Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 107

but they did not care to displace me on account merely of my zeal for
the association, and they could not well give another reason.

Indeed I had some cause to believe that the defense of the country was
not disagreeable to any of them, provided they were not required to
assist in it. And I found that a much greater number of them than I
could have imagined, though against offensive war, were clearly for
the defensive. Many pamphlets pro and con were published on the
subject, and some by good Quakers in favor of defense, which I believe
convinced most of their younger people.

A transaction in our fire company gave me some insight into their
prevailing sentiments. It had been proposed that we should encourage
the scheme for building a battery, by laying out the present stock,
then about sixty pounds, in tickets of the lottery. By our rules no
money could be disposed of till the next meeting after the proposal.
The company consisted of thirty members, of which twenty-two were
Quakers, and eight, only, of other persuasions. We eight punctually
attended the meeting; but though we thought that some of the Quakers
would join us, we were by no means sure of a majority. Only one
Quaker, Mr. James Morris, appeared to oppose the measure. He expressed
much sorrow that it had ever been proposed, as he said Friends were
all against it, and it would create such discord as might break up the
company. We told him that we saw no reason for that; we were the
minority, and if Friends were against the measure, and outvoted us, we
must and should, agreeably to the usage of all societies, submit. When
the hour for business arrived it was moved to put the vote. He allowed
we might then do it by the rules, but as he could assure us that a
number of members intended to be present for the purpose of opposing
it, it would be but candid to allow a little time for their appearing.

While we were disputing this a waiter came to tell me two gentlemen
below desired to speak with me. I went down and found they were two of
our Quaker members. They told me that there were eight of them
assembled at a tavern just by; that they were determined to come and
vote with us if there should be occasion, which they hoped would not
be the case, and desired we would not call for their assistance if we
could do without it, as their voting for such a measure

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 1 of 2] With His Most Interesting Essays, Letters, and Miscellaneous Writings; Familiar, Moral, Political, Economical, and Philosophical, Selected with Care from All His Published Productions, and Comprising Whatever Is Most Entertaining and Valuable to the General Reader

Page 7
This piece appeared to me as written with manly freedom and a pleasing simplicity.
Page 8
Under him I learned to write a good hand pretty soon, but failed entirely in arithmetic.
Page 10
They lie buried together at Boston, where I some years since placed a marble over their grave with this inscription: JOSIAH FRANKLIN, and ABIAH, his wife, lie here interred.
Page 15
But I had another advantage in it.
Page 20
I have since found that it has been translated into most of the languages of Europe, and suppose it has been more generally read than any other book, except perhaps the.
Page 25
" He asked me a few questions, put a composing stick in my hand to see how I worked, and then said he would employ me soon, though he had just then nothing for me to do; and taking old Bradford, whom he had never seen before, to be one of the town's people that had a good will for him, entered into conversation on his present undertaking and prospects; while Bradford (not discovering that he was the other printer's father), on Keimer's saying he expected soon to get the greatest part of the business into his own hands, drew him on by artful questions, and starting little doubts, to explain all his views, what influence he relied on, and in what manner he intended to proceed.
Page 26
I had a brother-in-law, Robert Holmes, master of a sloop that traded between Boston and Delaware.
Page 27
Keimer ran down immediately, thinking it a visit to him; but the governor inquired for me, came up, and, with a condescension and politeness I had been quite unused to, made me many compliments, desired to be acquainted with me, blamed me kindly for not having made myself known to him when I first came to the place, and would have me away with him to the tavern, where he was going with Colonel French to taste, as he said, some excellent Madeira.
Page 30
The then governor of New-York, Burnet (son of Bishop Burnet), hearing from the captain that one of the passengers had a great many books on board, desired him to bring me to see him.
Page 64
Some think we are of a French extract, which was formerly called Franks; some of a free line; a line free from that vassalage which was common to subjects in days of old; some from a bird of long red legs.
Page 72
"Your Quaker correspondent, sir (for here again I will suppose the subject of my letter to resemble Dr.
Page 79
In the various enumerations of the _moral virtues_ I had met with in my reading, I found the catalogue more or less numerous, as different writers included more or fewer ideas under the same name.
Page 91
I endeavoured to make it both entertaining.
Page 99
The design in building not being to accommodate any particular sect, but the inhabitants in general.
Page 106
The scholars increasing fast, the house was soon found too small, and we were looking out for a piece of ground, properly situated, with intent to build, when accident threw into our way a large house ready built, which, with a few alterations, might well serve our purpose: this was the building before mentioned, erected by the hearers of Mr.
Page 145
I apprehend that this may partly be occasioned by the different opinions of seamen respecting the modes of loading, rigging, and sailing of a ship; each has his method; and the same vessel, laden by the method and orders of one captain, shall sail worse than when by the orders of another.
Page 156
During this time Governor Denny assented to a law imposing a tax, in which no discrimination was made in favour of the estates of the Penn family.
Page 159
A detachment marched down to Philadelphia for the express purpose of murdering some friendly Indians, who had been removed to the city for safety.
Page 167
It affords, at the same time, a demonstration of the futility of the arguments in defence of the slave-trade, and of the strength of mind and ingenuity of the author, at his advanced period of life.
Page 175
These, as they are stated in my great folio leger E, I bequeath to the contributors of the Pennsylvania Hospital, hoping that those debtors, and the descendants of such as are deceased, who now, as I find, make some difficulty of satisfying such antiquated demands as just debts, may,.