Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 55

have these raw, cheap
hands formed through me; and, as soon as I had instructed them, then
they being all articled[84] to him, he should be able to do without
me. I went on, however, very cheerfully, put his printing house in
order, which had been in great confusion, and brought his hands by
degrees to mind their business and to do it better.

It was an odd thing to find an Oxford scholar in the situation of a
bought servant. He was not more than eighteen years of age, and gave me
this account of himself: he was born in Gloucester, educated at a
grammar school there, and had been distinguished among the scholars for
some apparent superiority in performing his part when they exhibited
plays. He belonged to the Witty Club there, and had written some pieces
in prose and verse, which were printed in the Gloucester newspapers.
Thence he was sent to Oxford, where he continued about a year, but not
well satisfied, wishing of all things to see London, and become a
player. At length, receiving his quarterly allowance of fifteen
guineas,[85] instead of discharging his debts he walked out of town, hid
his gown in a furze bush, and footed it to London, where, having no
friends to advise him, he fell into bad company, soon spent his guineas,
found no means of being introduced among the players, grew necessitous,
pawned his clothes, and wanted bread. Walking the street very hungry,
and not knowing what to do with himself, a crimp's[86] bill was put into
his hand, offering immediate entertainment and encouragement to such as
would bind themselves to serve in America. He went directly, signed the
indentures, was put into the ship, and came over, never writing a line
to acquaint his friends what was become of him. He was lively, witty,
good-natured, and a pleasant companion, but idle, thoughtless, and
imprudent to the last degree.

John, the Irishman, soon ran away; with the rest I began to live very
agreeably, for they all respected me the more as they found Keimer
incapable of instructing them, and that from me they learned something
daily. We never worked on Saturday, that being Keimer's Sabbath, so I
had two days for reading. My acquaintance with ingenious people in the
town increased. Keimer himself treated me with great civility and
apparent regard, and nothing now made me uneasy but my debt to Vernon,
which I was yet unable to pay, being hitherto but a poor economist.
He, however, kindly made no demand of it.

Our printing house often wanted sorts, and there was no

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Text Comparison with The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 2
Since such a repetition is not to be expected, the next thing most like living one's life over again seems to be a recollection of that life, and to make that recollection as durable as possible by putting it down in writing.
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born 1667, died 1752, ----- 95.
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This was an additional fund for buying books.
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great respect and affection for her, and had some reason to believe she had the same for me; but, as I was about to take a long voyage, and we were both very young, only a little above eighteen, it was thought most prudent by her mother to prevent our going too far at present, as a marriage, if it was to take place, would be more convenient after my return, when I should be, as I expected, set up in my business.
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Having taken leave of my friends, and interchang'd some promises with Miss Read, I left Philadelphia in the ship, which anchor'd at Newcastle.
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My constant attendance (I never making a St.
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Before I enter upon my public appearance in business, it may be well to let you know the then state of my mind with regard to my principles and morals, that you may see how far those influenc'd the future events of my life.
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letter resembling Dr.
Page 91
In the conduct of my newspaper, I carefully excluded all libelling and personal abuse, which is of late years become so disgraceful to our country.
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[12] and then with an alteration in the mode of assessment, which I thought not for the better, but with an additional provision for lighting as well as paving the streets, which was a great improvement.
Page 118
I had observ'd that the streets, when dry, were never swept, and the light dust carried away; but it was suffer'd to accumulate till wet weather reduc'd it to mud, and then, after lying some days so deep on the pavement that there was no crossing but in paths kept clean by poor people with brooms, it was with great labour rak'd together and thrown up into carts open above, the sides of which suffer'd some of the slush at every jolt on the pavement to shake out and fall, sometimes to the annoyance of foot-passengers.
Page 121
Since that imprudent transaction, they have receiv'd from it--not one farthing! The business of the postoffice occasion'd my taking a journey this year to New England, where the College of Cambridge, of their own motion, presented me with the degree of Master of Arts.
Page 149
pass'd, and, presenting them with a set of resolutions I had drawn up, declaring our rights, and that we did not relinquish our claim to those rights, but only suspended the exercise of them on this occasion thro' force, against which we protested, they at length agreed to drop that bill, and frame another conformable to the proprietary instructions.
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T.
Page 161
[HERE THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY BREAKS OFF] 1760 .