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 161

facility with which he communicated his
sentiments. He represented facts in so strong a point of view, that the
expediency of the act must have appeared clear to every unprejudiced
mind. The act, after some opposition, was repealed, about a year after
it was enacted, and before it had ever been carried into execution.

In the year 1766, he made a visit to Holland and Germany, and received
the greatest marks of attention from men of science. In his passage
through Holland, he learned from the watermen the effect which a
diminution of the quantity of water in canals has in impeding the
progress of boats. Upon his return to England, he was led to make a
number of experiments, all of which tended to confirm the observation.
These, with an explanation of the phenomenon, he communicated in a
letter to his friend, Sir John Pringle, which is among his philosophical

In the following year he travelled into France, where he met with a no
less favourable reception than he had experienced in Germany. He was
introduced to a number of literary characters, and to the king, Louis

Several letters, written by Hutchinson, Oliver, and others, to persons
in eminent stations in Great Britain, came into the hands of Dr.
Franklin. These contained the most violent invectives against the
leading characters of the State of Massachusetts, and strenuously
advised the prosecution of vigorous measures to compel the people to
obedience to the measures of the ministry. These he transmitted to the
legislature, by whom they were published. Attested copies of them were
sent to Great Britain, with an address, praying the king to discharge
from office persons who had rendered themselves obnoxious to the people,
and who had shown themselves so unfriendly to their interests. The
publication of these letters produced a duel between Mr. Whately and Mr.
Temple; each of whom was suspected of having been instrumental in
procuring them. To prevent any farther disputes on this subject, Dr.
Franklin, in one of the public papers, declared that he had sent them to
America, but would give no information concerning the manner in which he
had obtained them; nor was this ever discovered.

Shortly after, the petition of the Massachusetts Assembly was taken up
for examination before the privy council. Dr. Franklin attended as agent
for the Assembly; and here a torrent of the most violent and unwarranted
abuse was poured upon him by the solicitor-general, Wedderburne, who was
engaged as counsel for Oliver and Hutchinson. The petition was declared
to be scandalous and vexatious, and the prayer of it refused.

Although the parliament of Great Britain

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

Page 9
He was also much of a politician; too much, perhaps, for his station.
Page 22
I determined on the point, but, my father now siding with my brother, I was sensible that, if I attempted to go openly, means would be used to prevent me.
Page 23
See Note, p.
Page 30
He could not be said to write them, for his manner was to compose them in the types, directly out of his head.
Page 38
We therefore had many disputations.
Page 45
He had an immense collection of secondhand books.
Page 48
This, and my being esteemed a pretty good "riggite,"--that is, a jocular verbal satirist,--supported my consequence in the society.
Page 54
I had heard a bad character of him in London from his wife and her friends, and was not fond of having any more to do with him.
Page 59
I grew convinced that truth, sincerity, and integrity in dealings between man and man were of the utmost importance to the felicity of life; and I formed written resolutions, which still remain in my journal book, to practice them ever while I lived.
Page 75
] [Footnote 96: Set up for printing.
Page 76
] [Footnote 108: See Note 1.
Page 83
{ 1} Sleep.
Page 88
,--are carried on and effected by parties.
Page 95
He was fast declining in his health, and requested of me that, in case of his death, which he apprehended not far distant, I would take home his son, then but ten years of age, and bring him up to the printing business.
Page 112
] [Footnote 134: Retaliation.
Page 130
Page 150
After dinner, when the company, as was customary at that time, were engaged in drinking, he took me aside into another room, and acquainted me that he had been advised by his friends in England to cultivate a friendship with me, as one who was capable of giving him the best advice, and of contributing most effectually to the making his administration easy; that he therefore desired of all things to have a good understanding with me, and he begged me to be assured of his readiness on all occasions to render me every service that might be in his power.
Page 160
I did not think so, however, and his lordship's conversation having a little alarmed me as to what might be the sentiments of the court concerning us, I wrote it down as soon as I returned to my lodgings.
Page 163
But the proprietaries were enraged at Governor Denny for having passed the act, and turned him out with threats of suing him for breach of instructions which he had given bond to observe.
Page 173
There are no gains without pains.