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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 303

and about this city, who will ask, on which side the writer is,
before they presume to give their opinion of the thing wrote. This
ungenerous way of proceeding I was well aware of before I published
my first speculation; and therefore concealed my name. And I appeal
to the more generous part of the world, if I have, since I appeared
in the character of the Busy-Body, given an instance of my siding
with any party more than another, in the unhappy divisions of my
country; and I have, above all, this satisfaction in myself, that
neither affection, aversion, or interest, have biassed me to use any
partiality towards any man, or set of men; but whatsoever I find
nonsensical, ridiculous, or immorally dishonest, I have, and shall
continue openly to attack, with the freedom of an honest man, and a
lover of my country.

I profess I can hardly contain myself, or preserve the gravity and
dignity that should attend the censorial office, when I hear the odd
and unaccountable expositions, that are put upon some of my works,
through the malicious ignorance of some, and the vain pride of more
than ordinary penetration in others; one instance of which many of
my readers are acquainted with. A certain gentleman has taken a
great deal of pains to write a key to the letter in my Number IV,
wherein he has ingeniously converted a gentle satyr upon tedious
and impertinent visitants, into a libel on some of the government.
This I mention only as a specimen of the taste of the gentleman; I
am, forsooth, bound to please in my speculations, not that I suppose
my impartiality will ever be called in question on that account.
Injustices of this nature I could complain of in many instances; but
I am at present diverted by the reception of a letter, which, though
it regards me only in my private capacity, as an adept, yet I venture
to publish it for the entertainment of my readers.

"_To Censor Morum, Esq. Busy-Body General of the Province of
Pennsylvania, and the Counties of Newcastle, Kent, and Sussex upon


"I judge by your lucubrations, that you are not only a lover of truth
and equity, but a man of parts and learning, and a master of science;
as such I honour you. Know then, most profound sir, that I have,
from my youth up, been a very indefatigable student in, and admirer
of, that divine science, astrology. I have read over Scot, Albertus
Magnus, and Cornelius Agrippa, above three hundred

Last Page Next Page

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

Page 9
Green 196 To Dr.
Page 24
As you see, therefore, that our city is composed of above ten thousand families, and it being a difficult task to watch over them all at once, why did you not first try to retrieve your uncle's affairs, which are running to decay? and, after having given that proof of your industry, you might have taken a greater trust upon you.
Page 51
This arises very much from the different views in which they consider things, persons, and events, and the effect of those different views upon their own minds.
Page 55
In vain has history been taken up in describing the numerous swarms of this mischievous species which has infested the earth in the successive ages: now it is worth the inquiry of the virtuous, whether the _Rhine_ or the _Adige_ may not, perhaps, swarm with them at present, as much as the banks of the _Hypanis_; or whether that silver rivulet, the _Thames_, may not show a specious molehill, covered with inhabitants of the like dignity and importance.
Page 62
You saw that we, who understand and practise those rules, believed all your stories; why do you refuse to believe ours?" When any of them come into our towns, our people are apt to crowd around them, gaze upon them, and incommode them where they desire to be private; this they esteem great rudeness, and the effect of the want of instruction in the rules of civility and good manners.
Page 68
The ministry were resolved to remove so great an obstacle out of the way of their designs.
Page 75
_There_ a closet has disgorged its bowels, cracked tumblers, broken wineglasses, vials of forgotten physic, papers of unknown powders, seeds, and dried herbs, handfuls of old corks, tops of teapots, and stoppers of departed decanters; from the raghole in the garret to the rathole in the cellar, no place escapes unrummaged.
Page 76
These smearings and scratchings, washings and dashings, being duly performed, the next ceremonial is to cleanse and replace the distracted furniture.
Page 87
In consequence of this, my oldfashioned looking-glass was one day broke, as she said, _no one could tell which way_.
Page 90
_[12] [12] His sister married Mr.
Page 117
"REVEREND SIR, "The remarks you have added on the late proceedings against America are very just and judicious; and I cannot see any impropriety in your making them, though a minister of the gospel.
Page 118
_ "Philadelphia, October 3, 1775 "DEAR SIR, "I am bound to sail to-morrow for the camp,[18] and, having but just heard of this opportunity, can only write a line to say that I am well and hearty.
Page 131
Hence we make frequent and troublesome changes without amendment, and often for the worse.
Page 136
He may have had them so long as to think them his own.
Page 155
And I hope it: for I too, with your poet, _trust in God_.
Page 174
" * * * * * _To_ * * *.
Page 184
This premised, 1.
Page 199
the room and the bedding, when it can go through a continued better conductor, the wall.
Page 226
Hence I imagined that if people at sea, distressed by thirst, when their fresh water is unfortunately spent, would make bathing-tubs of their empty water-casks, and, filling them with seawater, sit in them an hour or two each day, they might be greatly relieved.
Page 227
But we must hazard something in what we think the cause of truth: and if we propose our objections modestly, we shall, though mistaken, deserve a censure less severe than when we are both mistaken and insolent.