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 54

of hail, and even a dark cloud damps the very stoutest heart.

"I have lived in the first ages, and conversed with insects of a larger
size and stronger make, and, I must add, of greater virtue than any can
boast of in the present generation. I must conjure you to give yet
further credit to my latest words, when I assure you that yonder sun,
which now appears westward, beyond the water, and seems not to be far
distant from the earth, in my remembrance stood in the middle of the
sky, and shot his beams directly down upon us. The world was much more
enlightened in those ages, and the air much warmer. Think it not dotage
in me if I affirm that glorious being moves: I saw his first setting out
in the east, and I began my race of life near the time when he began his
immense career. He has for several ages advanced along the sky with vast
heat and unparalleled brightness; but now, by his declination and a
sensible decay, more especially of late, in his vigour, I foresee that
all nature must fall in a little time, and that the creation will lie
buried in darkness in less than a century of minutes.

"Alas! my friends, how did I once flatter myself with the hopes of
abiding here forever! how magnificent are the cells which I hollowed out
for myself! what confidence did I repose in the firmness and spring of
my joints, and in the strength of my pinions! _But I have lived long
enough to nature, and even to glory._ Neither will any of you, whom I
leave behind, have equal satisfaction in life, in the dark declining age
which I see is already begun."

Thus far this agreeable unknown writer--too agreeable, we may hope, to
remain always concealed. The fine allusion to the character of _Julius
Caesar_, whose words he has put into the mouth of this illustrious son of
_Hypanis_, is perfectly just and beautiful, and aptly points out the
moral of this inimitable piece, the design of which would have been
quite perverted, had a virtuous character, a _Cato_ or a _Cicero_, been
made choice of to have been turned into ridicule. Had this _life of a
day_ been represented as employed in the exercise of virtue, it would
have an equal dignity with a life of any limited duration, and,
according to the exalted sentiments of Tully, would have been preferable
to an immortality filled with all the pleasures of sense, if void of
those of a higher kind: but

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

Page 54
"[i-226] Having missed Franklin in Paris (1767), De Nemours had sent Franklin "un recueil des principaux traites economiques du Docteur Quesnay" and his own _Physiocratie_ (1768), which cast him in the role "of a propagandist of Physiocratie doctrines.
Page 70
This did not prevent him from becoming a symbol of liberty by his mere presence in the land, stimulating patriots to examine the foundations of the tyrannical authority which they saw or imagined enslaving them.
Page 105
[i-210] See _Writings_, VII, 275, 335, 341.
Page 140
_ 3 vols.
Page 223
She assisted me chearfully in my business, folding and stitching pamphlets, tending shop, purchasing old linen rags for the paper-makers, etc.
Page 287
But, as most People delight in Censure when they themselves are not the Objects of it, if any are offended at my publickly exposing their private Vices, I promise they shall have the Satisfaction, in a very little Time, of seeing their good Friends and Neighbours in the same Circumstances.
Page 306
I believe, _Horatio_! with all your Skepticism about you, you will allow that Good to be constant which is never absent from you, and that to be durable, which never Ends but with your Being.
Page 355
TO C[ADWALLADER] C[OLDEN] ESQ.
Page 487
=ANDREW.
Page 498
| Aspects, &c.
Page 533
Sally[49] says, "Papa, my love to Miss Katy.
Page 572
Talking in your Sleep shall betray you, in the Delirium of a Fever you yourselves shall make your own Wickedness known.
Page 579
THE REPEAL OR SUSPENSION OF THE STAMP ACT [London,] January 6, 1766.
Page 607
If you can get it generally sung in your country, it may probably have a good deal of the effect you hope and expect from it.
Page 622
us to know us, and feel for us, cannot take from us our _Habeas Corpus_ right, or our right of trial _by a jury of our neighbours_; they cannot deprive us of the exercise of our religion, alter our ecclesiastical constitution, and compel us to be Papists, if they please, or Mahometans.
Page 626
The first was called "_Rules by which a Great Empire may be reduced to a small one_;" the second, "_An Edict of the King of Prussia_.
Page 655
Lee and Izard are using, as you tell me, to injure me on that side of the water.
Page 667
It is to this day usual at the _levees_ of princes, to have persons assembled who are enemies to each other, who seek to obtain favor by whispering calumny and detraction, and thereby ruining those that distinguish themselves by their virtue and merit.
Page 692
has wasted the lives of at least an equal number of his own soldiers and sailors: many of whom have been _forced_ into this odious service, and _dragged_ from their families and friends, by the outrageous violence of his illegal press-gangs.
Page 723
I wish in this Case the other were as true, _and wise Men eat them_.