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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 260

Persons_, viz.

--_a Wife, a Daughter, and a Sister,_

which is _Three Times_ as great a Loss as the Death of _One_, and
consequently must raise _Three Times_ as much Grief and Compassion in
the Reader.

I should be very much straitened for Room, if I should attempt to
discover even half the Excellencies of this Elegy which are obvious to
me. Yet I cannot omit one Observation, which is, that the Author has (to
his Honour) invented a new Species of Poetry, which wants a Name, and
was never before known. His muse scorns to be confin'd to the old
Measures and Limits, or to observe the dull Rules of Criticks;

_Nor_ Rapin _gives her Rules to fly, nor_ Purcell _Notes to Sing._

Now 'tis Pity that such an Excellent Piece should not be dignify'd with
a particular Name; and seeing it cannot justly be called, either _Epic_,
_Sapphic_, _Lyric_, or _Pindaric_, nor any other Name yet invented, I
presume it may, (in Honour and Remembrance of the Dead) be called the
KITELIC. Thus much in the Praise of _Kitelic Poetry_.

It is certain, that those Elegies which are of our own Growth, (and our
Soil seldom produces any other sort of Poetry) are by far the greatest
part, wretchedly Dull and Ridiculous. Now since it is imagin'd by many,
that our Poets are honest, well-meaning Fellows, who do their best, and
that if they had but some Instructions how to govern Fancy with
Judgment, they would make indifferent good Elegies; I shall here subjoin
a Receipt for that purpose, which was left me as a Legacy, (among other
valuable Rarities) by my Reverend Husband. It is as follows,

A RECEIPT _to make_ a New-England Funeral ELEGY.

For the Title of your Elegy. _Of these you may have enough
ready made to your Hands, but if you should chuse to make it
your self, you must be sure not to omit the words_ AEtatis
Suae, _which will Beautify it exceedingly._

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

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" Published by W.
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Proprietors, W.
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] "Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labour wears, while the used key is always bright," as Poor Richard says.
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Many, without labour, would live by their wits only, but they break for want of stock;" whereas industry gives comfort, and plenty, and respect.
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Poor Dick farther advises, and says, "Fond pride of dress is sure a very curse, Ere fancy you.
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" When you have bought one fine thing, you must buy ten more, that your appearance may be all of a piece; but Poor Dick says, "It is easier to suppress the first desire, than to satisfy all that follow it.
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Those have a short Lent, who owe money to be paid at Easter.
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The opening single quotes end pages later.