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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 80

a youth too much at ease in Zion, he did not lose
substantial (if then a theoretic) faith in the struggle between the law
of the spirit and the law of the members. Nurtured by the Bible, Bunyan,
Addison and Steele, Tryon, Socrates, and Xenophon--a blend of Christian
and classical traditions--he felt the reasonableness, if not the
saintliness, of curbing the resolute sway of his natural self.[i-415]

After five years with James, a year in Philadelphia where part of the
time he worked with Samuel Keimer,[i-416] a fanatic and bearded
Camisard, Franklin, through the duplicity of Governor Keith, found
himself in November, 1724, aboard the _London-Hope_, England-bound. It
would be unfair to Franklin were we to think him a primitive colonist to
whom England was an unreal, incalculable land. We remember that James
knew the London of Anne, Addison, Steele, Locke, and Newton. And we have
seen that the _New England Courant_ library was one of which no London
gentleman and scholar need have been ashamed. As a worker on this
newspaper Franklin had set up the names and some indications of the
thoughts of such men as Fenelon, Tillotson, Defoe, Swift, Butler, Bayle,
Isaac Watts, Blount, Burnet, Whiston, Temple, Trenchard and Gordon,
Denham, Garth, Dryden, Milton, Locke, Flamstead, and Newton.[i-417]

During his two years in London, working successively in the printing
houses of Samuel Palmer and James Watts, he mingled with many of the
leaders of the day. Probably because he had, while yet in America, read
(in the transactions of the Royal Society) of the virtuosi's interest in
asbestos, he wrote to Sir Hans Sloane, offering to show him purses made
of that novel stuff.[i-418] And we know that Sir Hans Sloane received
Franklin in his home at Bloomsbury Square. Before he met other notables
he published (what he called later an "erratum") _A Dissertation on
Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain_ (1725).[i-419] Franklin
himself said this work was the result of his setting up Wollaston's _The
Religion of Nature Delineated_[i-420] at Palmer's and his not agreeing
with the author's "reasonings." Coming to Wollaston's work (with
Franklin's _Dissertation_ and _Articles of Belief_ in mind) we can,
however, see much that Franklin agreed with, general principles which do
little more than reflect the current patterns of thought. Like Franklin,
Wollaston saw Reason as "the great law of our nature."[i-421] With Locke
he denied innate ideas.[i-422] That part of _The Religion of Nature
Delineated_ in which he searched with laborious syllogistic reasoning
for the Ultimate Cause (which could not produce itself) may have been
boring to the less agile mind of the young printer. Wollaston, however,
apologized for his

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Way to Wealth; or, "Poor Richard Improved"

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_ Sold by W.
Page 1
& T.
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Judge, then, how much I must have been gratified by an incident I am going to relate to you.
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"Diligence is the mother of good luck, and God gives all things to industry.
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" Leisure is time for doing something useful; this leisure the diligent man will obtain, but the lazy man never; for "A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things.
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1, 1805.
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For, in another place, he says, "Many have been ruined by buying good pennyworths.
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] 'And again, "Pride is as loud a beggar as Want, and a great deal more saucy.
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When you have got your bargain, you may, perhaps, think little of payment; but, as Poor Richard says, "Creditors have better memories than debtors; creditors are a superstitious sect, great observers of set days and times.
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The frequent mention he made of me must have tired any one else; but my vanity was wonderfully delighted with it, though I was conscious that not a tenth part of the wisdom was my own, which he ascribed to me; but rather the gleanings that I had made of the sense of all ages and nations.