The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 32

me, I clapped my
hand under his crutch, and, rising, pitched him head-foremost into the
river. I knew he was a good swimmer, and so was under little concern
about him; but before he could get round to lay hold of the boat, we
had with a few strokes pull'd her out of his reach; and ever when he
drew near the boat, we ask'd if he would row, striking a few strokes to
slide her away from him. He was ready to die with vexation, and
obstinately would not promise to row. However, seeing him at last
beginning to tire, we lifted him in and brought him home dripping wet
in the evening. We hardly exchang'd a civil word afterwards, and a
West India captain, who had a commission to procure a tutor for the
sons of a gentleman at Barbadoes, happening to meet with him, agreed to
carry him thither. He left me then, promising to remit me the first
money he should receive in order to discharge the debt; but I never
heard of him after.

The breaking into this money of Vernon's was one of the first great
errata of my life; and this affair show'd that my father was not much
out in his judgment when he suppos'd me too young to manage business of
importance. But Sir William, on reading his letter, said he was too
prudent. There was great difference in persons; and discretion did not
always accompany years, nor was youth always without it. "And since he
will not set you up," says he, "I will do it myself. Give me an
inventory of the things necessary to be had from England, and I will
send for them. You shall repay me when you are able; I am resolv'd to
have a good printer here, and I am sure you must succeed." This was
spoken with such an appearance of cordiality, that I had not the least
doubt of his meaning what he said. I had hitherto kept the proposition
of my setting up, a secret in Philadelphia, and I still kept it. Had
it been known that I depended on the governor, probably some friend,
that knew him better, would have advis'd me not to rely on him, as I
afterwards heard it as his known character to be liberal of promises
which he never meant to keep. Yet, unsolicited as he was by me, how
could I think his generous offers insincere? I believ'd him one of

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 1 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

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By my rambling digressions, I perceive myself to be grown old.
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I thought the writing excellent, and wished, if possible, to imitate it.
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At first they refused it on account of my having rowed, but I insisted on their taking it.
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this time he did not profess any particular religion, but something of all on occasion; was very ignorant of the world, and had, as I afterward found, a good deal of the knave in his composition.
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We struck on a shoal in going down the bay, and sprung a leak; we had a blustering time at sea, and were obliged to pump almost continually, at which I took my turn.
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Lastly, William Coleman, then a merchant's clerk, about my age, who had the coolest, clearest head, the best heart, and the exactest morals of almost any man I ever met with.
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She brought me word they had no such sum to spare: I said they might mortgage their house in the loan office.
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_From Mr.
Page 79
, in 1728), entitled _Articles of Belief and Acts of Religion_.
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and useful, and it accordingly came to be in such demand that I reaped considerable profit from it, vending annually near ten thousand.
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The drinkers, finding we did not return immediately to the table, sent us a decanter of Madeira, which the governor made liberal use of, and, in proportion, became more profuse of his solicitations and promises.
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For though Shirley was not bred a soldier, he was sensible and sagacious in himself, and attentive to good advice from others, capable of forming judicious plans, and quick and active in carrying them into execution.
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Franklin's letters have been translated into most of the European languages and into Latin.
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however, be induced to pay or give them as charity to that excellent institution.
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They have made a surprising progress already; and I am of opinion that, before their old clothes are worn out, they will have new ones of their own making.
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the people there, while they have no representatives in this Legislature, I think it will never be submitted to: they will oppose it to the last: they do not consider it as at all necessary for you to raise money on them by your taxes; because they are, and always have been, ready to raise money by taxes among themselves, and to grant large sums, equal to their abilities, upon requisition from the crown.
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that; they esteemed their sovereign's approbation of their zeal and fidelity, and the approbation of this house, far beyond any other kind of compensation; therefore there was no occasion for this act to force money from a willing people: they had not refused giving money for the _purposes_ of the act, no requisition had been made, they were always willing and ready to do what could reasonably be expected from them, and in this light they wish to be considered.
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The Six Nations will not defile their own land with the blood of men that come unarmed to ask for peace.