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 207

prisoners to be tied behind them, and then, in a most cruel and
brutal manner, put them to the sword; but he could not prevail on his
men to massacre _their_ captives, because, in fight, they had laid down
their arms, submitted, and demanded protection. Mohammed, when the
account was brought to him, applauded the men for their humanity; but
said to Khaled, with great indignation, "Oh Khaled, thou butcher, cease
to molest me with thy wickedness. If thou possessedst a heap of gold as
large as Mount Obod, and shouldst expend it all in God's cause, thy
merit would not efface the guilt incurred by the murder of the meanest
of these poor captives."

Among the Arabs or Saracens, though it was lawful to put to death a
prisoner taken in battle, if he had made himself obnoxious by his former
wickedness, yet this could not be done after he had once eaten bread or
drunk water while in their hands. Hence we read in the history of the
wars of the Holy Land, that when the Franks had suffered a great defeat
from Saladin, and among the prisoners were the King of Jerusalem, and
Arnold, a famous Christian captain, who had been very cruel to the
Saracens; these two being brought before the sultan, he placed the king
on his right hand and Arnold on his left, and then presented the king
with a cup of water, who immediately drank to Arnold; but when Arnold
was about to receive the cup, the sultan interrupted, saying, "I will
not suffer this wicked man to drink, as that, according to the laudable
and generous custom of the Arabs, would secure him his life."

That the same laudable and generous custom still prevails among the
Mohammedans, appears from the account, but last year published, of his
travels by Mr. Bell, of Antermony, who accompanied the Czar, Peter the
Great, in his journey to Derbent, through Daggestan. "The religion of
the Daggestans," says he, "is generally Mohammedan, some following the
sect of Osman, others that of Haly. Their language, for the most part,
is Turkish, or, rather, a dialect of the Arabic, though many of them
speak also the Persian language. One article I cannot omit concerning
their laws of hospitality, which is, if their greatest enemy comes under
their roof for protection, the landlord, of what condition soever, is
obliged to keep him safe from all manner of harm or violence during his
abode with him, and even to conduct him safely through his territories
to a place of security."

From the Saracens this same custom obtained

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Franklin's Way to Wealth; or, "Poor Richard Improved"

Page 0
By R.
Page 1
coloured 1 6 Portraits of Curious Characters in London, &c.
Page 2
COURTEOUS READER, I HAVE heard that nothing gives an author so great pleasure, as to find his works respectfully quoted by others.
Page 3
Then plow deep, while sluggards sleep, and you shall have corn to sell and to keep.
Page 4
'But with our industry we must likewise be steady, settled, and careful, and oversee our own affairs with our own eyes, and not trust too much to others: for, as Poor Richard says, "I never saw an oft-removed tree, Nor yet an oft-removed family, That throve so well as those that settled be.
Page 5
Page 6
You expect they will be sold cheap, and, perhaps, they may for less than they cost; but, if you have no occasion for them, they must be dear to you.
Page 7
" When you have bought one fine thing, you must buy ten more, that your appearance may be all of a piece; but Poor Dick says, "It is easier to suppress the first desire, than to satisfy all that follow it.
Page 8
Page 9
The people heard it, and approved the doctrine, and immediately practised the contrary, just as if it had been a common sermon; for the auction opened, and they began to buy extravagantly.