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 36

in my own
hand. We met: Watson's performance was read; there were some beauties in
it, but many defects. Osborne's was read; it was much better. Ralph did
it justice, remarked some faults, but applauded the beauties. He himself
had nothing to produce. I was backward, seemed desirous of being
excused, had not had sufficient time to correct, &c., but no excuse
could be admitted; produce I must. It was read and repeated: Watson and
Osborne gave up the contest, and joined in applauding it. Ralph only
made some criticisms and proposed some amendments; but I defended my
text. Osborne was severe against Ralph, and told me he was no better
able to criticise than to compose verses. As these two were returning
home, Osborne expressed himself still more strongly in favour of what he
thought my production; having before refrained, as he said, lest I
should think he meant to flatter me. "But who would have imagined," said
he, "that Franklin was capable of such a performance; such painting,
such force, such fire! He has even improved on the original. In common
conversation he seems to have no choice of words; he hesitates and
blunders; and yet, good God, how he writes!" When we next met, Ralph
discovered the trick we had played, and Osborne was laughed at. This
transaction fixed Ralph in his resolution of becoming a poet. I did all
I could to dissuade him from it, but he continued scribbling verses till
Pope cured him.[6] He became, however, a pretty good prose writer. More
of him hereafter. But as I may not have occasion to mention the other
two, I shall just remark here that Watson died in my arms a few years
after, much lamented, being the best of our set. Osborne went to the
West Indies, where he became an eminent lawyer, and made money. He and I
had made a serious agreement, that the one who happened first to die
should, if possible, make a friendly visit to the other, and acquaint
him how he found things in that separate state. But he never fulfilled
his promise.

The governor, seeming to like my company, had me frequently at his
house, and his setting me up was always mentioned as a fixed thing. I
was to take with me letters recommendatory to a number of his friends,
besides the letter of credit to furnish me with the necessary money for
purchasing the press, types, paper, &c. For these letters I was
appointed to call at different times, when they were to be ready, but a
future time was still named.

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Text Comparison with The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 2
Since such a repetition is not to be expected, the next thing most like living one's life over again seems to be a recollection of that life, and to make that recollection as durable as possible by putting it down in writing.
Page 3
My belief of this induces me to hope, though I must not presume, that the same goodness will still be exercised toward me, in continuing that happiness, or enabling me to bear a fatal reverse, which I may experience as others have done: the complexion of my future fortune being known to Him only in whose power it is to bless to us even our afflictions.
Page 6
young, and carried his wife with three children into New England, about 1682.
Page 23
So not considering or knowing the difference of money, and the greater cheapness nor the names of his bread, I made him give me three-penny worth of any sort.
Page 26
I wrote an answer to his letter, thank'd him for his advice, but stated my reasons for quitting Boston fully and in such a light as to convince him I was not so wrong as he had apprehended.
Page 28
We struck on a shoal in going down the bay, and sprung a leak; we had a blustering time at sea, and were oblig'd to pump almost continually, at which I took my turn.
Page 29
in business who wanted yet three years of being at man's estate.
Page 34
He invited me and two women friends to dine with him; but, it being brought too soon upon table, he could not resist the temptation, and ate the whole before we came.
Page 37
Having taken leave of my friends, and interchang'd some promises with Miss Read, I left Philadelphia in the ship, which anchor'd at Newcastle.
Page 57
Page 91
Of these are a Socratic dialogue, tending to prove that, whatever might be his parts and abilities, a vicious man could not properly be called a man of sense; and a discourse on self-denial, showing that virtue was not secure till its practice became a habitude, and was free from the opposition of contrary inclinations.
Page 96
I did not, however, aim at gaining his favour by paying any servile respect to him, but, after some time, took this other method.
Page 111
It is to be noted that the contributions to this building being made by people of different sects, care was taken in the nomination of trustees, in whom the building and ground was to be vested, that a predominancy should not be given to any sect, lest in time that predominancy might be a means of appropriating the whole to the use of such sect, contrary to the original intention.
Page 121
Since that imprudent transaction, they have receiv'd from it--not one farthing! The business of the postoffice occasion'd my taking a journey this year to New England, where the College of Cambridge, of their own motion, presented me with the degree of Master of Arts.
Page 128
"I apprehended that the progress of British soldiers through these counties on such an occasion, especially considering the temper they are in, and their resentment against us, would be attended with many and great inconveniences to the inhabitants, and therefore more willingly took the trouble of trying first what might be done by fair and equitable means.
Page 136
He gave me a commission with full powers, and a parcel of blank commissions for officers, to be given to whom I thought fit.
Page 137
The armed brethren, too, kept watch, and reliev'd as methodically as in any garrison town.
Page 138
When they were set up, our carpenters built a stage of boards all round within, about six feet high, for the men to stand on when to fire thro' the loopholes.
Page 145
I therefore never answered M.
Page 148
This his lordship did not chuse to do, though I once thought I had nearly prevail'd with him to do it; but finally he rather chose to urge the compliance of the Assembly; and he entreated me to use my endeavours with them for that purpose, declaring that he would spare none of the king's troops for the defense of our frontiers, and that, if we did not continue to provide for that defense ourselves, they must remain expos'd to the enemy.