The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 15

age I happened to meet with a book, written by
one Tryon, recommending a vegetable diet. I determined to go into it.
My brother, being yet unmarried, did not keep house, but boarded
himself and his apprentices in another family. My refusing to eat
flesh occasioned an inconveniency, and I was frequently chid for my
singularity. I made myself acquainted with Tryon's manner of preparing
some of his dishes, such as boiling potatoes or rice, making hasty
pudding, and a few others, and then proposed to my brother, that if he
would give me, weekly, half the money he paid for my board, I would
board myself. He instantly agreed to it, and I presently found that I
could save half what he paid me. This was an additional fund for
buying books. But I had another advantage in it. My brother and the
rest going from the printing-house to their meals, I remained there
alone, and, despatching presently my light repast, which often was no
more than a bisket or a slice of bread, a handful of raisins or a tart
from the pastry-cook's, and a glass of water, had the rest of the time
till their return for study, in which I made the greater progress, from
that greater clearness of head and quicker apprehension which usually
attend temperance in eating and drinking.

And now it was that, being on some occasion made asham'd of my
ignorance in figures, which I had twice failed in learning when at
school, I took Cocker's book of Arithmetick, and went through the whole
by myself with great ease. I also read Seller's and Shermy's books of
Navigation, and became acquainted with the little geometry they
contain; but never proceeded far in that science. And I read about
this time Locke On Human Understanding, and the Art of Thinking, by
Messrs. du Port Royal.

While I was intent on improving my language, I met with an English
grammar (I think it was Greenwood's), at the end of which there were
two little sketches of the arts of rhetoric and logic, the latter
finishing with a specimen of a dispute in the Socratic method; and soon
after I procur'd Xenophon's Memorable Things of Socrates, wherein there
are many instances of the same method. I was charm'd with it, adopted
it, dropt my abrupt contradiction and positive argumentation, and put
on the humble inquirer and doubter. And being then, from reading
Shaftesbury and Collins, become a real doubter in many points of our
religious doctrine, I found this method

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 2 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

Page 7
Asaph 162 To Miss Alexander 163 To Benjamin Vaughan 164 To Mrs.
Page 26
One evening, as he was musing alone, his thoughts happened to take a most unusual turn, for they cast a glance backward, and began to reflect on his manner of life.
Page 44
" "How so?" "When my daughter appeared with it at meeting, it was so much admired that all the girls resolved to get such caps from Philadelphia; and my wife and I computed that the whole could not have cost less than a hundred pounds.
Page 90
I am your dutiful son, "B.
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_ .
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Till this is done they will be often jarring.
Page 111
In fine, I am glad you are married, and congratulate you most cordially upon it.
Page 121
, that you are out of temper, which is the effect of full living and idleness.
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His modesty detained it long in his own hands.
Page 151
But why more than any other workman? The less the salary the greater the honour.
Page 160
Of the Vinys, and their jaunt to Cambridge in the long carriages.
Page 161
complete till we have discharged our public debt.
Page 180
Had the different strata of clay, gravel, marble, coals, limestone, sand, minerals, &c.
Page 183
And may not the progress of such wave, and the disorders it occasions among the solids of the shell, account for the rumbling sound being first heard at a distance, augmenting as it approaches, and gradually dying away as it proceeds? A circumstance observed by the inhabitants of South America, in their last great earthquake, that noise coming from a place some degrees north of Lima, and being traced by inquiry quite down to Buenos Ayres, proceeded regularly from north to south at the rate of ____ leagues per minute, as I was informed by a very ingenious Peruvian whom I met with at Paris.
Page 188
That where there happens to be such a structure and conformation of the interior part of the earth, as that the fire may pass freely, and without impediment, from the caverns wherein it assembles unto those spiracles, it then readily gets out, from time to time, without shaking or disturbing the earth; but where such communication is wanting, or passage not sufficiently large and open, so that it cannot come at the spiracles, it heaves up and shocks the earth with greater or lesser impetuosity, according to the quantity of fire thus assembled, till it has made its way to the mouth of the volcano.
Page 201
Every particle of water assumes as many of salt as can adhere to it; when more is added, it precipitates, and will not remain suspended.
Page 222
Clothing, thus considered, does not make a man warm by _giving_ warmth, but by _preventing_ the too quick dissipation of the heat produced in his body, and so occasioning an accumulation.
Page 231
These things doubtless your books make mention of: I can only add a particular late instance, which I had from a Swedish gentleman of good credit.