• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Title Page
 Half Title
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Preface
 Part I: Young Ben's love of the...
 Part II: Young Ben's lesson in...
 Back Cover
 Spine






Group Title: Young Benjamin Franklin: showing the principles which raised a printer's boy to first ambassador of the American Republic
Title: Young Benjamin Franklin
CITATION PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00065497/00001
 Material Information
Title: Young Benjamin Franklin showing the principles which raised a printer's boy to first ambassador of the American Republic
Physical Description: xvi, 534 p., 8 leaves of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 18 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Mayhew, Henry, 1812-1887
Paterson, William ( Publisher )
William Rider and Son ( Printer )
Scott & Ferguson ( Printer of plates )
Publisher: William Paterson
Place of Publication: Edinburgh ;
London
Manufacturer: William Rider and Son
Publication Date: [187-?]
 Subjects
Subject: Scientists -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Statesmen -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Apprentices -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Printers -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Philosophers -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Ambassadors -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1875
Genre: novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: Scotland -- Edinburgh
England -- London
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Henry Mayhew.
General Note: Date of publication based on binding indicating publication in the 1870's.
General Note: Frontispiece and added title page printed in colors by Scott & Ferguson.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00065497
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002227862
notis - ALG8164
oclc - 70919658

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Title Page 1
        Title Page 2
    Half Title
        Page i
        Page ii
    Frontispiece
        Page iii
    Title Page
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
    Preface
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
    Part I: Young Ben's love of the sea, and how he was weaned from it
        Page 1
        "What ever shall we do with the boy?"
            Page 1
            Page 2
            Page 3
            Page 4
            Page 5
            Page 6
            Page 7
            Page 8
            Page 9
            Page 10
            Page 11
            Page 12
            Page 13
            Page 14
            Page 15
        "Missing: A young gentleman"
            Page 16
            Page 17
            Page 18
            Page 19
            Page 20
            Page 21
            Page 22
            Page 23
        The Franklin family
            Page 24
            Page 25
            Page 26
            Page 27
            Page 28
            Page 29
            Page 30
            Page 31
        The feast, and an arrival
            Page 32
            Page 33
            Page 34
            Page 35
            Page 36
            Page 37
        The father’s lecture
            Page 38
            Page 39
            Page 40
            Page 41
            Page 42
        A talk about the sea
            Page 43
            Page 44
            Page 45
            Page 46
            Page 47
            Page 48
            Page 49
            Page 50
            Page 51
            Page 52
            Page 53
            Page 54
            Page 55
            Page 56
            Page 57
    Part II: Young Ben's lesson in life, and what he learnt from it
        Page 58
        Going out in the world
            Page 58
            Page 59
            Page 60
            Page 61
            Page 62
            Page 63
            Page 64
            Page 65
            Page 66
            Page 67
        "A hit! A hit!"
            Page 68
            Page 69
            Page 70
        The will and the way
            Page 71
            Page 72
            Page 73
            Page 74
            Page 75
            Page 76
            Page 77
            Page 78
        How to make work pleasant and profitable
            Page 79
            Page 80
            Page 81
            Page 82
            Page 83
            Page 84
            Page 85
            Page 86
            Page 87
            Page 88
            Page 89
            Page 90
        Becalmed
            Page 91
            Page 92
            Page 93
            Page 94
            Page 95
            Page 96
            Page 97
            Page 98
            Page 99
            Page 100
            Page 101
            Page 102
            Page 103
            Page 104
            Page 105
        A new world
            Page 106
            Page 107
            Page 108
            Page 109
            Page 110
            Page 111
            Page 112
            Page 113
            Page 114
            Page 115
        How to be rich
            Page 116
            Page 117
            Page 118
            Page 119
            Page 120
            Page 121
            Page 122
            Page 123
            Page 124
            Page 125
            Page 126
            Page 127
            Page 128
            Page 129
            Page 130
            Page 131
            Page 132
            Page 133
            Page 134
            Page 135
            Page 136
            Page 137
        An alarm
            Page 138
            Page 139
            Page 140
            Page 141
            Page 142
            Page 143
            Page 144
        The great raree-show
            Page 145
            Page 146
            Page 147
            Page 148
            Page 149
            Page 150
            Page 151
            Page 152
            Page 153
        Pleasure hunting
            Page 154
            Page 155
            Page 156
            Page 157
            Page 158
            Page 159
            Page 160
            Page 161
            Page 162
            Page 163
            Page 164
            Page 165
            Page 166
            Page 167
            Page 168
            Page 169
            Page 170
            Page 171
            Page 172
            Page 173
            Page 174
            Page 175
            Page 176
            Page 177
            Page 178
            Page 179
            Page 180
            Page 181
            Page 182
            Page 183
            Page 184
            Page 185
            Page 186
            Page 187
            Page 188
            Page 189
            Page 190
            Page 191
            Page 192
            Page 193
            Page 194
            Page 195
            Page 196
            Page 197
            Page 198
            Page 199
            Page 200
            Page 201
            Page 202
            Page 203
            Page 204
        The right road
            Page 205
            Page 206
            Page 207
            Page 208
            Page 209
            Page 210
            Page 211
            Page 212
            Page 213
            Page 214
            Page 215
            Page 216
            Page 217
            Page 218
            Page 219
            Page 220
            Page 221
            Page 222
            Page 223
            Page 224
            Page 225
            Page 226
            Page 227
            Page 228
            Page 229
            Page 230
            Page 231
            Page 232
            Page 233
            Page 234
            Page 235
            Page 236
            Page 237
            Page 238
        The next turning
            Page 239
            Page 240
            Page 241
            Page 242
            Page 243
            Page 244
            Page 245
            Page 246
            Page 247
            Page 248
            Page 249
            Page 250
            Page 251
            Page 252
            Page 253
            Page 254
            Page 255
            Page 256
            Page 257
            Page 258
            Page 259
            Page 260
            Page 261
            Page 262
            Page 263
            Page 264
            Page 265
            Page 266
            Page 267
            Page 268
            Page 269
            Page 270
            Page 271
            Page 272
            Page 273
            Page 274
            Page 275
            Page 276
            Page 277
            Page 278
            Page 279
            Page 280
            Page 281
            Page 282
            Page 283
            Page 284
            Page 285
            Page 286
            Page 287
            Page 288
            Page 289
            Page 290
            Page 291
            Page 292
            Page 293
            Page 294
            Page 295
            Page 296
            Page 297
            Page 298
            Page 299
            Page 300
            Page 301
            Page 302
            Page 303
            Page 304
            Page 305
            Page 306
            Page 307
            Page 308
            Page 309
            Page 310
            Page 311
            Page 312
            Page 313
            Page 314
            Page 315
            Page 316
            Page 317
            Page 318
            Page 319
            Page 320
            Page 321
            Page 322
            Page 323
            Page 324
        Teasing
            Page 325
            Page 326
            Page 327
            Page 328
            Page 329
            Page 330
            Page 331
        The lowest “rungs” on the ladder
            Page 332
            Page 333
            Page 334
            Page 335
            Page 336
            Page 337
            Page 338
            Page 339
            Page 340
            Page 341
            Page 342
            Page 343
            Page 344
            Page 345
            Page 346
            Page 347
            Page 348
            Page 349
            Page 350
            Page 351
            Page 352
        "Lower and lower still"
            Page 353
            Page 354
            Page 355
            Page 356
            Page 357
            Page 358
            Page 359
            Page 360
            Page 361
            Page 362
            Page 363
            Page 364
            Page 365
            Page 366
            Page 367
            Page 368
            Page 369
            Page 370
            Page 371
            Page 372
            Page 373
            Page 374
            Page 375
            Page 376
            Page 377
        Felons in the cradle
            Page 378
            Page 379
            Page 380
            Page 381
            Page 382
            Page 383
            Page 384
            Page 385
            Page 386
            Page 387
            Page 388
            Page 389
            Page 390
            Page 391
            Page 392
            Page 393
            Page 394
            Page 395
            Page 396
            Page 397
            Page 398
            Page 399
            Page 400
        Uncle Ben at home
            Page 401
            Page 402
            Page 403
            Page 404
            Page 405
            Page 406
            Page 407
        A peep into the heart
            Page 408
            Page 409
            Page 410
            Page 411
            Page 412
            Page 413
            Page 414
            Page 415
            Page 416
            Page 417
            Page 418
            Page 419
            Page 420
            Page 421
            Page 422
            Page 423
            Page 424
            Page 425
            Page 426
            Page 427
            Page 428
            Page 429
            Page 430
            Page 431
            Page 432
            Page 433
            Page 434
            Page 435
            Page 436
            Page 437
            Page 438
            Page 439
            Page 440
            Page 441
            Page 442
            Page 443
            Page 444
            Page 445
            Page 446
            Page 447
            Page 448
            Page 449
            Page 450
            Page 451
            Page 452
            Page 453
            Page 454
            Page 455
            Page 456
            Page 457
            Page 458
            Page 459
            Page 460
            Page 461
            Page 462
            Page 463
            Page 464
            Page 465
            Page 466
            Page 467
            Page 468
            Page 469
            Page 470
            Page 471
            Page 472
            Page 473
            Page 474
            Page 475
            Page 476
            Page 477
            Page 478
        The still, small voice
            Page 479
            Page 480
            Page 481
            Page 482
            Page 483
            Page 484
            Page 485
            Page 486
            Page 487
            Page 488
            Page 489
            Page 490
            Page 491
            Page 492
            Page 493
            Page 494
            Page 495
            Page 496
            Page 497
            Page 498
            Page 499
            Page 500
            Page 501
            Page 502
            Page 503
            Page 504
            Page 505
        The burden of the song
            Page 506
            Page 507
            Page 508
            Page 509
            Page 510
            Page 511
            Page 512
            Page 513
            Page 514
            Page 515
            Page 516
            Page 517
            Page 518
            Page 519
            Page 520
            Page 521
        The start in life
            Page 522
            Page 523
            Page 524
            Page 525
            Page 526
            Page 527
            Page 528
            Page 529
            Page 530
        The last day at home
            Page 531
            Page 532
            Page 533
            Page 534
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
    Spine
        Spine
Full Text














SPARMARRI Alto-


y not, i















YOUNG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.

































But the work shall not be lost."-Passage from the Epitaph of
Benjamin Franklin, written by himself.
It's hard for an empty sack to stand upright."-Proverbfrom
Poor Richard's Almnanack.







UNG


WILLIAM PATERSON,
EDINBURGH & LONDON.


I,s~
r


'r -






YOUNG


BENJAMIN FRANKLIN


Showing the Principles which raised a Printer's
Boy to First Ambassador of the
American Rejublic.




BY
HENRY MAYHEW.


WILLIAM PATERSON: EDINBURGH,
AND LOVELL'S COURT, PATERNOSTER ROW,
LONDON.













PREFACE.


IT was Walter Scott who first raised his voice
against the folly of writing down to the child,
saying, wisely enough, that the true object among
authors for the young should be to write the
child up to the man. As people talk broken
English to Frenchmen, and nurses prattle the
baby dialect to babies, so it was once thought that
boys' books should be essentially puerile-as
puerile in subject, and puerile in style, as the
tales about Don't-care Harry" (who was torn to
pieces by a hungry lion, merely because he would
persist in declaring that ho "didn't care" about
certain things in life), and such-like tender bits
of verdure that used to grace the good old English
Spelling-Books of earlier times.
Conformably to the Walter Scott theory, this
volume has not been penned with the object of
showing boys the delight of slaying a buffalo
or a bison; nor yet with the view of impressing
upon them the nobility of fighting or fagging at
school. The one purpose of the book is to give
young men some sense of the principles that
should guide a prudent, honourable, generous,
and refined gentleman through the world. It
does not pretend to teach youth the wonders of







viii PREFACE.
optics, chemistry, or astronomy, but to open
young eyes to the universe of beauty that encom-
passes every enlightened spirit, and to give the
young knights of the present day some faint idea
of the chivalry of life, as well as to develop in
them some little sense of, and taste for, the poetry
of action and the grace of righteous conduct.
It has long appeared to the author that the
modern system of education is based on the fal-
lacy, that to manufacture a wise man is necessarily
to rear a good one. The intellect, however, is but
the servant of the conscience (the impulses or
propensities of mankind being merely the executive,
rather than the governing and originating faculty of
our natures); and hence the grand mistake of the
teachers of our time has been to develop big
brains at the cost of little hearts-to cram with
science and to ignore poetry-to force the scholar
with a perfect hot-bed of languages, and yet to
stunt the worthy with an utter want of principle:
in fine, to rear Palmers, Dean Pauls, Redpaths,
Davisons, Robsons, Hughes, Watts, and a whole
host of well-educated and hypocritical scoundrels,
rather than a race of fine upright gentlemen.
Society, however, seems to have had its fill of the
mechanics' institute mania; the teachy-preachy
fever appears to have come to a crisis; and, in the
lull of the phrensy, the author of the present book
wishes to say his say upon the means of worldly
welfare, the laws of worldly happiness, and the
rules of worldly duty, to the young men of the
present generation.
As to the handling of the subject, some ex-






PREFACE. iX
planation is needed. Uncle Benjamin, who is
made the expounder of the Franklinian philo-
sophy to the boy Benjamin himself, is not a purely
imaginary character, He has been elaborated
into greater importance here, certainly, than he
assumes in the biography of his nephew; but this
has been done upon that Shakesperian rule of art,
which often throws an internal moral principle
into an external dramatic persona; and as the
witches in Macbeth are merely the outward em-
bodiment, in a weird and shadowy form, of Mac-
beth's own ambition, and have, obviously, been
introduced into the play with the view of giving
a kind of haunted and fatalistic air to a bloody
and devouring passion (a passion, indeed, that if
represented really and crudely, rather than ideally
and grandly, as it is, would have made the
tragedy an object of execration instead of sym-
pathy-a bit of filthy literality out of the Royal
Newgate Calendar, instead of a fine supernatural
bit of fate, overshadowed with the same sense
of doom as an old Greek play); even so, in a
small way, has Uncle Ben here been made the
exponent of the Franklin view of life, rather
than his nephew Benjamin to be the first to con-
ceive and develop it. Some may urge that, by
this means, the genius of Franklin is reduced
from its original, cast-iron, economic character,
to a mere second-rate form of prudential mind.
Nevertheless, there must have been some reason
for the printer-ambassador's Poor Richardism;"
say it was organization, temperament, or idiosyn-
crasy, if you will, that made him the man he






X PREFACE.
was;. still the replication to such a plea is, that
even these are now acknowledged to be more or
less derivative qualities, in which the family type
is often found either exaggerated into genius, or
dwarfed into idiocy. Hence it is believed that
no very great historic violence has been com-
mitted here, in making a member of the Franklin
family the father of Benjamin Franklin's character,
even as his parents were assuredly the progeni-
tors of his lithiasis." Moreover, Uncle Benjamin
was his godfather; and that in the days when
godfathership was regarded as a far different duty
(the duty of moral and religious supervision) from
the mere bit of silver-spoon-and-fork-odand that
it is now. Again, from the printer's own descrip-
tion of the character of his uncle, it is plain that
Uncle Ben was not the man to ignore any duty
he had taken upon himself. Besides, the old
man lived in the house with Benjamin's father,
and had himself only one son (who was grown
up and settled as a cutler in the town); so that
as the uncle was comparatively childless, it has
been presumed that the instinctive fondness of
age for youth might have led the old boy to be
taken with the budding intellect and principles of
his little nephew and namesake, and thus to have
exceeded his sponsorial duties, so far as to have
become the boy's best friend and counsellor,
loving him like a son, and training him like a
novice. Further we know that Uncle Benjamin
was a man of some observation and learning; he
appears also to have been a person of consider-
able leisure, and perhaps of some little means














YOUNG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.


PART I.

YOUNG BEN'S LOVE OF THE SEA, AND HOW
HE WAS WEANED FROM IT.


CHAPTER I.
"WHAT EVER SHALL WE DO WITH THE BOY ?

A PRETTY chubby-faced boy, with a pair of cheeks
rosy and plump as ripe peaches, was Master
Benjamin Franklin in his teens.
Dressed in a tiny three-cornered hat-a very
small pair of "smalls," or knee-breeches-and a
kind of little stiff-skirted fan-tailed surtout-he
looked like a Greenwich pensioner in miniature;
or might have been mistaken (had the colours
been gayer) for the little fat fairy-coachman to
Cinderella's state-carriage.
It, would have made a pretty picture to have
handed down to our time, could an artist have
sketched the boy, as he sat beside his toy ship, in
the old-fashioned, dark back parlour behind the
tallow-chandler's store-"at the corner of Ila-
nover and Union Streets," in the city of Boston,
New England.














YOUNG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.


PART I.

YOUNG BEN'S LOVE OF THE SEA, AND HOW
HE WAS WEANED FROM IT.


CHAPTER I.
"WHAT EVER SHALL WE DO WITH THE BOY ?

A PRETTY chubby-faced boy, with a pair of cheeks
rosy and plump as ripe peaches, was Master
Benjamin Franklin in his teens.
Dressed in a tiny three-cornered hat-a very
small pair of "smalls," or knee-breeches-and a
kind of little stiff-skirted fan-tailed surtout-he
looked like a Greenwich pensioner in miniature;
or might have been mistaken (had the colours
been gayer) for the little fat fairy-coachman to
Cinderella's state-carriage.
It, would have made a pretty picture to have
handed down to our time, could an artist have
sketched the boy, as he sat beside his toy ship, in
the old-fashioned, dark back parlour behind the
tallow-chandler's store-"at the corner of Ila-
nover and Union Streets," in the city of Boston,
New England.







? YOUNG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
Over the half-curtain of a glass-door, a long
deep fringe of white candles, varied with heavy
tassel-like bunches of "sixes" and eights,"
might be seen dangling from the rafters of the
adjoining shop, with, here and there, several small
stacks of yellow and white soap, in ingot-like
bars, ranged along the upper shelves; and the
eye could also catch glimpses of the square brown
paper cap which crowned the head of Josiah
Franklin (the proprietor of the establishment, and
father of our Benjamin), wandering busily about,
as the shop-bell was heard to tinkle-tinkle with
the arrival of fresh customers, seeking supplies of
the best mottled" or dips."
The back parlour itself, being lighted only from
the shop, was dim as a theatre by day, so that all
around was wrapt in the rich transparent-brown
shade of what artists call clear obscure." The
little light pervading the room shone in faint
lustrous patches upon the bright pewter platters
and tin candlesticks that were arranged as orna-
ments on the narrow wooden mantelpiece, whilst
it sparkled in spots in one corner of the apartment,
where, after a time, the eye could just distinguish
a few old china cups and drinking-glasses set out
on the shelves of the triangular cupboard.
In this little room sat Benjamin's mother, spin-
ning till the walls hummed like a top with the
drone of her wheel, and his sister Deborah, who
was busy making a main-sail for the boy's cutter
out of an old towel, now that she had finished
setting the earthen porringers for the family
supper of bread and milk; while young Ben him-
self appeared surrounded with a litter of sticks
intended for masts and yards, and whipcord for
rigging, and with the sail-less hull of his home-
made vessel standing close beside him on its little
stocks (made out of an inverted wooden footstool),







"WHAT SIIALL WE DO WITH THE BOY ?" 3
and seeming as if ready to be laid up in ordi-
nary "-under the dresser.
The boy had grown tired of his daily work; for
the candle-wicks which his father had set him to
cut lay in tufts about the deck of his boat, and the
few snips of cotton on the sanded floor told how
little of his task he had done since dinner-time.*
Indeed, it did not require much sagacity to
perceive that Benjamin hated the unsavoury
pursuits of soap-boiling and candle-making, and
delighted in the more exciting enterprises of
shipping and seafaring. On the bench at his
elbow was the bundle of rushes that had been
given him to trim, in readiness for what was his
especial horror-the approaching "melting-day,"
together with the frame of pewter moulds that
required to be cleaned for the new stock of cast
candles." But both of these were in the same
state as he had received them in the morning:
whereas the coat of the boy, and the ground all
about him, were speckled with chips from the old
broomstick that he had been busy shaping into a
main-mast for his miniature yacht, and near at
hand were two small pipkins filled with a penny-
worth of black and white paint, with which he
had been striping the sides of the little vessel, and
printing the name of the FLYING DUTCHMAN OF
BOSTON upon her stern.
"At ten years old," are Franklin's own words, given in
the history of his boyhood, written by himself, "1 was taken
to help my father in his business, which was that of a tallow-
chandler and soap-boiler-a business to which he was not
bred, but had assumed on his arrival in New England,
because he found that his dyeing trade, being in little
request, would not maintain his family. Accordingly, I was
employed in cutting wicks for the candles, filling the moulds
for cast candles,' attending to the shop, and going errands,
&c." At the opening''.of our story, the lad is supposed to
have been some time at this trade.








4 YOUNG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
The craft itself did no small credit to young
Benjamin's skill as a toy ship-builder, though
certainly her "lines" were more in the washing-
tub style of naval architecture than the wave-
principle" of modern American clippers: for
the hull was fashioned after the shape of the
Dutch Dogger-boatso" in the Boston harbour,
and had the appearance of an enormous wooden
shoe.
It had taken one of the largest logs from the
wood-house to build the boat, for she was the
size of a doll's cradle at least. It had cost no
little trouble, too, and broken not a few gouges in
hollowing out a hold" for her-even as big as a
pie-dish; and now that the mighty task had been
accomplished, she had sufficient capacity under
her hatches to carry a crew of white mice, and
might, on an emergency, have stowed away
victuals enough for a squirrel skipper to winter
upon.
Yet, in his heart, Benjamin found little plea-
sure in the amusement. He knew he was
neglecting his work for it; he knew, too, that his
half-Puritan father regarded disobedience as the
prime cause of all error, so that playing at such a
time was, after all, but sorry, deadly-lively sport
to him. Instead of being delighted with the
pastime, he went about it in fear and trembling-
with one eye on the miniature mast he was shap-
ing, and the other intently watching the move-
ments of the dreaded brown-paper cap in the
shop without. Every turn of the door-handle
made his little heart flutter like a newly-trapped
bird, and every approaching footstep was like the
click of a pistol in his ear; so that the stick
almost fell from his hand involuntarily with the
fright, and the candle-wicks and scissors were
suddenly snatched up instead, while an air of the








WIAT SHALL WE DO WITH THE BOY ?" 5
most intense industry was assumed for the time
being.
Indeed, the boy's life of late had been one
continual struggle and fight between his in
clinations and his duty. For the last two years he
had been supposed to be engaged at his father's
business, though from the work being anything
but a labour of love to him, he had really been
occupied with other things. He was for ever
longing to get away to sea, and nothing delighted
him but what, so to speak, smacked of the tar ;"
whereas he sickened at the smell of the melting-
days," and the mere sight of the tallow was asso-
ciated in his mind with a youthful horror of mut-
ton fat.*
Born and bred within a stone's throw of the
beautiful bay of Massachusetts, his earliest games
with the children of his acquaintance had been in
jumping from barge to barge, alongside the quay;
and ever since the little fellow had been breeched
he had been able to scull a boat across the basin ;"
whilst, in his schoolhood, he and his cronies
were sure every holiday to be out sailing or row-
ing over to some one of the hundred islands that
dappled the blue expanse of water round about
the city.
Steering had been the boy's first exercise of
power, and the pleasure the little cockswain had
felt in making the boat answer as readily as his
own muscles to his will, had charmed him with
the sailor's life; while the danger connected with

"I disliked the trade," Franklin tells us himself, in the
account of his early life, and had a strong inclination to go
to sea; my father, however, declared against it. But
residing near the water, I was much in it and on it. I
learned to swim well, and to manage boats; and when em-
barked with other boys, I was commonly allowed to govern,
especially in case of any difficulty."








6 YOUlIG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
the pursuit served only to increase the delight of
triumphing over the difficulties. Again, to his
young fancy, a ship at sea seemed as free as the
gull in the air* (though it has been well said, on
the contrary, that a ship is a prison without any
chance of escape"). Nor did he ever see a vessel
with its white pouting sails, glide like a snowy
summer cloud across the bay towards the silver
ring of the horizon, without wondering wha
the sailors would find beyond it, and longing ti
be with the crew, to visit strange countries
and people, and see what the earth was like,
and whether it was really true that there was no
end to the world, nor any place whore one could
stand on the brink of it, and look down into the
great well of space below.

For the last hour or two, however, the youth had
laid aside his ship tools, and having given his sister
instructions about the sail she had promised to
make for him, had taken from his pocket the book
which his brother-in-law, Captain Holmes-he
who had married his half-sister Ruth, and was
master of a sloop-had brought him that day (as
he ran in at dinner-time just to shake hands with
them all), on his return from his last voyage to
England. Benjamin had been burning to read
the volume all the day long; for it was en-
titled The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, lMariner,
by Daniel De Foe," and the captain had told him that
it had only jP t. been published in London" at
the time when he had set sail from that port.

The writer (who was a midshipman in his youth) would
seriously advise boys to abandon all such -.11 i!I ....... to the
pleasures of a sailor's life, for he can i, i I..... 1 I...t
it is not only the hardest and most -.. !.... a -,! iI .ii .....
but one in which the living, the houst,si, II' J .. '. ...
the poorest possible kind.






"WHAT SHALL WE DO WITH THE BOY?" 7
From his earliest childhood the little fellow had
been "passionately fond" of reading, and all the
halfpence his big brothers and his Uncle Ben-
jamin gave him he was accustomed to devote to
the purchase of books.* A new book, therefore,
was the greatest treat that could possibly have
been offered him, and such a one as his brother-
in-law had brought him (for he had already turned
over the leaves, and seen that it was about a sailor
cast away on a desert island) was more than he
could keep his eyes off till bedtime.
It had been like a red-hot coal in his pocket
all day.
So now that his mast was "stepped," and
Deborah was getting on with the sail, young
Benjamin had got the volume spread open on his
knees, and was too deeply absorbed in the mar-
vellous history of Crusoe's strange island life to
think either of the wicks, the rushes, or the
mould for the cast candles "-or even the punish-
ment that surely awaited him for his neglect.
Again and again his mother had entreated him
to put down the volume, and go on with the
wicks.
Benjamin!" she would cry aloud, to rouse the
lad from the trance he had fallen into, "do give
over reading till after work time, there's a good
child !"
"From my infancy," says our hero, in the narrative of
his boyhood, "I was passionately fond of reading, and all
the money that came into my hands was laid out in the
purchasing of books. I was very fond of voyages. .. My
father's little library consisted chiefly of works on polemic
divinity, most of which I read. I have often regretted, that
at a time when I had such a thirst for knowledge, more
proper books had not fallen in my way. There was among
them 'Plutarch's Lives,' which I read abundantly, and still
think that time spent to great advantage. There was alsa
a book of Dc Foe's, called An Essay on Projects.'"






8 YOUNG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
The eager boy, however, sat with his-nose
almost buried in the leaves, and, without raising
his eyes from the book, merely begged to be
allowed to read to the end of "that chapter ;"
though, no sooner was one finished than the pages
were turned over to learn the length of the next,
and another begun.
"I wish Captain Holmes had never brought
you the book!" the kind-hearted mother would
exclaim with a sigh, while she tapped the treadle
of her wheel the quicker for the thought-interject-
ing the next minute, as she heard the shop-bell
tinkle, and stretched up her neck, as usual, to look
over the blind, and see who was the new comer:
" Why, there's your Uncle Benjamin got back
from meeting, I declare!-It will only lead, I'm
afraid, to fresh words between you and your
father. Your head, Ben, is too full of the sea
already, without any vain story-books of sailors'
adventures to lead you astray."
"I am sure it was very kind of the captain,"
little Ben would reply, to make me such a nice
present; but he always brings every one of us
something at the end of each voyage. I can't
talk to you, though, just now, mother; for if I
was to get the strap for it, I couldn't break off
in the middle of this story-it's so nice and
interesting, you can't tell;" and the lad again bent
his head over the pages, so that the long hair, that
usually streamed down upon his shoulders, hung
over the leaves: and he kept tossing the locks
peevishly back as he gloated over the text.
In a moment he was utterly lost again in the
imaginary scones before him; and then he no more
heard his mother tell him that she was sure it
was time to think about putting the shutters up,
than if he had been fast asleep. Neither could
sister Deborah get a word from him, even though







WHAT SHALL WE DO WITH THE BOY?" 9
she wanted instructions as to where to place the
little reef-points upon his mimic main-sail.
Benjamin! Benjamin!" cried the mother, as
she rose from her wheel and shook the boy, to
rouse him from his trance, do you know, sirrah,
that your father will be in to supper directly,
and here you haven't cut so much as one bundle
of wicks all the day through ? I-ow shall I be
able to screen you again from his anger, so strict
as he is ?"
The boy stared vacantly, as though he had been
suddenly waked up out of a deep slumber, and
began to detail the incidents of the story he had
just read, after the fashion of boys in general,.from
the time when stories were first invented. Crusoe
gets shipwrecked you know, mother," he started off,
" and then he makes a raft, and goes off to the
vessel, you know, and saves a lot of things from
the ship, you know, and then, you know- "
"There! there! have done, boy!" cried the
mother in alarm; this madness for the sea will
be the ruin of you. Just think of the life Josiah
Franklin has led since he went off as a cabin-boy,
shortly after your father's first wife died; for
though he was the late Mrs. Franklin's pet child,
I've heard your father say that he shut his doors
upon him when he came back shoeless and shirt-
loss at the year's end; and whatever has become of
the poor boy now, the Lord above only knows."*
"I continued thus employed," says Franklin, in his
Autobiography, in my father's business for two years; that
is, till I was twelve years old; and then my brother John, who
was bred to that business, having left my father, and married,
and set up for himself at Rhode Island, there was every
appearance that I was destined to supply his place, and
become a tallow-chandler. But my dislike to the trade
continuing, my father had apprehensions, that if he did not
put me to one more agreeable, I should break loose to go to
sea, as my brother Josiah had done, to his great vexation."







10 YOUNG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
But, mother," persisted the lad, whose brain
was still so inflamed by the excitement of the
wondrous narrative that he could neither speak
nor think of anything else, only let me tell you
about what I have been reading--it's so beauti-
ful-and then I'll listen patiently to whatever
you've got to say;" and without waiting for an
answer Ben began again: Well, you know,
mother, Crusoe gets a barrel or two of gunpowder
from off the wreck, you know, and some tools as
well; and then he sets to work, you know, and
builds himself a hut on the uninhabited island."
The dame paid no heed to the incidents detailed
by the lad, but kept stretching her neck over the
curtain of the glass-door, and watching first the
figure of her husband in the shop, and then glanc-
ing at the wooden clock against the wall, as if she
dreaded the coming of the supper hour, when she
knew his father would be sure to demand of Ben-
jamin an account of his day's work.
She was about to snatch the book from the boy's
hands, and remove the cottons and the rushes out
of sight, when suddenly the voice of the father,
calling for Benjamin to bring him the wicks,
dispelled the boy's dream, and made the mother
tremble almost as much as it did the lad himself.
"Oh! mother! you'll beg me off once more,
won't you ?" sobbed the penitent Benjamin, as
his disobedience now flashed upon him, for he
knew how often his father had pardoned him for
the same fault, and that he had warned him that
no entreaties should prevent him punishing him
severely for the next offence.
".. I .i .,;ii. I say !" shouted the voice, authori-
tatively, from the shop.
Go to him, child," urged the mother, as she
patted her pet boy (for he was the youngest) on
the head to give him courage, "and confess your







"WHAT SHALL WE DO WITH THE COY ?" 11
fault openly like a little man. You know the
store your father sets upon a' contrite heart,' she
added, in the conventicle cast of thought peculiar
to the early settlers in New England; and rest
assured, if he but sees you repentant, his anger
will give way; for the aim of all punishment, Ben-
jamin, is to chasten, and not to torture; and peni-
tence does that through the scourging of the spirit,
which the other accomplishes through the suffer-
ing of the body."
Go you instead of me, mother-do now, there's
a dear. You will, won't you, eh?" begged the
little fellow, as he curled his arm coaxingly about
her waist, and looked up at her through his tears.
'"Do you tell him, mother, I never shall be able
to keep to the horrid candle-work, for I hate it-
that I do; and though every night when I lie
awake I make vows that I will not vex him again,
but strive hard at whatever he gives me to do,
still whei the next day comes my heart fails me,
and my spirit keeps pulling my body away" (the
boy had caught the puritanical phrases of the
time), "and filling my head with the delight
of being on the water; and then, for the life of
me,: I can't keep away from my voyage-books,
or my little ship, or something that reminds me of
the sea. If you'd only get him to let me go with
Captain Holmes-" and as the dame turned
her head away he added quickly, just for cne
voyage, dear mother-to see how I like it,-oh!
I'd-I'd-I don't know what I'd not do for you,
mother dear; I'd bring you and Deborah home
such beautiful things then, and- "
The boyish protestations were suddenly out
short by the sight of the brown-paper cap in the
shop moving towards the parlour; so, without
waiting to finish the sentence, the affrighted lad
iung open the side-door leading to the staircase,







12 YOUNG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
and scampered up to his room, with an imaginary
parent following close at his heels.

Here the little fellow threw himself on the
"trestle-bed" that stood in one corner of the
garret, and lay for a time too terrified for tears;
fur his conscience converted the least noise into
the approach of his father's footsteps; so that he
trembled like a leaf at every motion-his heart
beating the while in his bosom like a flail.
After a time, however, the lad, finding he was
left by himself, began to lay aside his fears, and
to talk, as boys are wont to do, about the hard-
ships he endured.
He was sure he did everything he possibly
could," he would mutter to himself, as he whim-
pered between the words; "and he thought it
very cruel of them to force him to keep to that
filthy, nasty candle-making, when they knew he
couldn't bear it; and what was more, lie never
should like it--not even if he was to make ever
so much money at it, and be able to keep a pony
of his own into the bargain. Why wouldn't they
let him go to sea, he wondered? He called it
very unkind, he did." And the boy would doubt-
,essly have continued in the same strain, had not
the little pet guinea-pig, that he kept in an old
bird-cage in one corner of his room, here given a
squeak so shrill that it sounded more like the
piping of a bird than the cry of a beast.
in a moment Benjamin had forgotten all his
sorrows; and with the tear-drops still lingering
in the corner of his eyes-like goutes of rain in
flower-cups after a summer shower-he leapt from
the bed, saying:-" Ah Master Toby Anderson,
you want your supper, do you?" and the next
minute his hand was inside the cage, dragging the
plump little piebald thing from out its nest of hay,







WHAT SHALL WE DO WITr THE BOY ?" 13
Then, cuddling the pet creature close up in his
neck, while he leant his head on one side so as to
keep its back warm with his cheek, he began
prattling away to the animal almost as a mother
does to her babe.
"Ah! Master Tiggy, that's what you like, don't
you ?" said Benjamin, as he stroked his hand along
the sleek sides of the tame little thing till it
made a noise like a cry of joy, somewhat between
the chirruping of a cricket and the purr of a cat.
"You like me to rub your back, you do-you fond
little rascal! But I've got bad news for Toby;
there's no supper for him to-night; no nice bread
and milk for him to put his little pink tooties in
while he eats it-for he's got all the manners of
the pig, that he has. Ah! he'll have to go to bed,
like his poor young master, on an empty stomach-
for what do you think, Tiggy dear? W hy, they've
been very unkind to poor Benjamin, that they
have;" and the chord once touched, the boy con-
fided all his sorrows to the pet animal, as if it had
been one of his cronies at school.
I wouldn't treat you so, would I, Toby ?" he
went on, hugging the little thing as he spoke, for
who gives the beauty nice apple-parings? and
who's a regular little piggy-wiggy for them ?-who
but Master Toby Anderson here. Ay, but to-night
my little gentleman will have to eat his bed;
though it won't be the first time he has done that;
for he dearly loves a bit of sweet, new hay-don't
you, Tobe?"
Presently the boy cried, as the animal wriggled
itself up the sleeve of his coat, Come down here,
sir; come down directly, I say!" and then stand-
ing up he proceeded to shake his arm violently
over the bed, till the little black and white ball
was dislodged from the new nestling-place he had
chosen.







14 YOUNG BENJAMIX FRANKLIN.
Come here, you little rascal! Come and lot
me look at you! There now, sit up and wash
yourself with your little paws, like a kitten, for
you're going to bed shortly, I can tell you. Oh,
he's a beauty, that he is!-with his black patch
over one eye like a little bull-dog, and a little
brown spot at his side, the very colour of a pear
that's gone bad. Then he's got eyes of his own
like large black beads, and little tiddy ears that
are as soft and pinky as rose-leaves. He's a nice
clean little tiggy, too, and not like those filthy
white mice that some boys keep, and which have
such a nasty ratty smell with them--no! Toby
smells of nice new hay instead. There there's
a fine fellow for you," cried the lad, as he rubbed
up the tiny animal's coat the wrong way. Why,
he looks like a little baby hog with a mane of
bristles up his neck. But Toby's no hog, that he
isn't, for he wouldn't bite me even with my finger
at his mouth-no I he only nibbles at it, to have
a game at play, that's all. But come, Master
Anderson, you must go back to your nest, and
make the best supper you can off your bed-clothes ;
for you can't sleep with the cat to-night, so you'll
have to keep yourself warm, old fellow, for I
couldn't for the life of me go down stairs to get
Pussy for you to cuddle just now."

The pet was at length returned to its cage,
and Benjamin once more left to brood over his
troubles; so he flung himself on the bed again,
and began thinking how he could best avoid the
punishment that he felt sure awaited him on the
morrow.
Yet it was strange, he mused, his father had
not called him down even to put the shutters up.
Who had closed the shop? he wondered. They
must have done supper by this time. Yes! that







WHAT SHALL WE DO WITH TIE BOY?" 15

was the clatter of the things being taken away.
Why didn't Deborah come to him ?-he always did
to her when she was in disgrace. Who had asked
a blessing on the food now he was away? Still
he could not make out why he wasn't called down.
Had mother begged him off as usual? No I that
couldn't be, for father had threatened last time
that he would listen to no more entreaties. Por-
haps one.of the deacons had come in to talk with
father about the affairs of the chapel in South-
street ; or else Uncle Ben was reading to them
his short-hand notes of the sermon he had gone
to hear that evening.t
Soon, however, the sounds of his father's violin
below-stairs put an end to the boy's conjectures as
to the occupation of the family, and as he crept
outside the door to listen, he could hear them all
joining in a hymn.1
Still Benjamin could not make out why his
punishment should be deferred. However, he
made his mind up to one thing, and that was to
be off to his brother-in-law, Captain Holmes, at

"I remember well," Franklin writes in the description
he gives of his father's character in his Autobiography, his
being frequently visited by leading men, who consulted him
for his opinion on public affairs, and those of the church.le
belonged to; and who showed a great respect for his judg-
ment and advice."
t "He had invented a short hand of his own," says
Franldin in his life speaking of his Uncle Benjamin,
" which he taught me ; but not having practised it, I have
now forgotten it. He was very pious, and an assiduous
attendant at the sermons of the best preachers, which he
reduced to writing according to his method, and had thus
collected several volumes of them."
$ My father was skilled a little in music. His voice was
sonorous and agreeable, so that when he played on his violin,
and sang withal, as lie was accustomed to do after the busi-
ness of the day was over, it was extremely agreeable to hear.'
-Franklin's Autobiograply.






16 YOUNG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
daybreak on the morrow, and get him to promise
to take him as a cabin-boy on his next voyage-for
that would put an end to all the noises between
his father and him.
The plan was no sooner framed than the lad
was away in spirit again, sailing far over the sea,
while he listened to the drone of the sacred tune
below; until at last, tired out with his troubles,
he fell asleep as he lay outside the bed, and woke
only when the air was blue with the faint light
of the coming day.
His first thoughts, on opening his eyes, were of
the chastisement that he felt assured was in store
for him if he stayed till his father was stirring.
So without waiting to tidy himself, he crept with
his shoes in his hand as silently as possible down
stairs, and then slipping them on his feet, he was
off-like a frightened deer-to the water-side.
Come what might, little Ben was determined to
be a sailor.


CHAPTER II.
MISSING : A YOUNG GENTLEMAN- "
" If Benjamin Franklin will return to his home, all zill
be for-"
"No! no! I won't have 'forgiven' put down,"
doggedly exclaimed the father, seizing hold of
Uncle Benjamin's arm to stop his pen, as the latter
read out, word by word, the announcement he was
busy writing for the town-crier; while, in one
corner of the room, that important civic functionary
stood waiting for the bit of paper, with his big bell
inverted, so that it looked like an enormous brass
tulip in his hand.
I ask your pardon, Master Frankling, but we







"IMISSISNG: A YOUNG GENTL.EMAN- -" 17
general says 'forgiven' in all sitcl cases," meekly
observed the bellman, with a slight pull of his
forelock.
Oh, Josiah, remember the words of your
morning prayer!" interposed the broken-hearted
mother, as for a moment she raised her face from
out her hands: forgive us as we-' you know
the rest." -
Ay, come, Josh," said Uncle Benjamin, don't
be stubborn-hearted! Think of the young 'never-
do-well' you were yourself when you were 'pren-
tice to brother John, at Banbury."*
"That's all very well!" murmured the Puritan
tallow-chandler, turning away to hide the smiles
begotten by the youthful recollection, and still
struggling with the innate kindness of his nature;
"but I've got a duty to perform to my boy, and
do it I will, even if it breaks my heart."
"Yes, but, Josh," remonstrated Uncle Ben, as
he laid his hand on his brother's shoulder, think
of the times and times you and I have stolen away
on the sly to Northampton, to see the mummer
there, unbeknown to father. Ah, you were a sad
young Jackanapes for the playhouse, that you
were, Master Josh, at Ben's age," he added,
nudging the father playfully in the side.
I don't mean to deny it, Benjamin;" and the
would-be Brutus chuckled faintly, as his brother
reminded him of his boyish peccadilloes-" but,"
he added immediately afterwards, screwing up as
good a frown as he could manage under the cir-
"John, my next uncle, was bred a dyer, I believe, of
wool," says Benjamin Franklin himself in his life. *
"My grandfather Thomas, who was born in 1598, lived at
Ecton till he was too old to continue his business, when he
retired to Banbury in Oxfordshire, to the house of his son
John, with whom my father served an apprenticeship."-See
Autobiography, pp. 3 and 4.
0







18 YOUrG DIENJA.MlX t ANIIt.
cumstances, that's no reason why I should allow
my boy to be guilty of the same sins. There, go
along with you-do," he exclaimed good-humour-
edly, as he endeavoured to shake off both the
mother and the uncle, who, seeing that the ice of
paternal propriety was fast thawing under the
warmth of his better nature, had planted them
selves one on either side of him. I tell you it's
my bounden duty not to overlook the boy's dis-
obedience any longer;" and, so saying, he beat
the air with his fist, as if anxious to hammer the
notion into his own mind as well as theirs.
Verily, Josiah, justice says all should be
punished, 'for there are none perfect-no not
one,' whispered the religious wife impressively
in his ear; "but love and mercy, husband, cry
Forgive."
; "To be sure they do," chimed in the good-
natured uncle; for as.the mummers used to say
in the play, Josh-' If all have their deserts, who
shall 'scape whipping?' So, come, I may put down
'forgiven,' eh ?" added the peacemaker, as he shook
his brother by the hand, while Josiah turned away
as if ashamed of his weakness. Ah I knew it
'ud be so," and quickly inditing the word, Uncle
Benjamin handed the paper to the crier, saying,
"'There, my man, you'd better first go round the
harbour with it; and if you bring the prodigal
back with you in an hour or two, why, you shall
have a mug of cider over and above your pay."
The crier, having nodded his head, and scraped
his foot back along the sanded floor, by way of
obeisance, took his departure, when in a minute
or two the family heard his bell jangling away at
the end of the street, and immediately afterwards
caught the distant cry of Oyez, oyez, oyez hif
Benjamin Frankling will return to his 'ome -"
"Do you hear, sister?" said Uncle Benjamin,






MISSING : A YOUNG GENTLEMAN- 19
consolingly, as he approached the weeping mother;
"your boy will be heard of all over the town, and
you'll soon have your little pet bird back again
in his cage, rest assured."
Heaven grant it may be so, and bless you for
your loving-kindness, brother!" faltered out the
dame, half hysteric, through her tears, with delight
at the thought of regaining her lost son.
Hah! it'll all come right enough by-and-by,"
said Uncle Benjamin, with a sigh like the blowing
of a porpoise, as he now prepared to copy into his
short-hand book the notes of the sermon he had
heard on the previous evening; and the young
good-for-nothing will turn out to be the flower of
the flock yet-take my word for it. Wasn't our
brother Thomas the wildest of all us boys, Josh?
and didn't he come after all to be a barrister, and a
great man? And when Squire Palmer advised
him to leave the forge, on account of his love of
learning, and become a student at law, didn't father
-you remember, Josh-vow he wouldn't listen to
it, and declare that the eldest son of the Franklins
had always been a smith, and a smith, and nothing
else than a smith, his eldest son should be ? Well,"
the good man proceeded, as he kept rubbing his
spectacles with the dirty bit of wash-leather he
usually carried in his pocket, didn't Tom, I
say, in spite of father's objections and prophecies,
rise to be one of the foremost men in the whole
county, and a friend of my Lord Halifax ?* ay, and
Thomas, my eldest uncle," wrote Franklin in 1771 to
his son, William Temple Franklin, who was then Governor
of New Jersey, was bred a smith under his father (" the
eldest son being always brought up to that employment," lie
states in another place), "but being ingenious, and encou-
raged in learning, as all his brothers were, by an Esquire
Palmer, then the principal inhabitant of our parish, he quali-
fied himself for the Bar, and became a considerable man in
the county, was chief mover of all public-spirited cntc'pri:es
c2






20 YOUNG I ir.- ,i\!i FRANKLIN.
so your Ben, mark my word, will come to be courted
by the great some day. For-though he's my own
godson, and called after me, too-he's the very
image of his uncle the barrister, that he is; so like
him, indeed, that if Thomas, instead of dying, as
he did four years to a day before Benjamin was
born, had quitted this world for a better just four
years later, why I should have said-had I been a
heathen, and believed in such things-that the
spirit of the one had passed into the body of the
other; for your Ben has got. the same clever head-
piece of his own, and is for all the world the same
greedy glutton at a book."
I grant he's a lad of some parts," exclaimed
the flattered father, while slipping on, over the
arms of his coat, the clean linen sleeves his wife
had put to air for him, and, indeed, was always
quick enough at his learning. But I'm wanted in
the shop," he added, as the bell was heard to
tinkle without; so do you, Benjamin, talk it
over with Abiah here, and please her mother's
heart by raising her hopes of her truant child.
Coming!" shouted the tallow-chandler, as he
ducked his head under the fringe of candles,
whilst the impatient visitor kept tapping on the
counter.
As the husband left the parlour, the tidy wife
cried in a half-whisper after him, Do pray stop,

for the county or town of Northampton, as well as of his own
village, of which many instances were related of him, and
le was much taken notice of and patronized by my Lord
Halifax. He died in 1702, four years to a day before I was
born. The recital which some elderly persons made to us of
his character, I remember struck you as something extraor-
dinary, from its similarity with what you know of me. Had
lie died,' said you, four years later, on the same day, one
might have supposed a transmigration.' '-Autobiography,
Bohn's Edition, p. 4.








MISSING: A YOUNG GENTLEMAN- 21
Josiah, and put on a clean apron, for really that
isn't fit to go into the shop with," and then,
finding she had spoken too late, she turned to
Uncle Benjamin (who was now scribbling away at
the table), and continued, with all the glory of a
mother's pride, I can hardly remember the time
when our Ben couldn't read: how, too, the little
fellow ever learnt his letters was always a mys-
tery to me, for I never knew of any one teaching
him.* But I can't get Josiah to bear in mind
that he was a boy himself once; for though Ben
may be a little flighty, I'm sure there's no vice in
the child."
And now that her thoughts had been diverted
into a more lively channel, she rose from her seat,
and began to busy herself with making the apple-
and-pumpkin pie that she had promised the chil-
dren for that day's feast.
It was only a packman with tapes and
ribbons," said Josiah, as he shortly rejoined the
couple : "but even he had got hold of the news
of our misfortune."
Well but, Josiah," expostulated the brother,
looking up sideways, like a bird, from the book
in which he was writing: don't you remember
the time, man alive, when you used to walk over
from Banbury to the smithy at Ectont every

# "My early readiness in learning to read," says our hero,
in the account he gives of himself, "(and which must have
been very early, as I cannot remember the time when I could
not read,) and the opinion of all friends that I should cer-
tainly make a good scholar, encouraged him (my father) in
this purpose of his-of putting me to the church."-Franlk-
lin's Life, p. 7.
t Some notes which som,. of my uncles, who had some
curiosity in collecting family anecdotes, once put into my
hands, furnished me with several particulars relative to our
ancestors. From these notes I learned that they lived in the
village of Ecton, in Northamptonshire, on a freehold of







22 YOUNG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
week, and go nutting and birds'-nesting with us
boys in Sywell Wood, on God's-day, without over
setting foot in His house? and do you recollect,
too, how we boys 'nd carry off the old iron from
the forge, and sell it to the travelling tinker,
who used to come round with his cart once
a month, and put up at the World's End' (that
was the sign of the inn at Ecton, Abiah," lie
added, parenthetically, "and the half-way house
between Northampton and Wellingborough, in
Old England), and how we let father accuse
Mat Wilcox,-you remember old Mat-who was
helping him at the forge then, of stealing his
metal, without ever saying a word to clear the
poor man. Ah! Josiah, Josiah! we can always
see the mote in another's eye-"
Say no more, Ben," exclaimed the reproved
brother, we are but weak vessels at best."
"Now confess, husband," interrupted the wife,
as she continued rolling out the paste before her,
till it was like a sheet of buff leather, isn't it
better that I got you to sleep on your anger be-
fore punishing the poor lad. It is but fright, after
all, that has driven him from us; and when
he returns, let me beg of you to use reason
rather than the whip with him."
Yes, Abiah," drily observed the husband,
Spare the rod,' and-" (he nodded his head as
much as to say, I needn't tell you the conse-
quence,") that is ever a woman's maxim."


about thirty acres, for at least 300 years, and how much
longer could not be ascertained. This small estate would
not have served for their maintenance without the business
"f a smith, which had continued in the family down to my
uncle's time, the eldest son always being brought up to that
employment-a custom which he and my father followed with
regard to their eldest sons."-Life of Fracl;lin, pp. 2 and 3.






MISSING : A YOUNG -GENTLEMAN- 23
At this moment the side-door opened stealthily,
and Deborah (dressed for the morning's work
in a long checked pinafore reaching from the
throat to the heels-so that the young woman
looked like a great overgrown girl) thrust
her head in the crevice, and gave her mother
"a look"-one of those significant household
glances which refer to a thousand and odd
little family matters never intended for general
ears
You can come in now, Deborah," cried the
mother, who, still engaged in the preparation
of her apple-and-pumpkin pie, was busy thumb-
ing patches of lard over the broad sheet of
paste, and converting it in appearance into a
huge palette covered with dabs of white paint.
" Have you finished all up stairs ?" she inquired,
looking round for the moment.
The girl, in her anxiety for her brother, did
not stop to answer the question, but said in an
undertone, as she drew close up to her mother's
side, Has father forgiven Ben ?"
The dame, however, on her part merely replied,
There, child! never mind about that just now-
you'll know all in good time," and immediately
began to catechise her on her'domestic duties.
Have you put a good fire in the keeping-room,'
and sanded the floor -nicely, and got out some
more knives and forks for the children-for, re-
member, we shall sit down upwards of a score to
dinner to-day ?"
But Deborah was too intent to listen to anything
but the fate of the boy, whom she loved better
than all her brothers, for she had been allowed to
nurse him when a baby, though but a mere child
herself at the time, and had continued his toy-
maker in general up to the present moment. So
she pulled her mother timidly by the apron, and







24 YOUNG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
said, as she glanced hastily at her father, to assure
herself that he was still arguing with Uncle
Benjamin, Will father let him come back home
-have you found out where he's gone to yet-and
do you really think, mother, he's run away to
sea ?" adding the next minute with a start, as the
thought suddenly flashed upon her, Oh, dear
me! I quite forgot to tell you, mother, a man
brought this letter to the side-door, and said I was
to deliver it privately to you."
What a head you have, child!" exclaimed
the dame, as, dusting the flour from her hands,
she snatched the note from the girl, and hastily
tore it open.
But her eye had hardly darted backwards and
forwards over the first few lines, before the mother
uttered a faint scream, and staggered back to the
bee-hive chair.
In a minute, the husband and Uncle Benjamin
were at her side, and Deborah, seizing the vinegar
cruet from the dresser-shelf, was bathing her
mother's temples with the acid.
God be praised! my boy's at Ruth's," the dame
at length gasped out in answer to the anxious
group around her; HIolmes has sent a note here
to say he will bring him round in the evening,"
and she pointed languidly to the letter which had
fallen on the floor.


CHAPTER III.
THE FRANKLIN FAMILY.
JOSIAH FRANKLIN retained sufficient of the austere
habits of the Puritans and the early Nonconformists
to have made it a rule-even if his limited means
and large family (no fewer than thirteen of whom







THE FRANKLIN FAMILY.


occasionally sat together at his table *) had not
made it a matter of necessity-that the food par-
taken of by the little colony of boys and girls he
had to support should be of the plainest possible
description. Simple fare, however, was so much
a matter of principle with Josiah (despising, as
he did, all lusting after the flesh-pots "), that he
never permitted at his board any of those un-
seemly exhibitions of delight or disgust, which
certain youngsters are wont to indulge in on the
entry of any dish more or less toothsome than the
well-known and ever-dreaded scholastic stick-
jaw." t
In so primitive a household, therefore, there
must have been some special cause for the com-
pounding of so epicurean a dish as the before-men-
tioned apple-and-pumpkin pie, -some extraordinary
reason why Dame Franklin should have instructed
Deborah, as she did, "to be sure and put out
plenty of maple sugar for the children," besides
" a gallon of the dried apples and peaches to be
stewed for supper,"-and why that turkey and

S* "By his first wife my father had four children born in
America (besides three previously in England), and by a
second, ten others-in all, seventeen-of whom I remember to
have seen thirteen sitting together at his table, who all grew
up to years of maturity, and were married."-Autobiography,
p. 9.
t Little or no notice was ever taken of what related to the
victuals on the table-whether well or ill cooked-in or out of
season-of good or bad flavour-preferable or inferior to this
or that other thing of the kind: so that I was brought up in
such perfect inattention to these matters as to be quite in-
different what kind of food was set before me. Indeed, I
am so unobservant of it, that, to this day, I can scarce tell,
a few hours after dinner, of what dishes it consisted. This
has been a great convenience to me in travelling, when my
companions have sometimes been very unhappy for want of
a suitable gratification ot their more delicate, because better
instructed, tastes and appetites."-Life of Franklin, p. 9.


25








26 YOUNG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
those canvas-back ducks" (so highly prized
among the creature- comforts of America) were ere
long twirling away in front of the bright, cherry-
red fire, and filling the whole house with their
savoury perfume *-and why, too, tle brisket of
corned-beef had been got up fro.,m "the cask "
below, and was now wabbling and steaming, with
its dozen of dough-nuts bumping against the lid of
the iron pot on the hob, and the corn-cakes
baking in the oven, and the huge bowl of curds
-white and cold-looking as marble-standing on
the dresser.
Why all this preparation for feasting in a house
where the ordinary food was almost as frugal as a
hermit's fare ?
The Franklin family knew but one holiday in
the course of the year-the anniversary of the
father's safe landing in America in 1685, which
the pious Josiah had made a family Thanksgiving
Day." To commemorate this event, the younger
girls (those who had not yet finished their school-
ing) came home from their maiden aunts, Hannah
and Patience Folger, who kept a day-school at
Sherbourne, in Nantucket; while the boys who
were out in the world, serving their apprentice
The white, or canvas-back duck, derives its name from
the colour of the feathers between the wings being of a
light-brown tint, like canvas. These birds breed on the
borders of the great northern lakes, and in winter frequent
the Susquehanna and Potomac rivers, in order that they
may feed on the bulbous root of a grass that grows on the
flats there, and which has much the flavour of celery. It is
to the feeding on this root that the peculiarly delicious
flavour of their flesh is attributed. They are held in as great
esteem in America as grouse with us, and are frequently
sent as a present for hundreds of miles. A canvas-back
duck, indeed, is reckoned one of the greatest dainties in the
States, being more delicate in flavour than a wild duck,
though considerably larger. The Americans cat it with
currant-jelly, as if it were venison.






THE FRANKLIN FAMILY.


ship, got leave to quit their masters' house for
the day, to take part in the family festival; and
the grown-up sons, who were in business for
themselves, gave over their work, or shut up
their stores, and came with their wives and little
ones to join in the rejoicing.
So sacred a duty, indeed, did all the Franklins
regard it, to assemble once a year under the
paternal roof, that none but the most cogent
excuse for absence was ever urged or received;
so that even those who were away in distant lands
strove to return in time for the general meet-
ing.
The morning was not far advanced, and Josiah
had hardly done putting up the shutters of his
store, as was his wont on this day precisely at
ten in the forenoon, before the boys and the girls,
and the grown-up young men and women of the
family, began to swarm in like so many bees at
the sound of a gong.
First came Jabez and Nehemiah-two stout,
strapping lads, carpenter's and mason's appren-
tices (the one had called for the other on his
road), dressed in their Sunday three-cornered hats
and bright-yellow leather breeches, and with their
thick shoes brown with the earth of the ploughed
fields they had trudged over, and carrying in their
hands the new walking sticks that they had cut
from the copse as they came along.
Then young Esther and Martha made their
appearance, wrapped in their warm scarlet cloaks,
and looking like a pair of "little Red Riding-
Hoods "-for they had come from school at Nan-
tucket, and had been brought to the door by the
mate of the New York sloop that plied between
Long Island and Boston, touching at the infer-
vening islands on the way, once a month in those
days. Under their cloaks they carried a bundle


27







28 YOUNG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
containing the long worsted mittens they had
knitted for the mother, and the warm patchwork
quilt they had made for the father, together with
the highly-prized samplers of that time -the latter
of which had been done expressly to be framed
for the keeping-room.
After these walked in John Franklin, the tal-
low-chandler (who was just about to set up in
Ehode Island), with his young Quakeress wife
on his arm; and then followed the married
daughter, Abiah, and her husband, the trader in
furs and beaver skins, who had always an inex-
haustible stock of stories to tell the children about
the Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians, including
wild tales of the chiefs "Blue Snake" or "Big
Bear," or even Nekig the Little Otter."
Nor did Zachary, the ship-builder (he who had
sent the ducks from the Potomac river), absent
himself, even though he had to come all the way
from Annapolis for the gathering; and he brought
with him his motherless little boy, for his young
wife had died of the fever since the last family
meeting.
There was Ebenezer, too, the bachelor farmer;
and the swarthy and stalwart Thomas, the first-
born and hereditary smith of the family; and
Ruth, with her half-dozen little ones toddling
close after her, like a hen with her brood of chicks;
and Samuel Franklin, Uncle Benjamin's son from
London, who had recently set up as a cutler in
Boston city; and, indeed, every one of the Frank-
lins that could by any means manage to reach the
house at the time.
Only three out of the multitudinous family
were absent: James, the printer, who had gone
to London to purchase a stock of types-Josiah,
the outcast-and Benjamin, the little runaway.
The absence of the elder brothers created no







TIME PRAtTKL FAMtLY.


astonishment; for Josiah had not sat at that board
for years-many of the young children, indeed,
had never set eyes on his countenance-while all
had heard of James's trip to the mother-country.
But where was Ben ?-where was Ben? was the
general cry, as the family came streaming in, one
after another.
Jabez and Nehemiah ran all over the house,
shouting after the little fellow. Esther and
Martha, too, kept teasing Deborah all the morning
to tell them where he had got to, for they fancied
he was hiding from them in play, and they were
itching to show him the little sailor's Guernsey
frock they had knitted for him at school. John
wished to hear how the lad got on at candle-
making, and whether he could manage the dips
yet, and Zachary to see what new toy-ship he had
got on the stocks-and, indeed, every one to say
something to him; for lie was a general favourite,
not only because he was the youngest of the boys,
but because he was the cleverest and best-natured
of them all.
The news that Ben was in disgrace made all
as sad as death for a time; but every one had a
kind word to say for him to the father. The
younger ones begged hard for him; the elder
ones pleaded well for him: so that Josiah had not
fortitude enough to hold out against such a
friendly siege, and was obliged to promise he
would let the boy off as lightly as possible;
though, true to his principles, the would-be
disciplinarian vowed that the next time "he'd-
he'd-but they should see."

Mistress Franklin (as the sons and daughters
came pouring in one after another, till the house
was so full of boys and girls-children and
grandchildren-that it was almost impossible, as


29





30 YOUTG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
has been well said, to shut the doors for them)
had enough to do between preparing the dinner
and tidying the young ones for the occasion;
though it almost broke her housewife's heart to
find how buttonless and stringless, and even
ragged, their clothes had become during their
long absence.
Scarcely had she kissed the boys before she
twisted them round by the shoulders, as she eyed
them from top to toe, and commenced pouring
down upon their unlucky heads a heavy shower
of motherly reproofs; whilst the lads, who were
thinking only of the feast, kept worrying her
as to what she was going to give them for dinner.
"Dear heart!" she would begin to one, "why
don't you wash up at the roots of your hair, boy ?"
or else she would exclaim, as she threw up her
hands and eyebrows, "Is that your best coat?
Why, you've only had it a year, and it's not fit to
be seen. Where you fancy the clothes come from,
lad, is more than I can tell."
The boy, however, would merely reply, What
pie have you made this year, mother ?-I hope
it's a big 'un! Let's have a peep in the oven-
you might as well."
Then to another she would cry, as she seized
him by his leg like a sheep, Why, I declare
there's a large hole in the heel of your stocking,
boy, big enough for a rat to get through; and if
you were a sweep's child, I'm sure your linen
couldn't well be blacker."
But this one paid no more heed than the other
to the dame's observations; for the only answer
he made was, Got any honey, mother, for after
dinner? Don't the ducks smell jolly, Jabe-
that's all! I say, mother, give us a sop in the pan."
Nor did the girls undergo a less minute scrutiny.
"Why didn't a big child like Esther write home







THE FRANKLIN FAMILY.


and say she wanted new flannels, for those she'd
on were enough to perish her. She never saw
children grow so in all her life."
Come here, girl; whatever is the matter with
your mouth ?" next she would shriek, as she
caught hold of Martha, and dragged her to the
light; "you want a good dosing of nettle-tea to
sweeten your blood-that you do." Whereupon,
heaving a deep sigh, she would add, Hah! you
must all of you, children, have a spoonful or two of
nice brimstone and treacle before you leave home
again."
Then, as soon as the dame caught sight of Ruth,
she began to question her about poor little Ben,
continuing her cooking operations the while. At
one moment she was asking whether the lad was
fretting much, and the next she was intent on
basting her ducks, declaring that there was no
leaving them a minute, or she'd have them burnt
to a cinder.
Now she would fall to stirring the potful of
"hominy," and skimming the corned beef; then
pausing for an instant to tell Ruth how frightened
she had been when she found that poor Ben had
left the house that morning, and begging of her
to get Holmes to do all he could to set the lad
against the sea.
And when Ruth had told the mother that
Holmes was obliged to stay and see his cargo
discharged at the wharf, and that he thought it
would save words if Ben came round with him in
the evening; and when she had informed her,
moreover, that Ben had forgotten it was Thanks-
giving-day at home, till he saw her and her little
ones leaving for the feast, and that then he seemed
to take it to heart greatly-the mother stopped
short in her examination of the pie during the
process of baking, and cried, as she held it half


31







32 YOUNG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
drawn out of the oven, I'll put by a bit of every
thing for him, and he shall have the largest out
of the pie, that he shall;" adding the next minute,
" But he'll be round in the evening in time for the
stewed fruit and corn-cakes-bless him !"
Immediately after this she began wondering
again whether that girl Deborah had thought
about tapping a fresh cask of cider, and fussing,"
as usual, now about her boy, and then about her
dinner.


CHAPTER IV.
THE FEAST, AND AN ARRIVAL.
WHEx all the family had assembled in the keep-
ing-room," it was the invariable custom of the
Puritan father on this day to offer up a prayer of
thanksgiving for his safe arrival in New England;
after which the violin was taken out, and he would
play while the family joined in a hymn. This
was usually followed by a short discourse from
Josiah, touching the great principles of religious
liberty, so dear to the early settlers of America;
for the sturdy old Nonconformist loved to impress
upon the children gathered round him that he
had left the home where his forefathers had lived
for many generations-not to seek "treasures that
moth and rust corrode," but merely to be able to
worship the Almighty as he thought fit, and which
was held to be a crime at that time in his native
land.*
My father married young, and carried his wife with
three children to New England about 1685. The conven-
ticles being, at that time, forbidden by law, and frequently
disturbed in the meetings, some considerable men of his
acquaintance determined to go to that country, and ho was
persuaded to accompany them thither, where they expected








TIE FEAST, AND AN ARRIVAL,


The family devotions and discourse were barely
ended ere the cuckoo clock" whooped twelve,
and immediately a crow of delight from the
younger branch of the Franklin family announced
Ihe entry of the corned beef and dough-nuts.
Such manifestations of the pleasures of the
palate, we have before said, were highly dis-
approved of by the simple-minded Josiah; so, as
his eye suddenly lighted upon the young car-
penter's apprentice, in the act of rubbing his
waistcoat, and drawing in his breath in youthful
ecstasy, the ascetic father cried, with a shake of
the head:
Jabez how often have I told you that this
giving way to carnal joys is little better than a
heathen!"
But scarcely had the parent finished chiding one
son, than he was startled by a loud smacking of
the lips from another; when, glancing in the
direction of the sound, he found the young mason
with his mouth and eyes wide open, in positive
raptures, as he sniffed the savoury odour of the

to enjoy the exercise of their religion with freedom. *
Our humble family early embraced the reformed religion,"
writes Benjamin Franklin. Our forefathers had an English
Bible, and to conceal it, and place it in safety, it was
fastened open with tapes under and within the cover of a
joint-stool. When my ...I .i.. I .! ..I I- wished to read
it to his family, he placed I!_.. ij...,,--l...I- on, his knees, and
then turned over the leaves under the tapes. One of the
children stood at the door to give notice if he saw the appa-
ritor coming, who was an officer of the Spiritual Court. .
This anecdote," Franklin adds, "I had from uncle Ben-
jamin. The family continued," he then proceeds to say, all
of the Church of England, till about the end of Charles II.'s
reign, when some of the ministers who had been outed for
their nonconformity, having opened a conventicle in North-
amptonshire, my Uncle Benjamin and my father adhered
to them, and so continued all their lives."-l'ranklin's Auto-
biography, p. 5.
D


33







YOUNG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.


brown and smoking canvas-back ducks that
Deborah was about to place at the bottom of the
table.
"I'm ashamed of you, Nehemiah," the tallow-
chandler shouted, as he frowned at the lad,
".giving up your heart to the vanities of this
world in such a manner !"
A secret pull at his coat-tails, however, from
Uncle Benjamin, cut short the lecture, for the
father knew that the friendly hint meant to im-
ply, It's only once a year, Josh !"
At length the dinner was ended, grace said, and
a button or two of the boys' waistcoats undone;
and then the table itself was got out of the way,
and the games commenced.
This, however, was a part of the entertainment
that the seriously-inclined Josiah was but little
given to; and, indeed, it required some more of
Uncle Ben's good-humoured bantering before
he could be induced to consent to it. Even then
he insisted that the children should play at
Masters and Men," because there was a certain
amount of knowledge to be gained from the repre-
sentations of the various trades; for nothing
annoyed him more than to see youth wasting its
time in mere idle amusements.
But the ice of propriety once broken, Uncle Ben
and the children were soon engaged in the most
boisterous and childish gambols : not only was
"dropping the 'kerchief" indulged in-and the
grave Josiah himself made to form part in the
ring-but even the wild frolic of 'jingling"
was resorted to, and the father and mother, and
Uncle Ben-and Zachary the shipbuilder, and
Ruth too-as well as young Abiah and her hus-
band, the trapper-and John, and his young
Quakeress wife-and, indeed, the entire company
-were all pressed into the service, and every one


34







THE FEAST, AND AN ARRIVAL.


of them blindfolded at the same time; whilst the
part of jingler" fell to the lot of Nehemiah, who
ran about the keeping-room like a frantic young
town crier, ringing the hand-bell to give notice of
his whereabouts to the blind players, as they kept
rolling continually one over the other in their
eagerness to catch him.

It was at this moment, when the noise and
madness of the sport had reached their greatest
height, and the father and Uncle Benjamin lay
flat upon the floor, with a miscellaneous mound of
children and grandchildren piled on top of them,
that James Franklin-the young printer, who had
gone to London for a stock of types and presses-
burst into the room, fresh from the vessel that
had just dropped anchor in the bay, and with
his arms laden with packets of presents for the
several members of the family.
Here's brother James come back from Old
England!" shouted Nehemiah, throwing away his
bell.
In an instant the bandages were torn from all
the faces, and the half-ashamed father dragged
from under the bodies struggling on top of him
-the newly-arrived son laughing heartily the
while.
As the children and the grown brothers, and the
rest, came scrambling up to kiss or shake hands
with the printer, on his return, he told them one
after the other the gift he had brought them from
the "old country;" and when he had greeted the
whole of the company present, he stared round
and round, and then glancing at Josiah, cried,
"But where's little Ben, father ?"
Josiah averted his head, for he had no wish to
mar the general happiness by again alluding to
his boy's disgrace, while the mother shook her
D2


35







36 YOUNG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
head significantly at the printer, and Uncle Ben-
ja'nin gave him a secret kick.
James knew by the pantomimic hints that
something was amiss; so he answered, What!
not allowed to be present on Thanksgiving-day?
Surely, father, one outcast in the family is
enough!"
There, say nothing about it, lad," cried Uncle
Ben; "it's all been looked over long ago, and the
little fellow will be here to supper shortly. But
come, let's have the news, Master James? You
went down to Ecton, of course ?" he added : and
the young man had scarcely signified that he had
made the journey, when the father and uncle,
anxious to know all about their native village,
and the companions of their youth, fired off such
a volley of questions, that it was more than James
could do to answer them fast enough.
Had he been to the old smithy ? inquired one;
and had he got a slip of the "golden pippin tree
in the orchard?
Was Mistress Fisher still living at the forge ?
asked the other, and who carried on the busi-
ness now that their brother Thomas's son was
dead ?
"Dear, dear !" they both cried, as they heard
the answer, the smithy sold to Squire Isted,
the lord of the manor,* and the old forge pulled
down ? Well! well! what changes do come to
pass "
Next it was, How was their new German king,
George I., liked by the people at home? And
did he go and have a mug of ale at the World's
"My grandfather's eldest son, Thomas, lived in the house
at Ecton, and left it, with the land, to his only daughter,
who, with her husband, one Fisaor, of Wellingborough, sold
it to Mr. Isted, now lord of the manor."-Life oNf PRo .in,
p. 3.







THE FEAST, AND AN ARRIVAL.


End?" and did Dame Blason keep the old inn
still? Did he go to meeting too at the North-
ampton Conventicle, and learn whether the
" Brownists were increasing in numbers round
about? and was old Luke Fuller, who was outed "
for Nonconformity at the time when they them-
selves seceded from the Church, the minister there
still ?
And when James had replied that the good
man had departed this life two years come
Michaelmas, the old people hung down their head
as they sighed, "Hah! it will be our turn soon.".
Then they wanted to know, Were the rebels in
Scotland all quiet when he left? and had he been
over to Banbury, and seen the dye-house, and had
John Franklin still got the best of the business
there?
Had he set eyes on their old schoolfellow,
lReuben of the Mill? and was old Ned, the travel-
ling butcher, still alive ? And who held the
"hundred-acre farm of the young Lord Halifax
now? And did the Nonconformists seem con-
tented with the Toleration Act?" and was there
any stir among them about getting "the Cor-
poration Act" repealed? And was Squire Palmer's
widow living at the Hall still? And had he been
over and seen the folk at Earls-Barton and Mears-
Ashby, and told them that they were all doing
well in New England. Hah they would give the
world to set eyes on the old places and the old
people again.
The gossip about their native village and
ancient friends would have continued, doubt-
lessly, until bedtime, had not Jabez-who had a
turn for that extravagant pantomime which boys
consider funny-here danced wildly into the
room after the style of the Red Indians that his
brother-in-law, the trapper, had just been telling


37








38 YOUNG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
them about, and springing into the air with a
cry imitative of the war-whoop, announced to
the startled company that the "Big Bear" and
" Little Otter" were coming up the stairs to join
the party.
Whereupon Captain Holmes and the truant
Benjamin entered the room.



CHAPTER V.
THE FATHER'S LECTURE.
"COME this way, Benjamin! I wish to speak with
you below," said the father, gravely, as soon as the
lad had gone the round of his relatives, and just
at the interesting moment when the "carnal-
minded" Jabez was making Ben's mouth water
with a list of the many good things they had had
for dinner that day.
The paternal command caused no little excite-
ment among the youthful members of the family,
who knew too well what the summons meant.
But scarcely had Josiah removed one of the
lighted candles from the mantel-shelf to carry
with him to the parlour, than the mother rose and
followed close at the heels of the father and the
chap-fallen boy; whilst Jabez and Nehemiah
nudged one another aside, as they whispered,
Let's come too, and see what father's going to do
with Ben."
To satisfy their curiosity, the anxious lads
availed themselves of the darkness of the shop,
where they stood-quiet as mutes-peeping over
the curtain into the little back room, and watch-
ing the movements of their parents within.
"Father's lecturing him oell, I can see," whis-







THE FATHER'S LECTURE.


pered Jabez, on tip-toe, to the brother at his side,
" for he is shaking his head till his gray locks fly
about again, and holding up his forefinger as he
always does, you know, when he's talking very
seriously."
What's mother doing?" asked the brother.
Why, she's got Ben drawn close up to her, and
keeps passing her hand over his cheek," answered
Jabez. "How aged father gets to look, doesn't he ?"
the boy added, almost in the same breath, for he
could not help remarking the change, now that
his whole attention was riveted on his parent's
figure. "He's got to stoop dreadfully since last
Thanksgiving-day."
"Yes," observed the other, that Sunday gray
coat of his, that he's had ever since I can remember,
gets to hang about him like a smock frock, that it
does. I was thinking so only just before dinner,
Jabe."
Ah! and mother isn't so young as she used to
be," mournfully continued Jabez, for she gets to
look more like old grandfather Folger in the face,
every-"
"What's that noise?" whispered Nehemiah, as
a loud scuffle was heard in the parlour.
Why father's just dragged Benjamin from
mother's arms," was the answer, "for she kept
hugging and kissing him all the time he was lec-
turing him. Hush! I shall hear what he says
directly, for he's talking much louder now."
"What's he telling him, eh ?" inquired the young
mason, in an under tone, after holding his breath
till he felt half stifled with his suspense.
I can just make out that he's very angry with
mother for petting Ben as she does," replied the
little carpenter, because father says it makes his
conduct appear undeservedly harsh, and strips his
reproofs'-yes, those were his words -' of all the


39








t0 YOuseG irENJAMIIN FRANKLIN.
force that justice would otherwise give them,
Isn't that like father, Nee ?"
Yes," added the brother; "he may be a little
severe at times, but he's always very just with us,
I'm sure; and mother, yoi know, will spoil Ben,
because he's the youngest of us boys."
"Be quiet, Nee !" said Jabez, as he kicked his
brother gently to enforce the command, and put
his ear closer to the door, "Father's saying now
that if Ben doesn't like the candle-making-yes"
-and the lad paused to catch the remainder of
the speech-" he'll let him choose a trade for him-
self. What do you think of that ?"
"Why that comes of Uncle Benjamin being
here," interposed Nehemiah. "Uncle's been
having a long talk with father about the matter, I
can see."
Do be quiet, will you, or I shall miss it all,"
cried Jabez, tetchily. "What's that he's ,- !,-,
now ?" the lad inquired, talking to himself, as he
strove to catch the words. Father's warning
Ben," he added in measured sentences, as he fol-
lowed the old man's voice, that when lie's chosen
another trade-if he ever runs away from his work
again-he'll close his doors against him for ever-
the same as he cdid with his outcast son, Josiah."

An hour or two after the above scene, the three
boys, fresh from their supper of stowed peaches and
hot corn-cakes (of which the mother had given her
pet boy Ben double allowance), had retired to the
little attic for the night, and when Jabez and
Nehemiah had heard from their brother all about
his running away, and the wonderful Flying
Dutchman" (clipper built) that he'd got nearly
ready for launching, they began to gossip among
themselves, as boys are wont to do, while they
prepared for bed.







'TE FATHER'S LECTURE.


First Ben's guinea-pig was taken out, and exhi-
bited to the admiring brothers, who, boy-like,
were young "fanciers," not only of guinea-pigs,
but of every pet animal in creation--from white
mice to monkeys; whereupon they immediately
commenced discussing the comparative beauties of
the "black," the tortoiseshell," and the fawn "
kinds of African porkers-one saying that too
many tea-leaves were not good for them, as they
made them pot-bellied," and the other remarking
that "he didn't like guinea-pigs because they ate
their young like rabbits:" a circumstance which
suddenly reminded him of a "double-smut" of
his acquaintance that had devoured her whole
litter of six-every bit of them except their tails,
but those she couldn't swallow because they were
so fluffy."
This led to a long discourse on rabbits in general,
when Jabez dived very learnedly into the varieties
of double-lops," and horn-lops," and oar-lops,"
as well as the "up-eared" species, and told tales
of wonderful Does, the tips of whose "fancy ears "
had touched the ground, and measured more than
a foot in length.
After this the conversation branched off to
pigeons, young Benjamin observing, that if Jabo
would only make' him a "snap-trap," he'd keep
some tumblers in their loft, for Captain Holmes
had just brought Bobby a couple of beautiful
" soft-billed almonds from London : besides, there
was a prime place for a pigeon-house against their
melting-shed, and a schoolfellow of his at old
Brownwell's had promised to give him a pair of
splendid-hooded "Jacobins," and some Leghorn
runts for stock directly he'd got a place to keep
them in; so Jabe might as well make a house for
him in his overtime.
Presently the young carpenter anl mason pro-


41








YOUNG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.


ceeded to compare notes as to the strength of the
"sky-blue," and the thickness of the butter on the
" scrape" at their respective masters, and to talk
of the wives of those gentlemen as Old Mother
So-and-So;" until, tired of this subject, the youth-
ful trio digressed into ghost stories, and so
frightened each other with their hobgoblin tales,
that, as the candle sputtered and flickered in the
socket, they trembled at every rattle of the win-
dow-sashes, till sleep put an end to their terrors
and their talk.

At length the morning arrived when the younger
branches of the Franklin family were to return to
their masters and mistresses ; and then the dame
was in the same flurry as on the day of their
arrival, with the preparation of the hundred and
one things required at her hands.
On the table before her lay a small lot of brown
worsted stockings done up into balls that resembled
so many unwashed potatoes, and new canvas smocks
for the boys to work in (short as babies' shirts),
and new shoes too, the soles of which were studded
with nails almost as big as those on a church door
-as well as mob-caps, and tippets, and aprons for
the girls, after the style of our charity children of
the present day-and hanks of worsted yarn for
knitting, and seed-cakes, and bags of spiced-nuts,
together with a jar of honey for each of them-
besides a packet of dried herbs to be made into
tea, to purify their blood at the spring and fall
of the year.
When, too, the dreaded hour of departure arrived
and the boys' bundles had been made up, and the
girls' hand-baskets ready packed for the journey,
the tears of the mother and little ones rolled down
their cheeks as fast and big as hail-stones down
a skylight; and, as the weeping children crossed


42








'A TALK ABOUT THE SEA.


the threshold, the eager dame stood on the door-
step, watching them down the narrow street, and
calling after them to remind them of an infinity
of small things they were to be sure and do
directly they reached their destination.
Ben, too, on his part, kept shouting to Jabez,
" not to forget to make him the pigeon-house as
soon as he could get the wood," and calling to the
young mason to remember to send him some prime
"bonces and alleys directly he got back to the
stone-yard.


CHAPTER VI.
A TALK ABOUT THE SEA.
ON the evening after the Thanksgiving-day Capt.
Holmes came round, when they had knocked off
work at the ship, to smoke his pipe with Josiah
and Uncle Benjamin-for the father wished the
captain to talk with young Ben about his love of
the sea; so the dame had made one of her famous
bowls of lambs'-wool" for the occasion.
The captain was a marked contrast, both in form
and feature, to Josiah and his brother Benjamin.
His frame seemed, indeed, to be of cast iron, his
chest being broad as a bison's, and the grip of his
big, hard hand like the squeeze of a vice. His
face was gipsy-bronze with the weather he had
long been exposed to, and set in a horse-shoe of
immense black whiskers, the hair of which stood
)nt from the cheeks on either side like a couple
of sweep's brushes; and between these his white
teeth glistened like the pearly lining of an oyster-
shell as he laughed, which he did continually,
and almost without reason.


43








44 YOUNG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
The old men, on the other hand, were but ths
noble ruins of humanity-graced rather than dis-
figured by age. At the time of the opening of
our story, Josiah was in his sixty-third year, and
Uncle Benjamin some few years his senior; and
yet neither gave signs of the approach of that
second childhood which is but the return of the
circle of life into itself-linking the gray-beard
with the infant, and foreshadowing the Eternal in
that mysterious round which brings us back (if
the furlough from Above be but long enough) to
the very babyhood from which we started.
The red Saxon blood, as contradistinguished
from the swarthier Norman sap, inherent in Eng-
lish veins, was visible in the cheeks of both of
the old men; indeed, their complexion was so
pinky that one could well understand their boast
that "they had never known a day's illness in
their lives;"* whilst their fresh colour contrasted
as pleasantly with their silver-white hair as the
crimson light of a blacksmith's forge glowing
amid the snow of a winter's day. The only sign
that the brothers gave of age was a slight crooking
of the back, like packmen bending beneath their
load-of years; for their teeth were still perfect,
neither was the mouth drawn in, nor were the
cheeks hollowed with the capacious dimples of
second childhood.
Had it not been for the "sad colour" and
formal Quaker-like cut of their clothes, no one
would have fancied that they belonged to that
heroic and righteous body of men, who, following
in the footsteps of the first pilgrims to America,
had willingly submitted to the martyrdom of exile
"I never knew my father or mother to have any sickness
but that of which they died--he at 89 and she at 85 years of
age."--Autobiography, p. 9.







A TALK ABOUT THE SEA.


for the sake of enjoying the free exercise of their
religion; for the hale and hearty Josiah had the
cheerful and contented look of the English yeoman,
whilst the more portly and dumpy Benjamin had
so good-humoured an air that he might have been
mistaken, in another suit, for the jolly landlord of
a road-side inn.*
Mistress Franklin, being some dozen years
younger than her husband-and looking even
younger than she was-seemed barely to have
reached, the summit of life's hill, rather than to
have commenced her journey down it. True, a
quick eye might have discovered just a filament or
two of silver streaking the dark bands of hair that
braided her forehead; but these were merely the
hoar-frosts of Autumn whitening the spider's
threads-for as yet there was no trace of Winter
in her face.
At the first glance, however, there was a half-
masculine look about the dame that made her
seem deficient in the softer qualities of feminine
grace, for her features, though regular, were too
hold and statuesque to be considered beautiful
in a woman; and yet there was such exquisite
tenderness-indeed, a plaintiveness that was almost
musical-in her voice, together with such a good
expression, glowing like sunshine over her whole
countenance, that the stranger soon felt as assured
of her excellence as those even who had proved it
by long acquaintance.
The wife, too, belonged to the same Puritan
stock as Josiah; her father-" Peter Folger of
Sherbourne in Nantucket-having been amongst
the earliest pilgrims to New England, and being
"I suppose you may like to know what kind of a man
my father was," says Benjamin Franklin in writing to his
son. He had an excellent constitution, was of a middle
stature, well set, ald very strong."
S


45







46 YOUNG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
styled a godly and learned Englislunan" in the
chronicles of the country.*
The simplicity of her dress, however, consti-
tuted the chief mark of her conventicle training.
The main characteristic of her appearance was
the immaculate cleanliness as well as the fastidious
neatness of her attire. There was so much of
white, indeed, about her (what with the mob-cap,
the muslin kerchief crossed over her bosom, and
the ample linen apron covering her skirt) that
she always looked fresh and tidy as a dairy-
snowy as suds themselves. Her dress, too, was
as free as a moonlight scene from all positive
colour, for even the mere fillet of ribbon which
she wore round her cap was black, and her stuff-
gown itself gray as a friar's garment.

"I've been pointing out to the youngster here,
father," proceeded the captain, as he punctuated
his speech with the puffs of his pipe, when the
subject of the evening's conversation had been
fairly broached; what a dog's life a sailor's is, and
asking him how he'd like to live all his time upon
maggoty biscuits and salt junk, that goes by the
name of mahogany' aboard a ship-because it's
so hard and red, and mud easier carved into
chess-men than it's chewed and digested, I can
tell you. I've been asking him, too, how he'd
like to have to drink water that's as black and
putrid, ay! and smells, while its being pumped
out of the casks in the hold, as strong as if it was
being drawn out of a cesspool, so that one's glad
My mother (the second wife of my father) was Abiah
Folgcr, daughter of Peter Folger, one of the first settlers of
New England; of whom honourable mention is made by
Cotton Mather in his ecclesiastical history of that country,
entitled Magnalia Christi Americana, as a godly and learned
Englishman,' if I remember the words rightly."--Life cf
Franklin, p. G.







A TALK ABOUT THE SEA.


to strain it through the corner of his handkerchief
while drinking it from the 'tots.' And, what's
more, youngster, you'd get only short allowance of
this stuff, I can tell you; for over and over again,
when I was a boy aboard the Francis Drake,'
I give you my word I've been that dry in the
tropics (what with the salt food, that was like
munching solid brine, and the sun right overhead
like a red-hot warming-pan) that I've drunk the
sea-water itself to moisten my mouth, till I've
been driven nearly mad with the burning fury of
the thirst that was on me. Ah! you youngsters,
Ben, little know what we sailors have to put up
with; for mind you, lad, I'm not pitching you
any stiff yarn here, about wrecks, and being cast
away on rafts, and drawing lots as to who's to be
devoured by the others; but what I'm telling you
is the simple every-day life of the seaman, ay!
and of half the 'reefers,' too."
Here the captain paused to indulge in his
habitual chuckle (for it was all the same to him
whether the subject in hand was serious or
comic), while Mistress Franklin looked perfectly
horror-stricken at the account of the water her boy
had been, as it were, just on the point of drinking.
Little Ben himself, however, was not yet "at
home enough to make any remark, but sat on
the stool at his mother's feet, with his eyes count-
ing the grains of sand on the floor, for he was
still ashamed to meet his father's gaze.
As for Josiah, he was but little moved by
the captain's picture of the miseries of seafaring,
and merely observed, that as he had taught his
children to abstain from hankering after the flesh-
pots," Ben could bear the absence of creature-
comforts better than most boys-a remark that set
the captain chuckling again in good earnest.
"What you say, father, about hankering after


47







48 YOUNG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
the 'flesh-pots,' is all very well," continue tho
good-humoured sailor, as he tittered, while he
tapped the ashes from the bowl of his pipe, "but
if you'd had a twelvemonth on mahogany and sea-
biscuits as hard and dry as tiles, you yourself would
got hankering after a bit of soft tommy (that's
our name for new bread, Ben) and a cut of
roast-beef, I'll be bound: ay! ay! and think the
fat old bum-boat woman that comes off to the ship
with a cargo of fresh quarter loaves, directly you
make the land, the loveliest female in all creation.
But," added Captain Holmes, after a long pull at
a fresh mug of the delicious lambs'-wool," there
are worse things aboard a ship, let me tell you,
Ben, than even the rations. Youngsters think
seafaring a fine life because it's full of danger,
and looks pretty enough from the shore; but only
let them come to have six months of it 'tween
decks, cooped up in a berth little bigger than a
hutch, and as dark and close as a prison-cell,
directly the wind gets a little bit fresh and the
scuttles and port-holes have to be closed; and
to be kept out of their hammocks half the night,
with the watches that must be kept on deck wet
or dry, fair or foul-ay and to be roust out too,
as soon as they get off to sleep-after the middle-
watch, may be-to reef topsa'ls, or take in to'-gal-
lan'-sa'ls, or what not, whenever a squall springs
up-only let them have a taste of this, I say, aid
they soon begin to sing another song, I can tell
you. Why, when I was 'prentice on board the
' Francis Drake,' I've often been put to walk the
deck with a capsta'n-bar over my shoulder, and a
bucket of water at the end of it to keep me awake,
and even then I've been that drowsy that I've
paraded up and down by the gangway as fast
asleep as if I'd been a som-som-what do you
call it ?" -







A TALK ABOiUT TlIE SEA.


"-nambulist," suggested Uncle Benjamin.
Ay ay that's it, mate," nodded the captain,
with. another laugh. "And over and over again
when I've sneaked away to pick out a soft plank
between the hencoops, and have just dropped off,
the second-mate has found me out, and come
and emptied two or three buckets of salt water over
me, and set me off striking out as if I was swim-
ming, for I'd be fancying in my sleep, you see,
that the vessel had got on a reef, and was filling
and going fast to the bottom.
But the worst of all, lad," the sailor went
on, when he had done puffing away at his pipe, so
as to rekindle its half-extinguished fire, "is to be
roust out of your sleep with the bo's'ain's whistle
ringing in your ears, and the cry of 'A man over-
board! a man overboard!' shouted on every side."
"Ah, that must be terrible indeed," shuddered
Mrs. Franklin, as she covered her face with her
palms in horror at the thought.
Little Ben, however, sat with his mouth open,
staring up in the captain's face, and mute with
eagerness to hear the story he had to tell. The
father and uncle, too, said not a word, for they
were loth to weaken the impression that the
captain's simple narrative was evidently making
on the sea-crazed boy.
"Ay, ay, mother!" Captain Holmes proceeded;
it is terrible, I can assure you, to rush on deck
in the darkness of night, when even your half-
wakened senses tell you that there is nothing but
a boundless watery desert round about the ship,
and to find the canvas beating furiously against
the masts, as the sails are put suddenly aback to
check the way upon the vessel. Then, as you fly
instinctively to the ship's side, you see, per
haps, some poor fellow struggling with the black
waves, and, strange to say, apparently swimming
E


49







50 YOUNG BENJAMNIN FRANIKLIN.
as hard as he can away from the vessel itsell
before it is well brought to-for one forgets, at the
moment, you see, the motion of the ship: and so
as it dashes past the wretched man in the water,
it seems as if ho,; in the madness of his fright,
was hurrying away from the hull rather than the
hull from him. 'Who is it? who is it?' cry a
score of voices at once. Tisdale,' answers one.
' No, no; it's Swinton,' says another. I tell yon
it's Markham,' shouts a third; he fell from the
main-chains as he was drawing a bucket of water;'
and while this goes on, some one, more thoughtful
than the rest, runs to the starn and cuts adrift the
life-buoy that is always kept hanging there over
the taffrel. Then, as the buoy strikes the water,
the blue light that is attached to it takes fire, and
the black mass of waves is lighted up for yards
round with a pale phosphoric glow. But scarcely
has this been done, before some half-dozen brave
fellows have rushed to the davits, and jump-
ing into the cutter over the ship's quarter, low-
ered the boat, with themselves in it, down into the
sea. The next minute the oars are heard in the
silence of the night to rattle quickly in the
rullocks, while the cox'ain cries aloud, Give
way, boys; give way,' and the hazy figure of the
receding boat is seen to glide like a shadow
towards the now-distant light of the life-buoy
dancing on the water. Then how the sailors
crowd about the gangway, and cluster on the
poop, peering into the darkness, which looks
doubly dark from the very anxiety of the gazers
to see farther into it! The sight of the sea, Ben,
miles away from land on a star ess night is
always terrible enough; for then t.,, lark ring of
water encompassing the lonely vessel i >oks like a
vast black pool, and the sky, with its dull dome of
clouds, like a huge overhanging vault of lead. But







A TALI ABOUT THE SEA.


when you know, lad, that one of your own ship-
mates is adrift in that black pool-where there is
not even so much as a rock, remember, to cling to
-and battling for very life with the great waste
of waters round about him, why, even the rough-
est sailor's bosom is touched with a pity that
makes the eyes smart again with something like a
tear. You may fancy then how the seamen watch
the white boat, as it keeps searching about in the
pale light of the distant buoy; and how the crowd
at the ship's side cry first--' Now they see him
yonder;' and next, as the cutter glides away in
another direction-' No, they're on the wrong
track yet, lads;'-and then how the men on
board discuss whether the poor fellow could swim
or not, and how long he could keep up in the
water; until at length the buoy-light fades, and
even the figure of the cutter itself suddenly
vanishes from the view. Nothing then remains
but to listen in terrible suspense for the pulse of
the returning oars; and as the throbbing of the
strokes is heard along the water, every heart beats
with eagerness to learn the result. What cheer,
boys, what cheer?' cries the officer, as the boat's
crew draw up alongside the vessel once more, and
every neck is craned over the side to see whether
the poor fellow lies stretched at the bottom of
the cutter. And when the ugly news is told that
the body even has not been found (for that is
the usual fate in the dark), you can form, per-
haps, some faint idea, Ben, of the gloom that
comes over the whole crew. Whose turn is it to
be next,-who is to be left like that poor fellow
fighting with the ocean in the dark ? What be-
came of him? is he still clinging to the spar that
was thrown to him,-struggling and shrieking to
the ship as he sees the cabin lights sailing from
his sight? or was he seized by some shark lurking
E 2


51







52 YOUNG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
in Ille ship's wake, and 1,, :,1 under as soon as
he struck the waves? A\ i n. ,n say?' And the
very mystery gives a greater terror to such an end."
The Lord have mercy on the lost one's soul,"
sighed Benjamin's mother, as she hugged her boy
close to her knees, grateful even to thanksgiving
that he had escaped so ghastly a doom. As for
Bon himself, his eyes were glazed with tears, aid
as he still looked up in the captain's face, the big
drops kept rolling over his long lashes till his
little waistcoat was dappled with the stains.
The good-natured captain did not fail to note
how deeply the lad had been touched with the
story, and jerking his head on one side towards
the boy, so as to draw the father's attention to
the youngster, he indulged in one of his habitual
chuckles as he said, Come, come, Ben, swab the
decks. You haven't heard half of the perils of a
sailor's life yet. Ah! you lads think a long
voyage at sea is as pleasant as a half-hour's cruize
in the summer-time; so I did once, but a few
weeks in the middle of the ocean, where even the
sight of a gull, or a brood of Mother Carey's
chickens seems a perfect God-send in the intense
solitude of the great desert about you-and where
the same everlasting ring of the horizon still
pursues you day after day, till the sense of the
distance you have to travel positively appeals the
mind-a few weeks of such a life as this, lad, is
sufficient to make the most stubborn heart turn
back to home and friends, and to pray God in
the dead of the night, when there is nothing but
the same glistening cloud of stars set in the
same eternal forms to keep one company, that
he may be spared to clasp all those he loves
to his bosom once again. You think a sailor,
youngster, a thoughtless dare-devil of a fellow,
with hardly a tender spot to his nature-the







A TALK ABOUT THE SEA.


world speaks of his heart as a bit of oak; but I
can tell you, boy, if you could hear the yarns that
are spun during the dog-watches on the fo'cas'l,
there is hardly a tale told that isn't homeward
bound, as we say, and made up of the green
scenes of life, rather than the ugly perils at sea.
Ay! and what's more, Ben, if we could but know
the silent thoughts of every heart on deck during
the stillness of the middle watch, I'd wager there
is not one among them that isn't away with
mother, sister, or sweetheart, prattling all kinds
of fond and loving things to them. Your father
Josiah, too, would tell you that sailors are a god
less, blaspheming race; but I can tell you, lad,
better than he (for I know them better), that a
seaman, surrounded as he always is with the very
sublimity of creation-with the great world of
water by day, which seems as infinite and incom-
prehensible as space itself, and with the lustrous
multitude of stars by night-the stars that to a
sailor are like heaven's own beacen-lights set
up on the vast eternal shore of the universe, as
if for the sole purpose of guiding his ship along
a path where the faintest track of any previous
traveller is impossible-the sailor, I say, amid
such scenes as these, dwells under the very tem-
ple of the Godhead himself, and shows in the
unconquerable superstition of his nature-despite
his idle and unmeaning oaths-how deeply he
feels that every minute of his perilous life is
vouchsafed him, as it were, through the mercy of
the all-Merciful."
The pious brothers bent their heads in reverence
at the thoughts, while the mother looked tenderly
and touchingly towards he: son-in-law, and smiled
as if to tell him how pleased she was to find that
even he, sailor as he was, had not forgotten the
godly teaching of his Puritan parents.


53








54 YOUNG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
For a moment or two there was a marked silence
among the family. The captain had touched the
most solemn chord of all in their heart, and they
sat for a while wrapt in the sacred reverie that
filled their mind like the deep-toned vibration of
"a passing bell."
Presently Captain Holmes, who was unwilling
to leave his brother Ben without fairly rooting
out every thread of the romance that bound the
little fellow to the sea, proceeded once more with
his narrative.
But I'll tell you what, Master Ben, is the most
shocking sight of all that a sailor has to witness, ay,
and one that makes a stark coward of the bravest,
and a thoughtful man of the most thoughtless -
death, youngster !-death, where there are no
churchyards to store the body in, and no tomb-
stones to record even the name of the departed;
death, amid scenes where there is an everlasting
craving for home, and yet no home-face near to
soothe the last mortal throes of the sufferer. Why,
lad, I've seen a stout, stalwart fellow leave the deck
in the very flush of life and health, as I came on
duty at the watch after his, and when I've gone
below again, some few hours afterwards, I have
found him stricken down by a sun-stroke as sud-
denly as if he had been shot, and the sailmaker
sitting by his berth, and busy sewing the corpse
up in his hammock, with a cannon-ball at the feet.
The first death I had ever witnessed, lad, was
under such circumstances as these. I was a mere
youngster, like yourself, at the time, and had been
by the man's side day after day-had listened to
his yarns night after night-had heard him talk,
with a hitch in his breath, about the wife and
little baby-boy he had left behind-had seen her
name (ay, and some half a dozen others), with
hearts and love-knots under them, pricked in blue







A TALK ADBO1' THE SEA.


on his great brawny arms. I had known him,
indeed, as closely as men locked within the same
walls for months together, and suffering the same
common danger, get to know and like one another.
I had missed sight of his face for but a few hours,
and when I saw it next, the eye was fixed and
glazed, the features as if cut in stone, the hand
heamy and cold as lead; and I felt that, boy as I
was, I had looked for the first time deep down
into the great unfathomable sea of our common
being. The hardest thing of all, lad, is to believe
in death; and when we have been face to face with
a man day by day, there seems to be such a huge
gap left in the world when he is gone, that the
mind grows utterly sceptical, and can hardly
be convinced that an existence, which has been
to it the most real and even palpable thing in
all the world, can have wholly passed away.
To look into the. same eyes and find them return
no glance for glance-to speak and find the ear
deaf, the lips sealed, and the voice hushed, is so
incomprehensible a change that the judgment posi-
tively reels again under the blow. Ashore, lad,
you can get away from death; you can shut it out
with other scenes, but on board ship it haunts you
like a spectre; and then the day after comes the
most dreadful scene of all-burial oi the high seas."
The captain remained silent for a moment or
two, so that Ben might be able to chew the cud "
of his thoughts. Holmes had noticed the little
fellow's head drop at the mention of the death at
sea, and he was anxious that the lad should realize
to himself all the horror of such a catastrophe.
Presently Captain Holmes began again:-" As
the bell tolls, the poor fellow's shipmates come
streaming up the hatchways, with their heads bare
and their necks bent down; for few can bear to
look upon the lifeless body of their former coin-


55







56 YOUNG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
panion, stretched, as it is, on the hatches beside
the ship's gangway, pointing to its last home--
the sea; whilst the ship's colours, with which it
is covered, scarcely serve to conceal the outline
of the mummy-like form stitched in the ham-
mock underneath. It needs no elocution, Ben,
to make the service for the dead at sea the most
solemn and impressive of all prayers-an outpour-
ing that causes the heart to grieve and the soul
to shudder again in the very depth of its emotion;
for with the great ocean itself for a cathedral, and
the wild winds of heaven to chant the funeral
dirge, there is an awe created that cannot pos-
sibly be summoned up by any human handi-
work. And when the touching words are uttered,
of 'ashes to ashes, and dust to dust,' and the body
is slid from under the colours into the very
midst of the ocean-as if it were being cast back
into the great womb of Nature itself-a horror
falls upon the senses like a deep absorbing
stupor."
Another long pause ensued. The captain him-
self was absorbed in recalling all the sad associ-
ations of the scenes he had described. Josiah
and Uncle Benjamin had long forgotten the little
lad whose love of the sea had been the cause of
the discourse, ana wero sienuy nursing the pious
thoughts that had been called up in their minds;
while poor Mrs. Franklin sat sobbing and mutter-
ing to herself disjointed fragments of prayers.
Presently the mother rose from her seat, and
flinging herself on the captain's shoulder wept half
hysterically; at last, with a strong effort, she
cried through her sobs: "The Lord in heaven
reward you, Holmes, for saving my boy from such
a fate."
Next Uncle Benjamin started from his chair,
tid going towards his little namesake, said, as he







A TALK ABOUT THE SEA.


led him to his weeping parent, Come, dear lad,
promise your mother here you will abandon all
thoughts of the sea from this day forth."
I do mother," cried the boy, "I promise you
I will."
The mother's heart was too full to thank her
boy by words; but she seized him, and throwing
her arms about his neck, half smothered him with
kisses, that spoke her gratitude to her son in
the most touching and unmistakable of all lan-
guage.
Give me your hand, sir," said Josiah to little
Benjamin; "let us be better friends than we yet
have been, and to-morrow you shall choose a trade
for yourself."
Oh, thank you, father, thank you," exclaimed
the delighted lad; and that night he told his joys
to his guinea-pig, and slept as he had never done
before.


gE OT tr- T L.


57







58


PART II.

'OOUN' BEN'S LESSON IN LIFE, AND WIIAT
HE LEARNT FROI IT.


CHAPTER VII.
GOING OUT IN THE WORLD.
IT was arranged by Josiah and his wife, after part-
ing with the captain overnight, that young Ben-
jamin should be intrusted to the care of his uncle
for a few days, before being called upon to select
his future occupation in life.
Uncle Benjamin had pointed out to the father
that he was too prone to look upon his boy as a
mere industrial machine, and had begged hard to
be allowed to take his little godson with him out
in the world for a while, so as to give him some
slight insight into the economy of human life and
labour.
"The lad at present," urged the uncle, "is
without purpose or object. lie knows absolutely
nothing of the ways of the world, and has no more
sense of the necessity or nobility of work-nor,
indeed, any clearer notion of the great scheme of
civilized society, than an Indian Papoose. What
can a child like him," the godfather said, under-
stand of the value of prudence, of the over-
whelming power of mere perseverance-or of
the magic influence of simple energy and will-







58


PART II.

'OOUN' BEN'S LESSON IN LIFE, AND WIIAT
HE LEARNT FROI IT.


CHAPTER VII.
GOING OUT IN THE WORLD.
IT was arranged by Josiah and his wife, after part-
ing with the captain overnight, that young Ben-
jamin should be intrusted to the care of his uncle
for a few days, before being called upon to select
his future occupation in life.
Uncle Benjamin had pointed out to the father
that he was too prone to look upon his boy as a
mere industrial machine, and had begged hard to
be allowed to take his little godson with him out
in the world for a while, so as to give him some
slight insight into the economy of human life and
labour.
"The lad at present," urged the uncle, "is
without purpose or object. lie knows absolutely
nothing of the ways of the world, and has no more
sense of the necessity or nobility of work-nor,
indeed, any clearer notion of the great scheme of
civilized society, than an Indian Papoose. What
can a child like him," the godfather said, under-
stand of the value of prudence, of the over-
whelming power of mere perseverance-or of
the magic influence of simple energy and will-







GOING OUT IN THE WORLD.


till he is made to see and comprehend the dif-
ferent springs and movements that give force,
play, and direction to the vast machinery of in-
dustry and commerce? So far as the great world
of human enterprise is concerned," added the uncle,
"the lad is but little better than a pup of eight
days old; and until his mind's eye is fairly opened,
it is idle to expect him to have the least insight
into the higher uses and duties of life."

As soon as the morning meal of the next day
was finished, little Benjamin, to his utter astonish-
ment, was presented by his uncle with a new fish-
ing-rod and tackle, and told to get himself ready
to start directly for a day's sport.
"What ever can this have to do with the choice
of a trade ?" thought the boy to himself.
There was no time, however, for wondering; for
the next minute the mother was busy brushing
his little triangular hat, while his sister was
helping him on with his thick, big-buckled
shoes. Then a packet of corned beef and bread
was slipped into the pocket of his broad-skirted
coat; and without a hint as to what it all meant,
the little fellow was dismissed with a kiss and a
"God-speed upon his mysterious journey.
The boy and his uncle were not long in travors-
ing the crooked and narrow streets of Boston.
The quaint old-fashioned State House in front
of the large park-like "common" was soon left
behind, and the long wooden bridge crossed in the
direction of the neighboring suburb of Dorchester.
Young Benjamin, though pleased enough to be
free for a day's pleasure, was so eager to be put
to some new occupation, that he kept speculating in
his own simple manner, as he trotted along with
his rod on his shoulder, as to why his father had
broken his promise with him.


59







60 YOUNG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
The uncle guessed the reason of his little
nephew's silence, but said not a word as to the
real object of the excursion; and as they made
towards the heights of Dorchester, he recounted
to the lad, in order to divert his thoughts, stories
of the persecutions of the Franklin family in the
old country; till at length, having reached a
small streamlet at the foot of the heights them-
selves, the rod and line were duly mounted, and
the day's sport commenced.
Then, as the boy sat on the green bank, with
his fishing-rod speared into the ground, and watch-
ing the tiny float that kept dancing like a straw in
the current, the old man at his side took advan-
tage of the quietude of the spot to impress his
little nephew with his first views of life.
SIt was a lovely autumn day. The blue vault
of the sky was like a huge dome of air upspring-
ing from the distant horizon, and flecked with
large cumulus clouds that lay almost as motion-
less, from lack of wind, as if they were mounds
of the whitest and softest snow piled one above
another. From an opening between two such
clouds the sun's rays came pouring down visibly,
in distinct broad bands of "fire mist"- such as
are seen streaming through a cathedral window-
and fell upon the earth and water in large sheets
of dazzling phosphorescence. Out at sea, the
broad ocean-expanse constituting the Bay of
;i, ,. i. tr.., looked positively solid as crystal
in its calmness, while the shadows of the clouds
above, dulling in parts the bright surface of
the water, swept over it almost as imperceptibly
as breath upon a mirror. In the distance, the
little smacks that seemed to be revelling in the
breeze far away from land had each left be-
hind them a bright trail, which looked like a long
shining scar upon the water; and from the scores of







GOING OUT IN THE WORLD.


islands, dappling the great ocean-lake, ferry boats
freighted with a many-coloured load of market-
women, peasants, and soldiers kept plying to and
from the shore.
Looking towards the home they had left, the
town of Boston itself was seen crowding the
broad peninsular pedestal on which it was
set, and the three hills that gave it its an-
cient name of "Tri-mountain," swelling high
above the tide at its base. In front of the city,
the masts of the many vessels in the harbour were
like a mass of reeds springing out of the water,
and from the back and sides of the town there
stretched long wooden bridges, which in the dis-
tance seemed as though they were so many cables,
mooring the huge raft of the city to the adjacent
continent.
The country round about was dappled with
many a white and cosy homestead, and the earth
itself variegated as a painter's palette witl all the
autumn colours of the green meadows and the
brown fallow lands-the golden orchards, the
crimson patches of clover, and the white flocks and
red cattle with which it was studded; whilst
overhead, on the neighboring Dorchester heights,
there rose a fine cloud of foliage that was as rich
and yet sombre in its many tints as the sky at
sunset after a storm.
Look round about you, lad," said Uncle Ben-
jamin to the youth at his side, "and see what a
busy scene surrounds us. There is not a field
within compass of the eye that the husbandmen
are not at work in. Yonder the plough goes
scoring the earth, as the yoke of oxen passes slowly
over it, and changing the green soil into a rich
umber brown, so that the exhausted ground may
drink in fresh life from the air above. Here the
farm cart is in the field studding it with loads of


61







62 YOUNG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
manure at regular distances, to serve as nutriment
for the future grain. The smoke from the up-
rooted heaps of stubble burning yonder goes drift-
ing over the dark plain, in order that even the
ashes from the past crop may tend to feed the
coming one. That swarthy-looking fellow you
see over there, Ben, with a basket on his arm, is a
sweep, sowing soot broadcast, for the same purpose.
Down by the shore, again, the people are out with
their waggons collecting seaweed, with a like
object. At the salt-marshes, too, you perceive the
cowherd is busy opening the sluices, so that ths
tide as it flows may moisten the rich meadows
upon which the cattle are grazing.
On the other hand," continued the old man, as
he pointed to the several objects about him, the
tiny vessels yonder, that look like so many white
gulls as they skim the broad bay, are those of
the fishermen gathering supplies for to-morrow's
market. That noble-looking Indiaman, with the
men, like a swarm of bees about its yards, gather-
ing in the pouting sails as it enters the harbour, is
laden with teas and spices from the East; and that
line of craft moored beside the 'Long Wharf,'
with the cranes dipping into their holds, is landing
bags of sugar from the Western Indies. The drove
of cattle halting there to drink at the road-side
pool, and with their reflected images colouring the
water like a painting, have come from the distant
prairies to swell our butchers' stores. The white
figure you can just see at the top of yon mill is
that of the miller's man, guiding the dangling
sacks of flour on their way down to be carted off
to the city. The very birds of the air-the crows
now cawing as they fly over head; the swallows
twittering as they skim zigzag across the surface
of the pools; the white gull yonder that has just
settled down on the waves; the hawk poised above







GOING OUT IN Till WORLD.


the wood waiting for the coming pigeon; are, one
and all, in quest of food. Even the very insects
beside us are busy upon the same errand. The big
bee buzzing in the flower cup at our feet; the
tiny ants, that are hardly bigger than motes in
the sunbeam, hurrying to and fio in the grass; the
spider that has spun his silken net across the twigs
of the adjacent hedge-are all quickened with the
cravings of their bigger fellow-creatures. Indeed,
the sportsman on the hills above, whose gun now
makes the woods chatter again, is there only
from the same motive as is stirring the insects
themselves. And you yourself, Ben,-but look at
your float, lad look at your float! The bobbing
of it tells you that the very fish-like the birds
and the insects, the sportsmen and the husband-
men round about-have left their lurking-places
on the same hungry mission. Strike, boy,
strike!"
As the uncle said the words, the delighted
youngster seized the rod, and twitched a plump-
looking chub, struggling, from the pool.
In a few minutes the prize was stored away in
the fish-basket they had brought with them, and
the float once more dancing in the shade above the
nowly-baited hook in the water.
And when the rod was speared anew in the
ground beside the brook, Uncle Ben said to his
nephew, as the little fellow flung himself down on
the bank slope, Can you understand now, my
little man, why I brought you out to fish?"
The lad looked up in his uncle's good-humoured
face, and smiled as the solution of the morning's
riddle flashed across his mind.
"Why, to teach me, uncle, that everything that
lives seeks after its food," answered the younger
Benjamin, delighted with the small discovery he
had made; for as yet he had never shaped, in


63







S4 YOUNG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
his mind, the cravings of creatures into anything
approximating to a general law.
Hardly that, my little man," replied the uncle,
"for I should have thought your own unguided
reason would have shown you as much ere this.
What I really want to impress upon you, Ben, is
rather the vital .. '- for work. The lesson I
wish to teach you is not a very deep one, my lad;
but one that requires to be firmly and everlast-
ingly engraven on the mind. Now look round
again, and see what difference you can notice be-
tween the lives of animals and plants. Observe
what is going on in the fields, and what among the
insects, the birds, the fishes, the beasts, and even
Ihe men, that throng the land, the air, and the
water about us."
The boy cast his eyes once more over the broad
expanse of nature before him, and said, hesitat-
ingly, "The animals are all seeking after food,
and-and-"
The husbandmen are busy in the fields, taking
food to the plants," added Uncle Benjamin, help-
ing the little fellow to work out the problem.
The one form of life goes after its food, and the
other has it brought to it."
The old man paused for a minute, so that the
lad might well digest the difference.
The distinctive quality of an animal," he then
went on, is that it seeks its own living, whereas
a plant must have its living taken to it."
"I see," said Benjamin, thoughtfully.
An animal," said the uncle, cannot thrust its
lower extremities into the ground and drink up the
elements of its trunk and limbs from the soil, like
the willow-tree there on the opposite bank, whose
roots you can see, like a knot of writhing snakes,
piercing the earth all round about it. Unlike the
tree and the shrub, Ben, the animal is endowed







GOING OUT IN THE WORLD).


with a susceptibility of feeling, as well as fitted
with a special and exquisitely beautiful appa-
ratus for motion. The sentient creature is thus
not only gifted with a sense of hunger to tell him
instinctively (far better than any reason could pos-
sibly do) when his body needs refreshment; but in
order to prevent his sitting still and starving with
pleasure (as he assuredly would have done if hunger
had been rendered a delight to him) this very
sense of hunger has, most benevolently, been made
painful for him to suffer for any length of time.
Now it is the pain or uneasiness of the growing
appetite that serves to sting the muscles of his
limbs into action at frequent and regular in-
tervals, and to make him stir in quest of the
food that is necessary for the reparation of his
frame. And what is more, the allaying of the
pain of the protracted appetite itself has been ren-
dered one of the chief pleasures of animal nature."
"How strange it seems, uncle, that I never
thought of this before for, now you point it out to
me, it is all so plain that I fancy I must have been
blind not to have noticed it," was all that the
nephew could say; for the new train of thought
started in his brain was hurrying him away with
its wild crowd of reflections.
Rather it would have been much stranger,
Ben, could you have discovered it alone; for such
matters are visible to the mind only, and not to be
noted by the mere eyes themselves," the uncle
made answer.
"I understand now," exclaimed the boy, half
musing; "all animals must stir themselves in
order to get food."
"Ay, my lad I but there is another marked dif-
ference between animals and plants," continued
the uncle, and that will explain to us why even
food itself is necessary for animal subsistence. A
F


65







66


YOtUiG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.


trce, you know, boy, is inactive that willow
would remain wl ere it is till it died unless moved
by some one-and there is, therefore, little or no
waste going on in its frame. Bence the greater
part of the nutriment it derives from the soil and
air is devoted to the growth or strengthening of
its trunk and limbs. But the chief condition of
animal life is muscular action, and muscular action
cannot go on without the destruction of the tissues
themselves. After a hard day's exercise, men are
known to become considerably lighter, or, in other
words, to have lost several pounds weight of their
bodily substance. Physicians, too, assure us that
the entire body itself becomes changed every
seven years throughout life: the hair, for in-
stance, is for ever growing, the nails are being
continually pared away, the breath is always
carrying off a certain portion of our bulk, the
blood is hourly depositing fresh fibre and absorb-
ing decayed tissues as it travels through the sys-
tem; transpiration, again, is for eve. going on, and
can only be maintained by continual drains upon
the vital fluids within. Even if we sit still, our
body is at work-the heart beating, the lungs
playing, the chest heaving, the blood circulating;
and all this, as with the motion of any other
engine (even though it be of iron), must be
attended with more or less friction or rubbing
away of the parts in motion, and consequently
with a slower or quicker wearing out or waste of
the body itself."
I should never have thought of that, uncle,"
observed the youth.
It is this waste, lad, which, waking or sleep-
ing, moving or resting, is for ever going on in the
animal frame, that makes a continual supply of
food a vital necessity with us all. Food, in-
deed, is to the human machine what coals are to








GOING OUT IN THE WORLD, 67
Savery's wonderful steam-engino-the fuel that is
necessary to keep the apparatus in motion; and,
as a chaldron of coal applied to a steam-boiler will
do only a certain amount of work, so a given quan-
tity of bread and bacon put into a man's stomach
is equal to merely a definite quantity of labour.
But since we can only get food by working, why
work itself, of course, becomes the supreme neces-
sity of our lives. Our blood, our heart, our lungs
are, as I said, for ever at work, and we must, there-
fore work, if it be only to keep them working. It
is impossible for such as us to stand still without
destroying some portion of our substance; and
hence one of three things becomes inevitable."
And what are they, uncle ? "
"Why, work, beggary, or death!" was the
overwhelming reply. "You may choose Mhich of
the three you will adopt, but one or other of them
there is no escaping from. You must either live
by your own labour, lad, or by that of others, or
else you must starve-such is the lot of all."
"Work, beggary, or death! echoed the boy,
as he chewed the cud of his first lesson in life.
" World, beggary, or death!"
Then suddenly turning to his uncle, the little
fellow exclaimed, You have given me thoughts
I never knew before. Let me go home and tell
my father and mother how different a boy you
have made me, and my future life shall show you
how much I owe to this day's lessons."

The journey home was soon performed, for
young Benjamin was too full of what he had
heard to feel the distance they journeyed.
Well, Ben, my boy !" exclaimed the father, as
the little fellow entered the candle store, what
sport have you had ? What have you brought
home ? "








bS YOUNG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
"I have brought one fish," answered his son,
demurely.
Is that all?" asked the old man.
No," replied the altered youth. I have come
back with one fish and one strong determination,
father."
"Eh, indeed! A strong determination to do
what, my lad ?" said the parent.
To lead a new life for the future," was the
grave response of the little man.



CHAPTER VIII,
"A HIT! A HIT!"
THAT night, after the evening hymn had been
chanted by the family, to the accompaniment of
the father's violin as usual, and young Benjamin
had retired to rest, the conversation of the
brothers and the wife turned upon the marked
change that had occurred in the little fellow's
behaviour.
He certainly seems a different lad," observed
the father, as he arranged the table for the hit at
backgammon that he and his brother Benjamin
occasionally indulged in after the day's work;
"quite a different lad. I really don't think lie
uttered a word beyond asking the blessing' all
supper-time."
And when I went up to his room to take his
light," chimed in the mother, who had now settled
down to her knitting, and was busy refooting a
pair of the young carpenter's worsted stockings,
"the dear child was praying to God to give him
grace and strength to carry out his new purpose."
Well! well! that looks all healthy enough,








"A HIT! A HIT !"


mother," exclaimed Josiah, rattling away at the
dice-box, "if it'll only last. You see the flesh is
weak with all of us, and children are but reeds in
the wind; poor little reeds, mother."
"Last!" echoed Benjamin, as he raised his eye
for a moment from his brother's game, why, with
God's blessing, it's sure to last, that it is. What
I've told you all along, Josh, is that you hadn't
faith in that boy's mind. He's as like our own
brother Tom, I say again, as one grain of sand
is to another; and as our Thomas came to be
Ihe foremost man of our family, why, mark my
words, 'Josh, your Ben will grow up to be the
greatest man in all yours-though I dare say none
of us here will ever be spared to see the day.
The boy has a fine common-sense mind of his own,
and where there's a mind to work upon, you can
do anything, brother, within reason. With Jack-
asses, of course you must give them the stick to
make them go the way you want; but with
rational creatures, it's only a fool that believes
blows can do more than logic. What first set you
and me thinking about our duties in life, Josh ?" he
asked, and gave the dice-box an extra rattle as he
paused for a reply. Was it kicks, eh ? kicks and
cuffs ? No! but it was sitting under good old Luke
Fuller at the Northampton Conventicle, and listen-
ing to his godly teachings-that it was, if 1 know
anything about it. And now I'll tell you what I
mean to do with my godson Ben. I've made my-
self responsible for the errors of his youth, you
know, and what I mean to do is this-"
The mother stopped her needles for the moment,
as she awaited anxiously the conclusion of the
speech; but Benjamin, who by this time had got
by far the best of the hit at backgammon, paused
to watch the result of the throw he was about to
make; and when the dice were cast upon the


69








/U YOUNG BENJAMITJ FRANKLIN.

board, Josiah, who, like his brother, was divided
between the discourse and the contest, inquired-
Well, and what do you mean to do, Master
Ben ? "
Why, I mean to gammon you nicely this time,
Master John," he replied with a chuckle as he
"took up the blot" his antagonist had left on
the board.
Tut! tut! man alive," returned Josiah in a
huff at the ill luck which pursued him. But
what do you mean to do with the boy, I want to
know ? "
Why, I mean," answered brother Benjamin,
abstractedly, as the game drew to a close, and he
kept.gazing intently at the board, I mean"-and
then, as he took off his last man, and started up
rubbing his palms together as briskly as if it were
a sharp frost, with exultation over his victory, he
added-"But you shall see-you shall see what
I mean to do with him. Come, that's a hit to me,
brother."
It was useless for Josiah or his wife to attempt
to get even a clue to the method Uncle Benjamin
intended to adopt with their son.
The godfather, on second thoughts, had judged
it better to keep his mode- of proceeding to him-
self, and so, finding he could hardly hold out
against the lengthened siege of the father and
mother, he deemed it prudent to beat a retreat;
and accordingly, seizing his rushlight and the
volume of manuscript sermons, that he never let
out of his sigh,, he wished the couple good-night,
and retired to his room.







71




CHAPTER IX.

THE WILL AND THE WAY.

A SMALL sailing vessel lay becalmed next morn-
ing far out in the offing of the Massachusetts bay.
The fresh breeze that had sprung up at sunrise
had gradually died away as the day advanced
towards noon, and now the mainsail hung down
from the yard as loose and straight as a curtain
from a pole, while the boom kept swinging heavily
from side to side as the boat rolled about in the
long and lazy swell of the ocean. At the helm sat
one of the smartest young cockswains out of
Boston harbour-Young Benjamin Franklin; and
near him was the uncle who had undertaken to
shape the little fellow's course through life.
The lad was again at a loss to fathom the reason
of the trip.
So long as the breeze had lasted he had been
too deeply engrossed with the management of the
craft-too pleased with watching the bows of the
liny vessel plough their way through the foaming
water, like a sledge through so much snow-to
trouble his brains much about the object of an
excursion so congenial to his heart. So long as
the summer waves rushed swiftly as a mill-sluice
past the gunwale of the boat, and the hull lay
over almost on its side under the pressure of the
pouting sail, the blood went dancing, almost as
cheerily as the waves, through the veins of the
excited boy; and his hand grasped the bille: with
the same pride as a horseman holds the r1in of







72 YOUNG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
a swift and well-trained steed. But when the wind
flagged, and the sail began to beat backwards and
forwards with each lull in the breeze, like the
fluttering wing of a wounded gull, the little fellow
could not keep from wondering why Uncle Benja-
min had brought him out to sea. What could any
one learn of the ways of the world in an open boat
far away from land?
The boy, however, lacked the courage to inquire
what it all meant.
Presently he turned his head to note the dis-
tance they had run, and cried as he looked back
towards Boston, "Why, I declare, uncle, we can
hardly see the State House !"
"Yes, lad," was the answer, "the town has
faded into a mere blot of haze; but how finely
the long curving line of the crescent-shaped bay
appears to rampart the ocean round, now that the
entire sweep of the shore is brought within grasp
of the eye! What a vast basin it looks : so vast,
indeed, that the capes which form the horns of the
crescent coast, seem to be the very ends of the
earth itself! And yet, vast as it looks to us, lad,
this great tract of shore is but a mere span's length
in comparison with the enormous American conti-
nent; that continent, which is a third part of the
entire earth-one of the three gigantic tongues of
land that stretch down from the North Pole,* and
ridge the ocean as if they were so many mighty
sea-walls raised to break the fury of the immense
flood of water enveloping the globe. Now tell
The three tongues of land spoken of are,-1, North and
South America; 2, Europe and Africa; 3, Asia and Austra-
lasia. Each of these great tracts is more or less divided mid-
way into two portions. Between the two Americas flow the
Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea; between Europe and
Africa, on the other hand, runs the MNediterrmeann; whilst
Asia and Australasia are separated by the Chinese Sea and
Indian Archipelago.







THE WILL AND THE WAY.


me, who was it that discovered the great continent
before us, Benjamin?"
Cristofaro Colombo, the Genoese sailor, on the
11th of October, in the year 1492," quicklyanswered
the nephew, proud of the opportunity of displaying
his knowledge of the history of his native land.
And that is but little more than two hundred
years ago," the other added. "For thousands of
years one third of the entire earth was not even
known to exist by the civilized portion of the globe ;
and had it not been for the will of that Genoese
sailor, you and I, Ben, most likely, would not have
been gazing at this same land at this same moment."
"The will of Columbus!" echoed the nephew
in wonderment at the speech.
Yes, boy. I have brought you out in this boat
o-day, to show you what the mere will of a man
can compass," continued the uncle, "for I want
to impress upon you, my little fellow-now that
we are here, with the mighty American shore
stretching miles away before our eyes-how the
will of a simple mariner gave these mighty shores
an existence to the rest of the habitable globe."
"The will!" repeated the boy.
"Yes, Benjamin, the will!" the uncle iterated
emphatically; for the finding of this great
country was not a mere accidental discovery-not
a blind stumbling over a heap of earth in the dark
-but the mature fruition of a purpose long con-
ceived and sustained in the mind. When did
Columbus first form the design of reaching India
by a westward course ?" asked the old man, de-
lighted to catechize his little godson concerning the
chronicles of America.
Young Ben reflected for a moment, and then
stammered out, as if half in doubt about the date,
"As early as the-as the year 1474, I think the
hook says, uncle."


73







74 YOUNG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
"Yes, boy, he formed the design nearly twenty
years before he made the discovery. To reach
India by sea," proceeded the mentor, was the
great problem of navigation in those days. Marco
Polo had travelled overland as far even as China
and Japan; but the boats of our forefathers, flat-
bottomed as they were, and impelled only by
oars, were unable to venture far out of sight of
land; for in those days sailors hadn't even the
knowledge of the compass, nor of any instrument
to measure the altitudes of the stars, whereby to
guide a vessel in its course. Even the passage to
India round by the Cape of Good Hope was a
voyage that none as yet had had the hardihood to
undertake. Well, and what were the reasons
Columbus had for believing that land lay across
the Atlantic ? "
"The objects cast on the shores of Europe
after westerly winds," spoke out the boy, for the
interesting story of the discovery of America
had been scanned over and over again by
him. Besides, you know, uncle, after Columbus
married Philippa de Palestrello, he supported
himself, and kept his old father too, at Genoa, by
drawing maps and charts."
There's a brave lad !" returned the uncle
patting his godson encouragingly on the head, till
each kindly touch from the old man thrilled
through every nerve of the youngster; and in the
old charts by Andrea Bianco and others of Venice,
Columbus had doubtlessly been struck by the long
range of territory that was vaguely indicated as
lying to the west of the Canary Islands. Well,
when the sailor had once formed the idea of cross-
ing the Atlantic in quest of land, what did he
do ? Did he sit down and grieve that he was too
poor to fit out the fleet that was necessary to pub
the project into execution, eh, lad ? "







THE WILL AND THE WAY. 75
No, uncle," was the ready reply; "he jour-
neyed with his little son Diego, who was then, if
I remember rightly, only eleven years old (for
his wife Philippa, you know, uncle, had died
some time before), to the different courts of
Europe, in the hope of getting some of the kings
to give him ships and men for the voyage."
Ay, and when he found himself foiled by the
intrigues of the courtiers of John the Second of
Portugal, and the great scheme of crossing the
Atlantic rejected by the Council of the State, did
the sailor give way to despair, and abandon the
project for ever in disgust ? again the old man
interrogated the youth.
No, Uncle Benjamin; he set out with his little
son to Spain, though in the greatest poverty at
the time, and there sought the assistance of Ferdi-
nand and Isabella."
And how long did he remain there, lad, danc-
ing attendance on the lacqueys of a government,
many of whom even laughed to scorn the notion
of the world being round ? was the.next query.
"Five years he stayed in Spain," the youth
replied.
And when all hope failed him there, what did
he afterwards ? Did he lose heart, and pluck his
long-cherished purpose out of his mind ? "
"No, no! exclaimed the lad, whom the unc!e
had now worked up to a sense of the sailor's
indomitable determination; Columbus then got
his brother Bartholomew to make proposals for
the voyage to Henry VIi. of England."
"Yes," exclaimed the elder Benjamin, and to
Fnil,.iin this man of stern will would most as-
suredly have gone had not the Queen Isabella,
when she heard of it, been persuaded to send for
him back."
"And then, you know, she consented to pledge







76 YOUNG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
her jewels so as to raise money enough for the
expedition," chimed in little Benjamin.
So she did, my little man," the godfather re-
turned with an approving nod; and by such
means, at last, three small vessels, the 'Santa
MTaria,' the Pinta,' and the Nina' (two of them,
remember, being without decks), were fitted for
sea, and one hundred and twenty hands to man
them, collected, by hook or by crook, with the
greatest difficulty, owing to the general dread
of the passage. And when the tiny fleet of fish-
ing smacks (for it was little better, boy), ulti-
mately set sail-on the 3rd of August, 1492, it
was-out of the port of Palos, in the Mediter-
ranean, and made straight away for the broad
havenless ocean itself, did the will of the bold
adventurer-the will that he had nursed through
many a long year of trial, want, and scorn-did it
waver one jot then, or still point to the opposite
shore, steady as the compass itself to the pole ? ay,
and that even though he knew that the crew he
commanded were timid as deer, and the boats
he had to navigate almost as unseaworthy as
cradles ?"
"I never read the storyin this way before,uncle,"
exclaimed the thoughtful boy, now that the object
of his teacher began to dawn upon his mind.
I dare say not, lad; but hear the grand tale to
its end," was the answer. "Well, for some months,
you know, Ben, the wretched little fleet of open
boats had been beating about the wide and appa-
rently-boundless Atlantic, and the sailors, worn
with fatigue and long want of shelter and proper
food, had grown mutinous and savage at searching
for what seemed to them like the very end of space
itself; and then the great admiral (for you re-
member he had been made one), though still
fortified by the same indomitable purpose as ever,







TlHl WILL AND TUE WAY.


was obliged, after exhausting every other resource,
to beg of his rebellious sailors a few days' grace,
and to promise to return with them then, if un-
successful. Night and day afterwards, did this
man of iron resolution gaze into the clouds that
rested on the horizon, and believe he saw in them
the very land that his fancy had discovered there
nearly twenty years before; but at last this same
cloud-land had so often cheated the sight, that all
hope of seeing any shore in that quarter had been
banished from every breast-but his own. One
night, however,-the memorable night of the 15th
of October, 1492,-as the admiral sat on the poop
of the Santa Maria' peering into the darkness
itself, he thought he beheld moving lights in the
distance; then the crew were called up to watch
them, and eye after eye began to see the same
bright fiery specks wandering about in the haze
as the admiral himself; until, at length, doubt
grew into conviction, and a wild exulting cry of
'land! land!' arose from every voice.
And when the morning dawned, and the eyes
of Columbus gazed upon that strange coast, crim-
soned over and gilt with the rays of the rising
sun, who shall describe the passions that crowded
in his bosom? who shall tell the honest pride he
felt at the power of the will which had led him
to summon, into existence as it were, the very
land before him? or how even he himself mar-
velled over that staunch fortitude of purpose
which had sustained him through years of trial to
such an end?'
It was then," said the boy, half stricken down
with wonder at the thought, now that he could
grasp it in all its grandeur, "the will of Columbus
that gave America to us."
"It was, lad, the will of the heroic Genoese
sailor-expressing the will of God; and if it was


77







78 YOUNG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
the will of a simple mariner that first made
known this enormous continent-this new world
as we call it-why, it was merely the same in-
flexible resolution that first peopled it, with the
very race that now possesses it."
"Indeed !" cried the boy in greater amazement
than ever.
"Yes, Ben," was the answer. "The same iron
determination was in the souls of the Pilgrim
Fathers as in that of Columbus himself; but theirs
was one of a holier nature. They sought these
lands, neither quickened by a life of adventure
nor stirred by the lust of riches. They had merely
one immovable purpose in their heart-to worship
the Almighty after the dictates of their own con-
science-and it was this that led the pious band
to quit the shores of the Humber in the old coun-
try; this that sustained them for years as exiles
in Holland; and this which ultimately bore them
across the Atlantic in the Speedwell' and the
' Mayflower' and gave them strength to fight
through the terrors of the first winter here in
their adopted father-land."
"How strange!" exclaimed the musing lad;
"w ill discovered the land, and will peopled it."
Yes, Benjamin; it was to make you compre-
hend the power of this same will in man that I
brought you here to-day. I wanted to let you see
almost with a bird's eye the mighty territory that
has been created by it. The plains, which a few
years back were mere wild and half-barren hunt-
ing grounds possessed by savages, are now studded
with large and noble towns-the fields striped
with roads and belted with canals -the coast
pierced with harbours-the land rich with vege-
tation-the cities busy with factories-the havens
bristling with shipping-ay, and all called into
existence by the indomitable will of the one man






79


who originally discovered the country, and that
of the conscientious band who afterwards came
from England to make a home of it. It was the
will of the Almighty that first summoned the
land out of the water, lad: and it is the same
God-like quality in man-the great creative and
heroic faculty-that changes barren plains into
fertile fields, and builds up cities in the wilder-
ness."


CHAPTER X.

HOW TO MAKE WORK PLEASANT AND PROFITABLE.
IT was now time for the uncle and nephew to
think about returning to Boston harbour. They
had promised to be home to a late dinner at two ;
but the promise had been made irrespective of the
wind and the tide, and the couple were then
some miles out at sea, without a breath of wind
strong enough to waft a soap-bubble through
the air, and with a strong ebb-current drifting
them farther from land.
The head of the vessel was at length, by dint of
sculling, brought round to the shore; but still
the sail hung down as limp and straight as the
feathers of barn-door fowls after a heavy shower,
and even the paper that the uncle threw over-
board (as he opened the packet of bread and
meat they had brought with them) floated per-
petually by the ship's side, as motionless as the
pennant at the mast-head.
"Heyday, my man we seem to be in a pretty
fix here," cried Uncle Benjamin, as he munched
the bread and beef, while he kept his eyes
rivetted on the piece of the old "Boston Gazette "
swimming beside them in the water. What do







80 YOUNG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
you say, my little captain-what's to be done?
Remember, I'm in your hands, youngster."
There's nothing to be done that I see, uncle,"
returned the youth, as he smiled with delight at
the idea of being promoted to the captaincy of the
vessel--"nothing but to wait out here patiently
till sundown, and then a breeze will spring up
most likely; it generally does, you know, at that
time. But I thought it 'ud be so, to tell you
the truth, while you were talking; and I should
have whistled for a wind long ago, but I
fancied you might think I wasn't attending.
It's impossible to pull back with this heavy tide
against us; and if you look out to sea, uncle,
there isn't a puff of wind to be seen coming
up along the water anywhere;" and as he said
the words the little monkey put his hand up
before his brows, in imitation of his old sailor
friends, and looked under them in all directions,
to observe whether he could distinguish in the
distance that ruffling of the glassy surface of the
water which marks the approach of a breeze in a
calm.
"Well, captain, what must be must," said the
godfather, calmly resigning himself with all the
gusto of a philosopher at once to the position and
the victuals. There's no use railing against
the wind, you know, and it's much better having
to whistle for a breeze than a dinner, I can
tell you. So come, lad, while you fall foul of
the meat and the cider, I can be treating you to
a little snack of worldly philosophy by way of
salt to the food; and so, you see, you can be
digesting your dinner and your duty in life both
at the same time."
The youngster proceeded to carry out his
uncle's order in good earnest, for the sea-trip
had whetted his bodily appetite as much as the







HOW TO MAKE WORK PLEASANT.


story of Columbus had sharpened the edge of
his wits; so, pulling out his clasp knife, he fell
to devouring the buffalo hump and the old man's
discourse almost with equal heartiness.
Well, my son," proceeded the elder Benjamin,
" I have shown you the power of the will in
great things, and now I want to point out to you
the use of it in what the world calls little things.'
I have made you understand, I think, that the
prime necessity of life is labour. But labour
is naturally irksome to us. You remember, boy,
it was the primeval curse inflicted upon man."
So it was !" exclaimed the lad, in haste to
let his uncle see that he knew well to what he
referred. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou
eat bread' were the words, uncle."
Good, good, my son! I'll make a fine, upright
man of you before I have done-that I will,"
added the delighted godfather. "But labour,
though naturally irksome and painful, still admits,
like hunger itself, of being made a source of
pleasure to us."
How can that be ?" the nephew inquired.
"Well, Ben," the uncle went on, "there are
three means-and only three, so far as I know-by
which work may be rendered more or less de-
lightful to all men. The first of these means is
variety; the second, habit; and the third, purpose,
or ojyect."
I don't understand you, uncle," was all the
boy said.
You know, my little man," the other went
on, "that as it is hard and difficult to remain
at the same occupation for any length of time, so
does it become a matter of mere recreation to
shift from one employment to another as soon
as we grow tired of what we have been previously
doing. Child's-play is merely labour made easy,
4


81







82 rOUNG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
and what boys call amusement is often very hard
work. But it is the change of occupation that
makes even the severest muscular exercise a
matter of sport to youth. A whole life of
football, however, or fifty years at leap-frog,
would be far more fatiguing, I can tell you,
than the hewing of wood or the -drawing of
water. And even this boating, which is so
delightful to you, lad, when pursued as a re-
laxation or relief from other modes of work, is
the heaviest possible punishment to the poor
galley slaves who are doomed to it for the torm of
their natural lives. The great zest of life is
change, boy; even as the chief drug of our
existence is the mental and bodily fatigue which
arises from long continuance at the same pursuit.
Recreation, indeed, is merely that restoration of
energy which comes from change of work or
occupation; and it is this principle of change
or variety in labour which, as with the boating
of boys, can transform even the hard work of
galley slaves into a matter of child's play."
Oh, then, uncle," cried little Benjamin,
flushed with the belief that he had made a grand
discovery, why not let people work at a number
of different things, and do each for only a little
time, instead of setting them to labour always
at the same pursuit for the whole of their lives ?
Every one would befond of working then."
"Yes, but, lad," rejoined the old man, smiling
as well at the simplicity as at the aptness of his
pupil, this flighty or erratic kind of labour
would be of no more value to the world than are
the sports of children. A tailor must continue
using the needle for years, Ben, before he can
work a button-hole fit to be seen. How long
must people have toiled on and on, generation
after generation, before they learnt how to make







HOW TO MAKE WORK PLEASANT.


window-glass and bottles out of the sand and
the weeds by the sea-shore! Could you or I;
Ben, ever hope, by labouring half an hour a day,
to get a pair of scissors or a razor out of a lump
of iron-stone, or to fashion a slice of an elephant's
tuskintothe .:-. ii; l;i..1---i;. .: .-rmmetryof abilliard
ball? For labour to be ot special use and value
to the world, it must have some special skill; and
skilled labour, being but the cunning of the fingers,
re quires the same long education of the hands
as deep learning does of the head. It is because
savages and vagabonds have no settled occupations
that their lives are comparatively worthless to the
rest of mankind."-
I see now !" ejaculated the thoughtful boy.
"Yes, my lad, variety of occupation makes work
as pleasant as play," the uncle added; "but it
makes it as valueless also. So now let us turn to
the second means of making labour agreeable."
And that's habit, I think you said," inter-
jected the younger Benjamin.
I did," he replied. Now habit, I should
first tell you, my little man, is one of the most
wonderful principles in the whole human consti-
tution. The special function of habit is to
make that which is at first irksome for us to
do, pleasant after a time to perform: it serves
to render the actions which originally required
an express effort on our part to execute, so purely
mechanical as it were (when they have been
frequently and regularly repeated for a certain
period), as to need almost the same express effort
then to prevent us indulging in them."
How strange!" mused the nephew.
The simple habit of whittling will teach you,
lad, how difficult, it is for people to keep their
hands from doing work they have been long
ccaustomed to. Again, when you were trying
02


83








84 YOUNG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
to play your father's violin, you remember how
hard you found it to move each finger as you
wanted, and how your eye was obliged to be fixed
first on the music-book, and then on the strings,
in order to touch each particular note set down;
until at length, disgusted with the tedium of the
task, you left off practising on the. instrument
altogether? And yet, had you pursued the study,
there is no doubt you would ultimately have
played with all the ease, and even pleasure, of
your father, and have got to work your fingers
ere long with the same nimbleness, and even the
same inattention, as your mother plies her knit-
ting-needles while reading in the evening."
So I should, I dare say; but isn't it odd,
uncle, that mere habit should do this ?" observed
the lad, as he grew alive to the wonders worked
by it.
It is odd, my boy-very odd, indeed, that the
mere repetition of acts at frequent and regular
intervals (for that is all that is required) should
make them, however difficult and distasteful at
first, grow easy and congenial to us in time; that
it should change pain into pleasure, labour into
pastime; that it should render a certain set of
muscles unconscious of effort, and callous to
fatigue, and transform the most arduous voluntary
actions into the simplicity and insensibility of
mere clockwork. But so it is, my little .man;
and it is this same principle of habit applied
to the different forms of manual labour which
constitutes what is termed industrial training;'
it is this which makes skill' in the world, and
gives to the handiwork of mechanics a stamp of
the cunning and dignity of art."
The use of apprenticeship, then, I suppose,"
observed the boy, "is to form a kind of habit of
working in a particular way-isn't it so, uncle ?"







HOW TO MAKE WORK PLEASANT.


"Well said, my quick little man. There is a
high pleasure in teaching such as take delight
in learning, like you, Ben."
But, uncle," continued the youth, tingling
all over with delight at the applause, if habit
can do away with the unpleasantness of labour,
where can be the use of the other thing you spoke
of as a means of making work agreeable-though
I forget what you said it was, I'm sure."
It was purpose or object, my lad, that I told
you makes work pleasant also."
Oh, yes, so it was-purpose or object," young
Benjamin repeated; "but I hardly know what
you mean by such grand words."
They are not only grand words, but they
stand for the grandest things in life, my little
fellow," the old man went on. "Habit, after all,
makes a man work. but as a machine. The
blacksmith who has been long accustomed to
wield the sledge hammer has no more sense of
fatigue (except when he works beyond the time
he has been used to) than that wonderful new
invention the steam-engine, which you have seen
swinging its iron arms about as it pumps the
water out of our docks. But a man with a pur-
pose, my son, works like a man, and not like a
steam-engine-even though that very purpose
makes him as insensible of weariness in his labour
as the steam-engine itself."
"Does purpose, then, as you call it, do the
same as habit, uncle ?" inquired the youth.
"Yes, Ben, but it does that immediately which
habit requires years to accomplish. Only let a
man put his whole soul into what he is doing-
let him work, so to speak, lad, with his heart in
his hand, and the toil is instantly made a high and
grand delight to him. This is the wonderful effect
of the will, Ben. What you will to do, you must


85







86 YOUNG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
of course do willingly, and therefore more or less
easily; and labour is especially repulsive when
your will wants to be off working at one thing
while your hands are constrained to be toiling at
another. Those who are without purpose in life,
boy, are vagabonds either in body or spirit, for if
there be no settled object there can hardly be
any settled pursuit. Such people, therefore, fly
from this to that occupation, according as the
caprice of the moment may happen to sway them:
they are like empty bottles, lad, cast into the
great ocean, far away from land, destined to be
buffeted about by the winds and the waves of every
passing storm, and driven whithersoever the cur-
rent of the time may chance to carry them. ii h-
out some enduring purpose, boy, there can be no
enduring work; and, after all, it is continuity in
labour, or long persistence at the same pursuit,
that masters every difficulty, and beats down
every obstacle. The power of the sturdy sand-
bag you know, Ben, is far greater than that of the
impetuous cannon-ball."
"HIow wonderful!" was all the little fellow
could say, as he mused over what he heard.
The uncle went on-" But I want to show you
now, lad, howt it is that the will can produce in
an instant the same wondrous changes as habit
does in years; and I want to do this so as to
impress the matter deeply and indelibly on your
mind. I have pointed out to you what great
things will can accomplish in the world, and I
now wish to let you see how easily and
it can accomplish them,"
I should like to hear that, uncle," said the
attentive boy; "for as yet I can hardly under-
stand what you mean."
"Of course you cannot comprehend in a
minute, Ben," the old man replied, "principles




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