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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 226

and justly, and, if you speak,
speak accordingly.


Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your


Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they


Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.


Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.


Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dulness,
weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.


Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

My intention being to acquire the _habitude_ of all these virtues, I
judg'd it would be well not to distract my attention by attempting the
whole at once, but to fix it on one of them at a time; and, when I
should be master of that, then to proceed to another, and so on, till I
should have gone thro' the thirteen; and, as the previous acquisition of
some might facilitate the acquisition of certain others, I arrang'd them
with that view, as they stand above. Temperance first, as it tends to
procure that coolness and clearness of head, which is so necessary where
constant vigilance was to be kept up, and guard maintained against the
unremitting attraction of ancient habits, and the force of perpetual
temptations. This being acquir'd and establish'd, Silence would be more
easy; and my desire being to gain knowledge at the same time that I
improv'd in virtue, and considering that in conversation it was obtain'd
rather by the use of the ears than of the tongue, and therefore wishing
to break a habit I was getting into of prattling, punning, and joking,
which only made me acceptable to trifling company, I gave _Silence_ the
second place. This and the next, _Order_, I expected would allow me more
time for attending to my project and my studies. _Resolution_, once
become habitual, would keep me firm in my endeavours to obtain all the
subsequent virtues; _Frugality_ and Industry freeing me from my
remaining debt, and producing affluence and independence, would make
more easy the practice of Sincerity and Justice, etc., etc. Conceiving
then, that, agreeably to the advice of Pythagoras in his _Golden
Verses_, daily examination would be necessary, I contrived the following
method for conducting that examination.

I made a little book,[12] in which I allotted a page for each of the
virtues. I rul'd each page with red ink, so as to have seven columns,
one for each day of the week, marking each column with a letter for the
day. I cross'd these columns with thirteen red lines, marking the
beginning of each line with the first

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 1 [of 3]

Page 6
--Effect of lightning on the church of Newbury, in New England.
Page 9
Remarks on the Abbé Nollet's Letters to Benjamin Franklin, Esq.
Page 25
Now want of sense, when a man has the misfortune to be so circumstanced, is it not a kind of excuse for want of modesty? And would not the verses have been more accurate if they had been constructed thus: Immodest words admit _but this defence_, That want of decency is want of sense.
Page 72
The friends I had acquired in the house, persuaded that I had done the country essential service on this occasion, rewarded me by giving me the printing of the bills.
Page 78
Bradford, the printer, mentioned above, was possessed of some advantages over Franklin, by being post-master, thereby having an opportunity of circulating his paper more extensively, and thus rendering it a better vehicle for advertisements, &c.
Page 85
Besides these great principles, Franklin's letters on electricity contain a number of facts and hints, which have contributed greatly towards reducing this branch of knowledge to a science.
Page 90
" "Moreover, the same country is so filled and replenished with landed menne, that therein so small a thorpe cannot be found wherein dwelleth not a knight, an esquire, or such a householder as is there commonly called a _franklin_, enriched with great possessions; and also other freeholders and many yeomen, able for their livelihoods to make a jury in form aforementioned.
Page 91
Not long after, he entered on the study of physic; and the zeal with which he pursued it, and the advances he made, gave his friends reason to form the most flattering prospects of his future eminence and usefulness in the profession.
Page 168
Every electrician knows that a globe wet within will afford little or no fire, but the reason has not before been attempted to be given, that I know of.
Page 201
When it has been held a few seconds, at the distance of about six inches, withdraw it, and the balls will approach each other till they touch; and then separating again, as the tube is moved farther off, will continue to repel when it is taken quite away.
Page 211
How these effects may be produced, you will easily conceive, on perusing and considering the experiments in the enclosed paper: and from them too it appears probable, that every change from positive to negative, and from negative to positive, that, during a thunder-gust, we see in the cork-balls annexed to the apparatus, is not owing to the presence of clouds in the same state, but often to the absence of positive or negative clouds, that, having just passed, leave the rod in the opposite state.
Page 231
How they come afterwards, towards the latter end of the gust, to be in the positive state, which is sometimes the case, is a subject for further enquiry.
Page 241
Page 247
West's house from damage by a stroke of lightning, would give me great pleasure.
Page 250
I am told the same house had formerly been struck by lightning, and much damaged, before these rods were invented.
Page 265
Each bubble discharged is larger than that from which it proceeds, and yet that is not diminished; and by adding itself to the bubble at the other end, that bubble is not increased, which seems very paradoxical.
Page 278
I could find no part of the amber; but the table where the tube lay was stained very black in spots, such as might be made by a thick smoke forced on it by a blast, and the air was filled with a strong smell, somewhat like that from burnt gunpowder.
Page 299
_ 94, that he had heard this remarked, but says, Why is not a conductor of electricity an electric subject? This is not the question; Mr.
Page 301
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