Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 165

thereby superseded, was present also. There was
a great company of officers, citizens, and strangers, and, some chairs
having been borrowed in the neighborhood, there was one among them
very low, which fell to the lot of Mr. Shirley. Perceiving it as I sat
by him, I said, "They have given you, sir, too low a seat." "No
matter," says he, "Mr. Franklin, I find _a low seat_ the easiest."

While I was, as afore mention'd, detain'd at New York, I receiv'd all
the accounts of the provisions, etc., that I had furnish'd to
Braddock, some of which accounts could not sooner be obtain'd from the
different persons I had employ'd to assist in the business. I
presented them to Lord Loudoun, desiring to be paid the balance. He
caus'd them to be regularly examined by the proper officer, who, after
comparing every article with its voucher, certified them to be right;
and the balance due for which his lordship promis'd to give me an
order on the paymaster. This was, however, put off from time to time;
and tho' I call'd often for it by appointment, I did not get it. At
length, just before my departure, he told me he had, on better
consideration, concluded not to mix his accounts with those of his
predecessors. "And you," says he, "when in England, have only to
exhibit your accounts at the treasury, and you will be paid

I mention'd, but without effect, the great and unexpected expense I
had been put to by being detain'd so long at New York, as a reason for
my desiring to be presently paid; and on my observing that it was not
right I should be put to any further trouble or delay in obtaining the
money I had advanc'd, as I charged no commission for my service, "O,
Sir," says he, "you must not think of persuading us that you are no
gainer; we understand better those affairs, and know that every one
concerned in supplying the army finds means, in the doing it, to fill
his own pockets." I assur'd him that was not my case, and that I had
not pocketed a farthing; but he appear'd clearly not to believe me;
and, indeed, I have since learnt that immense fortunes are often made
in such employments. As to my balance, I am not paid it to
this day, of which more hereafter.

Our captain of the paquet had boasted much, before we sailed, of the
swiftness of his ship; unfortunately, when we came to sea, she proved
the dullest of ninety-six sail, to his no

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Text Comparison with The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 15
He instantly agreed to it, and I presently found that I could save half what he paid me.
Page 17
this line that which he has coupled with another, I think, less properly, "For want of modesty is want of sense.
Page 24
After dinner, my sleepiness return'd, and being shown to a bed, I lay down without undressing, and slept till six in the evening, was call'd to supper, went to bed again very early, and slept soundly till next morning.
Page 28
Holmes was not yet return'd, and had not written about me.
Page 31
At length he had got so much of it that I was distress'd to think what I should do in case of being call'd on to remit it.
Page 33
" So I din'd upon cod very heartily, and continued to eat with other people, returning only now and then occasionally to a vegetable diet.
Page 36
"But who would have imagin'd," said he, "that Franklin had been capable of such a performance; such painting, such force, such fire! He has even improv'd the original.
Page 51
He, however, kindly made no demand of it.
Page 68
School and other education constantly proceed upon false principles, and show a clumsy apparatus pointed at a false mark; but your apparatus is simple, and the mark a true one; and while parents and young persons are left destitute of other just means of estimating and becoming prepared for a reasonable course in life, your discovery that the thing is in many a man's private power, will be invaluable! Influence upon the private character, late in life, is not only an influence late in life, but a weak influence.
Page 73
So few were the readers at that time in Philadelphia, and the majority of us so poor, that I was not able, with great industry, to find more than fifty persons, mostly young tradesmen, willing to pay down for this purpose forty shillings each, and ten shillings per annum.
Page 90
In 1732 I first publish'd my Almanack, under the name of Richard Saunders; it was continu'd by me about twenty-five years, commonly call'd Poor Richard's Almanac.
Page 98
The utility of this institution soon appeared, and many more desiring to be admitted than we thought convenient for one company, they were advised to form another, which was accordingly done; and this went on, one new company being formed after another, till they became so numerous as to include most of the inhabitants who were men of property; and now, at the time of my writing this, tho' upward of fifty years since its establishment, that which I first formed, called the Union Fire Company, still subsists and flourishes, tho' the first members are all deceas'd but myself and one, who is older by a year than I am.
Page 119
My proposal, communicated to the good doctor, was as follows: "For the more effectual cleaning and keeping clean the streets of London and Westminster, it is proposed that the several watchmen be contracted with to have the dust swept up in dry seasons, and the mud rak'd up at other times, each in the several streets and lanes of his round; that they be furnish'd with brooms and other proper instruments for these purposes, to be kept at their respective stands, ready to furnish the poor people they may employ in the service.
Page 122
The debates upon it in Congress went on daily, hand in hand with the Indian business.
Page 126
only receiv'd in payment for the provisions, but many money'd people, who had cash lying by them, vested it in those orders, which they found advantageous, as they bore interest while upon hand, and might on any occasion be used as money; so that they were eagerly all bought up, and in a few weeks none of them were to be seen.
Page 131
, if he had treated them kindly; but he slighted and neglected them, and they gradually left him.
Page 133
The flyers, not being pursu'd, arriv'd at Dunbar's camp, and the panick they brought with them instantly seiz'd him and all his people; and, tho' he had now above one thousand men, and the enemy who had beaten Braddock did not at most exceed four hundred Indians and French together, instead of proceeding, and endeavoring to recover some of the lost honour, he ordered all the stores, ammunition, etc.
Page 137
Just before we left Bethlehem, eleven farmers, who had been driven from their plantations by the Indians, came to me requesting a supply of firearms, that they might go back and fetch off their cattle.
Page 150
This daily expectation of sailing, and all the three paquets going down to Sandy Hook, to join the fleet there, the passengers thought it best to be on board, lest by a sudden order the ships should sail, and they be left behind.
Page 151
Loudoun, instead of defending the colonies with his great army, left them totally expos'd while he paraded idly at Halifax, by which means Fort George was lost, besides, he derang'd all our mercantile operations, and distress'd our trade, by a long embargo on the exportation of provisions, on pretence of keeping supplies from being obtain'd by the enemy, but in reality for beating.