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 51

surveyor-general.
The latter was a shrewd, sagacious old man, who told me that he began
for himself, when young, by wheeling clay for the brickmakers, learned
to write after he was of age, carried the chain for surveyors, who
taught him surveying, and he had now, by his industry, acquired a good
estate; and, said he, I foresee you will soon work this man out of his
business, and make a fortune in it at Philadelphia. He had then not the
least intimation of my intention to set up there or anywhere. These
friends were afterward of great use to me, as I occasionally was to some
of them. They all continued their regard for me as long as they lived.

Before I enter upon my public appearance in business, it may be well to
let you know the then state of my mind with regard to my principles and
morals, that you may see how far those influenced the future events of
my life. My parents had early given me religious impressions, and
brought me through my childhood piously in the dissenting way. But I was
scarce fifteen, when, after doubting by turns several points, as I found
them disputed in the different books I read, I began to doubt of the
revelation itself. Some books against Deism fell into my hands; they
were said to be the substance of the sermons which had been preached at
Boyle's Lectures. It happened that they wrought an effect on me quite
contrary to what was intended by them; for the arguments of the Deists,
which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to me much stronger than the
refutation; in short, I soon became a thorough Deist. My arguments
perverted some others, particularly Collins and Ralph: but each of these
having wronged me greatly without the least compunction; and
recollecting Keith's conduct towards me (who was another freethinker),
and my own towards Vernon and Miss Read, which at times gave me great
trouble, I began to suspect that this doctrine, though it might be true,
was not very useful. My London pamphlet (printed in 1725)--which had for
its motto these lines of Dryden:

"Whatever is, is right. Though purblind man
Sees but a part o' the chain, the nearest link,
His eye not carrying to that equal beam
That poises all above--"

and which, from the attributes of God, his infinite wisdom, goodness,
and power, concluded that nothing could possibly be wrong in the world;
and that vice and virtue were empty

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 2 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

Page 2
42 On Luxury, Idleness, and Industry 45 On Truth and Falsehood 50 Necessary Hints to those that would be Rich 53 The Way to make Money plenty in every Man's Pocket 54 The Handsome and Deformed Leg 55 On Human Vanity 58 On Smuggling, and its various Species 62 Remarks concerning the Savages of North America 66 On Freedom of Speech and the Press 71 On the Price of Corn and the Management of the Poor 82 Singular Custom among the Americans, entitled Whitewashing .
Page 22
' "'Certainly,' said Glaucon.
Page 38
a creditor, makes him easy six months longer; but if he sees you at a billiard-table, or hears your voice at a tavern when you should be at work, he sends for his money the next day; demands it, before he can receive it, in a lump.
Page 39
A greater quantity of some things may be eaten than of others, some being of lighter digestion than others.
Page 52
An old philosophical friend of mine was grown, from experience, very cautious in this particular, and carefully avoided any intimacy with such people.
Page 67
hot irons, and to suffer perpetual imprisonment! Thus these three gentlemen, each of worth and quality in their several professions, viz.
Page 73
Repeal this law, and you will soon see a change in their manners; _Saint Monday_ and _Saint Tuesday_ will soon cease to be holydays.
Page 88
the pot, and _my dear thought really it had been but eleven_.
Page 90
"For my own part, at present, I pass my time agreeably enough; I enjoy (through mercy) a tolerable share of health.
Page 99
It was beginning once to be in vogue in Philadelphia, but brother John sent me one box, an ordinary sort, which checked its progress.
Page 126
But I thank you for letting me know a little of your mind, that even if the Parliament should acknowledge our independence, the act would not be binding to posterity, and that your nation would resume and prosecute the claim as soon as they found it convenient from the influence of your passions and your present malice against us.
Page 138
I do not know that my mental faculties are impaired.
Page 139
* * * "_To the Bishop of St.
Page 143
Can you not, when your children are all at school, make a little party and take a trip hither? I have now a large house, delightfully situated, in which I could accommodate you and two or three friends; and I am but half an hour's drive from Paris.
Page 155
wherein, after wishing for a warm house in a country town, an easy horse, some good authors, ingenious and cheerful companions, a pudding on Sundays, with stout ale and a bottle of Burgundy, &c.
Page 183
* * * * * _To M.
Page 198
It is still safer to bring two or three mattresses or beds into the middle of the room, and, folding them up double, place the chair upon them; for they not being so good conductors as the walls, the lightning will not choose an interrupted course through the air of.
Page 220
There is a certain quantity of this fluid, called fire, in every living human body; which fluid being in due proportion, keeps the parts of the flesh and blood at such a just distance from each other, as that the flesh and nerves are supple, and the blood fit for circulation.
Page 238
I will, however, take this opportunity of repeating those particulars to you which I mentioned in our last conversation, as, by perusing them at your leisure, you may possibly imprint them so in your memory as, on occasion, to be of some use to you.
Page 240
If the funnel above the fire is left open in its full dimensions, and the opening before the fire is contracted, then the coals, I imagine, will burn faster, because more air is directed through the fire, and in a stronger stream; that air which before passed over it and on each side of it, now passing _through_ it.