Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 164


"MY DEAR AND HONORED FRIEND: I have often been desirous of
writing to thee, but could not be reconciled to the thought that
the letter might fall into the hands of the British, lest some
printer or busybody should publish some part of the contents, and
give our friend pain, and myself censure.

"Some time since there fell into my hands, to my great joy, about
twenty-three sheets in thy own handwriting, containing an account
of the parentage and life of thyself, directed to thy son, ending
in the year 1730; with which there were notes, likewise in thy
writing; a copy of which I inclose, in hopes it may be a means,
if thou continued it up to a later period, that the first and
latter part may be put together; and if it is not yet continued,
I hope thee will not delay it. Life is uncertain, as the preacher
tells us; and what will the world say if kind, humane, and
benevolent Ben. Franklin should leave his friends and the world
deprived of so pleasing and profitable a work; a work which would
be useful and entertaining not only to a few, but to millions?
The influence writings under that class have on the minds of
youth is very great, and has nowhere appeared to me so plain as
in our public friend's journals. It almost insensibly leads the
youth into the resolution of endeavoring to become as good and
eminent as the journalist. Should thine, for instance, when
published (and I think it could not fail of it), lead the youth
to equal the industry and temperance of thy early youth, what a
blessing with that class would such a work be! I know of no
character living, nor

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 3 [of 3]

Page 10
_of_ UNION _for the_ COLONIES _was formed_;--II.
Page 11
They then proceeded to sketch out a _plan of union_, which they did in a plain and concise manner, just sufficient to show their sentiments of the kind of union that would best suit the circumstances of the colonies, be most agreeable to the people, and most effectually promote his majesty's service and the general interest of the British empire.
Page 86
In fact, the occasion for English goods in North America, and the inclination to have and use them, is, and must be for ages to come, much greater than the ability of the people to pay for them; they must therefore, as they now do, deny themselves many things they would otherwise chuse to have, or increase their industry to obtain them.
Page 101
almost _four millions_.
Page 103
[47] The _aid_ Dr.
Page 110
Otherwise a pound of gold would not be a real equivalent for even a bushel of wheat.
Page 116
' It is observable here, that by the common course of justice, a man is to be tried by a jury of his neighbours and fellows; impannelled by a sheriff, in whose appointment the people have a choice: the prisoner too has a right to challenge twenty of the pannel, without giving a reason, and as many more as he can give reasons for challenging; and before he can be convicted, the jury are to be unanimous; they are all to agree that he is guilty, and are therefore all accountable for their verdict.
Page 136
And though addresses are not generally the best repositories of historical truth, we must not in this instance deny their authority.
Page 147
done, that they should think unfavourably of me? It cannot be my constantly and uniformly promoting the measures of the crown, ever since I had any influence in the province.
Page 163
in due obedience to an act of parliament, which, according to their ideas of their rights, they thought hard to obey.
Page 184
_ Suppose a military force sent into America, they will find nobody in arms; what are they then to do? They cannot force a man to take stamps who chooses to do without them.
Page 196
Page 212
--And hence it is, that the king cannot erect or establish any law martial or military command, by any commission which may supersede and not be subject to the supreme civil magistrate, within the respective precincts of the civil jurisdictions of said colonies and plantations, otherwise than in such manner as the said law martial and military commissions are annexed or subject to the supreme civil jurisdiction within his majesty's realms and dominions of Great Britain and Ireland; and hence it is, that the establishment and exercise of such commands and commissions would be illegal[114].
Page 234
This will probably weaken every idea of security in their property, and convince them, that under such a government they have nothing they can call their own; which can scarce fail of producing the happiest consequences! X.
Page 246
--Britain, at the expence of three millions, has killed one hundred and fifty Yankies this campaign, which is 20,000_l.
Page 257
Fifthly, His well founded prospects of greater future ability, by the improvement of his estate in value, and by aids from others.
Page 290
The brave do never shun the light, Just are their thoughts, and open are their tempers; Freely without disguise they love and hate; Still are they found in the fair face of day, And heaven and men are judges of their actions.
Page 324
Permit me to mention one little instance, which, though it relates to myself, will not be quite uninteresting to you.
Page 389
_Countries_, distant and unprovided, a plan for benefiting, ii.
Page 410
causes which diminish it, 386.