The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 69

affairs; and it will be curious to see how you have acted
in these. It will be so far a sort of key to life, and explain many
things that all men ought to have once explained to them, to give, them
a chance of becoming wise by foresight. The nearest thing to having
experience of one's own, is to have other people's affairs brought
before us in a shape that is interesting; this is sure to happen from
your pen; our affairs and management will have an air of simplicity or
importance that will not fail to strike; and I am convinced you have
conducted them with as much originality as if you had been conducting
discussions in politics or philosophy; and what more worthy of
experiments and system (its importance and its errors considered) than
human life?

"Some men have been virtuous blindly, others have speculated
fantastically, and others have been shrewd to bad purposes; but you,
sir, I am sure, will give under your hand, nothing but what is at the
same moment, wise, practical and good, your account of yourself (for I
suppose the parallel I am drawing for Dr. Franklin, will hold not only
in point of character, but of private history) will show that you are
ashamed of no origin; a thing the more important, as you prove how
little necessary all origin is to happiness, virtue, or greatness. As
no end likewise happens without a means, so we shall find, sir, that
even you yourself framed a plan by which you became considerable; but
at the same time we may see that though the event is flattering, the
means are as simple as wisdom could make them; that is, depending upon
nature, virtue, thought and habit. Another thing demonstrated will be
the propriety of everyman's waiting for his time for appearing upon the
stage of the world. Our sensations being very much fixed to the
moment, we are apt to forget that more moments are to follow the first,
and consequently that man should arrange his conduct so as to suit the
whole of a life. Your attribution appears to have been applied to your
life, and the passing moments of it have been enlivened with content
and enjoyment instead of being tormented with foolish impatience or
regrets. Such a conduct is easy for those who make virtue and
themselves in countenance by examples of other truly great men, of whom
patience is so often the characteristic. Your Quaker correspondent,
sir (for here again I will suppose the subject of my

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Way to Wealth; or, "Poor Richard Improved"

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By R.
Page 1
half bound 1 0 Wonders of the Horse, recorded in Anecdotes, Prose and Verse, by Joseph Taylor 2 6 Tales of the Robin & other Small Birds, in Verse, by Joseph Taylor 2 6 Instructive Conversation Cards, consisting .
Page 2
I stopped my horse, lately, where a great number of people were collected at an auction of merchants' goods.
Page 3
--"But, dost thou love life? then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of," as Poor Richard says.
Page 4
The diligent spinner has a large shift; and now I have a sheep and a cow, every body bids me good-morrow.
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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 horse-shoe nail.
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got together to this sale of fineries and nick-nacks.
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But poverty often deprives a man of all spirit and virtue.
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Those have a short Lent, who owe money to be paid at Easter.
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* * * * * Transcriber's Notes: Only the most obvious and clear punctuation errors repaired.