The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 112

honest partner, Mr. David Hall,
with whose character I was well acquainted, as he had work'd for me
four years. He took off my hands all care of the printing-office,
paying me punctually my share of the profits. This partnership
continued eighteen years, successfully for us both.

The trustees of the academy, after a while, were incorporated by a
charter from the governor; their funds were increas'd by contributions
in Britain and grants of land from the proprietaries, to which the
Assembly has since made considerable addition; and thus was established
the present University of Philadelphia. I have been continued one of
its trustees from the beginning, now near forty years, and have had the
very great pleasure of seeing a number of the youth who have receiv'd
their education in it, distinguish'd by their improv'd abilities,
serviceable in public stations and ornaments to their country.

When I disengaged myself, as above mentioned, from private business, I
flatter'd myself that, by the sufficient tho' moderate fortune I had
acquir'd, I had secured leisure during the rest of my life for
philosophical studies and amusements. I purchased all Dr. Spence's
apparatus, who had come from England to lecture here, and I proceeded
in my electrical experiments with great alacrity; but the publick, now
considering me as a man of leisure, laid hold of me for their purposes,
every part of our civil government, and almost at the same time,
imposing some duty upon me. The governor put me into the commission of
the peace; the corporation of the city chose me of the common council,
and soon after an alderman; and the citizens at large chose me a
burgess to represent them in Assembly. This latter station was the
more agreeable to me, as I was at length tired with sitting there to
hear debates, in which, as clerk, I could take no part, and which were
often so unentertaining that I was induc'd to amuse myself with making
magic squares or circles, or any thing to avoid weariness; and I
conceiv'd my becoming a member would enlarge my power of doing good. I
would not, however, insinuate that my ambition was not flatter'd by all
these promotions; it certainly was; for, considering my low beginning,
they were great things to me; and they were still more pleasing, as
being so many spontaneous testimonies of the public good opinion, and
by me entirely unsolicited.

The office of justice of the peace I try'd a little, by attending a few
courts, and sitting on the bench to hear causes; but finding that

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Text Comparison with The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

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by the use he made of his position to advance his relatives.
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By that register I perceived that I was the youngest son of the youngest son for five generations back.
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He lived to a great age.
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the Catholic religion by her husband, whose memory she much revered; had lived much among people of distinction, and knew a thousand anecdotes of them as far back as the times of Charles the Second.
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We never worked on Saturday, that being Keimer's Sabbath, so I had two days for reading.
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And William Coleman, then a merchant's clerk, about my age, who had the coolest, dearest head, the best heart, and the exactest morals of almost any man I ever met with.
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I therefore propos'd a partner-ship to him which he, fortunately for me, rejected with scorn.
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Franklin should leave his friends and the world deprived of so pleasing and profitable a work; a work which would be useful and entertaining not only to a few, but to millions? The influence writings under that class have on the minds of youth is very great, and has nowhere appeared to me so plain, as in our public friend's journals.
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important to shew that such have really influenced; and, as your own character will be the principal one to receive a scrutiny, it is proper (even for its effects upon your vast and rising country, as well as upon England and upon Europe) that it should stand respectable and eternal.
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In 1732 I first publish'd my Almanack, under the name of Richard Saunders; it was continu'd by me about twenty-five years, commonly call'd Poor Richard's Almanac.
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We are told that it is proper to begin first with the Latin, and, having acquir'd that, it will be more easy to attain those modern languages which are deriv'd from it; and yet we do not begin with the Greek, in order more easily to acquire the Latin.
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The pamphlet had a sudden and surprising effect.
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It is to be noted that the contributions to this building being made by people of different sects, care was taken in the nomination of trustees, in whom the building and ground was to be vested, that a predominancy should not be given to any sect, lest in time that predominancy might be a means of appropriating the whole to the use of such sect, contrary to the original intention.
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Their dark-colour'd bodies, half naked, seen only by the gloomy light of the bonfire, running after and beating one another with firebrands, accompanied by their horrid yellings, form'd a scene the most resembling our ideas of hell that could well be imagin'd; there was no appeasing the tumult, and we retired to our lodging.
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only receiv'd in payment for the provisions, but many money'd people, who had cash lying by them, vested it in those orders, which they found advantageous, as they bore interest while upon hand, and might on any occasion be used as money; so that they were eagerly all bought up, and in a few weeks none of them were to be seen.
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I was told that lots were us'd only in particular cases; that generally, when a young man found himself dispos'd to marry, he inform'd the elders of his class, who consulted the elder ladies that govern'd the young women.
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Passengers were engag'd in all, and some extremely impatient to be gone, and the merchants uneasy about their letters, and the orders they had given for insurance (it being war time) for fall goods! but their anxiety avail'd nothing;.
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1762 Receives the degree of LL.