The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 91

my newspaper, also, as another means of communicating
instruction, and in that view frequently reprinted in it extracts from
the Spectator, and other moral writers; and sometimes publish'd little
pieces of my own, which had been first compos'd for reading in our
Junto. Of these are a Socratic dialogue, tending to prove that,
whatever might be his parts and abilities, a vicious man could not
properly be called a man of sense; and a discourse on self-denial,
showing that virtue was not secure till its practice became a habitude,
and was free from the opposition of contrary inclinations. These may
be found in the papers about the beginning of 1735.

In the conduct of my newspaper, I carefully excluded all libelling and
personal abuse, which is of late years become so disgraceful to our
country. Whenever I was solicited to insert anything of that kind, and
the writers pleaded, as they generally did, the liberty of the press,
and that a newspaper was like a stagecoach, in which any one who would
pay had a right to a place, my answer was, that I would print the piece
separately if desired, and the author might have as many copies as he
pleased to distribute himself, but that I would not take upon me to
spread his detraction; and that, having contracted with my subscribers
to furnish them with what might be either useful or entertaining, I
could not fill their papers with private altercation, in which they had
no concern, without doing them manifest injustice. Now, many of our
printers make no scruple of gratifying the malice of individuals by
false accusations of the fairest characters among ourselves, augmenting
animosity even to the producing of duels; and are, moreover, so
indiscreet as to print scurrilous reflections on the government of
neighboring states, and even on the conduct of our best national
allies, which may be attended with the most pernicious consequences.
These things I mention as a caution to young printers, and that they
may be encouraged not to pollute their presses and disgrace their
profession by such infamous practices, but refuse steadily, as they may
see by my example that such a course of conduct will not, on the whole,
be injurious to their interests.

In 1733 I sent one of my journeymen to Charleston, South Carolina,
where a printer was wanting. I furnish'd him with a press and letters,
on an agreement of partnership, by which I was to receive one-third of
the profits of the business, paying one-third of the expense. He was a
man of learning, and

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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

Page 13
* * * * * THE WAY TO WEALTH, _As dearly shown in the practice of an old Pennsylvania Almanac, entitled, "Poor Richard Improved.
Page 16
_ _If you would be wealthy, think of saving as well as of getting.
Page 38
Excess in all other things whatever, as well as in meat and drink, is also to be avoided.
Page 42
Adieu, my dear friend, and believe me ever yours very sincerely and with unalterable affection, .
Page 44
It is, therefore, not lost.
Page 49
Whereas he who is a votary of truth never hesitates for an answer, has never to rack his invention to make the sequel quadrate with the beginning of his story, nor obliged to burden his memory with minute circumstances, since truth speaks easily what it recollects, and repeats openly and frequently without varying facts, which liars cannot always do, even though gifted with a good memory.
Page 55
Creatures only endowed with sensation may in a low sense be reputed happy, so long as their sensations are pleasing; and if these pleasing sensations are commensurate with the time of their existence, this measure of happiness is complete.
Page 65
, a prince mighty in politics, procured that act to be passed whereby the jurisdiction of the Star Chamber was confirmed and extended.
Page 68
This fact was discovered to the world by Dr.
Page 78
For should he inadvertently go abroad and leave the key in his door, the housemaid, who is always on the watch for such an opportunity, immediately enters in triumph with buckets, brooms, and brushes; takes possession of the premises, and forthwith puts all his books and papers _to rights_, to his utter confusion and sometimes serious detriment.
Page 85
The United States of America, though better situated than any European nation to make profit by privateering (most of the trade of Europe with the West Indies passing before their doors), are, as far as in them lies, endeavouring to abolish the practice, by offering, in all their treaties with other powers, an article, engaging solemnly that, in case of future war, no privateer shall be commissioned on either side; and that unarmed merchant ships on both sides shall pursue their voyages unmolested.
Page 96
Page 104
I know none whose knowledge, sagacity, and impartiality qualify him so thoroughly for such a service as yours do you.
Page 107
In the mean time, every act of oppression will sour their tempers, lessen greatly, if not annihilate, the profits of your commerce with them, and hasten their final revolt; for the seeds of liberty are universally found there, and nothing can eradicate them.
Page 113
the friends of America were run upon and hurt by them, and how much the Grenvillians triumphed.
Page 118
Page 121
I know nothing of the price of living in either of those places; but I am sure a single woman as you are might, with economy, upon two hundred pounds a year, maintain herself comfortably anywhere, and me into the bargain.
Page 149
SIR, "I received your kind letter with your excellent advice to the people of the United States, which I read with great pleasure, and hope it will be duly regarded.
Page 197
A small quantity of metal is found able to conduct a great quantity of this fluid.
Page 224
The sun raises the vapours from the sea, which form clouds, and fall in rain upon the land, and springs and rivers are formed of that rain.