Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 76

was a real change of sentiment or only artifice, on a
supposition of our being too far engaged in affection to retract, and
therefore that we should steal a marriage, which would leave them at
liberty to give or withhold what they pleas'd, I know not; but I
suspected the latter, resented it, and went no more. Mrs. Godfrey
brought me afterward some more favorable accounts of their
disposition, and would have drawn me on again; but I declared
absolutely my resolution to have nothing more to do with that family.
This was resented by the Godfreys; we differed, and they removed,
leaving me the whole house, and I resolved to take no more inmates.

But this affair having turned my thoughts to marriage, I look'd round
me and made overtures of acquaintance in other places; but soon found
that, the business of a printer being generally thought a poor one, I
was not to expect money with a wife, unless with such a one as I
should not otherwise think agreeable. A friendly correspondence as
neighbours and old acquaintances had continued between me and Mrs.
Read's family, who all had a regard for me from the time of my first
lodging in their house. I was often invited there and consulted in
their affairs, wherein I sometimes was of service. I piti'd poor Miss
Read's unfortunate situation, who was generally dejected, seldom
chearful, and avoided company. I considered my giddiness and
inconstancy when in London as in a great degree the cause of her
unhappiness, tho' the mother was good enough to think the fault more
her own than mine, as she had prevented our marrying before I went
thither, and persuaded the other match in my absence. Our mutual
affection was revived, but there were now great objections to our
union. The match was indeed looked upon as invalid, a preceding wife
being said to be living in England; but this could not easily be
prov'd, because of the distance; and, tho' there was a report of his
death, it was not certain. Then, tho' it should be true, he had left
many debts, which his successor might be call'd upon to pay. We
ventured, however, over all these difficulties, and I took her to
wife, September 1st, 1730. None of the inconveniences happened that we
had apprehended; she proved a good and faithful helpmate,[62] assisted
me much by attending the shop; we throve together, and have ever
mutually endeavour'd to make each other happy. Thus I corrected that
great _erratum_ as well as I could.

[62] Mrs. Franklin survived her

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Page 17
But my father, in the meantime, from a view of the expense of a college education, which having so large a family he could not well afford, and the mean living many so educated were afterwards able to obtain--reasons that he gave to his friends in my hearing--altered his first intention, took me from the grammar-school, and sent me to a school for writing and arithmetic, kept by a then famous man,.
Page 22
I liked it much better than that of my father, but still had a hankering for the sea.
Page 23
A question was once, somehow or other, started between Collins and me, of the propriety of educating the female sex in learning, and their abilities for study.
Page 47
He is not so jealous of you; I wish, therefore, you would take this piece, and produce it as yours; I will pretend not to have had time, and so produce nothing.
Page 57
" I was permitted once to visit her.
Page 68
Thomas Godfrey, a self-taught mathematician, great in his way, and afterward inventor of what is now called Hadley's Quadrant.
Page 88
Page 91
[71] While there can be no question that Franklin's moral improvement and happiness were due to the practice of these virtues, yet most people will agree that we shall have to go back of his plan for the impelling motive to a virtuous life.
Page 94
"That fewer still, in public affairs, act with a view to the good of mankind.
Page 100
Page 108
The choice was made that year without opposition; but the year following, when I was again propos'd (the choice, like that of the members, being annual), a new member made a long speech against me, in order to favour some other candidate.
Page 122
An ironmonger in London however, assuming a good deal of my pamphlet, and working it up into his own, and making some small changes in the machine, which rather hurt its operation, got a patent for it there, and made, as I was told, a little fortune by it.
Page 126
In the evening, hearing a great noise among them, the commissioners walk'd out to see what was the matter.
Page 134
Norris) and myself to join Mr.
Page 145
a huddle, having or hearing no orders, and standing to be shot at till two-thirds of them were killed; and then, being seiz'd with a panick, the whole fled with precipitation.
Page 151
We met with no Indians, but we found the places on the neighbouring hills where they had lain to watch our proceedings.
Page 162
I put my letters into his hands the same day.
Page 163
He was a friend of America at the time of our Revolution.
Page 175
If you were a Servant, would you not be ashamed that a good Master should catch you idle? Are you then your own Master, _be ashamed to catch yourself idle_.
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This Letter is said (in _Page_ 1.