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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 330

Jam grandis natu queritur, conspexit, ut aiunt,
Adrasum quendam vacua tonsoris in umbra.
Cultello proprios purgantem leniter ungues.
Hor. Epist. Lib. I. 7.

By which we may understand, that the _Tonsoris Umbra, or_ Barber's Shop,
was the common Rendezvous of every idle Fellow, who had no more to do
than to pair his Nails, talk Politicks, and see, and to be seen.

But to return to the Point in Question. If we would know why the Barbers
are so eminent for their Skill in Politicks, it will be necessary to lay
aside the Appellation of Barber, and confine ourselves to that of Shaver
and Trimmer, which will naturally lead us to consider the near Relation
which subsists between Shaving, Trimming and Politicks, from whence we
shall discover that Shaving and Trimming is not the Province of the
Mechanic alone, but that there are their several Shavers and Trimmers at
Court, the Bar, in Church and State.

And first, Shaving or Trimming, in a strict mechanical Sense of the
Word, signifies a cutting, sheering, lopping off, and fleecing us of
those Excrescencies of Hair, Nails, Flesh, &c., which burthen and
disguise our natural Endowments. And is not the same practised over the
whole World, by Men of every Rank and Station? Does not the corrupt
Minister lop off our Privileges and fleece us of our Money? Do not the
Gentlemen of the long Robe find means to cut off those Excrescencies of
the Nation, Highwaymen, Thieves and Robbers? And to look into the
Church, who has been more notorious for shaving and fleecing, than that
Apostle of Apostles, that Preacher of Preachers, the Rev. Mr. G. W.?[29]
But I forbear making farther mention of this spiritual Shaver and
Trimmer, lest I should affect the Minds of my Readers as deeply as his
Preaching has affected their Pockets.

The second Species of Shavers and Trimmers are those who, according to
the _English_ Phrase, _make the best of a bad Market_: Such as cover
(what is called by an eminent Preacher) _their poor Dust_ in tinsel
Cloaths and gaudy Plumes of Feathers. A Star, and Garter, for Instance,
adds Grace, Dignity and Lustre to a gross corpulent Body; and a
competent Share of religious Horror thrown into the Countenance, with
proper Distortions of the Face, and the Addition of a lank Head of Hair,
or a long Wig

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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

Page 7
159 To Samuel Huntingdon, President of Congress 160 To the Bishop of St.
Page 65
The subjects were terrified from uttering their griefs while they saw the thunder of the Star Chamber pointed at their heads.
Page 78
This is considered as a privileged place, and stands like the land of Goshen amid the plagues of Egypt.
Page 82
He must have known what humane judges feel on such occasions, and what the effects of those feelings; and, so far from thinking that severe and excessive punishments prevent crimes, he asserts, as quoted by our French writer, that "L'atrocite des loix en empeche l'execution.
Page 97
These are troublesome times to us all; but perhaps you have heard more than you should.
Page 125
"Our expectations of the future grandeur of America are not so magnificent, and, therefore, not so vain and visionary, as you represent them to be.
Page 126
Your parliament never had a right to govern us, and your king has forfeited it by his bloody tyranny.
Page 130
_ "Passy, February 8, 1780.
Page 143
The last year carried off my friends Dr.
Page 144
Page 148
, B.
Page 163
"I hardly know which to admire most, the wonderful discoveries made by Herschel, or the indefatigable ingenuity by which he has been enabled to make them.
Page 174
I will not enter into any discussion of your principles, though you seem to desire it.
Page 175
_ "Philadelphia, April 8, 1790.
Page 178
The original movement of the parts towards their common centre would naturally form a whirl there, which would continue upon the turning of the new-formed globe upon its axis, and the greatest diameter of the shell would be in its equator.
Page 180
John Pringle.
Page 183
Page 187
That as the water resident in the abyss is, in all parts of it, stored with a considerable quantity of heat, and more especially in those where those extraordinary aggregations of this fire happen, so likewise is the water which is thus forced out of it, insomuch that, when thrown forth and mixed with the waters of wells, or springs of rivers and the sea, it renders them very sensibly hot.
Page 199
Page 206
In this view I consider the objections and remarks you sent me, and thank you for them sincerely; but, how much soever my inclinations lead me to philosophical inquiries, I am so engaged in business, public and private, that those more pleasing pursuits are frequently interrupted, and the chain of thought necessary to be closely continued in such disquisitions is so broken and disjointed, that it is with difficulty I satisfy myself in any of them; and I am now not much nearer a conclusion in this matter of the spout than when I first read your letter.