Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 50

have nothing to do with him, nor receive any letters from
him." So, putting the letter into my hand, he turn'd on his heel and
left me to serve some customer. I was surprized to find these were not
the governor's letters; and, after recollecting and comparing
circumstances, I began to doubt his sincerity. I found my friend
Denham, and opened the whole affair to him. He let me into Keith's
character; told me there was not the least probability that he had
written any letters for me; that no one, who knew him, had the
smallest dependence on him; and he laught at the notion of the
governor's giving me a letter of credit, having, as he said, no credit
to give. On my expressing some concern about what I should do, he
advised me to endeavour getting some employment in the way of my
business. "Among the printers here," said he, "you will improve
yourself, and when you return to America, you will set up to greater

[Illustration: "So, putting the letter into my hand"]

We both of us happen'd to know, as well as the stationer, that
Riddlesden, the attorney, was a very knave. He had half ruin'd Miss
Read's father by persuading him to be bound for him. By this letter it
appear'd there was a secret scheme on foot to the prejudice of
Hamilton (suppos'd to be then coming over with us); and that Keith was
concerned in it with Riddlesden. Denham, who was a friend of
Hamilton's, thought he ought to be acquainted with it; so, when he
arriv'd in England, which was soon after, partly from resentment and
ill-will to Keith and Riddlesden, and partly from good-will to him, I
waited on him, and gave him the letter. He thank'd me cordially, the
information being of importance to him; and from that time he became
my friend, greatly to my advantage afterwards on many occasions.

But what shall we think of a governor's playing such pitiful tricks,
and imposing so grossly on a poor ignorant boy! It was a habit he had
acquired. He wish'd to please everybody; and, having little to give,
he gave expectations. He was otherwise an ingenious, sensible man, a
pretty good writer, and a good governor for the people, tho' not for
his constituents, the proprietaries, whose instructions he sometimes
disregarded. Several of our best laws were of his planning and passed
during his administration.

Ralph and I were inseparable companions. We took lodgings together in
Little Britain[36] at three shillings and sixpence a week--as much as
we could then afford. He found some relations,

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 1 [of 3]

Page 12
By thus employing myself, I shall yield to the inclination, so natural in old men, to talk of themselves and their exploits, and may freely follow my bent, without being tiresome to those who, from respect to my age, might think themselves obliged to listen to me; as they will be at liberty to read me or not as they please.
Page 29
He could not give me employment himself, having little to do, and already as many persons as he wanted; but he told me that his son, a printer at Philadelphia, had lately lost his principal workman, Aquilla Rose, who was dead, and that if I would go thither, he believed that he would engage me.
Page 63
He told me, that, when a boy, his first employment had been that of carrying clay to the brick-makers; that he did not learn to write till he was somewhat advanced in life; and that he was afterwards employed as an underling to a surveyor, who taught him his trade, and that by industry he had at last acquired a competent fortune.
Page 70
whom I have mentioned in a former part of my narrative, and who was now returned from England.
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first shewed signs of electricity.
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We have both received great pleasure in the perusal of it.
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The friends of the plan now redoubled their efforts, to obtain subscriptions to the amount stated in the bill, and were soon successful.
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--But now I need only mention some particulars not hinted in that piece, with our reasonings thereupon: though perhaps the latter might well enough be spared.
Page 124
We think that ingenious gentleman was deceived when he imagined (in his _Sequel_) that the electrical fire came down the wire from the cieling to the gun-barrel, thence to the sphere, and so electrised the machine and the man turning the wheel, &c.
Page 140
The gilding being varnished over with turpentine varnish, the varnish, though dry and hard, is burnt by the spark drawn through it, and gives a strong smell and visible smoke.
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_ SIR, Mr.
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"LONDON, MARCH 27, 1773.
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therefore repel each other, by _Pr.
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But, as this opinion seems to deviate from electrical orthodoxy, I should be glad to see these phenomena better accounted for by your superior and more penetrating genius.
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The points were elevated (_a_) six or seven inches above the top of the chimney; and the lower joint sunk three feet in the earth, in a perpendicular direction.
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[81] ESQ.
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It is true that in mechanics this has sometimes happened.
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