The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 7

all put apprentices to different trades. I was
put to the grammar-school at eight years of age, my father intending to
devote me, as the tithe of his sons, to the service of the Church. My
early readiness in learning to read (which must have been very early,
as I do not remember when I could not read), and the opinion of all his
friends, that I should certainly make a good scholar, encouraged him in
this purpose of his. My uncle Benjamin, too, approved of it, and
proposed to give me all his short-hand volumes of sermons, I suppose as
a stock to set up with, if I would learn his character. I continued,
however, at the grammar-school not quite one year, though in that time
I had risen gradually from the middle of the class of that year to be
the head of it, and farther was removed into the next class above it,
in order to go with that into the third at the end of the year. But my
father, in the meantime, from a view of the expense of a college
education, which having so large a family he could not well afford, and
the mean living many so educated were afterwards able to
obtain--reasons that he gave to his friends in my hearing--altered his
first intention, took me from the grammar-school, and sent me to a
school for writing and arithmetic, kept by a then famous man, Mr.
George Brownell, very successful in his profession generally, and that
by mild, encouraging methods. Under him I acquired fair writing pretty
soon, but I failed in the arithmetic, and made no progress in it. At
ten years old I was taken home to assist my father in his business,
which was that of a tallow-chandler and sope-boiler; a business he was
not bred to, but had assumed on his arrival in New England, and on
finding his dying trade would not maintain his family, being in little
request. Accordingly, I was employed in cutting wick for the candles,
filling the dipping mold and the molds for cast candles, attending the
shop, going of errands, etc.

I disliked the trade, and had a strong inclination for the sea, but my
father declared against it; however, living near the water, I was much
in and about it, learnt early to swim well, and to manage boats; and
when in a boat or canoe with other boys, I was commonly allowed to
govern, especially in any case of difficulty; and upon other occasions
I was

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin Representative selections, with introduction, bibliograpy, and notes

Page 37
Let Moliere challenge, "The ancients are the ancients, we are the people of today"; Franklin, although confident that he could learn more of physical nature from Newton than from Aristotle, was not convinced that the wisdom of Epictetus or the Golden Verses of Pythagoras were less salutary than the wit of his own age.
Page 76
"[i-384] In an effort to learn the _modus operandi_ of Franklin's philosophic thought, let us now review its genetic development, its probable sources, its relation to scientific deism, and the degree to which he achieved that serene repose for which he ever strove.
Page 124
Hale and E.
Page 145
D.
Page 217
Thus the matter rested for some time.
Page 249
The Society, on this, resum'd the consideration of the letters that had been read to them; and the celebrated Dr.
Page 266
I need not give you any Caution to distinguish the hypothetical Parts of the Argument from the conclusive: You will easily perceive what I design for Demonstration, and what for Probability only.
Page 344
Where both methods can be used, reformations are likely to be more speedy.
Page 417
His enlightned Side is always towards the Sun, which shews, that he only shines with the borrowed Light of the Sun.
Page 454
| +----+-----------------+---------------------------------------------+ | 1 |[Virgo] 13 | [Venus] rise 1 40 | | 2 | 27 | _When out of Favour,_ | | 3 |[Libra] 11 | _none know_ | | 4 | 25 | _thee; when in,_ | | 5 |[Scorpio] 9 | _thou dost not_ | | 6 | 22.
Page 461
46 | 1 50 | 4 | 19 | | 31 | 8 23 | 2 45 | 5 | 20 | +----+----------+----------+----+------+ secondary Planets or Satellites round their Primaries, in such a Manner, as leaves no Room for any, but such as do not understand them, to hesitate about it.
Page 513
At Choptank the 2d Saturday in October.
Page 555
Your Observation on what you have lately read concerning Insects is very just and solid.
Page 599
Has not the British parliament, by repealing the stamp act, acknowledged that they judged it _improper_? Is there any difference between the stamp act, and the act obliging the Americans to pay _whatever we please_, for articles which they _cannot do without_, as glass and paper? Is there any difference as to justice.
Page 630
[We do not conceive it necessary for Christians to make use of more than one creed.
Page 643
The King's changing his _pointed_ conductors for _blunt_ ones is, therefore, a matter of small importance to me.
Page 679
Oh! oh!--for Heaven's sake leave me! and I promise faithfully never more to play at chess, but to take exercise daily, and live temperately.
Page 714
He had a Pride, however, in showing it to his Acquaintance.
Page 736
In doing this, they are supported by a Sense of Duty, and the Respect paid to Usefulness.
Page 790
Sp.