The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 2 [of 3]

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 308

innumerable, capable by their form, size, and strength, of sailing
all seas. Our seamen are equally bold, skilful, and hardy; dexterous
in exploring the remotest regions, and ready to engage in voyages
to unknown countries, though attended with the greatest dangers.
The inhabitants of those countries, our _fellow men_, have canoes
only; not knowing iron, they cannot build ships; they have little
astronomy, and no knowledge of the compass to guide them; they cannot
therefore come to us, or obtain any of our advantages. From these
circumstances, does not some duty seem to arise from us to them? Does
not Providence, by these distinguishing favours, seem to call on us,
to do something ourselves for the common interest of humanity!

"Those who think it their duty, to ask bread and other blessings
daily from heaven, would they not think it equally a duty, to
communicate of those blessings when they have received them, and show
their gratitude to their great Benefactor by the only means in their
power, promoting the happiness of his other children?

"Ceres is said to have made a journey through many countries to teach
the use of corn, and the art of raising it. For this single benefit
the grateful nations deified her. How much more may Englishmen
deserve such honour, by communicating the knowledge and use not of
corn only, but of all the other enjoyments earth can produce, and
which they are now in possession of. _Communiter bona profundere,
Deum est._

"Many voyages have been undertaken with views of profit or of
plunder, or to gratify resentment; to procure some advantage to
ourselves, or do some mischief to others: but a voyage is now
proposed, to visit a distant people on the other side the globe; not
to cheat them, not to rob them, not to seize their lands, or enslave
their persons; but merely to do them good, and make them, as far as
in our power lies, to live as comfortably as ourselves.

"It seems a laudable wish, that all the nations of the earth were
connected by a knowledge of each other, and a mutual exchange of
benefits: but a commercial nation particularly should wish for a
general civilization of mankind, since trade is always carried on to
much greater extent with people who have the arts and conveniences
of life, than it can be with naked savages. We may therefore hope,
in this undertaking, to be of, some service to our country, as well
as to those poor people, who, however distant from us, are in truth
related to us, and whose interests do, in some degree, concern

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

Page 11
[20] I continued, however, at the grammar school not quite one year, though in that time I had risen gradually from the middle of the class of that year to be the head of it, and, further, was removed into the next class above it in order to go with that into the third at the end of the year.
Page 16
This flattered my vanity; but my father discouraged me by ridiculing my performances and telling me verse makers were generally beggars.
Page 34
I had shown an obliging readiness to do her some little services, which impressed her, I suppose, with a degree of good will toward me; therefore, when she saw a daily growing familiarity between me and the two young women, which they appeared to encourage, she took me aside, and said, "Young man, I am concerned for thee, as thou hast no friend with thee, and seems not to know much of the world, or of the snares youth is exposed to.
Page 40
Osborne's was read; it was much better; Ralph did it justice; remarked some faults, but applauded the beauties.
Page 43
I found my friend Denham, and opened the whole affair to him.
Page 53
Page 59
To lessen the rent, which was then but twenty-four pounds.
Page 73
I never doubted, for instance, the existence of the Deity; that he made the world, and governed it by his providence; that the most acceptable service of God was the doing good to man; that our souls are immortal; and that all crime will be punished, and virtue rewarded, either here or hereafter.
Page 77
Page 82
Page 92
Now many of our printers make no scruple of gratifying the malice of individuals by false accusations of the fairest characters among ourselves, augmenting animosity even to the producing of duels; and are, moreover, so indiscreet as to print scurrilous reflections on the government of neighboring states, and even on the conduct of our best national allies, which may be attended with the most pernicious consequences.
Page 103
Unguarded expressions and even erroneous opinions, delivered in preaching, might have been afterward explained or qualified by supposing others that might have accompanied them, or they might have been denied; but _litera scripta manet_.
Page 109
Some of the council, desirous of giving the House still further embarrassment, advised the governor not to accept provision, as not being the thing he had demanded; but he replied: "I shall take the money, for I understand very well their meaning; 'other grain' is gunpowder," which he accordingly bought, and they never objected to it.
Page 111
He wished to make an asylum to which debtors, whose liberty the laws of England put into the hands of the creditor, (see Way to Wealth, p.
Page 128
As I was in the Assembly, knew its temper, and was Mr.
Page 138
My acquainting them that the money was ready in the paymaster's hands, but that orders for paying it must first be obtained from General Shirley, and my assuring them that I had applied to that general by letter, but, he being at a distance, an answer could not soon be received, and they must have patience,--all this was not sufficient to satisfy, and some began to sue me.
Page 143
I had hardly finished this business, and got my fort well stored with provisions, when I received a letter from the governor, acquainting me that he had called the Assembly, and wished my attendance there if the posture of affairs on the frontiers was such that my remaining there was no longer necessary.
Page 165
Benjamin Vaughan, gave similar advice.
Page 173
He that can travel well a-foot keeps a good horse.
Page 176
= Will several of you take up the subject of "Franklin's Electrical Experiments" and make reports to the class? =185.