Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 55

they said ever haunted those not regularly
admitted, that, notwithstanding the master's protection, I found myself
oblig'd to comply and pay the money, convinc'd of the folly of being on
ill terms with those one is to live with continually.

[43] Franklin now left the work of operating the printing
presses, which was largely a matter of manual labor, and
began setting type, which required more skill and

I was now on a fair footing with them, and soon acquir'd considerable
influence. I propos'd some reasonable alterations in their chappel
laws,[44] and carried them against all opposition. From my example, a
great part of them left their muddling breakfast of beer, and bread,
and cheese, finding they could with me be supply'd from a neighbouring
house with a large porringer of hot water-gruel, sprinkled with
pepper, crumb'd with bread, and a bit of butter in it, for the price
of a pint of beer, viz., three half-pence. This was a more comfortable
as well as cheaper breakfast, and keep their heads clearer. Those who
continued sotting with beer all day, were often, by not paying, out of
credit at the alehouse, and us'd to make interest with me to get beer;
their _light_, as they phrased it, _being out_. I watch'd the
pay-table on Saturday night, and collected what I stood engag'd for
them, having to pay sometimes near thirty shillings a week on their
accounts. This, and my being esteem'd a pretty good _riggite_, that
is, a jocular verbal satirist, supported my consequence in the
society. My constant attendance (I never making a St. Monday)[45]
recommended me to the master; and my uncommon quickness at composing
occasioned my being put upon all work of dispatch, which was generally
better paid. So I went on now very agreeably.

[44] A printing house is called a chapel because Caxton,
the first English printer, did his printing in a chapel
connected with Westminster Abbey.

[45] A holiday taken to prolong the dissipation of
Saturday's wages.

My lodging in Little Britain being too remote, I found another in
Duke-street, opposite to the Romish Chapel. It was two pair of stairs
backwards, at an Italian warehouse. A widow lady kept the house; she
had a daughter, and a maid servant, and a journeyman who attended the
warehouse, but lodg'd abroad. After sending to inquire my character at
the house where I last lodg'd she agreed

Last Page Next Page

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

Page 0
Darton, Junr.
Page 1
half bound 1 0 Wonders of the Horse, recorded in Anecdotes, Prose and Verse, by Joseph Taylor 2 6 Tales of the Robin & other Small Birds, in Verse, by Joseph Taylor 2 6 Instructive Conversation Cards, consisting .
Page 2
I stopped my horse, lately, where a great number of people were collected at an auction of merchants' goods.
Page 3
"Diligence is the mother of good luck, and God gives all things to industry.
Page 4
is worth two to-morrows," as Poor Richard says, and farther, "Never leave that till to-morrow, which you can do to-day.
Page 5
A little neglect may breed great mischief; for want of a nail the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for want of a horse the rider was lost;" being overtaken and slain by the enemy; all for want of a little care about a horse-shoe nail.
Page 6
Many a one, for the sake of finery on the back, have gone with a hungry belly, and half starved their families; "Silks and satins, scarlet and velvets, put out the kitchen fire," as Poor Richard says.
Page 7
" It is, however, a folly soon punished: for, as Poor Richard says, "Pride that dines on vanity, sups on contempt;--Pride breakfasted with Plenty, dined with Poverty and supped with Infamy.
Page 8
Remember, Job suffered, and was afterwards prosperous.
Page 9
and T.