The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 80

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I determined to give a week's strict attention to each of the virtues
successively. Thus, in the first week, my great guard was to avoid
every the least offence against Temperance, leaving the other virtues
to their ordinary chance, only marking every evening the faults of the
day. Thus, if in the first week I could keep my first line, marked T,
clear of spots, I suppos'd the habit of that virtue so much
strengthen'd and its opposite weaken'd, that I might venture extending
my attention to include the next, and for the following week keep both
lines clear of spots. Proceeding thus to the last, I could go thro' a
course compleat in thirteen weeks, and four courses in a year. And
like him who, having a garden to weed, does not attempt to eradicate
all the bad herbs at once, which would exceed his reach and his
strength, but works on one of the beds at a time, and, having
accomplish'd the first, proceeds to a second, so I should have, I
hoped, the encouraging pleasure of seeing on my pages the progress I
made in virtue, by clearing successively my lines of their spots, till
in the end, by a number of courses, I should be happy in viewing a
clean book, after a thirteen weeks' daily examination.

This my little book had for its motto these lines from Addison's Cato:

"Here will I hold. If there's a power above us
(And that there is all nature cries aloud
Thro' all her works), He must delight in virtue;
And that which he delights in must be happy."

Another from Cicero,

"O vitae Philosophia dux! O virtutum indagatrix
expultrixque vitiorum! Unus dies, bene et ex praeceptis
tuis actus, peccanti immortalitati est anteponendus."

Another from the Proverbs of Solomon, speaking of wisdom or virtue:

"Length of days is in her right hand, and in her left hand

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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 1
Letter to the same, on the subject of uniting the colonies more intimately with Great Britain, by allowing them representatives in parliament 37 Plan for settling two Western colonies in North America, with reasons for the plan, 1754 41 Report of the committee of aggrievances of the assembly of Pensylvania, dated Feb.
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4 New Jerseys 3 Pennsylvania 6 Maryland 4 Virginia 7 North Carolina 4 South Carolina 4 ---- .
Page 23
Page 73
No considerable advantage has resulted to the colonies by the conquests of this war, or can result from confirming them by the peace, but what they must enjoy in common with the rest of the British people; with this evident drawback from their share of these advantages, that they will necessarily lessen, or at least prevent the increase of the value of what makes the principal part of their private property [their land].
Page 86
--For the increase of our _trade to those colonies_, I refer to the accounts frequently laid before Parliament, by the officers of the customs, and to the custom-house books: from which I have also selected one account, that of the trade from England (exclusive of Scotland) to Pensylvania[46]; a colony most remarkable for the plain frugal manner of living of its inhabitants, and the most suspected of carrying on manufactures, on account of the number of German artizans, who are known to have transplanted themselves into that country; though even these, in truth, when they come there, generally apply themselves to agriculture, as the surest support and most advantageous employment.
Page 96
Add to this, that the English have fixed settled habitations, the easiest and shortest passages to which the Indians, by constantly hunting in the woods, are perfectly well acquainted with; whereas the English know little or nothing of the Indian country, nor of the passages through the woods that lead to it.
Page 114
A fine, that the assembly had made one hundred pounds, and thought heavy enough, the governor required to be three hundred pounds.
Page 141
petition proceeds to say, "that where such disturbances have happened, they have been _speedily quieted_.
Page 152
You were appointed on the committee for examining my accounts; you reported, that you found them just, and signed that report.
Page 160
_ The waves never rise but when the winds blow.
Page 211
And if the person of any subject within the said colonies and plantations _should_ be seized or detained by any power issuing from any court, without the jurisdiction of the colony where he then had his legal resiancy, it would become the duty of the courts of justice _within_ such colony (it is undoubtedly of their jurisdiction so to do) to issue the writ of _habeas corpus_[111].
Page 250
thereby, we imagine, many inconveniences may be avoided, and your means of rendering us service, increased.
Page 255
With the greatest and most sincere respect, I have the honour to be, My lord, Your lordship's most obedient, humble servant, B.
Page 292
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The lions complained of shall be muzzled.
Page 313
" "Get what you can, and what you get hold, 'Tis the stone that will turn all your lead into gold.
Page 369
I wish old England were as happy in its government, but I do not see it.
Page 372
You are now 78, and I am 82.
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