Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 60

a year, though I have since known it to let for
seventy, we took in Thomas Godfrey, a glazier, and his family, who
were to pay a considerable part of it to us, and we to board with
them. We had scarce opened our letters and put our press in order,
before George House, an acquaintance of mine, brought a countryman to
us, whom he had met in the street inquiring for a printer. All our
cash was now expended in the variety of particulars we had been
obliged to procure, and this countryman's five shillings, being our
first fruits, and coming so seasonably, gave me more pleasure than any
crown I have since earned; and the gratitude I felt toward House has
made me often more ready than perhaps I should otherwise have been to
assist young beginners.

There are croakers in every country, always boding its ruin. Such a one
then lived in Philadelphia, a person of note, an elderly man, with a
wise look and a very grave manner of speaking. His name was Samuel
Mickle. This gentleman, a stranger to me, stopped one day at my door,
and asked me if I was the young man who had lately opened a new printing
house. Being answered in the affirmative, he said he was sorry for me,
because it was an expensive undertaking, and the expense would be lost;
for Philadelphia was a sinking place, the people already half bankrupts,
or near being so, all appearances to the contrary, such as new buildings
and the rise of rents, being to his certain knowledge fallacious; for
they were, in fact, among the things that would soon ruin us. And he
gave me such a detail of misfortunes now existing, or that were soon to
exist, that he left me half melancholy. Had I known him before I engaged
in this business, probably I never should have done it. This man
continued to live in this decaying place, and to declaim in the same
strain, refusing for many years to buy a house there, because all was
going to destruction; and at last I had the pleasure of seeing him give
five times as much for one as he might have bought it for when he first
began his croaking.

I should have mentioned before, that in the autumn of the preceding
year I had formed most of my ingenious acquaintance into a club of
mutual improvement, which we called the "Junto."[93] We met on Friday
evenings. The rules that I drew up required that every member, in his
turn, should produce one or

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Text Comparison with Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 3
PAGE Portrait of Franklin vii Pages 1 and 4 of _The Pennsylvania Gazette_, Number XL, the first number after Franklin took control xxi First page of _The New England Courant_ of December 4-11, 1721 33 "I was employed to carry the papers thro' the streets to the customers" 36 "She, standing at the door, saw me, and thought I made, as I certainly did, a most awkward, ridiculous appearance" 48 "I took to working at press" 88 "I see him still at work when I go home from club" 120 Two pages from _Poor Richard's Almanac_ for 1736 .
Page 8
The homelier prose of Bunyan and Defoe gradually gave place to the more elegant and artificial language of Samuel Johnson, who set the standard for prose writing from 1745 onward.
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But Franklin was essentially a journalist.
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[13] Tenth.
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There was also a book of DeFoe's, called an _Essay on Projects_, and another of Dr.
Page 27
Pope[22] says, judiciously: _"Men should be taught as if you taught them not, And things unknown propos'd as things forgot;"_ farther recommending to us "To speak, tho' sure, with seeming diffidence.
Page 32
There were canoes on the shore, and we made signs, and hallow'd that they should fetch us; but they either did not understand us, or thought it impracticable, so they went away, and night coming on, we had no remedy but to wait till the wind should abate; and, in the meantime, the boatman and I concluded to sleep, if we could; and so crowded into the scuttle, with the Dutchman, who was still wet, and the spray beating over the head of our boat, leak'd thro' to us, so that we were soon almost as wet as he.
Page 44
All this seemed very reasonable.
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In this passage Mr.
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" Some of his reasonings not appearing to me well founded, I wrote a little metaphysical piece in which I made remarks on them.
Page 56
She had lived many years in that garret, being permitted to remain there gratis by successive Catholic tenants of the house below, as they deemed it a blessing to have her there.
Page 78
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We kept no idle servants, our table was plain and simple, our furniture of the cheapest.
Page 89
After a while I went thro' one course only in a year, and afterward only one in several years, till at length I omitted them entirely, being employ'd in voyages and business abroad, with a multiplicity of affairs that interfered; but I always carried my little book with me.
Page 93
, 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 107
We had from the beginning made it a rule to keep our institution a secret, which was pretty well observ'd; the intention was to avoid applications of improper persons for admittance, some of whom, perhaps, we might find it difficult to refuse.
Page 115
There were, however, two, things that I regretted, there being no provision for defense, nor for a compleat education of youth; no militia, nor any college.
Page 127
My allegation on the contrary, that it met with such approbation as to leave no doubt of our being able to raise two thousand pounds by voluntary donations, they considered as a most extravagant supposition, and utterly impossible.
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The next morning our fort was plann'd and mark'd out, the circumference measuring four hundred and fifty-five feet, which would require as many palisades to be made of trees, one with another, of a foot diameter each.