The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 150

his lordship's
letters were not ready; and yet whoever waited on him found him always
at his desk, pen in hand, and concluded he must needs write abundantly.

Going myself one morning to pay my respects, I found in his antechamber
one Innis, a messenger of Philadelphia, who had come from thence
express with a paquet from Governor Denny for the General. He
delivered to me some letters from my friends there, which occasion'd my
inquiring when he was to return, and where be lodg'd, that I might send
some letters by him. He told me he was order'd to call to-morrow at
nine for the general's answer to the governor, and should set off
immediately. I put my letters into his hands the same day. A
fortnight after I met him again in the same place. "So, you are soon
return'd, Innis?" "Returned! no, I am not gone yet." "How so?" "I
have called here by order every morning these two weeks past for his
lordship's letter, and it is not yet ready." "Is it possible, when he
is so great a writer? for I see him constantly at his escritoire."
"Yes," says Innis, "but he is like St. George on the signs, always on
horseback, and never rides on!" This observation of the messenger was,
it seems, well founded; for, when in England, I understood that Mr.
Pitt gave it as one reason for removing this general, and sending
Generals Amherst and Wolfe, that the minister never heard from him, and
could not know what he was doing.

This daily expectation of sailing, and all the three paquets going down
to Sandy Hook, to join the fleet there, the passengers thought it best
to be on board, lest by a sudden order the ships should sail, and they
be left behind. There, if I remember right, we were about six weeks,
consuming our sea-stores, and oblig'd to procure more. At length the
fleet sail'd, the General and all his army on board, bound to
Louisburg, with intent to besiege and take that fortress; all the
paquet-boats in company ordered to attend the General's ship, ready to
receive his dispatches when they should be ready. We were out five
days before we got a letter with leave to part, and then our ship
quitted the fleet and steered for England. The other two paquets he
still detained, carried them with him to Halifax, where he stayed some
time to exercise the men in sham attacks upon sham forts, then alter'd
his mind as

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Text Comparison with The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 11
, at their work, that he might observe my inclination, and endeavor to fix it on some trade or other on land.
Page 12
In a little time I made great proficiency in the business, and became a useful hand to my brother.
Page 19
I then thought of going to New York, as the nearest place where there was a printer; and I was rather inclin'd to leave Boston when I reflected that I had already made myself a little obnoxious to the governing party, and, from the arbitrary proceedings of the Assembly in my brother's case, it was likely I might, if I stay'd, soon bring myself into scrapes; and farther, that my indiscrete disputations about religion began to make me pointed at with horror.
Page 21
has been translated into most of the languages of Europe, and suppose it has been more generally read than any other book, except perhaps the Bible.
Page 24
as I certainly did, a most awkward, ridiculous appearance.
Page 40
It was entitled "A Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain.
Page 70
Considering your great age, the caution of your character, and your peculiar style of thinking, it is not likely that any one besides yourself can be sufficiently master of the facts of your life, or the intentions of your mind.
Page 72
Finding the advantage of this little collection, I propos'd to render the benefit from books more common, by commencing a public subscription library.
Page 74
We kept no idle servants, our table was plain and simple, our furniture of the cheapest.
Page 92
I became his zealous partisan, and contributed all I could to raise a party in his favour, and we combated for him a while with some hopes of success.
Page 102
Critics attack'd his writings violently, and with so much appearance of reason as to diminish the number of his votaries and prevent their encrease; so that I am of opinion if he had never written any thing, he would have left behind him a much more numerous and important sect, and his reputation might in that case have been still growing, even after his death, as there being nothing of his writing on which to found a censure and give him a lower character, his proselytes would be left at liberty to feign for him as great a variety of excellence as their enthusiastic admiration might wish him to have possessed.
Page 108
Syng, one of our members, "If we fail, let us move the purchase of a fire-engine with the money; the Quakers can have no objection to that; and then, if you nominate me and I you as a committee for that purpose, we will buy a great gun, which is certainly a fire-engine.
Page 113
[11] See the votes to have this more correctly.
Page 129
"I have no particular interest in this affair, as, except the satisfaction of endeavoring to do good, I shall have only my labour for my pains.
Page 140
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.
Page 145
I therefore never answered M.
Page 146
Wright, an English physician, when at Paris, wrote to a friend, who was of the Royal Society, an account of the high esteem my experiments were in among the learned abroad, and of their wonder that my writings had been so little noticed in England.
Page 147
He said much to me, also, of the proprietor's good disposition towards the province, and of the advantage it might be to us all, and to me in particular, if the opposition that had been so long continu'd to his measures was dropt, and harmony restor'd between him and the people; in effecting which, it was thought no one could be more serviceable than myself; and I might depend on adequate acknowledgments and recompenses, etc.
Page 148
Accordingly, he desir'd the governor and myself to meet him, that he might hear what was to be said on both sides.
Page 158
What it was when they did receive it I never learnt, for they did not communicate it to me, but sent a long message to the Assembly drawn and signed by Paris, reciting my paper, complaining of its want of formality, as a rudeness on my part, and giving a flimsy justification of their conduct, adding that they should be willing to accommodate matters if the Assembly would send out some person of candour to treat with them for that purpose, intimating thereby that I was not such.