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 17

if you wish to instruct others, a positive and dogmatical
manner in advancing your sentiments may occasion opposition and prevent
a candid attention. If you desire improvement from others, you should
not, at the same time, express yourself fixed in your present opinions;
modest and sensible men, who do not love disputations, will leave you
undisturbed in the possession of your errors. In adopting such a manner,
you can seldom expect to please your hearers, or obtain the concurrence
you desire. Pope judiciously observes,

"Men must be taught as if you taught them not,
And things unknown proposed as things forgot."

He also recommends it to us,

"To speak, though sure, with seeming diffidence."

And he might have joined with this line that which he has coupled with
another, I think, less properly.

"For want of modesty is want of sense."

If you ask why less properly, I must repeat the lines,

"Immodest words admit of _no defence_,
For want of modesty is want of sense."

Now is not the _want of sense_ (where a man is so unfortunate as to want
it) some apology for his _want of modesty_? and would not the lines
stand more justly thus?

"Immodest words admit _but this defence_,
That _want of modesty_ is want of sense."

This, however, I should submit to better judgments.

My brother had, in 1720 or 21, began to print a newspaper. It was the
second that appeared in America, and was called the _New-England
Courant_. The only one before it was the _Boston News-Letter_. I
remember his being dissuaded by some of his friends from the
undertaking, as not likely to succeed, one newspaper being, in their
judgment, enough for America. At this time (1771) there are not less
than _five-and-twenty_.[5] He went on, however, with the undertaking; I
was employed to carry the papers to the customers, after having worked
in composing the types and printing off the sheets. He had some
ingenious men among his friends, who amused themselves by writing little
pieces for his paper, which gained it credit and made it more in demand,
and these gentlemen often visited us.

Hearing their conversations and their accounts of the approbation their
papers were received with, I was excited to try my hand among them; but
being still a boy, and suspecting that my brother would object to
printing anything of mine in his paper if he knew it to be

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin Representative selections, with introduction, bibliograpy, and notes

Page 11
Page 104
[i-189] _Ibid.
Page 150
_ New Haven: 1932.
Page 235
In reality, there is, perhaps, no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as _pride_.
Page 252
now-a-days do.
Page 365
To the end of the twine, next the hand, is to be tied a silk ribbon, and where the silk and twine join, a key may be fastened.
Page 367
Containing also, The Lunations, Conjunctions, Eclipses, Judgment of the Weather, Rising and Setting of the Planets, Length of Days.
Page 369
Neck [Leo] [Cancer] Heart Breast [Illustration] [Libra] [Virgo] Reins Bowels [Sagittarius] [Scorpio] Thighs Secrets [Aquarius] [Capricorn] Legs Knees .
Page 425
] | | | 2 | 12 | 6 | 10 | 5 | 21 | 17 | N.
Page 506
after Two, and ends at 56 min.
Page 549
Page 575
Now Things seem to be disbelieved for just the very same Reason.
Page 621
Possibly, indeed, some of them might still comfort themselves, and say, "Though we have no property, we have yet _something_ left that is valuable; we have constitutional _liberty_, both of person and of conscience.
Page 627
Page 633
Then came Judah unto Reuben, and entreated him, saying, "Lo, thou lovest me, and I have always loved thee; do not refuse me the use of thine axe.
Page 643
Filled tho' our letters have always been with sentiments of good will to both countries, and earnest desires of preventing their ruin and promoting their mutual felicity, I have been apprehensive, that, if it were known that a correspondence subsisted between us, it might be attended with inconvenience to you.
Page 671
We became acquainted, however, from the time of his Arrival at Paris; and his Zeal for the Honour of our Country, his Activity in our Affairs here, and his firm Attachment to our Cause and to you, impress'd me with the same Regard and Esteem for him that your Excellency's Letter would have done, had it been immediately delivered to me.
Page 696
Page 718
and tallow per hour, gives the weight of 64,050,000 Sixty-four millions and fifty thousand of pounds, which, estimating the whole at the medium price of thirty sols the pound, makes the sum of ninety-six millions and seventy-five thousand livres tournois 96,075,000 An immense sum! that the city of Paris might save every year, by the economy of using sunshine instead of candles.
Page 760
But you, who are wise, must know that different Nations have different Conceptions of things; and you will therefore not take it amiss, if our Ideas of this kind of Education happen not to be the same with yours.