Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 1 of 2] With His Most Interesting Essays, Letters, and Miscellaneous Writings; Familiar, Moral, Political, Economical, and Philosophical, Selected with Care from All His Published Productions, and Comprising Whatever Is Most Entertaining and Valuable to the General Reader

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 18

mine, I
contrived to disguise my hand, and, writing an anonymous paper, I put it
at night under the door of the printing-house. It was found in the
morning, and committed to his writing friends when they called in as
usual. They read it, commented on it in my hearing, and I had the
exquisite pleasure of finding it had met with their approbation, and
that, in their different guesses at the author, none were named but men
of some character among us for learning and ingenuity. I suppose that I
was rather lucky in my judges, and they were not really so very good as
I then believed them to be.

Encouraged, however, by this attempt, I wrote and sent in the same way
to the press several other pieces that were equally approved; and I kept
my secret till all my fund of sense for such performances was exhausted,
and then discovered it, when I began to be considered with a little more
attention by my brother's acquaintance. However, that did not quite
please him, as he thought it tended to make me too vain. This might be
one occasion of the differences we began to have about this time. Though
a brother, he considered himself as my master, and me as his apprentice,
and, accordingly, expected the same services from me as he would from
another, while I thought he degraded me too much in some he required of
me, who from a brother required more indulgence. Our disputes were often
brought before our father, and I fancy I was either generally in the
right, or else a better pleader, because the judgment was generally in
my favour. But my brother was passionate, and had often beaten me, which
I took extremely amiss; and thinking my apprenticeship very tedious, I
was continually wishing for some opportunity of shortening it, which at
length offered in a manner unexpected.

Perhaps the harsh and tyrannical treatment of me might be a means of
impressing me with the aversion to arbitrary power that has stuck to me
through my whole life.

One of the pieces in our newspaper on some political point, which I have
now forgotten, gave offence to the Assembly. He was taken up, censured,
and imprisoned for a month, by the speaker's warrant, I suppose, because
he would not discover the author. I, too, was taken up and examined
before the council: but though I did not give them any satisfaction,
they contented themselves with admonishing me, and dismissed me,
considering me, perhaps, as an apprentice, who was bound to keep his
master's secrets.

During my

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

Page 23
] [Footnote 14: "Outed for nonconformity," i.
Page 26
[n] He had been, I imagine, an itinerant doctor; for there was no town in England, or country in Europe, of which he could not give a very particular account.
Page 42
Page 45
My pamphlet falling into the hands of one Lyons, a surgeon, author of a book entitled "The Infallibility of Human Judgment," it occasioned an acquaintance between us.
Page 52
My friend Ralph had kept me poor; he owed me about twenty-seven pounds, which I was now never likely to receive,--a great sum out of my small earnings! I loved him, notwithstanding, for he had many amiable qualities.
Page 59
I had, therefore, a tolerable character to begin the world with; I valued it properly, and determined to preserve it.
Page 62
But so determined I was to continue doing a sheet a day of the folio that one night, when, having imposed[96] my forms, I thought my day's work over, one of them by accident was broken, and two pages reduced to pi,[97] I immediately distributed and composed it over again before I went to bed; and this industry, visible to our neighbors, began to give us character and credit; particularly, I was told, that mention being made of the new printing office at the merchants' Every-Night Club, the general opinion was that it must fail, there being already two printers in the place, Keimer and Bradford; but Dr.
Page 65
" I agreed to this proposal; it was drawn up in writing, signed, and sealed immediately.
Page 69
The match[105] was indeed looked upon as invalid, a preceding wife being said to be living in England; but this could not easily be proved because of the distance; and though there was a report of his death, it was not certain.
Page 70
Those who loved reading were obliged to send for their books from England; the members of the Junto had each a few.
Page 84
To avoid the trouble of renewing now and then my little book, which, by scraping out the marks on the paper of old faults to make room for new ones in a new course, became full of holes, I transferred my tables and precepts to the ivory leaves of a memorandum book, on which the lines were drawn with red ink, that made a durable stain, and on those lines I marked my faults with a black lead pencil, which marks I could easily wipe out with a wet sponge.
Page 86
It will be remarked that, though my scheme was not wholly without religion, there was in it no mark of any of the distinguishing tenets of any particular sect.
Page 93
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 101
The settlement of that province had lately been begun, but, instead of being made with hardy, industrious husbandmen, accustomed to labor,--the only people fit for such an enterprise,--it was with families of broken shopkeepers and other insolvent debtors, many of indolent and idle habits, taken out of the jails, who, being set down in the woods, unqualified for clearing land and unable to endure the hardships of a new settlement, perished in numbers, leaving many helpless children unprovided for.
Page 111
[n] To promote that demand I wrote and published a pamphlet entitled, "An Account of the new-invented Pennsylvania Fireplaces; wherein their Construction and Manner of Operation is particularly explained; their Advantages above every other Method of warming Rooms demonstrated; and all Objections that have been raised against the Use of them answered and obviated," etc.
Page 113
The care and trouble of agreeing with the workmen, purchasing materials, and superintending the work, fell upon me; and I went through it the more cheerfully as it did not then interfere with my private business, having the year before taken a very able, industrious, and honest partner, Mr.
Page 131
It was proposed to send an armed force immediately into these counties, to seize as many of the best carriages and horses as should be wanted, and compel as many persons into the service as .
Page 135
This general was, I think, a brave man, and might probably have made a figure as a good officer in some European war.
Page 141
shelter us till we arrived, near night, at the house of a German, where, and in his barn, we were all huddled together, as wet as water could make us.
Page 151
On this he did not then explain himself; but when he afterward came to do business with the Assembly, they appeared again, the disputes were renewed, and I was as active as ever in the opposition, being the penman, first, of the request to have a communication of the instructions, and then of the remarks upon them, which may be found in the votes of the time, and in the "Historical Review" I afterward published.