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 151

with you. I have a bed
at your service, and will try to make your residence, while you can stay
with us, as agreeable to you, if possible, as I am sure it will be to

"You do not 'approve the annihilation of profitable places; for you do
not see why a statesman who does his business well should not be paid
for his labour as well as any other workman.' Agreed. But why more than
any other workman? The less the salary the greater the honour. In so
great a nation there are many rich enough to afford giving their time to
the public; and there are, I make no doubt, many wise and able men who
would take as much pleasure in governing for nothing, as they do in
playing of chess for nothing. It would be one of the noblest amusements.
That this opinion is not chimerical, the country I now live in affords a
proof; its whole civil and criminal law administration being done for
nothing, or, in some sense, for less than nothing, since the members of
its judiciary parliaments buy their places, and do not make more than
three per cent. for their money by their fees and emoluments, while the
legal interest is five; so that, in fact, they give two per cent. to be
allowed to govern, and all their time and trouble into the bargain. Thus
_profit_, one motive for desiring place, being abolished, there remains
only _ambition_; and that being in some degree balanced by _loss_, you
may easily conceive that there will not be very violent factions and
contentions for such places; nor much of the mischief to the country
that attends your factions, which have often occasioned wars, and
overloaded you with debts impayable.

"I allow you all the force of your joke upon the vagrancy of our
Congress. They have a right to sit _where_ they please, of which,
perhaps, they have made too much use by shifting too often. But they
have two other rights; those of sitting _when_ they please and as _long_
as they please, in which, methinks, they have the advantage of your
Parliament; for they cannot be dissolved by the breath of a minister, or
sent packing, as you were the other day, when it was your earnest desire
to have remained longer together.

"You 'fairly acknowledge that the late war terminated quite contrary to
your expectation.' Your expectation was ill-founded; for you would not
believe your old friend, who told you repeatedly, that by those measures
England would lose her colonies, as Epictetus warned in vain

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

Page 3
Page 4
_ No power, how great soever, can force men to change their opinions.
Page 21
Our disputes were often brought before our father, and I fancy I was either generally in the right or else a better pleader, because the judgment was generally in my favor.
Page 24
The first number of the Boston News-Letter was published April 24, 1704.
Page 34
" As I seemed at first not to think so ill of them as she did, she mentioned some things she had observed and heard that had escaped my notice, but now convinced me she was right.
Page 53
With him, however, she was never happy, and soon parted from him, refusing to bear his name, it being now said that he had another wife.
Page 71
The books were imported; the library was opened one day in the week for lending to the subscribers, on their promissory notes to pay double the value if not duly returned.
Page 81
" (iii.
Page 86
15, 16.
Page 87
My list of virtues contained at first but twelve; but a Quaker friend having kindly informed me that I was generally thought proud; that my pride showed itself frequently in conversation; that I was not content with being in the right when discussing any point, but was overbearing and rather insolent, of which he convinced me by mentioning several instances,--I determined endeavoring to cure myself, if I could, of this vice or folly among the rest, and I added Humility to my list, giving an extensive meaning to the word.
Page 89
Most of these are lost; but I find one purporting to be the substance of an intended creed, containing, as I thought, the essentials of every known religion, and being free of everything that might shock the professors of any religion.
Page 102
He used, indeed, sometimes to pray for my conversion, but he never had the satisfaction of believing that his prayers were heard.
Page 104
With respect to defense,--Spain having been several years at war against Great Britain, and being at length joined by France, which brought us into great danger, and the labored and long-continued endeavor of our governor, Thomas, to prevail with our Quaker Assembly[131] to pass a militia law and make other provisions for the security of the province, having proved abortive,--I determined to try what might be done by a voluntary association of the people.
Page 106
I will not, by giving it up, lose my right of some time or other making reprisals[134] on my adversaries.
Page 117
The subscriptions accordingly soon exceeded the requisite sum, and we claimed and received the public gift, which enabled us to carry the design into execution.
Page 125
In my journey to Boston this year I met at New York with our new governor, Mr.
Page 141
They met that day the eleven poor farmers above mentioned, and killed ten of them.
Page 155
He answered, "Three days.
Page 159
It was midnight, and our captain fast asleep; but Captain Kennedy, jumping upon deck, and seeing the danger, ordered the ship to wear round, all sails standing--an operation dangerous to the masts; but it carried us clear, and we escaped shipwreck, for we were running right upon the rocks on which the lighthouse was erected.
Page 161
[207] But during this delay, the Assembly having prevailed with Governor Denny to pass an act taxing the proprietary estate in common with the estates of the people, which was the grand point in dispute,.