Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 44

there was not the least
probability that he had written any letters for me; that no one who
knew him had the smallest dependence on him; and he laughed at the
notion of the governor's giving me a letter of credit, having, as he
said, no credit to give. On my expressing some concern about what I
should do, he advised me to endeavor getting some employment in the
way of my business. "Among the printers here," said he, "you will
improve yourself, and when you return to America you will set up to
greater advantage."

We both of us happened to know, as well as the stationer, that
Riddlesden, the attorney, was a very knave. He had half ruined Miss
Read's father by persuading him to be bound[60] for him. By this
letter it appeared there was a secret scheme on foot to the prejudice
of Hamilton (supposed to be then coming over with us), and that Keith
was concerned in it with Riddlesden. Denham, who was a friend of
Hamilton's, thought he ought to be acquainted with it; so, when he
arrived in England, which was soon after, partly from resentment and
ill will to Keith and Riddlesden and partly from good will to him, I
waited on him, and gave him the letter. He thanked me cordially, the
information being of importance to him; and from that time he became
my friend, greatly to my advantage afterward on many occasions.

But what shall we think of a governor's playing such pitiful tricks,
and imposing so grossly on a poor ignorant boy! It was a habit he had
acquired. He wished to please everybody; and, having little to give,
he gave expectations. He was otherwise an ingenious, sensible man, a
pretty good writer, and a good governor for the people, though not for
his constituents, the proprietaries,[61] whose instructions he
sometimes disregarded. Several of our best laws were of his planning,
and passed during his administration.

Ralph and I were inseparable companions. We took lodgings together in
Little Britain[62] at three shillings and sixpence a week,--as much as
we could then afford. He found some relations, but they were poor, and
unable to assist him. He now let me know his intentions of remaining in
London, and that he never meant to return to Philadelphia. He had
brought no money with him, the whole he could muster having been
expended in paying his passage. I had fifteen pistoles;[63] so he
borrowed occasionally of me to subsist while he was looking out for
business. He first endeavored to get into the playhouse, believing
himself qualified for an

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

Page 0
Darton, Junr.
Page 1
with Biographical and Interesting Anecdotes 1 6 Watt's Catechism and Prayers, in 1 vol.
Page 2
However, let us hearken to good advice, and something may be done for us; "God helps them that help themselves," as Poor Richard says.
Page 3
Darton, Junr.
Page 4
" II.
Page 5
] 'Trusting too much to others' care is the ruin of many; for, "In the affairs of this world, men are saved, not by faith, but by the want of it:" but a man's own care is profitable; for, "If you would have a faithful servant, and one that you like,--serve yourself.
Page 6
Poor Dick farther advises, and says, "Fond pride of dress is sure a very curse, Ere fancy you.
Page 7
Darton, Junr.
Page 8
" However, remember this, "They that will not be counselled cannot be helped;" and farther, that "If you will not hear Reason, she will surely rap your knuckles," as Poor.
Page 9
Reader, if thou wilt do the same, thy profit will be as great as mine.