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Title: The Life of Benjamin Franklin, Illustrated by Tales, Sketches, and Anecdotes

Author: Samuel G. Goodrich

Release date: January 2, 2012 [eBook #38469]

Language: English

Credits: E-text prepared by Katherine Ward and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team ( from scanned images of public domain material generously made available by the Google Books Library Project (


E-text prepared by Katherine Ward
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team
from scanned images of public domain material
generously made available by
the Google Books Library Project


Note: Images of the original pages are available through the the Google Books Library Project. See


Transcriber's Note:

The total number of questions at the end of each chapter does not necessarily correspond to the total number of paragraphs in the chapter.

Text is missing from the printed book at the end of Paragraph 19 in Chapter X.



Franklin taking home his paper.

Franklin taking home his paper.

Reconciliation of Franklin with his Brother.

Reconciliation of Franklin with his Brother.


Ben Franklin flying a kite in stormy weather.








Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1832, by Samuel G. Goodrich, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Massachusetts.


The following Preface to the Life of Columbus will explain the plan of the series, of which this is the third volume:—

"There is no kind of reading more attractive than biography, and, if properly treated, there is none more instructive. It appears, therefore, to be peculiarly fitted to the purposes of education; it readily excites the curiosity and awakens the interest of the pupil, and, while it stores his mind with facts, dates and events, displays to his view the workings of the human heart, and makes him better acquainted with himself and mankind.

"In the selection of subjects for a biographical series of works for youth, the editor has been led, by two considerations, to prefer those which belong to our own country. In the first place, it is more particularly necessary that our youth should be made acquainted with the lives of those men who were associated with the history of their native land; and, in the second place, no country can afford happier subjects for biography than this. There are few such lives as those of Columbus, Washington, and Franklin, in the annals of any nation.

"In the preparation of the work, the author has sought to adapt it to youth, by the use of a simple style, and by the introduction of many illustrative tales, sketches, anecdotes and adventures. Questions for examining the pupils are printed in the pages, which may be used, or not, at the choice of the Teacher."

The Life of Columbus and the Life of Washington, on a plan similar to this, have been already published; and other volumes, containing the lives of celebrated Indian Chiefs, celebrated American Statesmen, &c., will appear hereafter, if those already in progress should meet with success.

An old printing press


Birth of Franklin. Early Education. Anecdote. Choice of a Trade. He is placed with a Cutler. His Fondness for Reading. Bound Apprentice to his Brother. Makes a Couple of Ballads. His Friend Collins. Reads the Spectator. 11
Franklin gives up eating Meat. His Economy of Time. Studies Arithmetic. James Franklin establishes a Newspaper. Benjamin writes for it. His Brother is imprisoned. Benjamin manages the Paper. Leaves his Brother. Goes to New York. Sails thence for Philadelphia. Anecdote of the Dutchman. 19
His Journey. His Dinner with the old Gingerbread Woman. Arrives in Philadelphia. Anecdote of the Rolls. Attends the Meeting House of the Quakers. Suspected of being a Runaway. Employed by Keimer. Noticed by Governor Keith. Visit to Boston. Return. 27
Finds his Friend Collins in New York. Visit to the Governor. Promises from Governor Keith. Project of a new religious Sect. Anecdote of Keimer and the roast Pig. His principal Acquaintance. A literary Trick. Prepares to go to London. The Governor's Deception. Arrival in London. 35
Troubled by his Friend Ralph. Obtains Employment. Ralph turns Schoolmaster, and begins an Epic Poem. Franklin teaches some of his Friends to swim. Anecdote of Mr. Denham. Return to Philadelphia. Story of George Webb. Franklin quarrels with Keimer. Returns to work for him. Employed at Burlington. Leaves Keimer. 43
The Junto. A new Paper started by Keimer. Franklin purchases it. Difficulties in their Business. A Dissolution of the Partnership. Franklin assisted by his Friends. David Harry. Match-making. Marriage with Miss Read. 50
Library of the Junto. A public Library established. Franklin studies. His Frugality. Anecdote of the Bowl and Spoon. His Scheme of arriving at Moral Perfection. Table of Precepts. Franklin's Remarks upon it. Poor Richard's Almanac. 57
Management of his Newspaper. Study of the Languages. Chess-playing. The Preacher Hemphill. Stealing Sermons. Visit to Boston. Visits his Brother James at Newport. Usefulness of the Junto. Formation of new Clubs. Franklin chosen Clerk of the General Assembly. Anecdote. 65
Reform of the City Watch. Fire Companies. Rev. Mr. Whitefield. Effects of his Preaching. His Project of building an Orphan House in Georgia. Anecdotes. Franklin's Opinion of him. Franklin's Prosperity. Military Defence of the Province. Formation of Companies. 72
Anecdote. William Penn. Education of Youth. Subscription for an Academy. Franklin overloaded with public Offices. Member of the Assembly. Treaty with the Indians at Carlisle. Public Hospital. Anecdote. 82
Spence's Experiments in Electricity. Franklin repeats them. Makes important Discoveries. Letters to Collinson. Experiment with the Kite. Publication of his Letters. Anecdote of the Abbé Nollet. Fame of Franklin. Elected a Member of the Royal Society. 90
Appointed Postmaster-General. Journey to New England. Receives Degrees from two Colleges. Story of the Visit to his Mother. 97
Congress at Albany. Plan for a Union of the Colonies. Arrival of General Braddock. Franklin sent to him by the Assembly. Want of Wagons. Franklin undertakes to procure them. His Advertisement. Anecdote of Braddock. Battle with the Indians. Retreat. 105
Settlement for the Loss of Wagons. Anecdote. Preparations for Defence. Franklin appointed to a military Command. Assembles the Troops at Bethlehem. Farmers killed by Indians. Building Forts. Extracts from Franklin's Journal. Indian Cunning. Anecdotes of the Moravians. 113
Disputes with the Proprietaries. Franklin sent by the Assembly to London. Appointed general Agent for the Colonies. University Honors. The Armonica. Murder of the friendly Indians. 124
Franklin appointed Agent at the Court of Great Britain. Visits Germany and France. Returns to Philadelphia. Appointed Delegate to Congress. Interview with Lord Howe. Sent as Ambassador to France. Asks to be recalled. Chosen President of the Supreme Council of Philadelphia. Death. Character. 130
The Whistle. 136
Handsome and Deformed Leg. 138
Advice to a young Tradesman. 142
Necessary Hints to those that would be rich. 145
Paper, a Poem. 146
On the art of Swimming. 149
Preliminary Address to the Pennsylvania Almanac, entitled, "Poor Richard's Almanac,
for the year 1758."
Observations on War. 167
The Way to make Money plenty in every Man's Pocket. 169
Morals of Chess. 171
Conversation of a Company of Ephemeræ. 177
Franklin standing at an old-style desk.




Birth of Franklin. Early Education. Anecdote. Choice of a Trade. He is placed with a Cutler. His Fondness for Reading. Bound Apprentice to his Brother. Makes a couple of Ballads. His Friend Collins. Reads the Spectator.

1. Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston, New England, on the seventeenth of January, 1706. He was the youngest son in a family of seventeen children. His elder brothers were, at an early age, put apprentices to different trades; for their father was a man of honest industry, but with little or no property, and unable to support the expense of keeping them long at school.

2. Benjamin, however, was intended for the church, and at eight years of age was put to a grammar school. His readiness in learning, and his attention to study, confirmed the first intention of his parents. The plan also met with the approbation of his uncle Benjamin, who promised to give him some volumes of sermons that he had taken down in short hand, from the lips of the most eminent preachers of the day.

3. He continued at the grammar school, however, only about a year, though he had risen to the head of his class, and promised to be a very fine scholar. His father was burthened with a numerous family, and could not carry him through a course of college education. He accordingly changed his first purpose, and sent Benjamin to a school for writing and arithmetic, kept by Mr. George Brownwell.

4. This master was quite skilful in his profession, being mild and kind to his scholars, but very successful in teaching them. Benjamin learned to write a good hand in a short time, but he could not manage arithmetic so easily. At ten years of age he was taken from school to help his father in the business of a tallow-chandler; and was employed in cutting the wick for the candles, going errands, and tending the shop.

5. Benjamin disliked the trade, and had a strong inclination to go to sea; but his father opposed his wishes in this respect, and determined to keep him at home. The house in which he lived happened to be near the water, and Benjamin was always playing with boats, and swimming. When sailing with other boys, he was usually the leader, and he confesses that he sometimes led them into difficulties.

6. There was a salt marsh which bounded part of the mill-pond, on the edge of which the boys used to stand to fish for minnows. They had trampled it so much, however, as to make it a mere quagmire. Franklin proposed to his friends to build a wharf there, for them to stand upon; and showed them a large heap of stones, which were intended for a new house near the marsh, and would answer their purpose exactly.

7. Accordingly, that evening, when the workmen were gone home, he assembled a number of his playfellows, and they worked diligently, like so many emmets, sometimes two or three to a stone, till they had brought them all to make their little wharf. On the next morning, the workmen were surprised on missing the stones. The authors of the removal were detected, complained of, and punished by their parents. Franklin attempted to show the usefulness of their work; but his father took that occasion to convince him, that that which was not truly honest could not be truly useful.

8. Benjamin continued employed in the business of his father about two years, that is, till he was twelve years old. His brother John, who had also been brought up to the trade, had left his father, married, and set up for himself in Rhode Island. There was now every appearance that Benjamin was destined to become a tallow-chandler. As his dislike to the trade continued, his father was afraid that, if he did not put Benjamin to one that was more agreeable, he would run away, and go to sea, as an elder brother of his had done. In consequence of this apprehension, he used to take him to walk, to see joiners, bricklayers, turners and braziers at their work, that he might observe his inclination, and fix it on some trade or profession that would keep him on land.

9. His father at length determined on the cutler's trade, and placed him for some days on trial with his cousin Samuel, who was bred to that trade in London, and had just established himself in Boston. It was then usual to ask a sum of money for receiving an apprentice, and the cutler charged so much for taking Benjamin, that his father was displeased, and put him to his old business again.

10. From his infancy Benjamin had been passionately fond of reading; and all the money that he could get was laid out in purchasing books. He was very fond of voyages and travels. The dangers and adventures of sailors in the different parts of the world, and stories of the strange people and customs they met with, he would always read with delight.

11. The first books that he was able to buy were the works of a famous old English writer, named John Bunyan. These he afterwards sold, in order to purchase some volumes of Historical Collections. His father's library consisted principally of works on divinity, most of which he read at an early age. Beside these, there was a book by De Foe, the author of Robinson Crusoe; and another called An Essay to do Good, by Dr. Mather, an old New England divine.

12. This fondness for books at length determined his father to bring him up as a printer, though he had already one son in that employment. In 1717, this son returned from England with a press and letters to set up his business in Boston. Benjamin liked this trade much better than that of his father, but still had a desire to go to sea. To prevent this step, his father was impatient to have him bound apprentice to his brother, and at length persuaded him to consent to it.

13. He was to serve as apprentice till he was twenty-one years of age, and during the last year was to be allowed the wages of a journeyman. In a little time, he made great progress in the business, and became quite useful. He was now able to obtain better books. An acquaintance with the apprentices of the booksellers sometimes enabled him to borrow a small one, which he was careful to return clean and in good season. He often sat up in his chamber the greater part of the night, to read a book that he was obliged to return in the morning.

Franklin reading at night.

Franklin reading at night.

14. After some time, an ingenious and sensible merchant, Mr. Matthew Adams, who had a pretty collection of books, took notice of Franklin at the printing office, and invited him to see his library. He very kindly offered to lend him any work that he might like to read.

15. He now took a strong inclination for poetry, and wrote some little pieces. His brother supposed that he might use this talent to advantage, and encouraged him to cultivate it. About this time, he produced two ballads. One was called the Light-House Tragedy, and contained an account of the shipwreck of Captain Worthilake, with his two daughters; the other was a sailor's song, on the taking of the famous Blackbeard, the pirate.

16. They were written in the doggerel street-ballad style, and when they were printed, his brother sent Benjamin about the town to sell them. The first sold very rapidly, as the event on which it was founded had recently occurred, and made a great deal of noise. This success flattered his vanity very much, but his father discouraged him by criticising his ballads, and telling him that verse-makers were generally beggars.

17. This prevented him from giving any further attention to poetry, and led him to devote more time and care to prose compositions. He was at this time intimately acquainted with another lad very fond of books, named John Collins. They sometimes discussed different questions together, and had become very apt to indulge in arguments and disputes.

18. A question was once started between them, on the propriety of educating the female sex in learned studies, and their abilities for these studies. As they parted without settling the point, and were not to see one another again for a long time, Franklin sat down to put his arguments in writing. He then made a fair copy of them, and sent it to Collins.

19. Three or four letters passed between them on the subject, when the father of Franklin happened to find the papers, and read them. Without entering into the subject in dispute, he took occasion to talk to him about his manner of writing. He marked the defects in his expressions, and in the arrangement of his sentences, but gave him the credit of spelling and pointing with great correctness. This he had learned in the printing office, but he had never before been taught any thing about manner and style.

20. About this time, he met with an odd volume of the Spectator, a very famous work, published by several English wits in the year 1711. He bought it, read it over and over, and was much delighted with it. This book was now his continual study, and he himself tried to write as much as possible in its very pleasant and popular style. The improvement which he made was encouraging, and led him to hope he might some day become a good English writer; a distinction of which he was very ambitious.

1. Where was Franklin born? When?

2. For what profession did his parents intend to educate him?

3. What induced his father to change his intention?

4. To what trade was Benjamin put, and when?

6. Relate the anecdote about Franklin and his companions.

7. What maxim did his father teach him in consequence of this adventure?

8. What were his father's fears in relation to his new occupation?

9. On what trade did his father finally determine?

10. Describe his early fondness for reading, and the books of which he was most fond.

11. What books did he first buy?

12. What induced his father to bring up Benjamin as a printer? To whom was he bound apprentice?

13. How did he succeed in his new trade?

14. What advantages did it afford him for pursuing his studies?

15. Relate the account of his first attempts in poetry.

16. How did his ballads succeed?

17. How did his father discourage his new taste?

18. What was the subject of his discussion with his friend Collins?

19. What praise and advice did his father give him on this occasion?

20. With what book was Franklin at this time so much pleased? Did he attempt to imitate it?



Franklin gives up eating Meat. His Economy of Time. Studies Arithmetic. James Franklin establishes a Newspaper. Benjamin writes for it. His Brother is imprisoned. Benjamin manages the Paper. Leaves his Brother. Goes to New York. Sails thence for Philadelphia. Anecdote of the Dutchman.

1. When about sixteen years of age, Franklin happened to meet with a book that recommended a vegetable diet. He determined to adopt it. His brother, being unmarried, did not keep house, but boarded himself and his apprentices in another family. By refusing to eat meat, Franklin occasioned a good deal of inconvenience; and he was frequently chid for his singularity. He accordingly learned the manner of boiling potatoes and rice, and of making hasty-pudding, and then proposed to his brother, if he would give him, weekly, half the money he paid for his board, to board himself. His brother instantly agreed to it, and Franklin soon found that he could save half of what he received.

2. This was a new fund for buying books. But this was not the only advantage. When his brother and the apprentices had gone to their meals, he was left in the printing office alone. He immediately despatched his slight repast, which was often no more than a biscuit, or a slice of bread and a handful of raisins, or a tart from the pastry cook's, and a glass of water, and had the rest of the time till their return for study. By being thus economical of his time, he was able to make considerable progress in his books.

3. He now began to feel the want of a knowledge of figures, and was once very much mortified by his ignorance of them. As he had entirely failed of learning them at school, he took Cocker's Arithmetic, and went through the whole of it by himself with the greatest ease. The mortification he had met with induced him to make great exertions; and we can succeed in any thing to which we give our earnest attention.

4. While he was intent on improving his language and style, Franklin met with an English grammar, at the end of which were two little sketches on the arts of rhetoric and logic. The latter of these finished with a dispute in the manner of Socrates, a very famous philosopher of Greece. Franklin was charmed with this modest and artful manner, and cured himself of the tricks of contradiction and too much positiveness. These habits are very disagreeable, and no one should allow himself to fall into them.

5. "In fact, if you wish to instruct others," says Franklin, "a positive and dogmatical manner in advancing your sentiments may occasion opposition, and prevent a candid attention. If you desire improvement from others, you should not at the same time express yourself fixed in your present opinions. Modest and sensible men, who do not love disputation, will leave you undisturbed in the possession of your errors. In adopting such a manner, you can seldom expect to please your hearers, or obtain the concurrence you desire."

6. In the year 1720, or '21, James Franklin began to print a newspaper. It was the second that appeared in America, and was called the New England Courant. The only one before it was the Boston News Letter. Some of his friends endeavored to dissuade him from the undertaking. They thought it would not succeed, as, in their opinion, one newspaper was sufficient for all America. There are now in the United States alone, over eight hundred newspapers.

7. The undertaking, however, went on. Benjamin assisted in setting the types, helped to print off the sheets, and was then employed in carrying the papers to the subscribers. Several men of information and talents wrote little pieces for the paper, which were amusing, and gained considerable credit. These gentlemen often visited the printing office.

8. Hearing their conversations, and their accounts of the praise their pieces received from the public, Benjamin was excited to try his fortune among them. He was afraid, however, as he was still a boy, his brother would object to print any thing of his composition in the paper. It was necessary, therefore, to disguise his hand-writing, and to send his piece to the office in such a way that it should not be known from whom it came.

9. When his friends came in, James showed them the communication from an unknown writer. They read it, praised it, and made several guesses as to the author. In these guesses none were named but men of some character for talents and learning. They never once suspected it was written by the little printer's boy who stood at their elbows, chuckling in silence over the secret.

10. Encouraged by the success of this attempt, he continued to write, and send other pieces in the same way to the press. He kept his secret as long as he saw fit, and then confessed himself the author of the writings they had been so long guessing about. Benjamin now began to be more noticed by his brother's acquaintance, which made him a little vain, and led to some serious difficulties.

11. His brother, notwithstanding the relationship between them, considered himself as master, and Benjamin as his apprentice, and accordingly expected the same services from him that he would from another. In some of these services the young printer felt himself degraded, and thought that he should receive greater indulgence. His brother was passionate, and frequently beat him; and, finding the apprenticeship exceedingly tedious, Benjamin was looking forward for an opportunity to shorten it. This at length happened in a very unexpected manner.

12. One of the pieces in the paper, on some political subject, gave offence to the Assembly, one of the most important branches of the government of Massachusetts. James Franklin was taken up, censured, and imprisoned for a month, because he would not discover the author. Benjamin was also called up and examined before the council; but, considering him as an apprentice, who was bound to keep his master's secret, they dismissed him without punishment.

13. During his brother's confinement, Benjamin had the management of the paper, and indulged in very smart remarks upon the government. This pleased his brother, though it made others look upon him in an unfavorable light, as a youth who had a turn for satire and libeling. The discharge of the imprisoned printer was accompanied with an order that "James Franklin should no longer print the newspaper called the New England Courant."

14. On a consultation held at the printing office, it was proposed, to change the name of the paper, and in this manner elude the order of the council. As there were many difficulties in the way of this project, it was determined to let the paper for the future be printed in the name of Benjamin Franklin.

15. When apprentices are bound out, it is usual to have certain agreements drawn up between them and their masters, sealed and signed according to certain forms required by law. These papers are called indentures. James was afraid that the censure of the Assembly would fall on him, as still printing the paper by his apprentice, and contrived that his old indenture should be returned to Benjamin, with a discharge on the back of it.

16. This was to be shown only in case of necessity; and in order to secure his services for the remainder of the time, it was agreed that Benjamin should sign new indentures. These were to be kept private. This was a very flimsy scheme, but the paper continued to be printed in this manner for several months. At length fresh difficulties arose, and Benjamin determined to take advantage of his discharge; thinking that his brother would be afraid to produce the new indentures. It was unfair to take this advantage, but he was urged to it by very unkind and even cruel treatment.

17. When his brother found out his intentions, he went round to every master printer in town to prevent his getting employment. In consequence of this, he concluded to remove to New York; that being the nearest place where there was another printer. His father opposed his removal, and took side with his brother in the dispute. Benjamin sold his books to furnish the means of paying his passage, went privately on board of a sloop, had a fair wind, and in three days found himself in New York, three hundred miles from home, at the age of seventeen. There was no one in the place whom he knew; he was without any recommendations, and had very little money in his pocket.

18. By this time he had entirely lost all his love for the sea, or he might have been induced to gratify it. Having another profession, and considering himself a good workman, he offered his services to a printer of the place, old Mr. W. Bradford. This man had been the first printer in Pennsylvania, and had removed from there in consequence of a quarrel with the governor, General Keith.

19. He had a sufficient number of workmen, and little to do, and could give Franklin no employment. But he said, "My son, at Philadelphia, has lately lost his principal hand, Aquila Rose, by death, and if you go thither, I believe he may employ you."

20. Philadelphia was one hundred miles farther, but Franklin concluded to go there. In crossing the bay, a squall struck the little vessel he was in, and tore her rotten sails to pieces. She was driven upon Long Island.

21. On the way, a drunken Dutchman, who was a passenger in the boat, tumbled overboard. As he was sinking, Franklin reached out and caught him by a very bushy head of hair, and drew him up again. This sobered him a little, and he went to sleep, having first taken a book out of his pocket, which he desired Franklin to dry for him. It proved to be a Dutch copy of his old favorite book, Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, and he carefully complied with the wish of the sleepy owner.

1. What induced Franklin to adopt a vegetable diet? What arrangement did he make with his brother on this account?

2. What advantage resulted from this? Describe Benjamin's economy of time.

3. How did he learn arithmetic?

4. With what treatise was Franklin so much pleased? Of what disagreeable habits did it cure him?

5. What advice does he give on the manner of conversation?

6. Who printed the second newspaper in New England? What was it called?

7. How was Benjamin connected with it?

8. What first induced him to write for it? Describe his first attempt.

9. How was his communication received?

10. What was the consequence of his success?

11. What were the difficulties between the brothers?

12. What happened at this time to James Franklin?

13. How did Benjamin conduct the paper? What was the order of the council?

14. How was it evaded?

15. What is the custom in binding out apprentices? How was Benjamin discharged from his indentures?

16. What unfair advantage did he take of this discharge?

17. What course did his brother pursue on this occasion? His father? Benjamin?

18. To whom did he apply for employment?

19. With what success?

20. Where did he determine to go?

21. What is the anecdote of the Dutchman?



His Journey. His Dinner with the old Gingerbread Woman. Arrives in Philadelphia. Anecdote of the Rolls. Attends the Meeting House of the Quakers. Suspected of being a Runaway. Employed by Keimer. Noticed by Governor Keith. Visit to Boston. Return.

1. On approaching the island, the crew found themselves in a place where there could be no landing, as it was a stony beach, and a violent surf was rolling. They cast anchor, and remained in that situation through the night. As the spray dashed over the boat, they were all, in a very short time, as wet as the unfortunate Dutchman. The wind went down on the next morning, and they were able to reach Amboy before night; having been thirty hours on the water, without victuals, or any drink but a bottle of dirty rum.

2. In the evening, Franklin found himself feverish, and went to bed. As he drank plentifully of cold water, his fever left him, and in the morning he proceeded on his journey. After crossing the ferry, he travelled on foot, notwithstanding a violent rain, till noon. Being now thoroughly soaked and tired, he stopped at a poor inn, where he spent the remainder of the day, and all night.

3. He now began to wish that he had never left home. His prospect of procuring employment, even when he should arrive at Philadelphia, was uncertain. He thought of the distress his sudden disappearance must have occasioned to his parents. Besides all this, he made such a sorry figure that he was suspected of being a runaway servant, and in danger of being taken up on that suspicion.

4. On the next day, however, he continued his journey, and arrived that night at an inn, within eight or ten miles of Burlington. The next morning he reached Burlington, where he expected to find boats to sail immediately for Philadelphia. It was Saturday, and he had the mortification to find that the regular boats had just gone, and that no others were expected to sail before Tuesday.

5. Franklin returned to the shop of an old woman, of whom he had bought some gingerbread to eat on his passage, and asked her where he had better go to find lodgings. She proposed to lodge him in her own house, till a passage, by some other boat, offered itself. He accepted the invitation, and dined with the old woman that day on ox-cheek. All that she would take in return was a pot of ale.

6. Franklin had supposed himself fixed till the next Tuesday, but as he was walking, in the evening, by the side of the river, a boat passed by, with several people, going to Philadelphia. They took him in, and proceeded on their voyage. The weather was very calm, without a breath of wind stirring. They were obliged to row all the way. Reaching Philadelphia about eight or nine o'clock on Sunday morning, they landed at Market street wharf.

7. Our young traveller had sent his best clothes by another conveyance from New York, and he was in his old working dress. His pockets were stuffed out with shirts and stockings, and he knew not where to look for lodgings. He was tired with walking, rowing, and want of sleep, and was, besides, very hungry. His whole stock of cash was a single silver dollar and about a shilling in copper coin. The copper he gave to the boatmen for his passage.

8. As he walked along the street, gazing at the new things he saw, and wondering what would be the end of his trouble, he met a boy with some bread. Inquiring where he had bought it, Franklin went immediately to the place where he was directed, and asked for three-pence worth of bread. He received three large puffy rolls, and, having no room in his pockets, walked off, with a roll under each arm, and eating the third.

Franklin walking in the streets of Philadelphia.

Franklin walking in the streets of Philadelphia.

9. In this manner he walked up Market street, as far as Fourth street, passing by the house of Mr. Read, whose daughter he afterwards married. This young lady was standing at the door as he went by, and probably thought he made rather an awkward appearance. After walking about the streets some time, eating his roll, he found himself again in the neighborhood of the wharf where he had landed. He went on board of the boat, and gave his two remaining rolls to a woman and child that had been his fellow-passengers down the river.

10. He again walked up the street, which was, by that time, filled with a large number of neat, well-dressed people, who were all walking the same way. He joined them, and was led into the great meeting house of the Quakers, near the market. Sitting down among them, he looked round awhile, and, as nothing was said, fell fast asleep from drowsiness. His nap continued till the meeting broke up, when some one was kind enough to awake him.

11. He then walked down towards the river, and meeting a young Quaker, whose countenance pleased him, he asked where a stranger could get lodgings. They were then near a house with the sign of the Three Mariners. "Here," said the Quaker, "is a house where they receive strangers, but it is not a reputable one; if thou wilt walk with me, I'll show thee a better." He conducted Franklin to the Crooked Billet, in Water street.

12. There he dined, and during the dinner several questions were put to him, by persons who supposed him to be a runaway. On the next morning, he dressed himself as neatly as he could, and went to see Andrew Bradford, the printer. Here he found the old gentleman, whom he had met in New York, and who, travelling on horseback, had got to Philadelphia before him.

13. Mr. Bradford received him very kindly, but, as he was not at that time in want of a hand, could only recommend him to a printer, who had lately set up in town, by the name of Keimer. This man had then nothing for him to do, but promised him employment soon. Meanwhile, he was invited to lodge with Mr. Bradford, and to assist when there was any extra work in the printing office.

14. Franklin soon found that neither of the printers knew any thing about their business. Keimer was, before long, able to give him constant employment. He did not like, however, that any one should live with his rival, Bradford, while he worked for him. Lodgings were, therefore, procured for Franklin, with Mr. Read, whose house he had passed on his first arrival, while eating his roll.

15. He had now made some acquaintances about town, and passed his time very pleasantly. By industry and frugality he gained money, and gave up all thoughts of returning to Boston. The governor of the province, Sir William Keith, had accidentally become acquainted with him, and was desirous that he should set up in business for himself, in Philadelphia. He promised to procure for him the public printing of the government, and to assist him, as much as possible, by his influence and patronage.

16. It was concluded that Franklin should return to Boston, with a letter from the governor, to prevail upon his father to assist him in the establishment. Towards the end of April, in 1724, he left Philadelphia for this purpose.

17. He sailed in a little vessel that was bound for Boston, and, in about a fortnight, was safe in his father's house. His sudden appearance surprised the family very much, but they were all delighted to see him, and treated him with great kindness.

18. Soon after his arrival, he paid a visit to his brother, at the printing office. He had on a new suit of clothes, wore a watch, and had about five pounds, in silver, in his pockets. Feeling rather elated by the success he had met with, he made quite a display of all his good fortune before his brother's apprentices and journeymen, and ended by giving them a dollar to drink his health with. This visit offended his brother very much, for he thought it was intended to mortify him.

19. The letter of the governor was without any effect. His father was very glad that Benjamin had been able to gain the confidence of so eminent a man, but would not consent to his request. He wrote a civil letter, thanking Sir William for his promise of patronage, but saying, that his son was altogether too young to be intrusted with the management of so important and expensive an undertaking.

20. Franklin gave so pleasant an account of Philadelphia, that his old friend Collins determined to go on and try his fortune there. Seeing no prospect of restoring harmony between the two brothers, his father consented that Benjamin should return to Philadelphia. He advised him to steady industry and frugality, and promised to assist in setting him up in business, when he should reach the age of twenty-one. With the approbation and blessing of his parents to follow him, he embarked for New York, on the way to his future home.

1. What was the situation of the crew on the water?

2. How did Franklin pursue his journey?

3. What were his fears?

5. Describe the treatment Franklin received from the old woman.

6. How did he get to Philadelphia?

7. Describe his appearance on his first arrival there.

10. Relate his adventure in the meeting house.

11. Where did he first lodge in Philadelphia?

13. Where did he obtain employment?

15. How did Franklin succeed, and how did he pass his time? What was the promise of Sir William Keith?

16. Why did Franklin go to Boston?

18. Describe his visit to his brother.

19. How did his father receive the governor's letter?

20. What were his advice and promise to Benjamin?



Finds his Friend Collins in New York. Visit to the Governor. Promises from Governor Keith. Project of a new religious Sect. Anecdote of Keimer and the roast Pig. His principal Acquaintance. A literary Trick. Prepares to go to London. The Governor's Deception. Arrival in London.

1. At New York Franklin found his friend Collins, who had arrived there some time before him. They had been intimate from childhood, and he had been sober and industrious. But during Franklin's absence in Philadelphia, Collins had fallen into bad habits, and become a drunkard. He gamed, and lost his money, and borrowed of his friend, to pay his expenses on the road.

2. The governor of New York, hearing from the captain that one of his passengers had a great many books on board, requested that he might be brought to see him. Franklin, accordingly, waited upon him. He was received with great civility. The governor showed him his library, which was a considerable one, and they had a good deal of conversation about books and authors. This attention was very pleasing to Franklin.

3. When they arrived at Philadelphia, Collins continued to drink, and was, consequently, unable to procure any business. He continued to borrow money of Franklin, and finally quarrelled with him, and went to the West Indies. Franklin never heard of him afterwards.

4. Sir William Keith received the young printer, on his return, with a great show of kindness, and large promises. "Since your father will not set you up," he said to him, "I will do it myself. Give me a list of the things necessary to be had from England, and I will send for them. You shall repay me when you are able. I am resolved to have a good printer here, and I am sure you must succeed." This was spoken with an air of perfect sincerity, and Franklin had not the least doubt but that he meant what he said.

5. He accordingly made a list of all the articles that would be wanted for a printing house, the cost of which was about one hundred pounds. The governor liked it, and asked whether it would not be well for him to go to England himself, in order to select the types, and see that every thing was of the best kind. "When there," he added, "you may make acquaintance, and establish correspondence in the bookselling and stationery way."

6. Franklin thought that it might be advantageous. "Then," said he, "get yourself ready to go in the Annis," which was the annual ship, and at that time the only one passing between London and Philadelphia. But, as it would be some months before the Annis sailed, Franklin continued to work with Keimer.

7. They agreed together very well, and lived on quite a familiar footing. Franklin used sometimes to argue with his master, and would most frequently beat him. This gave him so great an idea of Franklin's ability in disputation, that he proposed to him to become his assistant in a new religious sect which he proposed to establish. One was to preach the doctrines, and the other to confound all opponents.

8. When they came to explain with each other upon their doctrines, Keimer was desirous of introducing certain customs, which did not entirely meet the wishes of his colleague. Among other things, he wore his beard at full length; because, somewhere in the Mosaic law, it is said, "Thou shalt not mar the corners of thy beard." He likewise kept the seventh day sabbath, instead of the first; and both of these points he considered essential.

9. Franklin disliked both, but agreed to them on condition of his adopting the doctrine not to use animal food. Keimer was a great eater, and was not much pleased with the idea of being starved; but he consented to try the practice a few weeks, and see how it agreed with his constitution.

10. They held to this plan for three months. Their provisions were purchased, cooked, and brought to them regularly by a woman in the neighborhood, who prepared, at different times, forty dishes, in which there were neither fish, flesh, nor fowl. Franklin went on well enough, but poor Keimer suffered grievously, grew tired of the project, and ordered a roast pig. He invited some friends to dine with him upon the occasion, but the pig being brought too soon upon the table, he could not resist the temptation, but ate the whole before his company came.

11. During this time, Franklin had contracted an affection for Miss Read, and believed that she was not altogether indifferent in her feelings towards him. As he was about to take a long voyage, however, and as they were both very young, her mother thought it most prudent to defer the matter till his return from England.

12. His chief acquaintance, at this period, were Charles Osborne, Joseph Watson, and James Ralph, all lovers of reading. In one of their meetings, it was proposed that at a certain time each of them should produce a piece of his own composition, in order to improve, by mutual observations and corrections. They agreed that this task should be to turn the eighteenth psalm into verse.

13. When the time of the meeting drew nigh, Ralph called upon Franklin, and told him that his piece was ready. "Now," said he, "Osborne never will allow the least merit in any thing of mine, but makes a thousand criticisms, out of mere envy. I wish, therefore, you would take this piece and produce it as yours; we shall then hear what he will say to it."

14. It was agreed. At the meeting, Watson's performance was read first; there were some beauties in it and many defects. Osborne's piece was then read, and was much better. Ralph had nothing to produce. It was now Franklin's turn. He was backward, wished to be excused, but no excuse would be received. The piece he brought with him was read, and repeated. Osborne was delighted with it, and praised it in the highest terms.

15. As he was returning home with Ralph, he expressed himself still more strongly. "Who would have imagined," said he, "that Franklin was capable of such a performance! such painting, such force, such fire! He has even improved on the original. In common conversation he seems to have no choice of words; he hesitates and blunders; and yet how he writes!" When they next met, the trick was discovered, and Osborne was laughed at for praising Ralph, by mistake.

16. The governor sent for Franklin frequently to his house, and always spoke of setting him up in business, as a settled thing. He was to be furnished with letters to the governor's friends in England, and with an order for the money to purchase a press, types, and paper. For these letters he was to call at a certain time, when they would be ready. They were delayed, however, again and again, till the ship was on the point of sailing.

17. When Franklin went to take leave, and receive the letters, the secretary came out and said, that the governor was very busy on business of importance, but that he would send the letters on board, wishing him a good voyage and a speedy return.

18. Understanding that despatches had been brought on board, from the governor, Franklin asked the captain for the letters that were to be under his care. The captain told him that they had all been put into the bag together, and he could not then come at them; but that before they landed in England, he should have an opportunity of picking them out. This satisfied him for the present, and he thought nothing more of it during the voyage.

19. When they arrived in the Channel, the captain kept his word, and permitted him to examine the bag, for the governor's letters. He found some upon which his name was put, and picked out six or seven, which he thought might be the promised letters. One of these was addressed to Basket, the king's printer, and another to some stationer.

20. They reached London on the twenty-fourth of December, 1724. Franklin waited upon the stationer, who came first in his way, and delivered the letter as from Governor Keith. "I don't know such a person," said he; but opening the letter—"O! this is from Riddlesden; I have lately found him to be a complete rascal, and I will have nothing to do with him, nor receive any letters from him." Returning the letter, he turned upon his heel and went to wait upon some customer.

21. It turned out that the governor had sent no letters by Franklin, but had completely deceived him. With no intention of giving him any assistance, he had blinded him with brilliant promises and false hopes. But Franklin was able to assist himself. He determined to procure employment among the printers in London, and acquire a thorough knowledge of his profession before he returned to America.

1. What happened to his friend Collins?

2. What attention did Franklin receive from the governor of New York?

4. What was Sir William Keith's conduct?

5. What was the proposed visit to England?

7. What started the scheme of a new sect?

8. Why did it fail?

10. Relate the anecdote of Keimer and the roast pig.

12. Who were his chief acquaintance at this period? What was the task proposed among them?

14. What was the trick played upon Osborne?

17. What was the conduct of the governor?

18. Did Franklin receive the letters promised by the governor?

20. What was the fate of Franklin's first letter of introduction?

21. What course did Franklin determine to pursue?

Franklin delivering his letter to the Stationer in London.

Franklin delivering his letter to the Stationer in London.



Troubled by his Friend Ralph. Obtains Employment. Ralph turns Schoolmaster, and begins an Epic Poem. Franklin teaches some of his Friends to swim. Anecdote of Mr. Denham. Return to Philadelphia. Story of George Webb. Franklin quarrels with Keimer. Returns to work for him. Employed at Burlington. Leaves Keimer.

1. His friend Ralph had accompanied Franklin to London, and they were now inseparable companions. They took lodgings together, at three shillings and sixpence a week. Ralph appears to have been a conceited and helpless character, and made several attempts to get in the way of procuring a livelihood. But all his plans were unsuccessful.

2. Franklin immediately procured employment at an extensive printing house, where he remained nearly a year. He was diligent in work, but his shiftless companion consumed a good share of his earnings. His engagements with Miss Read he was thoughtless and heartless enough to forget, and never wrote to her but once during his absence. This conduct he afterwards considered among the greatest faults of his life.

3. Ralph finally determined to leave London, and take a school in the country. As he was very vain, and confident of rising to literary eminence, he was rather ashamed of what he was silly enough to consider a mean occupation. He accordingly changed his name, and took that of his companion; desiring him to address his letters to "Mr. Franklin, school-master."

4. Ralph continued to write, and, from time to time, troubled his friend with long extracts from an epic poem, which he was then composing, requesting his remarks and corrections. Franklin endeavored to discourage him from this undertaking, but in vain. Sheet after sheet continued to come by every post. Some difficulties at length broke out between the two friends, and Franklin was fortunately relieved of a burdensome dependent.

5. He now began to think of laying up a little money; and, in expectation of better employment, entered a still larger printing house, near Lincoln's Inn Fields. His new employer was named Watts. At this place he became acquainted with a man by the name of Wygate, who had been well educated, read French and Latin, and loved reading.

6. This man and a friend of his were desirous of learning to swim. Franklin had been an expert swimmer from his childhood, and was very fond of displaying his feats of activity in the water. He taught them to swim, after twice going into the river, and they soon became quite skilful. Wygate soon became attached to Franklin, and, at length, proposed that they should travel all over Europe together, supporting themselves on the way by working at their trade. Franklin was inclined to this plan, but was dissuaded from it by his friend, Mr. Denham, who advised him to think of returning to Philadelphia.

7. Mr. Denham was an excellent man, and very kindly disposed towards Franklin. He had formerly been in business in Bristol, a city of England, but failing, and making a settlement with his creditors, he went to America. He had obtained a discharge from all his debts, by giving up all his property. By great industry and economy, he was able to acquire a large fortune, in a few years.

8. He had returned to England, in the same ship with Franklin, and immediately visited his old place of business. While here, he invited all his old creditors to an entertainment. He then thanked them for the easy settlement they had favored him with; and, when they expected nothing but the dinner, every man found, under his plate, an order on the banker, for the full amount of the unpaid remainder, with interest.

9. Mr. Denham was now about to return to Philadelphia, and proposed to take Franklin over as his clerk. He promised him, as soon as he became acquainted with mercantile business, to promote him, and finally establish him in some profitable situation. The plan pleased Franklin, for he had become heartily tired of London, and was anxious to return home. A satisfactory arrangement was made, and Franklin took leave of printing, as he thought, forever.

10. He had thus spent about eighteen months in London, and, during this time, had increased his knowledge, though he had not improved his fortune. They sailed from Gravesend, near the mouth of the river Thames, on the 23d of July, and arrived in Philadelphia early in October. Franklin here found several alterations. Keith was no longer governor, and his place had been supplied by Major Gordon. Miss Read, despairing of his return, had been persuaded by her friends to marry a man by the name of Rogers, a worthless fellow, who left her, and ran away to the West Indies.

11. Mr. Denham took a store, and Franklin attended diligently to the business. Affairs were going on prosperously, when they were both taken violently ill, in the beginning of the year 1727. Mr. Denham died, after a long sickness, and Franklin was again thrown upon the world. He tried for some time to obtain a situation as a merchant's clerk, but, failing in this attempt, he again made an engagement with his old master, Keimer.

12. Keimer was anxious to obtain Franklin's services, as most of his hands were ignorant and needed his instruction. Among these workmen was George Webb, who had been an Oxford scholar, and whose story was an uncommon instance of opportunities neglected and thrown away.

13. He was about eighteen years of age. His birthplace was Gloucester, in England, where he was educated at a grammar school, and had been distinguished when they exhibited plays. From here, he was sent to Oxford, where he continued about a year, but not contentedly; wishing, of all things, to see London, and become a player.

14. At length, receiving his quarterly allowance of fifteen guineas, instead of discharging his debts, he went out of town, hid his gown in a bush, and walked to London. When here, having no friend to advise him, he fell into bad company, soon spent his guineas, found no means of being introduced among the players, grew poor, pawned his clothes, and wanted bread.

15. Walking about the streets, very hungry, and not knowing what to do, a bill was put into his hands, offering immediate entertainment and encouragement to such as would bind themselves to serve in America. He went directly to sign the indentures, was put into the ship, and sailed without writing a line to his friends, to tell them what had become of him. As a companion, he was lively, witty, and good-natured; but idle, thoughtless, and imprudent to the last degree.

16. After continuing a while with Keimer, Franklin found that his services became every day of less importance. At length a trifle snapped their connection. A great noise happening near the printing office, Franklin put his head out of the window to see what was the matter. Keimer, being in the street, looked up, and called out to him, in a loud and angry tone, to mind his business. A number of neighbors, who were standing by, saw the insolent manner in which he was treated, and it vexed him exceedingly. An open quarrel ensued, and Franklin left the printing house.

17. Keimer was very desirous of persuading him to return; and, as it was for the interest of both that harmony should be restored, the quarrel was soon forgotten. A job was now obtained in New Jersey, to print some paper money. Franklin contrived a copperplate press for the purpose, the first that had been seen in the country; he also cut several ornaments and checks for the bills.

18. To execute this job, Franklin and his employer went to Burlington. They performed it to the satisfaction of the government, and received a large compensation. During his short residence here, Franklin made many acquaintance and friends. One of them was Isaac Decon, the surveyor-general, a shrewd, sagacious old man, who began, when young, by wheeling clay for the brick-makers. He learned to write after he was twenty-one years of age, afterwards learned surveying, and had now acquired, by his industry, a considerable property.

19. What had chiefly induced Franklin to return to Keimer, after his quarrel, was the persuasion of a fellow-workman, by the name of Meredith. The father of this young man had promised to advance money to establish him in business, in the ensuing spring, and he was desirous to set Franklin's skill against his own capital, and form a copartnership. The proposal was a fair one, and acceptable upon both sides.

20. A short time after their return from Burlington, the types that Meredith had ordered arrived from London. They settled with Keimer, and left him, by his consent, before he knew any thing about their project.

2. Where did Franklin procure employment?

3. What was the course of his friend Ralph?

5. What new friend did Franklin make?

6. What proposition did he make to Franklin? Why was not the plan carried into execution?

7. Who was Mr. Denham?

8. Describe his honorable conduct towards his old creditors.

9. What proposal did he make to Franklin?

10. How long was Franklin in London? What changes had taken place during his absence?

11. How was Franklin again thrown upon the world? What employment did he obtain?

12. Who was George Webb?

13, 14, 15. What was his story?

16. How did Franklin quarrel with Keimer?

17. Who contrived the first copperplate press ever seen in this country?

18. For what purpose did Franklin visit Burlington?

19. What induced Franklin to return to Keimer, after the separation? What was the proposal of Meredith?

20. When did they leave Keimer?



The Junto. A new Paper started by Keimer. Franklin purchases it. Difficulties in their Business. A Dissolution of the Partnership. Franklin assisted by his Friends. David Harry. Match-making. Marriage with Miss Read.

1. In the autumn of the preceding year, Franklin had formed, among his acquaintance, a small club for mutual improvement, which they termed the Junto. They met on Friday evenings. The rules required that each member, in his turn, should produce one or more questions on any point of politics, morals or natural philosophy, to be discussed by the company, and once in three months produce and read an essay of his own writing on any subject he pleased.

2. This club answered many good purposes for a great length of time. It introduced better habits of conversation, and drew attention to the most interesting subjects of general inquiry. The members of the club now assisted in bringing business to the young printers. Their industry was unwearied, and soon began to be noticed by their neighbors. This gave them character and credit.

3. George Webb now came to offer them his services, as a journeyman. They were not then able to give him employment, but Franklin let him know, as a secret, that he soon intended to begin a newspaper, and would then probably have work for him. He told him his plan and expectations. His hopes of success were founded on this; that the only newspaper at that time printed there, by Bradford, was a miserable affair, badly managed, not entertaining, and yet profitable.

4. Franklin requested Webb not to mention the project; but he told it to Keimer, who immediately issued proposals for publishing one himself. This vexed Franklin, and, as he was at that time unable to commence his paper, he wrote several amusing pieces for Bradford, under the title of the Busy Body, which were continued by one of his friends for several months. By this means the attention of the public was fixed on that paper, and Keimer's proposals were neglected. He began his paper, however, and carried it on about nine months, with only ninety subscribers. At this time, he offered it, at a very low price, to Franklin, who purchased it, and in a few years made it very profitable.

5. The partnership still continued, though the whole management of the business was confided to Franklin. Meredith knew very little about setting types, or working at the press, and was seldom sober. The connection between them was to be regretted, on many accounts, but Meredith had established the business, and it was now necessary to make the best of it.

6. Their first papers made a better appearance than any that had been before printed in the province. The number of subscribers continually increased, and the leading men found it convenient to oblige and encourage the printers. Bradford still printed the votes, and laws, and public documents; but this business soon fell into the hands of Franklin.

7. A difficulty now occurred, which had been little expected. Mr. Meredith's father, who was to have paid for the printing house, was able to advance only one hundred pounds; and one hundred more were due to the merchant, who became impatient, and sued them all. They gave bail, but unless the money could have been raised in season, they must have sold their press and types, for payment.

8. In this distress, two friends came forward to Franklin, and offered to advance the money, if he would discontinue the partnership with Meredith. Each made the proposition separately, and without the knowledge of the other. These friends were William Coleman and Robert Grace. Franklin told them that he considered himself under obligations to the Merediths, and if they should be able to fulfil their part of the agreement, he could not think of proposing a separation. If they should finally fail in their performance, and the partnership should be dissolved, he would then think himself at liberty to accept the assistance of his friends.

9. Meredith finally proposed a dissolution of the partnership. Franklin consented, and the whole business was left in his hands. He then recurred to his friends, and took half of what he wanted from one, and half from the other. The separation was then publicly advertised, the old debts were paid off, and the business went on in the name of Franklin. This was in or about the year 1729.

10. He now obtained several jobs from the government, and was employed in printing the paper money. A stationer's shop was soon added to his establishment, and he began to pay off gradually the debt he was under for the printing house. In order to secure his character and credit as a trades-man, he was not only industrious and frugal in reality, but avoided any appearance to the contrary. He dressed plainly, and was seen at no places of amusement. To show that he was not above his business, he himself sometimes brought home, on a wheel-barrow, the paper he purchased at the stores.

11. Being thus considered an industrious and thriving young man, the merchants who imported stationery were desirous of his custom. Others proposed supplying him with books, and he went on prosperously. In the mean time, Keimer's business and credit declined daily, and he was at last obliged to sell his printing house, to satisfy his creditors. He went to Barbadoes, and there lived, some years, in great poverty.

Franklin taking home his paper.

Franklin taking home his paper.

12. An apprentice of Keimer's, David Harry, bought his materials, and set up, in his place, in Philadelphia. His friends were rich, and possessed considerable influence, and Franklin was afraid that he would find Harry a powerful rival. He, therefore, proposed a partnership, which was fortunately rejected. Harry was proud, dressed and lived expensively, neglected his business, and ran in debt. Losing credit, and finding nothing to do, he followed Keimer to Barbadoes, taking his printing materials with him. Here he employed his old master as a journeyman, and was at last obliged to sell his types and return to work in Philadelphia.

13. There now remained no other printer in the place but Bradford. He, however, was rich and easy, and was not anxious about doing much business. His situation as post-master, at that time, was supposed to give him some advantages in obtaining news, and distributing the papers; and he was, on that account, able to procure a great many more advertisements than Franklin. This was of great service to Bradford, and prevented his rival from gaining upon him so rapidly as he otherwise would have done.

14. Franklin had hitherto boarded with Mr. Godfrey, a glazier, who was very much distinguished for his knowledge of mathematics. The wife of Mr. Godfrey was desirous of making a match for the young printer, and fixed upon the daughter of a neighbor, as a suitable person. She contrived, in several ways, to bring them together, and at length Franklin made proposals of marriage.

15. Franklin appears to have been equally prudent and cautious in this affair, as in every thing else. He gave Mrs. Godfrey to understand, and carry to the parents, that he expected one hundred pounds with their daughter. She brought him word that they had no such sum to spare. Franklin sent back, in reply, that they might mortgage their house.

16. The answer to this, after a few days, was, that they did not approve the match; that, on inquiry of Mr. Bradford, they had been informed the printing business was not a profitable one; that Keimer and Harry had failed, and that he would probably soon follow them. The daughter was, accordingly, shut up, and Franklin was forbidden the house.

17. He suspected that this was merely a trick of the parents, to induce him to run away with the young lady, and leave them at liberty to make what terms they pleased. He immediately broke off the connection. The Godfreys were angry, quarrelled with him, and he left the house.

18. He had always continued on friendly terms with the family of the young lady to whom he had been engaged before his visit to London. Her unfortunate marriage made her very dejected and miserable. Franklin saw her, and could not help attributing her unhappiness, in a great measure, to his own misconduct.

19. Their mutual affection was revived, but there were now great objections to the union. Her former husband had not been heard of, and was supposed to be dead. All difficulties were finally surmounted, and he married Miss Read on the first of September, 1730.

1. What was the Junto? What did the rules of this club require?

2. What good purposes did it answer?

3. What project did Franklin communicate to George Webb?

4. What was the consequence of this communication? What course did Franklin pursue?

6. How did the paper succeed under Franklin's management?

7. What difficulty arose at this time?

8. Who offered Franklin their assistance?

9. What did Meredith propose? How was Franklin relieved?

10. Describe the increase of his business, and his character and conduct as a tradesman.

11. What became of Keimer?

12. Who was David Harry? What became of him?

13. Who was now the only rival of Franklin?

14. Describe Mrs. Godfrey's desire of match-making.

15. Did Franklin show his usual prudence?

16. What was the result?

19. Whom did Franklin marry? When?



Library of the Junto. A public Library established. Franklin studies. His Frugality. Anecdote of the Bowl and Spoon. His Scheme of arriving at Moral Perfection. Table of Precepts. Franklin's Remarks upon it. Poor Richard's Almanac.

1. At the time Franklin first established himself in Pennsylvania, there was not a good bookseller's shop any where to the south of Boston. In New York and Philadelphia, the printers were stationers, but they kept only paper, almanacs, ballads, and a few common school books. Those who loved reading were obliged to send for their books from England.

2. The members of the Junto had, each of them, a few volumes. They had hired a room, in which to hold their meetings, and Franklin proposed that they should all bring their books to that room. In this manner they would not only be ready for them to consult and refer to, but would become a common benefit, by allowing each one to borrow such as he wished to read at home.

3. This was accordingly done, and for a while answered their purpose very well. Finding the advantage and convenience of this little collection, Franklin proposed to render the benefit more general, by commencing a public subscription library. He drew a sketch of the plan and rules that would be necessary, and had them put into the form of articles to be subscribed. By these articles, each subscriber agreed to pay a certain sum for the first purchase of the books, and a yearly contribution for increasing them.

4. The number of readers, at that time, in Philadelphia, was so small, that it was with great difficulty Franklin was able to procure fifty subscribers, willing to pay forty shillings to begin with, and ten shillings a year for a contribution. With this number the library was commenced. The books were imported, and lent out to subscribers. Great advantages were derived from the institution, and it was soon imitated in other places.

5. In this library, Franklin found means of continual improvement. He set apart an hour or two in each day for study, and in this way, in some degree, made up for the loss of a learned education. Reading was his only amusement. His attention to business was as strict as it was necessary. He was in debt for his printing house, and had an increasing family; with two rivals in his business, who had been established before him. Notwithstanding all this, however, he grew more easy in his circumstances every day.

6. His early habits of frugality continued. He often thought of the proverb of Solomon, which his father had impressed on him while a boy—"Seest thou a man diligent in his calling? he shall stand before kings, he shall not stand before mean men." Industry appeared a means of obtaining wealth and distinction, and the thought encouraged him to new exertions. We shall see, by and by, that little as his father expected it, the son really came to stand, with honor, in the presence of monarchs.

7. His wife was, fortunately, as well inclined to industry and frugality as he was himself. She assisted him in his business, folding and stitching pamphlets, tending shop, and purchasing old linen rags for the paper-makers. They kept no idle servants, their table was simply furnished, and their furniture was plain and cheap.

8. "My breakfast," says Franklin, "was for a long time bread and milk (no tea), and I ate it out of a twopenny earthen porringer, with a pewter spoon: but mark how luxury will enter families, and make a progress in spite of principle; being called one morning to breakfast, I found it in a china bowl, with a spoon of silver. They had been bought for me, without my knowledge, by my wife, and had cost her the enormous sum of three and twenty shillings; for which she had no other excuse or apology to make, but that she thought her husband deserved a silver spoon and china bowl as well as any of his neighbors. This was the first appearance of plate and china in our house, which afterwards, in a course of years, as our wealth increased, augmented gradually to several hundred pounds in value."

9. It was about this time that Franklin formed the bold and difficult project of arriving at moral perfection. As he knew, or thought he knew, what was right and wrong, he did not see why he might not always do the one and avoid the other. For this purpose, he made a table of the different virtues, with certain rules and precepts annexed to them. Some of these were as follows:

1. Temperance.—Eat not to dulness: drink not to elevation.

2. Silence.—Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself: avoid trifling conversation.

3. Order.—Let all your things have their places: let each part of your business have its time.

4. Resolution.—Resolve to perform what you ought: perform, without fail, what you resolve.

5. Frugality.—Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; that is, waste nothing.

6. Industry.—Lose no time: be always employed in something useful: cut off all unnecessary actions.

7. Sincerity.—Use no hurtful deceit: think innocently and justly: and if you speak, speak accordingly.

8. Justice.—Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.

9. Moderation.—Avoid extremes: forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.

10. Cleanliness.—Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation.

11. Tranquility.—Be not disturbed at trifles, nor at accidents common or unavoidable.

10. To acquire a habit of practising these virtues, he determined to give a week's strict attention to each of them in succession. Thus, in the first week, he took care to avoid even the slightest offence against temperance, and strictly marked every fault in a little book he kept for that purpose. This book he continued to keep for a great number of years; till, in the pressure of public business, he was obliged to give it up entirely.

11. "It is well," he wrote in his old age, "my posterity should be informed that to this little artifice their ancestor owed the constant felicity of his life, down to his seventy-ninth year, in which this is written. What reverses may attend the remainder is in the hand of Providence: but if they arrive, the reflection on past happiness enjoyed ought to help his bearing them with more resignation."

12. "To Temperance he ascribes his long continued health, and what is still left to him of a good constitution. To Industry and Frugality, the early easiness of his circumstances, and acquisition of his fortune, with all that knowledge that enabled him to be an useful citizen, and obtained for him some degree of reputation among the learned. To Sincerity and Justice, the confidence of his country, and the honorable employs it conferred upon him: and to the joint influence of the whole mass of the virtues, even in the imperfect state he was able to acquire them, all that evenness of temper and that cheerfulness in conversation, which makes his company still sought for, and agreeable even to his young acquaintance: I hope, therefore, that some of my descendants may follow the example, and reap the benefit."

13. In 1732, Franklin first published his almanac, under the name of Richard Saunders. It was continued by him about twenty-five years, and was commonly called Poor Richard's Almanac. He endeavored to make it both entertaining and useful, and it accordingly came to be in great demand. As it was generally read, and as the poor people bought hardly any other books, Franklin thought it would be a good means to circulate instruction among them. He, therefore, filled all the odd spaces with proverbs and wise sayings.

14. These proverbs contained the experience and wisdom of many nations and ages. In 1757, Franklin collected them into a discourse prefixed to the almanac for that year. In this discourse, he represented an old man talking to a number of people who were attending a sale at auction. The hour for the sale not having come, the company were conversing on the badness of the times.

15. One of them called out to a plain, clean old man, with white locks, "Pray, father Abraham, what think ye of the times? Won't these heavy taxes quite ruin the country? How shall we be ever able to pay them? What would you advise us to do?" Father Abraham stood up, and replied, "If you'd have my advice, I'll give it to you in short; 'for a word to the wise is enough; and many words won't fill a bushel,' as Poor Richard says."

16. The old man then went on to advise them to be industrious and economical; and, in the course of his advice, repeated all of the wise sayings of Poor Richard. In this manner they were all collected into a single paper, called The Way to Wealth. This piece was very much approved, copied into all the American newspapers, reprinted in Great Britain, and translated into the French language. Large numbers of it were, in this manner, distributed, and undoubtedly did a good deal of service.

2. What plan did Franklin propose for the formation of a library?

3. How did it succeed? How did Franklin propose to extend its advantages?

4. How many subscribers were obtained?

5. Did Franklin still pursue his studies, and how? Did his early habits continue? What was the proverb so often repeated by his father?

7. What was the conduct of his wife?

8. Describe Franklin's breakfast, and give his humorous account of the first appearance of luxury in his house.

9. What was Franklin's favorite project at this time? Repeat the table of virtues, and the precepts annexed to them.

10. How did he attempt to acquire a habit of these virtues?

12. To what does Franklin ascribe his long continued health? the ease of his circumstances? the confidence and honor he received from his country?

13. When did he first publish his almanac? How long was it continued? How did he endeavor to make it useful?

14. What was prefixed to the almanac for 1757?

16. How was The Way to Wealth approved?



Management of his Newspaper. Study of the Languages. Chess-playing. The Preacher Hemphill. Stealing Sermons. Visit to Boston. Visits his Brother James at Newport. Usefulness of the Junto. Formation of new Clubs. Franklin chosen Clerk of the General Assembly. Anecdote.

1. Besides his almanac, Franklin considered his newspaper as a very valuable means of circulating instruction and good advice among the people. For this purpose he frequently reprinted in it extracts from the Spectator, a work written a good many years ago, by several distinguished English authors. It is a collection of pieces on moral and popular subjects, in a very pleasant style, and first published in single numbers of a few pages each.

2. In conducting his paper, Franklin was very careful to avoid all abuse of particular persons. Whenever he was requested to publish any thing of the kind, his answer was, that he would print the piece by itself, and give the author as many copies for his own use as he desired. He very wisely considered that his subscribers expected him to furnish them with useful and entertaining pieces, and not with abuse and violent discussions about things with which they had nothing to do.

3. In 1733, Franklin sent one of his apprentices to Charleston, South Carolina, where a printer was wanted. He furnished him with a press and types, and was to receive one third of the profits of the business. After the death of this man, who was very irregular in settling his affairs with Franklin, the business was continued by his widow. This woman had been born and educated in Holland, where females were taught a knowledge of accounts. She managed the establishment with a great deal of prudence and success, and was in time able to purchase the printing office, and establish her son in it.

4. In 1733, Franklin began the study of foreign languages. He soon obtained such a knowledge of the French, as to read books in that language with perfect ease. After this he undertook the Italian. An acquaintance, who was also learning it, often tempted him to play chess. Finding this took up too much time, Franklin refused to play any more, except upon one condition. This was, that whichever of them should beat, should have a right to impose a task upon the other; either of part of the grammar to be got by heart, or in translations.

5. These tasks they were bound in honor to perform before the next meeting. The two friends played with about equal skill and success, and in this way soon beat each other into a pretty good knowledge of the Italian. Franklin next undertook Spanish, and learned enough to read books in that language with considerable ease.

6. About the year 1734, a young preacher arrived in Philadelphia, by the name of Hemphill. He had a good voice, and delivered very excellent sermons. Large numbers were attracted by his eloquence, of different doctrines and belief. Among the rest, Franklin became a very constant hearer. He was pleased with his sermons, because they impressed the love and the practice of virtue and goodness, without quarrelling about hard questions of doctrinal religion.

7. Some of the congregation, however, disapproved of his preaching, and united with the old ministers to attempt to put him down. Franklin took sides with him very warmly, and did all he could to raise a party in his favor. He wrote two or three pamphlets in his defence.

8. During this contest the unlucky preacher hurt his own cause by a very unpardonable meanness. One of his enemies heard him preach a very eloquent sermon, and thought he had somewhere heard or read parts of it before. On looking into the matter, he found the preacher had stolen several passages from a discourse delivered by a celebrated English divine. This discovery induced many of his friends to desert him, and he was obliged to go in search of a congregation less inquisitive.

9. After ten years' absence from Boston, Franklin determined to make a journey there to visit his relations. He was now doing very good business, and was in quite easy circumstances. He had seen a good many changes in his fortunes, since he first ran away from his native place; and his industry and good sense were to bring about still greater changes.

10. In returning to Philadelphia, he stopped at Newport, to see his brother James, who was, at that time, settled there with his printing office. Their former differences were at once forgotten, and the meeting was very cordial and affectionate. James was at that time in very ill health, and in expectation of a speedy death. He, accordingly, requested Benjamin, when that event should happen, to take home his son, then but ten years of age, and bring him up to the printing business.

11. This he accordingly performed, sending him a few years to school before he took him into the office. When James died, his widow carried on the business till her son was grown up. At that time, Benjamin assisted them with an assortment of new types, and they were, in this manner, enabled to continue the establishment.

Reconciliation of Franklin with his Brother.

Reconciliation of Franklin with his Brother.

12. The club which Franklin had founded proved to be so useful, and afforded so much satisfaction to the members, that they proposed to introduce their friends, and increase their number. They had, from the beginning, determined to keep the Junto a secret, and the secret was kept better than such things usually are. Franklin was of opinion that twelve members formed a club sufficiently large, and that it would be inconvenient to increase it.

13. Instead of adding to their number, he proposed that every member, separately, should endeavor to form another club, with the same rules and on the same plan, without informing them of the existence of the Junto. The project was approved, and every member undertook to form his club; but they did not all succeed. Five or six only were completed, which were called by different names, as the Vine, the Union, the Band. These clubs were useful, and afforded their members a good deal of amusement and information.

14. In 1736, Franklin was chosen clerk of the General Assembly. The choice was made that year without any opposition, but, on the next, a new member of that body made a long speech against him. This, however, did not prevent his second election. The place was one of some credit, and, by giving Franklin an opportunity to make friends among the members, enabled him to secure the business of printing the public laws, votes, and paper money.

15. The new member, who had opposed Franklin, was a man of education and talents, and it was desirable to gain his good opinion. Franklin was too proud to pay any servile respect to him, but was too prudent not to wish for his favor. After some time, with his usual shrewdness and knowledge of human nature, he hit upon the following expedient.

16. Having heard that this gentleman had in his library a very scarce and curious book, he wrote a note, requesting that he would do him the favor of lending it for a few days. The book was immediately sent, and in about a week was returned by the borrower, with a short note, expressive of his sincere thanks for the favor.

17. The next time they met in the house, the gentleman spoke to Franklin with a great deal of civility. He ever after manifested a readiness to serve him, and they became great friends. "This is another instance," observes Franklin, "of the truth of an old maxim I had learned, which says—'He that has 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."

18. In 1737, Colonel Spotswood, at that time postmaster-general, being dissatisfied with his deputy at Philadelphia, took away his commission, and offered it to Franklin. He accepted it with readiness, and found it of great advantage. Though the salary was small, the office gave him the means of increasing the subscribers to his paper, and in this way increased his advertisements. His paper now began to afford him a very considerable income.

1. How did he make his newspaper serviceable in circulating instruction?

2. What was he very careful to avoid?

3. Describe the conduct of the woman whose husband Franklin had established in business.

4. When did Franklin begin the study of foreign languages? What languages did he study? Relate the anecdote about chess-playing.

6. Who was Hemphill?

7. What did Franklin write in his behalf?

8. How did the preacher ruin his own cause?

9. How long had Franklin been absent from Boston when he determined to revisit it?

10. How was the interview between the brothers at Newport? What request did James make respecting his son?

11. How did Franklin comply with this request?

12. How did the Junto flourish?

13. What new clubs were formed? How?

14. To what office was Franklin elected in 1736?

16. How did Franklin conciliate a member who was opposed to him?

17. What is the old maxim quoted by Franklin?

18. To what office was Franklin appointed in 1737?



Reform of the City Watch. Fire Companies. Rev. Mr. Whitefield. Effects of his Preaching. His Project of building an Orphan House in Georgia. Anecdotes. Franklin's Opinion of him. Franklin's Prosperity. Military Defence of the Province. Formation of Companies.

1. Franklin now began to turn his attention to public affairs. One of his first efforts in this way was to reform the city watch. This was managed in the different wards by the constables, who assembled a certain number of housekeepers to attend them for the night. Those who did not choose to attend paid six shillings a year to be excused. This made the constableship an office of profit: for, instead of spending the money thus received in hiring other watchmen, it was spent in liquors, by which the constables were able to get a parcel of ragamuffins about them, instead of decent and orderly men.

2. These fellows seldom went the rounds of the watch, but spent most of the night in tippling. In the course of a few years, by the exertions of Franklin and his friends, an entire alteration was produced in the laws upon this subject. About the same time that he began to converse at the Junto on the abuses of the watch, he wrote a paper on the different accidents by which houses were set on fire, and means proposed of avoiding them.

3. This gave rise to a project, which soon followed, of forming a company to assist, with readiness, at fires. Thirty persons were immediately found, willing to join in the scheme. Their articles of agreement obliged every member to keep, always in order and fit for use, a certain number of leathern buckets, with strong bags and baskets for packing and carrying goods, which were to be brought at every fire. They also held a monthly meeting, to converse upon the subject of fires, and communicate such ideas as might be useful in their conduct on such occasions.

4. This company proved so useful, that another was soon formed; and thus went on, one new company after another, till they included most of the inhabitants who were men of property. The club first formed was called the Union Fire Company, and, we believe, still exists. These institutions have been exceedingly useful in extinguishing fires and preserving property.

5. In 1739, the Reverend Mr. Whitefield arrived in Philadelphia, from Ireland. This man had made himself very remarkable as a preacher, going about the country and discoursing, sometimes in churches, sometimes in the fields, to crowds of people, with great effect. He was, at first, permitted to preach in some of the churches in Philadelphia, but the clergy soon took a dislike to him, and refused him their pulpits. This obliged him again to discourse in the streets and open fields.

6. Large multitudes collected to hear his sermons. "It was wonderful," says Franklin, "to see the change soon made in the manners of our inhabitants. From being thoughtless or indifferent about religion, it seemed as if all the world were growing religious, so that one could not walk through the town in an evening, without hearing psalms sung in different families of every street. And it being found inconvenient to assemble in the open air, subject to its inclemencies, the building of a house to meet in was no sooner proposed, and persons appointed to receive contributions, but sufficient sums were soon received to procure the ground and erect the building, which was one hundred feet long and seventy broad; and the work was carried on with such spirit, as to be finished in a much shorter time than could be expected."

7. On leaving Philadelphia, Mr. Whitefield went preaching all the way through the colonies to Georgia. The settlement of that province had then been recently commenced, and was made with people entirely unfit for such a service. They were unable to endure hardships, and perished in great numbers, leaving many helpless children, with nothing to feed or shelter them.

8. "The sight of their miserable situation," says Franklin, "inspired the benevolent heart of Mr. Whitefield with the idea of building an orphan house there, in which they might be supported and educated. Returning northward, he preached up this charity, and made large collections; for his eloquence had a wonderful power over the hearts and purses of his hearers, of which I myself was an instance.

9. "I did not disapprove of the design, but as Georgia was then destitute of materials and workmen, and it was proposed to send them from Philadelphia, at a great expense, I thought it would have been better to have built the house at Philadelphia, and brought the children to it. This I advised, but he was resolute in his first project, rejected my counsel, and I, therefore, refused to contribute.

10. "I happened, soon after, to attend one of his sermons, in the course of which, I perceived he intended to finish with a collection, and I silently resolved he should get nothing from me. I had in my pocket a handful of copper money, three or four silver dollars, and five pistoles in gold; as he proceeded, I began to soften, and concluded to give the copper. Another stroke of his oratory made me ashamed of that, and determined me to give the silver; and he finished so admirably, that I emptied my pocket wholly into the collector's dish, gold and all!

11. "At this sermon there was also one of our club, who, being of my sentiments respecting the building in Georgia, and suspecting a collection might be intended, had, by precaution, emptied his pockets before he came from home; towards the conclusion of the discourse, however, he felt a strong inclination to give, and applied to a neighbor who stood near him, to lend him some money for the purpose. The request was fortunately made to perhaps the only man in the company who had the firmness not to be affected by the preacher. His answer was, 'At any other time, friend Hopkinson, I would lend to thee freely; but not now, for thee seems to me to be out of thy right senses.'

12. "Some of Mr. Whitefield's enemies affected to suppose that he would apply these collections to his own private emolument; but I, who was intimately acquainted with him (being employed in printing his sermons, journals, &c.), never had the least suspicion of his integrity, but am to this day decidedly of opinion, that he was, in all his conduct, a perfectly honest man; and methinks my testimony in his favor ought to have the more weight, as we had no religious connection. Ours was a mere civil friendship, sincere on both sides, and lasted to his death.

13. "The last time I saw Mr. Whitefield was in London, when he consulted me about his orphan house concern, and his purpose of appropriating it to the establishment of a college.

14. "He had a loud and clear voice, and articulated his words so perfectly that he might be heard and understood at a great distance; especially as his auditories observed the most perfect silence. He preached one evening from the top of the court house steps, which are in the middle of Market street, and on the west side of Second street, which crosses it at right angles. Both streets were filled with hearers to a considerable distance; being among the hindmost in Market street, I had the curiosity to learn how far he could be heard, by retiring backwards down the street towards the river, and I found his voice distinct till I came near Front street, when some noise in that street obscured it. I computed that he might well be heard by more than thirty thousand. This reconciled me to the newspaper accounts of his having preached to 25,000 people in the fields, and to the history of generals haranguing whole armies, of which I had sometimes doubted."

15. Franklin's business was now constantly increasing, and his newspaper had become very profitable. He began to feel the truth of the old proverb, "that after getting the first hundred pounds, it is more easy to get the second." Those of his workmen who behaved well, he established in printing houses in different colonies, on easy terms. Most of them did well, and were able to repay him what he had advanced, and go on working for themselves.

16. At this period, there were no preparations for military defence in Pennsylvania. The inhabitants were mostly Quakers, and had neglected to take any suitable measures against the enemies to whom they might be exposed. There was also no college in the state, nor any proper provision for the complete education of youth. Franklin accordingly turned his attention to these very important subjects.

17. Spain had been several years at war with Great Britain, and had now been recently joined by France. From the French possessions in Canada, Pennsylvania was exposed to continual danger. The governor of the province had been some time trying to prevail upon the Quaker assembly to pass a militia law, and take other necessary steps for their security. He tried, however, in vain.

18. Franklin thought something might be done by a subscription among the people. To promote this plan, he wrote and published a pamphlet called Plain Truth. In this he stated their exposed and helpless situation, and represented the necessity of union for their defence. The pamphlet had a sudden and surprising effect. A meeting of the citizens was appointed, and attended by a considerable number. Proposals of the intended union had been printed, and distributed about the room, to be signed by those who approved them. When the company separated, the papers were collected and found to contain above twelve hundred signatures.

19. Other copies were scattered about the country, and the subscribers at length amounted to upwards of ten thousand. All these furnished themselves, as soon as they could, with arms, formed themselves into companies and regiments, chose their own officers, and met every week to be instructed in military exercises. The women made subscriptions among themselves, and provided silk colors, which they presented to the companies, painted with different ornaments and mottoes, supplied by Franklin.

20. The officers of the companies that formed the Philadelphia regiment chose Franklin for their colonel. Not considering himself fit for the office, he declined; and recommended that Mr. Lawrence, a man of influence and of a fine person, should be chosen in his place. This gentleman was accordingly elected.

21. Franklin now proposed a lottery, to pay the expenses of building a battery below the town, and of furnishing it with cannon. The lottery was rapidly filled, and the battery soon erected. They brought some old cannon from Boston, and these not proving sufficient, they sent to London for more. The associates kept a nightly guard at the battery, and Franklin regularly took his turn of duty, as a common soldier.

22. His activity in these measures was agreeable to the governor and council, and secured their favor. They took him into their confidence, and consulted him on all operations in respect to the military. Franklin took the opportunity to propose a public fast, to promote reformation, and implore the blessing of Heaven on their undertaking. They embraced the motion, but as this was the first fast ever thought of in the province, there was no form for the proclamation. Franklin drew it up in the style of the New England proclamation; it was translated into German, printed in both languages, and circulated through the province. This gave the clergy of the different sects an opportunity of influencing their hearers to join the association; and it would, probably, have been general among all but the Quakers, if it had not been for the news of peace.

1. What reform did Franklin introduce, when he first turned his attention to public affairs?

2. On what subject did he write a paper for the Junto?

3. To what project did this give rise? How did it succeed?

4. Was it useful? What was it called?

5. What is stated of the Reverend Mr. Whitefield?

6. What does Franklin say of the change in the manners of the inhabitants?

7. Where did Mr. Whitefield go on leaving Philadelphia?

8. What charitable design did he form at this period?

9. What was Franklin's opinion upon the subject?

10. What anecdote does Franklin relate of the collection?

11. What anecdote of a member of the club?

12. What does Franklin say of Mr. Whitefield's character?

13. Where did Franklin see him for the last time?

14. What does he say of his eloquence? By how many did he compute that he might be heard at a time?

15. How were Franklin's affairs succeeding at this time?

16. To what very important subjects did Franklin now turn his attention?

17. How was Pennsylvania exposed to danger? What obstacle was there to the passage of a militia law?

18. What did Franklin write on the subject? What did he propose for their defence?

19. How many subscribers were obtained to these proposals? What measures did they take?

20. To what office was Franklin now chosen, and why did he decline?

21. By what means was the battery erected and furnished?

22. What did Franklin propose? How was the proclamation for fast drawn up and circulated? What news was brought at this time?



Anecdote. William Penn. Education of Youth. Subscription for an Academy. Franklin overloaded with public Offices. Member of the Assembly. Treaty with the Indians at Carlisle. Public Hospital. Anecdote.

1. It was thought by some of the friends of Franklin, that he would offend the peace-loving sect of Quakers, by his activity in these warlike preparations. A young man, who had some friends in the assembly, and wished to succeed him as their clerk, told him, in a quiet way, that it was intended to displace him at the next election, and that, as a friend, he should advise him to resign.

2. The answer which Franklin made to this obliging young man was in the following words:—"I have heard or read of some public man, who made it a rule never to ask for an office, and never to refuse one when offered to him. I approve of this rule, and shall practise it with a small addition; I shall never ask, never refuse, nor ever resign an office. If they will have my office of clerk to dispose of it to another, they shall take it from me. I will not give it up." At the next election, Franklin was unanimously elected clerk.

3. Notwithstanding the general sentiments of the Quakers, Franklin thought the military defence of the country not disagreeable to any of them. One of their number, the learned and honorable Mr. Logan, wrote an address to them, declaring his approbation of defensive war, and supporting his opinion by very strong arguments. This gentleman related an anecdote of his old master, William Penn, in respect to the subject of defence, which is quite amusing.

4. "He came over from England, when a young man, as secretary to this distinguished Quaker. It was war time, and their ship was chased by an armed vessel, supposed to be an enemy. Their captain prepared for defence, but told William Penn and his company of Quakers, that he did not expect their assistance, and they might retire into the cabin. They all retired except James Logan, who chose to stay upon deck, and was quartered to a gun.

5. "The supposed enemy proved a friend, so there was no fighting. When the secretary went to carry the information to his friends in the cabin, William Penn spoke to him in severe language for staying upon deck, and undertaking to assist in the defence of the vessel, contrary to the principles of the Friends. This reproof, being before all the company, vexed the secretary, who replied—'I being thy servant, why did thee not order me to come down; but thee was willing enough that I should stay and help to fight the ship, when thee thought there was danger.'"

6. Peace being concluded, and the business of defence at an end, Franklin next turned his thoughts to the affair of establishing an academy. The first step he took was to associate in the design a number of his active friends; the next was to write and publish a pamphlet, entitled "Proposals relating to the Education of Youth in Philadelphia." This he distributed among the principal inhabitants, and in a short time opened a subscription for supporting an academy. The subscribers were desirous of carrying the plan into immediate execution. The constitutions for the government of the academy were soon drawn up and signed, a house was hired, masters engaged, and the school opened. This was in the year 1749.

7. The scholars increased rapidly, the house was soon found too small, when accident threw in their way a large house, ready built, which, with a few alterations, would exactly answer their purpose. This was the building erected by the hearers of Mr. Whitefield. Some difficulty had been found by the trustees in paying the expenses of this church, and they were prevailed upon to give it up for the academy. It was soon made fit for that purpose, and the scholars were removed into the building. The whole care and trouble of superintending this work fell upon Franklin, who found sufficient leisure to attend to it, from having taken a very able and industrious partner in his printing business.

8. Franklin now thought that he should find leisure, during the rest of his life, to pursue his philosophical studies and amusements. He purchased all the instruments and apparatus of Dr. Spence, who had come from England to lecture on philosophy in Philadelphia. His intention was to proceed with diligence in his experiments in electricity. But the public now considered him a man of leisure, and laid hold of him for their purposes.

9. He seems to have been quite overloaded with offices. The governor made him a justice of the peace. The city corporation chose him a member of the common council, and shortly after alderman. The citizens elected him to represent them in the assembly, of which he had so long been clerk. All these offices were signs of the esteem and respect in which he was held among his fellow citizens.

10. Franklin tried the office of justice of the peace a little while, by attending a few courts, and sitting on the bench to hear causes. Finding, however, that it required more knowledge of the law than he possessed, he gradually withdrew from it; excusing himself by being obliged to attend his duties as member of the assembly. To this office he was chosen for ten years in succession, without ever asking any elector for his vote, or signifying, directly or indirectly, any desire of the honor. On taking his seat in the house, his son was appointed their clerk.

11. During the next year, a treaty was to be held with the Indians at Carlisle. The governor sent a message to the house, requesting that they should nominate some of their members, to be joined with some members of council, for that purpose. The house named the speaker, Mr. Norris, and Dr. Franklin; and being commissioned, they went to Carlisle to treat with the Indians.

12. As the Indians were very apt to drink to excess, and when drunk were very quarrelsome and disorderly, the commissioners strictly forbade the sale of any liquor to them. When they complained of this, they were told that, on condition of their remaining perfectly sober during the treaty, they should have plenty of rum when the business was over. They accordingly promised this, and kept their promise for the very best reason in the world—because they were unable to break it. The treaty was conducted with perfect order, and concluded to the satisfaction of both parties.

13. They then claimed and received the rum. This was in the afternoon. The Indians were about one hundred in number, men, women and children, and were lodged in cabins, built in the form of a square, just without the town. In the evening there was a great noise among them, and the commissioners walked out to see what was the matter. They found a great bonfire built in the middle of the square, and the men and women, in a state of intoxication, fighting and quarrelling around it. The tumult could not be stilled, and the commissioners retired to their lodgings.

14. At midnight, a number of the Indians came thundering at their door, demanding more rum; but the commissioners took no notice of them. The next day they were sensible of their misbehavior, and sent three of their old counsellors to make an excuse. The orator acknowledged the fault, but laid it upon the rum; and then endeavored to excuse the rum, by saying—"The Great Spirit, who made all things, made every thing for some use, and whatever use he designed any thing for, that use it should always be put to: now, when he made rum, he said, 'Let this be for the Indians to get drunk with,' and it must be so." It is a sad truth that among all savage nations, the introduction of spirituous liquor has been the most severe curse that ever fell upon them.

15. In 1751, Dr. Thomas Bond formed a plan to establish an hospital in Philadelphia, for the reception and cure of poor sick persons, whether inhabitants of the province or strangers. He was very active in endeavoring to procure subscriptions for it, but the proposal being new in America, and at first not well understood, he met with but little success. At length he came to Franklin with the compliment that there was no such a thing as carrying a public-spirited thing through, without his being concerned in it. "For," said he, "I am often asked by those to whom I propose subscribing, Have you consulted Franklin on this business? And what does he think of it? And when I tell them I have not, they do not subscribe, but say, they will consider it."

16. Franklin inquired into the nature and probable usefulness of the scheme, and being satisfied in respect to it, not only subscribed himself, but was active in procuring subscriptions from others. Some aid was obtained from the assembly of the province. A convenient and handsome building was soon erected, the institution was found useful, and flourishes to the present day.

17. It was about this time that another projector, the Rev. Gilbert Tennent, came to Franklin with a request that he would assist him in procuring subscriptions to erect a new meeting-house. It was to be devoted to the use of a congregation he had gathered among the original disciples of Mr. Whitefield. Franklin was too wise to make himself disagreeable to his fellow citizens, by such frequent calls upon their generosity, and absolutely refused. The gentleman then desired he would furnish him with a list of the names of persons he knew by experience to be generous and public-spirited. This, also, was refused; for it was hard that their kind compliance with a request of charity should mark them out to be worried by all who chose to call upon them.

18. Franklin was then asked to give his advice. "That I will do," he replied; "and in the first place, I advise you to apply to all those who you know will give something; next, to those of whom you are uncertain whether they will give any thing or not, and show them the list of those who have given; and lastly, do not neglect those who you are sure will give nothing; for in some of them you may be mistaken." The clergyman laughed, and promised to take his advice. He did so, for he asked of every body, and soon obtained money enough to erect a spacious and elegant meeting house.

19. Franklin now exerted himself in several matters that, however small they may seem, affected the convenience and comfort of his fellow citizens in a great degree. This was in respect to cleaning, paving, and lighting the streets. By talking, and writing in the papers, he was able to introduce great changes in these matters, which were very important to the cleanliness and good appearance of the [text missing in printed book]

1. What advice did Franklin receive at this time?

2. What answer did he return? What was the result of the election?

3. What did Franklin consider the opinion of Quakers on the subject of defence?

4. What anecdote is related of William Penn?

6. To what did Franklin turn his attention on the declaration of peace? In what year was the academy founded?

7. What building was taken for the school house?

8. To what pursuits did he now intend to devote himself? What did the public consider him?

9. What offices did he receive at this time?

10. Why did he retire from the office of justice of the peace?

11. Who were appointed to treat with the Indians?

12. What is related of the Indians? How was the treaty concluded?

13. What happened in the evening?

14. What course did they pursue the next day? How did the commissioners excuse themselves?

15. Who proposed the plan for the Philadelphia hospital? What compliment did he pay to Franklin?

16. Did Franklin approve of the scheme and assist in it?

17. What did Mr. Gilbert Tennent request of Franklin? How was his request treated?

18. What advice did Franklin give?

19. To what smaller matters of public interest did Franklin now attend?



Spence's Experiments in Electricity. Franklin repeats them. Makes important Discoveries. Letters to Collinson. Experiment with the Kite. Publication of his Letters. Anecdote of the Abbé Nollet. Fame of Franklin. Elected a Member of the Royal Society.

1. It was in the year 1746, that Franklin first attended to the branch of philosophy in which he afterwards became so distinguished. During that year he was in Boston, and there met with a Dr. Spence, who showed him some experiments in electricity. It was a subject altogether new to him, and, though the experiments were not very well performed, they surprised and pleased him.

2. If you take a stick of sealing-wax, or a glass tube, or a piece of amber which has been a long time untouched, and bring it near some small pieces of paper, chaff, or other light substance, it produces no impression upon them. But if you first rub lightly and briskly the wax, the tube, or the amber, with a piece of dry woollen cloth, or cat skin, and then bring it near any of these light substances, you will find that they fly to it, and remain upon it. The power which attracts these substances, and which is excited by the rubbing, is called electricity.

3. It is so called from a Greek word which signifies amber, the substance in which this power was first observed. Amber is a brittle mineral substance, of a yellow, and sometimes a reddish brown color. It is found in several countries in Europe, and has recently been found in the United States, at Cape Sable, in Maryland. This is the substance with which the first electrical experiment was performed, ages ago, by a Greek philosopher of the name of Thales.

4. Several centuries passed without any thing being known upon this subject, beyond the fact that these substances possessed this power. At length it began to attract the attention of modern philosophers. In 1742, several ingenious Germans engaged in the subject, and the results of their researches astonished all Europe. They obtained large apparatus, by means of which they were enabled to collect large quantities of the electric fluid, and produce several wonders which had been before unobserved.

5. These experiments excited the curiosity of other philosophers. Mr. Peter Collinson, fellow of the Royal Society of London, about the year 1745, sent to the library company of Philadelphia a glass tube, with some account of its use in making such experiments. Franklin eagerly seized the opportunity of repeating those which he had seen at Boston, and, by much practice, acquired great readiness in performing those of which they had an account from England.

6. He was soon enabled to make a number of important discoveries, and his house was, for some time, continually full of people who came to see the new wonders. His observations upon the subject were, from time to time, communicated to his friend Collinson, in a series of letters, the first of which is dated March 28, 1747. These were read before the Royal Society, where they were not at first thought worthy of much attention.

7. In the year 1749, Franklin first suggested the idea of explaining the sameness of electricity with lightning. A paper upon this subject, which he wrote for Mr. Kinnersly, was read before the members of the Royal Society, and excited a hearty laugh. But it was the lot of this neglected theory to be generally adopted by philosophers, and to bid fair to endure for ages.

8. It was in the same year, that Franklin started the plan of proving the truth of his doctrine, by actually drawing down the lightning, by means of sharp-pointed iron rods raised high into the clouds. It was not until the summer of 1752, that he was enabled to complete his grand discovery by actual experiment.

9. The plan which he had first proposed was, to erect a box on some high tower, or other elevated place, from which should rise a pointed iron rod. He thought that electrified clouds, passing over it, would impart a portion of their electricity, which would be made evident by presenting a key or the knuckle to it. There was at this time, in Philadelphia, no opportunity of trying an experiment of the kind. But while Franklin was waiting for the erection of a spire, it occurred to him that he might have a more ready access to the clouds by means of a common kite.

10. He prepared a kite by fastening two cross sticks to a silk handkerchief, which would not suffer from the rain so much as paper. To the upright stick he affixed an iron point. The string was, as usual, of hemp, excepting the lower end, which was made of silk, because this substance does not give a free passage to the electricity.

11. With this kite, on the appearance of a thunder storm, he went out into the commons with his son, to whom alone he had communicated his intentions. He placed himself under a shed to avoid the rain; his kite was raised—a thunder cloud passed over it, but no sign of electricity appeared. The experiment had almost been given up in despair, when he perceived, in the loose fibres of the string, evident appearances of electricity. By continued observation the fact was most clearly proved; and the honor of establishing the sameness of electricity and lightning was won by Franklin.

12. The letters which Franklin had sent to Mr. Collinson were published by that gentleman in a separate volume, under the title of "New Experiments and Observations on Electricity, made at Philadelphia, in America." They were read with great eagerness, and soon translated into different languages. A very incorrect French translation fell into the hands of the celebrated Buffon, who was much pleased with it, and performed the experiments with success. A more correct translation was undertaken at his request, and contributed much towards spreading a knowledge of Franklin's principles in France. His experiments were repeated by most of the distinguished philosophers throughout Europe.

13. By these experiments, the truth of Franklin's doctrine was established in the firmest manner. When it could no longer be doubted, some men were anxious to take away from its merit. It was considered at that time rather mortifying to the European philosophers, to admit that an American could make important discoveries which had escaped their notice.

14. The Abbé Nollet, preceptor in natural philosophy to the royal family of France, was exceedingly offended at the publication of Franklin's letters. He had himself written about electricity, and could not at first believe that such a work had really come from America. He said it must have been composed by his enemies in Paris, to oppose his system. Afterwards, having been assured that there really existed such a person as Franklin at Philadelphia, he published a volume of letters, in defence of his own ideas upon the subject, and denying the propositions of the American philosopher.

15. Franklin thought at one time of writing a letter in reply to the abbé, and actually began one. But on considering that any one might repeat his experiments, and ascertain for himself whether or not they were true, he concluded to let his papers shift for themselves; believing it was better to spend what time he could spare in making new experiments than in disputing about those already made.

16. The event gave him no cause to repent of his silence. His friend, Monsieur Le Roy, of the Royal Academy of Sciences, took up his cause, and refuted the abbé. Franklin's volume was translated into the Italian, German and Latin languages; and the doctrine it contained was, by degrees, generally adopted by the philosophers of Europe, in preference to that of Nollet.

17. What gave his book the more sudden and general celebrity was the success of one of its proposed experiments, made at Marly, for drawing lightning from the clouds. This engaged the public attention every where. The "Philadelphia experiments," as they were called, were performed before the king and court, and all the curious of Paris flocked to see them.

18. Dr. Wright, an English physician, was at Paris when they were the talk and wonder of the day. He wrote to a member of the Royal Society an account of the high esteem in which the experiments of Franklin were held by learned men abroad and of their surprise that his writings had been so little noticed in England. The society, on this, resumed the consideration of the letters that had been read to them, and a summary account of their doctrines was drawn up and published among their philosophical essays and transactions.

19. To make Franklin some amends for the slight with which they had before treated him, the society chose him a member, without his having made the usual application. They also presented him with the gold medal of Sir Godfrey Copley for the year 1753, the delivery of which was accompanied by a very complimentary speech from the president, Lord Macclesfield.

1. When did Franklin first attend to electricity?

2. Relate the substance of the second paragraph.

3. From what is the word electricity derived? What is amber? Where is it found?

4. When was the subject first examined by modern philosophers?

5. What did Mr. Collinson send to Philadelphia?

7. When did Franklin first suggest that electricity and lightning were the same?

8. How did he propose to prove the truth of his doctrine? When did he prove it by actual experiment?

9. What plans had he at first proposed? What occurred to him afterwards?

10. How did he prepare the kite?

11. Relate the progress of the experiment.

12. Under what title were Franklin's letters on the subject printed? How were they received? By whose request was a correct French translation made?

13. What was the result of the establishment of Franklin's doctrine?

14. What was the conduct of the Abbé Nollet?

15. What course did Franklin pursue on the subject?

16. Did he regret his silence? State the substance of this paragraph.

17. What gave the book the more general celebrity?

18. Who was Dr. Wright? What communication did he make to the Royal Society?

19. What honors did the society confer upon him?



Appointed Postmaster-General. Journey to New England. Receives Degrees from two Colleges. Story of the Visit to his Mother.

1. Having been some time employed by the postmaster-general of America in regulating the several offices, and bringing the officers to account, upon his death, in 1753, Franklin was appointed, jointly with another gentleman, to succeed him. The American office had before this time never paid any thing to that of Great Britain; and the new postmasters were to have six hundred pounds between them, if they could make that sum out of the profits of the office.

2. To do this, a variety of improvements were necessary, some of which were at first very expensive; so that, for the first four years, the office became more than nine hundred pounds in debt to them. Afterwards they began to be repaid, and before Franklin was displaced, they had brought it to yield three times as much clear profit to the crown, as the post-office of Ireland. After Franklin's dismission, they never received a farthing from it.

3. The business of the post-office occasioned his taking a journey to New England, where the College of Cambridge presented him with the degree of Master of Arts. Yale College, in Connecticut, had before paid him a similar compliment. Thus, without studying in any college, he came to partake of their honors. They were conferred in consideration of his discoveries and improvements in natural philosophy.

4. It was either during this or his former journey that the story of the visit to his mother originated. He had been some years absent from his native city, and was at that period of life when the greatest and most rapid alteration is made in the human appearance. Franklin was sensible that his person had been so much changed that his mother would not know him, unless there were some instinct to point out, at a single glance, the child to its parent.

5. To discover the existence of this instinct by actual experiment, Franklin determined to introduce himself to his mother as a stranger, and to watch narrowly for the moment in which she should discover her son. On the afternoon of a sullen cold day, in the month of January, he knocked at his mother's door, and asked to speak with Mrs. Franklin. He found the old lady knitting before the parlor fire, introduced himself, by observing that he had been informed she entertained travellers, and requested a night's lodging.

6. She eyed him with coldness, and assured him that he had been misinformed—that she did not keep a tavern; though, to oblige some members of the legislature, she took a number of them into her family during the session; and at that time had four members of the council and six of the house of representatives who boarded with her. She added that all her beds were full, and went on knitting with a great deal of vehemence.

7. Franklin wrapped his coat around him, pretending to shiver with the cold, and observing that it was very chilly weather. It was, of course, nothing more than civil for the old lady to ask him to stop and warm himself. She pointed to a chair, and he drew himself up to the fire.

8. The entrance of her boarders prevented any further conversation. Coffee was soon served, and the stranger partook with the rest of the family. To the coffee, according to the custom of the times, succeeded a plate of apples, pipes, and a paper of tobacco. A pleasant circle of smokers was then formed about the fire. Agreeable conversation followed. Jokes were cracked, stories told, and Franklin was so sensible and entertaining as to attract the attention of the whole company.

9. In this manner the moments passed pleasantly and swiftly along, and it was eight o'clock before any of them expected it. This was the hour of supper, and Mrs. Franklin was always as punctual as the clock. Busied with family affairs, she supposed the stranger had quitted the house immediately after coffee. Imagine her surprise, when she saw him, with the utmost coolness and impudence, taking his seat with the family at the supper table!

10. Immediately after supper, she called an elderly gentleman, a member of the council, with whom she was in the habit of consulting, into another room; complained of the rudeness of the stranger, told the manner of his coming into the house, observed that he appeared like a foreigner, and she thought had something about him very suspicious. The old gentleman assured her that she need not be under any alarm, that the stranger was a man of education and agreeable manners, and was, probably, unaware of the lateness of the hour. He added, that it would be well to call him aside, and repeat to him that she was unable to give him lodgings.

11. She accordingly sent her maid to him, and then repeated the account of their situation, observed that it grew late, and gently hinted that he would do well to seek out other accommodations. The stranger replied that he should be very sorry to put her to any inconvenience, and would retire after smoking one more pipe with her boarders. He returned to the company, filled his pipe, and began talking as pleasantly and forcibly as ever. He recounted the hardships, and praised the piety and wisdom of their ancestors.

12. A gentleman present mentioned the subject of the day's debate in the house of representatives. A bill had been introduced to extend the powers of the royal governor. The stranger immediately entered upon the subject, supported the rights of the colonies with many arguments and much eloquence, and showed a great familiarity with the names of influential members of the house in the time of Governor Dudley.

13. The conversation was so animated and interesting that the clock struck eleven, unnoticed by the delighted circle. The patience of Mrs. Franklin was by this time completely exhausted. She now entered the room, and, before the whole company, addressed the stranger with much anger; told him plainly that she thought herself imposed upon; that she was a lone woman, but had friends who would protect her; and concluded by telling him to leave the house. Franklin made a slight apology, put on his great coat and hat, took a polite leave of the company, and approached the street door, lighted by the maid, and attended by the mistress.

14. While the company had been enjoying themselves within, a most tremendous snow storm had filled the streets, knee-deep; and no sooner had the maid lifted the latch, than a roaring wind forced open the door, put out the light, and almost filled the entry with drifted snow and hail. As soon as the candle was relighted, the stranger cast a mournful look on the lady of the mansion, and said—"My dear madam, if you turn me out of your house in this dreadful storm, I am a stranger in the town, and shall certainly perish in the streets. You look like a charitable lady; I should not think you could refuse shelter to a dog on such a night."

15. "Don't tell me of charity," said the offended matron; "charity begins at home. It is your own fault that you staid so long. In short, sir, I do not like your looks, or your conduct in thus forcing yourself upon my family, and I fear you have some bad designs."

16. The good lady had grown so angry as to raise her voice much above its ordinary pitch, and the noise drew all the company into the entry. They did not agree with Mrs. Franklin in respect to the stranger at all. He seemed to them to be a very honest, clever-looking fellow, and so far from wishing to turn him out of the house, there was not one of them but would have been glad to have him for a fellow-boarder. They thought him very sensible and pleasant, and could not account for their landlady's aversion.

17. At length, by their united interference, the stranger was permitted to remain in the house. There was no bed or part of a bed unoccupied, and he was obliged to sleep all night in an easy chair, before the parlor fire. Although her boarders appeared to have perfect confidence in his honesty, it was not so with Mrs. Franklin. She very carefully collected her silver spoons, pepper box and porringer from her closet, and, after securing the parlor door, by sticking a fork over the latch, carried them to her chamber. She charged the negro man to sleep with his clothes on—to take the great cleaver to bed with him, and to wake up and seize the vagrant at the first noise he made in plundering the house. The good lady then retired to bed with her maid, whom she compelled to sleep in the same room.

18. After a very restless night, Mrs. Franklin rose before the sun. She called her domestics, proceeded with them in a body to unfasten the parlor door. To her great astonishment, she found her guest quietly sleeping in his chair. She now began to feel sorry for her suspicions. Awaking him with a cheerful good morning, she inquired how he had rested, and invited him to partake of her breakfast, which was always served before that of the boarders.

19. "Pray, sir," said the old lady, as they were sipping their chocolate at the breakfast table, "as you appear to be a stranger here, to what distant country do you belong?"

20. Franklin put a little more sugar into his chocolate, and, helping himself to a slice of toast, replied, that he belonged to the city of Philadelphia. At the mention of this word, the old lady, for the first time, exhibited emotion. "Philadelphia?" said she—"if you live in Philadelphia, perhaps you know our Ben?"

21. "Who, madam?" replied Franklin, in the same cool and undisturbed manner that he had put on ever since he entered the house. "Why, Ben Franklin," said the mother; "my Ben—oh! he is the dearest child that ever blessed a mother!"

22. "What," said the stranger, "is Ben Franklin, the printer, your son? Why, he is my most intimate friend: he and I lodge in the same room." "O! Heaven forgive me!" exclaimed the old lady; "and have I suffered an acquaintance of my Benny to sleep on this hard chair, while I myself rested on a good bed!"

23. We can well imagine that the mother was very much astonished when she found that it was not an acquaintance of her son, but her son himself, whose countenance and person had been so much changed, that she had even been on the point of turning him out of doors! She was delighted to embrace him once more before she died, and was quite pleased that the members of the council had found him so agreeable a fellow as to insist that he should remain all night in the house.

1. What appointment did Franklin receive at this time.

2. Was the post-office, under Franklin, a source of revenue to the crown?

3. What honors did Franklin receive from the colleges?

5. Why did Franklin introduce himself to his mother as a stranger? In what situation did he find her?

6. How did she receive him?

8. What was the evening custom at that time?



Congress at Albany. Plan for a Union of the Colonies. Arrival of General Braddock. Franklin sent to him by the Assembly. Want of Wagons. Franklin undertakes to procure them. His Advertisement. Anecdote of Braddock. Battle with the Indians. Retreat.

1. In 1754, there was again a prospect of war with France. A congress of commissioners from the different colonies was ordered to be assembled at Albany, to confer with the chiefs of the Six Nations of Indians, in respect to the defence of the country. The governor of Pennsylvania communicated this order to the assembly, and nominated Franklin, with Mr. Norris, Mr. Penn, and Mr. Peters, to act as commissioners. Presents were provided for the Indians, and they all met at Albany about the middle of June.

2. On his way thither, Franklin projected and drew up a plan for the union of all the colonies under one government, so far as might be necessary for defence and other important services. This plan was shown to two or three of his friends, and, having met with their approbation, was submitted to congress. It then appeared that several of the commissioners had formed projects of the same kind. A committee was appointed to consider the several plans, and report. That proposed by Franklin was finally adopted with a few alterations: copies of it were sent to the British government and to the assemblies of the several provinces.

3. The British government were unwilling to permit the union proposed at Albany, from a fear that the colonies would become too military and feel their own strength. They accordingly sent over General Braddock, with two regiments of regular English troops, for the purpose of protecting them. This officer, with his forces, landed at Alexandria, and marched thence to Fredericktown in Maryland, where he halted for carriages. Franklin was sent by the assembly to wait upon him at this place, in order to arrange some matters which had occurred to excite serious misunderstanding.

4. His son accompanied him upon this journey. They found the general at Fredericktown, waiting, impatiently, for the return of those whom he had sent through the back parts of Maryland and Virginia to collect wagons. Franklin staid with him several days, dined with him daily, and had full opportunity of removing his prejudices. When he was about to depart, it had been ascertained that only twenty-five wagons could be procured, and not all of them fit for use.

5. The general and all the officers were very much surprised, and declared that the expedition was entirely at an end. They exclaimed bitterly against their government for sending them into a country destitute of the means of carrying their stores and baggage, for which no less than one hundred and fifty wagons were necessary. Franklin remarked that it was a pity they had not been landed in Pennsylvania, as in that country almost every farmer had his wagon. The general caught at his words, and eagerly said—"Then you, sir, who are a man of interest there, can possibly procure them for us; and I beg you will undertake it."

6. Franklin asked what terms were to be offered to the owners of the wagons; and he was desired to put on paper the terms that appeared to him necessary. This he did; and they were accepted. He soon after published an advertisement, offering to contract for certain wagons and horses, on specified terms; and to this added an address to the inhabitants of the counties of York, Lancaster and Cumberland. The address was in the following words:

7. "Friends and Countrymen,—Being occasionally at the camp at Frederick, a few days since, I found the general and officers exceedingly exasperated on account of their not being supplied with horses and carriages, which had been expected from this province, as most able to furnish them; but, through the dissensions between our governor and assembly, money had not been provided, nor any steps taken for that purpose.

8. "It was proposed to send an armed force immediately into these counties, to seize as many of the best carriages and horses as should be wanted, and compel as many persons into the service, as would be necessary to drive and take care of them.

9. "If you are really, as I believe you are, good and loyal subjects to his majesty, you may now do a most acceptable service, and make it easy to yourselves; for three or four of such as cannot separately spare, from the business of their plantations, a wagon and four horses and a driver, may do it together; one furnishing the wagon, another one or two horses, and another the driver, and divide the pay proportionably between you.

10. "But if you do not this service to your king and country voluntarily, when such good pay and reasonable terms are offered to you, your loyalty will be strongly suspected. The king's business must be done. So many brave troops, come so far for your defence, must not stand idle through your backwardness to do what may be reasonably expected from you. Wagons and horses must be had; violent measures will probably be used; and you will be left to seek for recompense where you can find it, and your case, perhaps, be little pitied or regarded.

11. "I have no particular interest in this affair, as (except the satisfaction of endeavoring to do good) I shall have only my labor for my pains. If this method of obtaining the wagons and horses is not likely to succeed, I am obliged to send word to the general in fourteen days; and I suppose Sir John St. Clair, the hussar, with a body of soldiers, will immediately enter the province for the purpose; which I shall be very sorry to hear, because I am, very sincerely and truly,

"Your friend and well-wisher,

"B. Franklin."

12. Eight hundred pounds were furnished by the general, to be paid out as advance money to the owners of the wagons and horses. This sum not being large enough, Franklin advanced upwards of two hundred pounds more. In two weeks, the one hundred and fifty wagons, with two hundred and fifty-nine carrying horses, were on their way to the camp. The advertisement promised payment in case any wagons or horses should be lost; and as the owners knew nothing about the dependence to be placed on General Braddock, they insisted on Franklin's bond for the performance. This he accordingly gave them.

13. General Braddock was a brave man, but had too much self-confidence, too high an opinion of the power of regular troops, and too mean an idea of both Americans and Indians. About one hundred Indians joined him on his march, who might have been of great use to him as guides and scouts, if he had treated them kindly. He neglected and slighted them, however, and they gradually left him.

14. In conversation one day with Franklin, he gave an account of his intended progress. "After taking Fort Duquesne," said he, "I am to proceed to Niagara; and, having taken that, to Frontenac, if the season will allow time, and I suppose it will; for Duquesne can hardly detain me above three or four days; and then I see nothing that can obstruct my march to Niagara."

15. Franklin knew something about marches through the woods, and the tricks of the Indians, and entertained serious doubts in respect to the success of the campaign. He only ventured, however, to say—"To be sure, sir, if you arrive well before Duquesne with the fine troops, so well provided with artillery, the fort, though completely fortified, and assisted with a very strong garrison, can probably make but a short resistance. The only danger I apprehend of obstruction to your march, is from the ambuscades of the Indians, who, by constant practice, are dexterous in laying and executing them; and the slender line, near four miles long, which your army must make, may expose it to be attacked by surprise in its flanks, and to be cut like a thread into several pieces, which, from their distance, cannot come up in time to support each other."

16. Braddock smiled at his ignorance, and replied—"These savages may, indeed, be a formidable enemy to your raw American militia; but upon the king's regular and disciplined troops, sir, it is impossible they should make any impression."

17. The enemy did not take that advantage of the army under Braddock which Franklin anticipated. They suffered it to approach without interruption till within nine miles of Fort Duquesne. The troops had just crossed a river, were in a more open part of the woods than any they passed, and moving forward in a compact form. Their advanced guard was suddenly attacked by a heavy fire from behind trees and bushes. This was the first intelligence which the general had of the approach of an enemy.

18. The guard being disordered, the general hurried the troops up to their assistance. This was done in great confusion, through wagons, baggage, and cattle. They were now attacked also from behind. The officers were on horseback, and easily distinguished and picked out as marks by the enemy. The soldiers were thrown together in great disorder, having or hearing no orders, and standing to be shot at, till two thirds of them were killed; then, being seized with a panic, the remainder fled in precipitation.

19. The wagoners took each a horse out of his team, and scampered. Their example was immediately followed by others, so that all the wagons, provisions, artillery and stores were left to the enemy. The general, being wounded, was brought off with difficulty; out of eighty-six officers, sixty-three were killed or wounded; and seven hundred and fourteen men killed, of eleven hundred.

20. These men had been picked from the whole army; the rest had been left behind with Colonel Dunbar, who was to follow with the heavier parts of the baggage. The fugitives arrived at Dunbar's camp, and communicated their own panic to him and all his people. Though he had now above a thousand men, he determined not to meddle with the enemy, but to make the best of his way to the settlements. Notwithstanding requests from the governor of Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, that he would post his troops on the frontiers to protect the inhabitants, he continued his hasty and disgraceful march till he had arrived at snug quarters in Philadelphia.

1. Why were commissioners from the colonies ordered to assemble at Albany? Who were sent from Pennsylvania?

2. What plan did Franklin draw up?

3. Why did the British government disapprove of the proposed union? What course did they pursue? Why was Franklin sent to Fredericktown?

5. What impeded the progress of the expedition? How did General Braddock obviate this difficulty?

6. What step did Franklin take to procure the wagons?

12. How much was furnished by the British general to be paid in advance to the owners of the wagons and horses? How much did Franklin furnish?

13. What was the character of General Braddock? How did he treat the Indians who joined him on his march?

14. What were the general's plans?

15. What did Franklin tell him?

16. What was Braddock's reply?

17. Where were the British troops first attacked?

18. What was the progress of the battle?

19. What became of the wagons and artillery?

20. Where did the fugitives resort? What was Colonel Dunbar's conduct?



Settlement for the Loss of Wagons. Anecdote. Preparations for Defence. Franklin appointed to a military Command. Assembles the Troops at Bethlehem. Farmers killed by Indians. Building Forts. Extracts from Franklin's Journal. Indian Cunning. Anecdotes of the Moravians.

1. As soon as the loss of the wagons and horses was generally known, all the owners came upon Franklin for the valuation which he had given bond to pay. Their demands troubled him exceedingly. He informed them that the money was ready in the paymaster's hands, but the order for paying it must first be obtained from General Shirley; that he had applied for it; and they must have patience till he could receive it. All this, however, was not sufficient, and some began to sue him. General Shirley at length released him from this disagreeable situation, by appointing commissioners to examine the claims, and order payment. They amounted to nearly twenty thousand pounds.

2. Before receiving news of the defeat, two gentlemen came to Franklin with a subscription paper for raising money to pay the expense of a grand firework, which it was intended to exhibit on receiving the news of taking Fort Duquesne. Franklin told them gravely, that he thought it would be time enough to prepare for rejoicing when they knew they should have occasion to rejoice. They seemed surprised that he did not immediately comply with their proposal. "Why," said one of them, "you surely do not suppose that the fort will not be taken?" "I don't know," replied Franklin, "that it will not be taken; but I know that the events of war are subject to great uncertainty." The plan was fortunately abandoned.

3. The assembly now laid a tax, to raise money for the defence of the province, and Franklin was appointed one of the commissioners to dispose of it. He had also carried a bill through the house for establishing and disciplining a voluntary militia. To promote the association necessary to form the militia, he wrote a dialogue upon the subject, which was extensively circulated, and thought to have great effect.

4. While the several companies in the city and country were forming, and learning their exercise, the governor prevailed upon Franklin to take charge of the north-western frontier, which was infested by the enemy, and provide for the defence of the inhabitants, by raising troops, and building a line of forts. Franklin did not think himself very well qualified for the military, but was willing to be of all the service in his power. He received a commission from the governor, with full authority, and a parcel of blank commissions for officers, to be given to whom he thought fit. Five hundred and sixty men were soon raised and placed under his command.

5. The place first selected for a fort was Gnadenhutten, a village settled by the Moravians, and which had recently been the scene of terrible destruction and death. In order to march thither, Franklin assembled the companies at Bethlehem, the chief establishment of those people. He was surprised to find this place in a good state of defence. The destruction of Gnadenhutten had made them apprehensive of danger.

6. They had purchased a quantity of arms and ammunition from New York, and had even placed quantities of small paving stones between the windows of their high houses, to be thrown down upon the heads of any Indians that should attempt to force into them. The armed brethren kept watch, and relieved each other as regularly as in any garrison town.

7. In conversation with their bishop, Spangenberg, Franklin mentioned his surprise; for, knowing they had obtained an act of parliament excusing them from military duties in the colonies, he supposed they had motives of conscience which forbade their bearing arms. The bishop answered—"That it was not one of their established principles; but that at the time of their obtaining that act it was thought to be a principle with many of their people. On this occasion, however, to their surprise they found it adopted but by a few." A strong sense of danger very soon overcomes such notions.

8. It was the beginning of January when they set out upon the business of building forts. One detachment was sent towards the Minisink, with directions to erect one for the upper part of the country, and another to the lower part, with similar directions. Franklin went in person, with the remaining troops, to Gnadenhutten, where a force was thought more immediately necessary. The Moravians procured him five wagons for their tools, stores, and baggage.

9. Just before they left Bethlehem, eleven farmers, who had been driven from their homes by the Indians, came to Franklin, requesting a supply of fire-arms, that they might go back and bring off their cattle. He gave them each a gun with suitable ammunition.

10. They had not marched many miles when it began to rain, and it continued raining all day. There were no habitations on the road to shelter them, till they reached, about night, the house of a German. Here, in the barn and shed, they were all huddled together as wet as water could make them. It was well for them that they were not attacked upon the march, for their arms were of the poorest sort, and it was impossible to keep the locks of their guns dry. The poor farmers, before mentioned, suffered on this account. They met with the Indians, and, the primings being wet with rain, their guns would not go off, so that only one of them escaped with his life.

11. The next day was fair. The companies continued their march, and arrived at the desolate Gnadenhutten. There was a mill in the neighborhood, round which several pine boards had been left. With these they soon built themselves huts. Their next work was to bury the dead they found there. On the following morning their fort was planned and marked out, with a circumference measuring four hundred and fifty-five feet. Their axes, of which they had seventy, were immediately set to work to cut down trees for palisades; and, as the men were very skilful in the use of them, they made great despatch.

12. Seeing the trees fall so fast, Franklin had the curiosity to look at his watch when two men began to cut at a pine. In six minutes they had it upon the ground, and it was fourteen inches in diameter. Each pine made three palisades of eighteen feet long, pointed at one end. While these were preparing, other men dug a trench all round, of three feet deep, in which the palisades were to be planted. When these were set up, the carpenters built within them a platform of boards all round, about six feet high, for the men to stand on and fire through the loopholes. They had one swivel gun, which they mounted, and fired as soon as it was fixed, that the Indians might know they had such pieces. Thus their fort, such as it was, was finished in a week, though it rained so hard every other day that the men were almost unable to work.

13. "This gave me occasion to observe," says Franklin, "that when men are employed they are best contented. For on the days they worked they were good-natured and cheerful, and, with the consciousness of having done a good day's work, they spent the evening jollily. But, on our idle days, they were mutinous and quarrelsome, finding fault with the pork and the bread, and were continually in bad humor; which put me in mind of a sea captain, whose rule it was to keep his men constantly at work; and when his mate once told him that they had done every thing, and there was nothing further to employ them about, 'O,' said he, 'make them scour the anchor.'"

14. "This kind of fort," he continues, "however contemptible, is a sufficient defence against Indians who have no cannon. Finding ourselves now posted securely, and having a place to retreat to on occasion, we ventured out in parties to scour the adjacent country. We met with no Indians, but we found the places, on the neighboring hills, where they had lain to watch our proceedings. There was an art in their contrivance of those places that seems worth mentioning.

15. "It being winter, a fire was necessary for them; but a common fire, on the surface of the ground, would, by its light, have discovered their position at a distance; they had, therefore, dug holes in the ground about three feet in diameter, and somewhat deeper; we found where they had, with their hatchets, cut off the charcoal from the side of burnt logs lying in the woods. With these coals they had made small fires in the bottom of the holes, and we observed, among the weeds and grass, the prints of their bodies, made by their lying all round, with their legs hanging down in the holes, to keep their feet warm; which, with them, is an essential point. This kind of fire, so managed, could not discover them either by its light, flame, sparks, or even smoke; it appeared that the number was not great, and it seems they saw we were too many to be attacked by them with prospect of advantage.

16. "We had for our chaplain a zealous Presbyterian minister, Mr. Beatty, who complained to me that the men did not generally attend his prayers and exhortations. When they enlisted they were promised, besides pay and provisions, a gill of rum a day, which was punctually served out to them, half in the morning and half in the evening, and I observed they were punctual in attending to receive it.

17. "Upon which I said to Mr. Beatty, 'It is perhaps below the dignity of your profession to act as steward of the rum; but if you were to distribute it out only just after prayers, you would have them all about you.' He liked the thought, undertook the task, and, with the help of a few hands to measure out the liquor, executed it to satisfaction; and never were prayers more generally and more punctually attended. So that I think this method preferable to the punishment inflicted by some military laws for non-attendance on divine service.

18. "I had hardly finished this business, and got my fort well stored with provisions, when I received a letter from the governor, acquainting me that he had called the assembly, and wished my attendance there, if the posture of affairs on the frontiers was such that my remaining there was no longer necessary. My friends, too, of the assembly pressing me by their letters to be, if possible, at the meeting, and my three intended forts being now completed, and the inhabitants contented to remain on their farms under that protection, I resolved to return; the more willingly, as a New-England officer, Colonel Clapham, experienced in Indian war, being on a visit to our establishment, consented to accept the command.

19. "I gave him a commission, and, parading the garrison, had it read before them, and introduced him to them as an officer, who, from his skill in military affairs, was much more fit to command them than myself; and giving them a little exhortation, took my leave. I was escorted as far as Bethlehem, where I rested a few days to recover from the fatigue I had undergone. The first night, lying on a good bed, I could hardly sleep, it was so different from my hard lodging on the floor of a hut at Gnadenhutten, with only a blanket or two.

20. "While at Bethlehem, I inquired a little into the practices of the Moravians; some of them had accompanied me, and all were very kind to me. I found they worked for a common stock, ate at common tables, and slept in common dormitories, great numbers together. In the dormitories I observed loop-holes at certain distances, all along just under the ceiling, which I thought judiciously placed for change of air. I went to their church, where I was entertained with good music, the organ being accompanied with violins, hautboys, flutes, and clarionets.

21. "I understood their sermons were not usually preached to mixed congregations of men, women and children, as is our common practice; but that they assembled sometimes the married men, at other times their wives, then the young men, the young women, and the little children; each division by itself. The sermon I heard was to the latter, who came in and were placed in rows on benches, the boys under the conduct of a young man, their tutor; and the girls conducted by a young woman. The discourse seemed well adapted to their capacities, and was delivered in a pleasing, familiar manner, coaxing them, as it were, to be good. They behaved very orderly, but looked pale and unhealthy, which made me suspect they were kept too much within doors, or not allowed sufficient exercise.

22. "I inquired concerning the Moravian marriages, whether the report was true that they were by lot. I was told that lots were used only in particular cases, that generally, when a young man found himself disposed to marry, he informed the elders of his class, who consulted the elder ladies that governed the young women. As these elders of the different sexes were well acquainted with the tempers and dispositions of their respective pupils, they could best judge what matches were suitable, and their judgments were generally acquiesced in.

23. "But if, for example, it should happen that two or three young women were found to be equally proper for the young man, the lot was then recurred to. I objected, if the matches are not made by the mutual choice of the parties, some of them may chance to be very unhappy. 'And so they may,' answered my informer, 'if you let the parties choose for themselves.' Which, indeed, I could not deny."

1. To what embarrassment was Franklin now exposed? How was he relieved?

2. Relate the anecdote in respect to the subscription for fire-works.

3. What tax was now laid by the assembly? What bill did Franklin carry through the house?

4. What charge was now committed to Franklin? How many men were placed under his command?

5. What place was selected for a fort? By whom was Gnadenhutten settled?

6. What measures had the inhabitants of Bethlehem taken for defence?

7. What was the conversation of Franklin with the bishop Spangenberg?

8. Where were the forts built?

9. Relate the substance of the ninth and tenth paragraphs.

11. What was done on arriving at Gnadenhutten?

12. How was the fort constructed? How long did it take to build it?

13. What remarks does Franklin make about keeping employed?

14. What does Franklin say of the fort?

15. How did they manage to conceal their fires?

18. Why did Franklin leave the fort? Who succeeded him?

20. What does Franklin say of the practice of the Moravians? Of their dormitories? Of their church?

21. What is said of their congregation?

22. How are the Moravian marriages conducted?

23. What did Franklin suggest on this subject? What was the reply?



Disputes with the Proprietaries. Franklin sent by the Assembly to London. Appointed general Agent for the Colonies. University Honors. The Armonica. Murder of the friendly Indians.

1. Soon after his return to Philadelphia, Franklin was appointed by the assembly upon a very important mission. From the earliest establishment of Pennsylvania, there seems to have been a spirit of dispute among its inhabitants. During the lifetime of William Penn, the constitution had been three times altered. After this time quarrels were continually arising between the proprietaries or their governors and the assembly.

2. The proprietaries were the descendants of those to whom the lands were originally granted by the king. They claimed particular privileges for their estates; and among other things that they should be free from taxes. To this the assembly would by no means consent. This subject of dispute interfered in almost every question, and prevented the passage of the most necessary laws.

3. The assembly at length resolved to appeal to the king against the unjust claims of the proprietaries, and appointed Franklin as their agent, to go over to England and present their petition. After some delay and detention by the governor, under the pretence of bringing about an accommodation, Franklin sailed from New York towards the end of June, and arrived in London on the twenty-seventh of July, 1757.

4. According to the instructions which he had received from the legislature, Franklin had a meeting with the proprietaries who then resided in England, and endeavored to prevail on them to give up their pretensions. Finding it impossible to derive any satisfaction from them, he laid his petition before the council. During this time, the governor of Pennsylvania had consented to a law imposing a tax, in which no distinction was made in favor of the estates of the Penn family.

5. Alarmed at this intelligence, and by Franklin's exertions, they used their utmost endeavors to prevent this law from receiving the royal approbation. They represented it as highly unjust, designed to throw the burden of supporting government upon them, and tending to produce the most ruinous consequences to them and their posterity.

6. The cause was very fully examined before the king's privy council. The Penn family here found some very earnest advocates, while those were not wanting ready to espouse the side of the people. After some time spent in debate, a proposal was made that Franklin should solemnly engage that the tax should be so made, that the proprietary estates should pay no more than a fair proportion. This he agreed to perform, and the Penn family withdrew their opposition to the passage of the law.

7. After this business was thus happily concluded, Franklin remained at the court of Great Britain, as agent for the province of Pennsylvania. The extensive knowledge which he possessed of the situation of the colonies, and the regard which he had always shown for their interests, occasioned his appointment to the same office by the colonies of Massachusetts, Maryland and Georgia. His conduct in this situation increased the reputation and esteem in which he was held among his countrymen.

8. Franklin was now in the midst of those friends whom he had acquired by his fame as a philosopher. He was very much sought after by them. Honors from learned societies and colleges were continually heaped upon him. The university of St. Andrew's, in Scotland, conferred on him the degree of doctor of laws. Its example was followed by the universities of Edinburgh and Oxford. His correspondence was sought by the most distinguished philosophers of Europe.

9. Although Franklin was now principally occupied with political pursuits, he found time for his favorite studies. He extended his researches in electricity, and in other interesting subjects of natural philosophy.

10. The tone produced by rubbing the brim of a drinking-glass with a wet finger is familiar to every one. An Irish gentleman, by the name of Puckeridge, by placing on a table a number of glasses of different sizes, and tuning them by partly filling them with water, endeavored to form an instrument upon which he could play tunes. He died before he had completed his invention. Some improvements were afterwards made upon his plan. The sweetness of the tones induced Franklin to try a number of experiments, and he at length formed the instrument which he has called the Armonica.

11. In the summer of 1762 he returned to America. He received the thanks of the assembly of Pennsylvania, "as well for the faithful discharge of his duty to that province in particular, as for the many and important services done to America in general, during his residence in Great Britain." A compensation of five thousand pounds, Pennsylvania currency, was decreed him for his services during six years.

12. During his absence, Franklin had been annually elected member of the assembly. On his return to Philadelphia, he again took his seat in that body, and continued steadily to protect the rights and interests of the people.

13. In December, 1762, great alarm was excited in the province by the following circumstance. Several Indians resided in the county of Lancaster, who had always conducted themselves as friends to the white men. A number of inhabitants upon the frontiers, who had been irritated by repeated injuries, determined to seek revenge on all the Indians who fell in their way.

14. About a hundred and twenty persons assembled, and proceeded on horseback to the settlements of the defenceless Indians. These were now reduced in number to about twenty. They had received information of the intended attack, but did not believe it. As the white people had always been their friends, they feared no danger from them. When the party arrived at the Indian settlement, they found only some women and children and a few old men. The rest were absent at work. The wretches murdered all whom they found, and among others the chief Shahehas, who had been always distinguished for his friendship to the whites.

15. The remainder of these unfortunate Indians, who, by their absence, had escaped the massacre, were conducted to Lancaster, and lodged in the jail as a place of security. Large rewards were offered by the governor for the discovery of the murderers. But notwithstanding this, a party of the same men marched to Lancaster, broke open the jail, and inhumanly butchered the innocent Indians who had been placed there for protection.

16. Another proclamation was issued by the governor, but in vain. A party even marched down to Philadelphia, for the purpose of murdering some friendly Indians, who had been removed to the city for safety. The citizens armed to protect them. The Quakers, notwithstanding they are opposed to fighting even in their own defence, were most active upon the occasion. The rioters advanced to Germantown, and the governor fled for safety to the house of Dr. Franklin. It was by his assistance and influence that the disturbance was quelled, and the rioters prevailed upon to return to their homes.

2. Who were the proprietaries? What did they claim? How did the assembly treat their claim?

3. What course did the assembly pursue? Why was Franklin sent to England? When did he arrive in London?

4. What course did Franklin pursue in respect to the petition? What law had been passed in Pennsylvania?

5. How did the Penn family represent this law?

6. Where was the cause examined? How was it settled?

7. In what capacity did Franklin remain in London after the conclusion of this business?

8. How was Franklin received? What honors were conferred upon him?

9. How was Franklin chiefly occupied at this time?

10. What was the musical instrument which Franklin formed?

11. When did he return to America? How was he received by the assembly? What compensation did they allow him?

13. What alarm was excited in the province in 1762?

14. Relate the substance of this paragraph.

15. What became of the remaining Indians?

16. Was the governor's proclamation of any effect? How were the rioters persuaded to return home?



Franklin reappointed Agent at the Court of Great Britain. Visits Germany and France. Returns to Philadelphia. Appointed Delegate to Congress. Interview with Lord Howe. Sent as Ambassador to France. Asks to be recalled. Chosen President of the Supreme Council of Philadelphia. Death. Character.

1. The disputes between the proprietaries and the assembly, which had for a long time subsided, again revived. At the election for a new assembly in 1764, the friends of the proprietaries made great exertions to keep out all those of the opposite party. They obtained a small majority in the city of Philadelphia, and Franklin lost the seat which he had now held for fourteen years.

2. On the meeting of the assembly, it appeared that there was still a majority of Franklin's friends. He was again appointed agent of the provinces at the court of Great Britain. His enemies were sadly vexed at this appointment, and made a solemn protest against it, which they wished to have entered upon the journals. This, however, was refused, and it was consequently published in the newspapers. It drew from him a spirited reply.

3. The opposition to his reappointment seems to have greatly affected his feelings, as it came from men with whom he had long been connected, both in public and private life. In his last publication, he took a pathetic leave of Pennsylvania. "I am now," he says, "to take leave (perhaps a last leave) of the country I love, and in which I have spent the greatest part of my life. Esto perpetua! [1] I wish every kind of prosperity to my friends, and I forgive my enemies."

4. During his residence in England, he consulted, with unremitting industry, the best interests of his native country. He was every where received with respect, on account of his reputation as a writer and philosopher. In 1766 he made a visit to Holland and Germany, and received the greatest marks of attention from men of science. In the following year he travelled into France, where he was received with much kindness and favor. He became acquainted with a number of literary men, and was introduced to the king, Louis XV.

5. Difficulties had now commenced between Great Britain and her provinces in America. Franklin was unwearied in his efforts to bring about a reconciliation. He had frequent interviews with Lord Howe and Lord Chatham, and other distinguished English statesmen, who entertained for him the highest respect and esteem. Most of the time during his present residence in England was occupied in these vain efforts. The violent conduct of the parent state drove the colonies to war, and Franklin returned to America in the year 1775.

6. The day after his return he was elected, by the legislature of Pennsylvania, a delegate to congress. Not long after his election, a committee was appointed, consisting of Mr. Lynch, Mr. Harrison and himself, to visit the camp at Cambridge. They here united their efforts with those of the commander in chief, to convince the soldiers of the necessity of remaining in the field, and persevering in the cause of their country.

7. When Lord Howe came to America in 1776, with powers to effect an accommodation with the colonists, a correspondence on the subject took place between him and Dr. Franklin. John Adams, Edward Rutledge and Dr. Franklin were afterwards appointed to wait upon Lord Howe, and learn the extent of his powers. These were found to be confined to the liberty of granting pardons, on submission. The Americans, at that time, would not thank the king for a thousand pardons, and the interview terminated without effecting any thing towards a reconciliation.

8. Dr. Franklin was an earnest advocate for the entire separation of the colonies from Great Britain, and his writings upon the subject had great influence on the public mind. In 1776, he was president of a convention, which assembled for the purpose of establishing a new form of government for the state of Pennsylvania. In the latter part of this year, he was appointed to assist Mr. Silas Deane in managing the affairs of the colonies at the court of France.

9. No one could have rendered more service to the United States, in this situation, than Dr. Franklin. His character was much honored in France, and as a philosopher he was held in very high esteem. He was received with respect by all the celebrated literary men of the day; and this respect naturally extended itself to all classes. His political negotiations were of the greatest importance to his native country.

10. When the independence of the United States was acknowledged by Great Britain, Franklin became desirous of returning home. The infirmities of age and disease had fallen upon him, and the situation of his country rendered his services no longer indispensably necessary. He applied to congress to be recalled, and Mr. Jefferson was appointed to succeed him in 1785. In September of the same year, Franklin arrived in Philadelphia. He was shortly after chosen a member of the supreme council for the city, and was soon elected president of the same body.

11. For the next three years Franklin still devoted himself to public business, and to his political and philosophical studies. He retained his desire of being useful to the last of his life. In 1788, his increasing infirmities compelled him to retire from public office. His complaints continued, and he suffered very severely from his sickness. He still, however, remained good-natured and cheerful, was perfectly resigned to his situation, acknowledging the justice and kindness of that Being who had seen fit that he should be thus afflicted.

12. On the 17th of April, 1790, about eleven o'clock at night, Dr. Franklin quietly expired. He had reached an honored and a happy old age. From small beginnings, by a uniform course of prudence and honesty, he had raised himself to high station, wealth and distinction.

13. In considering the character of Franklin, we perceive that the most marked trait was his habit of economy. By economy we do not mean merely care in gaining and keeping of his money. We mean care of time, of labor; frugality, industry, system, method in all his business. To this we may add economy of his health; avoiding all excess and unnecessary exposure.

14. His cheerfulness and good nature were also remarkable. He was ever happy and entertaining. His anecdotes and jests were always to the point, and his manner of conversing and writing was at once pleasing and effective.

15. For his public services his country owes him her respect and gratitude; while his philosophical discoveries have excited the admiration of the world. His name will live with the names of the few great men who have conferred enduring benefits on mankind.

The following epitaph on himself was written by him many years previous to his death:

The Body
Benjamin Franklin,
[like the cover of an old book,
its contents torn out,
and stript of its lettering and gilding,]
lies here food for worms;
yet the work itself shall not be lost,
for it will (as he believed) appear once more
in a new
and more beautiful edition,
corrected and amended
The Author.

1. How did Franklin lose his seat in the assembly?

2. What appointment did he immediately receive?

3. How did the opposition to his reappointment affect him?

4. What was his reception in England? What countries did he visit in 1766? In 1767?

5. What were Franklin's efforts to bring about a reconciliation between Great Britain and the provinces?

6. What appointment did he receive on his return? What committee was chosen to visit the camp at Cambridge?

7. With what powers was Lord Howe invested? Who were appointed to wait on him?

8. Of what convention was Franklin the president in 1776? To what office was he appointed?

9. How was he esteemed in France? How were his political negotiations?

10. When did Franklin return to Philadelphia? What honor was immediately conferred on him?

11. When did he retire from public office? On what account?

12. When did Dr. Franklin die?

13. What was the marked trait in Franklin's character?

14. What other traits were conspicuous?

  [1] May it exist for ever!


We are acquainted with no writer who inculcates lessons of practical wisdom in a more agreeable and popular manner than Dr. Franklin. His writings abound with infinite good sense, and a singular shrewdness, not at all inconsistent with the highest integrity and purity. We have selected a few of his lighter essays as a sequel to the Biography; desirable, both as displaying somewhat of the character of their author, and conveying common sense maxims likely to be of much service to the young.



A True Story—Written to his Nephew.

When I was a child, at seven years old, my friends, on a holyday, filled my pockets with coppers. I went directly to a shop where they sold toys for children; and being charmed with the sound of a whistle, that I met by the way in the hands of another boy, I voluntarily offered him all my money for one. I then came home, and went whistling all over the house, much pleased with my whistle, but disturbing all the family. My brothers, and sisters, and cousins, understanding the bargain I had made, told me I had given four times as much for it as it was worth. This put me in mind what good things I might have bought with the rest of the money; and they laughed at me so much for my folly, that I cried with vexation; and the reflection gave me more chagrin than the whistle gave me pleasure.

This, however, was afterwards of use to me, the impression continuing on my mind; so that often, when I was tempted to buy some unnecessary thing, I said to myself, Don't give too much for the whistle; and so I saved my money.

As I grew up, came into the world, and observed the actions of men, I thought I met with many, very many, who gave too much for their whistle.

When I saw any one too ambitious of court favor, sacrificing his time in attendance on levees, his repose, his liberty, his virtue, and perhaps his friends, to attain it, I have said to myself, This man gives too much for his whistle.

When I saw another fond of popularity, constantly employing himself in political bustles, neglecting his own affairs, and ruining them by that neglect, He pays, indeed, says I, too much for his whistle.

If I knew a miser, who gave up every kind of comfortable living, all the pleasure of doing good to others, all the esteem of his fellow citizens, and the joys of benevolent friendship, for the sake of accumulating wealth, Poor man, says I, you do indeed pay too much for your whistle.

When I meet a man of pleasure, sacrificing every laudable improvement of the mind, or of his fortune, to mere corporeal sensations, Mistaken man, says I, you are providing pain for yourself instead of pleasure; you give too much for your whistle.

If I see one fond of fine clothes, fine furniture, fine equipages, all above his fortune, for which he contracts debts, and ends his career in prison, Alas, says I, he has paid dear, very dear, for his whistle.

When I see a beautiful, sweet-tempered girl, married to an ill-natured brute of a husband, What a pity it is, says I, that she has paid so much for a whistle!

In short, I conceived that great part of the miseries of mankind were brought upon them by the false estimates they had made of the value of things, and by their giving too much for their whistles.



There are two sorts of people in the world, who, with equal degrees of health and wealth, and the other comforts of life, become, the one happy, and the other miserable. This arises very much from the different views in which they consider things, persons, and events; and the effect of those different views upon their own minds.

In whatever situation men can be placed, they may find conveniences and inconveniences: in whatever company, they may find persons and conversation more or less pleasing: at whatever table, they may meet with meats and drinks of better and worse taste, dishes better and worse dressed: in whatever climate, they will find good and bad weather: under whatever government, they may find good and bad laws, and good and bad administration of those laws: in whatever poem, or work of genius, they may see faults and beauties: in almost every face, and every person, they may discover fine features and defects, good and bad qualities.

Under these circumstances, the two sorts of people above mentioned fix their attention; those who are disposed to be happy, on the conveniences of things, the pleasant parts of conversation, the well-dressed dishes, the goodness of the wines, the fine weather, &c., and enjoy all with cheerfulness. Those who are to be unhappy, think and speak only of the contrarieties. Hence they are continually discontented themselves, and, by their remarks, sour the pleasures of society; offend personally many people, and make themselves every where disagreeable. If this turn of mind was founded in nature, such unhappy persons would be the more to be pitied. But as the disposition to criticise, and to be disgusted, is, perhaps, taken up originally by imitation, and is, unawares, grown into a habit, which, though at present strong, may, nevertheless, be cured, when those who have it are convinced of its bad effect on their felicity; I hope this little admonition may be of service to them, and put them on changing a habit which, though in the exercise it is chiefly an act of imagination, yet has serious consequences in life, as it brings on real griefs and misfortunes. For, as many are offended by, and nobody loves, this sort of people, no one shows them more than the most common civility and respect, and scarcely that; and this frequently puts them out of humor, and draws them into disputes and contentions. If they aim at obtaining some advantage in rank or fortune, nobody wishes them success, or will stir a step or speak a word to favor their pretensions. If they incur public censure or disgrace, no one will defend or excuse, and many join to aggravate their misconduct, and render them completely odious. If these people will not change this bad habit, and condescend to be pleased with what is pleasing, without fretting themselves or others about the contrarieties, it is good for others to avoid an acquaintance with them, which is always disagreeable, and sometimes very inconvenient, especially when one finds one's self entangled in their quarrels.

An old philosophical friend of mine was grown, from experience, very cautious in this particular, and carefully avoided any intimacy with such people. He had, like other philosophers, a thermometer to show him the heat of the weather; and a barometer to mark when it was likely to prove good or bad; but there being no instrument invented to discover, at first sight, this unpleasing disposition in a person, he, for that purpose, made use of his legs; one of which was remarkably handsome; the other, by some accident, crooked and deformed. If a stranger, at first interview, regarded his ugly leg more than his handsome one, he doubted him. If he spoke of it, and took no notice of the handsome leg, that was sufficient to determine my philosopher to have no further acquaintance with him. Every body has not this two-legged instrument; but every one, with a little attention, may observe signs of that carping, fault-finding disposition, and take the same resolution of avoiding the acquaintance of those infected with it. I therefore advise those critical, querulous, discontented, unhappy people, if they wish to be respected and beloved by others, and happy in themselves, they should leave off looking at the ugly leg.



Written Anno 1748.


As you have desired it of me, I write the following hints, which have been of service to me, and may, if observed, be so to you.

Remember that time is money. He that can earn ten shillings a day by his labor, and goes abroad, or sits idle one half of that day, though he spends but six pence during his diversion or idleness, ought not to reckon that the only expense; he has really spent, or rather thrown away, five shillings besides.

Remember that credit is money. If a man lets his money lie in my hands after it is due, he gives me the interest, or so much as I can make of it during that time. This amounts to a considerable sum where a man has good and large credit, and makes good use of it.

Remember that money is of a prolific, generating nature. Money can beget money, and its offspring can beget more, and so on. Five shillings turned is six; turned again is seven and three pence; and so on till it becomes a hundred pounds. The more there is of it, the more it produces every turning, so that the profits rise quicker and quicker. He that kills a breeding sow, destroys all her offspring to the thousandth generation. He that murders a crown, destroys all that it might have produced, even scores of pounds.

Remember that six pounds a year is but a groat a day. For this little sum (which may be daily wasted either in time or expense, unperceived), a man of credit may, on his own security, have the constant possession and use of a hundred pounds. So much in stock, briskly turned by an industrious man, produces great advantage.

Remember this saying, "The good paymaster is lord of another man's purse." He that is known to pay punctually and exactly to the time he promises, may at any time, and on any occasion, raise all the money his friends can spare. This is sometimes of great use. After industry and frugality, nothing contributes more to the raising of a young man in the world, than punctuality and justice in all his dealings: therefore never keep borrowed money an hour beyond the time you promised, lest a disappointment shut up your friend's purse for ever.

The most trifling actions that affect a man's credit are to be regarded. The sound of your hammer at five in the morning, or nine at night, heard by a creditor, makes him easy six months longer; but if he sees you at a billiard-table, or hears your voice at a tavern, when you should be at work, he sends for his money the next day; demands it before he can receive it in a lump.

It shows, besides, that you are mindful of what you owe; it makes you appear a careful as well as an honest man, and that still increases your credit.

Beware of thinking all your own that you possess, and of living accordingly. It is a mistake that many people who have credit fall into. To prevent this, keep an exact account, for some time, both of your expenses and your income. If you take the pains at first to mention particulars, it will have this good effect; you will discover how wonderfully small, trifling expenses mount up to large sums, and will discern what might have been, and may for the future be saved, without occasioning any great inconvenience.

In short, the way to wealth, if you desire it, is as plain as the way to market. It depends chiefly on two words, industry and frugality; that is, waste neither time nor money, but make the best use of both. Without industry and frugality nothing will do, and with them every thing. He that gets all he can honestly, and saves all he gets (necessary expenses excepted), will certainly become rich—if that Being, who governs the world, to whom all should look for a blessing on their honest endeavors, doth not, in his wise providence, otherwise determine.




Written Anno 1786.

The use of money is all the advantage there is in having money.

For six pounds a year you may have the use of one hundred pounds, provided you are a man of known prudence and honesty.

He that spends a groat a day idly, spends idly above six pounds a year, which is the price for the use of one hundred pounds.

He that wastes idly a groat's worth of his time per day, one day with another, wastes the privilege of using one hundred pounds each year.

He that idly loses five shillings worth of time, loses five shillings, and might as prudently throw five shillings into the sea.

He that loses five shillings, not only loses that sum, but all the advantages that might be made by turning it in dealing; which, by the time that a young man becomes old, will amount to a considerable sum of money.

Again; he that sells upon credit, asks a price for what he sells equivalent to the principal and interest of his money for the time he is to be kept out of it; therefore, he that buys upon credit, pays interest for what he buys; and he that pays ready money, might let that money out to use; so that he that possesses any thing he has bought, pays interest for the use of it.

Yet, in buying goods, it is best to pay ready money, because, he that sells upon credit, expects to lose five per cent. by bad debts; therefore he charges, on all he sells upon credit, an advance that shall make up that deficiency.

Those who pay for what they buy upon credit, pay their share of this advance.

He that pays ready money, escapes, or may escape, that charge.

A penny saved is twopence clear;

A pin a day's a groat a year.




Some wits of old,—such wits of old there were,—

Whose hints showed meaning, whose allusions care,

By one brave stroke to mark all human kind,

Called clear blank paper every infant mind;

When still, as opening sense her dictates wrote,

Fair Virtue put a seal, or Vice a blot.

The thought was happy, pertinent and true;

Methinks a genius might the plan pursue.

I (can you pardon my presumption?) I—

No wit, no genius, yet for once will try.

Various the papers various wants produce,

The wants of fashion, elegance and use.

Men are as various; and if right I scan,

Each sort of paper represents some man.

Pray note the fop—half powder and half lace—

Nice as a band-box were his dwelling-place:

He's the gilt-paper, which apart you store,

And lock from vulgar hands in the 'scrutoire.

Mechanics, servants, farmers, and so forth,

Are copy-paper, of inferior worth;

Less prized, more useful, for your desk decreed,

Free to all pens, and prompt at every need.

The wretch whom av'rice bids to pinch and spare,

Starve, cheat, and pilfer, to enrich an heir,

Is coarse brown-paper; such as pedlers choose

To wrap up wares, which better men will use.

Take next the miser's contrast, who destroys

Health, fame, and fortune, in a round of joys.

Will any paper match him? Yes, throughout

He's a true sinking-paper, past all doubt.

The retail politician's anxious thought

Deems this side always right, and that stark naught;

He foams with censure; with applause he raves—

A dupe to rumors, and a tool of knaves;

He'll want no type his weakness to proclaim,

While such a thing as fools-cap has a name.

The hasty gentleman, whose blood runs high,

Who picks a quarrel if you step awry,

Who can't a jest, or hint, or look, endure:

What's he? What? Touch-paper,—to be sure.

What are our poets, take them as they fall,

Good, bad, rich, poor, much read, not read at all?

Them and their works in the same class you'll find

They are the mere waste-paper of mankind.

Observe the maiden, innocently sweet;

She's fair white-paper, an unsullied sheet;

On which the happy man, whom Fate ordains,

May write his name, and take her for his pains.

One instance more, and only one I'll bring;

'Tis the great man who scorns a little thing,

Whose thoughts, whose deeds, whose maxims are his own,

Formed on the feelings of his heart alone:

True, genuine royal-paper is his breast,

Of all the kinds most precious, purest, best.



In Answer to some Inquiries of M. Dubourg [2] on the Subject.

I am apprehensive that I shall not be able to find leisure for making all the disquisitions and experiments which would be desirable on this subject. I must, therefore, content myself with a few remarks.

The specific gravity of some human bodies, in comparison to that of water, has been examined by M. Robinson, in our Philosophical Transactions, volume 50, page 30, for the year 1757. He asserts, that fat persons, with small bones, float most easily upon water.

The diving bell is accurately described in our Transactions.

When I was a boy, I made two oval pallets, each about ten inches long, and six broad, with a hole for the thumb, in order to retain it fast in the palm of my hand. They much resembled a painter's pallets. In swimming, I pushed the edges of these forward, and I struck the water with their flat surfaces as I drew them back: I remember I swam faster by means of these pallets, but they fatigued my wrists. I also fitted to the soles of my feet a kind of sandals; but I was not satisfied with them, because I observed that the stroke is partly given by the inside of the feet and the ankles, and not entirely with the soles of the feet.

We have here waistcoats for swimming, which are made of double sail cloth, with small pieces of cork quilted in between them.

I know by experience, that it is a great comfort to a swimmer who has a considerable distance to go, to turn himself sometimes on his back, and to vary in other respects the means of procuring a progressive motion.

When he is seized with the cramp in the leg, the method of driving it away is to give to the parts affected a sudden, vigorous and violent shock; which he may do in the air as he swims on his back.

During the great heats of summer, there is no danger in bathing, however warm we may be, in rivers which have been thoroughly warmed by the sun. But to throw one's self into cold spring water, when the body has been heated by exercise in the sun, is an imprudence which may prove fatal. I once knew an instance of four young men, who, having worked at harvest in the heat of the day, with a view of refreshing themselves, plunged into a spring of cold water; two died upon the spot, a third the next morning, and the fourth recovered with great difficulty. A copious draught of cold water, in similar circumstances, is frequently attended with the same effect in North America.

The exercise of swimming is one of the most healthy and agreeable in the world. After having swam for an hour or two in the evening, one sleeps coolly the whole night, even during the most ardent heat of summer. Perhaps, the pores being cleansed, the insensible perspiration increases, and occasions this coolness. It is certain, that much swimming is the means of stopping a diarrhœa, and even of producing a constipation. With respect to those who do not know how to swim, or who are affected with a diarrhœa at a season which does not permit them to use that exercise, a warm bath, by cleansing and purifying the skin, is found very salutary, and often effects a radical cure. I speak from my own experience, frequently repeated, and that of others, to whom I have recommended this.

You will not be displeased if I conclude these hasty remarks by informing you, that as the ordinary method of swimming is reduced to the act of rowing with the arms and legs, and is, consequently, a laborious and fatiguing operation when the space of water to be crossed is considerable; there is a method in which a swimmer may pass to great distances with much facility, by means of a sail. This discovery I fortunately made by accident, and in the following manner:—

When I was a boy, I amused myself one day with flying a paper kite; and approaching the back of a pond, which was near a mile broad, I tied the string to a stake, and the kite ascended to a very considerable height above the pond, while I was swimming. In a little time, being desirous of amusing myself with my kite and enjoying at the same time the pleasure of swimming, I returned, and loosing from the stake the string with the little stick which was fastened to it, went again into the water, where I found, that, lying on my back, and holding the stick in my hands, I was drawn along the surface of the water in a very agreeable manner. Having then engaged another boy to carry my clothes round the pond, to a place which I pointed out to him, on the other side, I began to cross the pond with my kite, which carried me quite over without the least fatigue, and with the greatest pleasure imaginable. I was only obliged occasionally to halt a little in my course, and resist its progress, when it appeared that, by following too quick, I lowered the kite too much; by doing which occasionally I made it rise again. I have never since that time practised this singular mode of swimming, though I think it not impossible to cross in this manner from Dover to Calais. The packet-boat, however, is still preferable.

  [2] Translator of Dr. Franklin's works into French.



I have heard, that nothing gives an author so great pleasure as to find his works respectfully quoted by other learned authors. This pleasure I have seldom enjoyed; for though I have been, if I may say it without vanity, an eminent author (of almanacs) annually, now a full quarter of a century, my brother authors in the same way (for what reason I know not) have ever been very sparing in their applauses; and no other author has taken the least notice of me; so that, did not my writings produce me some solid pudding, the great deficiency of praise would have quite discouraged me.

I concluded, at length, that the people were the best judges of my merit, for they buy my works; and besides, in my rambles, where I am not personally known, I have frequently heard one or other of my adages repeated, with "as poor Richard says," at the end on't. This gave me some satisfaction, as it showed not only that my instructions were regarded, but discovered likewise some respect for my authority; and I own, that to encourage the practice of remembering and repeating those wise sentences, I have sometimes quoted myself with great gravity.

Judge, then, how much I have been gratified by an incident which I am going to relate to you. I stopped my horse lately where a great number of people were collected at an auction of merchants goods. The hour of sale not being come, they were conversing on the badness of the times; and one of the company called to a plain, clean, old man, with white locks, "Pray, father Abraham, what think ye of the times? Won't these heavy taxes quite ruin the country? How shall we ever be able to pay them? What would you advise us to?" Father Abraham stood up, and replied,—"If you have my advice, I'll give it to you in short; 'for a word to the wise is enough; and many words won't fill a bushel,' as poor Richard says." They joined in desiring him to speak his mind; and, gathering round him, he proceeded as follows:

"Friends (says he) and neighbors, the taxes are indeed very heavy; and if those laid on by the government were the only ones we had to pay, we might more easily discharge them: but we have many others, and much more grievous to some of us. We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly: and from these taxes the commissioners cannot ease or deliver us, by allowing an abatement. However, let us hearken to good advice, and something may be done for us; 'God helps them that help themselves,' as poor Richard says in his Almanac.

"It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people one tenth part of their time, to be employed in its service; but idleness taxes many of us much more, if we reckon all that is spent in absolute sloth, or doing of nothing, with that which is spent in idle employments, or amusements that amount to nothing. Sloth, by bringing on diseases, absolutely shortens life. 'Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labor wears, while the key often used is always bright,' as poor Richard says. 'But dost thou love life? then do not squander time, for that's the stuff life is made of,' as poor Richard says. How much more than is necessary do we spend in sleep! forgetting that 'the sleeping fox catches no poultry, and that there will be sleeping enough in the grave,' as poor Richard says. 'If time be of all things the most precious, wasting time must be (as poor Richard says) the greatest prodigality;' since, as he elsewhere tells us, 'Lost time is never found again; and what we call time enough, always proves little enough.' Let us then up and be doing, and doing to the purpose: so by diligence shall we do more with less perplexity. 'Sloth makes all things difficult, but industry all easy,' as poor Richard says; and 'He that riseth late must trot all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at night; while laziness travels so slowly, that poverty soon overtakes him,' as we read in poor Richard; who adds, 'Drive thy business, let not that drive thee;' and,

'Early to bed, and early to rise,

Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.'

"So what signifies wishing and hoping for better times? We make these times better if we bestir ourselves. 'Industry needs not wish,' as poor Richard says; 'He that lives upon hope will die fasting.' 'There are no gains without pains; then help, hands, for I have no lands: or if I have, they are smartly taxed;' and (as poor Richard likewise observes) 'He that hath a trade hath an estate, and he that hath a calling hath an office of profit and honor;' but then the trade must be worked at, and the calling well followed, or neither the estate nor the office will enable us to pay our taxes. If we are industrious, we shall never starve; for, as poor Richard says, 'At the working-man's house hunger looks in, but dares not enter.' Nor will the bailiff or the constable enter; for, 'Industry pays debts, but despair increaseth them,' says poor Richard. What though you have found no treasure, nor has any rich relation left you a legacy? 'Diligence is the mother of good luck,' as poor Richard says: and 'God gives all things to industry: then plough deep while sluggards sleep, and you will have corn to sell and to keep,' says poor Dick. Work while it is called to-day; for you know not how much you may be hindered to-morrow; which makes poor Richard say, 'One to-day is worth two to-morrows;' and, further, 'Have you somewhat to do to-morrow, do it to-day.' 'If you were a servant, would you not be ashamed that a good master should catch you idle? Are you then your own master? be ashamed to catch yourself idle,' as poor Dick says. When there is so much to be done for yourself, your family, and your gracious king, be up by peep of day: 'Let not the sun look down, and say, Inglorious here he lies!' Handle your tools without mittens; remember, that 'the cat in gloves catches no mice,' as poor Richard says. It is true, there is much to be done, and perhaps you are weak-handed; but stick to it steadily, and you will see great effects; for continual dropping wears away stones, and by diligence and patience the mouse ate into the cable; and 'light strokes fell great oaks,' as poor Richard says in his Almanac, the year I cannot just now remember.

"Methinks I hear some of you say, 'Must a man afford himself no leisure?'—I will tell thee, my friend, what poor Richard says; 'Employ thy time well, if thou meanest to gain leisure; and since thou art not sure of a minute, throw not away an hour.' Leisure is time for doing something useful; this leisure the diligent man will obtain, but the lazy man never; so that, as poor Richard says, 'A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things.' Do you imagine that sloth will afford you more comfort than labor? No; for, as poor Richard says, 'Troubles spring from idleness, and grievous toils from needless ease: many without labor would live by their own wits only; but they break for want of stock.' Whereas industry gives comfort, and plenty, and respect. 'Fly pleasures, and they'll follow you; the diligent spinner has a large shift; and now I have a sheep and a cow, every body bids me good-morrow;' all which is well said by poor Richard.

"But with our industry, we must likewise be steady, and settled, and careful, and oversee our own affairs with our own eyes, and not trust too much to others; for, as poor Richard says,

'I never saw an oft-removed tree,

Nor yet an oft-removed family,

That throve so well as one that settled be.'

"And again, 'Three removes are as bad as a fire:' and again, 'Keep thy shop, and thy shop will keep thee:' and again, 'If you would have your business done, go; if not, send.' And again,

'He that by the plough would thrive,

Himself must either hold or drive.'

"And again, 'The eye of the master will do more work than both his hands;' and again, 'Want of care does us more damage than want of knowledge;' and again, 'Not to oversee workmen is to leave them your purse open.' Trusting too much to others' care is the ruin of many; for, as the Almanac says, 'In the affairs of the world, men are saved not by faith, but by the want of it; but a man's own care is profitable; for,' saith poor Dick, 'Learning is to the studious and riches to the careful, as well as power to the bold, and heaven to the virtuous.' And, further, 'If you would have a faithful servant, and one that you like, serve yourself.' And again, he adviseth to circumspection and care, even in the smallest matters, because sometimes, 'A little neglect may breed great mischief;' adding, 'For want of a nail the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for want of a horse the rider was lost:' being overtaken and slain by the enemy, all for want of care about a horse-shoe nail.

"So much for industry, my friends, and attention to one's own business; but to these we must add frugality, if we would make our industry more certainly successful. A man may, if he knows not how to save as he gets, 'keep his nose all his life to the grindstone, and die not worth a groat at last.' 'A fat kitchen makes a lean will,' as poor Richard says; and,

'Many estates are spent in the getting;

Since women for tea forsook spinning and knitting,

And men for punch forsook hewing and splitting.'

"'If you would be wealthy (says he, in another Almanac), think of saving, as well as of getting; the Indies have not made Spain rich, because her outgoes are greater than her incomes.'

"Away then with your expensive follies, and you will not have much cause to complain of hard times, heavy taxes, and chargeable families; for, as poor Dick says,

'Women and wine, game and deceit,

Make the wealth small, and the want great.

"And, further, 'What maintains one vice, would bring up two children.' You may think, perhaps, that a little tea, or a little punch now and then, diet a little more costly, clothes a little finer, and a little entertainment now and then, can be no great matter; but remember what poor Richard says—'Many a little makes a mickle;' and further, 'Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship;' and again, 'Who dainties love shall beggars prove;' and moreover, 'Fools make feasts, and wise men eat them.'

"Here you are all got together at this sale of fineries and nick-nacks. You call them goods; but if you do not take care, they will prove evils to some of you. You expect they will be sold cheap, and perhaps they may for less than they cost; but if you have no occasion for them, they must be dear to you. Remember what poor Richard says—'Buy what thou hast no need of, and ere long thou shalt sell thy necessaries.' And again, 'At a great pennyworth pause awhile.' He means, that perhaps the cheapness is apparent only, or not real; or the bargain, by straitening thee in thy business, may do thee more harm than good. For in another place he says, 'Many have been ruined by buying good pennyworths.' Again, as poor Richard says, 'It is foolish to lay out money in a purchase of repentance:' and yet this folly is practised every day at auctions, for want of minding the Almanac. 'Wise men (as poor Dick says) learn by others' harms, fools scarcely by their own; but Felix quem faciunt aliena pericula cautum.' Many a one, for the sake of finery on the back, have gone with a hungry belly, and half starved their families: 'Silk and satins, scarlet and velvets (as poor Richard says), put out the kitchen fire.' These are not the necessaries of life; they can scarcely be called the conveniences; and yet only because they look pretty, how many want to have them! The artificial wants of mankind thus become more numerous than the natural; and as poor Dick says, 'For one poor person there are a hundred indigent.' By these and other extravagances the genteel are reduced to poverty, and forced to borrow of those whom they formerly despised, but who, through industry and frugality, have maintained their standing; in which case it appears plainly, 'A ploughman on his legs is higher than a gentleman on his knees,' as poor Richard says. Perhaps they have had a small estate left them, which they knew not the getting of; they think 'It is day, and will never be night; that a little to be spent out of so much, is not worth minding.' 'A child and a fool (as poor Richard says) imagine twenty shillings and twenty years can never be spent; but always be taking out of the meal-tub, and never putting in, soon comes to the bottom:' then, as poor Dick says, 'When the well is dry, they know the worth of water.' But this they might have known before, if they had taken his advice: 'if you would know the value of money, go and try to borrow some; for he that goes a borrowing goes a sorrowing; and, indeed, so does he that lends to such people, when he goes to get it in again.' Poor Dick further advises, and says,

'Fond pride of dress is sure a very curse:

Ere fancy you consult, consult your purse.'

And again, 'Pride is as loud a beggar as Want, and a great deal more saucy.' When you have bought one fine thing, you must buy ten more, that your appearance may be all of a piece; but poor Dick says, 'It is easier to suppress the first desire, than to satisfy all that follow it.' And it is as truly folly for the poor to ape the rich, as the frog to swell in order to equal the ox.

'Vessels large may venture more,

But little boats should keep near shore.'

'Tis, however, a folly soon punished; for 'Pride that dines on vanity, sups on contempt,' as poor Richard says. And in another place, 'Pride breakfasted with Plenty, dined with Poverty, and supped with Infamy.' And, after all, of what use is this pride of appearance, for which so much is risked, so much is suffered? It cannot promote health, or ease pain; it makes no increase of merit in the person; it hastens misfortune.

What is a butterfly? At best,

He's but a caterpillar drest;

The gaudy fop's his picture just,

as poor Richard says.

"But what madness must it be to run in debt for these superfluities! We are offered, by the terms of this sale, six months' credit, and that perhaps has induced some of us to attend it, because we cannot spare the ready money, and hope now to be fine without it. But, ah! think what you do when you run in debt. You give to another power over your liberty. If you cannot pay at the time, you will be ashamed to see your creditor: you will be in fear when you speak to him; you will make poor, pitiful, sneaking excuses, and by degrees come to lose your veracity, and sink into base, downright lying; for, as poor Richard says, 'The second vice is lying; the first is running in debt.' And again, to the same purpose, 'Lying rides upon debt's back;' whereas a free-born Englishman ought not to be ashamed nor afraid to speak to any man living.—But poverty often deprives a man of all spirit and virtue: 'It is hard for an empty bag to stand upright,' as poor Richard truly says. What would you think of that prince, or that government, who would issue an edict, forbidding you to dress like a gentleman or gentlewoman, on pain of imprisonment or servitude? Would you not say, that you were free, have a right to dress as you please, and that such an edict would be a breach of your privileges, and such a government tyrannical? And yet you are about to put yourself under that tyranny when you run in debt for such dress! Your creditor has authority, at his pleasure, to deprive you of your liberty, by confining you in jail for life, or by selling you for a servant, if you should not be able to pay him. When you have got your bargain, you may, perhaps, think little of payment; but 'Creditors (poor Richard tells us) have better memories than debtors;' and in another place he says, 'Creditors are a superstitious sect, great observers of set days and times.' The day comes round before you are aware, and the demand is made before you are prepared to satisfy it; or, if you bear your debt in mind, the term which at first seemed so long, will, as it lessens, appear extremely short. Time will seem to have added wings to his heels as well as at his shoulders. 'Those have a short Lent (saith poor Richard) who owe money to be paid at Easter.' Then since, as he says, 'The borrower is a slave to the lender, and the debtor to the creditor,' disdain the chain, preserve your freedom, and maintain your independency: be industrious and free; be frugal and free. At present, perhaps, you may think yourselves in thriving circumstances, and that you can bear a little extravagance without injury; but

'For age and want save while you may,

No morning sun lasts a whole day,'

as poor Richard says. Gain may be temporary and uncertain; but ever, while you live, expense is constant and certain: and 'It is easier to build two chimneys, than to keep one in fuel,' as poor Richard says. So 'Rather go to bed supperless than rise in debt.'

'Get what you can, and what you get hold,

'Tis the stone that will turn all your lead into gold,'

as poor Richard says. And when you have got the philosopher's stone, sure you will no longer complain of bad times, or the difficulty of paying taxes.

"This doctrine, my friends, is reason and wisdom; but, after all, do not depend too much upon your own industry, and frugality, and prudence, though excellent things; for they may be blasted, without the blessing of Heaven: and therefore ask that blessing humbly, and be not uncharitable to those that at present seem to want it, but comfort and help them. Remember Job suffered, and was afterwards prosperous.

"And now, to conclude, 'Experience keeps a dear school; but fools will learn in no other, and scarce in that; for it is true, we may give advice, but we cannot give conduct,' as poor Richard says. However, remember this, 'They that will not be counseled cannot be helped,' as poor Richard says; and further, that 'If you will not hear Reason, she will surely rap your knuckles.'"

Thus the old gentleman ended his harangue. The people heard it, and approved the doctrine, and immediately practised the contrary, just as if it had been a common sermon; for the auction opened, and they began to buy extravagantly, notwithstanding all his cautions, and their own fear of taxes. I found the good man had thoroughly studied my Almanacs, and digested all I had dropped on those topics, during the course of twenty-five years. The frequent mention he made of me, must have tired every one else; but my vanity was wonderfully delighted with it, though I was conscious that not a tenth part of the wisdom was my own, which he ascribed to me, but rather the gleanings that I had made of the sense of all ages and nations. However, I resolved to be the better for the echo of it; and though I had at first determined to buy stuff for a new coat, I went away, resolved to wear my old one a little longer. Reader, if thou wilt do the same, thy profit will be as great as mine.

I am, as ever, thine to serve thee,




By the original laws of nations, war and extirpation were the punishment of injury. Humanizing by degrees, it admitted slavery instead of death; a further step was the exchange of prisoners instead of slavery; another, to respect more the property of private persons under conquest, and be content with acquired dominion. Why should not this law of nations go on improving? Ages have intervened between its several steps; but as knowledge of late increases rapidly, why should not those steps be quickened? Why should it not be agreed to, as the future law of nations, that in any war hereafter, the following description of men should be undisturbed, have the protection of both sides, and be permitted to follow their employments in security? viz.

1. Cultivators of the earth, because they labor for the subsistence of mankind.

2. Fishermen, for the same reason.

3. Merchants and traders in unarmed ships, who accommodate different nations by communicating and exchanging the necessaries and conveniences of life.

4. Artists and mechanics, inhabiting and working in open towns.

It is hardly necessary to add that the hospitals of enemies should be unmolested; they ought to be assisted. It is for the interest of humanity in general, that the occasions of war, and the inducements to it, should be diminished. If rapine be abolished, one of the encouragements to war is taken away; and peace, therefore, more likely to continue and be lasting.

The practice of robbing merchants on the high seas—a remnant of the ancient piracy—though it may be accidentally beneficial to particular persons, is far from being profitable to all engaged in it, or to the nation that authorizes it. In the beginning of a war, some rich ships are surprised and taken. This encourages the first adventurers to fit out more armed vessels; and many others to do the same. But the enemy at the same time become more careful, arm their merchant ships better, and render them not so easy to be taken; they go also more under the protection of convoys. Thus, while the privateers to take them are multiplied, the vessels subjected to be taken and the chances of profit are diminished; so that many cruises are made wherein the expenses overgo the gains; and, as is the case in other lotteries, though particulars have got prizes, the mass of adventurers are losers, the whole expense of fitting out all the privateers during a war being much greater than the whole amount of goods taken.

Then there is the national loss of all the labor of so many men during the time they have been employed in robbing; who, besides, spend what they get in riot, drunkenness, and debauchery; lose their habits of industry; are rarely fit for any sober business after a peace, and serve only to increase the number of highwaymen and house-breakers. Even the undertakers who have been fortunate are, by sudden wealth, led into expensive living, the habit of which continues when the means of supporting it cease, and finally ruins them; a just punishment for their having wantonly and unfeelingly ruined many honest, innocent traders and their families, whose substance was employed in serving the common interests of mankind.



At this time, when the general complaint is that—"money is scarce," it will be an act of kindness to inform the moneyless how they may reinforce their pockets. I will acquaint them with the true secret of money-catching, the certain way to fill empty purses, and how to keep them always full. Two simple rules, well observed, will do the business.

First, Let honesty and industry be thy constant companions; and,

Secondly, Spend one penny less than thy clear gains.

Then shall thy hide-bound pocket soon begin to thrive, and will never again cry with the empty belly-ache; neither will creditors insult thee, nor want oppress, nor hunger bite, nor nakedness freeze thee. The whole hemisphere will shine brighter, and pleasure spring up in every corner of thy heart. Now, therefore, embrace these rules and be happy. Banish the bleak winds of sorrow from thy mind, and live independent. Then shalt thou be a man, and not hide thy face at the approach of the rich, nor suffer the pain of feeling little when the sons of fortune walk at thy right hand; for independency, whether with little or much, is good fortune, and placeth thee on even ground with the proudest of the golden fleece. Oh, then, be wise, and let industry walk with thee in the morning, and attend thee until thou reachest the evening hour for rest. Let honesty be as the breath of thy soul, and never forget to have a penny, when all thy expenses are enumerated and paid; then shalt thou reach the point of happiness, and independence shall be thy shield and buckler, thy helmet and crown; then shall thy soul walk upright, nor stoop to the silken wretch because he hath riches, nor pocket an abuse because the hand which offers it wears a ring set with diamonds.



Playing at chess is the most ancient and universal game known among men; for its original is beyond the memory of history, and it has, for numberless ages, been the amusement of all the civilized nations of Asia—the Persians, the Indians, and the Chinese. Europe has had it above a thousand years; the Spaniards have spread it over their parts of America, and it begins to make its appearance in these States. It is so interesting in itself as not to need the view of gain to induce engaging in it; and thence it is never played for money. Those, therefore, who have leisure for such diversions, cannot find one that is more innocent; and the following piece, written with a view to correct (among a few young friends) some little improprieties in the practice of it, shows, at the same time, that it may, in its effects on the mind, be not merely innocent, but advantageous, to the vanquished as well as the victor.

The game of chess is not merely an idle amusement. Several very valuable qualities of the mind, useful in the course of human life, are to be acquired or strengthened by it, so as to become habits ready on all occasions. For life is a kind of chess, in which we have points to gain, and competitors or adversaries to contend with, and in which there is a vast variety of good and ill events, that are, in some degree, the effects of prudence or the want of it. By playing at chess, then, we learn,

I. Foresight, which looks a little into futurity, considers the consequences that may attend an action: for it is continually occurring to the player, "If I move this piece, what will be the advantage of my new situation? What use can my adversary make of it to annoy me? What other moves can I make to support it, and to defend myself from his attacks?"

II. Circumspection, which surveys the whole chessboard, or scene of action, the relations of the several pieces and situation, the dangers they are respectively exposed to, the several possibilities of their aiding each other, the probabilities that the adversary may take this or that move, and attack this or the other piece, and what different means can be used to avoid his stroke, or turn its consequences against him.

III. Caution, not to make your moves too hastily. This habit is best acquired by observing strictly the laws of the game, such as, "If you touch a piece, you must move it somewhere; if you set it down, you must let it stand:" and it is therefore best that these rules should be observed; as the game thereby becomes more the image of human life, and particularly of war: in which, if you have incautiously put yourself into a bad and dangerous position, you cannot obtain your enemy's leave to withdraw your troops, and place them more securely, but you must abide all the consequences of your rashness.

And, lastly, we learn by chess the habit of not being discouraged by present bad appearances in the state of our affairs, the habit of hoping for a favorable change, and that of persevering in the search of resources. The game is so full of events, there is such a variety of turns in it, the fortune of it is so subject to sudden vicissitudes, and one so frequently, after long contemplation, discovers the means of extricating one's self from a supposed insurmountable difficulty, that one is encouraged to continue the contest to the last, in hope of victory by our own skill, or at least of giving a stale mate, by the negligence of our adversary. And whoever considers, what in chess he often sees instances of,—that particular pieces of success are apt to produce presumption, and its consequent inattention, by which the loss may be recovered,—will learn not to be too much discouraged by the present success of his adversary, nor to despair of final good fortune, upon every little check he receives in the pursuit of it.

That we may, therefore, be induced more frequently to choose this beneficial amusement, in preference to others, which are not attended with the same advantages, every circumstance which may increase the pleasure of it should be regarded; and every action or word that is unfair, disrespectful, or that in any way may give uneasiness, should be avoided, as contrary to the immediate intention of both the players, which is to pass the time agreeably.

Therefore, first, If it is agreed to play according to the strictest rules, then those rules are to be exactly observed by both parties, and should not be insisted on for one side, while deviated from by the other—for this is not equitable.

Secondly, If it is agreed not to observe the rules exactly, but one party demands indulgences, he should, then, be as willing to allow them to the other.

Thirdly, No false move should ever be made to extricate yourself out of a difficulty, or to gain an advantage. There can be no pleasure in playing with a person once detected in such unfair practices.

Fourthly, If your adversary is long in playing, you ought not to hurry him, or to express any uneasiness at his delay. You should not sing, nor whistle, nor look at your watch, nor take up a book to read, nor make a tapping with your feet on the floor, or with your fingers on the table, nor do any thing that may disturb his attention. For all these things displease; and they do not show your skill in playing, but your craftiness or your rudeness.

Fifthly, You ought not to endeavor to amuse and deceive your adversary, by pretending to have made bad moves, and saying that you have now lost the game, in order to make him secure and careless, and inattentive to your schemes; for this is fraud and deceit, not skill in the game.

Sixthly, You must not, when you have gained a victory, use any triumphing or insulting expression, nor show too much pleasure; but endeavor to console your adversary, and make him less dissatisfied with himself, by every kind of civil expression that may be used with truth; such as, "You understand the game better then I, but you are a little inattentive;" or, "You play too fast;" or, "You had the best of the game, but something happened to divert your thoughts, and that turned it in my favor."

Seventhly, If you are a spectator while others play, observe the most perfect silence. For if you give advice, you offend both parties; him against whom you give it, because it may cause the loss of his game; and him in whose favor you gave it, because, though it be good, and he follows it, he loses the pleasure he might have had, if you had permitted him to think until it had occurred to himself. Even after a move, or moves, you must not, by replacing the pieces, show how it might have been placed better; for that displeases, and may occasion disputes and doubts about their true situation. All talking to the players lessens or diverts their attention, and is therefore unpleasing. Nor should you give the least hint to either party, by any kind of noise or motion. If you do, you are unworthy to be a spectator. If you have a mind to exercise or show your judgment, do it in playing your own game, when you have an opportunity, not in criticising, or meddling with, or counseling the play of others.

Lastly, If the game is not to be played rigorously, according to the rules above-mentioned, then moderate your desire of victory over your adversary, and be pleased with one over yourself. Snatch not eagerly at every advantage offered by his unskilfulness or inattention; but point out to him kindly, that by such a move he places or leaves a piece in danger and unsupported; that by another he will put his king in a perilous situation, &c. By this generous civility (so opposite to the unfairness above forbidden), you may, indeed, happen to lose the game to your own opponent, but you will win what is better, his esteem, his respect, and his affection; together with the silent approbation and good-will of impartial spectators.





You may remember, my dear friend, that when we lately spent that happy day, in the delightful garden and sweet society of the Moulin Joly, I stopped a little in one of our walks, and staid some time behind the company. We had been shown numberless skeletons of a kind of little fly, called an ephemera, whose successive generations, we were told, were bred and expired within the day. I happened to see a living company of them on a leaf, who appeared to be engaged in conversation. You know I understand all the inferior animal tongues; my too great application to the study of them is the best excuse I can give for the little progress I have made in your charming language. I listened through curiosity to the discourse of these little creatures; but as they, in their national vivacity, spoke three or four together, I could make but little of their conversation. I found, however, by some broken expressions that I heard now and then, they were disputing warmly on the merit of two foreign musicians, one a cousin, the other a moscheto: in which dispute they spent their time, seeming as regardless of the shortness of their life as if they had been sure of living a month. Happy people, thought I; you live certainly under a wise, just, and mild government, since you have no public grievances to complain of, nor any other subject of contention but the perfections or imperfections of foreign music. I turned my head from them to an old gray-headed one, who was single on another leaf, and talking to himself. Being amused with his soliloquy, I put it down in writing, in hopes it will likewise amuse her to whom I am so much indebted for the most pleasing of all amusements, her delicious company and heavenly harmony.

"It was," says he, "the opinion of learned philosophers of our race, who lived and flourished long before my time, that this vast world, the Moulin Joly, could not itself subsist more than eighteen hours: and I think there was some foundation for that opinion; since, by the apparent motion of the great luminary, that gives life to all nature, and which in my time has evidently declined considerably towards the ocean at the end of the earth, it must then finish its course, be extinguished in the waters that surround us, and leave the world in cold and darkness, necessarily producing universal death and destruction. I have lived seven of those hours; a great age, being no less than 420 minutes of time! How very few of us continue so long! I have seen generations born, flourish and expire. My present friends are children and grand-children of the friends of my youth, who are now, alas, no more! And I must soon follow them; for by the common course of nature, though still in health, I cannot expect to live above seven or eight minutes longer. What now avails all my toil and labor, in amassing the honey dew on this leaf, which I cannot live to enjoy? What my political struggles I have been engaged in, for the good of my compatriot inhabitants of this bush, or my philosophical studies, for the benefit of our race in general; for in politics (what can laws do without morals?) our present race of ephemeræ will in a course of minutes become corrupt like those of other and older bushes, and consequently as wretched! And in philosophy how small our progress! Alas! art is long, and life is short! My friends would comfort me with the idea of a name, they say, I shall leave behind me; and they tell me I have lived long enough to nature and to glory. But what will fame be to an ephemera who no longer exists? and what will become of all history in the eighteenth hour, when the world itself, even the whole Moulin Joly, shall come to its end, and be buried in a universal ruin?"

To me, after all my eager pursuits, no solid pleasures now remain, but the reflection of a long life spent in meaning well, the sensible conversation of a few good lady ephemeræ, and now and then a kind smile and a tune from the ever amiable Brilliant