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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 64

king and country may inspire; and this by writers, whose
understanding (however they may differ from each other) appears not
unequal to their candour and the uprightness of their intention.

But, as great abilities have not always the best information, there
are, I apprehend, in the Remarks, some opinions not well founded,
and some mistakes of so important a nature, as to render a few
observations on them necessary for the better information of the
public.

The author of the Letter, who must be every way best able to support
his own sentiments, will, I hope, excuse me, if I seem officiously
to interfere; when he considers, that the spirit of patriotism, like
other qualities good and bad, is catching; and that his long silence
since the Remarks appeared has made us despair of seeing the subject
farther discussed by his masterly hand. The ingenious and candid
remarker, too, who must have been misled himself before he employed
his skill and address to mislead others, will certainly, since he
declares he _aims at no seduction_[18], be disposed to excuse even
the weakest effort to prevent it.

And surely, if the general opinions that possess the minds of the
people may possibly be of consequence in public affairs, it must be
fit to set those opinions right. If there is danger, as the remarker
supposes, that "extravagant expectations" may embarrass "a virtuous
and able ministry," and "render the negotiation for peace a work of
infinite difficulty[19];" there is no less danger that expectations
too low, through want of proper information, may have a contrary
effect, may make even a virtuous and able ministry less anxious,
and less attentive to the obtaining points, in which the honour and
interest of the nation are essentially concerned; and the people less
hearty in supporting such a ministry and its measures.

The people of this nation are indeed respectable, not for their
numbers only, but for their understanding and their public spirit:
they manifest the first, by their universal approbation of the
late prudent and vigorous measures, and the confidence they so
justly repose in a wise and good prince, and an honest and able
administration; the latter they have demonstrated by the immense
supplies granted in parliament unanimously, and paid through the
whole kingdom with chearfulness. And since to this spirit and
these supplies our "victories and successes[20]" have in great
measure been owing, is it quite right, is it generous to say, with
the remarker, that the people "had no share in acquiring them?"
The mere mob he cannot mean, even where he speaks of the madness
of the people; for the madness of

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 1 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 2
Abel James 91 Letter from Mr.
Page 10
My mother had likewise an excellent constitution: she suckled all her ten children.
Page 20
His ducking sobered him a little, and he went to sleep, taking first out of his pocket a book which he desired I would dry for him.
Page 47
I went, however, very cheerfully, put his printing-house in order, which had been in great confusion, and brought his hands by degrees to mind their business, and to do it better.
Page 48
He was lively, witty, good-natured, and a pleasant companion; but idle, thoughtless, and imprudent to the last degree.
Page 53
The rules that I drew up required that every member in his turn should produce one or 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 55
George Webb, who had found a female friend that lent him wherewith to purchase his time of Keimer, now came to offer himself as a journeyman to us.
Page 64
Some think we are of a French extract, which was formerly called Franks; some of a free line; a line free from that vassalage which was common to subjects in days of old; some from a bird of long red legs.
Page 68
And, considering the eagerness with which such information is sought by them, and the extent of your reputation, I do not know of a more efficacious advertisement than your biography would give.
Page 80
--Resolve to perform what you ought: perform without fail what you resolve.
Page 83
Proceeding thus to the last, I could get through a course complete in thirteen weeks, and four courses in a year.
Page 103
The women, by subscriptions among themselves, provided silk collours, which they presented to the companies, painted with different devices and mottoes, which I supplied.
Page 130
Seeing the trees fall so fast, I had the curiosity to look at my watch when two men began to cut a pine; in six minutes they had it upon the ground, and I found it of fourteen inches diameter: each pine made three palisades of eighteen feet long, pointed at one end.
Page 147
[Conclusion of Memoirs written by himself.
Page 170
"In regard to his character, he was rather sententious than fluent; more disposed to listen than to talk; a judicious rather than an imposing companion.
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" MM.
Page 174
A man so wise and so amiable could not but have many admirers and many friends.
Page 179
The remaining thirty-one thousand pounds I would have continued to be let out on interest, in the manner above directed, for another hundred years; as I hope it will have been found that the institution has had a good effect on the conduct of youth, and been of service to many worthy characters and useful citizens.
Page 195
Braddock was sent with an army to retake that fort (which was looked on here as another encroachment on the king's territory) and to protect your trade.
Page 202
These poor defenceless creatures were immediately fired upon, stabbed, and hatcheted to death! The good Shehaes, among the rest, cut to pieces in his bed.