Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 114

plac'd, that, without
being interested in the subject, one could not help being pleas'd with
the discourse; a pleasure of much the same kind with that receiv'd
from an excellent piece of musick. This is an advantage itinerant
preachers have over those who are stationary, as the latter cannot
well improve their delivery of a sermon by so many rehearsals.

His writing and printing from time to time gave great advantage to his
enemies; unguarded expressions, and even erroneous opinions, delivered
in preaching, might have been afterwards explain'd or qualifi'd by
supposing others that might have accompani'd them, or they might have
been deny'd; but _litera scripta manet_. Critics attack'd his writings
violently, and with so much appearance of reason as to diminish the
number of his votaries and prevent their increase; so that I am of
opinion if he had never written anything, he would have left behind
him a much more numerous and important sect, and his reputation might
in that case have been still growing, even after his death, as there
being nothing of his writing on which to found a censure and give him
a lower character, his proselytes would be left at liberty to feign
for him as great a variety of excellences as their enthusiastic
admiration might wish him to have possessed.

My business was now continually augmenting, and my circumstances
growing daily easier, my newspaper having become very profitable, as
being for a time almost the only one in this and the neighbouring
provinces. I experienced, too, the truth of the observation, "_that
after getting the first hundred pound, it is more easy to get the
second_," money itself being of a prolific nature.

The partnership at Carolina having succeeded, I was encourag'd to
engage in others, and to promote several of my workmen, who had
behaved well, by establishing them with printing-houses in different
colonies, on the same terms with that in Carolina. Most of them did
well, being enabled at the end of our term, six years, to purchase the
types of me and go on working for themselves, by which means several
families were raised. Partnerships often finish in quarrels; but I was
happy in this, that mine were all carried on and ended amicably,
owing, I think, a good deal to the precaution of having very
explicitly settled, in our articles, everything to be done by or
expected from each partner, so that there was nothing to dispute,
which precaution I would therefore recommend to all who enter into
partnerships; for, whatever esteem partners may have for, and
confidence in each other at the time of the contract,

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Text Comparison with The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 1
His most notable service in home politics was his reform of the postal system; but his fame as a statesman rests chiefly on his services in connection with the relations of the Colonies with Great Britain, and later with France.
Page 3
From these notes I learned that the family had lived in the same village, Ecton, in Northamptonshire, for three hundred years, and how much longer he knew not (perhaps from the time when the name of Franklin, that before was the name of an order of people, was assumed by them as a surname when others took surnames all over the kingdom), on a freehold of about thirty acres, aided by the smith's business, which had continued in the family till his time, the eldest son being always bred to that business; a custom which he and my father followed as to their eldest sons.
Page 4
He was very pious, a great attender.
Page 8
There was a salt-marsh that bounded part of the mill-pond, on the edge of which, at high water, we used to stand to fish for minnows.
Page 10
By my rambling digressions I perceive myself to be grown old.
Page 14
I also sometimes jumbled my collections of hints into confusion, and after some weeks endeavored to reduce them into the best order, before I began to form the full sentences and compleat the paper.
Page 26
Sir William Keith, governor of the province, was then at Newcastle, and Captain Holmes, happening to be in company with him when my letter came to hand, spoke to him.
Page 32
But Sir William, on reading his letter, said he was too prudent.
Page 37
Page 43
Watts, after some weeks, desiring to have me in the composing-room, I left the pressmen; a new bien venu or sum for drink, being five shillings, was demanded of me by the compositors.
Page 44
The bien venu among the printers answers to the terms entrance and footing among mechanics; thus a journeyman, on entering a printing-house, was accustomed to pay one or more gallons of beer for the good of the chapel; this custom was falling into disuse thirty years ago; it is very properly rejected entirely in the United States.
Page 53
Several of them had been appointed by the Assembly a committee to attend the press, and take care that no more bills were printed than the law directed.
Page 73
I therefore put myself as much as I could out of sight, and stated it as a scheme of a number of friends, who had requested me to go about and propose it to such as they thought lovers of reading.
Page 85
In truth, I found myself incorrigible with respect to Order; and now I am grown old, and my memory bad, I feel very sensibly the want of it.
Page 107
Their captain prepar'd for defense; but told William Penn and his company of Quakers, that he did not expect their assistance, and they might retire into the cabin, which they did, except James Logan, who chose to stay upon deck, and was quarter'd to a gun.
Page 119
And here let me remark the convenience of having but one gutter in such a narrow street, running down its middle, instead of two, one on each side, near the footway; for where all the rain that falls on a street runs from the sides and meets in the middle, it forms there a current strong enough to wash away all the mud it meets with; but when divided into two channels, it is often too weak to cleanse either, and only makes the mud it finds more fluid, so that the wheels of carriages and feet of horses throw and dash it upon the foot-pavement, which is thereby rendered foul and slippery, and sometimes splash it upon those who are walking.
Page 123
He brought a commission to supersede Mr.
Page 147
, etc.
Page 150
The other two paquets he still detained, carried them with him to Halifax, where he stayed some time to exercise the men in sham attacks upon sham forts, then alter'd his mind as.
Page 159
It has seemed advisable, therefore, to detail the chief events in Franklin's life, from the beginning, in the following list: 1706 He is born, in Boston, and baptized in the Old South Church.