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 167

contained in your
letter of January 31, 1783, have not a little contributed. I am now in
the year 1756, just before I was sent to England. To shorten the work,
as well as for other reasons, I omit all facts and transactions that may
not have a tendency to benefit the young reader, by showing him from my
example, and my success in emerging from poverty, and acquiring some
degree of wealth, power, and reputation, the advantages of certain modes
of conduct which I observed, and of avoiding the errors which were
prejudicial to me. If a writer can judge properly of his own work, I
fancy, on reading over what is already done, that the book may be found
entertaining and useful, more so than I expected when I began it. If my
present state of health continues, I hope to finish it this winter: when
done, you shall have a manuscript copy of it, that I may obtain from
your judgment and friendship such remarks as may contribute to its
improvement.

"The violence of our party debates about the new constitution seems
much abated, indeed almost extinct, and we are getting fast into good
order. I kept out of those disputes pretty well, having wrote only one
piece, which I send you enclosed.

"I regret the immense quantity of misery brought upon mankind by this
Turkish war; and I am afraid the King of Sweden may burn his fingers by
attacking Russia. When will princes learn arithmetic enough to
calculate, if they want pieces of one another's territory, how much
cheaper it would be to buy them than to make war for them, even though
they were to give a hundred years' purchase; but if glory cannot be
valued, and, therefore, the wars for it cannot be subject to
arithmetical calculation, so as to show their advantages or
disadvantages, at least wars for trade, which have gain for their
object, may be proper subjects for such computation; and a trading
nation, as well as a single trader, ought to calculate the probabilities
of profit and loss before engaging in any considerable adventure. This,
however, nations seldom do, and we have had frequent instances of their
spending more money in wars for acquiring or securing branches of
commerce, than a hundred years' profit, or the full enjoyment of them
can compensate. * *

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin Representative selections, with introduction, bibliograpy, and notes

Page 77
Apprenticed to James, Franklin admitted that he "now had access to better books.
Page 80
[i-418] And we know that Sir Hans Sloane received Franklin in his home at Bloomsbury Square.
Page 108
[i-232] _Writings_, II, 313 (July 16, 1747).
Page 166
--At Ten Years old, I was taken home to assist my Father in his Business, which was that of a Tallow Chandler and Sope Boiler.
Page 273
The _Pain_ of Labour and Fatigue causes the _Pleasure_ of Rest, equal to that _Pain_.
Page 311
That the Opinions of Men are almost as various as their Faces; an Observation general enough to become a common Proverb, _So many Men so many Minds.
Page 375
| 7 .
Page 393
9 | 3 | 23 | | 4 | A.
Page 477
_ | | 11 |[Aries] 11 | _A Pair of_ | | 12 | 23 | [Saturn] sets 9 33 | | 13 |[Taurus] 6 | [Sextile] [Jupiter] [Mercury] _good_ | | 14 | 19 | 7 *s rise 6 46 | |.
Page 486
13 | 3 | _pleasant_ | 7 4 | 4 56 | | 14 | 4 |Days dec.
Page 499
10 28 | | 10 | 21 | _Virtue and a_ | | 11 |[Cancer] 5 | _Trade, are_ | | 12 | 19 | [Jupiter] rise 9 1 .
Page 523
We are restrained in our trade with foreign nations, and where we could be supplied with any manufacture cheaper from them, but must buy the same dearer from Britain; the difference of price is a clear tax to Britain.
Page 572
All good People everywhere detest your Actions.
Page 597
DEAR SIR You made an Apology to me for not acquaint^g me sooner with your Marriage.
Page 603
Adieu.
Page 629
We are sensible there is a proper authority in the rulers of the Church for ordering such matters; and whenever the time shall come when it may be thought not unreasonable to revise our Liturgy, there is no doubt but every suitable improvement will be made, under the care and direction of so much learning, wisdom, and piety, in one body of men collected.
Page 635
My time was never more fully employed.
Page 636
Gentlemen, who used to entertain with two or three courses, pride themselves now in treating with simple beef and pudding.
Page 740
"Done in convention by the Unanimous Consent," &c.
Page 746
iii, and Exodus, ch.