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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 300

no account to
enter into a public dispute with any man; for I judged it would be
equally unpleasant to me and my readers, to see this paper filled
with contentious wrangling, answers, replies, &c. which is a way
of writing that is endless, and, at the same time, seldom contains
any thing that is either edifying or entertaining. Yet, when such a
considerable man as Mr. ---- finds himself concerned so warmly to
accuse and condemn me, as he has done in Keimer's last Instructor,
I cannot forbear endeavouring to say something in my own defence,
from one of the worst of characters that could be given me by a man
of worth. But as I have many things of more consequence to offer the
public, I declare, that I will never, after this time, take notice
of any accusations, not better supported with truth and reason; much
less may every little scribbler, that shall attack me, expect an
answer from the Busy-Body.

The sum of the charge delivered against me, either directly or
indirectly, in the said paper, is this: not to mention the first
weighty sentence concerning vanity and ill-nature, and the shrewd
intimation, that I am without charity, and therefore can have no
pretence to religion, I am represented as guilty of defamation and
scandal, the odiousness of which is apparent to every good man,
and the practice of it opposite to christianity, morality, and
common justice, and, in some cases, so far below all these, as to be
inhuman; as a blaster of reputations; as attempting, by a pretence,
to screen myself from the imputation of malice and prejudice; as
using a weapon, which the wiser and better part of mankind hold in
abhorrence; and as giving treatment which the wiser and better part
of mankind dislike on the same principles, and for the same reason,
as they do assassination, &c.; and all this is inferred and concluded
from a character I have wrote in my Number III.

In order to examine the justice and truth of this heavy charge, let
us recur to that character. And here we may be surprized to find
what a trifle has raised this mighty clamour and complaint, this
grievous accusation!--The worst thing said of the person, in what is
called my gross description (be he who he will to whom my accuser has
applied the character of Cretico) is, that he is a sour philosopher,
crafty, but not wise. Few humane characters can be drawn that will
not fit some body, in so large a country as this; but one would
think, supposing I meant Cretico

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

Page 25
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Watts after some weeks desiring to.
Page 49
She was lame in her knees with the gout, and, therefore, seldom stirred out of her room, so sometimes wanted company; and hers was so highly amusing to me that I was sure to spend an evening with her whenever she desired it.
Page 52
My friend Ralph had kept me poor; he owed me about twenty-seven pounds, which I was now never likely to receive,--a great sum out of my small earnings! I loved him, notwithstanding, for he had many amiable qualities.
Page 59
We settled with Keimer, and left him by his consent before he heard of it.
Page 61
more queries on any point of morals, politics, or natural philosophy, to be discussed by the company; and once in three months produce and read an essay of his own writing, on any subject he pleased.
Page 70
Those who loved reading were obliged to send for their books from England; the members of the Junto had each a few.
Page 72
We kept no idle servants, our table was plain and simple, our furniture of the cheapest.
Page 73
bowl with a spoon of silver! They had been bought for me without my knowledge by my wife, and had cost her the enormous sum of three-and-twenty shillings, for which she had no other excuse or apology to make but that she thought her husband deserved a silver spoon and china bowl as well as any of his neighbors.
Page 82
{ 5} Rise, wash, and address Powerful _Question.
Page 84
I had not been early accustomed to it, and, having an exceeding good memory, I was not so sensible of the inconvenience attending want of method.
Page 90
And observing that it was generally read, scarce any neighborhood in the province being without it, I considered it as a proper vehicle for conveying instruction among the common people, who bought scarcely any other books.
Page 95
The intention was to avoid applications of improper persons for admittance, some of whom, perhaps, we might find it difficult to refuse.
Page 101
As he proceeded I began to soften, and concluded to give the coppers.
Page 122
Human felicity is produced not so much by great pieces of good fortune that seldom happen, as by little advantages that occur every day.
Page 131
All oats, Indian corn, or other forage that wagons or horses bring to the camp, more than is necessary for the subsistence of the horses, is to be taken for the use of the army, and a reasonable price paid for the same.
Page 145
This silly affair, however, greatly increased his rancor against me, which was before not a little on account of my conduct in the Assembly respecting the exemption of his estate from taxation, which I had always opposed very warmly, and not without severe reflections on his meanness and injustice of contending for it.
Page 155
He answered, "Three days.
Page 156
This was, however, put off from time to time; and, though I called often for it by appointment, I did not get it.
Page 166
However, let us hearken to good advice, and something may be done for us; God helps them that help themselves, as Poor Richard says.