Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 125

great clearness and strength of judgment, and therefore
recommended it as "well worthy of their closest and most serious
attention." The House, however, by the management of a certain member,
took it up when I happened to be absent, which I thought not very
fair, and reprobated it without paying any attention to it at all, to
my no small mortification.

In my journey to Boston this year I met at New York with our new
governor, Mr. Morris, just arrived there from England, with whom I had
been before intimately acquainted. He brought a commission to
supersede Mr. Hamilton, who, tired with the disputes his proprietary
instructions subjected him to, had resigned. Mr. Morris asked me if I
thought he must expect as uncomfortable an administration. I said,
"No; you may, on the contrary, have a very comfortable one, if you
will only take care not to enter into any dispute with the Assembly."
"My dear friend," says he, pleasantly, "how can you advise my avoiding
disputes? You know I love disputing; it is one of my greatest
pleasures. However, to show the regard I have for your counsel, I
promise you I will, if possible, avoid them." He had some reason for
loving to dispute, being eloquent, an acute sophister, and therefore
generally successful in argumentative conversation. He had been
brought up to it from a boy, his father, as I have heard, accustoming
his children to dispute with one another for his diversion while
sitting at table after dinner. But I think the practice was not wise;
for in the course of my observation, these disputing, contradicting,
and confuting people are generally unfortunate in their affairs. They
get victory sometimes, but they never get good will, which would be of
more use to them. We parted, he going to Philadelphia and I to Boston.

In returning I met at New York with the votes of the Assembly, by
which it appeared that, notwithstanding his promise to me, he and the
House were already in high contention; and it was a continual battle
between them as long as he retained the government.

I had my share of it; for, as soon as I got back to my seat in the
Assembly, I was put on every committee for answering his speeches and
messages, and by the committees always desired to make the drafts. Our
answers, as well as his messages, were often tart, and sometimes
indecently abusive, and, as he knew I wrote for the Assembly, one might
have imagined that when we met we could hardly avoid cutting throats;
but he was so good-natured

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 3
PAGE Portrait of Franklin vii Pages 1 and 4 of _The Pennsylvania Gazette_, Number XL, the first number after Franklin took control xxi First page of _The New England Courant_ of December 4-11, 1721 33 "I was employed to carry the papers thro' the streets to the customers" 36 "She, standing at the door, saw me, and thought I made, as I certainly did, a most awkward, ridiculous appearance" 48 "I took to working at press" 88 "I see him still at work when I go home from club" 120 Two pages from _Poor Richard's Almanac_ for 1736 .
Page 17
[14] I continued, however, at the grammar-school not quite one year, though in that time I had risen gradually from the middle of the class of that year to be the head of it, and farther was removed into the next class above it, in order to go with that into the third at the end of the year.
Page 45
"I doubt," said he, "my constitution will not bear that.
Page 49
Mr.
Page 62
He went directly, sign'd the indentures, was put into the ship, and came over, never writing a line to acquaint his friends what was become of him.
Page 72
VIII BUSINESS SUCCESS AND FIRST PUBLIC SERVICE About this time there was a cry among the people for more paper money, only fifteen thousand pounds being extant in the province, and that soon to be sunk.
Page 83
Sincerity.
Page 105
"--Smyth.
Page 119
"_ [82] James Logan (1674-1751) came to America with William Penn in 1699, and was the business agent for the Penn family.
Page 123
The Moravian happen'd not to please his colleagues, and on his death they resolved to have no other of that sect.
Page 135
Part of what passed between us on the occasion may also be seen among those papers.
Page 139
The general and all the officers were surpris'd, declar'd the expedition was then at an end, being impossible, and exclaim'd against the ministers for ignorantly landing them in a country destitute of the means of conveying their stores, baggage, etc.
Page 141
The people of these back counties have lately complained to the Assembly that a sufficient currency was wanting; you have an opportunity of receiving and dividing among you a very considerable sum; for, if the service of this expedition should continue, as it is more than probable it will, for one hundred and twenty days, the hire of these waggons and horses will amount to upward of thirty thousand pounds, which will be paid you in silver and gold of the king's money.
Page 142
The owners, however, alleging they did not know General Braddock, or what dependence might be had on his promise, insisted on my bond for the performance, which I accordingly gave them.
Page 152
Beatty, who complained to me that the men did not generally attend his prayers and exhortations.
Page 159
My answers were to this purpose: that my circumstances, thanks to God, were such as to make proprietary favours unnecessary to me; and that, being a member of the Assembly, I could not possibly accept of any; that, however, I had no personal enmity to the.
Page 170
T.
Page 175
_Sloth makes all Things difficult, but Industry all easy_, as _Poor Richard_ says; and _He that riseth late must trot all Day, and shall scarce overtake his Business at Night; while Laziness travels so slowly, that Poverty soon overtakes him_, as we read in _Poor Richard_, who adds, _Drive thy Business, let not that drive thee_; and _Early to Bed, and early to rise, makes a Man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
Page 178
Yet I ought to have charity for these unhappy people, when I consider, that, with all this wisdom of which I am boasting, there are certain things in the world so tempting, for example, the apples of King John, which happily are not to be bought; for if they were put to sale by auction, I might very easily be led to ruin myself in the purchase, and find that I had once more given too much for the _whistle_.
Page 182
We ask Assistance, because we are fully sensible, that to publish a good New-Paper is not so easy an Undertaking as many People imagine it to be.