Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 80

and propose it to such as they thought lovers of reading.
In this way my affair went on more smoothly, and I ever after
practis'd it on such occasions; and, from my frequent successes, can
heartily recommend it. The present little sacrifice of your vanity
will afterwards be amply repaid. If it remains a while uncertain to
whom the merit belongs, someone more vain than yourself will be
encouraged to claim it, and then even envy will be disposed to do you
justice by plucking those assumed feathers, and restoring them to
their right owner.

This library afforded me the means of improvement by constant study,
for which I set apart an hour or two each day, and thus repair'd in
some degree the loss of the learned education my father once intended
for me. Reading was the only amusement I allow'd myself. I spent no
time in taverns, games, or frolicks of any kind; and my industry in
my business continu'd as indefatigable as it was necessary. I was
indebted for my printing-house; I had a young family coming on to be
educated, and I had to contend with for business two printers, who
were established in the place before me. My circumstances, however,
grew daily easier. My original habits of frugality continuing, and my
father having, among his instructions to me when a boy, frequently
repeated a proverb of Solomon, "Seest thou a man diligent in his
calling, he shall stand before kings, he shall not stand before mean
men," I from thence considered industry as a means of obtaining wealth
and distinction, which encourag'd me, tho' I did not think that I
should ever literally _stand before kings_, which, however, has since
happened; for I have stood before _five_, and even had the honor of
sitting down with one, the King of Denmark, to dinner.

We have an English proverb that says, "_He that would thrive, must ask
his wife_." It was lucky for me that I had one as much dispos'd to
industry and frugality as myself. She assisted me chearfully in my
business, folding and stitching pamphlets, tending shop, purchasing
old linen rags for the paper-makers, etc., etc. We kept no idle
servants, our table was plain and simple, our furniture of the
cheapest. For instance, my breakfast was a long time break and milk
(no tea), and I ate it out of a twopenny earthen porringer, with a
pewter spoon. But mark how luxury will enter families, and make a
progress, in spite of principle: being call'd one morning to
breakfast, I found it in a China bowl, with a spoon

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

Page 2
one of the members for Philadelphia county; in answer to the speech of John Dickinson, Esq.
Page 3
Strahan 287 Answer to the preceding queries 290 State of the constitution of the colonies, by Governor Pownall; with remarks by Dr.
Page 18
When the collector's accounts are brought in, the proportions will appear; and from them it is proposed to regulate the proportion of representatives to be chosen at the next general election, within the limits however of seven and two.
Page 52
The draughtman's defence of it.
Page 65
While the war continues, its final event is quite uncertain.
Page 73
It is true, the accession of the large territory claimed before the war began (especially if that be secured by the possession of Canada) will tend to the increase of the British subjects faster, than if they had been confined within the mountains: yet the increase within the mountains only would evidently make the comparative population equal to that of Great Britain much sooner than it can be expected, when our people are spread over a country six times as large.
Page 124
The _third_ particular.
Page 153
Pray be assured of our sincerest and best wishes for the success of this salutary work, and that nothing in our power, to contribute thereto, will ever be wanting.
Page 162
It was not, however, for want of knowledge, that what he was about to do would give them offence; he appears to have been very sensible of this, and apprehensive that it might occasion some disorders; to prevent or suppress which, he projected another bill, that was brought in the same session with the stamp act, whereby it was to be made lawful for military officers in the colonies to quarter their soldiers in private houses.
Page 164
no longer than their government continues, and purpose to leave no family behind them, they are apt to be regardless of the good-will of the people, and care not what is said or thought of them after they are gone.
Page 243
_[147] But if Britain does not think fit to accept this proposition, we, in order to remove her groundless jealousies, _that we aim at independence, and an abolition of the navigation act_, (which hath in truth never been our intention) and to avoid all future disputes about the right of making that and other acts for regulating our commerce, do hereby declare ourselves ready and willing to enter into a _covenant with Britain_, that she shall fully possess, enjoy, and exercise that right, for an hundred years to come, the same being _bonâ fide_ used for the common benefit; and in case of such agreement, that every assembly be advised by us, to confirm it solemnly, by laws of their own, which, once made, cannot be repealed without the assent of the crown.
Page 244
Page 265
He had been naturalized among the Six Nations, and spoke well the Mohuck language.
Page 270
The different factions, which at present divide us, aim all at the public good: the differences are only about the various modes of promoting it.
Page 271
Then consider the great proportion of industrious frugal farmers inhabiting the interior parts of these American states, and of whom the body of our nation consists, and judge whether it is possible, that the luxury of our sea-ports can be sufficient to ruin such a country.
Page 315
It depends chiefly on two words, _industry_ and _frugality_; that is, waste neither _time_ nor _money_, but make the best use of both.
Page 338
But all this I could pardon, in regard, as you say, to your sedentary condition.
Page 387
366, 369.
Page 391
Page 410
why it increases faster there, than in England, iii.