Category Archives: The Writings of Benjamin Franklin, Vol I: Boston & London

Boston and London, 1722 – 1726

Silence Dogood, No. 2

To the Author of the New-England Courant. SIR, Histories of Lives are seldom entertaining, unless they contain something either admirable or exemplar: And since there is little or nothing of this Nature in my own Adventures, I will not tire your Readers with tedious Particulars of no Consequence, but will briefly, and in as few Words as possible, relate the most material Occurrences of my Life, and according to my Promise, confine all to this Letter. My Reverend Master who had hitherto remained a Batchelor, (after much Meditation on the Eighteenth verse of the Second Chapter of Genesis,) took up a Resolution to marry; and having made several unsuccessful fruitless Attempts on the more topping Sort of our Sex, and … Continue reading

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Silence Dogood, No. 2

To the author of the New England Courant. SIR, It is undoubtedly the Duty of all Persons to serve the Country they live in, according to their Abilities; yet I sincerely acknowledge, that I have hitherto been very deficient in this Particular; whether it was for want of Will or Opportunity, I will not at present stand to determine: Let it suffice, that I now take up a Resolution, to do for the future all that lies in my Way for the Service of my Countrymen. I have from my Youth been indefatigably studious to gain and treasure up in my Mind all useful and desireable Knowledge, especially such as tends to improve the Mind, and enlarge the Understanding: And as I … Continue reading

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Silence Dogood, No. 4

An sum etiam nunc vel Graece loqui vel Latine docendus? Cicero.   To the author of the New England Courant. SIR, Discoursing the other Day at Dinner with my Reverend Boarder, formerly mention’d, (whom for Distinction sake we will call by the Name of Clericus,) concerning the Education of Children, I ask’d his Advice about my young Son William, whether or no I had best bestow upon him Academical Learning, or (as our Phrase is) bring him up at our College: He perswaded me to do it by all Means, using many weighty Arguments with me, and answering all the Objections that I could form against it; telling me withal, that he did not doubt but that the Lad would take his Learning … Continue reading

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Silence Dogood, No. 5

Mulier Mulieri magis congruet. Ter. To the author of the New England Courant. SIR, I shall here present your Readers with a Letter from one, who informs me that I have begun at the wrong End of my Business, and that I ought to begin at Home, and censure the Vices and Follies of my own Sex, before I venture to meddle with your’s: Nevertheless, I am resolved to dedicate this Speculation to the Fair Tribe, and endeavour to show, that Mr. Ephraim charges Women with being particularly guilty of Pride, Idleness, &c. wrongfully, inasmuch as the Men have not only as great a Share in those Vices as the Women, but are likewise in a great Measure the Cause of that which the … Continue reading

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