Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 50

so much employment for a confessor."
"Oh," said she, "it is impossible to avoid vain thoughts." I was
permitted once to visit her. She was cheerful and polite, and
conversed pleasantly. The room was clean, but had no other furniture
than a mattress, a table with a crucifix and book, a stool which she
gave me to sit on, and a picture over the chimney of St. Veronica[74]
displaying her handkerchief, with the miraculous figure of Christ's
bleeding face on it, which she explained to me with great seriousness.
She looked pale, but was never sick; and I give it as another instance
on how small an income life and health may be supported.

At Watts's printing house I contracted an acquaintance with an
ingenious young man, one Wygate, who, having wealthy relations, had
been better educated than most printers,--was a tolerable Latinist,
spoke French, and loved reading. I taught him and a friend of his to
swim at twice going into the river, and they soon became good
swimmers. They introduced me to some gentlemen from the country, who
went to Chelsea[75] by water to see the college and Don Saltero's[76]
curiosities. In our return, at the request of the company, whose
curiosity Wygate had excited, I stripped and leaped into the river,
and swam from near Chelsea to Blackfriar's,[77] performing on the way
many feats of activity, both upon and under the water, that surprised
and pleased those to whom they were novelties.

I had from a child been ever delighted with this exercise, had studied
and practiced all Thevenot's motions and positions, and added some of
my own, aiming at the graceful and easy as well as the useful. All
these I took this occasion of exhibiting to the company, and was much
flattered by their admiration; and Wygate, who was desirous of
becoming a master, grew more and more attached to me on that account,
as well as from the similarity of our studies. He at length proposed
to me traveling all over Europe together, supporting ourselves
everywhere by working at our business. I was once inclined to it; but,
mentioning it to my good friend, Mr. Denham, with whom I often spent
an hour when I had leisure, he dissuaded me from it, advising me to
think only of returning to Pennsylvania, which he was now about to do.

I must record one trait of this good man's character. He had formerly
been in business at Bristol, but failed, in debt to a number of
people, compounded, and went to America. There, by a close application
to business as a merchant, he

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

Page 9
Benjamin was bred a silk dyer, serving an apprenticeship at London.
Page 10
's reign, when some of the ministers that had been outed for nonconformity,[14] holding conventicles in Northamptonshire, Benjamin and Josiah adhered to them, and so continued all their lives; the rest of the family remained with the Episcopal Church.
Page 18
He instantly agreed to it, and I presently found that I could save half what he paid me.
Page 27
set many of the facts in a very ridiculous light, and might have hurt weak minds if his work had been published; but it never was.
Page 29
The old gentleman said he would go with me to the new printer; and when we found him, "Neighbor," says Bradford, "I have brought to see you a young man of your business; perhaps you may want such a one.
Page 33
I led in it, expressing strongly my intention of returning to it; and one of them asking what kind of money we had there, I produced a handful of silver and spread it before them, which was a kind of raree-show[51] they had not been used to, paper being the money of Boston.
Page 39
I had made some courtship during this time to Miss Read.
Page 43
We arrived in London the 24th of December, 1724.
Page 44
I had fifteen pistoles;[63] so he borrowed occasionally of me to subsist while he was looking out for business.
Page 48
After sending to inquire my character at the house where I last lodged, she.
Page 80
| * | * | * | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | R[esolution] | | | * | | | * | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | F[rugality] | | * | | | * | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | I[ndustry] | | | * | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | S[incerity] | | | | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | J[ustice] | | | | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | M[oderation] | | | | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | C[leanliness] | | | | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | T[ranquillity] | | | | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | C[hastity] | | | | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | H[umility] | | | | .
Page 87
, and I adopted, instead of them, "I conceive," "I apprehend," or "I imagine" a thing to be so or so; or "it so appears to me at present.
Page 92
I mention this affair chiefly for the sake of recommending that branch of education for our young women, as likely to be of more use to them and their children, in case of widowhood, than either music or dancing, by preserving them from losses by imposition of crafty men, and enabling them to continue, perhaps, a profitable mercantile house, with established correspondence, till a son is grown up fit to undertake and go on with it, to the lasting advantage and enriching of the family.
Page 93
Finding this took up too much of the time I had to spare for study, I at length refused.
Page 110
Now we are not sure that we are arrived at the end of this progression and at the perfection of spiritual or theological knowledge, and we fear that if we should once print our confession of faith we should feel ourselves as if bound and confined by it, and perhaps be unwilling to receive further improvement, and our successors still more so, as conceiving what we, their elders and founders, had done to be something sacred, never to be departed from.
Page 129
When I was about to depart, the returns of wagons to be obtained were brought in, by which it appeared that they amounted only to twenty-five, and not all of those were in serviceable condition.
Page 130
I was desired to put on paper the terms that appeared to me necessary.
Page 164
Page 166
Drive thy business, let not that drive thee; and, Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise, as Poor Richard says.
Page 168
A man may, if he knows not how to save as he gets, keep his nose all his life to the grindstone, and die not worth a groat at last.