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He had not been long at Philadelphia, where he was employed in a printing-office, when a very curious circumstance led to his visiting England. Sir William Keith, the governor of the province, having seen one of Franklin's letters, undertook to patronize him, and tried to persuade old Mr. Franklin to advance money to set Benjamin up as a master-printer. The shrewd old man refused to do this, notwithstanding Sir William's offer of patronage. Sir William Keith then promised to help him himself, and persuaded Benjamin, who was only about seventeen years old, to make a voyage to England to buy types and whatever was wanted. He was to have letters of introduction from the governor; but the letters never came; and when he got to England he was laughed at for expecting them, by those who knew Sir William Keith's habits.

It very often happens that the talents of young men excite admiration in some rich, idle, or odd person living in the neighbourhood; and young men are often led to believe, when this is done, that their fortune is made. Very rarely indeed does it happen that this empty praise leads to any thing more; and after a young man has lost a good deal of his time, and perhaps his temper also, he finds out that nothing is to be relied upon but his own exertions. Happy would it have been for many a youth of talent if he. had learnt this lesson early, and had known how inuch more comfortable he is who lives quietly upon the produce of some honest trade, than he who lives more expensively on the promises or on the occasional gifts of persons in a superior station, whose favour is always uncertain, and often suddenly withdrawn.

Poor Franklin doubtless felt that he was learning a hard lesson when he found himself a printer's boy, alone in so great a city as London, where all were busy and anxious for themselves, and no one had time to think about him. But he was not a person likely to sit down and give up all for lost. He had

youth and health, and strength, and some knowledge of a business, and felt convinced that if he starved it would be his own fault. So he set out to seek for work, and very soon got some, and then went on with his reading, just as readily as he had been accustomed to do at Boston. He lodged in the part of London called Little Britain, and made an agreement with a bookseller, who was his next door neighbour, to be allowed to read any of his large collection of secondhand books.

At this time, in consequence of being engaged in printing Wollaston's Religion of Nature, he wrote a pamphlet on the subject, which made him known to some learned men. We must remember, that, before he did this, he had been long and diligently preparing his mind by reading. His conduct at this period of his life, when so many young men are idle and profligate, was most excellent. Almost without a friend to advise him or care for him, his command over himself was complete. It was the custom of many of his fellow-workmen to spend much of their money in beer; but some were led by his example to leave off the habit of drinking, and, like him, they found their heads clearer for it, and their pockets better supplied at the end of the week. He never made holiday on Monday; thinking, very justly, that one day out of six was too much to spend unprofitably. Thus he worked fifty-two days more in the year, and received fifty-two days' more wages than most of the other printers; and he became so clever in his trade, and so quick in putting letters together, or what printers call composing, that whenever any thing was wanted quickly, he was set to do it; and what was wanted quickly was best paid for.

With all this, Franklin was not a gloomy, affected young man, but as merry as any body, full of jokes and good humour, so that he was a great favourite with every body in the printing-office, and with all his acquaintance. If you read his works, you will see that this lively disposition remained with him to the end of his life, and that he generally contrived at the time he was writing what was to be useful to his readers, to put in a word or two now and then that might amuse them.

When he had been about a year and a half in London, he left it to return to America, little thinking he should one day return to England, and be courted by all the most distinguished English people. Several years, however, were yet to be passed in the same honest and continual industry, by which, and not by any sudden chances or strokes of fortune, Franklin rose from an humble station to one of distinction.

The reason of his leaving England was this. A Mr. Denham, who had come from America in the same ship with him, and was very friendly towards him, was about to set up a mercantile establishment, or what is called in America, a store, at Philadelphia, and offered to make him his clerk, with a salary of fifty pounds a-year. Franklin was earning more than fifty pounds a year in London, but his desire to see his native country once more led him to accept the offer. He was now twenty-one years of age; and it is a proof of the steadiness and foresight which belonged to him, that he employed part of his time, during the voyage, in drawing out a regular plan for the future conduct of his life ; and this plan, he says, was pretty faithfully adhered to quite through to old age.” The use of drawing up a plan of this kind, even supposing that some parts of it must afterwards be changed, is considerable. Whoever attempts it must be led to consider the kind of life he is actually leading; and after setting down something better, he will be a little ashamed of not trying to act up to it. If a young man keeps the kind of journal which has already been mentioned, he may easily leave the page opposite the journal of the day or week, for remarks concerning such parts of his past conduct as he thinks he ought not to repeat, or concerning any thing he may have neglected.

Mr. Denham died a few months after he reached Philadelphia, and with him Franklin lost all the hopes which his friendship had naturally encouraged. After this event, Franklin returned to his old master, whose name was Keimer, and whose types were better than they had been when Franklin was with him before, but who knew very little of his business. Keimer had some peculiar notions, and made Saturday his sabbath, which gave Franklin an additional holiday; and that holiday, from what has already been said of him, you will readily believe was not spent in idleness, but wholly passed in reading.

Some new types were wanted by his master; but there was no letter-foundry in all America at that time, and all types had to be sent for to England. Franklin had seen, when in London, how types were cast, and he set to work to make a mould, and contrived to cast some types himself. Whatever was to be done, he was always ready, and generally able to do it; if ink was wanted, he knew how to make it; he knew a little of engraving, and he attended to the business of the warehouse. He always made his knowledge useful, and was not, what many people fear their workmen will be if they become fond of reading, a mere reader, but an active, clever, contriving man of business, and, let what would happen, never much at a loss. When Keimer, in whose service he did not long remain, had contracted for the printing of some paper-money for the state of NewJersey, he could not perform his contract without the help of Franklin, and whilst they were engaged in this performance at Burlington, Franklin, who was thinking of setting up for himself, in partnership with one of his fellow-workmen, whose friends had money to assist him, was much encouraged by the conversa. tion of Isaac Decow, the surveyor-general at Burlington, a shrewd and sagacious old man, who used to tell him how he had himself risen in life; that he began by wheeling clay for the bricklayers, and only learned to write after he was twenty; also that he learned his business of surveying from surveyors for whom he used to carry the chain.. Decoy understood Franklin's character, and told him he foresaw that he would make his fortune.

As soon as Franklin returned to Philadelphia, he took a partner, whose name was Meredith, and they commenced business for themselves. The expense of types, and of all that printers require, was very great; and Franklin says that the first five shillings which they earned, by an accidental job, gave him more pleasure than any money he ever earned afterwards. Remembering the difficulties which beset him when a beginner, he was always kind to young men in similar circumstances. His industry and good conduct continued as great as ever. He was soon employed by the Quakers to print a history of their sect, in folio. Franklin composed a sheet of this a day, and his partner worked it off at the press. To compose a folio sheet is a hard day's work for a printer, and it was often eleven o'clock at night before Franklin had got through his task. But he was always determined to do his sheet a day; and one night, just as he was thinking that his day's work was comfortably over, one of the forms being broken, and half of the sheet thus undone again, he set patiently to work, and did it all over again before he left the office. It soon became known that Franklin was thus industrious, and orders for printing came fast, and his credit soon stood very high. Such is the advantage of a good character, that it even supplies the want of money. His partner, Meredith, perhaps relying on his rich relations, was idle, and fond of drinking, and of very little use in the partnership; and Franklin was enabled, by the kindness of two friends, to advance him some money, and get rid of him. They had, not long before, undertaken

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