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 87

countenance. In truth, I found
myself incorrigible with respect to _Order_; and, now I am grown old and
my memory bad, I feel very sensibly the want of it. But, on the whole,
though I never arrived at the perfection I had been so ambitious of
obtaining, but fell far short of it, yet I was, by the endeavour, a
better and a happier man than I otherwise should have been if I had not
attempted it; as those who aim at perfect writing by imitating the
engraved copies, though they may never reach the wished-for excellence
of those copies, their hand is mended by the endeavour, and is tolerable
while it continues fair and legible.

It may be well my posterity should be informed, that to this little
artifice, with the blessing of God, their ancestor owed the constant
felicity of his life down to the 79th year, in which this is written.
What reverses may attend the remainder is in the hand of Providence:
but if they arrive, the reflection on past happiness enjoyed ought to
help his bearing them with more resignation. To _temperance_ he ascribes
his long-continued health, and what is still left to him of a good
constitution. To _industry and frugality_, the early easiness of his
circumstances and acquisition of his fortune, with all that knowledge
that enabled him to be a useful citizen and obtained for him some degree
of reputation among the learned. To _sincerity_ and _justice_, the
confidence of his country, and the honourable employs it conferred upon
him: and to the joint influence of the whole mass of the virtues, even
in the imperfect state he was able to acquire them, all that evenness of
temper and that cheerfulness in conversation which makes his company
still sought for, and agreeable even to his young acquaintance: I hope,
therefore, that some of my descendants may follow the example and reap
the benefit.

It will be remarked that, though my scheme was not wholly without
religion, there was in it no mark of any of the distinguishing tenets of
any particular sect; I had purposely avoided them; for being fully
persuaded of the utility and excellence of my method, and that it might
be serviceable to people in all religions, and intending some time or
other to publish it, I would not have anything in it that would
prejudice any one of any sect against it. I proposed writing a little
comment on each virtue, in which I would have shown the advantages of
possessing it, and the mischiefs attending its opposite vice; I should
have called my book

Last Page Next Page

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 18
Individuals were also in the habit of consulting him in their private affairs, and he was often chosen arbiter between contending parties.
Page 51
I copied and sent him a great part of it; in which the author demonstrates the folly of cultivating the muses, from the hope, by their instrumentality, of rising in the world.
Page 55
I swam from near Chelsea the whole way to Blackfriars, exhibiting, during my course, a variety of feats of activity and address, both upon the surface of the water, as well as under it.
Page 64
This persuasion, divine providence, or some guardian angel, and perhaps a concurrence of favourable circumstances co-operating, preserved me from all immorality, or gross and.
Page 80
But this he afterwards gave up as erroneous.
Page 85
Franklin at first entertained the same idea; but upon repeating the experiments, he perceived that Mr.
Page 126
Then when his hand or face is touched, an equal quantity is restored to him from the person touching.
Page 162
The corner that happens to be uppermost when the leaf is rising, being a sharp point, from the extreme thinness of the gold, draws and receives at a distance a sufficient quantity of the electric fluid to give itself an electric atmosphere, by which its progress to the upper plate is stopped, and it begins to be repelled from that plate, and would be driven back to the under plate, but that its lowest corner is likewise a point, and throws off or discharges the overplus of the leaf's atmosphere, as fast as the upper corner draws it on.
Page 185
From these experiments one may be certain that your 2d, 3d, and 4th proposed experiments, would succeed exactly as you suppose, though I have not tried them, wanting time.
Page 196
Reaumur; yet it is sufficient to conduct the charge of five large jars, and how many more I know not.
Page 213
Page 237
A light lock of cotton, suspended a fine thread from the cieling, hung opposite to, and within an inch of the bullet.
Page 263
Page 270
The moment you cover it again, the cotton flies down again, extending itself towards the finger; and the same happens in degree, if (instead of the finger) you use, uncovered, the _blunt_ end of the wire uppermost.
Page 290
soie, parce qu'ils laisseroient passer la matiére électrique s'ils etoient mouillés, j'ai pris les précautions necessaires pour en empêcher.
Page 300
The phial which is least charged must have more electric matter given to it, in proportion to its bulk, than the cork-ball receives.
Page 308
Page 319
possesses the whole power of giving a shock, 192, 247.
Page 329