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 8

I was
put to the grammar-school at eight years of age; my father intended to
devote me, as the tithe of his sons, to the service of the church. My
early readiness in learning to read (which must have been very early,
and I do not remember when I could not read), and the opinion of all my
friends, that I should certainly make a good scholar, encouraged him in
this purpose of his. My uncle Benjamin, too, approved of it, and
proposed to give me his shorthand volumes of sermons to set up with, if
I would learn shorthand.

I continued, however, at the grammar-school rather less than a year,
though in that time I had risen gradually from the middle of the class
of that year to be at the head of the same class, and was removed into
the next class, whence I was to be placed in the third at the end of the
year. But my father, burdened with a numerous family, was unable,
without inconvenience, to support the expense of a college education;
considering, moreover, as he said to one of his friends in my presence,
the little encouragement that line of life afforded to those educated
for it, he gave up his first intentions, took me from the
grammar-school, and sent me to a school for writing and arithmetic, kept
by a then famous man, Mr. George Brownwell. He was a skilful master, and
successful in his profession, employing the mildest and most encouraging
methods. Under him I learned to write a good hand pretty soon, but
failed entirely in arithmetic. At ten years old I was taken to help my
father in his business of a tallow-chandler and soap-boiler, a business
to which he was not bred, but had assumed on his arrival in New-England,
because he found that his dying trade, being in little request, would
not maintain his family. Accordingly, I was employed in cutting the
wick for the candles, filling the moulds for cast candles, attending the
shop, going of errands, &c.

I disliked the trade, and had a strong inclination to go to sea, but my
father declared against it; but, residing near the water, I was much in
it and on it. I learned to swim well, and to manage boats; and when
embarked with other boys, I was commonly allowed to govern, especially
in any case of difficulty; and upon other occasions I was generally the
leader among the boys, and sometimes led them into scrapes, of which I
will mention an instance, as it shows an early projecting public spirit,

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 2 [of 3]

Page 0
Page 9
Remarks on some of the foregoing observations, showing particularly the effect which manners have on population 392 Plan by Messieurs Franklin and Dalrymple, for benefiting distant unprovided countries 403 Concerning the provision made in China against famine 407 Positions to be examined, concerning national wealth 408 Political fragments, supposed either to be written by Dr.
Page 14
Every particle of air, therefore, will bear any load inferior to the force of these repulsions.
Page 23
_Water-Spouts and Whirlwinds compared.
Page 43
Page 55
If it freezes into a grain of ice, that ice descends.
Page 102
It is therefore with propriety that I address to you the following account of it; and the more, as you have both a head to contrive and a hand to execute the means of perfecting it.
Page 118
Not having a watch that shows seconds,.
Page 144
The worst thing in ordinary merchant ships is the cookery.
Page 151
| 64 | 56 | | WbN | 21 | | | | | --|10 dit.
Page 160
| West.
Page 178
It appears, that the doctrines of life and death, in general, are yet but little understood.
Page 190
Where this is used, the shutter serves only to close the fire at nights.
Page 246
It is made as in other grates, the coals being put in above, after taking out the upper bar, and replacing it when they are in.
Page 248
_ _Craven-Street, Saturday Evening, past 10.
Page 267
Page 322
I think the cap was nevertheless an advantage to us, for it was the first thing that put our girls upon knitting worsted mittens for sale at Philadelphia, that they might have wherewithal to buy caps and ribbons there, and you know that that industry has continued, and is likely to continue and increase to a much greater value, and answer better purposes.
Page 363
_Effluvia_ of drugs, &c.
Page 392
Page 393
'decending' replaced by 'descending'.