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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 67

said, continually contradicting, or making
trifling distinctions; a sure way of defeating all the ends of
conversation. He very soon left us.

Nicholas Scull, a surveyor, and who became afterwards,
surveyor-general. He was fond of books, and wrote verses.

William Parsons, brought up to the trade of a shoe-maker, but who,
having a taste for reading, had acquired a profound knowledge of
mathematics. He first studied them with a view to astrology, and
was, afterwards, the first to laugh at his folly. He also became

William Mawgridge, a joiner, and very excellent mechanic; and in
other respects a man of solid understanding.

Hugh Meredith, Stephen Potts, and George Webb, of whom I have already

Robert Grace, a young man of fortune; generous, animated, and witty;
fond of epigrams, but more fond of his friends.

And lastly, William Coleman, at that time a merchant's clerk, and
nearly of my own age. He had a cooler and clearer head, a better
heart, and more scrupulous morals, than almost any other person
I have ever met with. He became a very respectable merchant, and
one of our provincial judges. Our friendship subsisted, without
interruption, for more than forty years, till the period of his
death; and the club continued to exist almost as long.

This was the best school of politics and philosophy that then existed
in the province; for our questions, which were read a week previous
to their discussion, induced us to peruse attentively such books
as were written upon the subjects proposed, that we might be able
to speak upon them more pertinently. We thus acquired the habit of
conversing more agreeably; every object being discussed conformably
to our regulations, and in a manner to prevent mutual disgust. To
this circumstance may be attributed the long duration of the club;
which I shall have frequent occasion to mention as I proceed.

I have introduced it here, as being one of the means on which I had
to count for success in my business, every member exerting himself
to procure work for us. Breintnal, among others, obtained for us,
on the part of the Quakers, the printing of forty sheets of their
history; of which the rest was to be done by Keimer. Our execution
of this work was by no means masterly; as the price was very low.
It was in folio, upon _pro patria_ paper, and in the _pica_ letter,
with heavy notes in the smallest type. I composed a sheet a-day, and
Meredith put it to the press. It was frequently eleven o'clock at
night, sometimes later, before I had finished my distribution for the
next day's task;

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Text Comparison with Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 0
Page 14
I will give you what account I can of them at this distance from my papers, and if these are not lost in my absence, you will among them find many more particulars.
Page 29
But my brother was passionate, and had often beaten me, which I took extreamly amiss; and, thinking my apprenticeship very tedious, I was continually wishing for some opportunity of shortening it, which at length offered in a manner unexpected.
Page 42
Collins wished to be employ'd in some counting-house; but, whether they discover'd his dramming by his breath, or by his behaviour, tho' he had some recommendations, he met with no success in any application, and continu'd lodging and boarding at the same house with me, and at my expense.
Page 64
The latter was a shrewd, sagacious old man, who told me that he began for himself, when young, by wheeling clay for brick-makers, learned to write after he was of age, carri'd the chain for surveyors, who taught him surveying, and he had now by his industry,.
Page 67
The rules that I drew up required that every member, in his turn, should produce one or more queries on any point of Morals, Politics, or Natural Philosophy, to be discuss'd by the company; and once in three months produce and read an essay of his own writing, on any subject he pleased.
Page 76
Page 95
Most of these are lost; but I find one purporting to be the substance of an intended creed, containing, as I thought, the essentials of every known religion, and being free of everything that might shock the professors of any religion.
Page 108
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 he would do me the favour of lending it to me for a few days.
Page 110
The utility of this institution soon appeared, and many more desiring to be admitted than we thought convenient for one company, they were advised to form another, which was accordingly done; and this went on, one new company being formed after another, till they became so numerous as to include most of the inhabitants who were men of property; and now, at the time of my writing this, tho' upward of fifty years since its establishment, that which I first formed, called the Union Fire Company, still subsists and flourishes, tho' the first members are all deceas'd but myself and one, who is older by a year than I am.
Page 129
Our city, tho' laid out with a beautiful regularity, the streets large, straight, and crossing each other at right angles, had the disgrace of suffering those streets to remain long unpav'd, and in wet weather the wheels of heavy carriages plough'd them into a quagmire, so that it was difficult to cross them; and in dry weather the dust was offensive.
Page 137
[Illustration: "One afternoon, in the height of this public quarrel, we met in the street"] One afternoon, in the height of this public quarrel, we met in the street.
Page 138
But the governor refusing his assent to their bill (which included this with other sums granted for the use of the crown), unless a clause were inserted exempting the proprietary estate from bearing any part of the tax that would be necessary, the Assembly, tho' very desirous of making their grant to New England effectual, were at a loss how to accomplish it.
Page 139
Our Assembly apprehending, from some information, that he had conceived violent prejudices against them, as averse to the service, wish'd me to wait upon him, not as from them, but as postmaster-general, under the guise of proposing to settle with him the mode of conducting with most celerity and certainty the despatches between him and the governors of the several provinces, with whom he must necessarily have continual correspondence, and of which they propos'd to pay the expense.
Page 150
While these were preparing, our other men dug a trench all round, of three feet deep, in which the palisades were to be planted; and, our waggons, the bodies being taken off, and the fore and hind wheels separated by taking out the pin which united the two parts of the perch,[105] we had ten carriages, with two horses each, to bring the palisades from the woods to the spot.
Page 153
I was at their church, where I was entertain'd with good musick, the organ being accompanied with violins, hautboys, flutes, clarinets, etc.
Page 163
Under his able administration, England won Canada from France.
Page 166
Kennedy thereupon examin'd rigorously the log-line, and, being satisfi'd with that, he determin'd to throw the log himself.
Page 180
Page 182
it is likely that they who desire to acquaint themselves with any particular Art or Science, would gladly have the whole before them in a much less Time, we believe our Readers will not think such a Method of communicating Knowledge to be a proper One.