The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 90

my postponing the
further prosecution of it at that time; and my multifarious
occupations, public and private, induc'd me to continue postponing, so
that it has been omitted till I have no longer strength or activity
left sufficient for such an enterprise; tho' I am still of opinion that
it was a practicable scheme, and might have been very useful, by
forming a great number of good citizens; and I was not discourag'd by
the seeming magnitude of the undertaking, as I have always thought that
one man of tolerable abilities may work great changes, and accomplish
great affairs among mankind, if he first forms a good plan, and,
cutting off all amusements or other employments that would divert his
attention, makes the execution of that same plan his sole study and

In 1732 I first publish'd my Almanack, under the name of Richard
Saunders; it was continu'd by me about twenty-five years, commonly
call'd Poor Richard's Almanac. I endeavor'd to make it both
entertaining and useful, and it accordingly came to be in such demand,
that I reap'd considerable profit from it, vending annually near ten
thousand. And observing that it was generally read, scarce any
neighborhood in the province being without it, I consider'd it as a
proper vehicle for conveying instruction among the common people, who
bought scarcely any other books; I therefore filled all the little
spaces that occurr'd between the remarkable days in the calendar with
proverbial sentences, chiefly such as inculcated industry and
frugality, as the means of procuring wealth, and thereby securing
virtue; it being more difficult for a man in want, to act always
honestly, as, to use here one of those proverbs, it is hard for an
empty sack to stand up-right.

These proverbs, which contained the wisdom of many ages and nations, I
assembled and form'd into a connected discourse prefix'd to the
Almanack of 1757, as the harangue of a wise old man to the people
attending an auction. The bringing all these scatter'd counsels thus
into a focus enabled them to make greater impression. The piece, being
universally approved, was copied in all the newspapers of the
Continent; reprinted in Britain on a broad side, to be stuck up in
houses; two translations were made of it in French, and great numbers
bought by the clergy and gentry, to distribute gratis among their poor
parishioners and tenants. In Pennsylvania, as it discouraged useless
expense in foreign superfluities, some thought it had its share of
influence in producing that growing plenty of money which was
observable for several years after its publication.

I considered

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Text Comparison with The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 0
His father, Josiah Franklin, was a tallow chandler who married twice, and of his seventeen children Benjamin was the youngest son.
Page 6
It was in favor of liberty of conscience, and in behalf of the Baptists, Quakers, and other sectaries that had been under persecution, ascribing the Indian wars, and other distresses that had befallen the country, to that persecution, as so many judgments of God to punish so heinous an offense, and exhorting a repeal of those uncharitable laws.
Page 12
The first sold wonderfully, the event being recent, having made a great noise.
Page 19
A very flimsy scheme it was; however, it was immediately executed, and the paper went on accordingly, under my name for several months.
Page 24
" He brought me to the Crooked Billet in Water-street.
Page 25
The old gentleman said he would go with me to the new printer; and when we found him, "Neighbor," says Bradford, "I have brought to see you a young man of your business; perhaps you may want such a one.
Page 33
the best men in the world.
Page 41
This, however, he deemed a business below him, and confident of future better fortune, when he should be unwilling to have it known that he once was so meanly employed, he changed his name, and did me the honor to assume mine; for I soon after had a letter from him, acquainting me that he was settled in a small village (in Berkshire, I think it was, where he taught reading and writing to ten or a dozen boys, at sixpence each per week), recommending Mrs.
Page 45
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.
Page 58
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.
Page 59
Page 62
I had also paper, parchment, chapmen's books, etc.
Page 63
There remained now no competitor with me at Philadelphia but the old one, Bradford; who was rich and easy, did a little printing now and then by straggling hands, but was not very anxious about the business.
Page 70
Franklin, with a personal application to your proper self.
Page 88
Its first rise in my mind appears in the following little paper, accidentally preserv'd, viz.
Page 90
I considered.
Page 103
When the company separated, and the papers were collected, we found above twelve hundred hands; and, other copies being dispersed in the country, the subscribers amounted at length to upward of ten thousand.
Page 124
[13]These public quarrels were all at bottom owing to the proprietaries, our hereditary governors, who, when any expense was to be incurred for the defense of their province, with.
Page 129
counties have lately complained to the Assembly that a sufficient currency was wanting; you have an opportunity of receiving and dividing among you a very considerable sum; for, if the service of this expedition should continue, as it is more than probable it will, for one hundred and twenty days, the hire of these waggons and horses will amount to upward of thirty thousand pounds, which will be paid you in silver and gold of the king's money.
Page 135
They seem'd surpris'd that I did not immediately comply with their proposal.