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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 329

they may find conveniences
and inconveniences; in whatever company, they may find persons and
conversation more or less pleasing: at whatever table, they may
meet with meats and drinks of better and worse taste, dishes better
and worse dressed; in whatever climate, they will find good and bad
weather: under whatever government, they may find good and bad laws,
and good and bad administration of those laws; in whatever poem, or
work of genius, they may see faults and beauties; in almost every
face, and every person, they may discover fine features and defects,
good and bad qualities.

Under these circumstances, the two sorts of people above mentioned
fix their attention, those, who are disposed to be happy, on the
conveniences of things, the pleasant parts of conversation, the
well-dressed dishes, the goodness of the wines, the fine weather,
&c. and enjoy all with cheerfulness. Those, who are to be unhappy,
think and speak only of the contraries. Hence they are continually
discontented themselves, and, by their remarks, sour the pleasures
of society, offend personally many people, and make themselves every
where disagreeable. If this turn of mind was founded in nature,
such unhappy persons would be the more to be pitied. But as the
disposition to criticise, and to be disgusted, is, perhaps, taken up
originally by imitation, and is, unawares, grown into a habit, which,
though at present strong, may nevertheless be cured, when those who
have it are convinced of its bad effects on their felicity; I hope
this little admonition may be of service to them, and put them on
changing a habit, which, though in the exercise it is chiefly an
act of imagination, yet has serious consequences in life, as it
brings on real griefs and misfortunes. For, as many are offended by,
and nobody loves, this sort of people, no one shows them more than
the most common civility and respect, and scarcely that; and this
frequently puts them out of humour, and draws them into disputes
and contentions. If they aim at obtaining some advantage in rank or
fortune, nobody wishes them success, or will stir a step, or speak a
word, to favour their pretensions. If they incur public censure or
disgrace, no one will defend or excuse, and many join to aggravate
their misconduct, and render them completely odious. If these people
will not change this bad habit, and condescend to be pleased with
what is pleasing, without fretting themselves and others about the
contraries, it is good for others to avoid an acquaintance with
them; which is always disagreeable, and sometimes very inconvenient,
especially when one finds oneself entangled

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 15
And I read about this time Locke On Human Understanding, and the Art of Thinking, by Messrs.
Page 21
There were canoes on the shore, and we made signs, and hallow'd that they should fetch us; but they either did not understand us, or thought it impracticable, so they went away, and night coming on, we had no remedy but to wait till the wind should abate; and, in the meantime, the boatman and I concluded to sleep, if we could; and so crowded into the scuttle, with the Dutchman, who was still wet, and the spray beating over the head of our boat, leak'd thro' to us, so that we were soon almost as wet as he.
Page 34
I went on pleasantly, but poor Keimer suffered grievously, tired of the project, long'd for the flesh-pots of Egypt, and order'd a roast pig.
Page 57
Baird (whom you and I saw many years after at his native place, St.
Page 59
They were sensible of the difference: it strengthened the hands of our friends in the House, and they voted us their printers for the year ensuing.
Page 74
Reading was the only amusement I allow'd myself.
Page 76
, in 1728), entitled, Articles of Belief and Acts of Religion.
Page 86
[7] Nothing so likely to make a man's fortune as virtue.
Page 91
These things I mention as a caution to young printers, and that they may be encouraged not to pollute their presses and disgrace their profession by such infamous practices, but refuse steadily, as they may see by my example that such a course of conduct will not, on the whole, be injurious to their interests.
Page 99
Both house and ground were vested in trustees, expressly for the use of any preacher of any religious persuasion who might desire to say something to the people at Philadelphia; the design in building not being to accommodate any particular sect, but the inhabitants in general; so that even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach Mohammedanism to us, he would find a pulpit at his service.
Page 113
Their dark-colour'd bodies, half naked, seen only by the gloomy light of the bonfire, running after and beating one another with firebrands, accompanied by their horrid yellings, form'd a scene the most resembling our ideas of hell that could well be imagin'd; there was no appeasing the tumult, and we retired to our lodging.
Page 116
He then desir'd I would at least give him my advice.
Page 119
" I bid her sweep the whole street clean, and I would give her a shilling; this was at nine o'clock; at 12 she came for the shilling.
Page 139
, and in continual ill-humor, which put me in mind of a sea-captain, whose rule it was to keep his men constantly at work; and, when his mate once told him that they had done every thing, and there was nothing further to employ them about, "Oh," says he, "Make them scour the anchor.
Page 144
Collinson then gave them to Cave for publication in his Gentleman's Magazine; but he chose to print them separately in a pamphlet, and Dr.
Page 148
Accordingly, he desir'd the governor and myself to meet him, that he might hear what was to be said on both sides.
Page 152
I was at the entertainment given by the city of New York to Lord Loudoun, on his taking upon him the command.
Page 156
Fothergill, to whom I was strongly recommended, and whose counsel respecting my proceedings I was advis'd to obtain.
Page 162
1787 Reelected President; sent.
Page 163