Monday, January 17, 2011


Burning of a heretic--Sassetta--Melburn museumI think all the heretics I have known have been virtuous men. They have the virtue of fortitude or they would not venture to own their heresy; and they cannot afford to be deficient in any of the other virtues, as that would give advantage to their many enemies; and they have not like orthodox sinners, such a number of friends to excuse or justify them. Do not, however mistake me. It is not to my good friend's heresy that I impute his honesty. On the contrary, 'tis his honesty that has brought upon him the character of heretic.

-- Benjamin Franklin (17 January 1706 - 17 April 1790), American inventor, journalist, diplomat, and statesman, letter to Benjamin Vaughan, 24 October 1788

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