Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 14

virtuous woman.
Their youngest son,
In filial regard to their memory,
Places this stone.
J. F. born 1655, died 1744, aetat[24] 89.
A. F. born 1667, died 1752, ---- 85.

By my rambling digressions I perceive myself to be grown old. I used
to write more methodically. But one does not dress for private company
as for a public ball. 'Tis perhaps only negligence.

To return: I continued thus employed in my father's business for two
years, that is, till I was twelve years old; and my brother John, who
was bred to that business, having left my father, married, and set up
for himself at Rhode Island, there was all appearance that I was
destined to supply his place and become a tallow chandler. But my
dislike to the trade continuing, my father was under apprehensions
that if he did not find one for me more agreeable I should break away
and get to sea, as his son Josiah had done, to his great vexation. He
therefore sometimes took me to walk with him, and see joiners,
bricklayers, turners, brasiers,[25] etc., at their work, that he might
observe my inclination and endeavor to fix it on some trade or other
on land. It has ever since been a pleasure to me to see good workmen
handle their tools; and it has been useful to me, having learned so
much by it as to be able to do little jobs myself in my house when a
workman could not readily be got, and to construct little machines for
my experiments while the intention of making the experiment was fresh
and warm in my mind. My father at last fixed upon the cutler's trade,
and my uncle Benjamin's son, Samuel, who was bred to that business in
London, being about that time established in Boston, I was sent to be
with him some time on liking. But his expectations of a fee with me
displeasing my father, I was taken home again.

From a child I was fond of reading, and all the little money that came
into my hands was ever laid out in books. Pleased with the "Pilgrim's
Progress," my first collection was of John Bunyan's works in separate
little volumes. I afterward sold them to enable me to buy R. Burton's
"Historical Collections;" they were small chapmen's[26] books, and
cheap, forty or fifty in all. My father's little library consisted
chiefly of books in polemic divinity, most of which I read, and have
since often

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Way to Wealth; or, "Poor Richard Improved"

Page 0
" [Illustration: Published by W.
Page 1
& T.
Page 2
Judge, then, how much I must have been gratified by an incident I am going to relate to you.
Page 3
Darton, Junr.
Page 4
Handle your tools without mittens: remember, that "The cat in gloves catches no mice," as Poor Richard says.
Page 5
1, 1805.
Page 6
" But this they might have known before, if they had taken his advice.
Page 7
" When you have bought one fine thing, you must buy ten more, that your appearance may be all of a piece; but Poor Dick says, "It is easier to suppress the first desire, than to satisfy all that follow it.
Page 8
" The day comes round before you are aware, and the demand is made before you are prepared to satisfy it; or, if you bear your debt in mind, the term, which at first seemed so long, will, as it lessens, appear extremely short: "Time will seem to have added wings to his heels as well as his shoulders.
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* * * * * Transcriber's Notes: Only the most obvious and clear punctuation errors repaired.