The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Front Cover
Macmillan, 1927 - 243 pages

From inside the book

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 114 - Here will I hold. If there's a power above us (And that there is, all Nature cries aloud Through all her works), he must delight in virtue ; And that which he delights in must be happy.
Page 18 - By comparing my work afterwards with the original, I discovered many faults and amended them ; but I sometimes had the pleasure of fancying that, in certain particulars of small import, I had been lucky enough to improve the method or the language, and this encouraged me to think I might possibly in time come to be a tolerable English writer, of which I was extreamly ambitious.
Page 14 - Essays to do Good, which perhaps gave me a turn of thinking that had an influence on some of the principal future events of my life. This bookish inclination at length determined my father to make me a printer, though he had already one son (James) of that profession. In 1717 my brother James returned from England with a press and letters to set up his business in Boston. I liked it much better than that of my father, but still had a hankering for the sea. To prevent the apprehended effect of such...
Page 106 - Seest thou a man diligent in his calling, he shall stand before kings, he shall not stand before mean men...
Page 16 - We sometimes disputed, and very fond we were of argument, and very desirous of confuting one another, which disputatious turn, by the way, is apt to become a very bad habit, making people often extremely disagreeable in company by the contradiction that is necessary to bring it into practice ; and thence, besides souring and spoiling the conversation, is productive of disgusts and perhaps enmities, where you may have occasion for friendship.
Page 142 - The request was fortunately made to perhaps the only man in the company who had the firmness not to be affected by the preacher. His answer was, "At any other time, friend Hopkinson, I would lend to thee freely ; but not now, for thee seems to be out of thy right senses.
Page 2 - Most people dislike vanity in others, whatever share they have of it themselves ; but I give it fair quarter wherever I meet with it, being persuaded that it is often productive of good to the possessor, and to others that are within his sphere of action ; and therefore, in many cases, it would not be altogether absurd if a man were to thank God for his vanity among the other comforts of life.
Page 31 - ... fear of being thought to have but little. Then I walked up the street, gazing about till near the markethouse I met a boy with bread. I had made many a meal on bread, and, inquiring where he got it, I went immediately to the baker's he directed me to, in Second-street, and ask'd for bisket, intending such as we had in Boston; but they, it seems, were not made in Philadelphia. Then I asked for a three-penny loaf, and was told they had none such. So not considering or knowing the difference of...
Page 109 - It was about this time I conceiv'd the bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection. I wish'd to live without committing any fault at any time; I would conquer all that either natural inclination, custom, or company might lead me into.
Page 115 - Father of light and life ! thou Good Supreme ! O teach me what is good ! teach me Thyself ! Save me from folly, vanity, and vice, From every low pursuit! and feed my soul With knowledge, conscious peace, and virtue pure; Sacred, substantial, never-fading bliss...

Bibliographic information