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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 333

in my favour."

Seventhly, if you are a spectator while others play, observe the most
perfect silence. For if you give advice, you offend both parties,
him against whom you give it, because it may cause the loss of his
game, him in whose favour you give it, because, though it be good
and he follows it, he loses the pleasure he might have had, if you
had permitted him to think until it had occurred to himself. Even
after a move or moves, you must not, by replacing the pieces, show
how it might have been placed better: for that displeases, and may
occasion disputes and doubts about their true situation. All talking
to the players lessens or diverts their attention, and is therefore
unpleasing. Nor should you give the least hint to either party, by
any kind of noise or motion. If you do, you are unworthy to be a
spectator. If you have a mind to exercise or show your judgment, do
it in playing your own game, when you have an opportunity, not in
criticising, or meddling with, or counselling the play of others.

Lastly, if the game is not to be played rigorously, according to the
rules above mentioned, then moderate your desire of victory over your
adversary, and be pleased with one over yourself. Snatch not eagerly
at every advantage offered by his unskilfulness or inattention; but
point out to him kindly, that by such a move he places or leaves a
piece in danger and unsupported; that by another he will put his
king in a perilous situation, &c. By this generous civility (so
opposite to the unfairness above forbidden) you may, indeed, happen
to lose the game to your opponent, but you will win what is better,
his esteem, his respect, and his affection, together with the silent
approbation and good-will of impartial spectators.


[185] This letter has appeared in too many forms in this country,
and is too well known to be Dr. Franklin's, to require being
authenticated. _Editor._

_The Art of procuring Pleasant Dreams[186]._


Being written at her request.

As a great part of our life is spent in sleep, during which we have
sometimes pleasing, and sometimes painful dreams, it becomes of some
consequence to obtain the one kind, and avoid the other; for, whether
real or imaginary, pain is pain, and pleasure is pleasure. If we can
sleep without dreaming, it is well that painful dreams are avoided.
If, while we sleep, we can have any pleasing dreams, it is, as the
French say, _tant gagné_, so

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

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to be swept up and carried away before the shops are open, is very practicable in summer, when the days are long; for, in walking through the Strand and Fleet Street one morning at seven o'clock, I observed there was not one shop open, though it had been daylight and the sun up above three hours, the inhabitants of London choosing voluntarily to live much by candlelight and sleep by sunshine; and yet they often complain, a little absurdly, of the duty on candles and the high price of tallow.
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" By some accidental hindrance at a ferry, it was Monday noon before I arrived, and I was much afraid she might have sailed, as the wind was fair; but I was soon made easy by the information that she was still in the harbor, and would not move till the next day.