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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 12

its circumstances, and,
to render their remembrance more durable, commit them to writing. By
thus employing myself, I shall yield to the inclination, so natural
in old men, to talk of themselves and their exploits, and may freely
follow my bent, without being tiresome to those who, from respect
to my age, might think themselves obliged to listen to me; as they
will be at liberty to read me or not as they please. In fine--and I
may as well avow it, since nobody would believe me were I to deny
it--I shall perhaps, by this employment, gratify my vanity. Scarcely
indeed have I ever read or heard the introductory phrase, "_I may
say without vanity_," but some striking and characteristic instance
of vanity has immediately followed. The generality of men hate
vanity in others, however strongly they may be tinctured with it
themselves: for myself, I pay obeisance to it wherever I meet with
it, persuaded that it is advantageous, as well to the individual whom
it governs, as to those who are within the sphere of its influence.
Of consequence, it would in many cases, not be wholly absurd, that a
man should count his vanity among the other sweets of life, and give
thanks to providence for the blessing.

And here let me with all humility acknowledge, that to divine
providence I am indebted for the felicity I have hitherto enjoyed.
It is that power alone which has furnished me with the means I
have employed, and that has crowned them with success. My faith in
this respect leads me to hope, though I cannot count upon it, that
the divine goodness will still be exercised towards me, either by
prolonging the duration of my happiness to the close of life, or by
giving me fortitude to support any melancholy reverse, which may
happen to me, as to so many others. My future fortune is unknown
but to Him in whose hand is our destiny, and who can make our very
afflictions subservient to our benefit.

One of my uncles, desirous, like myself, of collecting anecdotes
of our family, gave me some notes, from which I have derived many
particulars respecting our ancestors. From these I learn, that
they had lived in the same village (Eaton in Northamptonshire,)
upon a freehold of about thirty acres, for the space at least of
three hundred years. How long they had resided there prior to that
period, my uncle had been unable to discover; probably ever since
the institution of surnames, when they took the appellation of
Franklin, which had formerly been the name of a particular order

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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 111
be considered as a depreciation of the values of _whatever remains_ in the country; then the rising of silver above paper to that height of additional value, which its capability of exportation only gave it, may be called a depreciation of the paper.
Page 121
"In the course of the present year (says he, in his message of July 8, 1763) a great deal of public business hath been transacted by me, and I believe as many useful laws enacted, as by any of my predecessors in the same space of time: yet I have not understood that any allowance hath hitherto been made to me for my support, as hath been customary in this province.
Page 135
then protect the sheep, if they can but persuade them to give up their dogs? Yes; the assembly would destroy all their own rights, and those of the people; and the proprietary partizans are become the champions for liberty! Let those who have faith now make use of it: for if it is rightly defined, the evidence of things not seen, certainly never was there more occasion for such evidence, the case being totally destitute of all other.
Page 175
_ Do you know whether there are any post-roads on that island? _A.
Page 176
I believe very little would come back.
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_ Does this reasoning hold in the case of a duty laid.
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(See the Journals of the House of Commons.
Page 221
This was trumpeted here by the minister for the colonies as a triumph; there it was considered only as a decent and equitable measure, showing a willingness to meet the mother-country in every advance towards a reconciliation; and this disposition to a good understanding was so prevalent, that possibly they might soon have relaxed in the article of tea also.
Page 231
In the first place, gentlemen, you are to consider, that a great empire, like a great cake, is most easily diminished at the edges.
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If others are justly complained of, protect and reward them.
Page 315
It is a mistake that many people who have credit fall into.
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He, who plucks out a tooth, parts with it freely, since the pain goes with it: and he, who quits the whole body, parts at once with all pains, and possibilities of pains and diseases, it was liable to, or capable of making him suffer.
Page 348
The galling chains, that bind his body, do also fetter his intellectual faculties, and impair the social affections of his heart.
Page 356
But are these the sentiments of true Pensylvanians, of fellow-countrymen, or even of men, that have common sense or goodness? Is not the whole province one body, united by living under the same laws, and enjoying the same privileges? Are not the people of city and country connected as relations, both by blood and marriage, and in friendships equally dear? Are they not likewise united in interest, and mutually useful and necessary to each other? When the feet are wounded, shall the head say, it is not me; I will not trouble myself to contrive relief! Or if the head is in danger, shall the hands say, we are not affected, and therefore will lend no assistance! No.
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The _honour_ and _humanity_ of their officers may be judged of, by the treatment they gave poor captain Brown, whom they took with Martin's ship in returning from their cruize.
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They are the servants of the people, sent together to do the people's business and promote the public welfare; their powers must be sufficient, or their duties cannot be performed.
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169, 170.