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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 110

a very
satisfactory explanation, I not only subscribed to it myself, but
engaged heartily in the design of procuring subscriptions from others:
previous, however, to the solicitation, I endeavoured to prepare the
minds of the people, by writing on the subject in the newspapers, which
was my usual custom in such cases, but which Dr. Bond had omitted. The
subscriptions afterward were more free and generous; but, beginning to
flag, I saw they would be insufficient without assistance from the
Assembly, and therefore proposed to petition for it, which was done. The
country members did not at first relish the project: they objected that
it could only be serviceable to the city, and, therefore, the citizens
alone should be at the expense of it; and they doubted whether the
citizens themselves generally approved of it. My allegation, on the
contrary, that it met with such approbation as to leave no doubt of our
being able to raise two thousand pounds by voluntary donations, they
considered as a most extravagant supposition, and utterly impossible. On
this I formed my plan; and asking leave to bring in a bill for
incorporating the contributors according to the prayer of their
petition, and granting them a blank sum of money, which leave was
obtained chiefly on the consideration that the house could throw the
bill out if they did not like it, I drew it so as to make the important
clause a conditional one, viz.: "And be it enacted by the authority
aforesaid, that when the said contributors shall have met and chosen
their managers and treasurer, and shall have raised by their
contributions a capital stock of two thousand pounds value (the yearly
interest of which is to be applied to the accommodation of the sick poor
in the said hospital, and of charge for diet, attendance, advice, and
medicines), and _shall make the same appear to the satisfaction of the
Speaker of the Assembly for the time being_, that then it shall and may
be lawful for the said speaker, and he is hereby required to sign an
order on the provincial treasurer, for the payment of two thousand
pounds, in two yearly payments, to the treasurer of the said hospital,
to be applied to the founding, building, and finishing of the same."
This condition carried the bill through; for the members who had opposed
the grant, and now conceived they might have the credit of being
charitable without the expense, agreed to its passage; and then, in
soliciting subscriptions among the people, we urged the conditional
promise of the law as an additional motive to give, since

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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

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It would be difficult, and perhaps impossible, to gather from the history and labours of any individual mind, a summary of practical wisdom as rich in varied instruction as the memoirs and writings presented in these volumes will be found to afford.
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Notwithstanding, if this condition was denied, I should still accept the offer of recommencing the same life.
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Our acquaintance continued all the rest of his life.
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At length he had got so much of it that I was distressed to think what I should do in case of being called on to remit it.
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They were not yet come to town, and my stay was uncertain, so I could not undertake it; but from the incident I thought it likely, that if I were to remain in England and open a swimming school, I might get a good deal of money; and it struck me so strongly, that, had the overture been made me sooner, probably I should not so soon have returned to America.
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I wrote him an ingenuous letter of acknowledgment, craving his forbearance a little longer, which he allowed me; as soon as I was able, I paid the principal with the interest, and many thanks: so that _erratum_ was in some degree corrected.
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"MY DEAREST SIR, "When I had read over your sheets of minutes of the principal incidents of your life, recovered for you by your Quaker acquaintance, I told you I would send you a letter expressing my reasons why I thought it would be useful to complete and publish it as he desired.
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_ { } Rise, wash, and address _Powerful The Question { 5} Goodness_! Contrive day's business, and What good shall { 6} take the resolution of the day; prosecute I do this day? { 7} the present study, and breakfast.
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but, instead of it, made in writing a proposal, that every member, separately, should endeavour to form a subordinate club, with the same rules respecting queries, &c.
Page 98
of the nights spent in tippling: I thereupon wrote a paper, to be read in Junto, representing these irregularities, but insisting more particularly on the inequality of this six-shilling tax of the constables, respecting the circumstances of those who paid it, since a poor widow housekeeper, all whose property to be guarded by the watch did not perhaps exceed the value of fifty pounds, paid as much as the wealthiest merchant who had thousands of pounds worth of goods in his stores.
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I had, on the whole, abundant reason to be satisfied with my being established in Pennsylvania; there were, however, some things that I regretted, there being.
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Going myself one morning to pay my respects, I found in his antechamber one Innis, a messenger of Philadelphia, who had come thence express, with a packet from Governor Denny for the general.
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How exquisite must his sensations have been at this moment! On this experiment depended the fate of his theory.
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_ I suppose they will think that it was repealed from a conviction of its inexpediency; and they will rely upon it, that, while the same inexpediency subsists, you will never attempt to make such another.
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For Jove unfolds the hospitable door, 'Tis Jove that sends the strangers and the poor.
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prisoners to be tied behind them, and then, in a most cruel and brutal manner, put them to the sword; but he could not prevail on his men to massacre _their_ captives, because, in fight, they had laid down their arms, submitted, and demanded protection.
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A father and his family, the latter united by interest and affection, the former to be revered for the wisdom of his institutions and the indulgent use of his authority, was the form it was at first presented in.
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