The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 58

Scotland) gave a contrary opinion:
"For the industry of that Franklin," says he, "is superior to any thing
I ever saw of the kind; I see him still at work when I go home from
club, and he is at work again before his neighbors are out of bed."
This struck the rest, and we soon after had offers from one of them to
supply us with stationery; but as yet we did not chuse to engage in
shop business.

I mention this industry the more particularly and the more freely, tho'
it seems to be talking in my own praise, that those of my posterity,
who shall read it, may know the use of that virtue, when they see its
effects in my favour throughout this relation.

George Webb, who had found a female friend that lent him wherewith to
purchase his time of Keimer, now came to offer himself as a journeyman
to us. We could not then employ him; but I foolishly let him know as a
secret that I soon intended to begin a newspaper, and might then have
work for him. My hopes of success, as I told him, were founded on
this, that the then only newspaper, printed by Bradford, was a paltry
thing, wretchedly manag'd, no way entertaining, and yet was profitable
to him; I therefore thought a good paper would scarcely fail of good
encouragement. I requested Webb not to mention it; but he told it to
Keimer, who immediately, to be beforehand with me, published proposals
for printing one himself, on which Webb was to be employ'd. I resented
this; and, to counteract them, as I could not yet begin our paper, I
wrote several pieces of entertainment for Bradford's paper, under the
title of the BUSY BODY, which Breintnal continu'd some months. By this
means the attention of the publick was fixed on that paper, and
Keimer's proposals, which we burlesqu'd and ridicul'd, were
disregarded. He began his paper, however, and, after carrying it on
three quarters of a year, with at most only ninety subscribers, he
offered it to me for a trifle; and I, having been ready some time to go
on with it, took it in hand directly; and it prov'd in a few years
extremely profitable to me.

I perceive that I am apt to speak in the singular number, though our
partnership still continu'd; the reason may be that, in fact, the whole
management of the business lay upon me. Meredith was no compositor, a
poor pressman, and seldom sober. My friends lamented

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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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Abel James 91 Letter from Mr.
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It is true, he was never employed in the latter, the numerous family he had to educate and the strictness of his circumstances keeping him close to his trade: but I remember well his being frequently visited by leading men, who consulted him for his opinion in public affairs, and those of the church he belonged to, and who showed great respect for his judgment and advice: he was also much consulted by private persons about their affairs when any difficulty occurred, and frequently chosen an arbitrator between contending parties.
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In fact,.
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" He asked me a few questions, put a composing stick in my hand to see how I worked, and then said he would employ me soon, though he had just then nothing for me to do; and taking old Bradford, whom he had never seen before, to be one of the town's people that had a good will for him, entered into conversation on his present undertaking and prospects; while Bradford (not discovering that he was the other printer's father), on Keimer's saying he expected soon to get the greatest part of the business into his own hands, drew him on by artful questions, and starting little doubts, to explain all his views, what influence he relied on, and in what manner he intended to proceed.
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Accordingly, he gave me an order to receive it.
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Godfrey brought me afterward some more favourable accounts of their disposition, and would have drawn me on again; but I declared absolutely my resolution to have nothing more to do with that family.
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[10] _Form of the pages.
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" 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-mentioned 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 ingenious, well-disposed youths, to whom, with prudent caution, the scheme should be gradually communicated.
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When the company separated and the papers were collected, we found above twelve hundred signatures; and other copies being dispersed in the country, the subscribers amounted at length to upward of ten thousand.
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In 1751, Dr.
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The owners, however, alleging they did not know General Braddock, or what dependance might be had on his promise, insisted on my bond for the performance, which I accordingly gave them.
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And my new honour proved not much less brittle; for.
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Where the hempen string terminated a key was fastened.
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Andrew, in Scotland, conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws.
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Had this pretended right been suffered to remain dormant, the colonists would cheerfully have furnished their quota of supplies, in the mode to which they had been accustomed; that is, by acts of their own assemblies, in consequence of requisitions from the secretary of state.
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The simplicity of his style was well adapted to the clearness of his understanding.
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As Dr.
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The colonies were recommended to Parliament.
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" That the same laudable and generous custom still prevails among the Mohammedans, appears from the account, but last year published, of his travels by Mr.
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not, however, to be presumed, that such as have long been accustomed to consider the colonies in general as only so many dependencies on the council-board, the board of trade, and the board of customs; or as a hotbed for causes, jobs, and other pecuniary emoluments, and as bound as effectually by instructions as by laws, can be prevailed upon to consider these patriot rustics with any degree of respect.