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 71

system (its importance and its errors considered) than human life!

"Some men have been virtuous blindly, others have speculated
fantastically, and others have been shrewd to bad purposes; but
you, sir, I am sure, will give, under your hand, nothing but what
is at the same moment wise, practical, and good.

"Your account of yourself (for I suppose the parallel I am drawing
for Dr. Franklin will hold not only in point of character, but of
private history) will show that you are ashamed of no origin; a
thing the more important as you prove how little necessary all
origin is to happiness, virtue, or greatness.

"As no end, likewise, happens without a means, so we shall find,
sir, that even you yourself framed a plan by which you became
considerable; but, at the same time, we may see that, though the
event is flattering, the means are as simple as wisdom could make
them; that is, depending upon nature, virtue, thought, and habit.

"Another thing demonstrated will be the propriety of every man's
waiting for his time for appearing upon the stage of the world. Our
sensations being very much fixed to the moment, we are apt to
forget that more moments are to follow the first, and,
consequently, that man should arrange his conduct so as to suit the
_whole_ of a life. Your attribution appears to have been applied to
your _life_, and the passing moments of it have been enlivened with
content and enjoyment, instead of being tormented with foolish
impatience or regrets. Such a conduct is easy for those who make
virtue and themselves their standard, and who try to keep
themselves in countenance by examples of other truly great men, of
whom patience is so

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Text Comparison with Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 6
He is not unmindful of the importance of his public services and their recognition, yet his accounts of these achievements are given only as a part of the story, and the vanity displayed is incidental and in keeping with the honesty of the recital.
Page 7
He was the Edison of his day, turning his scientific discoveries to the benefit of his fellow-men.
Page 28
Following is the order in which the other four papers were published: _Boston News Letter_, 1704; _Boston Gazette_, December 21, 1719; _The American Weekly Mercury_, Philadelphia, December 22, 1719; _The New England Courant_, 1721.
Page 44
But it would be some months before Annis sail'd, so I continued working with Keimer, fretting about the money Collins had got from me, and in daily apprehensions of being call'd upon by Vernon, which, however, did not happen for some years after.
Page 66
We found a house to hire near the market, and took it.
Page 79
On this little fund we began.
Page 84
+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+ | TEMPERANCE.
Page 85
| +----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+ | T.
Page 89
I was surpris'd to find myself so much fuller of faults than I had imagined; but I had the satisfaction of seeing them diminish.
Page 92
, to be made use of in it, some of which I have still by me; but the necessary close attention to private business in the earlier part of my life, and public business since, have occasioned my postponing it; for, it being connected in my mind with _a great and extensive project_, that required the whole man to execute, and which an unforeseen succession of employs prevented my attending to, it has hitherto remain'd unfinish'd.
Page 96
And observing that it was generally read, scarce any neighborhood in the province being without it, I consider'd it as a proper vehicle for conveying instruction among the common people, who bought scarcely any other books; I therefore filled all the little spaces that occurr'd between the remarkable days in the calendar with proverbial sentences, chiefly such as inculcated industry and frugality, as the means of procuring wealth, and thereby securing virtue; it being more difficult for a man in want, to act always honestly, as, to use here one of those proverbs, _it is hard for an empty sack to stand upright_.
Page 108
Having heard that he had in his library a certain very scarce and curious book, I wrote a note to him, expressing my desire of perusing that book, and requesting he would do me the favour of lending it to me for a few days.
Page 111
From being thoughtless or indifferent about religion, it seem'd as if all the world were growing religious, so that one could not walk thro' the town in an evening without hearing psalms sung in different families of every street.
Page 132
"That in the dry summer months the dust be all swept up into heaps at proper distances, before the shops and windows of houses are usually opened, when the scavengers, with close-covered carts, shall also carry it all away.
Page 139
The general and all the officers were surpris'd, declar'd the expedition was then at an end, being impossible, and exclaim'd against the ministers for ignorantly landing them in a country destitute of the means of conveying their stores, baggage, etc.
Page 145
This was enough to put us out of conceit of such defenders, if we had really wanted any.
Page 171
What it was when they did receive it I never learnt, for they did not communicate it to me, but sent a long message to the Assembly drawn and signed by Paris, reciting my paper, complaining of its want of formality, as a rudeness on my part, and giving a flimsy justification of their conduct, adding that they should be willing to accommodate matters if the Assembly would send out _some person of candour_ to treat with them for that purpose, intimating thereby that I was not such.
Page 173
Page 175
_One To-day is worth two To-morrows_, and farther, _Have you somewhat to do To-morrow, do it To-day_.
Page 178
The other standard edition is the _Works of Benjamin Franklin_ by John Bigelow (New York, 1887).