prose, the style of the Spectator
rules — an admirable style, Franklin
thought, and he imitated it patiently until its ease and urbanity had become his own. And indeed, how much of that London
of the third decade of the century passed into the mind of the inquisitive, roving, loose-living printer's apprentice from Philadelphia
It taught him that the tangible world is the real world, and that nothing succeeds like success; but it never even whispered to him that sometimes nothing damns like success.
In his limitations, no less than in his power of assimilation, Franklin
was the representative man of his era. He had no artistic interests, no liking for metaphysics after his brief devotion, in early manhood, to the dialogues of Plato
He taught himself some Latin, but he came to believe that the classics had little significance and that they should be superseded by the modern languages.
For the medieval world he had no patience or understanding.
To these defects of his century we must add some failings of his own. He was not always truthful.
He had an indelible streak of coarseness.
His conception of the “art of virtue” was mechanical.
the “father of all the Yankees
,” we must