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 68

the
nation. Other writers, of a different stamp, with great learning and
gravity, endeavoured to prove to the English people that slavery was
_jure divino_.[5] Thus the stage and the press, under the direction of a
licenser, became battering engines against religion, virtue, and
liberty. Those who had courage enough to write in their defence, were
stigmatized as schismatics, and punished as disturbers of the
government.

[5] By divine right.

But when the embargo on wit was taken off, _Sir Richard Steel_ and _Mr.
Addison_ soon rescued the stage from the load of impurity it laboured
under with an inimitable address, they strongly recommended to our
imitation the most amiable, rational manly characters; and this with so
much success that I cannot suppose there is any reader to-day conversant
in the writings of those gentlemen, that can taste with any tolerable
relish the comedies of the once admired _Shadwell_. Vice was obliged to
retire and give place to virtue: this will always be the consequence
when truth has fair play: falsehood only dreads the attack, and cries
out for auxiliaries: the truth never fears the encounter: she scorns the
aid of the secular arm, and triumphs by her natural strength.

But, to resume the description of the reign of Charles II., the doctrine
of servitude was chiefly managed by _Sir Roger Lestrange_. He had great
advantages in the argument, being licenser for the press, and might have
carried all before him without contradiction, if writings on the other
side of the question had not been printed by stealth. The authors,
whenever found, were prosecuted as seditious libellers; on all these
occasions the king's counsel, particularly _Sawyer_ and _Finch_,
appeared most obsequious to accomplish the ends of the court.

During this _blessed_ management, the king had entered into a secret
league with France to render himself absolute and enslave his subjects.
This fact was discovered to the world by Dr. _Jonathan Swift_, to whom
_Sir William Temple_ had intrusted the publication of his works.

_Sidney_, the sworn foe of tyranny, was a gentleman of noble family, of
sublime understanding and exalted courage. The ministry were resolved to
remove so great an obstacle out of the way of their designs. He was
prosecuted for high treason. The overt act charged in the indictment was
a libel found in his private study. Mr. Finch, the king's own
solicitor-general, urged with great vehemence to this effect, "that the
_imagining_ the death of the king is _treason_, even while that
imagination remains concealed in the mind, though the law cannot punish
such secret treasonable thoughts till it arrives at the

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 1 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

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Besides, there are some other inducements that excite me to this undertaking.
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Being at a distance from my papers, I will give you what account I can of them from memory: and if my papers are not lost in my absence, you will find among them many more particulars.
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There was another bookish lad in the town, John Collins by name, with whom I was intimately acquainted.
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This my brother-in-law Holmes afterward.
Page 45
They were not yet come to town, and my stay was uncertain, so I could not undertake it; but from the incident I thought it likely, that if I were to remain in England and open a swimming school, I might get a good deal of money; and it struck me so strongly, that, had the overture been made me sooner, probably I should not so soon have returned to America.
Page 51
He had then not the least intimation of my intention to set up there or anywhere.
Page 60
He went to Barbadoes, and there lived some years in very poor circumstances.
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Page 128
A small but very material alteration! However, when the news of the disaster reached England, our friends there, whom we had taken care to furnish will all the Assembly's answers to the governor's messages, raised a clamour against the proprietaries for their meanness and injustice in giving their governor such instructions; some going so far as to say that, by obstructing the defence of their province, they forfeited their right to it.
Page 132
I had hardly got my fort well stored with provisions when I received a letter from the governor acquainting me that he had called the Assembly, and wished my attendance there, if the posture of affairs on the frontiers was such that my remaining there was no longer necessary.
Page 141
One would imagine that I was now on the very point of departing for Europe; I thought so, but I was not then so well acquainted with his lordship's character, of which _indecision_ was one of the strongest features: I shall give some instances.
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"[16] The following account of his funeral, and the honours paid to his memory, is derived from an anonymous source, but.
Page 171
The assembly adopted it, at first by acclamation; and afterward decreed, by a large majority, amid the plaudits of all the spectators, that on Monday 14th of June, it should go into mourning for three days; that the discourse of M.
Page 174
Such and so many of my books as I shall mark on the said catalogue with the name of my grandson Benjamin Franklin Bache, I do hereby give to him: and such and so many of my books as I shall mark on the said catalogue with the name of my grandson William Bache, I do hereby give to him: and such as shall be marked with the name of Jonathan Williams, I hereby give to my cousin of that name.
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I wish, indeed, that they may both undertake to endeavour the execution of the project, because I think that, though unforeseen difficulties may arise, expedients will be found to remove them, and the scheme be found practicable.
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* * * * _Q.
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_Q.
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_Q.
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Franklin.