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 45

of London; remembered with
pleasure the happy months I had spent in Pennsylvania, and wished again
to see it; therefore I immediately agreed on the terms of fifty pounds a
year, Pennsylvania money; less, indeed, than my present gettings as a
compositor, but affording better prospects.

I now took leave of printing, as I thought, for ever, and was daily
employed in my new business: going about with Mr. Denham among the
tradesmen, to purchase various articles and see them packed up,
delivering messages, calling upon workmen to despatch, &c.; and, when
all was on board, I had a few days' leisure. On one of these days I was,
to my surprise, sent for by a great man, I knew only by name (Sir
William Wyndham), and I waited upon him; he had heard, by some means or
other, of my swimming from Chelsea to Blackfriars, and of my teaching
Wygate and another young man to swim in a few hours: he had two sons,
about to set out on their travels; he wished to have them first taught
swimming, and proposed to gratify me handsomely if I would teach them.
They were not yet come to town, and my stay was uncertain, so I could
not undertake it; but from the incident I thought it likely, that if I
were to remain in England and open a swimming school, I might get a good
deal of money; and it struck me so strongly, that, had the overture been
made me sooner, probably I should not so soon have returned to America.
Many years after, you and I had something of more importance to do with
one of those sons of Sir William Wyndham, become Earl of Egremont, which
I shall mention in its place.

Thus I passed about eighteen months in London, most part of the time I
worked hard at my business, and spent but little upon myself, except in
seeing plays and in books. 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. I had improved my knowledge, however, though
I had by no means improved my fortune; but I had made some very
ingenious acquaintance, whose conversation was of great advantage to me,
and I had read considerably.

We sailed from Gravesend on the 23d of July, 1726. For the incidents of
the voyage I refer you to my journal, where you will find them all
minutely related. Perhaps the most

Last Page Next Page

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

Page 8
514 Letter respecting captain Cook 515 An address to the public, from the Pensylvania society for promoting the abolition of slavery, and the relief of free negroes, unlawfully held in bondage 517 Plan for improving the condition of the free blacks 519 Paper: a poem 523 Plain truth; or, serious considerations on the present state of the city of Philadelphia, and province of Pensylvania 524 .
Page 34
I think too, that the government of the colonies by a parliament, in which they are fairly represented, would be vastly more agreeable to the people, than the method lately attempted to be introduced by royal instruction; as well as more agreeable to the nature of an English constitution, and to English liberty; and that such laws, as now seem to bear hard on the colonies, would (when judged by such a parliament for the best interest of the whole) be more cheerfully submitted to, and more easily executed.
Page 63
Franklin's, that in the common library catalogue of the British Museum it is ranked under his name.
Page 104
B.
Page 124
But as there is no such clause, this cannot be one of the particulars on which the charge is founded; but, like the first, is merely a requisition to make the act _clear_, by express directions therein, that the proprietaries' estate should not be, as they pretended to believe it would be, taxed higher in proportion to its value than the estates of others.
Page 142
" What! without enquiry! without examination! without a hearing of what the assembly might say in support of it! "wholly disregard" the petition of your representatives in assembly, accompanied by other petitions, signed by thousands of your fellow-subjects as loyal, if not as wise and as good, as yourselves! Would you wish to see your great and amiable prince act a part that could not become a dey of Algiers? Do you, who are Americans, pray for a _precedent_ of such contempt in the treatment of an American assembly! such "total disregard" of their humble applications to the throne? Surely your wisdoms here have overshot yourselves.
Page 171
While then these burthens continue: while Britain restrains the colonies in every branch of commerce and manufactures that she thinks interferes with her own; while she drains the colonies, by her trade with them, of all the cash they can procure by every art and industry in any part of the world, and thus keeps them always in her debt: (for they can make no law to discourage the importation of your to _them_ ruinous superfluities, as _you_ do the superfluities of France; since such a law would immediately be reported against by your board of trade, and repealed by the crown:) I say while these circumstances continue, and while there subsists the established method of royal requisitions, for raising money on them by their own assemblies on every proper occasion; can it be necessary or prudent to distress and vex them by taxes laid here, in a parliament wherein they have no representative, and in a manner which they look upon to be unconstitutional and subversive of their most valuable rights; and are they to be thought unreasonable and ungrateful if they oppose such taxes? Wherewith, they say, shall we show our loyalty to our gracious king,.
Page 181
If an assembly could possibly be so absurd, as to refuse raising the supplies requisite for the maintenance of government among them, they could not long remain in such a situation; the disorders and confusion occasioned by it must soon bring them to reason.
Page 190
They are zealous for the honour and prosperity of this nation; and, while they are well used, will always be ready to support it, as far as their little power goes.
Page 191
_ Is it not necessary to send troops to America, to defend the Americans against the Indians? _A.
Page 277
And when the governments have been solicited to support such schemes by encouragements, in money, or by imposing duties on importation of such goods, it has been generally refused, on this principle, that if the country is ripe for the manufacture, it may be carried on by private persons to advantage; and if not, it is a folly to think of forcing nature.
Page 331
of chess, in which we have often points to gain, and competitors or adversaries to contend with, and in which there is a vast variety of good and ill events, that are, in some degree, the effects of prudence or the want of it.
Page 335
It is recorded of Methusalem, who, being the longest liver, may be supposed to have best preserved his health, that he slept always in the open air; for, when he had lived five hundred years, an angel said to him: "Arise, Methusalem, and build thee an house, for thou shalt live yet five hundred years longer.
Page 346
Please to accept this small testimony of mine to his memory, for which I shall ever have the utmost respect; and believe me, with sincere esteem, dear sir, Your most humble servant, B.
Page 352
Franklin in the American Museum, we think it not right to omit it.
Page 382
146.
Page 402
268.
Page 409
_Petition_ from the colonists of Massachusets bay, iii.
Page 415
450.
Page 422
'provice for' replaced by 'province for'.