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 93

have been of more
service to you. But if it had, the only thanks I should desire is, that
you would always be equally ready to serve any other person that may
need your assistance, and so let good offices go round; for mankind are
all of a family.

"For my own part, when I am employed in serving others, I do not look
upon myself as conferring favours, but as paying debts. In my travels
and since my settlement, I have received much kindness from men to whom
I shall never have an opportunity of making the least direct return, and
numberless mercies from God, who is infinitely above being benefited by
our services. Those kindnesses from men I can therefore only return on
their fellow-men, and I can only show my gratitude for these mercies
from God by a readiness to help his other children and my brethren. For
I do not think that thanks and compliments, though repeated weekly, can
discharge our real obligations to each other, and much less those to our
Creator. You will see in this my notion of good works, that I am far
from expecting to merit heaven by them. By heaven we understand a state
of happiness infinite in degree and eternal in duration: I can do
nothing to deserve such rewards. He that, for giving a draught of water
to a thirsty person, should expect to be paid with a good plantation,
would be modest in his demands compared with those who think they
deserve heaven for the little good they do on earth. Even the mixed,
imperfect pleasures we enjoy in this world are rather from God's
goodness than our merit: how much more such happiness of heaven! For my
part, I have not the vanity to think I deserve it, the folly to expect
it, nor the ambition to desire it; but content myself in submitting to
the will and disposal of that God who made me, who has hitherto
preserved and blessed me, and in whose fatherly goodness I may well
confide, that he will never make me miserable, and that even the
afflictions I may at any time suffer shall tend to my benefit. * * * *

"I wish you health and happiness.


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Text Comparison with Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 3
PAGE Portrait of Franklin vii Pages 1 and 4 of _The Pennsylvania Gazette_, Number XL, the first number after Franklin took control xxi First page of _The New England Courant_ of December 4-11, 1721 33 "I was employed to carry the papers thro' the streets to the customers" 36 "She, standing at the door, saw me, and thought I made, as I certainly did, a most awkward, ridiculous appearance" 48 "I took to working at press" 88 "I see him still at work when I go home from club" 120 Two pages from _Poor Richard's Almanac_ for 1736 .
Page 8
Before the _Autobiography_ only one literary work of importance had been produced in this country--Cotton Mather's _Magnalia_, a church history of New England in a ponderous, stiff style.
Page 20
From this instance, reader, Be encouraged to diligence in thy calling, And distrust not Providence.
Page 25
He instantly agreed to it, and I presently found that I could save half what he paid me.
Page 28
] He had some ingenious men among his friends, who amus'd themselves by writing little pieces for this paper, which gain'd it credit and made it more in demand, and these gentlemen often visited us.
Page 43
I knew he was a good swimmer, and so was under little concern about him; but before he could get round to lay hold of the boat, we had with a few strokes pull'd her out of his reach; and ever when he drew near the boat, we ask'd if he would row, striking a few strokes to slide her away from him.
Page 56
My always keeping good hours, and giving little trouble in the family, made her unwilling to part with me, so that, when I talk'd of a lodging I had heard of, nearer my business, for two shillings a week, which, intent as I now was on saving money, made some difference, she bid me not think of it, for she would abate me two shillings a week for the future; so I remained with her at one shilling and sixpence as long as I staid in London.
Page 63
He then let me know that his father had a high opinion of me, and, from some discourse that had pass'd between them, he was sure would advance money to set us up, if I would enter into partnership with him.
Page 79
, for fifty years, Mr.
Page 81
I had been religiously educated as a Presbyterian; and though some of the dogmas of that persuasion, such as the _eternal decrees of God_, _election_, _reprobation_, _etc.
Page 119
They were unwilling to offend government, on the one hand, by a direct refusal; and their friends, the.
Page 124
[87] I have been continued one of its trustees from the beginning, now near forty years, and have had the very great pleasure of seeing a number of the youth who have receiv'd their education in it, distinguish'd by their improv'd abilities, serviceable in public stations, and ornaments to their country.
Page 128
" He laugh'd and thank'd me, and said he would take my advice.
Page 130
John Clifton, his giving a sample of the utility of lamps, by placing one at his door, that the people were first impress'd with the idea of enlighting all the city.
Page 135
, and to draw on the treasury of Great Britain for the expense, which was afterwards to be refunded by an act of Parliament laying a tax on America.
Page 164
[114] This relation illustrates the corruption that characterized English public life in the eighteenth century.
Page 167
George's Channel, which deceives seamen and caused the loss of Sir Cloudesley Shovel's squadron.
Page 181
to Thursday, October 2.
Page 186
Our Rovers keep all in Port, for Fear of the Malteze.
Page 187
the last Swiss War was given up to Zurich and Berne in Propriety, with a Reservation to the Canton of Glaris (which is mostly Protestant) of the Share it had before in the Sovereignty of that District.