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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 302

why any man's picture should be published
which he never sat for? it must be, that we should give no character
without the owner's consent. If I discern the wolf disguised in
harmless wool, and contriving the destruction of my neighbour's
sheep, must I have his permission, before I am allowed to discover
and prevent him? If I know a man to be a designing knave, must I
ask his consent, to bid my friends beware of him? If so, then, by
the same rule, supposing the Busy-Body had really merited all his
enemy had charged him with, his consent likewise ought to have been
obtained, before so terrible an accusation was published against him.

I shall conclude with observing, that in the last paragraph save one
of the piece now examined, much ill nature and some good sense are
co-inhabitants (as he expresses it). The ill nature appears, in his
endeavouring to discover satire, where I intended no such thing, but
quite the reverse: the good sense is this, that drawing too good a
character of any one is a refined manner of satire, that may be as
injurious to him as the contrary, by bringing on an examination that
undresses the person, and in the haste of doing it, he may happen
to be stript of what he really owns and deserves. As I am Censor, I
might punish the first, but I forgive it. Yet I will not leave the
latter unrewarded; but assure my adversary, that in consideration of
the merit of those four lines, I am resolved to forbear injuring him
on any account in that refined manner.

I thank my neighbour P---- W----l for his kind letter.

The lions complained of shall be muzzled.

_The Busy-Body._--No. VIII.


Quid non mortalia pectora cogis,
Auri sacra fames?----VIRGIL.

One of the greatest pleasures an author can have, is, certainly, the
hearing his works applauded. The hiding from the world our names,
while we publish our thoughts, is so absolutely necessary to this
self-gratification, that I hope my well-wishers will congratulate
me on my escape from the many diligent, but fruitless enquiries,
that have of late been made after me. Every man will own, that an
author, as such, ought to be hid by the merit of his productions
only; but pride, party, and prejudice, at this time, run so very
high, that experience shows we form our notions of a piece by the
character of the author. Nay, there are some very humble politicians

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

Page 2
In February following, my son arrived with my new daughter; for, with my consent and approbation, he married, soon after I left England, a very agreeable West India lady, with whom he is very happy.
Page 9
His grandson, Samuel Franklin, now lives in Boston.
Page 22
I then thought of going to New York, as the nearest place where there was a printer; and I was rather inclined to leave Boston when I reflected that I had already made myself a little obnoxious to the governing party, and, from the arbitrary proceedings of the Assembly in my brother's case, it was likely I might, if I stayed, soon bring myself into scrapes; and, further, that my indiscreet disputations about religion began to make me pointed at with horror by good people as an infidel or atheist.
Page 27
I have been the more particular in this description of my journey, and shall be so of my first entry into that city, that you may in your mind compare such unlikely beginnings with the figure I have since made there.
Page 46
One of Young's[n] satires was then just published.
Page 47
So I found I was never to expect his repaying me what I lent to him or advanced for him.
Page 49
She had lived many years in that garret, being permitted to remain there gratis by successive Catholic tenants of the house below, as they deemed it a blessing to have her there.
Page 65
have undertaken in this affair of ours, and is unwilling to advance for you and me what he would for you alone.
Page 75
--I got his son once five hundred pounds.
Page 77
Page 81
16, 17.
Page 94
, which task the vanquished was to perform on honor before our next meeting.
Page 98
I began now to turn my thoughts a little to public affairs, beginning, however, with small matters.
Page 101
I had in my pocket a handful of copper money, three or four silver dollars, and five pistoles in gold.
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 124
The colonies, so united, would have been sufficiently strong to defend themselves; there would then have been no need of troops from England.
Page 129
I stayed with him several days, dined with him daily, and had full opportunity of removing all his prejudices by the information of what the Assembly had before his arrival actually done, and were still willing to do, to facilitate his operations.
Page 140
The Indians had burned Gnadenhut, a village settled by the Moravians, and massacred the inhabitants; but the place was thought a good situation for one of the forts.
Page 174
Page 176
Emerson says that the chief use of a book is to inspire.