Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 92

them manifest injustice. Now many of
our printers make no scruple of gratifying the malice of individuals
by false accusations of the fairest characters among ourselves,
augmenting animosity even to the producing of duels; and are,
moreover, so indiscreet as to print scurrilous reflections on the
government of neighboring states, and even on the conduct of our best
national allies, which may be attended with the most pernicious
consequences. These things I mention as a caution to young printers,
and that they may be encouraged not to pollute their presses and
disgrace their profession by such infamous practices, but refuse
steadily, as they may see by my example that such a course of conduct
will not, on the whole, be injurious to their interests.

In 1733 I sent one of my journeymen to Charleston, South Carolina,
where a printer was wanting. I furnished him with a press and letters,
on an agreement of partnership by which I was to receive one third of
the profits of the business, paying one third of the expense. He was a
man of learning, and honest but ignorant in matters of account; and,
though he sometimes made me remittances, I could get no account from
him, nor any satisfactory state of our partnership while he lived. On
his decease the business was continued by his widow, who, being born
and bred in Holland, where, as I have been informed, the knowledge of
accounts makes a part of female education,[n] she not only sent me as
clear a state[121] as she could find of the transactions past, but
continued to account with the greatest regularity and exactness every
quarter afterward, and managed the business with such success that she
not only brought up reputably a family of children, but, at the
expiration of the term, was able to purchase of me the printing house,
and establish her son in it.

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.

About the year 1734 there arrived among us from Ireland a young
Presbyterian preacher, named Hemphill, who delivered with a good
voice, and apparently extempore, most excellent discourses, which drew
together considerable numbers of different persuasions, who joined

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

Page 1
During the delay he visited the ancient home of his family, and made the acquaintance of men of mark, receiving also that degree of Doctor of Civil Law by which he came to be known as Dr.
Page 20
My brother had, in 1720 or 1721, begun to print a newspaper.
Page 22
So I sold some of my books to raise a little money, was taken on board privately, and, as we had a fair wind, in three days I found myself in New York, near three hundred.
Page 24
] [Footnote 27: Agreements written upon sheets, the edges of which were cut or indented to match each other, for security and identification.
Page 34
At Newport we took in a number of passengers for New York, among which were two young women, companions, and a grave, sensible, matronlike Quaker woman, with her attendants.
Page 49
A priest visited her to confess her every day.
Page 86
15, 16.
Page 93
He afterward acknowledged to me that none of those he preached were his own, adding that his memory was such as enabled him to retain and repeat any sermon after one reading only.
Page 100
" It was wonderful to see the change soon made in the manners of our inhabitants.
Page 103
the curiosity to learn how far he could be heard, by retiring backward down the street toward the river; and I found his voice distinct till I came near Front Street, when some noise in that street obscured it.
Page 110
He said that it had been proposed among them, but not agreed to, for this reason: "When we were first drawn together as a society," says he, "it had pleased God to enlighten our minds so far as to see that some doctrines, which we once esteemed truths, were errors; and that others, which we have esteemed errors, were real truths.
Page 116
" I inquired into the nature and probable utility of his scheme, and receiving from him a very satisfactory explanation, I not only subscribed to it myself, but engaged heartily in the design of procuring subscriptions from others.
Page 117
" This condition carried the bill through; for the members who had opposed the grant, and now conceived they might have the credit of being charitable without the expense, agreed to its passage; and then, in soliciting subscriptions among the people, we urged the conditional promise of the law as an additional motive to give, since every man's donation would be doubled; thus the clause worked both ways.
Page 119
I have sometimes wondered that the Londoners.
Page 135
"After taking Fort Duquesne,"[172] says he, "I am to proceed to Niagara; and, having taken that, to Frontenac, if the season will allow time, and I suppose it will, for Duquesne can hardly detain me above three or four days; and then I see nothing that can obstruct my march to Niagara.
Page 140
The Indians had burned Gnadenhut, a village settled by the Moravians, and massacred the inhabitants; but the place was thought a good situation for one of the forts.
Page 147
Page 154
" "Is it possible, when he is so great a writer? for I see him constantly at his escritoire.
Page 165
Judge, then, how much I must have been gratified by an incident I am going to relate to you.
Page 172
Reader, if thou wilt do the same, thy profit will be as great as mine.