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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 66

all of them,
been obliged to call together their creditors. That he knew, from
undoubted fact, the circumstances which might lead us to suppose the
contrary, such as new buildings, and the advanced price of rent, to
be deceitful appearances, which, in reality, contributed to hasten
the general ruin; and he gave me so long a detail of misfortunes,
actually existing, or which were soon to take place, that he left me
almost in a state of despair. Had I known this man before I entered
into trade, I should doubtless never have ventured. He continued,
however, to live in this place of decay, and to declaim in the same
style, refusing for many years to buy a house because all was going
to wreck; and in the end I had the satisfaction to see him pay five
times as much for one as it would have cost him had he purchased it
when he first began his lamentations.

I ought to have related, that, during the autumn of the preceding
year, I had united the majority of well-informed persons of my
acquaintance into a club, which we called by the name of the _Junto_,
and the object of which was to improve our understandings. We met
every Friday evening. The regulations I drew up, obliged every member
to propose, in his turn, one or more questions upon some point of
morality, politics, or philosophy, which were to be discussed by
the society; and to read, once in three months, an essay of his
own composition, on whatever subject he pleased. Our debates were
under the direction of a president, and were to be dictated only by
a sincere desire of truth; the pleasure of disputing, and the vanity
of triumph having no share in the business; and in order to prevent
undue warmth, every expression which implied obstinate adherence to
an opinion, and all direct contradiction, were prohibited, under
small pecuniary penalties.

The first members of our club were Joseph Breintnal, whose occupation
was that of a scrivener. He was a middle-aged man, of a good natural
disposition, strongly attached to his friends, a great lover of
poetry, reading every thing that came in his way, and writing
tolerably well, ingenious in many little trifles, and of an agreeable

Thomas Godfrey, a skilful, though self-taught mathematician, and
who was afterwards the inventor of what now goes by the name of
Hadley's quadrant; but he had little knowledge out of his own line,
and was insupportable in company, always requiring, like the majority
of mathematicians that had fallen in my way, an unusual precision
in every thing that is

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 1 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

Page 7
It asserts the liberty of conscience, in behalf of the Anabaptists, the Quakers, and other sectarians that had been persecuted.
Page 11
He was a pious and prudent man; She a discreet and virtuous woman.
Page 14
I bought it, read it over and over, and was much delighted with it.
Page 23
I then asked for a threepenny loaf, and was told they had none.
Page 25
Keimer made verses too, but very indifferently.
Page 46
Page 53
Such a one there lived in Philadelphia, a person of note, an elderly man, with a wise look and a very grave manner of speaking; his name was Samuel Mickle.
Page 81
I crossed these columns with thirteen red lines, marking the beginning of each line with the first letter of one of the virtues; on which line, and in its proper column, I might mark, by a little black spot, every fault I found upon examination to have been committed respecting that virtue upon that day.
Page 96
Having heard that he had in his library a certain very scarce and curious book, I wrote a note to him, expressing my desire of perusing that book, and requesting that he would do me the favour of lending it to me for.
Page 111
He laughed and thanked me, and said he would take my advice.
Page 120
Quincy returned thanks to the Assembly in a handsome memorial, went home highly pleased with the success of his embassy, and ever after bore for me the most cordial and affectionate friendship.
Page 121
What those terms were will appear in the advertisement I published soon as I arrived at Lancaster; which being, from the great and sudden effect it produced, a piece of some curiosity, I shall insert it at length, as follows: "ADVERTISEMENT.
Page 136
His lectures were well-attended and gave great satisfaction; and, after some time, he went through the colonies, exhibiting them in every capital town, and picked up some money.
Page 147
[13] I set out immediately, with my son,[14] for London, and we only stopped a little by the way to view Stonehenge, on Salisbury Plain; and Lord Pembroke's house and gardens, with the very curious antiquities at Wilton.
Page 153
It has been of late.
Page 154
Page 159
The proprietaries were dissatisfied with the concessions made in favour of the people, and made great struggles to recover the privilege of exempting their estates from taxation, which they had been induced to give up.
Page 187
_ Just as they do this.
Page 194
Government here was at that time very sensible of this.
Page 199
_ Before there was any thought of the stamp-act, did they wish for a representation in Parliament? _A.