Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 69

it was often eleven at night, and sometimes later, before I
had finished my distribution for the next day's work, for the little
jobbs sent in by our other friends now and then put us back. But so
determin'd I was to continue doing a sheet a day of the folio, that
one night, when, having impos'd[56] my forms, I thought my day's work
over, one of them by accident was broken, and two pages reduced to
pi,[57] I immediately distribut'd and composed it over again before I
went to bed; and this industry, visible to our neighbors, began to
give us character and credit; particularly, I was told, that mention
being made of the new printing-office at the merchants' Every-night
club, the general opinion was that it must fail, there being already
two printers in the place, Keimer and Bradford; but Dr. Baird (whom
you and I saw many years after at his native place, St. Andrew's in
Scotland) gave a contrary opinion: "For the industry of that
Franklin," says he, "is superior to anything I ever saw of the kind; I
see him still at work when I go home from club, and he is at work
again before his neighbors are out of bed." This struck the rest, and
we soon after had offers from one of them to supply us with
stationery; but as yet we did not chuse to engage in shop business.

[55] A sheet 8-1/2 by 13-1/2 inches, having the words
_pro patria_ in translucent letters in the body of the
paper. Pica--a size of type; as, A B C D: Long Primer--a
smaller size of type; as, A B C D.

[56] To arrange and lock up pages or columns of type in a
rectangular iron frame, ready for printing.

[57] Reduced to complete disorder.

I mention this industry the more particularly and the more freely,
tho' it seems to be talking in my own praise, that those of my
posterity, who shall read it, may know the use of that virtue, when
they see its effects in my favour throughout this relation.

George Webb, who had found a female friend that lent him wherewith to
purchase his time of Keimer, now came to offer himself as a
journeyman to us. We could not then employ him; but I foolishly let
him know as a secret that I soon intended to begin a newspaper, and
might then have

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

Page 0
and T.
Page 1
Virtue and Innocence, a Poem 1 0 The Economy of Human Life 1 0 Old Friends in a New Dress, or Selections from Esop's Fables, in Verse, 2 parts, plates 2 0 Little Jack Horner, in Verse, plain 1s.
Page 2
'It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people one-tenth part of their time to be employed in its service: but idleness taxes many of us much more; sloth, by bringing.
Page 3
"Sloth makes all things difficult, but industry all easy; and he that riseth late, must trot all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at night; while laziness travels so slowly, that poverty soon overtakes him.
Page 4
It is true, there is much to be done, and, perhaps, you are weak-handed: but stick to it steadily, and you will see great effects; for "Constant dropping wears away stones; and by diligence and patience the mouse ate in two the cable; and little strokes fell great oaks.
Page 5
] 'Trusting too much to others' care is the ruin of many; for, "In the affairs of this world, men are saved, not by faith, but by the want of it:" but a man's own care is profitable; for, "If you would have a faithful servant, and one that you like,--serve yourself.
Page 6
got together to this sale of fineries and nick-nacks.
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
Those have a short Lent, who owe money to be paid at Easter.
Page 9
The people heard it, and approved the doctrine, and immediately practised the contrary, just as if it had been a common sermon; for the auction opened, and they began to buy extravagantly.