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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 27

very ill part. This severe and tyrannical treatment
contributed, I believe, to imprint on my mind that aversion to
arbitrary power, which during my whole life I have ever preserved. My
apprenticeship became insupportable to me, and I continually sighed
for an opportunity of shortening it, which at length unexpectedly

An article inserted in our paper, upon some political subject which
I have now forgotten, gave offence to the assembly. My brother was
taken into custody, censured, and ordered into confinement for a
month, because, as I presume, he would not discover the author. I was
also taken up, and examined before the council; but though I gave
them no satisfaction, they contented themselves with reprimanding,
and then dismissed me; considering me probably as bound, in quality
of apprentice, to keep my master's secrets.

The imprisonment of my brother kindled my resentment, notwithstanding
our private quarrels. During its continuance, the management of the
paper was entrusted to me, and I was bold enough to insert some
pasquinades against the governors, which highly pleased my brother,
while others began to look upon me in an unfavourable point of view,
considering me as a young wit inclined to satire and lampoon.

My brother's enlargement was accompanied with an arbitrary order
from the house of the assembly, "That James Franklin should no
longer print the newspaper entitled 'The New England Courant.'"
In this conjuncture, we held a consultation of our friends at the
printing-house, in order to determine what was proper to be done.
Some proposed to evade the order, by changing the title of the paper:
but my brother, foreseeing inconveniences that would result from this
step, thought it better that it should be in future printed in the
name of Benjamin Franklin; and to avoid the censure of the assembly,
who might charge him with still printing the paper himself under
the name of his apprentice, it was resolved that my old indentures
should be given up to me, with a full and entire discharge written
on the back, in order to be produced upon an emergency; but that, to
secure to my brother the benefit of my service, I should sign a new
contract, which should be kept secret during the remainder of the
term. This was a very shallow arrangement. It was, however, carried
into immediate execution, and the paper continued, in consequence,
to make its appearance for some months in my name. At length a new
difference arising between my brother and me, I ventured to take
advantage of my liberty, presuming that he would not dare to produce
the new contract. It was undoubtedly dishonourable to

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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

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Page 19
However, I resolved to be the better for the echo of it; and, though I had at first determined to buy stuff for a new coat, I went away resolved to wear my old one a little longer.
Page 35
He will now be sensible of the difference between the part exposed to the air and that which, remaining sunk in the bed, denies the air access; for this part now manifests its uneasiness more distinctly by the comparison, and the seat of the uneasiness is more plainly perceived than when the whole surface of the body was affected by it.
Page 40
I have lived seven of those hours, a great age, being no less than four hundred and twenty minutes of time.
Page 65
The subjects were terrified from uttering their griefs while they saw the thunder of the Star Chamber pointed at their heads.
Page 67
Religion was sneered out of countenance, and public spirit ridiculed as an awkward oldfashioned virtue; the fine gentleman of the comedy, though embroidered over with wit, was a consummate debauchee; and a fine lady, though set off with a brilliant imagination, was an impudent coquette.
Page 69
He denied that _scribere est agere_, but allowed that writing and publishing is to act (_Scribere et publicare est agere_), and therefore he urged that, as his book had never been published nor imparted to any person, it could not be an overt act, within the statutes of treasons, even admitting that it contained treasonable positions; that, on the contrary, it was a _covert fact_, locked up in his private study, as much concealed from the knowledge of any man as if it were locked up in the author's mind.
Page 76
A valuable picture is placed leaning against the sharp corner of a table, others are made to lean against that, until the pressure of the whole forces the corner of the table through the canvass of the first.
Page 80
de la Declaration sur le Vol_.
Page 105
"Now, waving that point of right, and supposing the legislatures in America subordinate to the legislatures of Great Britain, one might conceive, I think, a power in the superior legislature to forbid the inferior legislatures making particular laws; but to enjoin it to make a particular law, contrary to its own judgment, seems improper; an assembly or parliament not being an _executive_ officer of government, whose duty it is, in law-making, to obey orders, but a _deliberative_ body, who are to consider what comes before them, its propriety, practicability, or possibility, and to determine accordingly; the very nature of a parliament seems to be destroyed by supposing it may be bound and compelled by a law of a superior parliament to make a law contrary to its own judgment.
Page 116
If I find a reason _pro_ equal to some _two_ reasons _con_ I strike out the _three_.
Page 124
"My vanity might possibly be flattered by your expressions of compliment to my understanding, if your proposals did not more clearly manifest a mean opinion of it.
Page 129
Ingenhausz, who brought it, having stayed long in Holland.
Page 133
"DEAR SIR, "I am glad the little book[23] proved acceptable.
Page 139
After so long a silence, and the long continuance of its unfortunate causes, a line from you was a prognostic of happier times approaching, when we may converse and communicate freely, without danger from the malevolence of men enraged by the ill-success of their distracted projects.
Page 143
[29] Benjamin Franklin Bache, a grandson of Dr.
Page 150
" * * * * * "_To William Strahan, M.
Page 191
Sloane informs us, expect one every year.
Page 195
* * * * * _Of Lightning; and the Methods now used in America for the securing Buildings and Persons from its mischievous Effects.
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