The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 45

the Catholic religion by her husband,
whose memory she much revered; had lived much among people of
distinction, and knew a thousand anecdotes of them as far back as the
times of Charles the Second. She was lame in her knees with the gout,
and, therefore, seldom stirred out of her room, so sometimes wanted
company; and hers was so highly amusing to me, that I was sure to spend
an evening with her whenever she desired it. Our supper was only half
an anchovy each, on a very little strip of bread and butter, and half a
pint of ale between us; but the entertainment was in her conversation.
My always keeping good hours, and giving little trouble in the family,
made her unwilling to part with me; so that, when I talk'd of a lodging
I had heard of, nearer my business, for two shillings a week, which,
intent as I now was on saving money, made some difference, she bid me
not think of it, for she would abate me two shillings a week for the
future; so I remained with her at one shilling and sixpence as long as
I staid in London.

In a garret of her house there lived a maiden lady of seventy, in the
most retired manner, of whom my landlady gave me this account: that she
was a Roman Catholic, had been sent abroad when young, and lodg'd in a
nunnery with an intent of becoming a nun; but, the country not agreeing
with her, she returned to England, where, there being no nunnery, she
had vow'd to lead the life of a nun, as near as might be done in those
circumstances. Accordingly, she had given all her estate to charitable
uses, reserving only twelve pounds a year to live on, and out of this
sum she still gave a great deal in charity, living herself on
water-gruel only, and using no fire but to boil it. She had lived many
years in that garret, being permitted to remain there gratis by
successive Catholic tenants of the house below, as they deemed it a
blessing to have her there. A priest visited her to confess her every
day. "I have ask'd her," says my landlady, "how she, as she liv'd,
could possibly find so much employment for a confessor?" "Oh," said
she, "it is impossible to avoid vain thoughts." I was permitted once
to visit her, She was chearful and polite, and convers'd pleasantly.
The room was clean, but had no other furniture than a

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

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Page 12
He had an excellent constitution of body, was of middle stature, but well set and very strong.
Page 44
He thanked me cordially, the information being of importance to him; and from that time he became my friend, greatly to my advantage afterward on many occasions.
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I drew a sketch of the plan and rules that would be necessary, and got a skillful conveyancer, Mr.
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" I returned to the use of this, and went no more to the public assemblies.
Page 76
--Thus far was written with the intention expressed in the beginning, and therefore contains several little family anecdotes of no importance to others.
Page 81
If there's a power above us (And that there is, all Nature cries aloud Thro' all her works), He must delight in virtue; And that which He delights in must be happy.
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In reality there is, perhaps, no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride.
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"There seems to me at present to be great occasion for raising a United Party for Virtue, by forming the virtuous and good men of all nations into a regular body, to be governed by suitable good and wise rules, which good and wise men may probably be more unanimous in their obedience to than common people are to common laws.
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I have already mentioned that I had only one year's instruction in a Latin school, and that when very young, after which I neglected that language entirely.
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Page 110
Now we are not sure that we are arrived at the end of this progression and at the perfection of spiritual or theological knowledge, and we fear that if we should once print our confession of faith we should feel ourselves as if bound and confined by it, and perhaps be unwilling to receive further improvement, and our successors still more so, as conceiving what we, their elders and founders, had done to be something sacred, never to be departed from.
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The enthusiasm which existed when the house was built had long since abated, and its trustees had not been able to procure fresh contributions for paying the ground rent and discharging some other debts the building had occasioned, which embarrassed them greatly.
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I purchased all Dr.
Page 116
It has already annihilated all the tribes who formerly inhabited the seacoast.
Page 118
This for some time gave an easy access to the market, dry-shod; but, the rest of the street not being paved, whenever a carriage came out of the mud upon this pavement, it shook off and left its dirt upon it, and it was soon covered with mire, which was not removed, the city as yet having no scavengers.
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, and readily paid my account of disbursements, thanking me repeatedly, and requesting my further assistance in sending provisions after him.
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Each pine made three palisades of eighteen feet long, pointed at one end.
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None but the well-bred man knows how to confess a fault, or acknowledge himself in error.