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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 43

only occasionally to
my vegetable plan. How convenient does it prove to be a _rational
animal_, that knows how to find or invent a plausible pretext for
whatever it has an inclination to do!

I continued to live upon good terms with Keimer, who had not the
smallest suspicion of my projected establishment. He still retained
a portion of his former enthusiasm; and, being fond of argument, we
frequently disputed together. I was so much in the habit of using my
Socratic method, and had so frequently puzzled him by my questions,
which appeared at first very distant from the point in debate, yet
nevertheless led to it by degrees, involving him in difficulties and
contradictions from which he was unable to extricate himself, that he
became at last ridiculously cautious, and would scarcely answer the
most plain and familiar question without previously asking me--What
would you infer from that? Hence he formed so high an opinion of my
talents for refutation, that he seriously proposed to me to become
his colleague in the establishment of a new religious sect. He was to
propagate the doctrine by preaching, and I to refute every opponent.

When he explained to me his tenets, I found many absurdities which
I refused to admit, unless he would agree in turn to adopt some of
my opinions. Keimer wore his beard long, because Moses had somewhere
said, "Thou shalt not mar the corners of thy beard." He likewise
observed the Sabbath; and these were with him two very essential
points. I disliked them both: but I consented to adopt them,
provided he would agree to abstain from animal food. I doubt, said
he, whether my constitution will be able to support it. I assured
him on the contrary he would find himself the better for it. He was
naturally a glutton, and I wished to amuse myself by starving him. He
consented to make trial of this regimen, if I would bear him company;
and in reality we continued it for three months. A woman in the
neighbourhood prepared and brought us our victuals, to whom I gave a
list of forty dishes; in the composition of which there were entered
neither flesh nor fish. This fancy was the more agreeable to me as it
turned to good account; for the whole expence of our living did not
exceed for each eighteen pence a week.

I have since that period observed several Lents with the greatest
strictness, and have suddenly returned again to my ordinary diet,
without experiencing the smallest inconvenience; which has led me to
regard as of no importance the advice

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Text Comparison with Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 3
PAGE Portrait of Franklin vii Pages 1 and 4 of _The Pennsylvania Gazette_, Number XL, the first number after Franklin took control xxi First page of _The New England Courant_ of December 4-11, 1721 33 "I was employed to carry the papers thro' the streets to the customers" 36 "She, standing at the door, saw me, and thought I made, as I certainly did, a most awkward, ridiculous appearance" 48 "I took to working at press" 88 "I see him still at work when I go home from club" 120 Two pages from _Poor Richard's Almanac_ for 1736 .
Page 4
Page 10
The first edition of the _Autobiography_ was published in French at Paris in 1791.
Page 12
Most people dislike vanity in others, whatever share they have of it themselves; but I give it fair quarter wherever I meet with it, being persuaded that it is often productive of good to the possessor, and to others that are within.
Page 20
Without an estate, or any gainful employment, By constant labor and industry, with God's blessing, They maintained a large family comfortably, and brought up thirteen children and seven grandchildren reputably.
Page 26
While I was intent on improving my language, I met with an English grammar (I think it was Greenwood's), at the end of which there were two little sketches of the arts of rhetoric and logic, the latter finishing with a specimen of a dispute in the Socratic[21] method; and soon after I procur'd Xenophon's Memorable Things of Socrates, wherein there are many instances of the same method.
Page 42
Knowing I had that money of Vernon's, he was continually borrowing of me, still promising repayment as soon as he should be in business.
Page 58
Denham among the tradesmen to purchase various articles, and seeing them pack'd up, doing errands, calling upon workmen to dispatch, etc.
Page 84
Conceiving then, that, agreeably to the advice of Pythagoras[67] in his Golden Verses, daily examination would be necessary, I contrived the following method for conducting that examination.
Page 92
I purposed writing a little comment on each virtue, in which I would have shown the advantages of possessing it, and the mischiefs attending its opposite vice; and I should have called my book The Art of Virtue,[72] because it would have shown the means and manner of obtaining virtue, which would have distinguished it from the mere exhortation to be good, that does not instruct and indicate the means, but is like the apostle's man of verbal charity, who only without showing to the naked and hungry how or where they might get clothes or victuals, exhorted them to be fed and clothed.
Page 105
I afterwards with a little painstaking, acquir'd as much of the Spanish as to read their books also.
Page 110
This was much spoken of as a useful piece, and gave rise to a project, which soon followed it, of forming a company for the more ready extinguishing of fires, and mutual assistance in removing and securing of goods when in danger.
Page 134
[Illustration: JOIN, or DIE.
Page 137
Page 140
All oats, Indian corn, or other forage that waggons or horses bring to the camp, more than is necessary for the subsistence of the horses, is to be taken for the use of the army,.
Page 157
A copy of them happening to fall into the hands of the Count de Buffon,[108] a philosopher deservedly of great reputation in France, and, indeed, all over Europe, he prevailed with M.
Page 167
Besides, it scarce ever happens that a ship is form'd, fitted for the sea, and sail'd by the same person.
Page 178
Page 186
The three Spanish Men of War of 50 to 60 Guns each, which carried the Spanish Cardinals to Italy, are now at Alicant: It is said they are to join the Dutch Vice-Admiral, who is now in this Bay with four Ships of his Squadron of 50 Guns each, and cruize against the Algerines.
Page 188
We can by no means penetrate into the Designs of the Czar; who, notwithstanding 'tis confidently written that the Peace between him and Sweden is as good as concluded, hath a Fleet of thirty Men of War and two hundred Galleys at Sea near Aland.