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 115

that seldom happen, as by little advantages
that occur every day. Thus, if you teach a poor young man to shave
himself and keep his razor in order, you may contribute more to the
happiness of his life than in giving him a thousand guineas. This sum
may be soon spent, the regret only remaining of having foolishly
consumed it: but, in the other case, he escapes the frequent vexation of
waiting for barbers, and of their sometimes dirty fingers, offensive
breaths, and dull razors: he shaves when most convenient to him, and
enjoys daily the pleasure of its being done with a good instrument. With
these sentiments I have hazarded the few preceding pages, hoping they
may afford hints which some time or other may be useful to a city I love
(having lived many years in it very happily), and perhaps to some of our
towns in America.

Having been some time employed by the postmaster-general of America as
his comptroller in regulating the several offices and bringing the
officers to account, I was, upon his death in 1753, appointed jointly
with Mr. William Hu---- to succeed him, by a commission from the
postmaster-general in England. The American office had hitherto never
paid anything to that of Britain; we were to have L600 a year between
us, if we could make that sum out of the profits of the office. To do
this, a variety of improvements were necessary; some of these were
inevitably at first expensive; so that, in the first four years, the
office became above L900 in debt to us. But it soon after began to repay
us; and, before I was displaced by a freak of the ministers (of which I
shall speak hereafter), we had brought it to yield _three times_ as much
clear revenue to the crown as the postoffice of Ireland. Since that
imprudent transaction, they have received from it--not one farthing!

The business of the postoffice occasioned my taking a journey this year
to New-England, where the college of Cambridge, of their own motion,
presented me with the degree of Master of Arts. Yale College, in
Connecticut, had before made me a similar compliment. Thus, without
studying in any college, I am to partake of their honours. They were
conferred in consideration of my improvements and discoveries in the
electric branch of Natural Philosophy.

In 1754, war with France being again apprehended, a congress of
commissioners from the different colonies was, by an order of the lords
of trade, to be assembled at Albany, there to confer with the chiefs of
the Six Nations concerning the means

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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]

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Page 71
If the four independent companies, maintained by the crown in New York more than forty years, at a great expence, consisted, for most part of the time, of faggots chiefly; if their officers enjoyed their places as sinecures, and were only, as a writer[31] of that country styles them, a kind of military monks; if this was the state of troops posted in a populous country, where the imposition could not be so well concealed; what may we expect will be the case of those, that shall be posted two, three, or four hundred miles from the inhabitants, in such obscure and remote places as Crown Point, Oswego, Duquesne, or Niagara? they would scarce be even faggots; they would dwindle to mere names upon paper, and appear no where but upon the muster-rolls.
Page 125
" The clause in the act that this relates to is, "And whereas many valuable lots of ground within the city of Philadelphia, and the several boroughs and towns within this province, remain unimproved; Be it enacted, &c.
Page 174
_ How long are those taxes to continue? _A.
Page 204
_ I think so.
Page 214
[111] [The] referring to an old act made for the trial of treasons committed out of the realm, by such persons as had no legal resiancy but within the realm, and who were of the realm, applying the purview of that statute, which was made to bring subjects of the realm who had committed treason out of the realm (where there was _no criminal jurisdiction to which they could be amenable_) to trial within.
Page 255
Page 257
Seventhly, His known probity and honest character, manifested by his voluntary discharge of debts, which he could not have been legally compelled to pay.
Page 258
have vast appointments: an auditor of the exchequer has sixpence in the pound, or a fortieth part of all the public money expended by the nation; so that when a war costs forty millions one million is paid to him: an inspector of the mint, in the last new coinage, received as his fee 65,000_l.
Page 286
Sometimes, I purpose to deliver lectures of morality of philosophy, and (because I am naturally inclined to be meddling with things that do not concern me) perhaps I may sometimes talk politics.
Page 295
Men are subject to various inconveniencies merely through lack of a small share of courage, which is a quality very necessary in the common occurrences of life, as well as in a battle.
Page 299
This was no sooner generally believed, than he was condemned to death: by whom I could never learn, but he was assassinated in the night, barbarously stabbed and mangled in a thousand places, and left hanging dead on one of my gate posts, where I found him the next morning.
Page 304
You cannot be ignorant, sir, (for your intimate second-sighted correspondent knows all things) that there are large sums of money hidden under ground in divers places about this town, and in many parts of the country: but alas, sir, notwithstanding I have used all the means laid down in the immortal authors before mentioned, and when they failed the ingenious Mr.
Page 312
But poverty often deprives a man of all spirit and virtue.
Page 329
If these people will not change this bad habit, and condescend to be pleased with what is pleasing, without fretting themselves and others about the contraries, it is good for others to avoid an acquaintance with them; which is always disagreeable, and sometimes very inconvenient, especially when one finds oneself entangled.
Page 373
Rutt, the originals of which were put into his hands about twelve years ago by a relation of his, the nephew of the gentleman to whom they were addressed.
Page 389
prospects of future ability, _ibid.
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