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 54

tolerable; very ingenious in making little knickknackeries, and of
sensible conversation.

Thomas Godfrey, a self-taught mathematician, great in his way, and
afterward inventor of what is now called _Hadley's Quadrant_. But he
knew little out of his way, and was not a pleasing companion; as, like
most great mathematicians I have met with, he expected universal
precision in everything said, or was for ever denying or distinguishing
upon trifles, to the disturbance of all conversation; he soon left us.

Nicholas Scull, a surveyor, afterward surveyor-general, who loved books,
and sometimes made a few verses.

William Parsons, bred a shoemaker, but loving reading, had acquired a
considerable share of mathematics, which he first studied with a view to
astrology, and afterward laughed at it; he also became surveyor-general.

William Maugridge, joiner, but a most exquisite mechanic, and a solid,
sensible man.

Hugh Meredith, Stephen Potts, and George Webb, I have characterized

Robert Grace, a young gentleman of some fortune, generous, lively, and
witty; a lover of punning and of his friends.

Lastly, William Coleman, then a merchant's clerk, about my age, who had
the coolest, clearest head, the best heart, and the exactest morals of
almost any man I ever met with. He became afterward a merchant of great
note, and one of our provincial judges. Our friendship continued without
interruption to his death, upward of forty years; and the club continued
almost as long, and was the best school of philosophy, morality, and
politics that then existed in the province; for our queries (which were
read the week preceding their discussion) put us upon reading with
attention on the several subjects, that we might speak more to the
purpose: and here, too, we acquired better habits of conversation,
everything being studied in our rules which might prevent our disgusting
each other; hence the long continuance of the club, which I shall have
frequent occasion to speak farther of hereafter. But my giving this
account of it here is to show something of the interest I had, every one
of these exerting themselves in recommending business to us. Brientnal
particularly procured us from the Quakers the printing of forty sheets
of their history, the rest being to be done by Keimer; and upon these we
worked exceeding hard, for the price was low. It was a folio, _pro
patria_ size, in pica, with long-primer notes. I composed a sheet a day,
and Meredith worked it off at press; it was often eleven at night, and
sometimes later, before I had finished my distribution for the next
day's work, for the little jobs sent in by our other friends now and

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 3
, but some vain thing immediately followed.
Page 5
[2] Here follow in the margin the words, in brackets, "here insert it," but the poetry is not given.
Page 8
He had an excellent constitution of body, was of middle stature, but well set, and very strong; he was ingenious, could draw prettily, was skilled a little in music, and had a clear pleasing voice, so that when he played psalm tunes on his violin and sung withal, as he sometimes did in an evening after the business of the day was over, it was extremely agreeable to hear.
Page 14
This was to teach me method in the arrangement of thoughts.
Page 19
A very flimsy scheme it was; however, it was immediately executed, and the paper went on accordingly, under my name for several months.
Page 22
She was very hospitable, gave me a dinner of ox-cheek with great good will, accepting only a pot of ale in return; and I thought myself fixed till Tuesday should come.
Page 27
Page 46
He at length proposed to me travelling all over Europe together, supporting ourselves everywhere by working at our business.
Page 50
At length, receiving his quarterly allowance of fifteen guineas, instead of discharging his debts he walk'd out of town, hid his gown in a furze bush, and footed it to London, where, having no friend to advise him, he fell into bad company, soon spent his guineas, found no means of being introduc'd among the players, grew necessitous, pawn'd his cloaths, and wanted bread.
Page 51
Keimer himself treated me with great civility and apparent regard, and nothing now made me uneasy but my debt to Vernon, which I was yet unable to pay, being hitherto but a poor oeconomist.
Page 59
Bradford still printed the votes, and laws, and other publick business.
Page 65
We ventured, however, over all these difficulties, and I took her to wife, September 1st, 1730.
Page 69
Such a conduct is easy for those who make virtue and themselves in countenance by examples of other truly great men, of whom patience is so often the characteristic.
Page 75
This was the first appearance of plate and China in our house, which afterward, in a course of years, as our wealth increas'd, augmented gradually to several hundred pounds in value.
Page 78
| T.
Page 101
He had a loud and clear voice, and articulated his words and sentences so perfectly, that he might be heard and understood at a great distance, especially as his auditories, however numerous, observ'd the most exact silence.
Page 119
"That the mud, when rak'd up, be not left in heaps to be spread abroad again by the wheels of carriages and trampling of horses, but that the scavengers be provided with bodies of carts, not plac'd high upon wheels, but low upon sliders, with lattice bottoms, which,.
Page 124
I had my share of it; for, as soon as I got back to my seat in the Assembly, I was put on every committee for answering his speeches and messages, and by the committees always desired to make the drafts.
Page 142
What made it worse was, that, as soon as we began to move, they drew their swords and rode with them naked all the way.
Page 157
They then by his advice put the paper into the hands of the Attorney and Solicitor-General for their opinion and counsel upon it, where it lay unanswered a year wanting eight days, during which time I made frequent demands of an answer from the proprietaries, but without obtaining any other than that they had not yet received the opinion.