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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 310

plump, and
outweighed that great good Book by abundance.[25] After the same Manner
the others were served, and their Lumps of Mortality severally were too
heavy for Moses and all the Prophets and Apostles. This being over, the
Accusers and the rest of the Mob, not satisfied with this Experiment,
would have the Trial by Water. Accordingly a most solemn Procession was
made to the Millpond, where both Accused and Accusers being stripped
(saving only to the Women their Shifts) were bound Hand and Foot and
severally placed in the Water, lengthways, from the Side of a Barge or
Flat, having for Security only a Rope about the Middle of each, which
was held by some in the Flat. The accused man being thin and spare with
some Difficulty began to sink at last; but the rest, every one of them,
swam very light upon the Water. A Sailor in the Flat jump'd out upon the
Back of the Man accused thinking to drive him down to the Bottom; but
the Person bound, without any Help, came up some time before the other.
The Woman Accuser being told that she did not sink, would be duck'd a
second Time; when she swam again as light as before. Upon which she
declared, That she believed the Accused had bewitched her to make her so
light, and that she would be duck'd again a Hundred Times but she would
duck the Devil out of her. The Accused Man, being surpriz'd at his own
Swimming, was not so confident of his Innocence as before, but said, 'If
I am a Witch, it is more than I know.' The more thinking Part of the
Spectators were of Opinion that any Person so bound and placed in the
Water (unless they were mere Skin and Bones) would swim, till their
Breath was gone, and their Lungs fill'd with Water. But it being the
general Belief of the Populace that the Women's shifts and the Garters
with which they were bound help'd to support them, it is said they are
to be tried again the next warm Weather, naked."


[From the _Pennsylvania Gazette_, June 10, 1731.]

Being frequently censur'd and condemn'd by different Persons for
printing Things which they say ought not to be printed, I have sometimes
thought it might be necessary to make a standing Apology for my self,
and publish it once a Year, to be read upon all Occasions of that
Nature. Much Business has hitherto hindered the execution of this
Design; but having very lately given extraordinary Offence by printing
an Advertisement with

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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 14
Could all the people of a colony be consulted and unite in public measures, a house of representatives would be needless: and could all the assemblies conveniently consult and unite in general measures, the grand council would be unnecessary.
Page 48
The propriety, therefore, of addressing these papers to a gentleman, who, for so many successive parliaments, with so much honour to himself and satisfaction to the public, has been at the head of the commons of Great Britain, cannot be called in question.
Page 89
No body foretels the dissolution of the Russian monarchy from its extent; yet I will venture to say, the eastern parts of it are already much more inaccessible from Petersburgh, than the country on the Mississippi is from London; I mean, more men, in less time, might be conveyed the latter than the former distance.
Page 101
--------------- Increase, only £.
Page 130
He assured the people, in his first speeches, of the proprietaries' paternal regard for them, and their sincere disposition to do every thing that might promote their happiness.
Page 142
--But as wisdom shows itself not only in doing what is right, but in confessing and _amending_ what is wrong, I recommend the latter particularly to your present attention; being persuaded of this consequence, that though you have been mad enough to sign such a petition, you never will be fools enough to present it.
Page 143
[69] FOOTNOTES: [59] As I am very much unacquainted with the history and principles of these provincial politics, I shall confine myself to some imperfect anecdotes concerning the parties, &c.
Page 147
If indeed I had, by speeches and writings, endeavoured to make his majesty's government universally odious in the province: if I had harangued by the week to all comers and goers, on the pretended injustice and oppressions of royal government, and the slavery of the people under it: if I had written traitorous papers to this purpose, and got them translated into other languages, to give his majesty's foreign subjects here those horrible ideas of it: if I had declared, written, and printed, that "the king's little finger we should find heavier than the proprietor's whole loins," with regard to our liberties; _then indeed_ might the ministers be supposed to think unfavourably of me.
Page 153
The money voted was immediately paid me.
Page 216
5, 1773.
Page 223
[121] Some of his circular letters had been criticised, and exposed by one or two of the American assemblies.
Page 246
FOOTNOTE: [149] This and the two following letters were addressed to Dr.
Page 311
" It is, however, a folly soon punished; for, as poor Richard says, "pride that dines on vanity, sups on contempt; pride breakfasted with plenty, dined with poverty, and supped with infamy.
Page 316
I will acquaint them with the true secret of money-catching, the certain way to fill empty purses, and how to keep them always full.
Page 322
The temper and habits of the young are not yet become so stiff and uncomplying, as when more advanced in life; they form more easily to each other, and hence many occasions of disgust are removed.
Page 327
If I see one fond of appearance, of fine clothes, fine houses, fine furniture, fine equipages, all above his fortune, for which he contracts debts, and ends his career in a prison, _Alas_, says I, _he has paid dear, very dear, for his whistle_.
Page 334
Another means of preserving health, to be attended to, is the having a constant supply of fresh air in your bed-chamber.
Page 351
Will any paper match him? Yes, throughout, He's a true _sinking-paper_, past all doubt.
Page 353
Page 419
laws of, gradually humanized, _ib.