The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 67

in his power as thyself to promote a greater
spirit of industry and early attention to business, frugality, and
temperance with the American youth. Not that I think the work would
have no other merit and use in the world, far from it; but the first is
of such vast importance that I know nothing that can equal it."


The foregoing letter and the minutes accompanying it being shown to a
friend, I received from him the following:

Letter from Mr. Benjamin Vaughan.
"PARIS, January 31, 1783.

"My DEAREST SIR: When I had read over your sheets of minutes of the
principal incidents of your life, recovered for you by your Quaker
acquaintance, I told you I would send you a letter expressing my
reasons why I thought it would be useful to complete and publish it as
he desired. Various concerns have for some time past prevented this
letter being written, and I do not know whether it was worth any
expectation; happening to be at leisure, however, at present, I shall
by writing, at least interest and instruct myself; but as the terms I
am inclined to use may tend to offend a person of your manners, I shall
only tell you how I would address any other person, who was as good and
as great as yourself, but less diffident. I would say to him, Sir, I
solicit the history of your life from the following motives: Your
history is so remarkable, that if you do not give it, somebody else
will certainly give it; and perhaps so as nearly to do as much harm, as
your own management of the thing might do good. It will moreover
present a table of the internal circumstances of your country, which
will very much tend to invite to it settlers of virtuous and manly
minds. And considering the eagerness with which such information is
sought by them, and the extent of your reputation, I do not know of a
more efficacious advertisement than your biography would give. All
that has happened to you is also connected with the detail of the
manners and situation of a rising people; and in this respect I do not
think that the writings of Caesar and Tacitus can be more interesting
to a true judge of human nature and

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

Page 5
355 Account of the first campaign made by the British forces in America 357 Probability of a separation 358 Letter to Monsieur Dumas, urging him to sound the several courts of Europe, by means of their ambassadors at the Hague, as to any assistance they may be disposed to afford America in her struggle for independence 360 Letter from Lord Howe to Dr.
Page 17
The journey from Charles Town to Philadelphia may likewise be facilitated by boats running up Chesapeak Bay three hundred miles.
Page 22
RAISE SOLDIERS AND EQUIP VESSELS, &C.
Page 26
"----That the reader may not suspect that these dimensions were convenient for uncommon purposes.
Page 115
That you may be assured I do not misrepresent this matter, I shall give you the last-mentioned amendment (so called) at full length; and for the truth and exactness of my copy I dare appeal to Mr.
Page 149
The proprietary friends and creatures knew the heart of their master; and how extremely disagreeable to him that _equal taxation_, that _restitution_, and the.
Page 150
" It seems then we have "_reasonable demands_" to make, and, as you call them a little higher, _equitable demands_.
Page 165
That the whole American people was forbidden the advantage of a direct importation of wine, oil, and fruit, from Portugal; but must take them loaded with all the expence of a voyage one thousand leagues round about, being to be landed first in England, to be re-shipped for America; expences amounting, in war-time, at least to thirty pounds per cent more than otherwise they would have been charged with; and all this merely, that a few Portugal merchants in London may gain a commission on those goods passing through their hands.
Page 192
_ They understand that clause to relate to subjects only within the realm; that no money can be levied on them for the crown, but by consent of parliament.
Page 200
FRANKLIN.
Page 215
accompanied this paper to Dr.
Page 255
The well-founded esteem, and permit me to say affection, which I shall always have for your lordship, make it painful to me to see you engaged in conducting a war, the great ground of which (as described in your letter) is "the necessity of preventing the American _trade_ from passing into foreign channels.
Page 279
With regard to the terms on which lands may be acquired in America, and the manner of beginning new settlements on them, I cannot give better information than may be found in a book lately printed at London, under some such title as--_Letters from a Pensylvanian Farmer_, by Hector St.
Page 300
Few humane characters can be drawn that will not fit some body, in so large a country as this; but one would think, supposing I meant Cretico.
Page 302
As I am Censor, I might punish the first, but I forgive it.
Page 327
If I see one fond of appearance, of fine clothes, fine houses, fine furniture, fine equipages, all above his fortune, for which he contracts debts, and ends his career in a prison, _Alas_, says I, _he has paid dear, very dear, for his whistle_.
Page 334
Suppers are not bad, if we have not dined; but restless nights naturally follow hearty suppers, after full dinners.
Page 344
Being amused with his soliloquy, I put it down in writing, in hopes it will likewise amuse her to whom I am so much indebted for the most pleasing of all amusements, her delicious company, and heavenly harmony.
Page 412
136.
Page 413
rock, conjectures as to its origin, ii.