Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 62

London, where,
having no friend to advise him, he fell into bad company, soon spent
his guineas, found no means of being introduc'd among the players,
grew necessitous, pawn'd his cloaths, and wanted bread. Walking the
street very hungry, and not knowing what to do with himself, a crimp's
bill[51] was put into his hand, offering immediate entertainment and
encouragement to such as would bind themselves to serve in America. He
went directly, sign'd the indentures, was put into the ship, and came
over, never writing a line to acquaint his friends what was become of
him. He was lively, witty, good-natur'd, and a pleasant companion, but
idle, thoughtless, and imprudent to the last degree.

[51] A crimp was the agent of a shipping company. Crimps
were sometimes employed to decoy men into such service
as is here mentioned.

John, the Irishman, soon ran away; with the rest I began to live very
agreeably, for they all respected me the more, as they found Keimer
incapable of instructing them, and that from me they learned something
daily. We never worked on Saturday, that being Keimer's Sabbath, so I
had two days for reading. My acquaintance with ingenious people in the
town increased. Keimer himself treated me with great civility and
apparent regard, and nothing now made me uneasy but my debt to Vernon,
which I was yet unable to pay, being hitherto but a poor aeconomist.
He, however, kindly made no demand of it.

Our printing-house often wanted sorts, and there was no letter-founder
in America; I had seen types cast at James's in London, but without
much attention to the manner; however, I now contrived a mould, made
use of the letters we had as puncheons, struck the mattrices in lead,
and thus supply'd in a pretty tolerable way all deficiencies. I also
engrav'd several things on occasion; I made the ink; I was
warehouseman, and everything, and, in short, quite a fac-totum.

But, however serviceable I might be, I found that my services became
every day of less importance, as the other hands improv'd in the
business; and, when Keimer paid my second quarter's wages, he let me
know that he felt them too heavy, and thought I should make an
abatement. He grew by degrees less civil, put on more of the master,
frequently found fault, was captious, and seem'd ready for an
outbreaking. I went on, nevertheless, with a good deal of patience,
thinking that his encumber'd circumstances were partly the cause. At
length a trifle snapt our connections; for, a great

Last Page Next Page

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

Page 0
Page 25
The accounts are to be judged of by the president general and grand council, and allowed if found reasonable: this was thought necessary to encourage colonies to defend themselves, as the expence would be light when borne by the whole; and also to check.
Page 35
Page 38
be granted to the contributors and settlers, as his majesty in his wisdom shall think most fit for their benefit and encouragement, consistent with the general good of the British empire; for extraordinary privileges and liberties, with lands on easy terms, are strong inducements to people to hazard their persons and fortunes in settling new countries; and such powers of government as (though suitable to the circumstances, and fit to be trusted with an infant colony) might be judged unfit, when it becomes populous and powerful; these might be granted for a term only; as the choice of their own governor for ninety-nine years; the support of government in the colonies of Connecticut and Rhode Island (which _now_ enjoy that and other like privileges) being much less expensive, than in the colonies under the immediate government of the crown, and the constitution more inviting.
Page 60
Their unanimity on that occasion.
Page 70
Their own interest will then induce the American governments to take care of such forts in proportion to their importance, and see that.
Page 115
That you may be assured I do not misrepresent this matter, I shall give you the last-mentioned amendment (so called) at full length; and for the truth and exactness of my copy I dare appeal to Mr.
Page 131
) withdrew themselves, finding their opinion slighted, and that all measures were taken by the advice of two or three _young men_ (one of whom too denies his share in them) is it any wonder, since like causes produce like effects, if the assembly, notwithstanding all their veneration for the first proprietor, should say, with the children of Israel, under the same circumstances, "What portion have we in David, or inheritance in the son of Jesse? To your tents, O Israel!" Under these circumstances, and a conviction that while so many natural sources of difference subsisted between proprietaries and people, no harmony in government long subsist (without which neither the commands of the crown could be executed, nor the public good promoted) the house resumed the consideration of a measure that had often been proposed in former assemblies; a measure, that every _proprietary province in_ America had, from the same causes, found themselves obliged to take, and had actually taken, or were about to take; and a measure, that had happily succeeded, wherever it was taken; I mean the recourse to an immediate _royal government_.
Page 151
The necessity of expedition on this occasion is as obvious to every one out of doors, as it was to those within; and the fears you mention are not, I fancy, considerable enough to break your rest.
Page 231
Page 254
But I am persuaded you have no such powers.
Page 266
many years since they had seen each other, whence he then came, what occasioned the journey, &c.
Page 298
But so it is, that I am possessed largely of it, and design, if you encourage the proposal, to take this opportunity of doing good with it, which I question not will be accepted of in a grateful way by many of your honest readers, though the discovery of my extraction bodes me no deference from your great scholars and modern philosophers.
Page 310
For in another place he says, "many have been ruined by buying good pennyworths.
Page 330
FOOTNOTE: [184] From the Columbian Magazine, Vol.
Page 331
And, lastly, we learn by chess the habit of _not being discouraged by present bad appearances in the state of our affairs_, the habit of _hoping for a favourable change_, and that of _persevering in the search of resources_.
Page 333
Page 352
Page 376
_ SIR, I have just read in the Monthly Review, vol.
Page 401
_Indians_, of North America, a number of, murdered, i.