Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 145

about twelve hundred well-looking men, with a company of
artillery, who had been furnished with six brass fieldpieces,[183]
which they had become so expert in the use of as to fire twelve times
in a minute. The first time I reviewed my regiment they accompanied me
to my house, and would salute me with some rounds fired before my
door, which shook down and broke several glasses of my electrical
apparatus. And my new honor proved not much less brittle; for all our
commissions were soon after broken by a repeal of the law in England.

During this short time of my colonelship, being about to set out on a
journey to Virginia, the officers of my regiment took it into their
heads that it would be proper for them to escort me out of town, as
far as the Lower Ferry. Just as I was getting on horseback they came
to my door, between thirty and forty, mounted, and all in their
uniforms. I had not been previously acquainted with the project, or I
should have prevented it, being naturally averse to the assuming of
state on any occasion; and I was a good deal chagrined at their
appearance, as I could not avoid their accompanying me. What made it
worse was that as soon as we began to move, they drew their swords and
rode with them naked all the way. Somebody wrote an account of this
to the proprietor, and it gave him great offense. No such honor had
been paid him when in the province, nor to any of his governors, and
he said it was only proper to princes of the blood royal; which may be
true for aught I know, who was, and still am, ignorant of the
etiquette in such cases.

This silly affair, however, greatly increased his rancor against me,
which was before not a little on account of my conduct in the Assembly
respecting the exemption of his estate from taxation, which I had
always opposed very warmly, and not without severe reflections on his
meanness and injustice of contending for it. He accused me to the
ministry as being the great obstacle to the king's service,
preventing, by my influence in the House, the proper form of the bills
for raising money; and he instanced this parade with my officers as a
proof of my having an intention to take the government of the province
out of his hands by force. He also applied to Sir Everard Fawkener,
the postmaster-general, to deprive me of my office; but it had no
other effect than to procure

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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
" Now is not the _want of sense_ (where a man is so unfortunate as to want it) some apology for his _want of modesty_? and would not the lines stand more justly thus? "Immodest words admit _but this defence_, That _want of modesty_ is want of sense.
Page 21
Night approaching, we had no remedy but to have patience till the wind abated, and, in the mean time, the boatmen and myself concluded to sleep if we could; and so we crowded into the hatches, where we joined the Dutchman, who was still wet, and the spray breaking over the head of our boat, leaked through to us, so that we were soon almost as wet as he.
Page 34
these two points were essential with him.
Page 40
to return.
Page 46
With him, however, she was never happy, and soon parted from him, refusing to cohabit with him or bear his name, it being now said he had another wife.
Page 69
In youth, therefore, the turn is given; in youth the education even of the next generation is given; in youth the private and public character is determined; and the term of life extending but from youth to age, life ought to begin well from youth; and more especially _before_ we take our party as to our principal objects.
Page 118
" He had some reason for loving to dispute, being eloquent, an acute sophister, and, therefore, generally successful in argumentative conversation.
Page 119
I then suggested a method of doing the business without the governor, by orders on the trustees of the loan-office, which, by law, the Assembly had the right of drawing.
Page 125
" He smiled at my ignorance, and replied, "These savages may indeed be a formidable enemy to your raw American militia; but upon the king's regular and disciplined troops, sir, it is impossible they should make any impression.
Page 135
he might consider us both as merely advocates for contending clients in a suit; he for the proprietaries, and I for the Assembly: he would, therefore, sometimes call in a friendly way to advise with me on difficult points; and sometimes, though not often, take my advice.
Page 145
I apprehend that this may partly be occasioned by the different opinions of seamen respecting the modes of loading, rigging, and sailing of a ship; each has his method; and the same vessel, laden by the method and orders of one captain, shall sail worse than when by the orders of another.
Page 153
An American, a being of an inferior order, make discoveries! Impossible.
Page 167
It affords, at the same time, a demonstration of the futility of the arguments in defence of the slave-trade, and of the strength of mind and ingenuity of the author, at his advanced period of life.
Page 169
The following inscription is engraven on the pedestal: THIS STATUE OF DR.
Page 189
* * _Q.
Page 191
People will pay as freely to gratify one passion as another, their resentment as their pride.
Page 196
_ Are they acquainted with the declaration of rights? And do.
Page 204
With the Scriptures in their hands and mouths, they can set at naught that express command, _Thou shalt do no murder_; and justify their wickedness by the command given Joshua to destroy the heathen.
Page 217
But how contemptibly soever these gentlemen may talk of the colonies, how cheap soever they may hold their assemblies, or how insignificant the planters and traders who compose them, truth will be truth, and principle principle, notwithstanding.
Page 218
All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favour.