Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 29

sense for such performances was pretty
well exhausted, and then I discovered[24] it, when I began to be
considered a little more by my brother's acquaintance, and in a manner
that did not quite please him, as he thought, probably with reason,
that it tended to make me too vain. And, perhaps, this might be one
occasion of the differences that we began to have about this time.
Though a brother, he considered himself as my master, and me as his
apprentice, and, accordingly, expected the same services from me as he
would from another, while I thought he demean'd me too much in some he
requir'd of me, who from a brother expected more indulgence. Our
disputes were often brought before our father, and I fancy I was
either generally in the right, or else a better pleader, because the
judgment was generally in my favor. But my brother was passionate,
and had often beaten me, which I took extreamly amiss; and, thinking
my apprenticeship very tedious, I was continually wishing for some
opportunity of shortening it, which at length offered in a manner
unexpected.

[24] Disclosed.

[Illustration: "I was employed to carry the papers thro' the streets
to the customers"]

One of the pieces in our newspaper on some political point, which I
have now forgotten, gave offense to the Assembly. He was taken up,
censur'd, and imprison'd for a month, by the speaker's warrant, I
suppose, because he would not discover his author. I too was taken up
and examin'd before the council; but, tho' I did not give them any
satisfaction, they contented themselves with admonishing me, and
dismissed me, considering me, perhaps, as an apprentice, who was bound
to keep his master's secrets.

During my brother's confinement, which I resented a good deal,
notwithstanding our private differences, I had the management of the
paper; and I made bold to give our rulers some rubs in it, which my
brother took very kindly, while others began to consider me in an
unfavorable light, as a young genius that had a turn for libeling and
satyr. My brother's discharge was accompany'd with an order of the
House (a very odd one), that "_James Franklin should no longer print
the paper called the New England Courant_."

There was a consultation held in our printing-house among his friends,
what he should do in this case. Some proposed to evade the order by
changing the name of the paper; but my brother, seeing inconveniences
in that, it was finally concluded on as a better way, to let it be
printed for the future under the name

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