The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 53

Jersey jobb was obtain'd, I contriv'd a
copperplate press for it, the first that had been seen in the country;
I cut several ornaments and checks for the bills. We went together to
Burlington, where I executed the whole to satisfaction; and he received
so large a sum for the work as to be enabled thereby to keep his head
much longer above water.

At Burlington I made an acquaintance with many principal people of the
province. Several of them had been appointed by the Assembly a
committee to attend the press, and take care that no more bills were
printed than the law directed. They were therefore, by turns,
constantly with us, and generally he who attended, brought with him a
friend or two for company. My mind having been much more improv'd by
reading than Keimer's, I suppose it was for that reason my conversation
seem'd to be more valu'd. They had me to their houses, introduced me to
their friends, and show'd me much civility; while he, tho' the master,
was a little neglected. In truth, he was an odd fish; ignorant of
common life, fond of rudely opposing receiv'd opinions, slovenly to
extream dirtiness, enthusiastic in some points of religion, and a
little knavish withal.

We continu'd there near three months; and by that time I could reckon
among my acquired friends, Judge Allen, Samuel Bustill, the secretary
of the Province, Isaac Pearson, Joseph Cooper, and several of the
Smiths, members of Assembly, and Isaac Decow, the surveyor-general. The
latter was a shrewd, sagacious old man, who told me that he began for
himself, when young, by wheeling clay for the brick-makers, learned to
write after he was of age, carri'd the chain for surveyors, who taught
him surveying, and he had now by his industry, acquir'd a good estate;
and says he, "I foresee that you will soon work this man out of
business, and make a fortune in it at Philadelphia." He had not then
the least intimation of my intention to set up there or anywhere.
These friends were afterwards of great use to me, as I occasionally was
to some of them. They all continued their regard for me as long as
they lived.

Before I enter upon my public appearance in business, it may be well to
let you know the then state of my mind with regard to my principles and
morals, that you may see how far those influenc'd the future events of
my life. My parents had early given me religious impressions, and
brought me through my

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

Page 0
It is certainly better calculated to convey a general idea of the subject, than any attempt of the kind which has yet fallen under our observation.
Page 1
& T.
Page 2
'It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people one-tenth part of their time to be employed in its service: but idleness taxes many of us much more; sloth, by bringing.
Page 3
Drive thy business, let not that drive thee; and early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise," as Poor Richard says.
Page 4
"Fly pleasures and they will follow you.
Page 5
1, 1805.
Page 6
You expect they will be sold cheap, and, perhaps, they may for less than they cost; but, if you have no occasion for them, they must be dear to you.
Page 7
consult, consult your purse.
Page 8
yet you are about to put yourself under that tyranny, when you run in debt for such dress! Your creditor has authority, at his pleasure, to deprive you of your liberty, by confining you in gaol for life, or by selling you for a servant, if you should not be able to pay him.
Page 9
' * * * * * Thus the old gentleman ended his harangue.