The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 71

important to shew that such have really influenced; and, as your
own character will be the principal one to receive a scrutiny, it is
proper (even for its effects upon your vast and rising country, as well
as upon England and upon Europe) that it should stand respectable and
eternal. For the furtherance of human happiness, I have always
maintained that it is necessary to prove that man is not even at
present a vicious and detestable animal; and still more to prove that
good management may greatly amend him; and it is for much the same
reason, that I am anxious to see the opinion established, that there
are fair characters existing among the individuals of the race; for the
moment that all men, without exception, shall be conceived abandoned,
good people will cease efforts deemed to be hopeless, and perhaps think
of taking their share in the scramble of life, or at least of making it
comfortable principally for themselves. Take then, my dear sir, this
work most speedily into hand: shew yourself good as you are good;
temperate as you are temperate; and above all things, prove yourself as
one, who from your infancy have loved justice, liberty and concord, in
a way that has made it natural and consistent for you to have acted, as
we have seen you act in the last seventeen years of your life. Let
Englishmen be made not only to respect, but even to love you. When
they think well of individuals in your native country, they will go
nearer to thinking well of your country; and when your countrymen see
themselves well thought of by Englishmen, they will go nearer to
thinking well of England. Extend your views even further; do not stop
at those who speak the English tongue, but after having settled so many
points in nature and politics, think of bettering the whole race of
men. As I have not read any part of the life in question, but know
only the character that lived it, I write somewhat at hazard. I am
sure, however, that the life and the treatise I allude to (on the Art
of Virtue) will necessarily fulfil the chief of my expectations; and
still more so if you take up the measure of suiting these performances
to the several views above stated. Should they even prove unsuccessful
in all that a sanguine admirer of yours hopes from them, you will at
least have framed pieces to interest the human mind; and whoever gives
a feeling of pleasure

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Text Comparison with 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

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Veillard .
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He that idly loses five shillings' worth of time, loses five shillings, and might as prudently throw five shillings into the sea.
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First, let honesty and industry be thy constant companions; and, Secondly, spend one penny less than thy clear gains.
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He looks upon his fellow-creatures who died about noon to be happily delivered from the many inconveniences of old age; and can, perhaps, recount to his great grandson a surprising tradition of actions before any records of their nation were extant.
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He has for several ages advanced along the sky with vast heat and unparalleled brightness; but now, by his declination and a sensible decay, more especially of late, in his vigour, I foresee that all nature must fall in a little time, and that the creation will lie buried in darkness in less than a century of minutes.
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" * * * * * _To Messieurs the Public.
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[7] England in 1766 Excuse me, Messieurs the Public, if upon this _interesting_ subject I put you to the trouble of reading a little of _my_ nonsense; I am sure I have lately read a great deal of _yours_, and therefore, from you (at least from those of you who are writers) I.
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Is there any proportion between the injury done by a theft, value fourteen shillings and threepence, and the punishment of a human creature, by death, on a gibbet? Might not that woman, by her labour, have made the reparation ordained by God in paying fourfold? Is not all punishment inflicted beyond the merit of the offence, so much punishment of innocence? In this light, how vast is the annual quantity of not only _injured_, but _suffering_ innocence, in almost all the civilized states of Europe! But it seems to have been thought that this kind of innocence may be punished by way of _preventing crimes_.
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I fear it will be a mischievous one.
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_ "London, February 21, 1769.
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I have been engaged in public affairs, and enjoyed public confidence in some shape or other during the long term of fifty years, an honour sufficient to satisfy any reasonable ambition, and I have no other left but that of repose, which I hope the Congress will grant me by sending some person to supply my place.
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Our friendship has been all clear sunshine, without the least cloud in its hemisphere.
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His younger brothers and sisters are also all promising, appearing to have good tempers and dispositions, as well as good constitutions.
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a virtuous life without the assistance afforded by religion; you having a clear perception of the advantages of virtue and the disadvantages of vice, and possessing a strength of resolution sufficient to enable you to resist common temptations.
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_ Experiments made in electricity first gave philosophers a suspicion that the matter of lightning was the same with the electric matter.
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The distance at which a body charged with this fluid will discharge itself suddenly, striking through the air into another body that is not charged or not so highly charged, is different according to the quantity of the fluid, the dimensions and form of the bodies themselves, and the state of the air between them.
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1, with quantities of drops, and vapour torn off from the column W W, fig.
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It has been proposed by philosophical writers, that to compute how much water any river discharges into the sea in a given time, we should measure its depth and swiftness at any part above the tide: as for the Thames, at Kingston or Windsor.
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In less than three hours, two of them began by degrees to recover life.
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179 passons --> (left as published) 8.