The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

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...THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

WITH INTRODUCTION AND NOTES

EDITED BY CHARLES W ELIOT LLD

P F COLLIER &...

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...by the use he made of his position to advance
his relatives. His most notable...

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...Bishop of St. Asaph's,[0] 1771.

[0] The country-seat of Bishop...

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...as well
confess it, since my denial of it will be believed by nobody), perhaps
I shall...

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...too old to follow business longer,
when he went to live with his son John, a...

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...of sermons of the best preachers, which he took down in
his short-hand, and had with...

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...young, and carried his wife with three
children into New England, about 1682. The conventicles...

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...all put apprentices to different trades. I was
put to the grammar-school at eight years...

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...generally a leader among the boys, and sometimes led them into
scrapes, of which I will...

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...have, as often as he could, some sensible
friend or neighbor to converse with, and always...

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...gainful employment,
...

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...for private company
as for a publick ball. 'Tis perhaps only negligence.

To return: I...

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...De Foe's, called an Essay on Projects, and another of Dr.
Mather's, called Essays to do...

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...poet, most probably a very bad one; but as prose
writing had been of great use...

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...I had never before seen any of them. I bought it, read it over
and...

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...age I happened to meet with a book, written by
one Tryon, recommending a vegetable diet....

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...safest for myself and very
embarrassing to those against whom I used it; therefore I took...

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...this line that which he has coupled with
another, I think, less properly,

...

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...now that I
was rather lucky in my judges, and that perhaps they were not really...

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...it, which my
brother took very kindly, while others began to consider me in an
unfavorable light,...

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...by good people as an
infidel or atheist. I determin'd on the point, but my...

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...has been
translated into most of the languages of Europe, and suppose it has
been more generally...

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...poor inn, where I staid all night,
beginning now to wish that I had never left...

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...put toward the shore, got into a creek,
landed near an old fence, with the rails...

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...as I certainly did, a most awkward,
ridiculous appearance. Then I turned and went down...

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...one Keimer, who, perhaps, might employ me; if
not, I should be welcome to lodge at...

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... And now he had got another pair of cases, and a pamphlet to
reprint, on...

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...of me, and show'd him the letter. The governor
read it, and seem'd surpris'd when...

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... The governor gave me
an ample letter, saying many flattering things of me to my...

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...in business who wanted yet three years of being at
man's estate. Holmes said what...

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...occasion'd me a good deal of uneasiness.

At Newport we took in a number of passengers...

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...life. But, during my absence, he had acquir'd a habit of
sotting with brandy; and...

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...me, I clapped my
hand under his crutch, and, rising, pitched him head-foremost into the
river. ...

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...the
best men in the world.

I presented him an inventory of a little print'g-house, amounting by...

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...yet by degrees lead to
the point, and brought him into difficulties and contradictions, that
at last...

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...great
respect and affection for her, and had some reason to believe she had
the same for...

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...considerations of invention
by agreeing that the task should be a version of the eighteenth Psalm,
which...

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... More of him hereafter. But, as I may not have occasion again
to mention...

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...Denham, a Quaker
merchant, and Messrs. Onion and Russel, masters of an iron work in
Maryland, had...

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...and comparing
circumstances, I began to doubt his sincerity. I found my friend
Denham, and opened...

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...him, the whole he could muster having been
expended in paying his passage. I had...

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...return any of his books. This I
esteem'd a great advantage, and I made as...

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...continued to write frequently, sending me large specimens of an epic
poem which he was then...

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...a pint
between breakfast and dinner, a pint at dinner, a pint in the afternoon
about six...

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...make interest with me to get beer; their
light, as they phrased it, being out. ...

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...the Catholic religion by her husband,
whose memory she much revered; had lived much among people...

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...matras, a table
with a crucifix and book, a stool which she gave me to sit...

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...him with, and, when they expected nothing but the
treat, every man at the first remove...

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...these sons of Sir William Wyndham, become
Earl of Egremont, which I shall mention in its...

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...of hands, tho' none good, and
seem'd to have a great deal of business.

Mr. Denham took...

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...was to teach them, though he knew neither one nor
t'other. John ----, a wild Irishman,...

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...to live very
agreeably, for they all respected me the more, as they found Keimer
incapable of...

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...bring them to my lodgings.

Meredith came accordingly in the evening, when we talked my affair
over....

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...Jersey jobb was obtain'd, I contriv'd a
copperplate press for it, the first that had been...

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...childhood piously in the Dissenting way. But I
was scarce fifteen, when, after doubting by...

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...And this persuasion, with the kind hand of
Providence, or some guardian angel, or accidental favorable
circumstances...

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...were, in fact, among the things that would soon
ruin us. And he gave me...

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...man.

Hugh Meredith, Stephen Potts, and George Webb I have characteriz'd
before.

Robert Grace, a young gentleman of...

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...Scotland) gave a contrary opinion:
"For the industry of that Franklin," says he, "is superior to...

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...my connection
with him, but I was to make the best of it.

Our first papers made...

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...be sold for payment, perhaps at half price.

In this distress two true friends, whose kindness...

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...whence he sent me next year
two long letters, containing the best account that had been...

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...currency became by time and experience so evident
as never afterwards to be much disputed; so...

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...as his
friends were very able, and had a good deal of interest. I therefore
propos'd...

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...in the loan-office. The
answer to this, after some days, was, that they did not approve...

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...were
now great objections to our union. The match was indeed looked upon as
invalid, a...

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...and farmers as intelligent as most gentlemen from other
countries, and perhaps have contributed in some...

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...in his power as thyself to promote a greater
spirit of industry and early attention to...

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...society. But these, sir, are small
reasons, in my opinion, compared with the chance which...

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...affairs; and it will be curious to see how you have acted
in these. It...

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...letter resembling
Dr. Franklin), praised your frugality, diligence and temperance, which
he considered as a pattern for...

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...important to shew that such have really influenced; and, as your
own character will be the...

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...that is innocent to man, has added so much to the
fair side of a life...

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...in form of articles of agreement to be subscribed, by which
each subscriber engag'd to pay...

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...be encouraged
to claim it, and then even envy will be disposed to do you justice...

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...neighbors. This was the
first appearance of plate and China in our house, which afterward,...

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...for his text that verse of the fourth chapter of
Philippians, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are...

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...less numerous, as different
writers included more or fewer ideas under the same name. Temperance,
for...

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...vigilance was to be kept up, and guard
maintained against the unremitting attraction of ancient habits,...

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... | T.| | | |...

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...| | |

...

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... riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
...

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...and
...

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... { 6 } Put things in...

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...became full of holes, I transferr'd my tables and precepts to
the ivory leaves of a...

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...in other points of vice and
virtue, have given up the struggle, and concluded that "a...

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...the distinguishing tenets
of any particular sect. I had purposely avoided them; for, being fully
persuaded...

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...kindly informed me that I was generally thought proud; that my
pride show'd itself frequently in...

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...I generally carried my points.

In reality, there is, perhaps, no one of our natural passions...

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...my mind, as to be undertaken hereafter, when
my circumstances should afford me the necessary leisure,...

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...my postponing the
further prosecution of it at that time; and my multifarious
occupations, public and private,...

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...my newspaper, also, as another means of communicating
instruction, and in that view frequently reprinted in...

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...honest but ignorant in matters of account; and,
tho' he sometimes made me remittances, I could...

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...whether a single copy of them now exists.

During the contest an unlucky occurrence hurt his...

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...as those preceding languages had
greatly smooth'd my way.

From these circumstances, I have thought that there...

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...the common way. I long regretted bitterly, and
still regret that I had not given...

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...other candidate. I was, however, chosen, which
was the more agreeable to me, as, besides...

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...to those young men who may be employ'd in
managing affairs for others, that they should...

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...of forming a
company for the more ready extinguishing of fires, and mutual
assistance in removing and...

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...beasts and half
devils. It was wonderful to see the change soon made in the...

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...first project, rejected my counsel,
and I therefore refus'd to contribute. I happened soon after...

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...will be most
heartily welcome." He reply'd, that if I made that kind offer for
Christ's sake,...

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...by so many rehearsals.

His writing and printing from time to time gave great advantage to...

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...my being
established in Pennsylvania. There were, however, two things that I
regretted, there being no...

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...by subscriptions among themselves,
provided silk colors, which they presented to the companies, painted
with different devices...

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...of my friends that, by my activity in these
affairs, I should offend that sect, and...

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...only of other persuasions. We eight punctually attended the
meeting; but, tho' we thought that...

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...arguments. He
put into my hands sixty pounds to be laid out in lottery tickets...

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...an aid to New England of three
thousand pounds, to be put into the hands of...

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...our
principles have been improving, and our errors diminishing. Now we are
not sure that we...

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...ours; and this we
should do freely and generously.

An ironmonger in London however, assuming a good...

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...was obtained for us in the following
manner.

It is to be noted that the contributions to...

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...honest partner, Mr. David Hall,
with whose character I was well acquainted, as he had work'd...

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...more
knowledge of the common law than I possess'd was necessary to act in
that station with...

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...their old counselors to make their
apology. The orator acknowledg'd the fault, but laid it...

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...and
they doubted whether the citizens themselves generally approv'd of it.
My allegation on the contrary, that...

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...erecting a new meeting-house. It was to be for the
use of a congregation he had...

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...and it was soon cover'd with mire, which
was not remov'd, the city as yet having...

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...were intended to afford;
giving, besides, the daily trouble of wiping them clean; and an
accidental stroke...

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...they will give me something." I bid her sweep the whole street
clean, and I...

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...being
cover'd with straw, will retain the mud thrown into them, and permit
the water to drain...

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...having lived many years in it
very happily, and perhaps to some of our towns in...

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...be necessary for
defense, and other important general purposes. As we pass'd thro' New
York, I...

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...colonies,
so united, would have been sufficiently strong to have defended
themselves; there would then have been...

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...contradicting,
and confuting people are generally unfortunate in their affairs. They
get victory sometimes, but they...

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...incredible meanness
instructed their deputies to pass no act for levying the necessary
taxes, unless their vast...

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...only receiv'd in payment for the provisions, but
many money'd people, who had cash lying by...

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...had not been landed
rather in Pennsylvania, as in that country almost every farmer had his
waggon....

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...to such valuation is to be allowed and paid. 4.
Seven days' pay is to...

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...counties have lately
complained to the Assembly that a sufficient currency was wanting; you
have an opportunity...

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...but, that sum being
insufficient, I advanc'd upward of two hundred pounds more, and in two
weeks...

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... 1-2...

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...in their march by a very narrow road, to be cut for
them thro' the woods...

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...their
example was immediately followed by others; so that all the waggons,
provisions, artillery, and stores were...

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...only
at last, "We shall better know how to deal with them another time;" and
dy'd in...

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...to satisfy, and some
began to sue me. General Shirley at length relieved me from...

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...their province, they
forfeited their right to it. They were intimidated by this, and sent
orders...

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...a stockade;
they had purchased a quantity of arms and ammunition from New York, and
had even...

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...and his companions' guns
would not go off, the priming being wet with the rain.

The next...

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...they were mutinous
and quarrelsome, finding fault with their pork, the bread, etc., and in
continual ill-humor,...

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...the office, and, with the help of a few
hands to measure out the liquor, executed...

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...were plac'd in rows on benches; the boys under
the conduct of a young man, their...

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...rounds fired before my door, which shook down and
broke several glasses of my electrical apparatus....

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...have sometimes since thought that
his little or no resentment against me, for the answers it...

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...seized the opportunity of repeating what I had
seen at Boston; and, by much practice, acquir'd...

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...papers were much taken notice
of in England. A copy of them happening to fall...

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...had an
apparatus for experimental philosophy, and lectur'd in that branch of
science, undertook to repeat what...

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...administration easy; that he therefore desired of all things
to have a good understanding with me,...

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...Ralph was still alive; that he was
esteem'd one of the best political writers in England;...

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...pass'd, and, presenting them with
a set of resolutions I had drawn up, declaring our rights,...

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...his lordship's
letters were not ready; and yet whoever waited on him found him always
at his...

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...to besieging Louisburg, and return'd to New York, with all
his troops, together with the two...

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...down their price in favor of the
contractors, in whose profits, it was said, perhaps from...

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...commission for my service, "O,
sir," says he, "you must not think of persuading us that...

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...new ship will or
will not be a good sailer; for that the model of a...

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...but it seems there is
sometimes a strong indraught setting up St. George's Channel, which
deceives seamen...

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...in the last year of Dr. Franklin's life,
...

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...conversation having a little
alarm'd me as to what might be the sentiments of the court...

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...of
the Attorney and Solicitor-General. What it was when they did receive
it I never learnt,...

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...soliciting such a general catastrophe, merely from a groundless fear
of their estate being taxed too...

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...School.

1716 Becomes his father's assistant in the tallow-chandlery business.

1718 ...

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...Invents the open, or "Franklin," stove.

1743 Proposes a plan for an Academy,...

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... Secures from the Privy Council, by a compromise, a decision
...

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...as delegate to the convention for
framing a...