Benjamin Franklin Representative selections, with introduction, bibliograpy, and notes

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 166


My elder Brothers were all put Apprentices to different Trades. I was
put to the Grammar School at Eight Years of Age, my Father intending to
devote me as the Tithe of his Sons to the Service of the Church. My
early Readiness in learning to read (which must have been very early, as
I do not remember when I could not read) and the Opinion of all his
Friends that I should certainly make a good Scholar, encourag'd him in
this Purpose of his. My Uncle Benjamin too approv'd of it, and propos'd
to give me all his Shorthand Volumes of Sermons I suppose as a Stock to
set up with, if I would learn his Character. I continu'd however at the
Grammar School not quite one Year, tho' in that time I had risen
gradually from the Middle of the Class of that Year to be the Head of
it, and farther was remov'd into the next Class above it, in order to go
with that into the third at the End of the Year. But my Father in the
mean time, from a View of the Expence 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, Mr. Geo. Brownell, very successful in his
Profession generally, and that by mild encouraging Methods. Under him I
acquired fair Writing pretty soon, but I fail'd in the Arithmetic, and
made no Progress in it.--At Ten Years old, I was taken home to assist my
Father in his Business, which was that of a Tallow Chandler and Sope
Boiler. A Business he was not bred to, but had assumed on his Arrival in
New England and on finding his Dying Trade would not maintain his
Family, being in little Request. Accordingly I was employed in cutting
Wick for the Candles, filling the Dipping Mold, and the Molds for cast
Candles, attending the Shop, going of Errands, etc.--I dislik'd the
Trade and had a strong Inclination for the Sea; but my Father declar'd
against it; however, living near the Water, I was much in and about it,
learnt early to swim well, and to manage Boats, and when in a Boat or
Canoe with other Boys I was commonly allow'd to govern, especially in
any case of Difficulty; and upon

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 1 [of 3]

Page 8
408 On the analogy between magnetism and electricity.
Page 32
I asked for some biscuits, expecting to find such as we had at Boston; but they made, it seems, none of that sort at Philadelphia.
Page 45
I made some difficulty; seemed as if I wished to be excused; pretended that I had had no time to make corrections, &c.
Page 48
During the passage, Mr.
Page 76
Our club was not at that time established at a tavern.
Page 78
This will be the best security for maintaining our liberties.
Page 106
They looked up to them as models of perfection; and, in their prejudiced minds, the most enlightened nations of Europe were considered as almost barbarians, in comparison with Englishmen.
Page 110
_ Of each of these Dr.
Page 116
And in order to serve as many as possible in their turn, as well as to make the re-payment of the principal borrowed more easy, each borrower shall be obliged to pay with the yearly interest, one tenth part of the principal; which sums of principal and interest so paid in,.
Page 128
[Illustration: (of the experiments below) _Plate I.
Page 140
Page 141
Page 166
I shall be able to make this part intelligible.
Page 181
So we have only to suppose, that the parts of the Sun's sulphur, separated by fire, rise into his atmosphere, and there being freed from the immediate action of the fire, they collect into cloudy masses,.
Page 185
I found also, that the wire of a phial charged by the glass globe, attracted a cork ball that had touched the wire of a phial charged by the brimstone globe, and _vice versa_, so that the cork continued to play between the two phials, just as when one phial was charged through the wire, the other through the coating, by the glass globe alone.
Page 187
_ _Philadelphia, September, 1753.
Page 196
best materials and complete conductors, will, I think, secure the building from damage, either by restoring the equilibrium so fast as to prevent a stroke, or by conducting it in the substance of the rod as far as the rod goes, so that there shall be no explosion but what is above its point, between that and the clouds.
Page 218
To this account one objection occurs; that as air is very fluid and elastic, and so endeavours to diffuse itself equally, the supposed accumulated air within the column aforesaid, would be immediately diffused among the contiguous air, and circulate to fill the space it was driven from; and consequently that the said column, on the greater density of which the phenomenon is supposed to depend, would not repel the spark more strongly than the neighbouring air.
Page 237
--Knobs and Points.
Page 326
extinguishes families, 395.