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myself, don't give too much for the whistle; and so I saved my money.
As I grew up, came into the world, and observed the actions of men, I thought I met with many, very many who gave too much for the whistle.
When I saw any one too ambitious of court favours, sacrificing his time in attendance on levees, bis repose, bis liberty, his virtue, and perhaps his friends, to attain it; I have said to myself, this man gives too much for his whistle.
When I saw another fond of popularity, constantly employing himself in political bustles, neglecting his own affairs, and ruining them by that neglect; he pays, indeed, says I, too much for his whistle.
If I knew a miser, who gave up every kind of comfortable living; all the pleasures of doing good to others, all the esteem of his fellow-citizens; and the joys of benevolent friendship, for the sake of accumulating wealth; poor man, says I, you do, indeed, pay too much for your whistle.
When I meet a man of pleasure, sacrificing every laudable improvement of the mind, or of his fortune, to mere corporeal sensatioris. Mistaken man, says 1, you are providing pain for yourself, instead of pleasure. You give too much for your whistle.
It I see one fond of fine cloths, fine furniture, five equipages, all above his fortune, for which he contracts debts, and ends his career in prison; alas, says I, he has paid dear, very dear, for his whistle.
When I see a beautiful, sweet-tempered girl, married to an ill natured brute of a husband; what a pity it is, says I, that she has paid so much for a whistle.
In short, I conceived, that great part of the miseries of mankind were brought upon them, by the false estimates they had made of the value of things, and by their giving too much for their whistle.
The following adınirable satire against prejudice, can never be too often read by the ill-natured and hypochondriacal.
THE HANDSOME AND UGLY LEG.
THERE are two sorts of people in the world, who, with equal advantages of life, become, the one happy, and the other miserable. This arises, very much, from the different views in which they consider things, and the effect of those different views upon their own minds.
In every situation men can be placed, they may find conveniences and inconveniences; in every company, persons and conversations more or less pleasing; at every table, meats and drinks of better and worse taste; dishes better and worse dressed; in every climate, good and bad weather; and under every government, good and bad laws, and a good and bad administration of those laws; in every poem, faults and beauties; in almost every face, and every person, fine features and sad defects, good and bad qualities.
Under these circumstances, the two classes above mentioned, fix their attention--those who are disposed to be happy, on the conveniences of things, the pleasant parts of conversation, the well dressed dishes, the goodness of the wine, the fine weather, &c. and enjoy all with cheerfulness. Those who are to be unhappy, think and speak only of the contraries. Hence they are con. tinually discontented themselves, and, by their reinarks, sour the pleasures of society, and make them. selves every where disagreeable.
Nobody loves this sort of people; no one shows them more than the commonest civility, and scarcely that; and this frequently puts them out of huniour, and draws them into disputes. If they aim at obtaining any advantage in rank or fortune, nobody wishes them success, or will stir a step to savour their pretensions. If they incur public censure or disgrace, no one will defend or excuse, and many join to aggravate their misconduct, and render them completely odious. If these poor gen. tlemen will not change this bad habit, condescend to be pleased with what is pleasing, without fretting themselves and others about the contraries, it is good to
avoid an acquaintance with them, which is always disagreeable, and sometiines very inconvenient, especially when one finds one's self entangled in their quarrels.
An old philosophical friend of mine, was grown, from esperience, very cautious in this particular, and caretul. ly avoided any intimacy with such people. He had, like other philosophers, a thermometer, to shew him the heat of the weather, and a baroineter, to ark when it was likely to prove good or bad; but there being no instrument invented to discover, at first sight, this unpleasing disposition in a person, he, for that purpose, made use of his legs; one of which was remarkably handsome, the other, by some accident, crooked and deformed. If a stranger, at the first interview, kept his eye on his ug. ly leg more than the handsome one, he doubted him; if he spoke of it, and took no notice of the handsome leg, that was sufficient to determine my philosopher to have no further acquaintance with him, Every body has not this two-legged instrument; but every one, with a little attention, may observe signs of that carping, fault-finding disposition, and take the same resolution of avoiding the acquaintance of these infected with it. I therefore advise those critical, querolous, discontented, unhappy people, that if they wish to be respected and beloved by others, and happy in themselves, they should leave off looking at the ugly leg.
"A good wit will turn every thing to advantage," says Shakspeare; and the following will show what a singular passion Dr. Franklin had to turn every little cross incident of his own life into pleasure and profit to others. He calls it
STOOP, AND GO SAFE.
To the late Dr. Mather, of Boston. Rev. Sir,
WHEN I was a boy, I met with a book, entitled. “Essays to do Good," which, I think, was written by your father. It had been so little regarded by a former possessor, that several leaves of it were torn out: but the remainder gave me such a turn, for thinking, as te
have an influence on my couduct through life; for I have always set a greater value on the character of a doer of good than any other kind of reputation; and if I have been, as you seem to think, a useful citizen, the public owes the advantage of it to that book.
The last time I saw your father was in the begin. ning of 1724, when I visited him after my first trip to Pennsylvania. He recerved me in his library; and on my taking leave, showed me a shorter way out of the house, through a narrow passage, which was crossed by a beam over head. We were still talking, as I withdrew; be accompanying me behind, and I turning partly towards him, when he said hastily, "stoop! stoop! I did not understand him, till I felt my head hit against the beam. He was a man, who never missed any occasion of giving instruction; and upon this he said to me, "you are young and have the world before you.
STOOP, as you go through, and you will miss many hard thumps." This advice, thus beat into my head, has frequently been of use to me; and I often think of it, when I see pride mortified; and misfortune brought upon people, by carrying their heads too high.
I long much to see again my native place; and did hope to have been there in 1783; but could not obtain my dismission from employment here. And now I fear I shall never have that happiness. My best wishes, however, attend my dear country. It is now blessed with an excellent constituon. May it last for ever!
This powerful monarchy continues its friendship for the United States. It is a friendship of the utmost importance to our security; and should be carefully cultivated.. Britain has not yet digested the loss of its dominion over us; and has still, at times, some flattering hopes of recovering it. Accidents inay increase those hopes, and encourage dangerous attempts. A breach between us and France would iufallibiy bring the English again upon our backs: and, yet, we have some wild beasts among our countrymen, w 10 are endeavouring to weaken that connexion.
Let us preserve our reputation, by performing our engagements; our credit, ty fulfilling our contracts;
and our friends, by gratitude and kindness: for we know not how soon we may ayain have occasion for ali of them.
With great and sincere esteem,
The witty little essay that follows, will shew how very closely Dr. Franklin observed every thing around him, and what gross errors in cducation yet remain to be corrected.
THE HUMOUROUS PETITION.
I ADDRESS myself to all the friends of youth and conjúre them to direct their compassionate regard to iny unhappy fate, in order to remove the prejudices of which. I am the victim. There are twin sisters of us, and the two
eyes of man do not more resemble, nor are capable of being upon better terms with each other, than my sister and myself, were it not for the partiality of our parents, who make the most injurious distinctions be. tween us. From my infancy I have been led to consider
my sister as being of a more elevatel rank. I was suffered to grow up without the least instruction, while nothing was spared in her education. She had inasters to teach her writing, drawing, music, and other accom-: plishments, but if, by chance, I touched a pencil, a pen, or a needle, I was bitterly rebuked; and more than once I have been beaten for being awkward, and wanting a graceful manner. It is true, my sister associated me with her upon some occasions; but she always made a point of taking the lead, calling upon me only from necessity, or to figure by her side.
Bui conceive not, sirs, that my complaints are instigated merely by vanity-nu, my uneasiness is occas oned by an object much muore serious. It is the practice in