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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 291

and in every
Circumstance of Life; I say, it is of much more real Advantage to him
to be thus qualified, than to be a Master of all the Arts and Sciences
in the World beside.

Virtue alone is sufficient to make a Man Great, Glorious, and Happy. He
that is acquainted with Cato, as I am, cannot help thinking as I do now,
and will acknowledge he deserves the Name, without being honour'd by it.
Cato is a Man whom Fortune has plac'd in the most obscure Part of the
Country. His Circumstances are such, as only put him above Necessity,
without affording him many Superfluities; Yet who is greater than Cato?
I happened but the other Day to be at a House in Town, where, among
others, were met Men of the most Note in this Place. Cato had Business
with some of them, and knock'd at the Door. The most trifling Actions of
a Man, in my Opinion, as well as the smallest Features and Lineaments of
the Face, give a nice Observer some Notion of his Mind. Methought he
rapp'd in such a peculiar Manner, as seem'd of itself to express there
was One, who deserv'd as well as desir'd Admission. He appear'd in the
plainest Country Garb; his Great Coat was coarse, and looked old and
threadbare; his Linnen was home-spun; his Beard perhaps of Seven Days'
Growth; his Shoes thick and heavy; and every Part of his Dress
corresponding. Why was this Man receiv'd with such concurring Respect
from every Person in the Room, even from those who had never known him
or seen him before? It was not an exquisite Form of Person, or Grandeur
of Dress, that struck us with Admiration.

I believe long Habits of Virtue have a sensible Effect on the
Countenance. There was something in the Air of his Face, that manifested
the true Greatness of his Mind, which likewise appear'd in all he said,
and in every Part of his Behaviour, obliging us to regard him with a
Kind of Veneration. His Aspect is sweetened with Humanity and
Benevolence, and at the same Time enboldned with Resolution, equally
free from a diffident Bashfulness and an unbecoming Assurance. The
Consciousness of his own innate Worth and unshaken Integrity renders him
calm and undaunted in the Presence of the most Great and Powerful, and
upon the most extraordinary Occasions. His strict Justice and known
Impartiality make him the Arbitrator and Decider of all Differences,
that arise for many Miles around him, without putting his Neighbours to
the Charge, Perplexity, and Uncertainty of Law-Suits. He always speaks

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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 0
)] PRINTED, for Longman, Hurst, Rees & Orme, Paternoster Row, London.
Page 20
_ The power of making peace or war with Indian nations is at present supposed to be in every colony, and is expressly granted to some by charter, so that no new power is hereby intended to be granted to the colonies.
Page 66
His proposed demand is founded on the little value of Canada to the French; the right we have to ask, and the power we may have to insist on an indemnification for our expences; the difficulty the French themselves will be under of restraining their restless subjects in America from encroaching on our limits and disturbing our trade; and the difficulty on our parts of preventing encroachments, that may possibly exist many years without coming to our knowledge.
Page 92
_ in sugars_.
Page 109
So that even out of the province, the knowledge, that every man within that province is obliged to take its money, gives the bills a credit among its neighbours, nearly equal to what they have at home.
Page 131
Could any thing be more deliberate, more fair and open, or more respectful to the people that chose them?--During this recess, the people, in many places, held little meetings with each other; the result of which was, that they would manifest their sentiments to their representatives, by petitioning the crown directly of themselves, and requesting the assembly to transmit and support those petitions.
Page 136
"Those principal gentlemen!" What a pity it is that their names were not given us in the preface, together with their admirable letter! We should then have known, where to run for advice on all occasions.
Page 166
"They are not content with the high prices at which they sell us their goods, but have now begun to enhance those prices by new duties, and by the expensive apparatus of a new set of officers, appear to intend an augmentation and multiplication of those burthens, that shall still be more grievous to us.
Page 179
_ I know that whenever the subject has occurred in conversation where I have been present, it has appeared to be the opinion of every one, that we could not be taxed in a parliament where we were not represented.
Page 185
_ They would certainly object to it, as an excise is unconnected with any service done, and is merely an aid, which they think ought to be asked of them, and granted by them, if they are to pay it; and can be granted for them by no others whatsoever, whom they have not impowered for that purpose.
Page 213
] All statutes respecting the general relation between the crown and the subject, not such as respect any particular or peculiar establishment of the realm of England.
Page 220
_" All accounts of the discontent, so general in our colonies, have of late years been industriously smothered and concealed here, it seeming to suit the views of the American minister[119] to have it understood, that by his great abilities, all faction was subdued, all opposition suppressed, and the whole country quieted.
Page 234
Then let there be a formal declaration of both houses, that opposition to your edicts is treason, and that persons suspected of treason in the provinces may, according to some obsolete law, be seized and sent to the metropolis of the empire for trial; and pass an act, that those there charged with certain other offences shall be sent away in chains from their friends and country, to be tried in the same manner for felony.
Page 258
Respecting _frugality_; the manner of living in America is more simple and less expensive than that in England: plain tables, plain clothing, and plain furniture in houses prevail, with few carriages of pleasure; there, an expensive appearance hurts credit, and is avoided: in England, it is often assumed to gain credit, and continued to ruin.
Page 264
--When he had finished, an Indian orator stood up to thank him.
Page 294
It is, I believe, a nice thing and very difficult, to regulate our visits in such a manner, as never to give offence by coming too seldom, or too often, or departing too abruptly, or staying too long.
Page 301
Thus much in my own vindication.
Page 344
I turned my head from them to an old grey-headed one, who was single on another leaf, and talking to himself.
Page 387
_Coal_, sea, letter on the nature of, ii.
Page 422
'msy inspire' replaced by 'may inspire'.