The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 70

letter resembling
Dr. Franklin), praised your frugality, diligence and temperance, which
he considered as a pattern for all youth; but it is singular that he
should have forgotten your modesty and your disinterestedness, without
which you never could have waited for your advancement, or found your
situation in the mean time comfortable; which is a strong lesson to
show the poverty of glory and the importance of regulating our minds.
If this correspondent had known the nature of your reputation as well
as I do, he would have said, Your former writings and measures would
secure attention to your Biography, and Art of Virtue; and your
Biography and Art of Virtue, in return, would secure attention to them.
This is an advantage attendant upon a various character, and which
brings all that belongs to it into greater play; and it is the more
useful, as perhaps more persons are at a loss for the means of
improving their minds and characters, than they are for the time or the
inclination to do it. But there is one concluding reflection, sir,
that will shew the use of your life as a mere piece of biography. This
style of writing seems a little gone out of vogue, and yet it is a very
useful one; and your specimen of it may be particularly serviceable, as
it will make a subject of comparison with the lives of various public
cutthroats and intriguers, and with absurd monastic self-tormentors or
vain literary triflers. If it encourages more writings of the same
kind with your own, and induces more men to spend lives fit to be
written, it will be worth all Plutarch's Lives put together. But being
tired of figuring to myself a character of which every feature suits
only one man in the world, without giving him the praise of it, I shall
end my letter, my dear Dr. Franklin, with a personal application to
your proper self. I am earnestly desirous, then, my dear sir, that you
should let the world into the traits of your genuine character, as
civil broils may otherwise tend to disguise or traduce it. Considering
your great age, the caution of your character, and your peculiar style
of thinking, it is not likely that any one besides yourself can be
sufficiently master of the facts of your life, or the intentions of
your mind. Besides all this, the immense revolution of the present
period, will necessarily turn our attention towards the author of it,
and when virtuous principles have been pretended in it, it will be

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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]

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Founded on authentic documents 59 The interest of Great Britain considered, with regard to her colonies, and the acquisitions of Canada and Guadaloupe 89 Remarks and facts relative to the American paper-money 144 To the freemen of Pensylvania, on the subject of a particular militia-bill, rejected by the proprietor's deputy or governor 157 Preface by a member of the Pensylvanian assembly (Dr.
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Franklin in the late federal convention 416 PAPERS ON MORAL SUBJECTS AND THE ECONOMY OF LIFE.
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That the people in the colonies, who are to feel the immediate mischiefs of invasion and conquest by an enemy, in the loss of their estates, lives, and liberties, are likely to be better judges of the quantity of forces necessary to be raised and maintained, forts to be built and supported, and of their own abilities to bear the expence than the parliament of England, at so great a distance.
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_Secondly_, The representatives of the people in general assembly met, by virtue of the said royal grant, and the charter of privileges granted by the said William Penn, and a law of this province, have right to, and ought to enjoy all the powers and privileges of an assembly, according to the rights of the free-born subjects of England, and as is usual in any of the plantations in America: [also] it is an indubitable and now an incontested right of the commons of England, to _grant aids_ and supplies to his majesty in any manner they think most easy to themselves and the people; and they [also] are the sole judges of the _measure_, _manner and time_ of granting and raising the same.
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Their message concerning the excise and Indian trade bills; and his answer, that he would not recede from his amendments because of his proprietary instruction.
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While the French retain their influence over the Indians, they can easily keep our long extended frontier in continual alarm, by a very few of those people; and with a small number of regulars and militia, in such a country, we find they can keep an army of ours in full employ for several years.
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--At this very time, even the silver-money in England is obliged to the legal tender for part of its value; that part which is the difference between its real weight and its denomination.
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" Whereas in fact there were _nineteen_ of them, and several of those must have been good laws, for even the proprietaries did not object to them.
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_ I think it is not.
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It was not singular perhaps, that, as a man of honour, he should surrender his name to public scrutiny in order to prevent mischief to others, and yet not betray his coadjutor (even to the present moment) to relieve his own fame from the severest obloquy; but perhaps it belonged to few besides Dr.
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These contracts for apprentices are made before a magistrate, who regulates the agreement according to reason and justice, and, having in view the formation of a future useful citizen, obliges the master to engage by a written indenture, not only that, during the time of service stipulated, the apprentice shall be duly provided with meat, drink, apparel, washing, and lodging, and at its expiration with a complete new suit of clothes, but also, that he shall be taught to read, write, and cast accounts; and that he shall be well instructed in the art or profession of his master, or some other, by which he may afterwards gain a livelihood, and be able in his turn to raise a family.
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Be sober and temperate, and you will be healthy.
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She had masters to teach her writing, drawing, music, and other accomplishments; but if by chance I touched a pencil, a pen, or a needle, I was bitterly rebuked: and more than once I have been beaten for being aukward, and wanting a graceful manner.
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_May the God of wisdom, strength, and power, the Lord of the armies of Israel, inspire us with prudence in this time of danger, take away from us all the seeds of contention and division, and unite the hearts and counsels of all of us, of whatever sect or nation, in one bond of peace, brotherly love, and generous public spirit; may he give us strength and resolution to amend our lives, and remove from among us every thing that is displeasing to him; afford us his most gracious protection, confound the designs of our enemies, and give peace in all our borders, is the sincere prayer of_ A TRADESMAN of Philadelphia.
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assembly of, in 1766, how composed, 252.
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parody on the arguments in favour of, 450.