Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 13

of the town or of
the church he belonged to, and showed a good deal of respect for his
judgment and advice; he was also much consulted by private persons
about their affairs when any difficulty occurred, and frequently
chosen an arbitrator between contending parties. At his table he liked
to have as often as he could some sensible friend or neighbor to
converse with, and always took care to start some ingenious or useful
topic for discourse, which might tend to improve the minds of his
children. By this means he turned our attention to what was good,
just, and prudent in the conduct of life, and little or no notice was
ever taken of what related to the victuals on the table, whether it
was well or ill dressed, in or out of season, of good or bad flavor,
preferable or inferior to this or that other thing of the kind, so
that I was brought up in such a perfect inattention to those matters
as to be quite indifferent what kind of food was set before me, and so
unobservant of it that to this day if I am asked I can scarce tell a
few hours after dinner what I dined upon. This has been a convenience
to me in traveling, where my companions have been sometimes very
unhappy for want of a suitable gratification of their more delicate,
because better instructed, tastes and appetites.

My mother had likewise an excellent constitution. I never knew either
my father or mother to have any sickness but that of which they died,
he at eighty-nine and she at eighty-five years of age. They lie buried
together at Boston, where I some years since placed a marble[23] over
their grave with this inscription:

ABIAH his wife,
lie here interred.
They lived lovingly together in wedlock
fifty-five years.
Without an estate, or any gainful employment,
By constant labor and industry,
with God's blessing,
They maintained a large family
and brought up thirteen children
and seven grandchildren
From this instance, reader,
Be encouraged to diligence in thy calling,
And distrust not Providence.
He was a pious and prudent man;
She, a discreet and

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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 35
When you begin to feel the cold air unpleasant, then return to your bed, and you will soon fall asleep, and your sleep will be sweet and pleasant.
Page 40
But what will fame be to an ephemera who no longer exists? And what will become of all history in the eighteenth hour, when the world itself, even the whole Moulin Joly, shall come to its end and be buried in universal ruin?" To me, after all.
Page 42
When I saw one too ambitious of court favour, sacrificing his time in attendance on levees, his repose, his liberty, his virtue, and perhaps his friends, to attain it, I have said to myself, _This man gives too much for his whistle.
Page 53
Let us now suppose this venerable insect, this _Nestor_ of _Hypania_, should, a little before his death, and about sunset, send for all his descendants, his friends and his acquaintances, out of the desire he may have to impart his last thoughts to them, and to admonish them with his departing breath.
Page 54
_ Neither will any of you, whom I leave behind, have equal satisfaction in life, in the dark declining age which I see is already begun.
Page 60
We are convinced, therefore, that you mean to do us good by your proposal; and we thank you heartily.
Page 69
That the matter of the libel composed by Sidney was an _imagining how to compass the death of King Charles II.
Page 105
, should be hired for them; and that the respective provinces where they were should pay the expense, and furnish firing, bedding, drink, and some other articles to the soldiers, _gratis_.
Page 108
_ "London, February 21, 1769.
Page 113
The latter had been raving against America, as traitorous, rebellious, &c.
Page 136
"You do well to avoid being.
Page 139
After so long a silence, and the long continuance of its unfortunate causes, a line from you was a prognostic of happier times approaching, when we may converse and communicate freely, without danger from the malevolence of men enraged by the ill-success of their distracted projects.
Page 149
This advice, thus beat into my head, has frequently been of use to me; and I often think of.
Page 159
me from my birth to the present hour.
Page 161
"The English have not yet delivered up the posts on our frontier agreeable to treaty; the pretence is, that our merchants here have not paid their debts.
Page 173
"Confiding in your compliance with this earnest request, I am ever, my dear friend, yours most affectionately, B.
Page 187
That this effort being made in all directions indifferently, the fire, dilating and expanding on all hands, and endeavouring to get room and make its way through all obstacles, falls as foul on the waters of the abyss beneath as on the earth above, forcing it forth, which way soever it can find vent or passage, as well through its ordinary exits, wells, springs, and the outlets of rivers, as through the chasms then newly opened, through the _camini_ or spiracles of Aetna, or other neighbouring volcanoes, and those hiatuses at the bottom of the sea whereby the abyss below opens into it and communicates with it.
Page 191
They were no sooner off but they were lifted from the ground above two palms.
Page 200
A lump of salt, though laid at rest at the bottom.
Page 228
But can one imagine, that if all the water of those vast rivers went to the sea, it would not first have pushed the salt water out of.