Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin | Go to book overview
Save to active project

INTRODUCTION

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

TEN years before the breaking out of the war of the Revolution, Hume called Franklin " the first philosopher and indeed the first great man of letters " in the new world ; on the very eve of that struggle, Samuel Johnson, in his astonishing pamphlet Taxation no Tyranny, described him as " a master of mischief," who knew " how to put in motion the engine of political electricity"; and during the war, while Franklin was pressing the claims of the American patriots upon France, he was often represented in various attitudes as commanding and using the lightning as a servant of the cause of liberty. Turgot's famous line

" Eripuit cœlo fulmen, septrumque tyrannis,"

happily expressed the two sides of Franklin's activity which made a deep impression on Europe : his fruitful passion for science, and his ardent advocacy of liberty. During the eventful years from 1765 to his death in 1790, Franklin was, from the European standpoint, distinctly the foremost man in America; and after the lapse of more than a century, probably no American save Lincoln is more widely known beyond the sea In this country other figures have to a certain extent withdrawn public attention from his extraordinary career and sensibly diminished his reputation ; a process which has been aided by Franklin's lack of idealism in mind

-v-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 249

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?