Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 114

printing office, paying me punctually my share of the profits.
This partnership continued eighteen years, successfully for us both.

The trustees of the academy after a while were incorporated by a charter
from the government; their funds were increased by contributions in
Britain and grants of land from the proprietaries, to which the Assembly
has since made considerable addition; and thus was established the
present University of Philadelphia. I have been continued one of its
trustees from the beginning, now near forty years, and have had the very
great pleasure of seeing a number of the youth who have received their
education in it distinguished by their improved abilities, serviceable
in public stations, and ornaments to their country.

When I disengaged myself as above mentioned from private business, I
flattered myself that, by the sufficient though moderate fortune I had
acquired, I had secured leisure during the rest of my life for
philosophical studies and amusements. I purchased all Dr. Spence's
apparatus, who had come from England to lecture here, and I proceeded
in my electrical experiments with great alacrity. But the public, now
considering me as a man of leisure, laid hold of me for their
purposes, every part of our civil government, and almost at the same
time, imposing some duty upon me. The governor put me into the
commission of the peace, the corporation of the city chose me of the
common council and soon after an alderman, and the citizens at large
chose me a burgess[140] to represent them in Assembly. This latter
station was the more agreeable to me, as I was at length tired with
sitting there to hear debates in which, as clerk, I could take no
part, and which were often so unentertaining that I was induced to
amuse myself with making magic squares[141] or circles, or anything to
avoid weariness; and I conceived my becoming a member would enlarge my
power of doing good. I would not, however, insinuate that my ambition
was not flattered by all these promotions. It certainly was, for,
considering my low beginning, they were great things to me, and they
were still more pleasing as being so many spontaneous testimonies of
the public good opinion, and by me entirely unsolicited.

The office of justice of the peace I tried a little by attending a few
courts and sitting on the bench to hear causes; but finding that more
knowledge of the common law than I possessed was necessary to act in
that station with credit, I gradually withdrew from it, excusing
myself by my being obliged to attend the higher duties of a

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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 49
Plays, and other places of amusement which we frequented together, having exhausted my pistoles, we lived after this from hand to mouth.
Page 93
"I am, &c.
Page 96
Franklin attended here, as a commissioner from Pennsylvania, and produced a plan, which, from the place of meeting, has been usually termed, "The Albany plan of Union.
Page 102
The singular properties which this stone possesses of being electrified on one side positively and on the other negatively, by heat alone, without friction, had been but lately observed.
Page 110
Franklin was president.
Page 128
[Illustration: (of the experiments below) _Plate I.
Page 146
in order to rain on the sea, would not appear reasonable.
Page 172
Thus the bottle is charged with its own fire, no other being to be had while the glass plate is under the cushion.
Page 177
This (by the way) shews a new relation between metals and water heretofore unknown.
Page 193
Or such a cloud, passing over woods of tall trees, may from the points and sharp edges of their moist top leaves, receive silently some supply.
Page 216
It was printed in Italian, at Turin, in 4to.
Page 217
Page 228
FOOTNOTE: [75] James Alexander.
Page 236
Page 246
And thus we seem led to this supposition, that there is fire enough in all bodies to singe, melt, or burn them, whenever it is, by any means, set at liberty, so that it may exert itself upon them, or be disengaged from them.
Page 271
Turning the _blunt end of a wire_ uppermost (which represents the unpointed bar) it appears that the same good effect is not from that to be expected.
Page 296
imagination in conceiving this.
Page 316
Kennersley, 261.
Page 317
_Fire-companies_, numerous at Philadelphia, i.
Page 327
1, 45, 66.