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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 165

holding Conventicles in Northamptonshire,
Benjamin and Josiah adher'd to them, and so continu'd all their Lives.
The rest of the Family remain'd with the Episcopal Church.

Josiah, my father, married young, and carried his Wife with three
Children into New England, about 1682. The Conventicles having been
forbidden by Law, and frequently disturbed, induced some considerable
Men of his Acquaintance to remove to that Country, and he was prevail'd
with to accompany them thither, where they expected to enjoy their Mode
of Religion with Freedom.--By the same Wife he had 4 Children more born
there, and by a second wife ten more, in all 17, of which I remember 13
sitting at one time at his Table, who all grew up to be Men and Women,
and married. I was the youngest Son, and the youngest Child but two, and
was born in Boston, N. England. My mother, the 2^d wife was Abiah
Folger, a daughter of Peter Folger, one of the first Settlers of New
England, of whom honourable mention is made by Cotton Mather, in his
Church History of that Country, (entitled Magnalia Christi Americana) as
_a godly learned Englishman_, if I remember the Words rightly. I have
heard that he wrote sundry small occasional Pieces, but only one of them
was printed which I saw now many years since. It was written in 1675, in
the home-spun Verse of that Time and People, and address'd to those then
concern'd in the Government there. It was in favour of Liberty of
Conscience, and in behalf of the Baptists, Quakers, and other Sectaries,
that had been under Persecution; ascribing the Indian Wars and other
Distresses, that had befallen the Country to that Persecution, as so
many Judgments of God, to punish so heinous an Offense; and exhorting a
Repeal of those uncharitable Laws. The whole appear'd to me as written
with a good deal of Decent Plainness and manly Freedom. The six last
concluding Lines I remember, tho' I have forgotten the two first of the
Stanza, but the Purport of them was that his Censures proceeded from
Good will, and therefore he would be known as the Author,

"Because to be a Libeller, (says he)
I hate it with my Heart.
From[A] Sherburne Town where now I dwell,
My Name I do put here,
Without Offense, your real Friend,
It is Peter Folgier."

[A] In MS Franklin notes, "In the Island of

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Text Comparison with Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 4
Page 12
But though this were denied, I should still accept the offer.
Page 23
We sometimes disputed, and very fond we were of argument, and very desirous of confuting one another, which disputatious turn, by the way, is apt to become a very bad habit, making people often extremely disagreeable in company by the contradiction that is necessary to bring it into practice; and thence, besides souring and spoiling the conversation, is productive of disgusts and, perhaps enmities where you may have occasion for friendship.
Page 35
After dinner, my sleepiness return'd, and being shown to a bed, I lay down without undressing, and slept till six in the evening, was call'd to supper, went to bed again very early, and slept soundly till next morning.
Page 59
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any crown I have since earned; and the gratitude I felt toward House has made me often more ready than perhaps I should otherwise have been to assist young beginners.
Page 69
We could not then employ him; but I foolishly let him know as a secret that I soon intended to begin a newspaper, and might then have.
Page 76
The match was indeed looked upon as invalid, a preceding wife being said to be living in England; but this could not easily be prov'd, because of the distance; and, tho' there was a report of his death, it was not certain.
Page 81
Tho' I seldom attended any public worship, I had still an opinion of its propriety, and of its utility when rightly conducted, and I regularly paid my annual subscription for the support of the only Presbyterian minister or meeting we had in Philadelphia.
Page 92
I purposed writing a little comment on each virtue, in which I would have shown the advantages of possessing it, and the mischiefs attending its opposite vice; and I should have called my book The Art of Virtue,[72] because it would have shown the means and manner of obtaining virtue, which would have distinguished it from the mere exhortation to be good, that does not instruct and indicate the means, but is like the apostle's man of verbal charity, who only without showing to the naked and hungry how or where they might get clothes or victuals, exhorted them to be fed and clothed.
Page 94
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3 Vi 4 40 8 Moon sets 9 30 _V Mon.
Page 103
Now, many of our printers make no scruple of gratifying the malice of individuals by false accusations of the fairest characters among ourselves, augmenting animosity even to the producing of duels; and are, moreover, so indiscreet as to print scurrilous reflections on the government of neighboring states, and even on the conduct of our best national allies, which may be attended with the most pernicious consequences.
Page 115
XII DEFENSE OF THE PROVINCE I had, on the whole, abundant reason to be satisfied with my being established in Pennsylvania.
Page 120
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After some time I drew a bill for paving the city, and brought it into the Assembly.
Page 163
We were out five days before we got a letter with leave to part, and then our ship quitted the fleet and steered for England.
Page 179
They are essays on morality, philosophy and politics, similar to the _Dogood Papers_.
Page 180
, in The British House of Commons, Relative to The Repeal of The American Stamp Act.
Page 182
The Author of a Gazette (in the Opinion of the Learned) ought to be qualified with an extensive Acquaintance with Languages, a great Easiness and Command of Writing and Relating Things cleanly and intelligibly, and in few Words; he should be able to speak of War both by Land and Sea; be well acquainted with Geography, with the History of the Time, with the several Interests of Princes and States, the Secrets of Courts, and the Manners and Customs of all Nations.