Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 43

the great cabin; so that Ralph and I were
forced to take up with a berth in the steerage, and, none on board
knowing us, were considered as ordinary persons. But Mr. Hamilton and
his son (it was James, since governor) returned from Newcastle to
Philadelphia, the father being recalled by a great fee to plead for a
seized ship; and, just before we sailed, Colonel French coming on
board, and showing me great respect, I was more taken notice of, and,
with my friend Ralph, invited by the other gentlemen to come into the
cabin, there being now room. Accordingly, we removed thither.

Understanding that Colonel French had brought on board the governor's
dispatches, I asked the captain for those letters that were to be put
under my care. He said all were put into the bag together, and he
could not then come at them; but, before we landed in England, I
should have an opportunity of picking them out; so I was satisfied for
the present, and we proceeded on our voyage. We had a sociable company
in the cabin, and lived uncommonly well, having the addition of all
Mr. Hamilton's stores, who had laid in plentifully. In this passage
Mr. Denham contracted a friendship for me that continued during his
life. The voyage was otherwise not a pleasant one, as we had a great
deal of bad weather.

When we came into the Channel the captain kept his word with me, and
gave me an opportunity of examining the bag for the governor's
letters. I found none upon which my name was put as under my care. I
picked out six or seven, that, by the handwriting, I thought might be
the promised letters, especially as one of them was directed to
Basket, the king's printer, and another to some stationer.

We arrived in London the 24th of December, 1724. I waited upon the
stationer, who came first in my way, delivering the letter as from
Governor Keith. "I don't know such a person," says he; but, opening
the letter, "Oh! this is from Riddlesden. I have lately found him to
be a complete rascal, and I will have nothing to do with him, nor
receive any letters from him." So, putting the letter into my hand, he
turned on his heel and left me, to serve some customer. I was
surprised to find these were not the governor's letters; and, after
recollecting and comparing circumstances, I began to doubt his
sincerity. I found my friend Denham, and opened the whole affair to
him. He let me into Keith's character; told me

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 3 [of 3]

Page 51
Captain Blackwell's government.
Page 66
A vast wilderness, thinly or scarce at all peopled, conceals with ease the march of troops and workmen.
Page 75
It will be a conquest for the _whole_; and all our people will, in the increase of trade, and the ease of taxes, find the advantage of it.
Page 90
I know how little many good-natured persons are affected by the distresses of people at a distance, and whom they do not know.
Page 144
[67] The prefacer, with great art, endeavours to represent this number as insignificant.
Page 171
And this is the same kind of argument that is used by those who would fix on the colonies the heavy charge of unreasonableness and ingratitude, which I think your friend did not intend.
Page 173
Page 178
_ In what light did the people of America use to consider the parliament of Great Britain? _A.
Page 213
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Other India goods also, which, by themselves, would not have made a smuggling voyage sufficiently profitable, accompanied tea to advantage; and it is feared the cheap French silks, formerly rejected as not to the taste of the colonies, may have found their way with the wares of India, and now established themselves in the popular use and opinion.
Page 271
The growth of luxury alarms them, and they think we are from that alone in the high road to ruin.
Page 273
Of civil offices, or employments, there are few; no superfluous ones, as in Europe; and it is a rule established in some of the states, that no office should be so profitable as to make it desirable.
Page 275
If they are poor, they begin first as servants or journeymen; and if they are sober, industrious, and frugal, they soon become masters, establish themselves in business, marry, raise families, and become respectable citizens.
Page 281
writers a theocracy) could not be carried into execution but by the means of his ministers; Aaron and his sons were therefore commissioned to be, with Moses, the first established ministry of the new government.
Page 320
Hours of each night in which we burn candles 7 ------- Multiplication gives for the total number of hours 1,281 These 1,281 hours multiplied by 100,000, the number of inhabitants give 128,100,000 One hundred twenty-eight millions and one hundred thousand hours, spent at Paris by candle-light, which, at half a pound of wax and tallow per hour, gives the weight of 64,050,000 Sixty-four millions and fifty thousand of pounds, which, estimating the whole at the medium price of thirty sols the pound, makes the sum of ninety-six millions and seventy-five thousand livres tournois 96,075,000 An immense sum! that the city of Paris might save every year, by the economy of using sunshine instead of candles.
Page 342
Permit me just to hint, that I have also not been unfriendly to _you_.
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You know I understand all the inferior animal tongues: my too great application to the study of them is the best excuse I can give for the little progress I have made in your charming language.
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_Philadelphia, 26th October, 1789.
Page 352
This kind of _after-wisdom_ is indeed so common with us, as to occasion the vulgar, though very insignificant saying, _When the steed is stolen, you shut the stable door_.