The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 1 [of 3]

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 34

When we were
at his house: "Neighbour," said he, "I bring you a young man in the
printing business; perhaps you may have need of his services."

Keimer asked me some questions, put a composing stick in my hand
to see how I could work, and then said, that at present he had
nothing for me to do, but that he should soon be able to employ me.
At the same time taking old Bradford for an inhabitant of the town
well-disposed towards him, he communicated his project to him, and
the prospect he had of success. Bradford was careful not to discover
that he was the father of the other printer; and from what Keimer
had said, that he hoped shortly to be in possession of the greater
part of the business of the town, led him by artful questions, and by
starting some difficulties, to disclose all his views, what his hopes
were founded upon, and how he intended to proceed. I was present, and
heard it all. I instantly saw that one of the two was a cunning old
fox, and the other a perfect novice. Bradford left me with Keimer,
who was strangely surprised when I informed him who the old man was.

I found Keimer's printing materials to consist of an old damaged
press, and a small fount of worn-out English letters, with which
he himself was at work upon an elegy on Aquila Rose, whom I have
mentioned above, an ingenious young man, and of an excellent
character, highly esteemed in the town, secretary to the assembly,
and a very tolerable poet. Keimer also made verses, but they were
indifferent ones. He could not be said to write in verse, for his
method was to set the lines as they flowed from his muse; and as he
worked without copy, had but one set of letter-cases, and the elegy
would probably occupy all his types, it was impossible for any one
to assist him. I endeavoured to put his press in order, which he had
not yet used, and of which indeed he understood nothing: and having
promised to come and work off his elegy as soon as it should be
ready, I returned to the house of Bradford, who gave me some trifle
to do for the present, for which I had my board and lodging.

In a few days Keimer sent for me to print off his elegy. He had now
procured another set of letter-cases, and had a pamphlet to re-print,
upon which he set me to work.

The two Philadelphia printers appeared destitute of every

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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

Page 8
He was a skilful master, and successful in his profession, employing the mildest and most encouraging methods.
Page 13
They were wretched stuff, in street-ballad style; and when they were printed, my brother sent me about the town to sell them.
Page 20
Bradford, who had been the first printer in Pennsylvania, but had removed thence, in consequence of a quarrel with the governor, General Keith.
Page 27
We struck on a shoal in going down the bay, and sprung a leak; we had a blustering time at sea, and were obliged to pump almost continually, at which I took my turn.
Page 32
Give me an inventory of the things necessary to be had from England, and I will send for them.
Page 47
Meredith was to work at press, Potts at bookbinding, which he, by agreement, was to teach them, though he knew neither one nor the other.
Page 52
We had not been long returned to Philadelphia before the new types arrived from London.
Page 94
I then undertook the Italian: an acquaintance, who was also learning it, used often to tempt me to play chess with him: finding this took up too much of the time I had to spare for study, I at length refused to play any more, unless on this condition, that the victor in every game should have a right to impose a task, either of parts of the grammar to be got by heart, or in translations, &c.
Page 96
The choice was made that year without opposition; but the year following, when I was again proposed (the choice, like that of the members, being annual), a new member made a long speech against me, in order to favour some other candidate.
Page 113
They were found inconvenient in these respects: they admitted no air below; the smoke, therefore, did not readily go out above, but circulated in the globe, lodged on its inside, and soon obstructed the light they were intended to afford; giving, besides, the daily trouble of wiping them clean: and an accidental stroke on one of them would demolish it, and render it totally useless.
Page 116
Many objections and difficulties were started, but at length they were all overcome, and the plan was unanimously agreed to, and copies ordered to be transmitted to the board of trade and to the assemblies of the several provinces.
Page 135
I eagerly seized the opportunity of repeating what I had seen at Boston; and, by much practice, acquired great readiness in performing those also which we had an account of from England, adding a number of new ones.
Page 148
As I had never asked or expected the honour, I was, as I said before, curious to see how the business was managed.
Page 155
But mankind can with difficulty be brought to lay aside established practices, or to adopt new ones.
Page 171
Mirabeau should be printed; and that the president should write a letter of condolence upon the occasion to the Congress of America.
Page 178
These aids may, therefore, be small at first; but as the capital increases by the accumulated interest, they will be more ample.
Page 207
"The religion of the Daggestans," says he, "is generally Mohammedan, some following the sect of Osman, others that of Haly.
Page 209
Justice to that nation, though lately our enemies and hardly yet our cordial friends, obliges me, on this occasion, not to omit mentioning an instance of Spanish honour, which cannot but be still fresh in the memory of many yet living.
Page 211
As a proof of that honour, I shall only mention one well-known recent fact.
Page 215
As the eye is affected, so is the understanding; objects at a distance strike us according to their dimensions, or the quantity of light thrown upon them; near, according to their novelty or familiarity, as they are in motion or at rest.