The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 39

and comparing
circumstances, I began to doubt his sincerity. I found my friend
Denham, and opened the whole affair to him. He let me into Keith's
character; told me there was not the least probability that he had
written any letters for me; that no one, who knew him, had the smallest
dependence on him; and he laught at the notion of the governor's giving
me a letter of credit, having, as he said, no credit to give. On my
expressing some concern about what I should do, he advised me to
endeavor getting some employment in the way of my business. "Among the
printers here," said he, "you will improve yourself, and when you
return to America, you will set up to greater advantage."

We both of us happen'd to know, as well as the stationer, that
Riddlesden, the attorney, was a very knave. He had half ruin'd Miss
Read's father by persuading him to be bound for him. By this letter it
appear'd there was a secret scheme on foot to the prejudice of Hamilton
(suppos'd to be then coming over with us); and that Keith was concerned
in it with Riddlesden. Denham, who was a friend of Hamilton's thought
he ought to be acquainted with it; so, when he arriv'd in England,
which was soon after, partly from resentment and ill-will to Keith and
Riddlesden, and partly from good-will to him, I waited on him, and gave
him the letter. He thank'd me cordially, the information being of
importance to him; and from that time he became my friend, greatly to
my advantage afterwards on many occasions.

But what shall we think of a governor's playing such pitiful tricks,
and imposing so grossly on a poor ignorant boy! It was a habit he had
acquired. He wish'd to please everybody; and, having little to give,
he gave expectations. He was otherwise an ingenious, sensible man, a
pretty good writer, and a good governor for the people, tho' not for
his constituents, the proprietaries, whose instructions he sometimes
disregarded. Several of our best laws were of his planning and passed
during his administration.

Ralph and I were inseparable companions. We took lodgings together in
Little Britain at three shillings and sixpence a week--as much as we
could then afford. He found some relations, but they were poor, and
unable to assist him. He now let me know his intentions of remaining
in London, and that he never meant to return to Philadelphia. He had
brought no money with

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Text Comparison with The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 1
In 1767 he crossed to France, where he was received with honor; but before his return home in 1775 he lost his position as postmaster through his share in divulging to Massachusetts the famous letter of Hutchinson and Oliver.
Page 6
young, and carried his wife with three children into New England, about 1682.
Page 13
About this time I met with an odd volume of the Spectator.
Page 14
This was to teach me method in the arrangement of thoughts.
Page 16
For, if you would inform, a positive and dogmatical manner in advancing your sentiments may provoke contradiction and prevent a candid attention.
Page 22
At his house I lay that night, and the next morning reach'd Burlington, but had the mortification to find that the regular boats were gone a little before my coming, and no other expected to go before Tuesday, this being Saturday; wherefore I returned to an old woman in the town, of whom I had bought gingerbread to eat on the water, and ask'd her advice.
Page 26
Bradford had not been bred to it, and was very illiterate; and Keimer, tho' something of a scholar, was a mere compositor, knowing nothing of presswork.
Page 28
I had been absent seven months, and my friends had heard nothing of me; for my br.
Page 38
"I don't know such a person," says he; but, opening the letter, "O! this is from Riddlesden.
Page 40
My printing this pamphlet was another erratum.
Page 51
At length a trifle snapt our connections; for, a great noise happening near the court-house, I put my head out of the window to see what was the matter.
Page 89
My ideas at that time were, that the sect should be begun and spread at first among young and single men only; that each person to be initiated should not only declare his assent to such creed, but should have exercised himself with the thirteen weeks' examination and practice of the virtues, as in the before-mention'd model; that the existence of such a society should be kept a secret, till it was become considerable, to prevent solicitations for the admission of improper persons, but that the members should each of them search among his acquaintance for ingenuous, well-disposed youths, to whom, with prudent caution, the scheme should be gradually communicated; that the members should engage to afford their advice, assistance, and support to each other in promoting one another's interests, business, and advancement in life; that, for distinction, we should be call'd The Society of the Free and Easy: free, as being, by the general practice and habit of the virtues, free from the dominion of vice; and particularly by the practice of industry and frugality, free from debt, which exposes a man to confinement, and a species of slavery to his creditors.
Page 97
Those who chose never to attend paid him six shillings a year to be excus'd, which was suppos'd to be for hiring substitutes, but was, in reality, much more than was necessary for that purpose, and made the constableship a place of profit; and the constable, for a little drink, often got such ragamuffins about him as a watch, that respectable housekeepers did not choose to mix with.
Page 105
A young gentleman who had likewise some friends in the House, and wished to succeed me as their clerk, acquainted me that it was decided to displace me at the next election; and he, therefore, in good will, advis'd me to resign, as more consistent with my honour than being turn'd out.
Page 111
, one Church-of-England man, one Presbyterian, one Baptist, one Moravian, etc.
Page 112
He took off my hands all care of the printing-office, paying me punctually my share of the profits.
Page 123
The best public measures are therefore seldom adopted from previous wisdom, but forc'd by the occasion.
Page 138
There was a saw-mill near, round which were left several piles of boards, with which we soon hutted ourselves; an operation the more necessary at that inclement season, as we had no tents.
Page 145
Afterwards, having been assur'd that there really existed such a person as Franklin at Philadelphia, which he had doubted, he wrote and published a volume of Letters, chiefly address'd to me, defending his theory, and denying the verity of my experiments, and of the positions deduc'd from them.
Page 159
But the proprietaries were enraged at Governor Denny for having pass'd the act, and turn'd him out with threats of suing him for breach of instructions which he had given bond to observe.