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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 239

the opposition of contrary inclinations. These may be found in the
papers about the beginning of 1735.[15]

In the conduct of my newspaper, I carefully excluded all libelling and
personal abuse, which is of late years become so disgraceful to our
country. Whenever I was solicited to insert any thing of that kind, and
the writers pleaded, as they generally did, the liberty of the press,
and that a newspaper was like a stage-coach, in which any one who would
pay had a right to a place, my answer was, that I would print the piece
separately if desired, and the author might have as many copies as he
pleased to distribute himself, but that I would not take upon me to
spread his detraction; and that, having contracted with my subscribers
to furnish them with what might be either useful or entertaining, I
could not fill their papers with private altercation, in which they had
no concern, without doing them manifest injustice. 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. These
things I mention as a caution to young printers, and that they may be
encouraged not to pollute their presses and disgrace their profession
by such infamous practices, but refuse steadily, as they may see by my
example that such a course of conduct will not, on the whole, be
injurious to their interests.

* * * * *

I had begun in 1733 to study languages; I soon made myself so much a
master of the French as to be able to read the books with ease. I then
undertook the Italian. An acquaintance, who was also learning it, us'd
often to tempt me to play chess with him. Finding this took up too much
of the time I had to spare for study, I at length refus'd to play any
more, unless on this condition, that the victor in every game should
have a right to impose a task, either in parts of the grammar to be got
by heart, or in translations, etc., which tasks the vanquish'd was to
perform

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Franklin's Way to Wealth; or, "Poor Richard Improved"

Page 0
1, 1805.
Page 1
DARTON_, And of most Booksellers in the United Kingdom.
Page 2
'It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people one-tenth part of their time to be employed in its service: but idleness taxes many of us much more; sloth, by bringing.
Page 3
Drive thy business, let not that drive thee; and early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise," as Poor Richard says.
Page 4
The diligent spinner has a large shift; and now I have a sheep and a cow, every body bids me good-morrow.
Page 5
A little neglect may breed great mischief; for want of a nail the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for want of a horse the rider was lost;" being overtaken and slain by the enemy; all for want of a little care about a horse-shoe nail.
Page 6
"If you would know the value of money, go and try to borrow some; for he that goes a borrowing, goes a sorrowing," as Poor Richard says; and, indeed, so does he that lends to such people, when he goes to get it in again.
Page 7
1, 1805.
Page 8
" Gain may be temporary and uncertain; but ever, while you live, expense is constant and certain; and "It is easier to build two chimneys, than to keep one in fuel," as Poor Richard says: so, "Rather go to bed supper-less, than rise in debt," Get what you can, and what you get hold, 'Tis the stone that will turn all your lead into gold.
Page 9
* * * * * Transcriber's Notes: Only the most obvious and clear punctuation errors repaired.