Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 38

saw smaller fish taken out of their stomachs; then thought I,
"If you eat one another, I don't see why we mayn't eat you." So I dined
upon cod very heartily, and continued to eat with other people,
returning only now and then occasionally to a vegetable diet. So
convenient a thing it is to be a "reasonable" creature, since it enables
one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do.

Keimer and I lived on a pretty good, familiar footing, and agreed
tolerably well, for he suspected nothing of my setting up. He retained
a great deal of his old enthusiasms, and loved argumentation. We
therefore had many disputations. I used to work him so with my
Socratic method, and had trepanned[56] him so often by questions
apparently so distant from any point we had in hand and yet by degrees
led to the point, and brought him into difficulties and
contradictions, that at last he grew ridiculously cautious, and would
hardly answer me the most common question without asking first, "What
do you intend to infer from that?" However, it gave him so high an
opinion of my abilities in the confuting way that he seriously
proposed my being his colleague in a project he had of setting up a
new sect. He was to preach the doctrines, and I was to confound all
opponents. When he came to explain with me upon the doctrines, I found
several conundrums which I objected to, unless I might have my way a
little too, and introduce some of mine.

Keimer wore his beard at full length, because somewhere in the Mosaic
law it is said, "Thou shalt not mar the corners of thy beard."[57] He
likewise kept the seventh day Sabbath; and these two points were
essentials with him. I disliked both, but agreed to admit them upon
condition of his adopting the doctrine of using no animal food. "I
doubt," said he, "my constitution will not bear that." I assured him
it would, and that he would be better for it. He was usually a great
glutton, and I promised myself some diversion in half starving him. He
agreed to try the practice if I would keep him company. I did so, and
we held it for three months. We had our victuals dressed and brought
to us regularly by a woman in the neighborhood, who had from me a list
of forty dishes, to be prepared for us at different times, in all
which there was neither fish, flesh, nor fowl; and the whim suited me

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Text Comparison with The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 1
Here he remained till 1785, the favorite of French society; and with such success did he conduct the affairs of his country that when he finally returned he received a place only second to that of Washington as the champion of American independence.
Page 4
too old to follow business longer, when he went to live with his son John, a dyer at Banbury, in Oxfordshire, with whom my father served an apprenticeship.
Page 14
I thought the writing excellent, and wished, if possible, to imitate it.
Page 19
At length, a fresh difference arising between my brother and me, I took upon me to assert my freedom, presuming that he would not venture to produce the new indentures.
Page 21
When we drew near the island, we found it was at a place where there could be no landing, there being a great surff on the stony beach.
Page 22
She understanding I was a printer, would have had me stay at that town and follow my business, being ignorant of the stock necessary to begin with.
Page 26
Bradford had not been bred to it, and was very illiterate; and Keimer, tho' something of a scholar, was a mere compositor, knowing nothing of presswork.
Page 28
I went to see him at his printing-house.
Page 32
However, seeing him at last beginning to tire, we lifted him in and brought him home dripping wet in the evening.
Page 59
[6] [6] I got his son once L500.
Page 75
Had he been in my opinion a good preacher, perhaps I might have continued, notwithstanding the occasion I had for the Sunday's leisure in my course of study; but his discourses were chiefly either polemic arguments, or explications of the peculiar doctrines of our sect, and were all to me very dry, uninteresting, and unedifying, since not a single moral principle was inculcated or enforc'd, their aim seeming to be rather to make us Presbyterians than good citizens.
Page 79
| | | | | | | | | J.
Page 82
Page 91
I furnish'd him with a press and letters, on an agreement of partnership, by which I was to receive one-third of the profits of the business, paying one-third of the expense.
Page 96
When we next met in the House, he spoke to me (which he had never done before), and with great civility; and he ever after manifested a readiness to serve me on all occasions, so that we became great friends, and our friendship continued to his death.
Page 108
[10] [10] See the votes.
Page 110
Whitefield, and.
Page 140
While at Bethlehem, I inquir'd a little into the practice of the Moravians: some of them had accompanied me, and all were very kind to me.
Page 153
While we stood there, the ship mended her pace, and soon left her neighbour far behind, which prov'd clearly what our captain suspected, that she was loaded too much by the head.
Page 155
I set out immediately, with my son, for London, and we only stopt a little by the way to view Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain, and Lord Pembroke's house and gardens, with his very curious antiquities at Wilton.