The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 1 [of 3]

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 112

with his family, and a few friends who visited him, but
was often employed in doing business of a public as well as private
nature, with various persons who waited on him for that purpose; and
in every instance displayed, not only that readiness and disposition
of doing good, which was the distinguishing characteristic of his
life, but the fullest and clearest possession of his uncommon mental
abilities; and not unfrequently indulged himself in those _jeux
d'esprit_ and entertaining anecdotes, which were the delight of all
who heard him.

"About sixteen days before his death, he was seized with a feverish
indisposition, without any particular symptoms attending it, till
the third or fourth day, when he complained of a pain in the left
breast, which increased till it became extremely acute, attended
with a cough and laborious breathing. During this state, when the
severity of his pains sometimes drew forth a groan of complaint,
he would observe--that he was afraid he did not hear it as he
ought--acknowledged his grateful sense of the many blessings he had
received from the Supreme Being, who had raised him from small and
low beginnings to such high rank and consideration among men--and
made no doubt but his present afflictions were kindly intended to
wean him from a world, in which he was no longer fit to act the part
assigned him. In this frame of body and mind he continued till five
days before his death, when his pain and difficulty of breathing
entirely left him, and his family were flattering themselves with
the hopes of his recovery, when an imposthumation, which had formed
itself in his lungs, suddenly burst and discharged a great quantity
of matter, which he continued to throw up while he had sufficient
strength to do it, but, as that failed, the organs of respiration
became gradually oppressed--a calm lethargic state succeeded--and, on
the 17th of April, 1790, about eleven o'clock at night, he quietly
expired, closing a long and useful life of eighty-four years and
three months."

It may not be amiss to add to the above account, that Dr. Franklin,
in the year 1735, had a severe pleurisy, which terminated in an
abscess of the left lobe of his lungs, and he was then almost
suffocated with the quantity and suddenness of the discharge. A
second attack of a similar nature happened some years after this,
from which he soon recovered, and did not appear to suffer any
inconvenience in his respiration from these diseases.

The following epitaph on himself, was written by him many years
previous to his death:--




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Text Comparison with Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 15
They had got an English Bible, and to conceal and secure it, it was fastened open with tapes under and within the cover of a joint-stool.
Page 23
There was another bookish lad in the town, John Collins by name, with whom I was intimately acquainted.
Page 25
My brother and the rest going from the printing-house to their meals, I remained there alone, and, dispatching presently my light repast, which often was no more than a bisket or a slice of bread, a handful of raisins or a tart from the pastry-cook's, and a glass of water, had the rest of the time till their return for study, in which I made the greater progress, from that greater clearness of head and quicker apprehension which usually attend temperance in eating and drinking.
Page 29
sense for such performances was pretty well exhausted, and then I discovered[24] it, when I began to be considered a little more by my brother's acquaintance, and in a manner that did not quite please him, as he thought, probably with reason, that it tended to make me too vain.
Page 37
They had as mottoes "No Taxes" and "Liberty of Conscience.
Page 44
"Then," says he, "get yourself ready to go with Annis;" which was the annual ship, and the only one at that time usually passing between London and Philadelphia.
Page 45
Keimer wore his beard at full length, because somewhere in the Mosaic law it is said, "_Thou shalt not mar the corners of thy beard_.
Page 54
[Illustration: "I took to working at press"] Watts, after some weeks, desiring to have me in the composing-room,[43] I left the pressmen; a new bien venu or sum for drink, being five shillings, was demanded of me by the compositors.
Page 76
Franklin survived her.
Page 79
The books were imported; the library was opened one day in the week for lending to the subscribers, on their promissory notes to pay double the value if not duly returned.
Page 84
_Resolution_, once become habitual, would keep me firm in my endeavours to obtain all the subsequent virtues; _Frugality_ and Industry freeing me from my remaining debt, and producing affluence and independence, would make more easy the practice of Sincerity and Justice, etc.
Page 93
When another asserted something that I thought an error, I deny'd myself the pleasure of contradicting him abruptly, and of showing immediately some absurdity in his proposition; and in answering I began by observing that in certain cases or circumstances his opinion would be right, but in the present case there _appear'd_ or _seem'd_ to me some difference, etc.
Page 94
] [_"I am now about to write at home, August, 1788, but cannot have the help expected from my papers, many of them being lost in the war.
Page 105
As we play'd pretty equally, we thus beat one another into that language.
Page 107
[Illustration: "Our former differences were forgotten, and our meeting was very cordial and affectionate"] In 1736 I lost one of my sons, a fine boy of four years old, by the small-pox, taken in the common way.
Page 119
They were unwilling to offend government, on the one hand, by a direct refusal; and their friends, the.
Page 127
The country members did not at first relish the project; they objected that it could only be serviceable to the city, and therefore the citizens alone should be at the expense of it; and they doubted whether the citizens themselves generally approv'd of it.
Page 139
He landed at Alexandria, in Virginia, and thence march'd to Frederictown, in Maryland, where he halted for carriages.
Page 143
1 bottle flour of mustard.
Page 151
"_ This kind of fort, however contemptible, is a sufficient defense against Indians, who have no cannon.