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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 116

and _con_, are not
present to the mind at the same time; but sometimes one set present
themselves, and at other times another, the first being out of sight.
Hence the various purposes or inclinations that alternately prevail, and
the uncertainty that perplexes us. To get over this, my way is, to
divide half a sheet of paper by a line into two columns, writing over
the one _pro_ and over the other _con_: then, during three or four days'
consideration, I put down under the different heads short hints of the
different motives that at different times occur to me _for_ or _against_
the measure. When I have thus got them all together in one view, I
endeavour to estimate their respective weights, and where I find two
(one on each side), that seem equal, I strike them both out. If I find a
reason _pro_ equal to some _two_ reasons _con_ I strike out the _three_.
If I judge some _two_ reasons _con_ equal to some _three_ reasons _pro_,
I strike out the _five_; and, thus proceeding, I find at length where
the _balance_ lies; and if, after a day or two of farther consideration,
nothing new that is of importance occurs on either side, I come to a
determination accordingly. And though the weight of reasons cannot be
taken with the precision of algebraic quantities, yet, when each is thus
considered separately and comparatively, and the whole lies before me, I
think I can judge better, and am less liable to make a rash step; and,
in fact, I have found great advantage from this kind of equation, in
what may be called moral or _prudential algebra_.

"Wishing sincerely that you may determine for the best, I am ever, my
dear friend, yours most affectionately,


* * * * *

"_Mr. Mather, Boston._

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Text Comparison with Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 4
171 "I regularly took my turn of duty there as a common soldier" 204 "In the evening, hearing a great noise among them, the commissioners walk'd out to see what was the matter" 224 "Our axes .
Page 10
Dwight Church of New York, and passed with the rest of Mr.
Page 11
The text in this volume is that of Mr.
Page 24
But I found I wanted a stock of words, or a readiness in recollecting and using them, which I thought I should have acquired before that time if I had gone on making verses; since the continual occasion for words of the same import, but of different length, to suit the measure, or of different sound for the rhyme, would have laid me under a constant necessity of searching for variety, and also have tended to fix that variety in my mind, and make me master of it.
Page 30
He agreed with the captain of a New York sloop for my passage, under the notion of my being a young acquaintance of his.
Page 50
have nothing to do with him, nor receive any letters from him.
Page 54
I thought it a detestable custom; but it was necessary, he suppos'd, to drink _strong_ beer, that he might be _strong_ to labour.
Page 64
My mind having been much more improv'd by reading than Keimer's, I suppose it was for that reason my conversation seem'd to be more valu'd.
Page 68
Nicholas Scull, a surveyor, afterwards surveyor-general, who lov'd books, and sometimes made a few verses.
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 103
On his decease, the business was continued by his widow, who, being born and bred in Holland, where, as I have been inform'd, the knowledge of accounts makes a part of female education, she not only sent me as clear a state as she could find of the transactions past, but continued to account with the greatest regularity and exactness every quarter afterwards, and managed the business with such success, that she not only brought up reputably a family of children, but, at the expiration of the term, was able to purchase of me the printing-house, and establish her son in it.
Page 106
Page 124
I purchased all Dr.
Page 135
Part of what passed between us on the occasion may also be seen among those papers.
Page 142
I commiserated their case, and resolved to endeavour procuring them some relief.
Page 145
How different was the conduct of our French friends in 1781, who, during a march thro' the most inhabited part of our country from Rhode Island to Virginia,.
Page 151
"_ This kind of fort, however contemptible, is a sufficient defense against Indians, who have no cannon.
Page 153
I understood that their sermons were not usually preached to mixed congregations of men, women, and children, as is our common practice, but that they assembled sometimes the married men, at other times their wives, then the young men, the young women, and the little children, each division by itself.
Page 173
, it may be agreeable to the curious to be informed, that the same experiment has succeeded in _Philadelphia_, though made in a different and more easy manner, which is as follows: Make a small cross of two light strips of cedar, the arms so long as to reach to the four corners of a large, thin silk handkerchief when extended; tie the corners of the handkerchief to the extremities of the cross, so you have the body of a kite; which being properly accommodated with a tail, loop, and string, will rise in the air, like those made of paper; but this being of silk, is fitter to bear the wet and wind of a thunder-gust without tearing.
Page 175
_Keep thy Shop, and thy Shop will keep thee_; and again, _If you would have your business done, go; if not, send.