The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 96

other candidate. I was, however, chosen, which
was the more agreeable to me, as, besides the pay for the immediate
service as clerk, the place gave me a better opportunity of keeping up
an interest among the members, which secur'd to me the business of
printing the votes, laws, paper money, and other occasional jobbs for
the public, that, on the whole, were very profitable.

I therefore did not like the opposition of this new member, who was a
gentleman of fortune and education, with talents that were likely to
give him, in time, great influence in the House, which, indeed,
afterwards happened. I did not, however, aim at gaining his favour by
paying any servile respect to him, but, after some time, took this
other method. Having heard that he had in his library a certain very
scarce and curious book, I wrote a note to him, expressing my desire of
perusing that book, and requesting he would do me the favour of lending
it to me for a few days. He sent it immediately, and I return'd it in
about a week with another note, expressing strongly my sense of the
favour. When we next met in the House, he spoke to me (which he had
never done before), and with great civility; and he ever after
manifested a readiness to serve me on all occasions, so that we became
great friends, and our friendship continued to his death. This is
another instance of the truth of an old maxim I had learned, which
says, "He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do
you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged." And it shows how
much more profitable it is prudently to remove, than to resent, return,
and continue inimical proceedings.

In 1737, Colonel Spotswood, late governor of Virginia, and then
postmaster-general, being dissatisfied with the conduct of his deputy
at Philadelphia, respecting some negligence in rendering, and
inexactitude of his accounts, took from him the commission and offered
it to me. I accepted it readily, and found it of great advantage; for,
tho' the salary was small, it facilitated the correspondence that
improv'd my newspaper, increas'd the number demanded, as well as the
advertisements to be inserted, so that it came to afford me a
considerable income. My old competitor's newspaper declin'd
proportionably, and I was satisfy'd without retaliating his refusal,
while postmaster, to permit my papers being carried by the riders.
Thus he suffer'd greatly from his neglect in due accounting; and I
mention it as a lesson

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin and the First Balloons

Page 0
Page 1
Montgolfier, of Annonay, was repeated by M.
Page 2
I thought it my Duty, Sir, to send an early Account of this extraordinary Fact, to the Society which does me the honour to reckon me among its Members; and I will endeavour to make it more perfect, as I receive farther Information.
Page 3
A Philosopher here, M.
Page 4
It was dismissed about One aClock in the Morning.
Page 5
If I am well at the Time, I purpose to be present, being a subscriber myself, and shall send you an exact Account of Particulars.
Page 6
_ When they were as high as they chose to be, they made less Flame and suffered the Machine to drive Horizontally with the Wind, of which however they felt very little, as they went with it, and as fast.
Page 7
I know not what it is.
Page 8
In this Country we are not so much afraid of being laught at.
Page 9
Page 10
Means were used, I am told, to prevent the great Balloon's rising so high as might indanger its Bursting.
Page 11
With great Esteem, I am, Dear Sir, Your most obedient & most humble servant, B.
Page 12
La Machine n'a eprouve aucun Accident.
Page 13
--Transcriber's note-- A caret (^) indicates the following character or characters were printed in superscript.
Page 14