Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 49

business of the utmost
importance, but should send the letters to me on board, wished me
heartily a good voyage and a speedy return, etc. I returned on board a
little puzzled, but still not doubting.

Mr. Andrew Hamilton, a famous lawyer of Philadelphia, had taken
passage in the same ship for himself and son, and with Mr. Denham, a
Quaker merchant, and Messrs. Onion and Russel, masters of an iron work
in Maryland, had engaged the great cabin; so that Ralph and I were
forced to take up with a berth in the steerage, and none on board
knowing us, were considered as ordinary persons. But Mr. Hamilton and
his son (it was James, since governor) return'd from Newcastle to
Philadelphia, the father being recall'd by a great fee to plead for a
seized ship; and, just before we sail'd, Colonel French coming on
board, and showing me great respect, I was more taken notice of, and,
with my friend Ralph, invited by the other gentlemen to come into the
cabin, there being now room. Accordingly, we remov'd thither.

Understanding that Colonel French had brought on board the governor's
despatches, I ask'd the captain for those letters that were to be
under my care. He said all were put into the bag together and he could
not then come at them; but, before we landed in England, I should have
an opportunity of picking them out; so I was satisfied for the
present, and we proceeded on our voyage. We had a sociable company in
the cabin, and lived uncommonly well, having the addition of all Mr.
Hamilton's stores, who had laid in plentifully. In this passage Mr.
Denham contracted a friendship for me that continued during his life.
The voyage was otherwise not a pleasant one, as we had a great deal of
bad weather.

When we came into the Channel, the captain kept his word with me, and
gave me an opportunity of examining the bag for the governor's
letters. I found none upon which my name was put as under my care. I
picked out six or seven, that, by the handwriting, I thought might be
the promised letters, especially as one of them was directed to
Basket, the king's printer, and another to some stationer. We arriv'd
in London the 24th of December, 1724. I waited upon the stationer, who
came first in my way, delivering the letter as from Governor Keith. "I
don't know such a person," says he; but, opening the letter, "O! this
is from Riddlesden. I have lately found him to be a compleat rascal,
and I will

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Way to Wealth; or, "Poor Richard Improved"

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] LONDON: PRINTED BY AND FOR W.
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coloured 1 6 Portraits of Curious Characters in London, &c.
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COURTEOUS READER, I HAVE heard that nothing gives an author so great pleasure, as to find his works respectfully quoted by others.
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Octr.
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Many, without labour, would live by their wits only, but they break for want of stock;" whereas industry gives comfort, and plenty, and respect.
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1, 1805.
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" But this they might have known before, if they had taken his advice.
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" And it is as truly folly for the poor to ape the rich, as for the frog to swell, in order to equal the ox.
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" However, remember this, "They that will not be counselled cannot be helped;" and farther, that "If you will not hear Reason, she will surely rap your knuckles," as Poor.
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[Illustration: FINIS.