The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 27

of me, and show'd him the letter. The governor
read it, and seem'd surpris'd when he was told my age. He said I
appear'd a young man of promising parts, and therefore should be
encouraged; the printers at Philadelphia were wretched ones; and, if I
would set up there, he made no doubt I should succeed; for his part, he
would procure me the public business, and do me every other service in
his power. This my brother-in-law afterwards told me in Boston, but I
knew as yet nothing of it; when, one day, Keimer and I being at work
together near the window, we saw the governor and another gentleman
(which proved to be Colonel French, of Newcastle), finely dress'd, come
directly across the street to our house, and heard them at the door.

Keimer ran down immediately, thinking it a visit to him; but the
governor inquir'd for me, came up, and with a condescension of
politeness I had been quite unus'd to, made me many compliments,
desired to be acquainted with me, blam'd me kindly for not having made
myself known to him when I first came to the place, and would have me
away with him to the tavern, where he was going with Colonel French to
taste, as he said, some excellent Madeira. I was not a little
surprised, and Keimer star'd like a pig poison'd. I went, however,
with the governor and Colonel French to a tavern, at the corner of
Third-street, and over the Madeira he propos'd my setting up my
business, laid before me the probabilities of success, and both he and
Colonel French assur'd me I should have their interest and influence in
procuring the public business of both governments. On my doubting
whether my father would assist me in it, Sir William said he would give
me a letter to him, in which he would state the advantages, and he did
not doubt of prevailing with him. So it was concluded I should return
to Boston in the first vessel, with the governor's letter recommending
me to my father. In the mean time the intention was to be kept a
secret, and I went on working with Keimer as usual, the governor
sending for me now and then to dine with him, a very great honor I
thought it, and conversing with me in the most affable, familiar, and
friendly manner imaginable.

About the end of April, 1724, a little vessel offer'd for Boston. I
took leave of Keimer as going to see my friends.

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

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& T.
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However, let us hearken to good advice, and something may be done for us; "God helps them that help themselves," as Poor Richard says.
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on diseases, absolutely shortens life.
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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.
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'But what madness it must be to run in debt for these superfluities? We are offered, by the terms of this sale, six months credit; and that, perhaps, has induced some of us to attend it, because we cannot spare the ready money, and hope now to be fine without it.
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'This doctrine, my friends, is reason and wisdom; but, after all, do not depend too much upon your own industry, and frugality, and prudence, though excellent things; for they may all be blasted without the blessing of Heaven; and therefore, ask that blessing humbly, and be not uncharitable to those that at present seem to want it, but comfort and help them.
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--I am, as ever, thine to serve thee, RICHARD SAUNDERS.