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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 173

Sentences, and compleat the Paper. This
was to teach me Method in the Arrangement of Thoughts. By comparing my
work afterwards with the original, I discover'd many faults and amended
them; but I sometimes had the Pleasure of Fancying that in certain
Particulars of small Import, I had been lucky enough to improve the
Method or the Language and this encourag'd me to think I might possibly
in time come to be a tolerable English Writer, of which I was extreamly

My Time for these Exercises and for Reading, was at Night, after Work or
before it began in the Morning; or on Sundays, when I contrived to be in
the Printing House alone, evading as much as I could the common
Attendance on publick Worship, which my Father used to exact of me when
I was under his Care: And which indeed I still thought a Duty; tho' I
could not, as it seemed to me, afford the Time to practise it.

When about 16 Years of Age, I happen'd to meet with a Book, written by
one Tryon, recommending a Vegetable Diet. I determined to go into it. My
Brother being yet unmarried, did not keep House, but boarded himself and
his Apprentices in another Family. My refusing to eat Flesh occasioned
an Inconveniency, and I was frequently chid for my singularity. I made
myself acquainted with Tryon's Manner of preparing some of his Dishes,
such as Boiling Potatoes or Rice, making Hasty Pudding, and a few
others, and then propos'd to my Brother, that if he would give me Weekly
half the Money he paid for my Board I would board myself. He instantly
agreed to it, and I presently found that I could save half what he paid
me. This was an additional Fund for buying Books. But I had another
Advantage in it. My Brother and the rest going from the Printing House
to their Meals, I remain'd there alone, and dispatching presently my
light Repast, (which often was no more than a Bisket or a Slice of
Bread, a Handful of Raisins or a Tart from the Pastry Cook's, and a
Glass of Water) had the rest of the Time till their Return, for Study,
in which I made the greater Progress from that greater Clearness of
Head and quicker Apprehension which usually attend Temperance in Eating
and Drinking. And now it was that being on some Occasion made asham'd of
my Ignorance in Figures, which I had twice failed in Learning when at
School, I took Cocker's Book of Arithmetick, and went thro' the whole by

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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 39
(Every fort should have a small settlement round it; as the fort would protect the settlers, and the settlers defend the fort and supply it with provisions.
Page 81
Another part of those goods was carried over-land from the Wolga to the rivers Duna and Neva; from both they were carried to the city of Wisbuy in the Baltic (so eminent for its sea-laws); and from the city of Ladoga on the Neva, we are told they were even carried by the Dwina to Archangel; and from thence round the North Cape.
Page 93
In what respect Guadaloupe is better situated for this trade than Jamaica, or even any of our other islands, I am at a loss to guess.
Page 98
[42] I beg pardon for attempting to remind the reader that he must not confound the river Duna, with the river Dwina.
Page 133
They accordingly entered into a contract for the sale of the proprietary right of government to the crown, and actually received a sum in part of the consideration.
Page 159
Page 164
That it being (as at present) a governor's interest to cultivate the good-will, by promoting the welfare of the people he governs, can be attended with no prejudice to the mother-country, since all the laws he may be prevailed on to give his assent to are subject to revision here, and if reported against by the board of trade, are immediately repealed by the crown; nor dare he pass any law contrary to his instructions; as he holds his office during the pleasure of the crown, and his securities are liable for the penalties of their bonds, if he contravenes those instructions.
Page 179
_ Why so? _A.
Page 185
_ By the regulations of last year the rate of postage was generally abated near thirty per cent through all America; they certainly cannot consider such abatement _as a tax_.
Page 200
With sincere esteem, I am, dear friend, Yours, affectionately, B.
Page 206
I apprehend, that the ministry, at least the American part of it, being fully persuaded of the right of parliament, think it ought to be enforced, whatever may be the consequences; and at the same time do not believe, there is even now any abatement of the trade between the two countries on account of these disputes; or that if there is, it is small, and cannot long continue.
Page 208
Page 238
FOOTNOTES: [136] These rules first appeared in a London newspaper about the beginning of the year 1774, and have several times since been introduced into our public prints.
Page 262
After the principal business was settled, the commissioners from Virginia acquainted the Indians by a speech, that there was at Williamsburg a college, with a fund, for educating Indian youth; and that if the chiefs of the Six Nations would send down half a dozen of their sons to that college, the government would take care that they should be well provided for, and instructed in all the learning of the white people.
Page 269
Of these, though they make but a small part of the whole nation, the number is considerable, too great indeed for the business they are employed in; for the consumption of goods in every country has its limits; the faculties of the people, that is, their ability to buy and pay, being equal.
Page 304
P--d--l, with his mercurial wand and magnet, I have still failed in my purpose.
Page 327
When I see a beautiful, sweet-tempered girl, married to an ill-natured brute of a husband, _What a pity it is_, says I, _that she has paid so much for a whistle_! In short, I conceived, that great part of the miseries of mankind were brought upon them by the false estimates they had made of the value of things, and by their giving too much for their _whistles_.
Page 360
The council have since twice remonstrated to them in vain.
Page 365
Letter II.
Page 408
_ on general politics, ii.