, and other pieces, has imitated it with success; and Richardson has done the same, in his Pamela, etc.
Page 45
Accordingly, she had given all her estate to charitable uses, reserving only twelve pounds a year to live on, and out of this sum she still gave a great deal in charity, living herself on water-gruel only, and using no fire but to boil it.
Page 55
To lessen the rent, which was then but twenty-four pounds a year, tho' I have since known it to let for seventy, we took in Thomas Godfrey, a glazier, and his family, who were to pay a considerable part of it to us, and we to board with them.
Page 68
But your biography will not merely teach self-education, but the education of a wise man; and the wisest man will receive lights and improve his progress, by seeing detailed the conduct of another wise man.
Page 70
This style of writing seems a little gone out of vogue, and yet it is a very useful one; and your specimen of it may be particularly serviceable, as it will make a subject of comparison with the lives of various public cutthroats and intriguers, and with absurd monastic self-tormentors or vain literary triflers.
Page 71
Extend your views even further; do not stop at those who speak the English tongue, but after having settled so many points in nature and politics, think of bettering the whole race of men.
Page 78
, etc.
Page 86
] But it so happened that my intention of writing and publishing this comment was never fulfilled.
Page 92
Those pamphlets, as is generally the case with controversial writings, tho' eagerly read at the time, were soon out of vogue, and I question.
Page 107
This reproof, being before all the company, piqu'd the secretary, who answer'd, "I being thy servant, why did thee not order me to come down? But thee was willing enough that I should stay and help to fight the ship when thee thought there was danger.
Page 113
more knowledge of the common law than I possess'd was necessary to act in that station with credit, I gradually withdrew from it, excusing myself by my being oblig'd to attend the higher duties of a legislator in the Assembly.
Page 115
Gilbert Tennent, came to me with a request that I would assist him in procuring a subscription for.
Page 145
M.
Page 150
" "Is it possible, when he is so great a writer? for I see him constantly at his escritoire.
Page 157
conversation having a little alarm'd me as to what might be the sentiments of the court concerning us, I wrote it down as soon as I return'd to my lodgings.
Page 160
1733 Begins to study French, Italian, Spanish, and Latin.