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

By Benjamin Franklin

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Franklin's mind, from youth
to old age, in its comprehensive interests--educational, literary,
journalistic, economic, political, scientific, humanitarian, and

With the exception of the selections from the _Autobiography_, the works
are arranged in approximate chronological order, hence inviting a
necessarily genetic study of Franklin's mind. The _Dissertation on
Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain_, never before printed in an
edition of Franklin's works or in a book of selections, is here printed
from the London edition of 1725, retaining his peculiarities of italics,
capitalization, and punctuation. Attention is also drawn to the
photographically reproduced complete text of _Poor Richard Improved_
(1753), graciously furnished by Mr. William Smith Mason. _The Way to
Wealth_ is from an exact reprint made by Mr. Mason, and with his
permission here reproduced. One of the editors is grateful for the
privilege of consulting Mr. Mason's magnificent collection of Franklin
correspondence (original MSS), especially the Franklin-Galloway and
Franklin-Jonathan Shipley (Bishop of St. Asaph) unpublished
correspondence. With Mr. Mason's generous permission the editors
reproduce fragments of this correspondence in the Introduction.

The bulk of the selections have been printed from the latest, standard
edition, _The Writings of Benjamin Franklin_, collected and edited with
a Life and Introduction by Albert Henry Smyth (10 vols., 1905-1907). For
permission to use this material the editors are grateful to The
Macmillan Company, publishers. The editors are indebted to Dr. Max
Farrand, Director of the Henry E. Huntington Library, for permission to
reprint part of Franklin's MS version of the _Autobiography_.

Chester E. Jorgenson is preparing an analysis and interpretation of
Franklin's brand of scientific deism, its sources and relation to his
economic, political, and literary theories and practice. Fragments of
this projected study are included, especially in Section VII of the
following Introduction. For the past two years Mr. Jorgenson has enjoyed
the kindness and generosity of Mr. William Smith Mason, and has incurred
an indebtedness which cannot be expressed adequately in print.

The work of the editors has been vastly eased by Beata Prochnow
Jorgenson's assistance in typing, proofreading, et cetera. They are
extremely grateful to Professor Harry Hayden Clark for incisive
suggestions and valuable editorial assistance.

F. L. M.

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 2 of 2] With his Most Interesting Essays, Letters, and Miscellaneous Writings; Familiar, Moral, Political, Economical, and Philosophical, Selected with Care from All His Published Productions, and Comprising Whatever Is Most Entertaining and Valuable to the General Reader

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42 On Luxury, Idleness, and Industry 45 On Truth and Falsehood 50 Necessary Hints to those that would be Rich 53 The Way to make Money plenty in every Man's Pocket 54 The Handsome and Deformed Leg 55 On Human Vanity 58 On Smuggling, and its various Species 62 Remarks concerning the Savages of North America 66 On Freedom of Speech and the Press 71 On the Price of Corn and the Management of the Poor 82 Singular Custom among the Americans, entitled Whitewashing .
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Jordain 187 To Miss Hubbard 189 To George Wheatley 190 To B.
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"A certain man, whose name was Glaucon, the son of Ariston, had so fixed it in his mind to govern the republic, that he frequently presented himself before the people to discourse of affairs of state, though all the world laughed at him for it; nor was it in the power of his relations or friends to dissuade him from that design.
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Those whom necessity has obliged to get their bread by manual industry, where some degree of art is required to go along with it, and who have had some insight into these studies, have very often found advantages from them sufficient to reward the pains they were at in acquiring them.
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bulk of commerce, for which we fight and destroy each other, but the toil of millions for superfluities, to the great hazard and loss of many lives by the constant dangers of the sea? How much labour is spent in building and fitting great ships to go to China and Arabia for tea and coffee, to the West Indies for sugar, to America for tobacco? These things can not be called the necessaries of life, for our ancestors lived very comfortably without them.
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"HONOURED MOTHER, "We received your kind letter of the 2d instant, by which we are glad to hear you still enjoy such a measure of health, notwithstanding your great age.
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No reason will be expected to be given for the separation, and, of course, no offence taken at reasons given; the friendship may still subsist, and, in some other way, be useful.
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_ "Passy, July 27, 1783.
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The Parliament, too, believed the stories of another foolish general, I forget his name, that the Yankees never _felt bold_.
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"MY DEAR FRIEND, "A long winter has passed, and I have not had the pleasure of a line from you, acquainting me with your and your childrens' welfare, since I left England.
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' Without it no situation can be happy; with it, any.
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Let us hope, my friend, that, when free from these bodily embarrassments, we may roam together through some of the systems he has explored, conducted by some of our old companions already acquainted with them.
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Yet, had I gone at seventy, it would have cut off twelve of the most active years of my life, employed, too, in matters of the greatest importance; but whether I have been doing good or mischief is for time to discover.
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a virtuous life without the assistance afforded by religion; you having a clear perception of the advantages of virtue and the disadvantages of vice, and possessing a strength of resolution sufficient to enable you to resist common temptations.
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Philadelphia, October 16, 1752.
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Water, in the same manner, will dissolve in air, every particle of air assuming one or more particles of water.
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If it passes over water, the weight of the surrounding atmosphere forces up the water into the vacuity, part of which, by degrees, joins with the whirling air, and, adding weight and receiving accelerated motion, recedes farther from the centre or axis of the trump as the pressure lessens; and at last, as the trump widens, is broken into small particles, and so united with air as to be supported by it, and become black clouds at the top of the trump.
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Thus, also, a damp, moist air shall make a man more sensible of cold, or chill him more than a dry air that is colder, because a moist air is fitter to receive and conduct away the heat of his body.
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I found them all agreeing in the fact, that there was a very great difference, but they differed widely in expressing the quantity of the difference; some supposing it was equal to a mile in six, others to a mile in three, &c.