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

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Northamptonshire, my uncle Benjamin and father Josiah adhered to them,
and so continued all their lives: the rest of the family remained with
the Episcopal church.

My father married young, and carried his wife with three children to
New-England, about 1682. The conventicles being at that time forbidden
by law, and frequently disturbed in their meetings, some considerable
men of his acquaintance determined to go to that country, and he was
prevailed with to accompany them thither, where they expected to enjoy
the exercise of their religion with freedom. By the same wife my father
had four children more born there, and by a second wife ten others, in
all seventeen; of which I remember to have seen thirteen sitting
together at his table, who all grew up to years of maturity, and were
married; I was the youngest son, and the youngest of all except two
daughters. I was born in Boston, in New-England. My mother, the second
wife of my father, was Abiah Folger, daughter of Peter Folger, one of
the first settlers of New-England, of whom honourable mention is made by
Cotton Mather, in his ecclesiastical history of the country, entitled
_Magnalia Christi Americana_, as "a goodly and learned Englishman," if I
remember the words rightly. I was informed he wrote several small
occasional works, but only one of them was printed, which I remember to
have seen several years since. It was written in 1675. It was in
familiar verse, according to the taste of the times and people, and
addressed to the government there. It asserts the liberty of conscience,
in behalf of the Anabaptists, the Quakers, and other sectarians that had
been persecuted. He attributes to this persecution the Indian wars, and
other calamities that had befallen the country; regarding them as so
many judgments of God, to punish so heinous an offence, so contrary to
charity. This piece appeared to me as written with manly freedom and a
pleasing simplicity. The last six lines I remember, but have forgotten
the preceding ones of the stanza; the purpose of them was, that his
censures proceeded from good-will, and, therefore, he would be known to
be the author.

"Because to be a libeller (said he)
I hate it with my heart;
From Sherburne[4] town, where now I dwell,
My name I do put here;
Without offence your real friend,
It is Peter Folgier."

My elder brothers were all put apprentices to different trades.

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Way to Wealth; or, "Poor Richard Improved"

Page 0
By R.
Page 1
Virtue and Innocence, a Poem 1 0 The Economy of Human Life 1 0 Old Friends in a New Dress, or Selections from Esop's Fables, in Verse, 2 parts, plates 2 0 Little Jack Horner, in Verse, plain 1s.
Page 2
'It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people one-tenth part of their time to be employed in its service: but idleness taxes many of us much more; sloth, by bringing.
Page 3
" Nor will the bailiff or the constable enter, for "industry pays debts, while despair increaseth them.
Page 4
" And again, "He that by the plow would thrive, Himself must either hold or drive.
Page 5
A man may if he knows not how to save as he gets, "keep his nose all his life to the grindstone, and die not worth a groat at last.
Page 6
Poor Dick farther advises, and says, "Fond pride of dress is sure a very curse, Ere fancy you.
Page 7
"It is hard for an empty bag to stand upright.
Page 8
" However, remember this, "They that will not be counselled cannot be helped;" and farther, that "If you will not hear Reason, she will surely rap your knuckles," as Poor.
Page 9
However, I resolved to be the better for the echo of it; and, though I had at first determined to buy stuff for a new coat, I went away, resolved to wear my old one a little longer.