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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 302

mind no Consequences, nor
regarding what's to come. Why should I not do it?

_Phil._ Suppose, _Horatio_, that a Friend of yours entred into the World
about Two-and-Twenty, with a healthful vigorous Body, and a fair
plentiful Estate of about Five Hundred Pounds a Year; and yet, before he
had reached Thirty, should, by following his Pleasures, and not, as you
say, duly regarding Consequences, have run out of his Estate, and
disabled his Body to that Degree, that he had neither the Means nor
Capacity of Enjoyment left, nor any Thing else to do but wisely shoot
himself through the Head to be at rest; what would you say to this
unfortunate Man's Conduct? Is it wrong by Opinion or Fancy only? Or is
there really a Right and Wrong in the Case? Is not one Opinion of Life
and Action juster than another? Or, one Sort of Conduct preferable to
another? Or, does that miserable Son of Pleasure appear as reasonable
and lovely a Being in your Eyes, as a Man who, by prudently and rightly
gratifying his natural Passions, had preserved his Body in full Health,
and his Estate entire, and enjoy'd both to a good old Age, and then died
with a thankful Heart for the good Things he had received, and with an
entire Submission to the Will of Him who first called him into Being?
Say, _Horatio_! are these Men equally wise and happy? And is every Thing
to be measured by mere Fancy and Opinion, without considering whether
that Fancy or Opinion be right?

_Hor._ Hardly so neither, I think; yet sure the wise and good Author of
Nature could never make us to plague us. He could never give us
Passions, on purpose to subdue and conquer 'em; nor produce this Self of
mine, or any other self, only that it may be denied; for that is denying
the Works of the great Creator himself. Self-denial, then, which is what
I suppose you mean by Prudence, seems to me not only absurd, but very
dishonourable to that Supreme Wisdom and Goodness, which is supposed to
make so ridiculous and Contradictious a Creature, that must be always
fighting with himself in order to be at rest, and undergo voluntary
Hardships in order to be happy: Are we created sick, only to be
commanded to be Sound? Are we born under one Law, our Passions, and yet
bound to another, that of Reason? Answer me, _Philocles_, for I am
warmly concerned for the Honour of Nature, the Mother of us all.

_Phil._ I find, Horatio, my two Characters have

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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 16
But my father, burdened with a numerous family, found that he was incapable, without subjecting himself to difficulties, of providing for the expences of a collegiate education; and considering besides, as I heard him say to his friends, that persons so educated were often poorly provided for, he renounced his first intentions, took me from the grammar-school, and sent me to a school for writing and arithmetic, kept by a Mr.
Page 22
I felt the justice of his remarks, became more attentive to language, and resolved to make every effort to improve my style.
Page 26
These gentlemen frequently came to our house.
Page 28
I came, therefore, to a resolution: but my father, in this instance siding with my brother, presumed that if I attempted to depart openly, measures would be taken to prevent me.
Page 49
He thanked me very sincerely, the information it contained being of consequence to him; and from that moment bestowed on me his friendship, which afterwards proved on many occasions serviceable to me.
Page 52
I now began to think of laying by some money.
Page 76
We understand that it was continued by him somewhat farther, and we hope that the remainder will, at some future period, be communicated to the public.
Page 95
Considerable sums were subscribed; but they were still short of what was necessary.
Page 114
Page 134
So a straight spring (though the comparison does not agree in every particular) when forcibly bent, must, to restore itself, contract that side which in the bending was extended, and extend that which was contracted; if either of these two operations be hindered, the other cannot be done.
Page 136
If the cut is through the picture it.
Page 147
When the gun-barrel, (in electrical experiments) has but little electrical fire in it, you must approach it very.
Page 170
But glass, from the smallness of its pores, or stronger attraction of what it contains, refuses to admit so free a motion: a glass rod will not conduct a shock, nor will the thinnest glass suffer any particle entering one of its surfaces to pass through to the other.
Page 186
_ _Philadelphia, Oct.
Page 216
_ [69] These papers will be found in Vol II.
Page 234
One of the houses was struck twice in the same storm.
Page 268
After having frequently drawn sparks and charged bottles from the bell of the upper wire, I was one night waked by loud cracks on the stair-case.
Page 274
Page 280
To prove whether this was actually the case or not, I ground one of my phials in a part where it was extremely thin, grinding it considerably beyond the middle, and very near to the opposite superficies, as I found, upon breaking it after the experiment.
Page 292
We had only at London one thunder-storm; viz.