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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 335

the Drying Cheese.
Some Books we read, tho' few there are that hit
The happy Point where Wisdom joins with Wit;
That set fair Virtue naked to our View,
And teach us what is _decent_, what is _true_.
The Friend sincere, and honest Man, with Joy
Treating or treated oft our Time employ.
Our Table next, Meals temperate; and our Door
Op'ning spontaneous to the bashful Poor.
Free from the bitter Rage of Party Zeal,
All those we love who seek the publick Weal.
Nor blindly follow Superstitious Love,
Which cheats deluded Mankind o'er and o'er,
Not over righteous, quite beyond the Rule,
Conscience perplext by every canting Tool.
Nor yet when Folly hides the dubious Line,
When Good and Bad the blended Colours join:
Rush indiscreetly down the dangerous Steep,
And plunge uncertain in the darksome Deep.
Cautious, if right; if wrong resolv'd to part
The Inmate Snake that folds about the Heart.
Observe the _Mean_, the _Motive_, and the _End_,
Mending ourselves, or striving still to mend.
Our Souls sincere, our Purpose fair and free,
Without Vain Glory or Hypocrisy:
Thankful if well; if ill, we kiss the Rod;
Resign with Hope, and put our Trust in God.



THE SPEECH OF POLLY BAKER[32]

[Printed in the _Gentleman's Magazine_, April, 1747.]

The Speech of Miss Polly Baker before a Court of Judicature, at
Connecticut near Boston in New England; where she was prosecuted the
fifth time, for having a Bastard Child: Which influenced the Court to
dispense with her Punishment, and which induced one of her Judges to
marry her the next Day--by whom she had fifteen Children.

"May it please the honourable bench to indulge me in a few
words: I am a poor, unhappy woman, who have no money to fee
lawyers to plead for me, being hard put to it to get a
living. I shall not trouble your honours with

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 1 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 17
if you wish to instruct others, a positive and dogmatical manner in advancing your sentiments may occasion opposition and prevent a candid attention.
Page 29
This business afterward occasioned me a good deal of uneasiness.
Page 37
And just before we sailed, Colonel French coming on board, and showing me great respect, I was more taken notice of; and, with my friend Ralph, invited by the other gentlemen to come into the cabin, there being now room; accordingly, we removed thither.
Page 55
My hopes of success, as I told him, were founded on this, that the then only newspaper printed by Bradford, was a paltry thing, wretchedly managed, no way entertaining, and yet was profitable to him; I therefore freely thought a good paper would scarcely fail of good encouragement.
Page 63
Franklin's papers, from Josiah to B.
Page 64
Some think we are of a French extract, which was formerly called Franks; some of a free line; a line free from that vassalage which was common to subjects in days of old; some from a bird of long red legs.
Page 75
Not having any copy here of what is already written, I know not whether an account is given of the means I used to establish the Philadelphia public library, which, from a small beginning, is now become so considerable, though I remember to have come down near the time of that transaction (1730).
Page 78
This was the first appearance of plate and china in our house, which afterward, in a course of years, as our wealth increased, augmented gradually to several hundred pounds in value.
Page 91
"And that God will certainly reward virtue and punish vice, either here or hereafter.
Page 106
Being now a member of both boards of trustees, that for the building and that for the academy, I had a.
Page 113
Fothergill,[11] who was among the best men I have known, and a great promoter of useful projects.
Page 130
The Moravians procured me five wagons for our tools, stores, baggage, &c.
Page 143
I was at the entertainment given by the city of New-York to Lord Loudon, on his taking upon him the command.
Page 151
The effect of these, he concluded, would be either to prevent a stroke by repelling the cloud beyond the striking distance, or by drawing off the electrical fire which it contained; or, if they could not effect this, they would at least conduct the electric matter to the earth, without injury to the building.
Page 168
existence.
Page 169
The body was interred amid peals of artillery; and nothing was omitted that could display the veneration of the citizens for such an illustrious character.
Page 173
He was eminently great in common things.
Page 192
I can only judge what other people will think and how they will act by what I feel within myself.
Page 195
[21] They were before in perfect peace with both French and Indians; the troops were not,.
Page 213
These were not taken in war against us, and have drunk with us, and we with them, for fourscore years.