Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

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...[Illustration: FRANKLIN ARMS]

[Illustration: FRANKLIN SEAL]

[Illustration: Franklin at the Court of Louis XVI

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... 171

"I regularly took my turn of duty there as a common
soldier" ...

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...New England, and owe my first
instructions in literature to the free grammar-schools
...

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...eminence
and wealth. He is not unmindful of the importance of his public
services and their recognition,...

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...eminence, is the most
remarkable of all the remarkable histories of our self-made men. It is
in...

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...who would gain the power to express his ideas clearly,
forcibly, and interestingly cannot do better...

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...and
Goldsmith's _Vicar of Wakefield_. Gibbon wrote _The Decline and Fall
of the Roman Empire_, Hume his...

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...story. Franklin took up the work at Passy in 1784 and
carried the narrative forward a...

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...manuscript, written during the
last year of Franklin's life. Mr. Bigelow republished the
_Autobiography_, with additional interesting...

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...state of affluence and some degree of reputation in the
world, and having gone so far...

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...his sphere of action; and therefore, in many cases, it would
not be altogether absurd if...

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...son for five generations back. My grandfather Thomas, who
was born in 1598, lived at Ecton...

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...the English Parliament
canceled by making the 3rd of September, 1752, the...

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...the tapes. One of the children stood at the door to give notice
if he saw...

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...have
forgotten the two first of the stanza; but the purport of them was,
that his censures...

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...Mr. George Brownell, very successful in
his profession generally, and that by mild, encouraging methods. Under
him...

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...ingenious, could draw prettily, was
skilled a little in music, and had a clear, pleasing voice,...

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...inscription:

...

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... Places...

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...out in books. Pleased with the _Pilgrim's
Progress_, my first collection was of John Bunyan's works...

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...a fancy
to poetry, and made some little pieces; my brother, thinking it might
turn to account,...

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...him. He answered, and I replied. Three or four letters of
a side had passed, when...

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...the method of the language, and this
encouraged me to think I might possibly in time...

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...Seller's and Shermy's
books of Navigation, and became acquainted with the little geometry
they contain; but never...

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...into measures that I have
been from time to time engaged in promoting; and, as the...

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...the undertaking, as
not likely to succeed, one newspaper being, in their judgment, enough
for America. At...

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...sense for such performances was pretty
well exhausted, and then I discovered[24] it, when I began...

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...of Benjamin Franklin; and to
avoid the censure of the Assembly, that might fall on him...

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...to, or
knowledge of, any person in the place, and with very little money in
my pocket.

[Illustration:...

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...in the form of
letters.

When we drew near the island, we found...

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...and, finding I had read a little, became very sociable
and friendly. Our acquaintance continu'd as...

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...into that city, that you may in your
mind compare such unlikely beginnings with the figure...

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...I walked again up the street, which by this time had
many clean-dressed people in it,...

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...then said he would employ me soon, though he had just
then nothing for me to...

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...knave in his composition. He did not like my lodging at Bradford's
while I work'd with...

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...of promising parts, and therefore should
be encouraged; the printers at Philadelphia were wretched ones; and,
if...

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...flattering things of me to my father, and
strongly recommending the project of my setting up...

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...dollar.

My father received the governor's letter with some apparent surprise,
but said little of it to...

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...affectionately, for he always lov'd me. A friend of his, one
Vernon, having some money due...

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...my hours of
leisure for conversation were spent with him, and he continu'd a sober
as well...

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...So he swore he
would make me row, or throw me overboard; and coming along, stepping
on...

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...I think his generous offers insincere? I believ'd him one of the
best men in the...

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...and yet by
degrees led to the point, and brought him into difficulties and
contradictions, that at...

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...same for me; but, as I was about to take a long voyage, and we
were...

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...which describes the descent of a Deity. When the
time of our meeting drew nigh, Ralph...

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...the best of
our set. Osborne went to the West Indies, where he became an eminent
lawyer...

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...business of the utmost
importance, but should send the letters to me on board, wished me
heartily...

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...have nothing to do with him, nor receive any letters from
him." So, putting the letter...

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...but they were poor, and
unable to assist him. He now let me know his intentions...

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...edition of
Wollaston's "Religion of Nature." Some of his reasonings not appearing
to me well founded, I...

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...to try for a country
school, which he thought himself well qualified to undertake, as he
wrote...

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...satires, Vol. III, Epist. ii, page 70.

[42] The printing press at...

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...they said ever haunted those not regularly
admitted, that, notwithstanding the master's protection, I found myself
oblig'd...

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...to take me in at the same
rate, 3s. 6d. per week; cheaper, as she said,...

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...employment for a confessor?"
"Oh," said she, "it is impossible to avoid _vain thoughts_." I was
permitted...

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...to the company, and was much
flatter'd by their admiration; and Wygate, who was desirous of
becoming...

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...days' leisure. On one of these days, I was,
to my surprise, sent for by a...

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...citizen. He seem'd a
little asham'd at seeing me, but pass'd without saying anything. I
should have...

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...but, not readily meeting
with any, I clos'd again with Keimer. I found in his house...

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...London, where,
having no friend to advise him, he fell into bad company, soon spent
his guineas,...

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...noise happening
near the court-house, I put my head out of the window to see what...

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...secret was to
be kept till they should arrive, and in the meantime I was to...

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...acquir'd a good
estate; and says he, "I foresee that you will soon work this man...

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...believing in God, refused to credit the
possibility of miracles and to...

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...any
crown I have since earned; and the gratitude I felt toward House has
made me often...

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...society.

The first members were Joseph Breintnal, a copyer of deeds for the
scriveners, a good-natur'd, friendly...

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...it was often eleven at night, and sometimes later, before I
had finished my distribution for...

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...work for him. My hopes of success, as I told him, were
founded on this, that...

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...They were sensible of the difference: it
strengthened the hands of our friends in the House,...

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...rested for some time, when I said to my partner,
"Perhaps your father is dissatisfied at...

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...an addition, being persuaded that the first small sum
struck in 1723 had done much good...

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...friend Hamilton, the printing of the
Newcastle paper money, another profitable jobb as I then thought...

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...the
printing-house with him. There this apprentice employ'd his former
master as a journeyman; they quarrell'd often;...

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...was a real change of sentiment or only artifice, on a
supposition of our being too...

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...marriage over forty
years. Franklin's correspondence abounds with evidence
...

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...as intelligent as most gentlemen from other
countries, and perhaps have contributed in some degree to...

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...but become a common benefit, each of us being at liberty
to borrow such as he...

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...and propose it to such as they thought lovers of reading.
In this way my affair...

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...of silver! They
had been bought for me without my knowledge by my wife, and had...

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...polemic arguments, or explications of
the peculiar doctrines of our sect, and were all to me...

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...good ones acquired and
established, before we can have any dependence on a steady, uniform
rectitude of...

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...against the unremitting attraction of ancient
habits, and the force of perpetual temptations. This being acquir'd
and...

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... |
| ...

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...the virtues
successively. Thus, in the first week, my great guard was to avoid
every the least...

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...discovers my
truest interest. Strengthen my resolutions to perform what
that wisdom dictates. Accept my kind offices...

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... 10}
...

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... {12}
...

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...my faults in it
vexed me so much, and I made so little progress in amendment,...

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...of obtaining, but fell far short of it, yet I was, by the
endeavour, a better...

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...it from
pettiness in this book is the scope of power and...

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...this
circumstance (there being always in the world a number of rich
merchants, nobility, states, and princes,...

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...character of
integrity) I think it principally owing that I had early so much
weight with my...

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...to be govern'd by suitable good and wise
rules, which good and wise men may probably...

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...postponing the
further prosecution of it at that time; and my multifarious
occupations, public and private, induc'd...

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...Britain on a broadside, to be stuck up in houses; two translations
were made of it...

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... 10 17 4 35 8...

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...rain about_ 8 27 4...

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...8 _None preaches_
2 6 7* rise 12 32 ...

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... 3...

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...8 aftern
28 4 opp. Jup. Ven. _a clear_ 2...

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...no concern, without doing them manifest injustice.
Now, many of our printers make no scruple of...

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...in
admiring them. Among the rest, I became one of his constant hearers,
his sermons pleasing me,...

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... --Pope (Epilogue to...

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...quit the same after spending some years without having made
any great proficiency, and what they...

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...brother ample amends for the service I
had depriv'd him of by leaving him so early.

[Illustration:...

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...The choice was made that year without opposition; but the
year following, when I was again...

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...retaliating his refusal,
while postmaster, to permit my papers being carried by the riders.
Thus he suffer'd...

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...and means
proposed of avoiding them. This was much spoken of as a useful piece,
and gave...

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...of his oratory on his hearers, and how much
they admir'd and respected him, notwithstanding his...

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...eloquence had a wonderful
power over the hearts and purses of his hearers, of which I...

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...terms on which we
stood. Upon one of his arrivals from England at Boston, he wrote...

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...plac'd, that, without
being interested in the subject, one could not help being pleas'd with
the discourse;...

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...little
jealousies and disgusts may arise, with ideas of inequality in the
care and burden of the...

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...thousand.
These all furnished themselves as soon as they could with arms, formed
themselves into companies and...

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...it in the accustomed stile, it was translated into
German,[81] printed in both languages, and divulg'd...

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...war, were clearly for the
defensive. Many pamphlets _pro and con_ were publish'd on the subject,
and...

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...vote with
us, and thirteen, by their absence, manifested that they were not
inclin'd to oppose the...

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...body of the
Quakers, on the other, by compliance contrary to their principles;
hence a variety of...

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...and
charg'd with abominable principles and practices to which they were
utter strangers. I told him this...

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...Account of the new-invented Pennsylvania Fireplaces;
wherein their Construction and Manner of Operation is particularly
explained; their...

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...as an act of mine, but of some _publick-spirited gentlemen_,
avoiding as much as I could,...

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...the building had occasion'd, which embarrass'd them greatly.
Being now a member of both sets of...

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...of our civil government, and almost at the same
time, imposing some duty upon me. The...

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...no liquor, and the
treaty was conducted very orderly, and concluded to mutual
satisfaction. They then claim'd...

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..."I am often ask'd by those to
whom I propose subscribing, Have you consulted Franklin upon...

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...founding,
building, and finishing of the same."

This condition carried the bill through; for the members, who...

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...taught for a time in
the "Log College," from which sprang the...

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...people more willing
to submit to a tax for that purpose.

After some time I drew a...

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... Gardens were closed in 1859, but they will always be
...

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...here let me remark the convenience of having but one gutter in
such a narrow street,...

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...summer, when the days are long; for, in
walking thro' the Strand and Fleet-street one morning...

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...began to repay us; and before I was displac'd by a
freak of the ministers, of...

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...of the
several colonies, met in their respective assemblies. The debates upon
it in Congress went on...

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...and most serious
attention." The House, however, by the management of a certain member,
took it up...

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...contest, and we often din'd together.

[Illustration: "One afternoon, in the height of this
public quarrel, we...

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...I was in the Assembly,
knew its temper, and was Mr. Quincy's countryman, he appli'd to...

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...cordial and affectionate friendship.




XVI

BRADDOCK'S EXPEDITION


The British government, not chusing to permit the union of the
colonies...

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...as I arriv'd at Lancaster, which being, from the
great and sudden effect it produc'd, a...

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...and a reasonable price paid for the
same.

"Note.--My son, William Franklin, is empowered to enter into...

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...two horses, and another the driver, and divide the pay
proportionately between you; but if you...

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...some experience of a camp life, and of
its wants, drew up a list for me,...

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...hardly
detain me above three or four days; and then I see nothing that can
obstruct my...

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...a huddle,
having or hearing no orders, and standing to be shot at till
two-thirds of them...

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...near seven hundred miles, occasioned not the smallest
complaint for the loss of a pig, a...

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...generally known, all
the owners came upon me for the valuation which I had given bond...

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...only of a single word. The bill express'd "that
all estates, real and personal, were to...

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...a village settled by the Moravians, and massacred
the inhabitants; but the place was thought a...

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...were
not attack'd in our march, for our arms were of the most ordinary
sort, and our...

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...and fir'd it as soon as fix'd, to let
the Indians know, if any were within...

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...a zealous Presbyterian minister, Mr. Beatty,
who complained to me that the men did not generally...

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...I observed loopholes, at certain distances all along just
under the ceiling, which I thought judiciously...

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...opinion, which I take to be generally the best way in such
cases. The officers, meeting,...

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...an intention to take the government of the province
out of his hands by force. He...

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...who was
lately arrived from Scotland, and show'd me some electric experiments.
They were imperfectly perform'd, as...

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...the members also of that society, who wrote me
word that it had been read, but...

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...different languages, might be
lengthened greatly by mistranslations, and thence misconceptions of
one another's meaning, much of...

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...before treated me.
Without my having made any application for that honour, they chose me
a member,...

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...proprietary, and that,
whenever the public measures he propos'd should appear to be for the
good of...

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...refus'd to pass, in compliance with his
instructions.

I had agreed with Captain Morris, of the packet...

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...know, _entre nous_, that if you
are there by Monday morning, you will be in time,...

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...St. George on the signs, _always on
horseback, and never rides on_." This observation of the...

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...though detained
afterwards from day to day during full three months.

I saw also in London one...

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...thereby superseded, was present also. There was
a great company of officers, citizens, and strangers, and,...

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...small mortification. After
many conjectures respecting the cause, when we were near another ship
almost as dull...

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...another. Besides, it
scarce ever happens that a ship is form'd, fitted for the sea, and
sail'd...

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...from
the man at the helm, and from the rest of the watch, but by an
accidental...

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...was against an immediate complaint to government, and thought the
proprietaries should first be personally appli'd...

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...had refus'd that point
of sovereignty to the king only that they might reserve it for
themselves.

...

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...they being really
weak in point of argument and haughty in expression, he had conceived a
mortal...

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...would have no such
effect. That the assessors were honest and discreet men under an oath
to...

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...suing him for breach of instructions which he
had given bond to observe. He, however, having...

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...and all the electric experiments be performed,
which are usually done by the help of a...

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...is never found again; and what we call
Time enough, always proves little enough_: Let us...

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...the Rider was lost, being overtaken and slain by the
Enemy; all for the want of...

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...I then came home, and went whistling all
over the house, much pleased with my _whistle_,...

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...their _giving too much for their whistles_.

Yet I ought to have charity for these unhappy...

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...A more exhaustive
account of the life and times of Franklin may be found in James
Parton's...

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...Peace._

A satirical plea for the prosecution of the war against
France.

_1760. The Interest of Great Britain...

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...called this the LI Chapter of Genesis.

...

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...it is likely that they who
desire to acquaint themselves with any particular
Art or Science, would...

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...Message sent by
his Excellency Governor _Burnet_, to the
House of Representatives in _Boston_.

_Gentlemen of the House...

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...said Runaway, so that his Master
may have him again, shall have _Twenty Shillings_ Reward,
and reasonable...

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...other Stationary Ware. Several
sorts of Checquer'd Linnen. Flannels and Duroys. Scots-Snuff.

_To be LET by the...

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...their Loss Condol'd.
Some say, she's Wed; I say, she's sold.

_The Letter against Inoculating the Small...

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...the last Swiss War was given up to
Zurich and Berne in Propriety, with a Reservation...

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...therefore suspected
to have received the Contagion; But upon the
matter, it doth not appear there was...