Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 31


I began now to have some acquaintance among the young people of the
town that were lovers of reading, with whom I spent my evenings very
pleasantly; and, gaining money by my industry and frugality, I lived
very agreeably, forgetting Boston as much as I could, and not desiring
that any there should know where I resided, except my friend Collins,
who was in my secret and kept it when I wrote to him. At length an
incident happened that sent me back again much sooner than I had
intended. I had a brother-in-law, Robert Holmes, master of a sloop
that traded between Boston and Delaware. He being at Newcastle, forty
miles below Philadelphia, heard there of me, and wrote me a letter,
mentioning the concern of my friends in Boston at my abrupt departure,
assuring me of their good will to me and that everything would be
accommodated to my mind if I would return, to which he exhorted me
very earnestly. I wrote an answer to his letter, thanked him for his
advice, but stated my reasons for quitting Boston fully and in such a
light as to convince him I was not so wrong as he had apprehended.

Sir William Keith, governor of the province, was then at Newcastle;
and Captain Holmes, happening to be in company with him when my letter
came to hand, spoke to him of me and showed him the letter. The
governor read it, and seemed surprised when he was told my age. He
said I appeared a young man of promising parts, and therefore should
be encouraged; the printers at Philadelphia were wretched ones; and,
if I would set up there, he made no doubt I should succeed; for his
part, he would procure me the public business, and do me every other
service in his power. This my brother-in-law afterward told me in
Boston, but I knew as yet nothing of it when, one day, Keimer and I
being at work together near the window, we saw the governor and
another gentleman (which proved to be Colonel French of Newcastle),
finely dressed, come directly across the street to our house, and
heard them at the door.

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

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Text Comparison with Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 5
paid over to the managers or directors of the free schools in my native town of Boston, to be by them .
Page 18
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 dyeing trade would not maintain his family, being in little request.
Page 28
Hearing their conversations, and their accounts of the approbation their papers were received with, I was excited to try my hand among them; but, being still a boy, and suspecting that my brother would object to printing anything of mine in his paper if he knew it to be mine, I contrived to disguise my hand, and, writing an anonymous paper, I put it in at night under the door of the printing-house.
Page 32
He entered into conversation with me while I took some refreshment,.
Page 43
You shall repay me when you are able; I am resolv'd to have a good printer here, and I am sure you must succeed.
Page 45
I have since kept several Lents most strictly, leaving the common diet for that, and that for the common, abruptly, without the least inconvenience, so that I think there is little in the advice of making those changes by easy gradations.
Page 46
Watson was a pious, sensible young man, of great integrity; the others rather more lax in their principles of religion, particularly Ralph, who, as well as Collins, had been unsettled by me, for which they both made me suffer.
Page 75
There remained now no competitor with me at Philadelphia but the old one, Bradford; who was rich and easy, did a little printing now and then by straggling hands, but was not very anxious about the business.
Page 83
Page 85
| | | | | | | | +----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+ | C.
Page 86
" Another from Cicero, "O vitae Philosophia dux! O virtutum indagatrix expultrixque vitiorum! Unus dies, bene et ex praeceptis tuis actus, peccanti immortalitati est anteponendus.
Page 105
I have already mention'd that I had only one year's instruction in a Latin school, and that when very young, after which I neglected that language entirely.
Page 114
Partnerships often finish in quarrels; but I was happy in this, that mine were all carried on and ended amicably, owing, I think, a good deal to the precaution of having very explicitly settled, in our articles, everything to be done by or expected from each partner, so that there was nothing to dispute, which precaution I would therefore recommend to all who enter into partnerships; for, whatever esteem partners may have for, and confidence in each other at the time of the contract,.
Page 115
little jealousies and disgusts may arise, with ideas of inequality in the care and burden of the business, etc.
Page 128
founding, building, and finishing of the same.
Page 134
James Alexander and Mr.
Page 138
It was captured by the French in 1731, attacked by the English in 1755 and 1756, and abandoned by the French in 1759.
Page 160
The House had sent up a bill to the governor, granting a sum of sixty thousand pounds for the king's use (ten thousand pounds of which was subjected to the orders of the then general, Lord Loudoun), which the governor absolutely.
Page 161
refus'd to pass, in compliance with his instructions.
Page 175
If you were a Servant, would you not be ashamed that a good Master should catch you idle? Are you then your own Master, _be ashamed to catch yourself idle_.