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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 90

If the reverse
of this does not already appear from what has been quoted above,
the following letters will put the matter beyond dispute. They were
written by him to a gentleman, who had at that time published the
idea of a college, suited to the circumstances of a young country
(meaning New-York) a copy of which having been sent to Dr. Franklin
for his opinion, gave rise to that correspondence which terminated
about a year afterwards, in erecting the college upon the foundation
of the academy, and establishing that gentleman at the head of both,
where he still continues, after a period of thirty-six years, to
preside with distinguished reputation.

From these letters also, the state of the academy, at that time, will
be, seen.


[1] As a proof that Franklin was anciently the common name of an
order or rank in England, see Judge Fortesque, _De laudibus legum
Angliæ_, written about the year 1412, in which is the following
passage, to shew that good juries might easily be formed in any part
of England:

"Regio etiam ilia, ita respersa refertaque est _posessoribus
terrarum_ et agrorum, quod in ea, villula tam parva reperiri non
poterit, in qua non est _miles_, _armiger_, vel pater-familias,
qualis ibidem _franklin_ vulgariter nuncupatur, magnis ditatus
possessionibus, nec non libere tenentes et alii _valecti_ plurimi,
suis patrimoniis sufficientes, ad faciendum juratam, in forma

"Moreover, the same country is so filled and replenished with landed
menne, that therein so small a thorpe cannot be found wherein
dwelleth not a knight, an esquire, or such a householder as is there
commonly called a _franklin_, enriched with great possessions; and
also other freeholders and many yeomen, able for their livelihoods to
make a jury in form aforementioned."


Chaucer too, calls his country gentleman a _franklin_; and, after
describing his good housekeeping, thus characterizes him:

This worthy franklin bore a purse of silk
Fix'd to his girdle, white as morning milk;
Knight of the shire, first justice at th' assize,
To help the poor, the doubtful to advise.
In all employments, generous, just he prov'd,
Renown'd for courtesy, by all belov'd.

[2] Town in the island of Nantucket.

[3] Probably the Dunciad, where we find him thus immortalized by the

Silence, ye wolves, while Ralph to Cynthia howls,
And makes night hideous--answer him, ye owls!

[4] Printing houses in general are thus denominated by the workmen:
the _spirit_ they call by

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Text Comparison with The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 21
In this manner we lay all night, with very little rest; but, the wind abating the next day, we made a shift to reach Amboy before night, having been thirty hours on the water, without victuals, or any drink but a bottle of filthy rum, and the water we sail'd on being salt.
Page 39
By this letter it appear'd there was a secret scheme on foot to the prejudice of Hamilton (suppos'd to be then coming over with us); and that Keith was concerned in it with Riddlesden.
Page 40
I immediately got into work at Palmer's, then a famous printing-house in Bartholomew Close, and here I continu'd near a year.
Page 47
him with, and, when they expected nothing but the treat, every man at the first remove found under his plate an order on a banker for the full amount of the unpaid remainder with interest.
Page 50
He was lively, witty, good-natur'd, and a pleasant companion, but idle, thoughtless, and imprudent to the last degree.
Page 51
Keimer, being in the street, look'd up and saw me, call'd out to me in a loud voice and angry tone to mind my business, adding some reproachful words, that nettled me the more for their publicity, all the neighbors who were looking out on the same occasion being witnesses how I was treated.
Page 61
As soon as he was gone, I recurr'd to my two friends; and because I would not give an unkind preference to either, I took half of what each had offered and I wanted of one, and half of the other; paid off the company's debts, and went on with the business in my own name, advertising that the partnership was dissolved.
Page 74
, etc.
Page 75
He us'd to visit me sometimes as a friend, and admonish me to attend his administrations, and I was now and then prevail'd on to do so, once for five Sundays successively.
Page 78
| T.
Page 86
Page 93
As we play'd pretty equally, we thus beat one another into that language.
Page 94
After ten years' absence from Boston, and having become easy in my circumstances, I made a journey thither to visit my relations, which I could not sooner well afford.
Page 106
This Mr.
Page 119
they will give me something.
Page 120
Some may think these trifling matters not worth minding or relating; but when they consider that tho' dust blown into the eyes of a single person, or into a single shop on a windy day, is but of small importance, yet the great number of the instances in a populous city, and its frequent repetitions give it weight and consequence, perhaps they will not censure very severely those who bestow some attention to affairs of this seemingly low nature.
Page 128
Page 146
Our new governor, Captain Denny, brought over for me the before-mentioned medal from the Royal Society, which he presented to me at an entertainment given him by the city.
Page 155
I set out immediately, with my son, for London, and we only stopt a little by the way to view Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain, and Lord Pembroke's house and gardens, with his very curious antiquities at Wilton.
Page 158
Accordingly they petition'd the king in Council, and a hearing was appointed in which two lawyers were employ'd by them against the act, and two by me in support of it.