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 170

the virtues of
frugality, temperance, and industry.

"As a citizen, we have seen him repelling the efforts of tyranny, and
ascertaining the liberty of his countrymen.

"As a legislator, he affords a bright example of a genius soaring above
corruption, and continually aiming at the happiness of his constituents.

"As a politician, we survey him, on one hand, acquiring the aid of a
powerful nation, by means of his skilful negotiations; and on the other,
calling forth the common strength of a congress of republics, by fixing
a central point to which they could all look up, and concentrating their
common force for the purposes of union, harmony, legislation, and
defence.

"As a philosopher, his labours and his discoveries are calculated to
advance the interests of humanity: he might, indeed, have been justly
termed the friend of man, the benefactor of the universe!

"The pursuits and occupations of his early youth afford a most excellent
and instructive example to the young; his middle life, to the adult; his
advanced years, to the aged. From him the poor may learn to acquire
wealth, and the rich to adapt it to the purposes of beneficence.

"In regard to his character, he was rather sententious than fluent; more
disposed to listen than to talk; a judicious rather than an imposing
companion. He was what, perhaps, every able man is, impatient of
interruption; for he used to mention the custom of the Indians with
great applause, who, after listening with a profound attention to the
observations of each other, preserve a respectful silence for some
minutes before they begin their own reply.

"He was polite in his manners, and never gave a pointed contradiction to
the assertions of his friends or his antagonists, but treated every
argument with great calmness, and conquered his adversaries rather by
the force of reason than assertion."

The advice of his death reached France at a period well adapted to
excite great emotions; and in the National Assembly, 11th June, 1790,
Mr. Mirabeau the elder addressed the assembly as follows:

"FRANKLIN IS DEAD!"

[A profound silence reigned throughout the hall.]

"The genius which gave freedom to America and scattered torrents of
light upon Europe, is returned to the bosom of the Divinity!

"The sage whom two worlds claim; the man, disputed by the history
of the sciences and the history of empires, holds, most
undoubtedly, an elevated rank among the human species.

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Text Comparison with The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

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And now I speak of thanking God, I desire with all humility to acknowledge that I owe the mentioned happiness of my past life to His kind providence, which lead me to the means I used and gave them success.
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The six concluding lines I remember, though I have forgotten the two first of the stanza; but the purport of them was, that his censures proceeded from good-will, and, therefore, he would be known to be the author.
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And now he had got another pair of cases, and a pamphlet to reprint, on which he set me to work.
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We had our victuals dress'd, and brought to us regularly by a woman in the neighborhood, who had from me a list of forty dishes to be prepar'd for us at different times, in all which there was neither fish, flesh, nor fowl, and the whim suited me the better at this time from the cheapness of it, not costing us above eighteenpence sterling each per week.
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"Among the printers here," said he, "you will improve yourself, and when you return to America, you will set up to greater advantage.
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And thus these poor devils keep themselves always under.
Page 52
But I found no vacancy there, and so remain'd idle a few days, when Keimer, on a prospect of being employ'd to print some paper money in New Jersey, which would require cuts and various types that I only could supply, and apprehending Bradford might engage me and get the jobb from him, sent me a very civil message, that old friends should not part for a few words, the effect of sudden passion, and wishing me to return.
Page 69
It will be so far a sort of key to life, and explain many things that all men ought to have once explained to them, to give, them a chance of becoming wise by foresight.
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The present little sacrifice of your vanity will afterwards be amply repaid.
Page 79
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Page 88
In reality, there is, perhaps, no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride.
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It is express'd in these words, viz.
Page 99
Returning northward, he preach'd up this charity, and made large collections, for his eloquence had a wonderful power over the hearts and purses of his hearers, of which I myself was an instance.
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Gov'r.
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The general, being wounded, was brought off with difficulty; his secretary, Mr.
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With these coals they had made small fires in the bottom of the holes, and we observ'd among the weeds and grass the prints of their bodies, made by their laying all round, with their legs hanging down in the holes to keep their feet warm, which, with them, is an essential point.
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One paper, which I wrote for Mr.
Page 155
We arrived in London the 27th of July, 1757.
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Bigelow's edition of 1868.
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We now appeared very wide, and so far from each other in our opinions as to discourage all hope of agreement.