Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 72

to go about and
propose it to such as they thought lovers of reading. In this way my
affair went on more smoothly, and I ever after practiced it on such
occasions, and, from my frequent successes, can heartily recommend it.
The present little sacrifice of your vanity will afterward be amply
repaid. If it remains awhile uncertain to whom the merit belongs, some
one more vain than yourself will be encouraged to claim it, and then
even envy will be disposed to do you justice by plucking those assumed
feathers, and restoring them to their right owner.

This library afforded me the means of improvement by constant study,
for which I set apart an hour or two each day, and thus repaired in
some degree the loss of the learned education my father once intended
for me. Reading was the only amusement I allowed myself. I spent no
time in taverns, games, or frolics of any kind; and my industry in my
business continued as indefatigable as it was necessary. I was
indebted for my printing house; I had a young family coming on to be
educated, and I had to contend for business with two printers, who
were established in the place before me. My circumstances, however,
grew daily easier. My original habits of frugality continuing, and my
father having, among his instructions to me when a boy, frequently
repeated a proverb of Solomon, "Seest thou a man diligent in his
business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean
men,"[110] I from thence considered industry as a means of obtaining
wealth and distinction, which encouraged me, though I did not think
that I should ever literally "stand before kings;" which, however, has
since happened, for I have stood before five, and even had the honor
of sitting down with one (the King of Denmark) to dinner.[n]

We have an English proverb that says, "He that would thrive must ask
his wife." It was lucky for me that I had one as much disposed to
industry and frugality as myself. She assisted me cheerfully in my
business, folding and stitching pamphlets, tending shop, purchasing
old linen rags for the paper makers, etc. We kept no idle servants,
our table was plain and simple, our furniture of the cheapest. For
instance, my breakfast was a long time bread and milk (no tea), and I
ate it out of a two-penny earthen porringer, with a pewter spoon. But
mark how luxury will enter families and make a progress in spite of
principle. Being called one morning to breakfast, I found it in a

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 1 [of 3]

Page 4
--Gunpowder fired by the electric flame.
Page 19
" I perceive, by my rambling digressions, that I am growing old.
Page 36
I went, however, with the governor and the colonel to a tavern at the corner of Third-street, where, while we were drinking the Madeira, he proposed to me to establish a printing-house.
Page 70
He warmly interested himself for me on this occasion, as he did likewise on many others afterwards; having continued his kindness to me till his death.
Page 102
Franklin to make a variety of experiments; and he at length formed that elegant instrument which.
Page 110
The object of these was generally the promotion of industry and economy.
Page 150
And when we can procure greater electrical sparks, we may be able to fire not only unwarmed spirits, as lightning does, but even wood, by giving sufficient agitation to the common fire contained in it, as friction we know will do.
Page 161
Sometimes the glass breaks to pieces; once the upper glass broke into a thousand pieces, looking like coarse salt.
Page 185
Though the sulphur globe seems to work equally well with the glass one, yet it can never occasion so large and distant a spark between my knuckle and the conductor, when the sulphur one is working, as when the glass one is used; which, I suppose, is occasioned by this, that bodies of a certain bigness cannot so easily part with a quantity of electrical fluid they have and hold attracted _within_ their substance, as they can receive an additional quantity _upon_ their surface by way of atmosphere.
Page 204
Electric atmospheres, that flow round non-electric bodies, being brought near each other, do not readily mix and unite into one atmosphere, but remain separate, and repel each other.
Page 233
The wire was red hot the whole length, well annealed, and above an inch longer than before.
Page 237
Hadley, then professor of chemistry at Cambridge, when, by repeatedly wetting the ball of a thermometer with spirit, and quickening the evaporation by the blast of a bellows, the mercury fell from 65, the state of warmth in the common air, to 7, which is 22 degrees below.
Page 274
Page 275
As he has chosen to withhold his name, we conceive ourselves not entitled to disclose it: but we shall take the freedom of an acquaintance to use the notes occasionally, deeming them in many instances valuable historical records.
Page 291
_ _Voilà, Monsieur, un récit fait à la hâte, mais naif & vrai que j'atteste, & vous pouvez assurer que je suis prêt à rendre témoignage de cet événement dans toutes les occasions.
Page 311
public spirit, 375.
Page 322
Page 325
its qualities, 245.
Page 333
offices of, i.
Page 344
Pg 263.