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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 282

God, and objected to the privacy of the
meetings, and the preventing any of the people from being present at
the colloquies, or even approaching the place, as grounds of great
suspicion. They accused Moses also of _peculation_, as embezzling
part of the golden spoons and the silver chargers, that the princes
had offered at the dedication of the altar[166], and the offerings
of gold by the common people[167], as well as most of the poll
tax[168]; and Aaron they accused of pocketing much of the gold of
which he pretended to have made a molten calf. Besides peculation,
they charged Moses with _ambition_; to gratify which passion, he had,
they said, deceived the people, by promising to bring them to a land
flowing with milk and honey; instead of doing which, he had brought
them _from_ such a land; and that he thought light of all this
mischief, provided he could make himself an _absolute prince_[169].
That, to support the new dignity with splendour in his family, the
partial poll tax, already levied and given to Aaron[170], was to be
followed by a general one[171], which would probably be augmented
from time to time, if he were suffered to go on promulgating new
laws, on pretence of new occasional revelations of the divine will,
till their whole fortunes were devoured by that aristocracy.

Moses denied the charge of peculation, and his accusers were
destitute of proofs to support it; though _facts_, if real, are in
their nature capable of proof. "I have not," said he (with holy
confidence in the presence of God), "I have not taken from this
people the value of an ass, nor done them any other injury." But
his enemies had made the charge, and with some success among the
populace; for no kind of accusation is so readily made, or easily
believed, by knaves, as the accusation of knavery.

In fine, no less than two hundred and fifty of the principal men
"famous in the congregation, men of renown[172]," heading and
exciting the mob, worked them up to such a pitch of phrenzy, that
they called out, stone 'em, stone 'em, and thereby secure our
liberties; and let us choose other captains, that may lead us back
into Egypt, in case we do not succeed in reducing the Canaanites.

On the whole, it appears, that the Israelites were a people jealous
of their newly acquired liberty, which jealousy was in itself
no fault; but that, when they suffered it to be worked upon by
artful men, pretending public good, with nothing really in view
but private interest, they were led to oppose

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Text Comparison with Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 20
Without an estate, or any gainful employment, By constant labor and industry, with God's blessing, They maintained a large family comfortably, and brought up thirteen children and seven grandchildren reputably.
Page 26
This habit, I believe, has been of great advantage to me when I have had occasion to inculcate my opinions, and persuade men.
Page 32
So we dropt anchor, and swung round towards the shore.
Page 38
" [31] Pennsylvania and Delaware.
Page 41
When we arriv'd at New York, they told me where they liv'd, and invited me to come and see them; but I avoided it, and it was well I did; for the next day the captain miss'd a silver spoon and some other things, that had been taken out of his cabin, and, knowing that these were a couple of strumpets, he got a warrant to search their lodgings, found the stolen goods, and had the thieves punish'd.
Page 43
So he swore he would make me row, or throw me overboard; and coming along, stepping on the thwarts, toward me, when he came up and struck at me, I clapped my hand under his crutch, and, rising, pitched him head-foremost into the river.
Page 47
[35] He became, however, a pretty good prose writer.
Page 83
Page 92
, to be made use of in it, some of which I have still by me; but the necessary close attention to private business in the earlier part of my life, and public business since, have occasioned my postponing it; for, it being connected in my mind with _a great and extensive project_, that required the whole man to execute, and which an unforeseen succession of employs prevented my attending to, it has hitherto remain'd unfinish'd.
Page 98
13 C Whitsunday.
Page 109
About this time I wrote a paper (first to be read in Junto, but it was afterward publish'd) on the different accidents and carelessnesses by which houses were set on fire, with cautions against them,.
Page 132
"That the mud, when rak'd up, be not left in heaps to be spread abroad again by the wheels of carriages and trampling of horses, but that the scavengers be provided with bodies of carts, not plac'd high upon wheels, but low upon sliders, with lattice bottoms, which, being cover'd with straw, will retain the mud thrown into them, and permit the water to drain from it, whereby it will become much lighter, water making the greatest part of its weight; these bodies of carts to be plac'd at convenient distances, and the mud brought to them in wheelbarrows; they remaining where plac'd till the mud is drain'd, and then horses brought to draw them away.
Page 134
Mine happen'd to be preferr'd, and, with a few amendments, was accordingly reported.
Page 137
Page 143
In conversation with him one day, he was giving me some account of his intended progress.
Page 152
Beatty, who complained to me that the men did not generally attend his prayers and exhortations.
Page 156
I say much practice, for my house was continually full, for some time, with people who came to see these new wonders.
Page 159
[110] An English baronet (died in 1709), donator of a fund of L100, "in trust for the Royal Society of London for improving natural knowledge.
Page 163
He was asked how long time that would require.
Page 183
This Letter is said (in _Page_ 1.