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 168

existence. The following
account of his last illness was written by his friend and physician, Dr.
Jones.

"The stone, with which he had been afflicted for several years, had for
the last twelve months confined him chiefly to his bed; and during the
extreme painful paroxysms, he was obliged to take large doses of
laudanum to mitigate his tortures; still, in the intervals of pain, he
not only amused himself with reading and conversing cheerfully with his
family, and a few friends who visited him, but was often employed in
doing business of a public as well as private nature, with various
persons who waited on him for that purpose; and in every instance
displayed not only that readiness and disposition of doing good which
was the distinguishing characteristic of his life, but the fullest and
clearest possession of his uncommon mental abilities, and not
unfrequently indulged himself in those _jeux d'esprit_ and entertaining
anecdotes which were the delight of all who heard him.

"About sixteen days before his death, he was seized with a feverish
indisposition, without any particular symptoms attending it, till the
third or fourth day, when he complained of a pain in his left breast,
which increased till it became extremely acute, attended with a cough
and labourious breathing. During this state, when the severity of his
pain sometimes drew forth a groan of complaint, he would observe, that
he was afraid he did not bear them as he ought, acknowledged his
grateful sense of the many blessings he had received from that Supreme
Being who had raised him from small and low beginnings to such high rank
and consideration among men, and made no doubt but his present
afflictions were kindly intended to wean him from a world in which he
was no longer fit to act the part assigned him. In this frame of body
and mind he continued till five days before his death, when his pain and
difficulty of breathing entirely left him, and his family were
flattering themselves with the hopes of his recovery, when an
imposthumation, which had formed itself in his lungs, suddenly burst,
and discharged a great quantity of matter, which he continued to throw
up while he had sufficient strength to do it; but as that failed, the
organs of respiration became gradually oppressed, a calm lethargic state
succeeded, and, on the 17th of April, 1790, about eleven o'clock at
night, he quietly expired, closing a long and useful life of eighty-four
years and three months."[16]

The following account of his funeral, and the honours paid to his
memory, is derived from an anonymous source, but

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 26
Seller's and Shermy's books of Navigation, and became acquainted with the little geometry they contain; but never proceeded far in that science.
Page 32
Brown.
Page 35
Then I made myself as tidy as I could, and went to Andrew Bradford the printer's.
Page 42
We proceeded to Philadelphia.
Page 43
"And since he will not set you up," says he, "I will do it myself.
Page 48
I was to take with me letters recommendatory to a number of his friends, besides the letter of credit to furnish me with the necessary money for purchasing the press and types, paper, etc.
Page 57
employment for a confessor?" "Oh," said she, "it is impossible to avoid _vain thoughts_.
Page 62
He was lively, witty, good-natur'd, and a pleasant companion, but idle, thoughtless, and imprudent to the last degree.
Page 63
Keimer, being in the street, look'd up and saw me, call'd out to me in a loud voice and angry tone to mind my business, adding some reproachful words, that nettled me the more for their publicity, all the neighbours who were looking out on the same occasion being witnesses how I was treated.
Page 71
Mr.
Page 73
[60] This part of Philadelphia is now the center of the wholesale business district.
Page 82
But he confin'd himself to five points only, as meant by the apostle, viz.
Page 84
against the unremitting attraction of ancient habits, and the force of perpetual temptations.
Page 98
Cn.
Page 109
The character of observing such a conduct is the most powerful of all recommendations to new employments and increase of business.
Page 116
] The officers of the companies composing the Philadelphia regiment, being met, chose me for their colonel; but, conceiving myself unfit, I declin'd that station, and recommended Mr.
Page 137
Quincy to Pennsylvania, and Mr.
Page 159
, etc.
Page 161
refus'd to pass, in compliance with his instructions.
Page 175
Methinks I hear some of you say, _Must a Man afford himself no Leisure_? I will tell thee, my friend, what _Poor Richard_ says, _Employ thy Time well, if thou meanest to gain Leisure; and, since thou art not sure of a Minute, throw not away an Hour_.