Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 100

since its establishment, that which I first formed, called
the "Union Fire Company," still subsists and flourishes, though the
first members are all deceased but myself and one who is older by a
year than I am. The small fines that have been paid by members for
absence from the monthly meetings have been applied to the purchase of
fire engines, ladders, fire hooks, and other useful implements for
each company, so that I question whether there is a city in the world
better provided with the means of putting a stop to beginning
conflagrations; and, in fact, since these institutions, the city has
never lost by fire more than one or two houses at a time, and the
flames have often been extinguished before the house in which they
began, has been half consumed.

In 1739 arrived among us from Ireland the Rev. Mr. Whitefield,[125]
who had made himself remarkable there as an itinerant preacher. He was
at first permitted to preach in some of our churches; but the clergy,
taking a dislike to him, soon refused him their pulpits, and he was
obliged to preach in the fields. The multitudes of all sects and
denominations that attended his sermons were enormous, and it was
matter of speculation to me, who was one of the number, to observe the
extraordinary influence of his oratory on his hearers, and how much
they admired and respected him, notwithstanding his common abuse of
them by assuring them they were naturally "half beasts and half
devils." It was wonderful to see the change soon made in the manners
of our inhabitants. From being thoughtless or indifferent about
religion, it seemed as if all the world were growing religious, so
that one could not walk through the town in an evening without hearing
psalms sung in different families of every street.

And, it being found inconvenient to assemble in the open air, subject
to its inclemencies, the building of a house to meet in was no sooner
proposed, and persons appointed to receive contributions, but
sufficient sums were soon received to procure the ground and erect the
building, which was one hundred feet long and seventy broad, about the
size of Westminster Hall;[126] and the work was carried on with such
spirit as to be finished in a much shorter time than could have been
expected. Both house and ground were vested in trustees, expressly for
the use of any preacher of any religious persuasion who might desire
to say something to the people of Philadelphia; the design in building
not being to accommodate any particular sect, but the inhabitants in

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

Page 24
Page 29
"[i-65] Rev.
Page 33
From a letter (Feb.
Page 50
In his preoccupation with the growth of manufactures and favorable balances of trade, Franklin gave no suggestions that at least by 1767 he was to become an exponent of agrarianism and free trade.
Page 72
"[i-357] He refused to consider a plan which sought to establish a franchise only for freeholders: "It is of great consequence that we shd.
Page 155
_ New York: 1935.
Page 199
an Epic Poem, which he was then composing, and desiring my Remarks and Corrections.
Page 218
It was well receiv'd by the common People in general; but the Rich Men dislik'd it; for it increas'd and strengthen'd the Clamour for more Money; and they happening to have no Writers among them that were able to answer it, their Opposition slacken'd, and the Point was carried by a Majority in the House.
Page 255
V (From Monday May 21.
Page 285
That I may be preserved from Atheism & Infidelity, Impiety, and Profaneness, and, in my Addresses to Thee, carefully avoid Irreverence and ostentation, Formality and odious Hypocrisy,--Help me, O Father! That I may be loyal to my Prince, and faithful to my country, careful for its good, valiant in its defence, and obedient to its Laws, abhorring Treason as much as Tyranny,--Help me, O Father! That I may to those above me be dutiful, humble, and submissive; avoiding Pride, Disrespect, and Contumacy,--Help me, O Father! That I may to those below me be gracious, Condescending, and Forgiving, using Clemency, protecting _innocent Distress_, avoiding Cruelty, Harshness, and Oppression, Insolence, and unreasonable Severity,--Help me, O Father! That I may refrain from Censure, Calumny and Detraction; that I may avoid and abhor Deceit and Envy, Fraud, Flattery, and Hatred, Malice, Lying, and Ingratitude,--Help me, O Father! That I may be sincere in Friendship, faithful in trust, and Impartial in Judgment, watchful against Pride, and against Anger (that momentary Madness),--Help me, O Father! That I may be just in all my Dealings, temperate in my Pleasures, full of Candour and Ingenuity, Humanity and Benevolence,--Help me, O Father! That I may be grateful to my Benefactors, and generous to my Friends, exercising Charity and Liberality to the Poor, and Pity to the Miserable,--Help me, O Father! That I may avoid Avarice and Ambition, Jealousie, and Intemperance, Falsehood, Luxury, and Lasciviousness,--Help me, O Father! That I may possess Integrity and Evenness of Mind, Resolution in Difficulties, and Fortitude under Affliction; that I may be punctual in performing my promises, Peaceable and prudent .
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Temper of such of them as I know, as to be well satisfied such a trifling mention of their Habit gives them no Disturbance.
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that by my own Calculation I shall survive until the 26th of the said Month October 1733, which is as untrue as the former_.
Page 353
The Merchant may thereby be enabled better to understand many Commodities in Trade; the Handicraftsman to improve his Business by new Instruments, Mixtures and Materials; and frequently Hints are given of new Manufactures, or new Methods of improving Land, that may be set on foot greatly to the Advantage of a Country.
Page 374
Thy Pow'r with Life and Sense all Nature fills, Each Element with varied Being swells, Race after Race arising view the Light, Then silent pass away, and sink in Night.
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37 | 8 6 | 11 | 13 | | 25 | 1 39 | 9 6 | 12 | 14 | | 26 | 2 51 | 10 4 | 1 | 15 | | 27 | 4 5 | 11 1 | 2 | 16.
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| 7 0 | 10 | 9 | | 21 | 1 0 | 7 50 | 10 | 10 | | 22 | 2 4 | 8 40 | 11 | 11 | | 23 | 3 14 | 9 36 | 12 | 12 | | 24 | 4 27 | 10 31 | 1 | 13 | | 25 | Moon | 11 24 | 2 | 14 | | 26 | sets .
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You yourself, Sir, are quite unknown to me; you have not trusted me with your true name.
Page 656
I have had a great deal of pleasure in Ben too.