Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 18

his care, and which indeed
I still thought a duty, though I could not, as it seemed to me, afford
time to practice it.

When about sixteen years of age I happened to meet with a book,
written by one Tryon, recommending a vegetable diet. I determined to
go into it. My brother, being yet unmarried, did not keep house, but
boarded himself and his apprentices in another family. My refusal to
eat flesh occasioned an inconveniency, and I was frequently chid for
my singularity. I made myself acquainted with Tryon's manner of
preparing some of his dishes, such as boiling potatoes or rice, making
hasty pudding, and a few others, and then proposed to my brother that
if he would give me weekly half the money he paid for my board I would
board myself. He instantly agreed to it, and I presently found that I
could save half what he paid me. This was an additional fund for
buying books. But I had another advantage in it. My brother and the
rest going from the printing house to their meals, I remained there
alone, and, dispatching presently my light repast, which often was no
more than a biscuit or a slice of bread, a handful of raisins, or a
tart from the pastry cook's, and a glass of water, had the rest of the
time till their return for study, in which I made the greater progress
from that greater clearness of head and quicker apprehension which
usually attend temperance in eating and drinking.

And now it was that, being on some occasion made ashamed of my
ignorance in figures, which I had twice failed in learning when at
school, I took Cocker's book of arithmetic, and went through the whole
by myself with great ease. I also read Seller's and Shermy's books of
navigation, and became acquainted with the little geometry they
contain, but never proceeded far in that science. And I read about
this time Locke "On the Human Understanding," and the "Art of
Thinking," by Messrs. du Port Royal.[30]

While I was intent on improving my language, I met with an English
grammar (I think it was Greenwood's), at the end of which there were
two little sketches of the arts of rhetoric and logic, the latter
finishing with a specimen of a dispute in the Socratic method;[31]
and soon after I procured Xenophon's "Memorable Things of Socrates,"
wherein there are many instances of the same method. I was charmed
with it, adopted it, dropped my abrupt contradiction and positive
argumentation, and put on the humble inquirer and doubter. And being
then, from

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Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin and the First Balloons

Page 0
, in December, 1905, and previously had belonged to G.
Page 1
[3] Histoire des Ballons, Paris, 1887, Volume I, page 29.
Page 2
I am much obliged to you for the Care you have taken.
Page 3
He was complimented on his Zeal and Courage for the Promotion of Science, but advis'd to wait till the management of these Balls was made by Experience more certain & safe.
Page 4
It fell the next Day on the other side of the same Wood near the Village Boulogne, about half after twelve, having been suspended in the Air eleven hours and a half.
Page 5
Its bottom was open, and in the middle of the Opening was fixed a kind of Basket Grate in which Faggots and Sheaves of Straw were burnt.
Page 6
There was a vast Concourse of Gentry in the Garden, who had great Pleasure in seeing the Adventurers go off so chearfully, & applauded them by clapping &c.
Page 7
He informed me that they lit gently without the least Shock, and the Balloon was very little damaged.
Page 8
These Machines must always be subject to be driven by the Winds.
Page 9
Some Guns were fired to give Notice, that the Departure of the.
Page 10
When it arrived at its height, which I suppose might be 3 or 400 Toises, it appeared to have only horizontal Motion.
Page 11
Robert etant sorti du Char, et aide de quelques Paysans, se disposoit a remplacer sa Pesanteur avec de la Terre; mais M.
Page 12
" _Letter of October 8.
Page 13
Faujas de Saint-Fond, Paris, 1783.
Page 14
" in "Sir JOSEPH BANKS, Bar^t.