Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 103

no concern, without doing them manifest injustice.
Now, many of our printers make no scruple of gratifying the malice of
individuals by false accusations of the fairest characters among
ourselves, augmenting animosity even to the producing of duels; and
are, moreover, so indiscreet as to print scurrilous reflections on the
government of neighboring states, and even on the conduct of our best
national allies, which may be attended with the most pernicious
consequences. These things I mention as a caution to young printers,
and that they may be encouraged not to pollute their presses and
disgrace their profession by such infamous practices, but refuse
steadily, as they may see by my example that such a course of conduct
will not, on the whole, be injurious to their interests.

In 1733 I sent one of my journeymen to Charleston, South Carolina,
where a printer was wanting. I furnish'd him with a press and letters,
on an agreement of partnership, by which I was to receive one-third of
the profits of the business, paying one-third of the expense. He was a
man of learning, and honest but ignorant in matters of account; and,
tho' he sometimes made me remittances, I could get no account from
him, nor any satisfactory state of our partnership while he lived. On
his decease, the business was continued by his widow, who, being born
and bred in Holland, where, as I have been inform'd, the knowledge of
accounts makes a part of female education, she not only sent me as
clear a state as she could find of the transactions past, but
continued to account with the greatest regularity and exactness every
quarter afterwards, and managed the business with such success, that
she not only brought up reputably a family of children, but, at the
expiration of the term, was able to purchase of me the printing-house,
and establish her son in it.

I mention this affair chiefly for the sake of recommending that branch
of education for our young females, as likely to be of more use to
them and their children, in case of widowhood, than either music or
dancing, by preserving them from losses by imposition of crafty men,
and enabling them to continue, perhaps, a profitable mercantile house,
with establish'd correspondence, till a son is grown up fit to
undertake and go on with it, to the lasting advantage and enriching of
the family.

About the year 1734 there arrived among us from Ireland a young
Presbyterian preacher, named Hemphill, who delivered with a good
voice, and apparently extempore, most excellent discourses, which drew
together considerable numbers of different persuasions, who join'd

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin and the First Balloons

Page 0
Smyth, the editor of the last and most complete edition of Franklin's Works,[1] who made careful search for the original documents.
Page 1
[2] Complete Works of Benjamin Franklin, compiled and edited by John Bigelow, Volume VIII, New York, 1888.
Page 2
A little Rain had wet it, so that it shone, and made an agreeable Appearance.
Page 3
One has ordered four of 15 feet Diameter each; I know not with what Purpose; But such is the present Enthusiasm for promoting and improving this Discovery, that probably we shall soon make considerable Progress in the art of constructing and using the Machines.
Page 4
I was not present, but am told it was filled in about ten minutes by means of burning Straw.
Page 5
a tree, and was torn in getting it down; so that it cannot be ascertained whether it burst when above, or not, tho' that is supposed.
Page 6
but there was at the same time a good deal of Anxiety for their Safety.
Page 7
_ That is, in plain English, _burning more straw_; for tho' there is a little Mystery made, concerning the kind of Air with which the Balloon is filled, I conceive it to be nothing more than hot Smoke or common Air rarify'd, tho' in this I may be mistaken.
Page 8
If we do a foolish thing, we are the first to laugh at it ourselves, and are almost as much pleased with a _Bon Mot_ or a good _Chanson_, that ridicules well the Disappointment of a Project, as we might have been with its Success.
Page 9
Page 10
Charles, Professor of Experimental Philosophy, & a zealous Promoter of that Science; and one of the Messieurs Robert, the very ingenious Constructors of the Machine.
Page 11
Les Voyageurs ont assure n'avoir eprouve que des Sensations agreables dans leur traversee.
Page 12
Il a ete ramasse par des Enfans et vendu 6_d.
Page 13
Faujas de Saint-Fond on Nov.
Page 14
les deux tiers de leur Approvisionement.