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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 22

whether they were competent to the study. Collins
supported the negative, and affirmed that the task was beyond their
capacity. I maintained the opposite opinion, a little perhaps for
the pleasure of disputing. He was naturally more eloquent than I;
words flowed copiously from his lips; and frequently I thought
myself vanquished, more by his volubility than by the force of his
arguments. We separated without coming to an agreement upon this
point, and as we were not to see each other again for some time, I
committed my thoughts to paper, made a fair copy, and sent it him.
He answered, and I replied. Three or four letters had been written
by each, when my father chanced to light upon my papers and read
them. Without entering into the merits of the cause, he embraced the
opportunity of speaking to me upon my manner of writing. He observed,
that though I had the advantage of my adversary in correct spelling
and pointing, which I owed to my occupation, I was greatly his
inferior in elegance of expression, in arrangement, and perspicuity.
Of this he convinced me by several examples. I felt the justice of
his remarks, became more attentive to language, and resolved to make
every effort to improve my style.

Amidst these resolves an odd volume of the Spectator fell into my
hands. This was a publication I had never seen. I bought the volume,
and read it again and again. I was enchanted with it, thought the
style excellent, and wished it were in my power to imitate it. With
this view I selected some of the papers, made short summaries of the
sense of each period, and put them for a few days aside. I then,
without looking at the book, endeavoured to restore the essays to
their due form, and to express each thought at length, as it was in
the original, employing the most appropriate words that occurred to
my mind. I afterwards compared my Spectator with the original; I
perceived some faults, which I corrected: but I found that I wanted
a fund of words, if I may so express myself, and a facility of
recollecting and employing them, which I thought I should by that
time have acquired, had I continued to make verses. The continual
need of words of the same meaning, but of different lengths for the
measure, or of different sounds for the rhyme, would have obliged me
to seek for a variety of synonymes, and have rendered me master of
them. From this belief, I took some of the tales of the Spectator and

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Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin Representative selections, with introduction, bibliograpy, and notes

Page 8
Trimmers (1743), 183 To the Publick (1743), 186 Preface to Logan's Translation of "Cato Major" (1743/4), 187 To John Franklin, at Boston (March 10, 1745), 188 Preface to _Poor Richard_ (1746), 189 The Speech of Polly Baker (1747), 190 Preface to _Poor Richard_ (1747), 193 To Peter Collinson (August 14, 1747), 194 Preface to _Poor Richard Improved_ (1748), 195 Advice to a Young Tradesman (1748), 196 To George Whitefield (July 6, 1749), .
Page 11
Page 40
The words used should be the most expressive that the language affords, provided that they are the most generally understood.
Page 80
Like Franklin, Wollaston saw Reason as "the great law of our nature.
Page 109
Page 150
_ New York; 1935.
Page 201
--Those who continu'd sotting with Beer all day, were often, by not paying, out of Credit at the Alehouse, and us'd to make Interest with me to get Beer, _their Light_, as they phras'd it, _being out_.
Page 218
-- I soon after obtain'd, thro' my Friend Hamilton, the Printing of the New Castle Paper Money, another profitable Jobb, as I then thought it; small Things appearing great to those in small Circumstances.
Page 239
I then undertook the Italian.
Page 303
_ Attend then, and you'll see the Reason of this Philosophical Self-denial.
Page 337
I always was, and still am willing to enter into it; and doubt not my behaving well in it, having all the industry, frugality, fertility, and skill in economy appertaining to a good wife's character.
Page 481
54 | 8 17 | 11 | 25 | | 7 | 1 46 | 9 1 | 12 | 26 | | 8 | 2 42 | 9 45 | 12 | 27 | | 9 | 3 42 | 10 30 | 1 | 28 | | 10 | 4 36 | 11 14 |.
Page 520
SIR, I return you the loose sheets of the plan, with thanks to your Excellency for communicating them.
Page 535
A mangled painful limb, which cannot be restored, we willingly cut off.
Page 660
If you have a mind to exercise or show your judgment, do it in playing your own game, when you have an opportunity, not in criticizing, or meddling with, or counselling the play of others.
Page 684
Containing 98 of Farmers killed in their Houses; Hoops red; Figure of a Hoe, to mark their Profession; great white Circle and Sun, to show they were surprised in the Daytime; a little red Foot, to show they stood upon their Defence, and died fighting for their Lives and Families.
Page 708
DEAR SIR, I received your very kind letter by Dr.
Page 738
Steele, a Protestant, in a dedication, tells the Pope, that the only difference between our two churches in their opinions of the certainty of their doctrine, is, the Romish Church is _infallible_, and the Church of England is _never in the wrong_.
Page 746
xiv, verse 3.
Page 780
2 vols.