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 173

assemblies, and discovered an
aptitude in his remarks on all occasions. He was not fond of taking a
leading part in such investigations as could never terminate in any
degree of certainty. To come forward in questions which, in their
nature, are indefinite, and in their issue problematical, does not
comport with the caution of a man who has taught himself to look, for
demonstration. He reserved his observations for those cases which
science could enlighten and common sense approve. The simplicity of his
style was well adapted to the clearness of his understanding. His
conceptions were so bright and perfect, that he did not choose to
involve them in a cloud of expressions. If he used metaphors, it was to
illustrate, and not to embellish the truth. A man possessing such a
lively imagery of ideas should never affect the arts of a vain
rhetorician, whose excellence consists only in a beautiful arrangement
of words.

"But whatever claims to eminence Dr. Franklin may have as a politician
or a scholar, there is no point of light in which his character shines
with more lustre than when we view him as a man or a citizen. He was
eminently great in common things. Perhaps no man ever existed whose life
can, with more justice, be denominated useful. Nothing ever passed
through his hands without receiving improvement, and no person ever went
into his company without gaining wisdom. His sagacity was so sharp and
his science so various, that, whatever might be the profession or
occupation of those with whom he conversed, he could meet every one upon
his own ground. He could enliven every conversation with an anecdote,
and conclude it with a moral.

"The whole tenour of his life was a perpetual lecture against the idle,
the extravagant, and the proud. It was his principal aim to inspire
mankind with a love of industry, temperance, and frugality, and to
inculcate such duties as promote the important interests of humanity. He
never wasted a moment of time, or lavished a farthing of money in folly
or dissipation. Such expenses as the dignity of his station required he
readily sustained, limiting them by the strictest rules of propriety.
Many public institutions experienced his well-timed liberality, and he
manifested a sensibility of heart by numerous acts of private charity.

"By a judicious division of time, Dr. Franklin acquired the art of doing
everything to advantage, and his amusements were of such a nature as
could never militate with the main objects of his pursuit. In whatever
situation he was placed by chance or design, he extracted something
useful for himself or

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 2 [of 3]

Page 7
--Modesty in disputation 317 Covering houses with copper 318 On the same subject 320 Paper referred to in the preceding letter 322 Magical square of squares 324 Magical circle 328 New musical instrument composed of glasses 330 Best mediums for conveying sound 335 On the.
Page 31
, with quantities of drops, and vapour torn off from the column W W, Fig.
Page 47
Cadwallader Colden.
Page 79
Collinson's copy, who took it from one I sent through his hands to a correspondent in France some years since; I have, as he desired me, corrected the mistakes he made in transcribing, and must return it to him; but if you think it worth while, you may take a copy of it: I would have saved you any trouble of that kind, but had not time.
Page 86
What is equal celerity but a _measuring the same space by moving bodies in the same time_?--Now if 1 _a_ impelled by 1 _f_ measures 100 yards in a minute; and in 2 _a_ impelled by 1 _f_, each _a_ measures 50 yards in a minute, which added make 100; are not the celerities as the.
Page 88
If vis inertiæ, as in this case, neither abates the force nor the velocity of bodies, what does it, or how does it discover itself? I imagine I may venture to conclude my observations on this piece, almost in the words of the author; that if the doctrines of the immateriality of the soul and the existence of God and of divine providence are demonstrable from no plainer principles, the _deist_ [i.
Page 154
| | --| | 4 | 70 | 76 | | | | | | | | 4| 9 | | 68 | 76 | | NbE | | | |Ditto.
Page 167
The upper valve performed its office well, but the under one did not shut quite close, so that much of the water was lost in hauling it up the ship's side.
Page 171
Perhaps the pores being cleansed, the insensible perspiration increases and occasions this coolness.
Page 175
I shall be glad to see what Dr.
Page 222
He got to the top of the funnel by a ladder, and looking down, found it filled with twigs and straw cemented by earth, and lined with feathers.
Page 234
" Thus far the German book.
Page 251
Stone staircases too, with iron rails, grow more and more into fashion here: but stone steps cannot, in some circumstances, be fixed; and there, methinks, oak is safer than pine; and I assure you, that in many genteel houses here, both old and new, the stairs and floors are oak, and look extremely well.
Page 286
What happy effects of temperance? of prudence? of moderation? or of any other virtue?] 9.
Page 291
All their letters to pass through the master's hand, who is to point out the faults, advise the corrections, and commend what he finds right.
Page 313
Page 325
FOOTNOTE: [89] This letter is taken from a periodical publication, that existed only for a short period, entitled, The Repository, to which it was communicated by the person to whom it is addressed.
Page 338
Page 353
181, 185.
Page 378
_Newbury_, effects of a stroke of lightning there, i.