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 217

not, however, to be presumed, that such as have long been
accustomed to consider the colonies in general as only so many
dependencies on the council-board, the board of trade, and the board of
customs; or as a hotbed for causes, jobs, and other pecuniary
emoluments, and as bound as effectually by instructions as by laws, can
be prevailed upon to consider these patriot rustics with any degree of

Derision, on the contrary, must be the lot of him who imagines it in the
power of the pen to set any lustre upon them; and indignation theirs for
daring to assert and maintain the independence interwoven in their
constitution, which now, it seems, is become an improper ingredient,
and, therefore, to be excised away.

But how contemptibly soever these gentlemen may talk of the colonies,
how cheap soever they may hold their assemblies, or how insignificant
the planters and traders who compose them, truth will be truth, and
principle principle, notwithstanding.

Courage, wisdom, integrity, and honour are not to be measured by the
sphere assigned them to act in, but by the trials they undergo and the
vouchers they furnish; and, if so manifested, need neither robes nor
titles to set them off.

* * * * *

_Dr. Franklin's motion for Prayers in the Convention assembled at
Philadelphia, 1787, to revise the then existing Articles of


THE small progress we have made after four or five weeks' close
attendance and continual reasonings with each other, our different
sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as
many _Noes_ as _Ayes_, is, methinks, a melancholy proof of the
imperfection of the human understanding. We indeed seem to _feel_ our
own want of political wisdom, since we have been running all about in
search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of
government, and examined the different forms of those republics which,
having been originally formed with the seeds of their own dissolution,
now no longer exist; and we have viewed modern states all round Europe,
but find none of their constitutions suitable to our circumstances.

In this situation of this Assembly, groping, as it were, in the dark, to
find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented
to us, how has it happened, sir, that we have not hitherto once thought
of humbly applying to the Father of Lights to illuminate our
understandings? In the beginning

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 1 [of 3]

Page 7
373 Flash of lightning that struck St.
Page 38
The sloop having touched at Newport in Rhode Island, I paid a visit to my brother John, who had for some years been settled there, and was married.
Page 44
At length he ordered a roast pig, and invited me and two of our female acquaintance to dine with him; but the pig being ready a little too soon, he could not resist the temptation, and eat it all up before we arrived.
Page 59
Lastly, David Harry, a country lad, who was apprenticed to him.
Page 90
They were written by him to a gentleman, who had at that time published the idea of a college, suited to the circumstances of a young country (meaning New-York) a copy of which having been sent to Dr.
Page 124
As the vessel is just upon sailing, I cannot give you so large an account of American electricity as I intended: I shall only mention a few particulars more.
Page 154
To explain this: take two apples, or two balls of wood or other matter, each having its own natural quantity of the electrical fluid.
Page 209
When the wire is taken away, it passes through the water, as.
Page 218
A column or cylinder of air, having the diameter of its base equal to the diameter of the electrical spark, intervenes that part of the body which the spark is taken from, and of the body it aims at.
Page 228
--Electrical Thermometer.
Page 235
It extended down the cedar roof to the eaves, and from thence down the wall of the house, four story and a half, to the pavement in Water-street, being fastened to the wall, in.
Page 253
The lower joint being sunk but three feet into the earth, did not it seems go low enough to come at water, or a large body of earth so moist as to receive readily from its end the quantity it conducted.
Page 273
Moulder's in Philadelphia.
Page 276
Page 282
circle, or is stronger than before.
Page 286
_In Answer to some Queries concerning the Choice of Glass for the Leyden Experiment.
Page 292
Ces premieres personnes arrivant successivement, n'osient approcher qu'à 10 ou 12 pas de la machine; & à cette distance, malgré le plein soleil, ils voyoient les étincelles & entendoient le bruit.
Page 304
information to those emigrating thither, 398.
Page 317
from ditto, 250.
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in America, 35, 71.