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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 76

many debts, for the payment of which his successor might be sued. We
ventured, nevertheless, in spite of all these difficulties; and I
married her on the 1st of September, 1730. None of the inconveniences
we had feared happened to us. She proved to me a good and faithful
companion, and contributed essentially to the success of my shop. We
prospered together, and it was our mutual study to render each other
happy. Thus I corrected, as well as I could, this great error of my

Our club was not at that time established at a tavern. We held our
meetings at the house of Mr. Grace, who appropriated a room to
the purpose. Some member observed one day, that as our books were
frequently quoted in the course of our discussions, it would be
convenient to have them collected in the room in which we assembled,
in order to be consulted upon occasion; and that, by thus forming a
common library of our individual collections, each would have the
advantage of using the books of all the other members, which would
nearly be the same as if he possessed them all himself. The idea
was approved, and we accordingly brought such books as we thought
we could spare, which were placed at the end of the club-room.
They amounted not to so many as we expected; and through we made
considerable use of them, yet some inconveniences resulting, from
want of care, it was agreed, after about a year, to discontinue the
collection; and each took away such books as belonged to him.

It was now that I first started the idea of establishing, by
subscription, a public library, I drew up the proposals, had them
ingrossed in form by Brockden the attorney, and my project succeeded,
as will be seen in the sequel.

[The life of Dr. Franklin, as written by himself, so far as it
has yet been communicated to the world, breaks off in this place.
We understand that it was continued by him somewhat farther,
and we hope that the remainder will, at some future period, be
communicated to the public. We have no hesitation in supposing that
every reader will find himself greatly interested by the frank
simplicity and the philosophical discernment by which these pages
are so eminently characterized. We have therefore thought proper,
in order as much as possible to relieve his regret, to subjoin the
following continuation, by one of the Doctor's intimate friends.

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 3
My grandfather Thomas, who was born in 1598, lived at Ecton till he grew.
Page 4
Thomas was bred a smith under his father; but, being ingenious, and encouraged in learning (as all my brothers were) by an Esquire Palmer, then the principal gentleman in that parish, he qualified himself for the business of scrivener; became a considerable man in the county; was a chief mover of all public-spirited undertakings for the county or town of Northampton, and his own village, of which many instances were related of him; and much taken notice of and patronized by the then Lord Halifax.
Page 7
At ten years old I was taken home to assist my father in his business, which was that of a tallow-chandler and sope-boiler; a business he was not bred to, but had assumed on his arrival in New England, and on finding his dying trade would not maintain his family, being in little request.
Page 9
By this means he turned our attention to what was good, just, and prudent in the conduct of life; and little or no notice was ever taken of what related to the victuals on the table, whether it was well or ill dressed, in or out of season, of good or bad flavor, preferable or inferior to this or that other thing of the kind, so that I was bro't up in such a perfect inattention to those matters as to be quite indifferent what kind of food was set before me, and so unobservant of it, that to this day if I am asked I can scarce tell a few hours after dinner what I dined upon.
Page 21
Honest John was the first that I know of who mix'd narration and dialogue; a method of writing very engaging to the reader, who in the most interesting parts finds himself, as it were, brought into the company and present at the discourse.
Page 22
He had been, I imagine, an itinerant doctor, for there was no town in England, or country in Europe, of which he could not give a very particular account.
Page 45
My always keeping good hours, and giving little trouble in the family, made her unwilling to part with me; so that, when I talk'd of a lodging I had heard of, nearer my business, for two shillings a week, which, intent as I now was on saving money, made some difference, she bid me not think of it, for she would abate me two shillings a week for the future; so I remained with her at one shilling and sixpence as long as I staid in London.
Page 60
Thus the matter rested for some time, when I said to my partner, "Perhaps your father is dissatisfied at the part you have undertaken in this affair of ours, and is unwilling to advance for you and me what he would for you alone.
Page 65
Thus I corrected that great erratum as well as I could.
Page 66
and farmers as intelligent as most gentlemen from other countries, and perhaps have contributed in some degree to the stand so generally made throughout the colonies in defense of their privileges.
Page 103
There were, however, two things that I regretted, there being no provision for defense, nor for a compleat education of youth; no militia, nor any college.
Page 116
"That I will readily do," said I; "and, in the first place, I advise you to apply to all those whom you know will give something; next, to those whom you are uncertain whether they will give any thing or not, and show them the list of those who have given; and, lastly, do not neglect those who you are sure will give nothing, for in some of them you may be mistaken.
Page 121
Since that imprudent transaction, they have receiv'd from it--not one farthing! The business of the postoffice occasion'd my taking a journey this year to New England, where the College of Cambridge, of their own motion, presented me with the degree of Master of Arts.
Page 125
] But I am got forward too fast with my story: there are still some transactions to be mention'd that happened during the administration of Governor Morris.
Page 132
But I ventur'd only to say, "To be sure, sir, if you arrive well before Duquesne, with these fine troops, so well provided with artillery, that place not yet compleatly fortified, and as we hear with no very strong garrison, can probably make but a short resistance.
Page 134
They accordingly were at the expense and trouble of going to Trenton, and there he refus'd to perform his promise, to their great loss and disappointment.
Page 138
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 bodys being taken off, and the fore and hind wheels separated by taking out the pin which united the two parts of the perch, we had ten carriages, with two horses each, to bring the palisades from the woods to the spot.
Page 140
I was at their church, where I was entertain'd with good musick, the organ being accompanied with violins, hautboys, flutes, clarinets, etc.
Page 153
Accordingly some days after, when the wind blew very fair and fresh, and the captain of the paquet, Lutwidge, said he believ'd she then went at the rate of thirteen knots, Kennedy made the experiment, and own'd his wager lost.
Page 159
It has seemed advisable, therefore, to detail the chief events in Franklin's life, from the beginning, in the following list: 1706 He is born, in Boston, and baptized in the Old South Church.