Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 19

ingenious, could draw prettily, was
skilled a little in music, and had a clear, pleasing voice, so that
when he played psalm tunes on his violin and sung withal, as he
sometimes did in an evening after the business of the day was over, it
was extremely agreeable to hear. He had a mechanical genius too, and,
on occasion, was very handy in the use of other tradesmen's tools; but
his great excellence lay in a sound understanding and solid judgment
in prudential matters, both in private and publick affairs. In the
latter, indeed, he was never employed, the numerous family he had to
educate and the straitness of his circumstances keeping him close to
his trade; but I remember well his being frequently visited by leading
people, who consulted him for his opinion in affairs of the town or of
the church he belonged to, and showed a good deal of respect for his
judgment and advice: he was also much consulted by private persons
about their affairs when any difficulty occurred, and frequently
chosen an arbitrator between contending parties. At his table he liked
to have, as often as he could, some sensible friend or neighbor to
converse with, and always took care to start some ingenious or useful
topic for discourse, which might tend to improve the minds of his
children. By this means he turned our attention to what was good,
just, and prudent in the conduct of life; and little or no notice was
ever taken of what related to the victuals on the table, whether it
was well or ill dressed, in or out of season, of good or bad flavor,
preferable or inferior to this or that other thing of the kind, so
that I was bro't up in such a perfect inattention to those matters as
to be quite indifferent what kind of food was set before me, and so
unobservant of it, that to this day if I am asked I can scarce tell a
few hours after dinner what I dined upon. This has been a convenience
to me in traveling, where my companions have been sometimes very
unhappy for want of a suitable gratification of their more delicate,
because better instructed, tastes and appetites.

My mother had likewise an excellent constitution: she suckled all her
ten children. I never knew either my father or mother to have any
sickness but that of which they dy'd, he at 89, and she at 85 years of
age. They lie buried together at Boston, where I some years since
placed a marble over their grave,[15] with this

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Text Comparison with Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

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The Story of the Autobiography The account of how Franklin's _Autobiography_ came to be written and of the adventures of the original manuscript forms in itself an interesting story.
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Asaph, Dr.
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The next morning the workmen were surprised at missing the stones, which were found in our wharf.
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inscription: Josiah Franklin, and Abiah his wife, lie here interred.
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She invited me to lodge at her house till a passage by water should offer; and being tired with my foot traveling, I accepted the invitation.
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Then he wrote a civil letter to Sir William, thanking him for the patronage he had so kindly offered me, but declining to assist me as yet in setting up, I being, in his opinion, too young to be trusted with the management of a business so important, and for which the preparation must be so expensive.
Page 63
He then let me know that his father had a high opinion of me, and, from some discourse that had pass'd between them, he was sure would advance money to set us up, if I would enter into partnership with him.
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any crown I have since earned; and the gratitude I felt toward House has made me often more ready than perhaps I should otherwise have been to assist young beginners.
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This was accordingly done, and for some time contented us.
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Had he been in my opinion a good preacher, perhaps I might have continued,[65] notwithstanding the occasion I had for the Sunday's leisure in my course of study; but his discourses were chiefly either.
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These proverbs, which contained the wisdom of many ages and nations, I assembled and form'd into a connected discourse prefix'd to the Almanack of 1757, as the harangue of a wise old man to the people attending an auction.
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Thus, without studying in any college, I came to partake of their honours.
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Quincy's countryman, he appli'd to me for my influence and assistance.
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He landed at Alexandria, in Virginia, and thence march'd to Frederictown, in Maryland, where he halted for carriages.
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My answers were to this purpose: that my circumstances, thanks to God, were such as to make proprietary favours unnecessary to me; and that, being a member of the Assembly, I could not possibly accept of any; that, however, I had no personal enmity to the.
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We now appeared very wide, and so far from each other in our opinions as to discourage all hope of agreement.
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Men thus accomplish'd are very rare in this remote Part of the World; and it would be well if the Writer of these Papers could make up among his Friends what is wanting in himself.
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