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 56

must finish their course. The longest
duration of finite happiness avails nothing when it is past: nor can the
memory of it have any other effect than to renew a perpetual pining
after pleasures never to return; and since virtue is the only pledge and
security of a happy immortality, the folly of sacrificing it to any
temporal advantage, how important soever they may appear, must be
infinitely great, and cannot but leave behind it an eternal regret.

* * * * *


Sir,--There are many people that would be thought, and even think
themselves, _honest_ men, who fail nevertheless in particular points of
honesty; deviating from that character sometimes by the prevalence of
mode or custom, and sometimes through mere inattention, so that their
_honesty_ is partial only, and not _general_ or universal. Thus one who
would scorn to overreach you in a bargain, shall make no scruple of
tricking you a little now and then at cards: another, that plays with
the utmost fairness, shall with great freedom cheat you in the sale of
a horse. But there is no kind of dishonesty into which otherwise good
people more easily and frequently fall, than that of defrauding
government of its revenues by smuggling when they have an opportunity,
or encouraging smugglers by buying their goods.

I fell into these reflections the other day, on hearing two gentlemen of
reputation discoursing about a small estate, which one of them was
inclined to sell and the other to buy; when the seller, in recommending
the place, remarked, that its situation was very advantageous on this
account, that, being on the seacoast in a smuggling country, one had
frequent opportunities of buying many of the expensive articles used in
a family (such as tea, coffee, chocolate, brandy, wines, cambrics,
Brussels laces, French silks, and all kinds of India goods) 20, 30, and,
in some articles, 50 _per cent._ cheaper than they could be had in the
more interior parts, of traders that paid duty. The other _honest_
gentleman allowed this to be an advantage, but insisted that the seller,
in the advanced price he demanded on that account, rated the advantage
much above its value. And neither of them seemed to think dealing with
smugglers a practice that an _honest_ man (provided he got his goods
cheap) had the least reason to be ashamed of.

At a time when the

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 1 [of 3]

Page 6
--Reasons for supposing the sea to be the grand source of lightning.
Page 11
Page 30
For that purpose we went below the hatches along with the Dutchman, who was drenched with water.
Page 43
When he explained to me his tenets, I found many absurdities which I refused to admit, unless he would agree in turn to adopt some of my opinions.
Page 75
Meanwhile, that passion of youth, so difficult to govern, had often drawn me into intrigues with despicable women who fell in my way; which were not unaccompanied with expence and inconvenience, besides the perpetual risk of injuring my health, and catching a disease which I dreaded above all things.
Page 85
de Romas made his first attempt on the 14th of May, 1753, but was not successful until the 7th of June; a year after Franklin had completed the discovery, and when it was known to all the philosophers in Europe.
Page 89
Franklin; who, notwithstanding the multiplicity of his other engagements and pursuits, at that busy stage of his life, was a constant attendant at the monthly visitations and examinations of the schools, and made it his particular study, by means of his extensive correspondence abroad, to advance the reputation of the seminary, and to draw students and scholars to it from different parts of America and the West Indies.
Page 91
Stuber was born in Philadelphia, of German parents.
Page 155
From a cube it is more easily drawn at the corners than at the plane sides, and so from the angles of a body of any other form, and still most easily from the angle that is most acute.
Page 179
--Theorem concerning Light.
Page 184
Page 236
_Answer to some of the foregoing Subjects.
Page 239
Soon after I applied the naked balls to my electrometer, and could not discover the least sign of their being electrical, but holding them, before the fire, at the distance of six or eight inches, they became strongly electrical in a very short time, and more so when they were cooling.
Page 240
"Upon letting the whole cool, the effect remained till the thermometer was sunk to 400.
Page 251
On the other side of the chimney, it ploughed up several furrows in the earth, some yards in length.
Page 262
with staples of iron.
Page 275
Upon my return to this country, I found the number of conductors much increased, many proofs of their efficacy in preserving buildings from lightning having demonstrated their utility.
Page 302
condensed, supposed to form the centre of the earth, 119, 127.
Page 320
_ long unknown to any but the American fishermen, _ibid.
Page 342
account of one at Antigua, 34.