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 63

begins, with inquiries who they are, whither bound, what news, &c, and
it usually ends with offers of service if the strangers have occasion
for guides, or any necessaries for continuing their journey; and nothing
is exacted for the entertainment.

* * * * *


Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government: when this
support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved,
and tyranny is erected on its ruins. Republics and limited monarchies
derive their strength and vigour from a popular examination into the
actions of the magistrates; this privilege, in all ages, has been, and
always will be, abused. The best of men could not escape the censure and
envy of the times they lived in. Yet this evil is not so great as it may
appear at first sight. A magistrate who sincerely aims at the good of
society will always have the inclinations of a great majority on his
side, and an impartial posterity will not fail to render him justice.

Those abuses of the freedom of speech are the exercises of liberty. They
ought to be repressed; but to whom dare we commit the care of doing it?
An evil magistrate, intrusted with power to _punish for words_, would be
armed with a weapon the most destructive and terrible. Under pretence of
pruning off the exuberant branches, he would be apt to destroy the tree.

It is certain that he who robs another of his moral reputation, more
richly merits a gibbet than if he had plundered him of his purse on the
highway. _Augustus Caesar_, under the specious pretext of preserving the
character of the Romans from defamation, introduced the law whereby
libelling was involved in the penalties of treason against the state.
This law established his tyranny; and for one mischief which it
prevented, ten thousand evils, horrible and afflicting, sprung up in its
place. Thenceforward every person's life and fortune depended on the
vile breath of informers. The construction of words being arbitrary, and
left to the decision of the judges, no man could write or open his mouth
without being in danger of forfeiting his head.

One was put to death for inserting in his history the praises of Brutus.
Another for styling Cassius the last of the Romans. Caligula valued
himself for being a notable dancer; and to deny

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

Page 7
Indeed, I scarce ever heard or saw the introductory words, "Without vanity, I may say," etc.
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The next morning the workmen were surprised at missing the stones, which were found in our wharf.
Page 18
And being then, from.
Page 19
" This habit, I believe, has been of great advantage to me when I have had occasion to inculcate my opinions, and persuade men into measures that I have been from time to time engaged in promoting; and, as the chief ends of conversation are to inform or to be informed, to please or to persuade, I wish well-meaning, sensible men would not lessen their power of doing good by a positive, assuming manner, that seldom fails to disgust, tends to create opposition, and to defeat every one of those purposes for which speech was given to us,--to wit, giving or receiving information or pleasure.
Page 20
Encouraged, however, by this, I wrote and conveyed in the same way to the press several more papers, which were.
Page 39
I had made some courtship during this time to Miss Read.
Page 43
I found my friend Denham, and opened the whole affair to him.
Page 55
We never worked on Saturday, that being Keimer's Sabbath, so I had two days for reading.
Page 67
He went to Barbadoes, and there lived some years in very poor circumstances.
Page 69
Our mutual affection was revived, but there were now great objections to our union.
Page 73
These I esteemed the essentials of every religion; and being to be found in all the religions we had in our country, I respected them all, though with different degrees of respect as I found them more or less mixed with other articles which, without any tendency to inspire, promote, or confirm morality, served principally to divide us, and make us unfriendly to one another.
Page 90
In 1732 I first published my Almanac,[117] under the name of "Richard Saunders;" it was continued by me about twenty-five years, and commonly called "Poor Richard's Almanac.
Page 102
He had a loud and clear voice, and articulated his words and sentences so perfectly that he might be heard and understood at a great distance, especially as his auditors, however numerous, observed the most exact silence.
Page 123
Kennedy, two gentlemen of great knowledge in public affairs; and, being fortified by their approbation, I ventured to lay it before the congress.
Page 128
Page 129
We found the general at Fredericktown, waiting impatiently for the return of those he had sent through the back parts of Maryland and Virginia to collect wagons.
Page 133
Page 135
" I was conscious of an impropriety in my disputing with a military man in matters of.
Page 147
Page 168
A little neglect may breed great mischief; for want of a nail the shoe was lost, for want of a shoe the horse was lost, and for want of a horse the rider was lost, being overtaken and slain by the enemy; all for want of a little care about a horseshoe nail.