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 174

the happy state they are
about to enter.

"According to the course of years, I should have quitted this world long
before him: I shall, however, not be long in following. I am now in my
eighty-fourth year, and the last year has considerably enfeebled me, so
that I hardly expect to remain another. You will then, my dear friend,
consider this as probably the last line to be received from me, and as a
taking leave.

"Present my best and most sincere respects to your good mother, and love
to the rest of the family, to whom I wish all happiness; and believe me
to be, while I _do_ live, yours most affectionately,


* * * * *

_To_ * * *.

(Withoute date.)


"I have read your manuscript with some attention. By the argument it
contains against a particular Providence, though you allow a general
Providence, you strike at the foundations of all religion. For without
the belief of a Providence that takes cognizance of, guards and guides,
and may favour particular persons, there is no motive to worship a
Deity, to fear its displeasure, or to pray for its protection. I will
not enter into any discussion of your principles, though you seem to
desire it. At present I shall only give you my opinion, that though your
reasonings are subtle, and may prevail with some readers, you will not
succeed so as to change the general sentiments of mankind on that
subject, and the consequence of printing this piece will be, a great
deal of odium drawn upon yourself, mischief to you, and no benefit to
others. He that spits against the wind, spits in his own face. But were
you to succeed, do you imagine any good would be done by it? You
yourself may find it easy to live

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Text Comparison with The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 1
The first five chapters of the Autobiography were composed in England in 1771, continued in 1784-5, and again in 1788, at which date he brought it down to 1757.
Page 14
Then I compared my Spectator with the original, discovered some of my faults, and corrected them.
Page 34
Keimer wore his beard at full length, because somewhere in the Mosaic law it is said, "Thou shalt not mar the corners of thy beard.
Page 36
As they two went home together, Osborne expressed himself still more strongly in favor of what he thought my production; having restrain'd himself before, as he said, lest I should think it flattery.
Page 40
It was entitled "A Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain.
Page 41
Pemberton, at Batson's Coffee-house, who promis'd to give me an opportunity, some time or other, of seeing Sir Isaac Newton, of which I was extreamely desirous; but this never happened.
Page 60
" "No," said he, "my father has really been disappointed, and is really unable; and I am unwilling to distress him farther.
Page 61
The wealthy inhabitants oppos'd any addition, being against all paper currency, from an apprehension that it would depreciate, as it had done in New England, to the prejudice of all creditors.
Page 65
These libraries have improved the general conversation of the Americans, made the common tradesmen.
Page 66
The affairs of the Revolution occasion'd the interruption.
Page 72
Finding the advantage of this little collection, I propos'd to render the benefit from books more common, by commencing a public subscription library.
Page 74
We kept no idle servants, our table was plain and simple, our furniture of the cheapest.
Page 96
I therefore did not like the opposition of this new member, who was a gentleman of fortune and education, with talents that were likely to give him, in time, great influence in the House, which, indeed, afterwards happened.
Page 104
The officers of the companies composing the Philadelphia regiment, being met, chose me for their colonel; but, conceiving myself unfit, I declin'd that station, and recommended Mr.
Page 119
they will give me something.
Page 130
The committee approv'd, and used such diligence that, conducted by my son, the stores arrived at the camp as soon as the waggons.
Page 135
"Why the d--l!" says one of them, "you surely don't suppose that the fort will not be taken?" "I don't know that it will not be taken, but I know that the events of war are subject to great uncertainty.
Page 146
Watson drew up a summary account of them, and of all I had afterwards sent to England on the subject, which he accompanied with some praise of the writer.
Page 156
in the last year of Dr.
Page 162
1787 Reelected President; sent.