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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 291

into the right and only infallible method of
becoming so. That laudable ambition is too commonly misapply'd and
often ill employed. Some, to make themselves considerable, pursue
learning; others grasp at wealth; some aim at being thought witty;
and others are only careful to make the most of an handsome person:
but what is wit, or wealth, or form, or learning, when compared with
virtue? It is true, we love the handsome, we applaud the learned,
and we fear the rich and powerful; but we even worship and adore
the virtuous. Nor is it strange; since men of virtue are so rare,
so very rare to be found. If we were as industrious to become good,
as to make ourselves great, we should become really great by being
good, and the number of valuable men would be much increased; but it
is a grand mistake to think of being great without goodness; and I
pronounce it as certain, that there was never yet a truly great man,
that was not at the same time truly virtuous.

O Cretico! thou sour philosopher! thou cunning statesman! thou
art crafty, but far from being wise. When wilt thou be esteemed,
regarded, and beloved like Cato? When wilt thou, among thy creatures,
meet with that unfeigned respect and warm good-will that all men
have for him? Wilt thou never understand, that the cringing, mean,
submissive deportment of thy dependants, is (like the worship paid
by Indians to the devil) rather through fear of the harm thou mayst
do them, than out of gratitude for the favours they have received of
thee? Thou art not wholly void of virtue; there are many good things
in thee, and many good actions reported of thee. Be advised by thy
friend: neglect those musty authors; let them be covered with dust,
and moulder on their proper shelves; and do thou apply thyself to a
study much more profitable, the knowledge of mankind and of thyself.

This is to give notice, that the Busy-Body strictly forbids all
persons, from this time forward, of what age, sex, rank, quality,
degree, or denomination soever, on any pretence, to inquire who is
the author of this paper, on pain of his displeasure (his own near
and dear relations only excepted).

It is to be observed, that if any bad characters happen to be drawn
in the course of these papers, they mean no particular person, if
they are not particularly applied.

Likewise, that the author is no party-man, but a general meddler.

N. B. Cretico lives in a neighbouring province.


_The Busy-Body._--No. IV.

FROM TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 18, TO TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 25,

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 2 of 2] With his Most Interesting Essays, Letters, and Miscellaneous Writings; Familiar, Moral, Political, Economical, and Philosophical, Selected with Care from All His Published Productions, and Comprising Whatever Is Most Entertaining and Valuable to the General Reader

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George Whitefield 110 To Mrs.
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Thompson .
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This, repeated twenty times, will so clear them of the perspirable matter they have imbibed, as to permit your sleeping well for some time afterward.
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We have had some experience of it: several of our young people were formerly brought up at the colleges of the northern provinces; they were instructed in all your sciences; but when they came back to us, they were bad runners, ignorant of every means of living in the woods, unable to bear either cold or hunger, knew neither how to build a cabin, take a deer, nor kill an enemy, spoke our language imperfectly, were therefore neither fit for hunters, warriors, nor counsellors; they were totally good for nothing.
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Those abuses of the freedom of speech are the exercises of liberty.
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DEAR SIR, My wish is to give you some account of the people of these new states; but I am far from being qualified for the purpose, having as yet seen but little more than the cities of New-York and Philadelphia.
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For this purpose he caused a small building, about twelve feet square, to be erected in his garden, and furnished with some ordinary chairs and tables, and a few prints of the cheapest sort were hung against the walls.
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Notwithstanding this, I can give you the strongest assurances that the women of America make the most faithful wives and the most attentive mothers in the world; and I am sure you will join me in opinion, that if a married man is made miserable only _one_ week in a whole year, he will have no great cause to complain of the matrimonial bond.
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We read your writings very easily.
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"DEAR SISTER, "I am highly pleased with the account Captain Freeman gives me of you.
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Your sister and I have a great esteem for her, and if she will be kind enough to accept of our nephew, we think it will be his own fault if he is.
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"Indeed, the act of Parliament in question has not, as in other acts, when a duty is enjoined, directed a penalty on neglect or refusal, and a mode of recovering that penalty.
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--I am sorry my letter of 1767, concerning the American disputes, miscarried.
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You may remember, when you consulted me on the occasion, that I thought youth on both sides to be no objection.
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It is plain he took us for a species of animals very little superior to brutes.
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We have here at present what the French call _une assemblee des notables_, a convention composed of some of the principal people from the several states of our confederation.
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The present polar and equatorial diameters differing from each other near ten leagues, it is easy to conceive, in case some power should shift the axis gradually, and place it in the present equator, and make the new equator pass through the present poles, what a sinking of the waters would happen in the equatorial regions, and what a rising in the present polar regions; so that vast tracts would be discovered that now are under water, and others covered that are now dry, the water rising and sinking in the different extremes near five leagues.
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_ ON THE NATURE OF SEACOAL.
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Sloane informs us, expect one every year.
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FRANKLIN.