Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 67

In order to secure my credit and character as a tradesman, I
took care not only to be in reality industrious and frugal, but to
avoid all appearances to the contrary. I dressed plainly; I was seen
at no places of idle diversion; I never went out a-fishing or
shooting; a book, indeed, sometimes debauched me from my work, but
that was seldom, snug,[103] and gave no scandal; and, to show that I
was not above my business, I sometimes brought home the paper I
purchased at the stores through the streets on a wheelbarrow. Thus,
being esteemed an industrious, thriving young man, and paying duly for
what I bought, the merchants who imported stationery solicited my
custom; others proposed supplying me with books, and I went on
swimmingly. In the mean time, Keimer's credit and business declining
daily, he was at last forced to sell his printing house to satisfy his
creditors. He went to Barbadoes, and there lived some years in very
poor circumstances.

His apprentice, David Harry, whom I had instructed while I worked with
him, set up in his place at Philadelphia, having bought his materials.
I was at first apprehensive of a powerful rival in Harry, as his
friends were very able and had a good deal of interest. I therefore
proposed a partnership to him, which he, fortunately for me, rejected
with scorn. He was very proud, dressed like a gentleman, lived
expensively, took much diversion and pleasure abroad, ran in debt, and
neglected his business; upon which, all business left him; and,
finding nothing to do, he followed Keimer to Barbadoes, taking the
printing house with him. There this apprentice employed his former
master as a journeyman; they quarreled often; Harry went continually
behindhand, and at length was forced to sell his types and return to
his country work in Pennsylvania. The person that bought them employed
Keimer to use them, but in a few years he died.

There remained now no competitor with me at Philadelphia but the old
one, Bradford, who was rich and easy, did a little printing now and
then by straggling hands, but was not very anxious about the business.
However, as he kept the post office, it was imagined he had better
opportunities of obtaining news. His paper was thought a better
distributer of advertisements than mine, and therefore had many more,
which was a profitable thing to him, and a disadvantage to me; for,
though I did indeed receive and send papers by post, yet the public
opinion was otherwise, for what I did send was by bribing the
riders,[104] who took them privately,

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Text Comparison with Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 1
Franklin's Defense of the Frontier 274 XVIII.
Page 13
From these notes I learned that the family had lived in the same village, Ecton, in Northamptonshire,[5] for three hundred years, and how much longer he knew not (perhaps from the time when the name of Franklin, that before was the name of an order of people,[6] was assumed by them as a surname when others took surnames all over the kingdom), on a freehold of about thirty acres, aided by the smith's business, which had continued in the family till his time, the eldest son being always bred to that business; a custom which he and my father followed as to their eldest sons.
Page 31
In crossing the bay, we met with a squall that tore our rotten sails to pieces, prevented our getting into the Kill,[25] and drove us upon Long Island.
Page 44
All this seemed very reasonable.
Page 45
I have since kept several Lents most strictly, leaving the common diet for that, and that for the common, abruptly, without the least inconvenience, so that I think there is little in the advice of making those changes by easy gradations.
Page 49
In this passage Mr.
Page 51
In fact, by our expenses, I was constantly kept unable to pay my passage.
Page 64
The New Jersey jobb was obtained, I contriv'd a copperplate press for it, the first that had been seen in the country; I cut several ornaments and checks for the bills.
Page 73
an addition, being persuaded that the first small sum struck in 1723 had done much good by increasing the trade, employment, and number of inhabitants in the province, since I now saw all the old houses inhabited, and many new ones building: whereas I remembered well, that when I first walk'd about the streets of Philadelphia, eating my roll, I saw most of the houses in Walnut Street, between Second and Front streets,[60] with bills on their doors, "To be let"; and many likewise in Chestnut-street and other streets, which made me then think the inhabitants of the city were deserting it one after another.
Page 91
I hope, therefore, that some of my descendants may follow the example and reap the benefit.
Page 94
"That the view of these parties is their present general interest, or what they take to be such.
Page 100
Page 105
I had begun in 1733 to study languages; I soon made myself so much a master of the French as to be able to read the books with ease.
Page 118
Many pamphlets _pro and con_ were publish'd on the subject, and some by good Quakers, in favour of defense, which I believe convinc'd most of their younger people.
Page 122
[85] Warwick Furnace, Chester County, Pennsylvania, across the Schuylkill River from Pottstown.
Page 132
" I have since had doubts of the practicability of the latter part of this proposal, on account of the narrowness of some streets, and the difficulty of placing the draining-sleds so as not to encumber too much the passage; but I am still of opinion that the former, requiring the dust to be swept up and carry'd away before the shops are open, is very practicable in the.
Page 137
[94] My acts in Morris's time, military, etc.
Page 155
He also applied to Sir Everard Fawkener, the postmaster-general, to deprive me of my office; but it had no other effect than to procure from Sir Everard a gentle admonition.
Page 167
We had a good observation, and the captain judg'd himself so near our port, Falmouth, that, if we made a good run in the night, we might be off the mouth of that harbor in the morning, and by running in the night might escape the notice of the enemy's privateers, who often cruis'd near the entrance of the channel.
Page 187