The Select Works of Benjamin Franklin: Including His Autobiography, with Notes and a Memoir
Meet the most unique of the Founding Fathers with this 1866 collection of Benjamin Franklin's writings. A brief biography (called a "memoir") is followed by selections from the autobiography Franklin left unfinished at his death.
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Page 101 - I have lived, Sir, a long time ; and, the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that GOD governs in the affairs of men. And, if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid ? We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that, 'except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.
Page 203 - ... to attend one of his sermons, in the course of which I perceived he intended to finish with a collection, and I silently resolved he should get nothing from me. I had in my pocket a handful of copper money, three or four silver dollars, and five pistoles in gold ; as he proceeded I began to soften, and concluded to give the copper. Another stroke of his oratory made me ashamed of that, and determined me to give the silver ; and he finished so admirably, that I emptied my pocket wholly into the...
Page 101 - On the whole, sir, I cannot help expressing a wish that every member of the convention who may still have objections to it, would, with me, on this occasion, doubt a little of his own infallibility, and, to make manifest our unanimity, put his name to this instrument.
Page 124 - My elder brothers were all put apprentices to different trades. I was put to the grammar school at eight years of age, my father intending to devote me, as the tithe of his sons, to the service of the church. My early readiness in learning to read (which must have been very early, as I do not remember when I could not read) and the opinion of all his friends that I should certainly make a good scholar encouraged him in this purpose of his. My uncle Benjamin, too, approved of it, and proposed to give...
Page 111 - THE BODY of BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, Printer, (like the cover of an old book, its contents torn out, and stript of its lettering and gilding) lies here food for worms ; yet the work itself shall not be lost, for it will (as he believed) appear once more in a new and more beautiful edition, corrected and amended by THE AUTHOR.
Page 147 - So I din'd upon cod very heartily, and continued to eat with other people, returning only now and then occasionally to a vegetable diet. So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do.
Page 183 - Temperance, for example, was by some confined to eating and drinking, while by others it was extended to mean the moderating every other pleasure, appetite, inclination, or passion, bodily or mental, even to our avarice and ambition.
Page 167 - Some books against Deism fell into my hands; they were said to be the substance of sermons preached at Boyle's Lectures. It happened that they wrought an effect on me quite contrary to what was intended by them; for the arguments of the Deists, which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to me much stronger than the refutations; in short, I soon became a thorough Deist.
Page 43 - ... paper. They were led by a thread. They had not only a respect, but an affection, for Great Britain, for its laws, its customs and manners, and even a fondness for its fashions, that greatly increased the commerce. Natives of Britain were always treated with particular regard ; to be an Old England- man, was, of itself, a character of some respect, and gave a kind of rank among us.