Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 96

through the several clubs the sentiments of the Junto.

The project was approved, and every member undertook to form his club,
but they did not all succeed. Five or six only were completed, which
were called by different names, as "The Vine," "The Union," "The
Band," etc. They were useful to themselves, and afforded us a good
deal of amusement, information, and instruction, besides answering, in
some considerable degree, our views of influencing the public opinion
on particular occasions, of which I shall give some instances in
course of time as they happened.

[Footnote 111: The following is taken from the commentary of Hierocles
upon the Golden Verses of Pythagoras. The English version is given by
Bigelow in his edition of the Autobiography:

"He [Pythagoras, who lived in the sixth century B.C.] requires also
that this examination be daily repeated. The time which he recommends
for this work is about even or bedtime, that we may conclude the
action of the day with the judgment of conscience, making the
examination of our conversation an evening song to God. Wherein have I
transgressed? What have I done? What duty have I omitted? So shall we
measure our lives by rules.

"We should have our parents and relations in high esteem, love and
embrace good men, raise ourselves above corporeal affections,
everywhere stand in awe of ourselves, carefully observe justice,
consider the frailty of riches and momentary life, embrace the lot
which falls to us by divine judgment, delight in a divine frame of
spirit, convert our mind to what is most excellent, love good
discourses, not lie open to impostures, not be servilely affected in
the possession of virtue, advise before action to prevent repentance,
free ourselves from uncertain opinions, live with knowledge, and
lastly, that we should adapt our bodies and the things without to the
exercise of virtue. These are the things which the lawgiving mind has
implanted in the souls of men."]

[Footnote 112: It is dated July 1, 1733.]

[Footnote 113: "O philosophy, thou guide of life! O thou searcher
after virtue and banisher of vice! One day lived well and in obedience
to thy precepts should be preferred to an eternity of sin."]

[Footnote 114: FRANKLIN'S NOTE.--Nothing so likely to make a man's
fortune as virtue.]

[Footnote 115: Thus far written at Passy, 1784.]

[Footnote 116: The Revolution.]

[Footnote 117: Almanacs were the first issues of the American press.
It is not easy in our day to understand their importance to the early
colonists, and their consequent popularity. The makers, philomaths
("lovers of learning") as Franklin called them, set out their wares in
every attractive form the taste and

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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 1
What an animating example do they present of the power of industry, and of frugality and temperance, of moral rectitude, and unremitting perseverance, to overcome every difficulty! And what youth, fired with the generous love of knowledge, and an ardent desire of honourable distinction, need ever despair of success after reading the memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; who, from the humble station of a printer's apprentice, without fortune or other extraneous aid, through a manly confidence in his own powers, elevated himself to the highest stations of honour and usefulness.
Page 8
I learned to swim well, and to manage boats; and when embarked with other boys, I was commonly allowed to govern, especially in any case of difficulty; and upon other occasions I was generally the leader among the boys, and sometimes led them into scrapes, of which I will mention an instance, as it shows an early projecting public spirit, though.
Page 9
My proposal was to build a wharf there for us to stand upon, and I showed my comrades a large heap of stones, which were intended for a new house near the marsh, and which would very well suit our purpose.
Page 19
I then thought of going to New-York, as the nearest place where there was a printer; and I was rather inclined to leave Boston, when I reflected that I had already made myself a little obnoxious to the governing party, and, from the arbitrary proceedings of the Assembly in my brother's case, it was likely I might, if.
Page 25
A few days after Keimer sent for me to print off the elegy.
Page 37
It was thought he intended to establish a correspondence and obtain goods to sell on commission; but I found after, that, having some cause of discontent with his wife's relations, he proposed to leave her on their hands and never return to America.
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Though purblind man Sees but a part o' the chain, the nearest link, His eye not carrying to that equal beam That poises all above--" and which, from the attributes of God, his infinite wisdom, goodness, and power, concluded that nothing could possibly be wrong in the world; and that vice and virtue were empty.
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For though, after spending the same time, they should quit the study of languages and never arrive at the Latin, they would, however, have acquired another tongue or two, that, being in modern use, might be serviceable to them in common life.
Page 102
The partnership at Carolina having succeeded, I was encouraged to engage in others, and to promote several of my workmen who had behaved well, by establishing them with printing-houses in different colonies, on the same terms with that in Carolina.
Page 120
Thus this important affair was by my means completed.
Page 127
"Why the d--l," said one of them, "you surely don't suppose that the fort will not be taken?" "I don't know that it will not be taken; but I know that the events of war are subject to great uncertainty.
Page 128
While the several companies in the city and country were forming and.
Page 138
Our new governor, Captain Denny, brought over for me the before-mentioned medal from the Royal Society, which he presented to me at an entertainment given him by the city.
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His personal influence was hence very considerable.
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It was never disputed in laying duties to regulate commerce.
Page 201
" This treaty has been since frequently renewed, and the chain brightened, as they express it, from time to time.
Page 213
However, what was honourable in Moors may not be a rule to us; for we are Christians! They would have been safer, it seems, among popish Spaniards, even if enemies, and delivered into their hands by a tempest.