my character of integrity) I think it principally owing that I had early so much weight with my fellow-citizens when I proposed new institutions or alterations in the old ; and so much influence in public councils when I became a member; for I was but a bad speaker, never eloquent, subject to much hesitation in my choice of words, hardly correct in language, and yet I generally carried my point.
In reality there is, perhaps no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Disguise it, struggle with it, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive and will every now and then peep out and show itself; you will see it, perhaps, often in this history. For even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility.
HAVING mentioned a great and extensive project which I had conceived, it seems proper that some account should be here given of that project and its object. Its first rise in my mind appears in the following little paper, accidentally preserved, viz. :
"Observations on my reading history in the library,
May 9th, 1731.
"That the great affairs of the world, the wars and revolutions, are carried on and effected by parties.
"That the view of these parties is their present general interest, or what they take to be such.
"That the different views of these different parties occasion all confusion.
"That while a party is carrying on a general design, each man has his particular private interest in view.
"That as soon as a party has gained its general point, each member