The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 84

became full of holes, I transferr'd my tables and precepts to
the ivory leaves of a memorandum book, on which the lines were drawn
with red ink, that made a durable stain, and on those lines I mark'd my
faults with a black-lead pencil, which marks I could easily wipe out
with a wet sponge. After a while I went thro' one course only in a
year, and afterward only one in several years, till at length I omitted
them entirely, being employ'd in voyages and business abroad, with a
multiplicity of affairs that interfered; but I always carried my little
book with me.

My scheme of ORDER gave me the most trouble; and I found that, tho' it
might be practicable where a man's business was such as to leave him
the disposition of his time, that of a journeyman printer, for
instance, it was not possible to be exactly observed by a master, who
must mix with the world, and often receive people of business at their
own hours. Order, too, with regard to places for things, papers, etc.,
I found extreamly difficult to acquire. I had not been early
accustomed to it, and, having an exceeding good memory, I was not so
sensible of the inconvenience attending want of method. This article,
therefore, cost me so much painful attention, and my faults in it vexed
me so much, and I made so little progress in amendment, and had such
frequent relapses, that I was almost ready to give up the attempt, and
content myself with a faulty character in that respect, like the man
who, in buying an ax of a smith, my neighbour, desired to have the
whole of its surface as bright as the edge. The smith consented to
grind it bright for him if he would turn the wheel; he turn'd, while
the smith press'd the broad face of the ax hard and heavily on the
stone, which made the turning of it very fatiguing. The man came every
now and then from the wheel to see how the work went on, and at length
would take his ax as it was, without farther grinding. "No," said the
smith, "turn on, turn on; we shall have it bright by-and-by; as yet, it
is only speckled." "Yes," said the man, "but I think I like a speckled
ax best." And I believe this may have been the case with many, who,
having, for want of some such means as I employ'd, found the difficulty
of obtaining good and breaking bad habits

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Text Comparison with The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 5
When my great-great-grandfather read it to his family, he turned up the joint-stool upon his knees, turning over the leaves then under the tapes.
Page 6
It was written in 1675, in the home-spun verse of that time and people, and addressed to those then concerned in the government there.
Page 19
Some proposed to evade the order by changing the name of the paper; but my brother, seeing inconveniences in that, it was finally concluded on as a better way, to let it be printed for the future under the name of BENJAMIN FRANKLIN; and to avoid the censure of the Assembly, that might fall on him as still printing it by his apprentice, the contrivance was that my old indenture should be return'd to me, with a full discharge on the back of it, to be shown on occasion, but to secure to him the benefit of my service, I was to sign new indentures for the remainder of the term, which were to be kept private.
Page 22
He entered into conversation with me while I took some refreshment, and, finding I had read a little, became very sociable and friendly.
Page 37
More of him hereafter.
Page 38
Hamilton's stores, who had laid in plentifully.
Page 40
He had an immense collection of second-hand books.
Page 57
Andrew's in.
Page 60
You may find friends to assist you.
Page 62
In the mean time, Keimer's credit and business declining daily, he was at last forc'd to sell his printing house to satisfy his creditors.
Page 68
School and other education constantly proceed upon false principles, and show a clumsy apparatus pointed at a false mark; but your apparatus is simple, and the mark a true one; and while parents and young persons are left destitute of other just means of estimating and becoming prepared for a reasonable course in life, your discovery that the thing is in many a man's private power, will be invaluable! Influence upon the private character, late in life, is not only an influence late in life, but a weak influence.
Page 77
Page 80
" Another from the Proverbs of Solomon, speaking of wisdom or virtue: "Length of days is in her right hand, and in her left hand .
Page 88
I have, however, found the following.
Page 95
The project was approv'd, and every member undertook to form his club, but they did not all succeed.
Page 106
Not one of his opposing friends appear'd, at which he express'd great surprize; and, at the expiration of the hour, we carry'd the resolution eight to one; and as, of the twenty-two Quakers, eight were ready to vote with us, and thirteen, by their absence, manifested that they were not inclin'd to oppose the measure, I afterward estimated the proportion of Quakers sincerely against defense as one to twenty-one only; for these were all regular members of that society, and in good reputation among them, and had due notice of what was propos'd at that meeting.
Page 114
Previously, however, to the solicitation, I endeavoured to prepare the minds of the people by writing on the subject in the newspapers, which was my usual custom in such cases, but which he had omitted.
Page 135
Governor Morris, who had continually worried the Assembly with message after message before the defeat of Braddock, to beat them into the making of acts to raise money for the defense of the province, without taxing, among others, the proprietary estates, and had rejected all their bills for not having such an exempting clause, now redoubled his attacks with more hope of success, the danger and necessity being greater.
Page 148
Page 149
pass'd, and, presenting them with a set of resolutions I had drawn up, declaring our rights, and that we did not relinquish our claim to those rights, but only suspended the exercise of them on this occasion thro' force, against which we protested, they at length agreed to drop that bill, and frame another conformable to the proprietary instructions.