The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 140

the office, and, with the help of a few
hands to measure out the liquor, executed it to satisfaction, and never
were prayers more generally and more punctually attended; so that I
thought this method preferable to the punishment inflicted by some
military laws for non-attendance on divine service.

I had hardly finish'd this business, and got my fort well stor'd with
provisions, when I receiv'd a letter from the governor, acquainting me
that he had call'd the Assembly, and wished my attendance there, if the
posture of affairs on the frontiers was such that my remaining there
was no longer necessary. My friends, too, of the Assembly, pressing me
by their letters to be, if possible, at the meeting, and my three
intended forts being now compleated, and the inhabitants contented to
remain on their farms under that protection, I resolved to return; the
more willingly, as a New England officer, Colonel Clapham, experienced
in Indian war, being on a visit to our establishment, consented to
accept the command. I gave him a commission, and, parading the
garrison, had it read before them, and introduc'd him to them as an
officer who, from his skill in military affairs, was much more fit to
command them than myself; and, giving them a little exhortation, took
my leave. I was escorted as far as Bethlehem, where I rested a few
days to recover from the fatigue I had undergone. The first night,
being in a good bed, I could hardly sleep, it was so different from my
hard lodging on the floor of our hut at Gnaden wrapt only in a blanket
or two.

While at Bethlehem, I inquir'd a little into the practice of the
Moravians: some of them had accompanied me, and all were very kind to
me. I found they work'd for a common stock, eat at common tables, and
slept in common dormitories, great numbers together. In the
dormitories I observed loopholes, at certain distances all along just
under the ceiling, which I thought judiciously placed for change of
air. I was at their church, where I was entertain'd with good musick,
the organ being accompanied with violins, hautboys, flutes, clarinets,
etc. I understood that their sermons were not usually preached to
mixed congregations of men, women, and children, as is our common
practice, but that they assembled sometimes the married men, at other
times their wives, then the young men, the young women, and the little
children, each division by itself. The sermon I heard was to the
latter, who came in and

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

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Page 1
with Biographical and Interesting Anecdotes 1 6 Watt's Catechism and Prayers, in 1 vol.
Page 2
COURTEOUS READER, I HAVE heard that nothing gives an author so great pleasure, as to find his works respectfully quoted by others.
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" Work while it is called to-day, for you know not how much you may be hindered to-morrow.
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" And again, "He that by the plow would thrive, Himself must either hold or drive.
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Darton, Junr.
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" Again, "It is foolish to lay out money in a purchase of repentance;" and yet this folly is practised every day at auctions, for want of minding the Almanack.
Page 7
" And, after all, of what use is this pride of appearance, for which so much is risked, so much is suffered? It cannot promote health, nor ease pain; it makes no increase of merit in the person, it creates envy, it hastens misfortune.
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yet you are about to put yourself under that tyranny, when you run in debt for such dress! Your creditor has authority, at his pleasure, to deprive you of your liberty, by confining you in gaol for life, or by selling you for a servant, if you should not be able to pay him.
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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.