More on Franklin
His scientific theory on electricity was laughed at in the Royal Society at first.
He was not strictly a Deist, as they hold to an absent and un-involved God. Franklin actually composed his own liturgies and prayers for worship. But a divine or atoning Jesus was not part of his beliefs.
His family life neared wreck status. His son, governor of New Jersey, was a loyalist, and Ben kept that son's son with him after a return from Europe. He cut the governor son out of his will. He was distant from his wife, lived with a widow in London, and tells us himself he had some run-ins with prostitutes. This is the man who sought perfection in virtue!
Here are some of his sayings:
Three can keep secret if two are dead.
Wise men don't need advice. Fools won't take it.
The constitution only give people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.
Many people die at 25 and aren't bureid until they are 75.
Never confuse motion with action.
Never take a wife till thou hast a house to put her in.
He that rises late must trot all day.
He that won't be counseled can't be helped.
If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.
If time be of all things the most precious, wasting time must be the greatest prodigality.
All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move.
That last one fascinates me. As a diplomat and negotiator in many delicate situations, he must have seen his fair share of hard heads and compromisers. It is those who strike the right balance who influence events the most. Reminds me of the unruly Republicans right now...