• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Preface
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 Why the candle-maker's son peddled...
 How the boy-editor had his...
 How the printer learned the truth...
 How the printer became a philo...
 How he saved the country for the...
 How he became Dr. Franklin
 How he faced the parliament of...
 How he fought the tax tyrants
 How he signed his name with...
 How he saved the country the second...
 How he became president of...
 How he saved the country the third...
 The old philosopher's only...
 Advertising
 Back Cover
 Spine






Group Title: Children's lives of great men
Title: The true story of Benjamin Franklin, the American statesman
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00087350/00001
 Material Information
Title: The true story of Benjamin Franklin, the American statesman
Series Title: Children's lives of great men
Physical Description: 250, 2 p. : ill., ports. ; 24 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Brooks, Elbridge Streeter, 1846-1902
Searles, Victor A ( Illustrator )
Lothrop Publishing Company ( Publisher )
C.J. Peters & Son ( Typographer )
Publisher: Lothrop Publishing Company
Place of Publication: Boston
Manufacturer: C. J. Peters & Son Typographers.
Publication Date: c1898
 Subjects
Subject: Statesmen -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Philanthropists -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Inventors -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Printers -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Authors -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1898   ( rbgenr )
Biographies -- 1898   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1898
Genre: Publishers' catalogues   ( rbgenr )
Biographies   ( rbgenr )
individual biography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Elbridge S. Brooks ; illustrated by Victor A. Searles.
General Note: Date of publication on t.p. verso.
General Note: Publisher's catalogue follows text.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00087350
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002222900
notis - ALG3146
oclc - 02654272
lccn - 04016997

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 1a
    Frontispiece
        Page 2
    Title Page
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Preface
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Table of Contents
        Page 7
        Page 8
    List of Illustrations
        Page 9
        Page 10
    Why the candle-maker's son peddled ballads
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
    How the boy-editor had his troubles
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
    How the printer learned the truth of an old proverb
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
    How the printer became a philosopher
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
    How he saved the country for the first time
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
    How he became Dr. Franklin
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
    How he faced the parliament of England
        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
    How he fought the tax tyrants
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
    How he signed his name with a flourish
        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
    How he saved the country the second time
        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
    How he became president of Pennsylvania
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
    How he saved the country the third time
        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
    The old philosopher's only regret
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
    Advertising
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
    Back Cover
        Page 254
        Page 255
    Spine
        Page 256
Full Text










































BY PERMISSION OF HARPER & BROTHERS. -ee page zoo.
FRANKLIN LISTENING TO THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE-"SITTING IN THE HIGH-BACKED EASY-
CHAIR WHILE THOMAS JEFFERSON READ HIS DRAFT OF THAT WONDERFUL PAPER."


~1;---
i










THE TRUE STORY

OF



BENJAMIN FRANKLIN


THE AMERICAN STATESMAN






BY
ELBRIDGE S. BROOKS
AUTHOR OF "THE STORY OF OUR WAR WITH SPAIN," THE AMERICAN SOLDIER,"
"THE AMERICAN SAILOR," "THE TRUE STORY OF THE UNITED STATES,"
"THE TRUE STORY OF COLUMBUS," "WASHINGTON," LINCOLN,"
"GRANT," LAFAYETTE," AND MANY OTHERS





ILLUSTRA TED BY VICTOR A. SEARLES






BOSTON
LOTHROP PUBLISHING COMPANY






















































COPYRIGHT, 1898,
BY
LOTHROP PUBLISHING COMPANY.


All rights reserved.


C. J. PETERS & SON, TYPOGRAPHERS, BOSTON

















PREFACE.


STATESMAN, philanthropist, patriot, inventor, author, printer, humorist,
business-man, helper, friend, the lover of children, of humanity and the world
-all these was Benjamin Franklin, most remarkable of Americans.
As one who had a hand in shaping the destinies and securing the indepen-
dence of his native land, by word and pen, by brain and hand, it is most fitting
that the story of his life should be re-told for young Americans in this series
of Children's Lives of Great Men, in which Washington and Lincoln, Columbus
and Grant have place.
Benjamin Franklin belongs to the world; but especially does he belong to
America. As the nations honored him while living, so the republic glorifies
him when dead, and enshrines him in the choicest of its niches the one which
is regarded as the loftiest the hearts of the common people.
Among the learned men of the world none is more famous than he; among
the patriots of the world none holds a higher place; among Americans none is
worthier remembrance, veneration, or imitation.
For the boys and girls of America I have tried to tell once more Franklin's
remarkable story ; hoping that, as they read anew of his struggles, his successes,
and his greatness, they may find, perhaps, new things to honor and new traits
to emulate in that shrewd, kindly, big-brained, great-hearted, noble old man, of
whom the French poet said : -

He snatched the thunderbolt from heaven and the sceptre from tyrants."


E. S. B.



















CONTENTS.




CHAPTER I.
PAGE
WHY THE CANDLE-MAKER'S SON PEDDLED BALLADS II

CHAPTER II.
HOW THE BOY-EDITOR HAD HIS TROUBLES 29

CHAPTER III.
HOW THE PRINTER LEARNED THE TRUTH OF AN OLD PROVERB 47

CHAPTER IV.
HOW THE PRINTER BECAME A PHILOSOPHER 64

CHAPTER V.
HOW HE SAVED THE COUNTRY FOR THE FIRST TIME 83

CHAPTER VI.
HOW HE BECAME DR. FRANKLIN 103

CHAPTER VII.
HOW HE FACED THE PARLIAMENT OF ENGLAND 120

CHAPTER VIII.
HOW HE FOUGHT THE TAX TYRANTS 137

CHAPTER IX.
HOW HE SIGNED HIS NAME WITH A FLOURISH 156

CHAPTER X.
HOW HE SAVED THE COUNTRY THE SECOND TIME 172

7










8 CONTENTS.


CHAPTER XI.

HOW HE BECAME PRESIDENT OF PENNSYLVANIA

CHAPTER XII.

HOW HE SAVED THE COUNTRY THE THIRD TIME


CHAPTER XIII.

THE OLD PHILOSOPHER'S ONLY REGRET


PAGE
194



21I



228
















LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.


Franklin listening to the Declaration of Independence Frontisfiece.
The birthplace of Franklin. Page 12
In the doorway of the Old South Church 13
Site of Franklin's birthplace on Milk Street, Boston 15
Ben 16
The other boy 16
" Let's build our wharf with these," said Ben 18
" A pioneer in improvements" 21
The site of Franklin's boyhood home as it looks to-day 24
Ben Franklin peddling his own ballads in Boston-town 27
" He read everything he could get hold of" 30
Ben Franklin, apprentice 32
The young vegetarian" 34
" He slipped the paper under the printing-house door" 35
Tracking a runaway apprentice in Ben Franklin's day 39
" He was soon on blue water, bound for New York and a living" 41
Ben wishes to pay for his passage 43
" The boy handed him out three big puffy rolls 47
" A young girl of about his own age was standing in the doorway 51
"Young Mr. Franklin and the Governor 55
Where Franklin learned his trade 57
William Penn 6
" Poor Ben had been bitterly fooled 61
" He married Deborah Read 66
" I sometimes brought home the paper .through the streets on a wheelbarrow 69
" He was the leading newspaper publisher in America" 72
Title-page and specimen page from Poor Richard's Almanac 76
The Philadelphia library of to-day 81
Monument to Franklin's parents, in Boston 86
" You can have ten," said the Governor of New York. 91
Franklin standing guard as a private soldier 93
General Braddock 97
Where Fort Duquesne stood in Franklin's day 100
The Pennsylvania Hospital, founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1752 105
" He touched his knuckle to the hanging key" 109
Where Franklin flew the kite 12. . .
The University of Pennsylvania, founded by Benjamin Franklin 114









I0 LIST OF ILL USTYRA7OAS.


Franklin and the lightning .Page 6
Faneuil Hall, Boston 121
" They spun their own wool, and did without many things they needed" .126
" No power, howsoever great, can force men to change their opinions," said Franklin, 129
Edmund Burke, the friend of America, who spoke and argued the cause of the colo-
nies in Parliament 134
" He could never get beyond the prime minister, the king's head man 139
Where the Boston massacre occurred .142
"Obstinate King George grew more obstinate" 145
Franklin and Wedderburn 149
"' There's a fable for you,' he said" 154
Independence Hall, Philadelphia 57
Franklin and the committee presenting the Declaration of Independence to the Presi-
dent of Congress 16
" He wrote Mr. Strahan a famous letter". 162
Washington and Franklin conferring at the Craigie House, Cambridge 164
The Liberty Bell, which Franklin set a-ringing 165
Some of Franklin's fellow-workers for liberty 167
Franklin signs the Declaration 171
The little lame Frenchman 173
The Marquis de Lafayette 178
The Hotel de Valentinais, at Passy 181
The Treaty of Alliance 184
John Paul Jones .. 86
The messenger from America 187
General Burgoyne .. .19o
Signing the treaty of peace 192
In the Queen's litter 195
The return of Franklin 97
" The nearer the bone the sweeter the meat" 20
Near Franklin's old home .. 203
Franklin's pew in Christ Church 205
A glimpse of the Doctor 207
In Independence Hall 213
The inkstand used in signing the Constitution 214
Washington visits Franklin at his home in Philadelphia 217
Franklin and certain of his patriot associates 221
The signers of the Constitution 226
Franklin and the President's chair 227
The statue of Franklin in his native city 232
Franklin and his granddaughter 235
Franklin's reception-room Under the big mulberry-tree in his garden 237
The last letter 245
The grave of Franklin 248












THE TRUE STORY OF


BENJAMIN FRANKLIN,

THE AMERICAN STATESMAN.



CHAPTER I.

WHY THE CANDLE-MAKER'S SON PEDDLED BALLADS.

THIS is the story of Benjamin Franklin, most remark-
able of Americans. How remarkable a man he was
I shall try to tell you. What he did for his country,
for you and for me, is a tale worth the telling and the hear-
ing. For his story is fully as remarkable as was he himself.
As wise as Solomon, as simple as AEsop, as witty as Mark
Twain, as inventive as Edison, as gentle as a lamb, as
bold as a lion, he tried his hand at everything, and failed at
nothing. Sixty of his eighty-five years of life were spent
for the good of his countrymen. He built America; for
what our republic is to-day is largely due to the prudence,
the forethought, the statesmanship, the enterprise, the great-
ness, the ability, and the wisdom of Benjamin Franklin.
His story is one that the boys and girls of America should







12 WHY THE CANDLE-MAKER'S SOIV PEDDLED BALLADS.

know by heart, and should all love to hear. And that is
why I try to tell it.
Listen to his story.
On the corner of Milk and Washington Streets, in the
city of Boston, in the State of Massachusetts, there stands
a famous church. It is known
Sas the Old South Meeting-house.
Since 1729 it has stood on that
corner, its gray bricks overgrown
with ivy, its simple spire a land-
mark for all Boston, its doors a
rallying-point for every visitor
to the historic old town. The
Doors of the plain wooden meet-
ing-house, to which succeeded this
THE BIRTHPLACE OF FRANKLIN AS IT brick church which all America
LOOKED ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO.
loves, swung open on the after-
noon of Sunday, January 17, 1706, to let in a big, well-built,
pleasant-faced working-man, with a little baby in his arms.
The big man was Josiah Franklin, soap-boiler and candle-
maker; the little baby was his son Benjamin, who had been
born that very Sunday morning in the little frame house
across the way on Milk Street. The baby was brought to
church to be baptized; and in the records of the Old South
Church you can still see and read this entry: "Benjamin,
son of Josiah Franklin and Abiah, his wife."
To-day, on the site of the little wooden house, opposite







WHY THE CANDLE-MAKER'S SON PEDDLED BALLADS. 13


the Old South Church
building full of of-
fices. And on the
front of the building,
beneath a bust of the
great American, you
may read the words:
" Birthplace of Frank-
lin."
As I have said,
his father was a soap-
and candle-maker.
He had a family of
sixteen children, of
whom Benjamin was
the youngest son.
Benjamin's mother
was a loving, wise,
and noble woman;
hi-s father was a kind-
hearted, just, and hon-
orable man. To-day,
if you stand before
the gateway of what
is known as the Old
Granary Burying-ground


on Milk Street, stands a tall iron


At

I


IN THE DOORWAY OF THE OLD SOUTH CHURCH.
Sunday, January 17, 1706.

in Boston, while beneath you the


ceaseless trolley-cars whiz through the Subway,--an out-







14 WHY 7HE CANDLE--MAKER'S SON PEDDLED BALLADS.

growth of Franklin's wonderful brain, while above you
rises the graceful spire of famous Park-street Church, you
can see, in the centre of that quiet and crowded burial-
place of governors, patriots, and great men, a tall granite
obelisk, on which stands out in bold letters the name
" Franklin." It is the perpetual reminder of Benjamin
Franklin's affection for his Boston home; for it was placed
there in 1829 by the citizens of Boston to take the place
of the crumbling stone reared on that very spot by Ben-
jamin Franklin to mark the grave of his loved and honored
father and mother.
In this strict but happy home Benjamin Franklin grew
into a healthy, hearty, strong, and sturdy boyhood. While
he was yet a very small fellow his father removed from the
little gambrel-roofed house on Milk Street to one not much
larger on what is now Hanover Street, near to where it is
crossed by Union Street. There, before the house, swung
a blue ball about as big as a cocoanut; upon this ball ap-
peared the name of Benjamin's father, and through all the
town it was known that Mr. Josiah Franklin carried on
the business of making soap and candles "at the sign of
the Blue Ball."
With a dozen or more boys and girls always at table, the
little house on Hanover Street'was a noisy but happy, if
crowded, home. There is lots of fun in big families if only
the brothers and sisters "pull together," and are kept well
in hand by father and mother. This was the case in the







WHY THE CANDLE-MAKER'S SON PEDDLED BALLADS. 15

Franklin home. It was, indeed, a lowly dwelling we were
brought up in," said Benjamin's younger sister Jane, many
years after; but we were fed plentifully, made comfortable
with fire and cloth-
ing, and seldom had
any contention
among us. All was
harmony, especially 4
between the heads,
and they were uni- -
versally respected."
Plenty to eat, N
plenty to do, warm,
comfortable, con-
tented, united-that
should have made a
pleasant home for
any boy, should it
not? Evidently it
did for Benjamin
Franklin, even -- -
though he did grow SITE OF FRANKLIN'S BIRTHPLACE ON MILK STREET, BOSTON,.
restless and unset AS IT LOOKS TO-DAY.

tled at last, as will most ambitious boys. He long remem-
bered his happy Boston home, and the good times he had
there as a boy. He was a wide-awake little fellow, with a
frank, handsome face, "bright as a button," "busy as a bee;"







16 WHY THE CANDLE-MAKER 'S SON PEDDLED BALLADS.

and, though full of mischief and often getting into scrapes,
he was the pet and pride of the family, and a friend to all
the neighborhood.
People took a good deal of notice of this active,
earnest little fellow, from Uncle Benjamin in England
who sent him letters in rhyme, to his boy "crony" next
door. But sometimes the Boston boys would take ad-
vantage of little Benjamin, and thus teach him a lesson;
for Franklin always managed to find a moral in every
thing.
One day, when he was about seven years old, there was
a holiday in Boston. As a holiday present Benjamin was
given a handful of pennies, and
started out for a good time,
feeling as rich as a lord. He
made a straight line for the toy-
shop; but, on his way, he met a
boy blowing a whistle. It was
shrill and clear, and at once Ben
concluded that he wished for a
Whistle more than anything else.
He must have that very whistle
too; he could not wait to get to
the store. So he asked the boy
BENTHE OTHER BOY.
BE. to sell it, and offered his hand-
ful of pennies in exchange. The other boy took all he
could get, of course, and walked away proud of his business







WHY THE CANDLE-MAKER'S SON PEDDLED BALLADS. 17

shrewdness, while Ben walked the other way equally proud
of his purchase.
Soon he was in the house, whistling with all his might.
A whistle is a noisy thing in a house; it is shrill, ear-split-
ting, and exasperating; it soon gets to be a nuisance. So
the Franklin family found it. And when they found, too,
what Ben had paid for it, they made it very unpleasant
for the small whistler. They laughed at his bargain-mak-
ing. "A fine tradesman you are, Ben," they said. Why,
you might have bought four whistles at the toy-shop for
what you have paid for one. Just see how you threw your
money away; just think what you might have bought with
it-and a whistle besides;" and other things of the same
sort-you know how small boys have to suffer. Ben did;
until at last, so he said as he told the story more than sixty
years after, I cried with vexation; and my reflections gave
me more chagrin than the whistle gave me pleasure."
But he had learned a lesson, just as General Grant did,
you remember, in that famous horse trade when he was a
boy. For Franklin had learned what it is to make a bad
bargain, and how little sympathy folks get who do make
one. He remembered it too. For often in his busy life,
so he tells us, When I was tempted to buy some unneces-
sary thing, I said to myself, 'Don't pay too much for the
whistle!' and so saved my money."
But he was a wise little fellow, even if he did sometimes
get sold; and the boys who were his playmates knew it.







18 WHY THE CANDLE-MAKER'S SON PEDDLED BALLADS.

They found him to be a good comrade,-jolly, venture-
some, full of plans and projects, just the boy to be a leader
in sports and, sometimes, in pranks.
One of these pranks got him into trouble. Down,
towards what is now Boston's crowded and busy water-
front, there used to be a marsh in Ben Franklin's day. It
was a fine place to catch minnows at high tide, and Ben














"LET'S BUILD OUR WHARF WITH THESE," SAID BEN.

and the other boys used to do a great deal of fishing there.
But they went there so much that they often trampled the
low bank into a mud-hole.
That ought to be fixed," said Ben to the boys. "Let's
build a wharf."
Now, the Boston folks had just built a fine new pier,
called Long Wharf. Every Boston boy to-day knows where
it is. Ben said if they only had stones enough they could







WHY THE CANDLE-MAKER'S SON PEDDLED BALLADS. 19

build just as good a "Long Wharf" for their business in
that minnow marsh. He hunted around, and soon spied,
near by, a pile of stones, which had been brought there to
build the cellar of a new house. "Just the thing, boys,"
he said. "Let's build our wharf with these."
No one thought about what the man might say who
was building the house. That very night Ben and his boys
"tackled" that heap of stones, lugged them to the minnow
marsh, and, working like beavers, soon had a fine fishing-
wharf.
Of course this got them into trouble; for the workmen
made a great fuss, and when Ben was found to be at the
bottom of it all he was quickly taken to task.
He took his punishment like a little man; but he argued
with his father that he ought not to be punished. The
stones were there; the boys just had to have a wharf; they
had built a good one. But his father did not agree with
him. Ben's excuse was no excuse, he held. "The stones
were not yours to take, Ben," he said; "and what is not
honest cannot be truly useful."
So Ben Franklin learned another lesson, which stayed
by him all through his eventful life, that honesty is the
best policy."
This marsh was one of Boston's "water privileges;" for,
in Franklin's boyhood, Boston was half water, and Ben
always loved the water. He was a good hand in a boat;
he was a strong and fearless swimmer, and could not only







20 WHY THE CANDLE-MAKER'S SON PEDDLED BALLADS.

" give a dare," but take one, as well. Few of his compan-
ions could beat him on or in the water.
Have you noticed, in reading these Children's Lives of
Great Men," how all these great men were fine swimmers
when they were boys? Columbus, you know, once swam
six miles when he was but sixteen; Washington and Lin-
coln were both strong and tireless swimmers; and Grant
was the "champion" at the Georgetown "swimming-hole."
Franklin, from the time he was twelve to the time he was
sixty, was as much at home in the water as a duck.
Well, one of the secrets of being a good swimmer is
having confidence -to feel that you can do a thing and do
it well, if you only try. And confidence was what all these
great men had; confidence and faith helped them all to
success.
Almost the earliest of Franklin's many experiments and
inventions were connected with swimming. He wished to
fix up something so that he could swim long and far, and
he tried two experiments when he was a Boston boy. Once
he got up a sort of push-board or pallet for his hands, and
also a broad kind of sandal or swimming-shoe for his feet.
These worked fairly well; but the best help he found was to
fly a kite, arid fastening the string to his wrist, let the kite
pull him through the water, while he lay quietly on his back,
lowering or raising the kite as he wished to go fast or slow.
Many years after, when he was an old man, he explained
this kite-swimming to a friend, and said, I have never,








WHY THE CANDLE-MAKER'S SON PEDDLED BALLADS. 21

since that time, practised this singular mode of swimming,
though I think it not impossible to cross in this manner
from Dover to Calais. The packet-boat, however," he added
dryly, is still preferable."
But just see what a pioneer in improvements was Ben-
jamin Franklin! To-day, professional swimmers try the


"-------



-OR~
-_ _- .i / ..








"A PIONEER IN IMPROVEMENTS- FRANKLIN'S EXPERIMENTS IN KITE-TRAVEL.

same sort of hand-and-foot helps; and Franklin's kite-
swimming was but the beginning of the kite-travel which
so many learned men are now trying to turn to practical
use.
Franklin was a good scholar, although he never went
much to school. In fact, he had to leave school when he
was ten years old and go to work. But there was a good
deal of reading and discussing in the humble home of







22 WHY THE CANDLE-MAKER'S SON PEDDLED BALLADS.

the candle-maker, and Ben himself said that he did not
remember when he could not read.
Before he was seven years old he used to correspond
"in rhyme" with his good Uncle Benjamin, across the sea
in London; and the opinion of all his father's friends was,
so he tells us in his delightful story of his own life, "that
I should certainly make a good scholar."
So Josiah the candle-maker started his son Ben off to
school early. At eight years of age, Ben was in the gram-
mar school, and stood at the head of his class, was pro-
moted to higher classes twice within a year, and then sent
to a "writing-school" to learn writing and arithmetic.
"I learned fair writing pretty soon," he says; "but I
failed in arithmetic and made no progress in it." And yet
he became the greatest philosopher of his day! Remember
this, boys and girls, when you struggle over your arithmetic
sums, and grumble at your mathematical problems.
But life with a big family in the little house on Union
Street became a hard struggle for Josiah the candle-maker,
and his boys and girls were set to work early.
He had wished Ben to be a good scholar, and had even
thought of making a preacher of the boy; but things did
not go as he wished, and when Ben was but ten years old
he was taken from school and put to candle-making.
He did not like the business any better than Ulysses
Grant liked his father's trade. You remember about that
in the story of Grant, do you not?







WHY THE CANDLE-MAKER'S SON PEDDLED BALLADS. 23

Ben hated to cut wicks and make moulds and run
grease; he hated the touch and the smell, and he grum-
bled, I imagine, as much as a good-natured boy can grumble.
I don't like it, father," he said; I'd rather go to sea."
If you recall the story of George Washington, you will
remember how strong an attraction blue water was in those
days to all the boys along shore.
In fact, it always has been; although in these days,
when the groan of machinery has taken the place of the
creak of sails, and coal-smoke that of Washington Irving's
"smacking breeze," much of the poetry and fascination has,
for boys, gone from a sailor's life.
Now, one of Josiah Franklin's boys had run away to
sea, and he did not wish to lose another in that way. So,
when he saw that Ben really did dislike the trade of a
candle-maker, and would not keep at it if he found a chance
to get to sea, Josiah Franklin decided to find some other
trade for his son.
After looking up a number of occupations, he finally
settled upon the trade of a cutler; that is, a maker of
knives and edge-tools.
But, in those days, the fathers of boys who were set to
learning a trade had to pay a fee for. the privilege of learn-
ing how to work. The cutler's fee was one hundred dollars.
This was more than Josiah Franklin could afford; and so,
at length, he decided to make Ben a printer, and apprenticed
him to the boy's elder brother James.







24 WHY THE CANDLE-MAKER'S SON PEDDLED BALLADS.

Brother James had a printing-office at the corner of what
is now Franklin Avenue and Court Street in Boston; and
though young Ben, who
had grown to be twelve
years old, did not much
like the idea of working
under his brother, or of
becoming a printer in-
stead of a sailor, it was
e better than making can-
dles. So he went to set-
ting up type, and became,
what boys who learn that
trade have always been
called, it isn't a very
nice name, a "printer's
devil."
It was in the year 1718
that Benjamin Franklin
began to learn the print-
--- .--- her's trade, and to-day he
S-" is remembered and hon-
THE SiTE OF FRANKLIN'S BOYHOOD HOME AS IT ored by all the printers
LOOKS TO-DAY. in America as one of
(Hanover and Union Streets, Boston.)
the greatest in their great
and honorable craft. Apprentices in those days had hard
lines. They were what is called bound to their masters







WHY THE CANDLE-MAKER'S SON PEDDLED BALLADS. 25

until they were twenty-one and "free." It was almost as
bad as being a slave; for they had few privileges, and
but little time of their own, and Ben's master, besides
being his own brother, was an especially hard man to get
along with.
But Ben stood it pretty well for a while. He knew it
was what most apprentice boys had to expect; and as he
was something of a philosopher already, he tried to make
the best of it, and put up with all Brother James's harsh
treatment as part of the day's work."
The day's work meant hard work too. But Ben was
bright and ambitious, and set himself the task of self-educa-
tion. He was always a great reader. He had read every-
thing that came into his father's house,-pretty dry reading,
too, you boys would think it,-and he read everything that
came into his brother's shop.
Besides this, he struck up an acquaintance with a num-
ber of boys who worked for the Boston booksellers. Book-
sellers and printers, you know, have a good deal to do with
each other, and so Ben became quite "chummy" with the
booksellers' boys. He would get them to lend him books
from their shelves, and would sit up late at night--some-
times almost all night -to read the book through and have
it back at the book-store next morning. This was hardly to
be expected, was it, from the man who afterwards wrote
those lines that have sent so many, many boys and girls
to bed when they were not a bit sleepy,-







26 WHY IHE CANDLE-MAKER'S SON PEDDLED BALLADS.

"Early to bed and early to rise
Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."

And, speaking of verse-making: that was. one of Ben
Franklin's "fads." He wrote verses--they were scarcely
poetry-from the time he was six or seven years old.
His brother James knew this, and determined to make
money out of it. So he set the boy to writing ballads, and
then, when he had printed them, made him go out on the
street and sell them.
Ballad-peddling was quite a trade in those days. The
so-called poets were ready to write verses on whatever sub-
ject interested people, and the people were always ready
to buy. It was like the trade to-day in picture papers, cheap
magazines, and popular songs.
So Ben Franklin began to write and peddle ballads on
the Boston streets. Two of them were very popular. One
was about a dreadful shipwreck in Boston Harbor; the
other was all about the capture and hanging of a famous
pirate. Both of these ballads, so Franklin tells us in his
autobiography, were "wretched stuff." But they sold well.
His father thought them "wretched" too, I imagine; for
when he discovered what young Benjamin was doing he
objected strongly. He told Ben that a poet's lot was not
a happy one, and that he had better stick to his trade and
stop rhyming, for poor poetry was worse than none. Josiah
Franklin, you see, was a very wise and sensible man.
So'Ben took his father's advice and "stuck to the case,"

























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BEN FRANKLIN PEDDLING HIS OWN BALLADS IN BOSTON-TOWN.







HOW THE BOY-EDITOR HAD HIS TROUBLES.


setting up type and spending all his spare time in reading
and improving his mind, thus laying the foundation for that
wonderful knowledge of what to say and how to say it, that
made him in later years the deepest thinker and brightest
writer of his day.



CHAPTER II.

HOW THE BOY-EDITOR HAD HIS TROUBLES.

ITTLE by little the printer boy began to learn his
value, and to know how much he was really worth
to his brother James.
"In a little time," he tells us in his delightfully natural
way of saying a good thing about himself, I made great
proficiency in the business, and became a useful hand to
my brother."
But he had to find this out for himself. Brother James
never told him so; in fact, Brother James seldom approved,
and often abused him.
Ben found out that he could write pretty well, and he
set himself to studying all the harder after his father had
put an end to the ballad-peddling business.
He studied all the time. What little money he had to
spend-and it was very little he put into books. He read
everything he could get hold of; and from what he read







HOW THE BOY-EDITOR HAD HIS TROUBLES.


he tried to get some good. For he was a thoughtful fel-
low, big-boned and big-brained, and he was always learning.
You remember that he found arithmetic a hard task at
school. Perhaps his teacher was at fault; for arithmetic is
really easy, if you can only start your train of reasoning
right. At any rate, Ben thought he was a fail-
ure in that study, and he set himself the task
o of mastering it. He did so;
and after that he successfully
,..., __, "tackled" algebra and geom-
'. -, etry. He studied navigation,
"' rhetoric, and grammar, and
i recollect he did it all by
Himself. That boy of fifteen
''1 ',1 really knew a little of every-
thing that could be
.i _''i' learned from the
dull, dry books of
those days, and sim-
"HE READ EVERYTHING HE COULD GET HOLD OF."
ply because he had
a good mind, and trained himself to reason out things, and
to remember them too.
He was not what is called a ready talker. He knew
that; so he set to work to make of himself an easy writer.
For this purpose he sent his memory to school; that is,
he would read a thing, then think it over, write it down in
his own language, compare it, a week after, with the real







HOW THE BOY-EDITOR HAD HIS TROUBLES.


thing, and find where he was wrong in expression or style.
If he found his way of telling things was heavy and dull,
he would read a story, turn it into verse, and then put it
back into prose again. That sounds like hard work, does
it not? But, you see, this boy was ambitious; he was bound
to make the best of himself. Perhaps, too, he had what all
of us do not have, -what is called a genius for learning.
But all this reading and writing and studying took time;
and when you remember how hard apprentice boys had to
work in Ben Franklin's day, you may well ask Why! how
under the sun could the boy make time to do it all?"
Well, that is just it! He really did make time. Up
early in the morning, up late at night, he put every spare
moment to use. But when even that did not give him
time enough,-what do you think? he turned vegetarian!
That is, he gave up eating meat, and lived on bread, fruit,
rice, and potatoes. He struck a bargain with his brother
to give him the cost of his board and let him board him-
self. So he saved both time and money. A slice of
bread, a handful of raisins, and a glass of water was
often Ben's only dinner.
"I presently found," he tells us, "that I could save
half what my brother paid me as board money. This
was an additional fund for buying books. But I had
another advantage in it. My brother and the rest going
from the printing-house to their meals, I remained there
alone, and, despatching my light repast, had the- rest of the








HOW THE BOY-EDITOR HAD HIS TROUBLES.


time for study, in which I made the greater progress from
that greater clearness of head and quicker apprehension
which usually attend temperance in eating and drinking."

.,- _- ... -. -- -- ;- .<


I, *
PHOTOGRAPHED BY BALDWIN COOLIDGE.
BEN FRANKLIN, APPRENTICE.
(Bas-relief bronze tablet on the pedestal oj Greenomgh'ls statue of Franklin in front of the City Hall, Boston.)

Did you ever hear of such a boy? Few could stand that
training; but Benjamin Franklin was wonderfully strong,
and this over-study and under-eating did not hurt him.
So bright and clear-headed a boy, strong, willing, and
ready, must have been a great help in that little printing-







HOW THE BOY-EDITOR HAD HIS TROUBLES.


office. Indeed, he was; though, as I have said, Brother
James never told him so.
It would never have done for a master to say a kind
or appreciative word in those hard days to his over-
worked apprentice. It was much better, so folks said, to
"teach boys their place and keep 'em down." So when,
in August, .1721, James Franklin, printer, started a news-
paper in Boston, he relied for help upon his young brother
Ben much more than he would admit.
He called his newspaper the New England Courant.
There were very few newspapers in the world then- only
four in all America, and three of these in Boston. The
Courant was the third.
It was published weekly, and it made a great stir in
Boston, where it soon had as many as a hundred sub-
scribers That was a great many for those days.
The Courant was, I am afraid, the very first of what
we call "sensational newspapers" in America. We have
a great many now, and good people are still wondering
whether such newspapers do more harm than good.
This same discussion went on in 1721 about James
Franklin's Courant. His newspaper was not always wise,
or always just, or always true. But it was bold. It spoke
right out; it dared to say a good many sharp things about
the way the colony was governed and "run"; it poked
fun at leading people, and made them very, very angry.
People were not used to such things in those strict







HOW THE BOY-EDITOR HAD HIS TROUBLES.


days; and, as a result, the editor of the Courant soon got
into trouble.
Ben Franklin was a very busy boy at that time, -
setting type for the Courant, printing it, folding it, and
delivering it to the subscribers. He
was office-boy, compositor, printer,
and newsboy all in one. And, as
~ he worked away at the case,
S" he kept his ears open. He
heard all that visitors to the
Courant office and those
1 / who wrote for the paper
had to say about matters
and things; and, as he
had pretty strong opin-
ions of his own, he came
to the conclusion that he,
too, could write some-
thing for the paper that
THE YOUNG "VEGETARIAN." people would read.
So one day he wrote
a piece." Just what it was no one really knows; but it
is generally believed that it was a sort of dream that
"pitched into" Harvard College graduates.
You see, even in those days, boys who educated them-
selves had a sort of spite against those who could afford
to go to college, and liked to make fun of them. It is







HOW THE BOY-EDITOR HAD HIS TROUBLES.


not a thing to be praised. You remember the fable of the
fox and the grapes, do you not? Well, it is often just
that way with boys who cannot go to college. The grapes
are sour.
It was so with Benjamin Franklin at that time;
though he got over the feeling when he became a
man, and did very much toward advan-
cing college education in America. So
the piece" which he wrote for the
Courant, and which he signed
"Mrs. Silence Dogood," was
more saucy than wise. But
he finished it; and-not daring
to tell his brother what he
had done, he slipped the paper
under the printing-house door at
night, and ran away as fast as his
legs could carry him. That's just
the way Charles Dickens did with his
first story, you know. "HE SLIPPED
Next morning the "anonymous con- TND'9ERTH
tribution" was found, and read aloud by PR.NTING-HOUSE DOOR.'
Brother James to his friends, while the boy Benjamin stood
at the case setting type.
There was just enough of truth in the article to stir
them up and set them to talking. They enjoyed it greatly.
They wondered who could have written it, and "guessed "







HOW THE BOY-EDITOR HAD HIS TROUBLES.


about every one of any note or brains in town except
that silent apprentice boy at the case. Mustn't he have
felt proud and "set up," though?
He did. Telling the story more than fifty years after,
he said that their approval gave him "exquisite pleasure."
And when the article appeared in the next number of the
Courant, young Ben Franklin felt as if he were just about
the biggest boy in all Boston.
When he found how well this article "took," he wrote
more of the same sort, touching up different things that
were open to criticism in the colony. But when he saw
how they were enjoyed and talked about by the readers
of the Courant, he really could not keep his secret longer,
but confessed that he was the author.
Thereupon the visitors to the office took more notice of
him. In fact, they made so much of the boy that Brother
James became jealous of "young Ben," who was really
helping him so much. Perhaps he told the boy, in what-
ever was the printing-office talk of those days, that he was
"too fresh;" for Franklin tells us himself that his brother
James thought, "probably with reason, that this praise
tended to make me too vain."
The Courant went on growing more and more saucy"
and outspoken and sensational with each new issue, until
at last the authorities in Boston could stand it no longer.
They came down hard upon James Franklin for the things
he said and the fun he made of them in the Courant, and







HOW THE BOY-EDITOR HAD HIS TROUBLES.


finally sent him to jail for what they called "high affront
to the government."
When James Franklin was brought into court to be
tried, young Ben was also arrested and carried into court.
But when the officials questioned him, and tried to force
him to tell the secrets of the newspaper and what went
on in the office, the boy refused to answer. They could
get nothing from him; and he would have been sent to
jail along with his brother, but it was decided, at last, that
he was only an apprentice boy, and, as such, was bound to
keep his master's secrets. So Ben was set free.
When James Franklin was sent to prison, there was a
great discussion among his friends just what to do about
the Courant. But Ben said it must not stop, and those
most interested told him to go ahead and edit the paper.
He did so; and instead of being frightened by what had
been done to his brother, he kept the Courant on in just
the same way, making one of the earliest fights for what
is called the liberty of the press" in America. Pretty
plucky for a boy editor of sixteen, was it not? For, in
those days, editors and printers who were too bold were
sometimes sent to jail; sometimes they had their ears
clipped; sometimes they were whipped in the streets; some-
times they were even put to death.
A week in jail was too much for Brother James. He
soon begged off, said he was sorry, and wouldn't do so any
more; and, after a month's imprisonment, he was set free.







HOW THE BOY-EDITOR HAD HIS TROUBLES.


But he did not keep his promises. The Courant got no
better. In fact, it grew worse. It kept on finding fault and
poking fun, until, after standing it for about six months
longer, the authorities came down once more upon the
paper, and voted that James Franklin, printer and publisher,
" be strictly forbidden by this court to print or publish the
New England Courant or any other pamphlet or paper of
like nature, except it be first supervised by the Secretary
of this Province."
That looked as if it were the end of the Courant. But it
was not. The newspaper was too good a thing to give up.
So Brother James decided to continue it, but not under his
name; and the very next week it came out with the notice
that it was "Printed and Published by Benjamin Franklin."
So young Ben, the boy editor, got his name before the
world very early in life.
But Brother James played a mean trick on the boy. He
told-the world that Benjamin Franklin was no longer his
apprentice. He cancelled-that is, gave back to his brother
--his apprenticeship papers; but, secretly, he made the boy
sign new ones that bound Ben to him as master until he
should be twenty-one.
So the Courant went on under the name of Benjamin
Franklin as editor. But the brothers did not get on well.
James Franklin was a hard master; and the lot of this boy
editor, who was really no editor, was certainly not a happy
one.







HOW THE BOY-EDITOR HAD HIS TROUBLES.


He was an independent youth, accustomed to speak his
mind; and he chafed and fretted under his brother's tyranny,
often talking back, and often having "regular rows." There
were bitter words between the brothers in the Courant office;


TRACKING A RUNAWAY APPRENTICE IN BEN FRANKLIN'S DAY.

there were many quarrels, and often blows from the elder
brother, until at last Ben felt that he could not stand it
any longer.
He complained to his father. But Josiah Franklin, who
usually took the boy's part, could not in this case; because,
by the secret paper which Ben had signed, he had really







HOW THE BOY-EDITOR HAD HIS TROUBLES.


bound himself to James for four years longer, and no one
could interfere between master and apprentice.
Finally Ben told James that he would not work for him
any more. James told Ben he would have to.
"I will not," said Ben; "there are other printers in Boston."
"I'll fix them," said James.
And he did. He went to every printer in town, and told
them that his brother Ben was bound to him until he was
twenty-one, and that they would get into trouble if they
employed him. So, when Ben went about town looking
for a new job, he could not get one.
There was no use talking, he said to himself. His
brother would not release him; his father would not help
him; he would not stand that life any longer; he would
run away. Really, you see, this boy editor's troubles began
early in life.
When Benjamin Franklin made up his mind, he gen-
erally acted at once. "Never put off till to-morrow what
you can do to-day," was one of his maxims, you know.
He did a good deal of thinking. His old desire to be
a sailor had gone. Study and success had shown him that
he was cut out for a printer, and a printer he would be.
There were but three towns in all America large enough
to support printers, Boston, New' York, and Philadelphia.
In Boston he could not and would not remain. He would
go to New York.
He knew he could not get his father's consent to'leave.







HOW THE BOY-EDITOR HAD HIS TROUBLES.


If he told folks where he was going, his brother could stop
him or bring him back; for there was a law against run-
away apprentices just as there was against runaway slaves.
The newspapers of the day were full of advertisements of
runaway apprentices; and rewards were offered for their
return to their masters, just as if they really were slaves.












-" --
,.-~--~-- --
.' -- I iii ',*r.. _


"HE WAS SOON ON BLUE WATER, BOUND FOR NEW YORK AND A LIVING."

So Ben fixed things up quietly with one of his young
friends. He sold some of his precious books to pay his
passage. His friend smuggled him on board a sloop
bound for New York, the captain of which promised to
ask no questions; and on a certain October morning in
the year 1723, Ben Franklin, aged seventeen, a runaway
apprentice, bade a silent good-by to his boyhood home,







HOW THE BOY-EDITOR HAD HIS TROUBLES.


and was soon on blue water, bound for New York and a
living.
In after years, looking back upon his life, he could
see that he had not done what was right in thus break-
ing his agreement with his brother and running away.
But things look very differently to a man of seventy and
a boy of seventeen. I'm afraid he did have what we
call "provocation," although he himself tells us, after
thinking it all over, that "perhaps I was too saucy and
provoking."
He had a safe passage to New York. It took much
longer to get there from Boston than it does to-day; but
his sloop was only three days on the way -pretty fair time
for a sailing-vessel.
He landed in New York with very little money, and
without an acquaintance or a friend. But he went to work
at once hunting for a job, only to discover that there was
no chance for him to get one.
For at that time there was but one book-store and one
printer in all New York. Most of the people read or spoke
Dutch, and the chances for work for a printer who only
knew English were pretty slim. That sounds queerly
enough to us, does it not, when we think of all the printers
and newspapers in Greater New York to-day. But won-
derful changes have taken place in this land of ours since
Benjamin Franklin was a boy; and for the most of them
we may thank this same Benjamin Franklin, printer, and





















,, f,


I" +"- ~ --- "/ I ,























B EN W- P F iS P.
"BEN WISHES TO PAY FOR HIS PASSAGE.




BEN WISHES TO PAY FOR HIS PASSAGE.


I


--------r-_
----~_~T-L~-







HOW THE BOY-EDITOR HAD HIS TROUBLES.


those other noble men of his time, who worked with him
*to make America great.
Mr. Bradford, the only printer in New York, could do
"nothing for him." But he told the lad there was more
of a chance in Philadelphia. He told him also whom to
see there, if he went, and to say that William Bradford
recommended him. I suppose he "sized" Ben up, and saw
that he was a good deal of a boy.
Ben had just about money enough to get to Philadel-
phia, and at once he determined to try his luck in the
Quaker town.
It was, he thought, the only thing he could do. For,
though he was a bit discouraged and just a trifle home-
sick, he was bound not to give up and go back to Bos-
ton. So he took passage on a leaky old boat that would
get him as far as Amboy, from which place he believed
he could walk to Philadelphia.
He had a rough trip. The crazy old boat was very
nearly wrecked in New York harbor. For thirty hours
they swashed about without food or drink, and at last
came to Amboy, wet, tired, hungry, and half sick.
But Franklin pulled himself together, and next morn-
ing manfully started out to tramp it across country to
Philadelphia, fifty miles away..
The rain poured down all day. He was drenched
through; he was tired, foot-sore, and low-spirited; he was
in danger of being arrested as a runaway; he had no real








HOW THE BOY-EDITOR HAD HIS TROUBLES.


hope of getting any work at his trade when he did reach
Philadelphia; and altogether it was a very forlorn, shabby,
and homesick boy that trudged across New Jersey in the
mud and rain.
But he kept on, and finally reached Burlington, just
above Philadelphia. There, by good luck, he "got a lift"
on a river boat bound for Philadelphia, seventeen miles
below.
After a hard passage, in which he had to help the
boatmen row their heavy old craft against wind and tide,
he finally landed on Market-street Wharf in Philadelphia.
It was a Sunday morning in October in the year 1723.
He had but one silver dollar and about twenty cents in
coppers. These coppers he insisted on giving the boat-
men for his fare from Burlington, although they told him
he had worked his passage. I should say he had!
Then he stepped out upon the wharf, dirty, bedraggled,
hungry, sleepy, and seedy,--a tramping printer looking
for a job.
And thus it was that Benjamin Franklin came to Phila-
delphia- the city that to-day honors, reveres, elevates, and
remembers him as her greatest and noblest citizen.







HOW HE LEARNED 7HE TRUTH OF AN OLD MAXIM. 47


CHAPTER III.

HOW THE PRINTER LEARNED THE TRUTH OF AN OLD
PROVERB.

T HE first thing Ben Franklin did when he stepped
ashore on the Market-street wharf in Philadelphia
was to hunt around for something to eat; for he
was desperately hungry.
Up the street he saw a
baker's boy with a big basket
of bread. At once he hailed B
him, and asked him for ten .
cents' worth of bread.
The boy handed him out
three big puffy rolls, some-
thing entirely new to the Bos- I
ton boy, who was looking for
what he called biscuits."
Ben's pockets were so
stuffed out with other things "THE BOY HANDED HIM OUT THREE BIG
PUFFY ROLLS."
that he did not know just
what to do with the three loaves. He did know; however,
that he felt hungry enough to eat all three. So he stuck







48 HOW HE LEARNED THE TRUIH OF AN OLD MAXIM.

one under each arm, and taking big bites out of the third
roll as he walked along, went sight-seeing through the
Philadelphia streets.
I suppose this hungry, munching boy was rather a
comical sight for a Sunday morning in staid and sober
Philadelphia. He himself tells us that he made "a
most awkward, ridiculous appearance."
Other people thought so, too. As he passed one of the
houses on Market Street, a young girl of about his own
age, who was standing in the doorway, looked curiously
at this rather tattered, though good-looking young stranger,
and wondered where under the sun he could have come
from, and what he was doing, eating his breakfast thus
in the open street.
It was no wonder that she should look and laugh at
this dilapidated young runaway. His coat pockets were
bulging out with his extra baggage of shirts and stock-
ings, his buckskin breeches were creased and soiled, his
out-of-shape hat looked as if it had been slept in, and
altogether he was rather a frowsy, seedy-appearing young
man, while the two big rolls stuck under his arms added
to his comical looks. Ben indeed felt himself, as I have
told you, that he cut a pretty poor figure; for he was
always a neat and presentable young fellow, who prided
himself on always looking trim and smart.
But any boy would be a rather seedy-looking object
after eleven days of knocking about, with no chance for a







HO W HE LEARNED THE TRUTH OF AN OLD MAAXIM. 49

change of clothing. I know how it is myself. I tramped
across country once with two other boys, when I was
about fifteen, on a vacation-walk from New York to Bos-
ton, almost without baggage, and I know what a shabby-
looking trio we were when we got to Boston.
But that girl in the doorway, whose name was Deborah
Read, never forgot that travel-stained young stranger who
passed her father's door, eating his breakfast, that famous
Sunday morning; for, years after, Deborah Read became
Mrs. Benjamin Franklin.
The boy wandered about the town, taking in every-
thing as he walked, in his usual wide-awake way, and at
last found himself again 'at the place where he had
landed-on Market-street wharf. He still had his extra
bread under his arm, for, although he was hungry, one
of those big loaves was really a meal. So he took a drink
of river water, gave his remaining loaves to a poor woman
who had a little boy with her, and who looked quite as
friendless and just as hungry as himself.
Feeling a little better after his breakfast, but still very
sleepy, he walked up Market Street again, and following
the crowd into a big "meeting-house" on the corner of
Second and Market Streets, he sat down in a pew and at
once fell sound asleep.
He slept all through the service, and then, going out,
got into conversation with a friendly young Quaker, who
told him where he could find a cheap and comfortable







50 HOW HE LEARNED THE TRUTH OF AN OLD MAXIAL

lodging at a tavern near Chestnut Street, called "The
Crooked Billet."
He went to the little tavern, and slept all day and all
night, waking up just long enough to get his dinner and
supper. The next morning, being Monday, he felt rested
at last, and after breakfast went out to hunt for work.
At the first printing-office he went to, whom should
he meet but the good Mr. Bradford he had seen in New
York. He had come on to Philadelphia unexpectedly; and
when he saw the young printer, he went with him to the
shop of a printer named Keimer, and recommended the
boy as an excellent workman. And so, on his very first
day in Philadelphia, Franklin found a good job.
Mr. Keimer, his new employer, was a curious old fel-
low; but took kindly to his new journeyman, and hunted
up a boarding-place for him, which, as luck would have it,
happened to be the house of the very Mr. Read whose
daughter had seen and smiled at the tramping young
printer, as he walked up Market Street eating his open-
air breakfast on his first morning in Philadelphia.
His troubles for a time were over, as he had steady
work and good wages with Mr. Keimer. He had a pleas-
ant boarding-place. He made friends speedily, as such
a bright, cheery young fellow is apt to do. He kept on
reading and studying just as he had in Boston.
But he could not keep from thinking very often of
the home he had left in Boston, and wondering how they



































*..,tli
'2


"A'YOUNG GIRL OF ABOUT HIS OWN AGE WAS STANDING IN THE DOORWAY."


II


i,' I 1 .j.!I







HOW HE LEARNED 1HE TRUIH OF AN OLD MAXIM. 53

all were there; although he did not let his people know
where he was, because he was afraid that if they did, he
might be arrested, and sent back to Boston as a runaway
apprentice. At length, however, he did hear from home.
His brother-in-law was captain of a sloop that ran between
Boston and Newcastle on the Delaware, some forty miles
below Philadelphia.
Somehow or other Captain Holmes, for that was his
brother-in-law's name, learned that Ben was in Philadelphia.
He wrote to the boy at once, telling him how badly his
father and mother felt because Ben had run away, and
how they had worried about him. He told him, to6, that,
if he would go back to Boston and his brother's employ,
all would be forgiven."
But although he would gladly have seen his "folks"
once more, Ben had. no idea of going back. So he wrote
a reply to Captain Holmes, explaining just why he had
run away, and all about his brother's harsh treatment. He
said, too, that he was much better off where he was, and
as he had now got a footing in the world, he meant to
stay in his new home. Philadelphia was the place for a
young man to get ahead, he said.
When Captain Holmes read Ben's letter he understood
things better, and believed that the boy was right. He
decided that Ben had been harshly treated by Brother
James, and that, after all, he was not such a bad boy as
people in Boston imagined.







54 HOW HE LEARNED THE TRUTH OF AN OLD MAXIM.

Now it happened that, when Captain Holmes received
young Ben Franklin's letter, he was in the company of
no less a person than Sir William Keith, the Governor
of Pennsylvania.
In those days, when the American colonies were sub-
ject to the British Crown, the King of England used to
appoint men to have charge of the several colonies, each
one being called a governor- although very few of them
amounted to much in the way of being able to govern.
So Sir William Keith was Governor of Pennsylvania. He
had been appointed, with the king's consent, by the sons
of William Penn, who owned the charter of this province,
- Proprietories, they were called.
Of course that made Governor Keith quite a great man
in the eyes of the people, even if he was not a good man;
and young Ben's letter was such an excellent one, and so
well written, that Captain Holmes showed it to the gov-
ernor, asking him if he did not think his brother-in-law a
"likely young fellow."
Ben could write very well, you know; and the gov-
ernor was so taken by the way in which the letter was
written, and by what Captain Holmes said of the young
man, that he said he would like to see young Frank-
lin and have a talk with him. "Perhaps," he said, "I can
do something for him. There isn't a decent printer in
Philadelphia. I'd like to set up a bright and promising
young fellow like him in business."







HOW HE LEARNED THE TRUTH OF AN OLD MAXIM. 55

So one day, as Ben was setting type in Keimer's print-
ing-office, who should call upon him, and set the whole
office to staring, but the Governor of Pennsylvania him-
self.
Queer Mr. Keimer supposed of course that the gov-
ernor wished to see him; but no, Sir William said he
wished to see "young
Mr. Franklin."
Then the govern-
or, in his velvets and
ruffles, took "young
Mr. Franklin" off to
the tavern with him.
And there, after tell- ,
ing Ben of the good 0
report he had heard
from Captain Holmes,
the governor said that "YOUNG MR. FRANKLIN" AND THE GOVERNOR.
such a bright young
fellow ought to be able to do well if he could only get
a good footing; and he finally proposed to Ben that, if his
father would help start him in business in Philadelphia,
he, Sir William Keith, would see that he had all the gov-
ernment printing, and much more besides.
He made such promises and so flattered the young
man that Ben felt sure his fortune was as good as made.
The governor invited him to call, had him often to dine,







56 HOW HE LEARNED THE TRUTH OF AN OLD MAXIM.

and got him so filled with the idea of starting for him-
self in Philadelphia, that finally Franklin did go back to
Boston to see his father, and try and get his help.
It was in the month of April, 1724, that Ben Frank-
lin sailed home to Boston. His return was quite different
from his going. Then he had sneaked away by stealth,
a runaway apprentice; now he went sailing back, with
money in his pocket, his passage paid, good clothes on
his back, and a letter of praise and promises to his father
from a real live governor. It reads almost like a fairy-
story, doesn't it? The young man felt that it was almost
like a fairy-story too. He felt like a prince coming back;
and quite like a prince did he conduct himself.
Every one welcomed him back except Brother James;
and when young Ben strolled into the printing-office with
quite a lordly air, telling big stories of Philadelphia, show-
ing off his fine new watch, displaying his money, patroniz-
ing the apprentice boys, and treating" the journeymen,
his brother scowled at him, and was sulky and silent.
When Mrs. Franklin tried to bring the brothers to-
gether, and have them "make it up," James flatly refused.
He complained to his mother that Ben had been impu-
dent, that he had "shown off" in the printing-office, and.
insulted him, James Franklin, before all his people.
Josiah Franklin, Ben's wise father, read the governor's
letter. Then he talked it all over with Captain Holmes,
who also was back in Boston. But Josiah Franklin evi-







HOW HE LEARNED THE TRUTH OF AN OLD MAXIM. 57

dently did not take to Ben's plan. The governor, he said,
must be a person of very little judgment to talk of set-
ting up a boy of
eighteen in business. : ._
"Why, it was ab-
surd," he said. "
So, while he was '
glad that Ben was do-: ',1
^--", ..--... ,i'i -- -.-?-'-'.-,".'
ing so well, and had .
made such good and i I
influential friends, he g -
told him he was l A -
flatly opposed to his
thinking of starting -
in business before he
was twenty-one.
"You just work
and save until that
time, Ben," he said,
"and then, if I can M' o L, 'o -.
WHERE FRANKLIN LEARNED HIS TRADE.
help you a little, I (Te corner of Court Stree and Frankl,,in Avenue, in Boston.)
will do so; but this
scheme of the governor's is wild, and I do not like it."
So Ben had to go back without-the money he needed.
To tell the truth, he hardly expected his father would do
what he desired, though he did think that, with a gov-
ernor to back him, his father might have felt inclined to







58 HOW HE LEARNED THE TRUTH OF AN OLD MAXIM.

help. But he had great faith in Sir William Keith, and
thought that the governor would be able to fix things
somehow.
And sure enough, when he had returned to Philadel-
phia, after bidding good-by to all his Boston friends, and
bringing away the good wishes and kind words of every
one except sulky Brother James, the governor said he
would see him through.
"Your father is too prudent," he. said, after he had read
the thankful but decisive letter of refusal which Josiah
Franklin had sent him by Ben. "It's good all men are
not so cautious. There never would be anything done.
Such a likely young fellow as you, Franklin," he continued,
" ought to be helped to a good start in life, and if your
father won't do it, why I will. You just figure up and
find how much money you need to start a good printing-
office here, and then come to me."
So, highly elated over his great good fortune, Ben
figured up how much was needed, and told the governor
that, with about five hundred dollars, he could start a fine
office.
Five hundred dollars, eh?" said Governor Keith.
"That's not so much. Suppose, now, you should go across
to London to stock up. Couldn't you get a better outfit
there, for the money, than you could here?"
Ben told him he certainly could.
"Then, too," continued the governor, "you could make







HOW HE LEARNED THE TRUTH OF AN OLD MAXIM. 59

acquaintances there, and form connections with booksellers
to do business for them here. Yes, that is a good plan.
I think you had better go. So get yourself ready, Frank-
lin, to go over with Captain Annis. I'll give you letters
of introduction and credit that will help you through, and
we'll show your father, and Philadelphia too, what a fine
business we can do."
Here was a great chance, thought Ben. He could not
thank the governor enough.
What a lucky fellow I am," he said to himself, "to
have so great a man as Governor Sir William Keith as
a friend."
And at once he made ready to sail for London, feel-
ing himself a rich man already.
So when, a few months later, the ship London-Hope,
Captain Annis, master, set sail from Philadelphia for Lon-
don, Ben Franklin went on board, well fitted out, and full
of great expectations.
To be sure the governor had not given him the letters
he promised; but the governor's secretary saw him off,
and said the letters would come on board with the mail-
packet.
Ben felt very happy. He was going to England; he
would see London-the splendid city he had so longed
to visit, full of books and great people. He was going
with a governor's backing and introduction. He was en-
gaged to Deborah Read, whom he was to marry when he







60 HOW HE LEARNED THE TRUTH OF AN OLD MAXIM.

got back, and everything was delightful. I don't wonder
the young man felt happy, do you?
He was well received on board the vessel as a friend
of the governor; he
made many pleasant
acquaintances, and
some good and en-
during friendships;
and so he sailed over
the sea, proud and
confident and cheer-
ful.
But alas! pride,
as you know, often
goes before a fall;
and poor Ben Frank-
lin's fall was sudden
and heavy.
For, when he got
to London, he had
WILLIAM PENN. a terrible disappoint-
(Tr efirs Profriet of Pennsylvani.) ment. There were

no letters of recommendation, introduction, or credit for
him to deliver from Governor Keith. The only ones he
found bearing his name were simply sent in his care, and
were from a man who had no credit and no influence in
London. He found, too, that the governor, for all his








HOW HE LEARNED THE TRUTH OF AN OLD MAXIM. 61

great name, had no friends there, and that his word was
not worth anything as a help or a backing. For Sir
William Keith was a broken bankrupt, who had been sent
to Pennsylvania as governor simply to get him out of the
way; and poor Ben, after a disheartening downfall, realized


"POOR BEN HAD BEEN BITTERLY FOOLED."


that this unreliable man had only been fooling him with
big promises--just why he never could understand.
He had simply found out, in a hard and heartless
way, the truth of the old Bible proverb: Put not your
trust in princes. He had trusted one who, to him, was







62 HOW HE LEARNED THE TRUTH OF AN OLD MAXIM.

as great as a prince-a governor. And the governor was
only great in big words and glittering promises. Poor
Ben had been bitterly fooled.
But Benjamin Franklin was never one to sit down
and fret. He never would despair. Just what to do he
did not know; but he did know he must do something.
He could not go back to America until he had earned
money enough to take him back. He must try to get a
job, and get it soon. It was rough, wasn't it? But Ben
had good health and plenty of pluck, and set out at once
to find work.
He found it very soon. He was a good workman,
you know; and he speedily got a good job in a London
printing-office, where he hoped soon to earn enough to
get him back to America again.
But London was very fascinating to this young man
from far-off America. He made good wages, but he spent
them almost as fast as earned, or else others spent them
for him. For the first time in his life he grew careless
and went wrong. He fell into bad ways, sowed his wild
oats," as the saying is, forgot his friends in America, for-
got his "dear Deborah," and spent months and months
in London working steadily at his trade, to be sure, but
having what he foolishly called a good time."
Then, at last, he awoke to the knowledge that he was
not doing right. He turned over a new leaf at once, worked
hard, saved money, and finally engaged with one of the







HOW HE LEARNED THE TRUTH OF AN OLD MAXIM. .63

good friends he had made on the voyage across to go back
with him to Philadelphia.
This friend, whose name was Mr. Denham, liked young
Franklin very much, and thought he was certain to be a
successful man, if he were once set right. Mr. Denham
had decided to open a general store in Philadelphia, and
he asked Franklin to be his head clerk and bookkeeper.
To this Franklin gladly consented.
So, after living in London for nearly two years, Frank-
lin sailed back to America.
His own plans had all gone wrong. His dreams of a
fine future for himself as the leading printer of Philadel-
phia had not come true. He had fallen upon hard times,
and only his pluck and knowledge of a trade had carried
him through.
But he had learned a lesson he never forgot. It was
one that stood him well as a guide and a warning through
all his busy life. He had learned when to trust and whom
to trust. He knew that, as the farmers say, fine words
butter no parsnips." He knew that all is not gold that
glitters, and that a man to succeed must help himself,
and not rely on others to help him. It takes some men
a lifetime to learn all this, but Benjamin Franklin was
fortunate enough to learn it early in life.
And so, on the 21st of July, 1726, he took ship again
for America, with a good stock of experience with which
to start life over again.







HOW THE PRINTER BECAME A PHILOSOPHER.


CHAPTER IV.

HOW THE PRINTER BECAME A PHILOSOPHER.

F RANKLIN came back to Philadelphia prepared to
"clerk it" in what for him was a new kind of busi-
ness. But he did not "clerk it" long.
Soon after the store'was fairly stocked and started, Mr.
Denham, the proprietor, fell sick and died. Franklin, also,
was very sick at the same time. It was thought that he,
too, would die; but he had youth and a strong constitution
in his favor, and he pulled through.
But he recovered his health only to find Mr. Denham's
business closed, and he himself again out of work.
It looks as if poor Ben had very hard luck about that
time of his life, does it not? But it all turned out for the
best. He had his trade to fall back on. He soon found
work as a printer, and a printer he remained all through
his business life, or until he gave his time and strength to
the service of his countrymen and the good of mankind.
His life as an active printer in Philadelphia lasted
through twenty busy years. He worked as a journeyman;
then he went into business for himself, taking a fellow-
printer as his partner. He lived carefully, saved money,







HOW 7HE PRINTER BECAME A PHILOSOPHER. 65

prospered, and, at last, became quite wealthy, for those
days.
He was twenty-two when he set up the firm of Frank-
lin & Meredith, on Market Street in Philadelphia. Finally
he bought out his partner, and the sign "B. Franklin,
Printer," was for years one of the best known in the town.
That name stood for good work, honest work, reliable
work; for Franklin had learned that in business, as in
everything else, honesty is the best policy."
There are no gains without pains," said Franklin.
" He that hath a trade hath an estate, and he that hath
a calling hath an office of profit and honor; only," he
added, "the trade must be worked at, and the calling well
followed, or neither the estate nor the office will enable
us to pay our taxes."
On this plan he worked at his business, and whenever
he saw a chance to add to it profitably he did so. He
started a newspaper; he opened a book and stationery
store; he published a magazine; and, regularly, for twenty-
five years, he made and printed an almanac that did more
to educate his countrymen to habits of industry, econ-
omy, independence, and manhood than anything else in
America. It was called Poor Richard's Almanac," and
it is acknowledged to have been one of the causes and
stepping-stones toward the Declaration of Independence
and the freedom of America.
On the Ist of September, 1730, he married Deborah







66 HOW THE PRINTER BECAME A PHILOSOPHER.

Read, the girl who had seen him walking the streets the
first morning he was in Philadelphia. For forty-four years
they lived together as husband and wife, helping one an-
other along the road to success and riches, and setting the
world an example of real home-making and home-happiness.


"HE MARRIED DEBORAH READ."
* HE MARRIED DEBORAH READD"


During the twenty years of his active business life,
Franklin, as I have told you, went into anything connected
with his line of business that promised success.
He carried on a general printing business; he was edi-







HOW THE PRINTER BECAME A PHILOSOPHER.


tor, compositor, proof-reader, author, bookseller and sta-
tioner, bookbinder and publisher. He made lamp-black.
He made ink.' He made paper. He bought and sold the
rags of which paper was made. He was a feather mer-
chant; and he was, even what he had hated as a boy, a
soap-maker. Now and then, if he saw a good chance, he
went outside of his regular business, dealing in groceries,
hardware, and household goods.
His wife, Deborah, was, as I have told you, his best
and busiest helper. She "tended store" for him; she
bought the rags for his paper-mill; she stitched pamphlets
in his bindery; she folded newspapers in his printing-office,
and kept his home neat, orderly, and homelike.
"We throve together," Franklin wrote in after years,
"and ever endeavored to make each other happy. We
kept no idle servants; our table was plain and simple,
our furniture was of the cheapest, and I ate my breakfast
of bread and milk out of a twopenny earthen porringer,
with a pewter spoon."
It was no wonder they saved money, got ahead in the
world, and at length became rich and comfortable. They
were never mean nor small; they were simply saving, in-
dustrious, and clever.
Franklin wore his leather apron in shop and store; he
wheeled home the goods he bought, made his own lamp-
black, mixed his own ink, and where other printers tried
and failed, he tried and succeeded.







68 HOW THE PRINTER BECAME A PHILOSOPHER.

He was the first man in America to understand how
to advertise. He advertised himself, and finally, because
of his success, led others to advertise, and thus made his
newspaper pay. Benjamin Franklin was one of the few
men who practised what he preached. His advice to
other men was these are his own words: Employ thy
time well, if thou meanest to gain leisure; and since thou
art not sure of a minute, throw not away an hour." That
was good advice, was it not? Franklin acted on that
principle himself, and the result was that after twenty
years of hard work he was able to enjoy the leisure he
desired for his own enjoyment and the welfare of others.
He simply practised what he preached. It is not an
easy thing to do, boys and girls; but when a man or
woman really does this, he or she is certain to get ahead
in life, just as Franklin .did.
No one could ever get him to do a mean thing in
business, or take an undue advantage of any one, even
if he saw that by so doing he could gain trade or make
money for himself.
When people wished him to publish in his newspaper
anything unjust, or mean, or personal about others, Frank-
lin would tell them he would not do it. '' It might make
a sensation, and set people to talking or to buying my
paper," he declared, "but it is malicious and hurtful. I'll
print it for you," he said, or anything you can pay for;
but you must send it out over your own name, and dis-




















v; -K1-


" I SOMETIMES BROUGHT HOME THE PAPER THROUGH THE STREET ON A WHEELBARROW."


~ai~s~a~~3







HOW THE PRINTER BECAME A PHILOSOPHER.


tribute it yourself. I will not help you to be unjust and
unfair. My newspaper is to give the news and to tell
the truth, not to run down other people or make them
uncomfortable."
That was quite a change from the old days of the
New England Courant, in which he had been taught to
pitch into" other people, was it not? It would be a
good thing for some of the newspapers of to-day to follow.
When one of his rivals in the newspaper business did
a small thing toward Franklin by trying to keep his paper
out of the market, Franklin was disgusted. "I thought
so meanly of the practice," he says, "that when I after-
wards came into his situation" (and was able to do the
same thing, he means), "I took care never to imitate it."
That was being a gentleman; and Benjamin Franklin,
even when he wore his leather apron, made lamp-black,
and mixed his own ink, was always a true gentleman.
He knew what was right and just, and he did that, and
only that.
So you see he got ahead in the world steadily and
surely. He made influential friends and kept them.
People liked to deal with him; for they knew they could
rely on what he said, and that what he promised, that
he would perform. His business increased; he stood at
the head of his trade in Philadelphia; he was the lead-
ing newspaper publisher in America; he grew influential,
prominent, and rich; and, after twenty years of hard work,







HOW THE PRINTER BECAME A PHILOSOPHER.


found himself making almost ten thousand dollars a year,
and able, at last, to retire from active business, and give
his time and attention to other matters, in which he had


"HE WAS THE LEADING NEWSPAPER PUBLISHER IN AMERICA."


gradually been getting interested. That is a record that
any business man would be proud of. Ten thousand dol-
lars a year was a good deal of money in those days, and







HOW THE PRINTER BECAME A PHILOSOPHER.


all men looked up to Franklin as a great success in busi-
ness as well as in manhood.
But money does not make the man, and money was
not what Franklin thought the most of. "A wise man,"
he said, "will desire no more than what he may get
justly, use soberly, distribute cheerfully, and leave con-
tentedly." He worked hard for his money in order that
he might make the best use of it, and he did.
There are three kinds of boys and girls in the world,
-and of men and women too,-those who think only of
themselves, those who think of nothing, and those who
think of others as well as of themselves.
If you know which kind of a boy you like best, you
can tell pretty well about the kind of man too. Franklin
was one of the best kind, as boy and as man. There
was no one who had less time to spare from his busi-
ness than he; and yet he made time to do good.
So he was always busy thinking up some wise or use-
ful or helpful thing something that would help men
and women either to live or to do.
Whenever he made money enough to have a little to
spare, he would help one of his journeymen into busi-
ness on his own account. And he was so good at study-
ing men that he rarely lost money by helping them.
"Leisure," he said, "is the time for doing something
useful; this leisure the diligent man will attain, but the
lazy man never."







HOW THE PRINTER BECAME A PHILOSOPHER.


This was one of Franklin's preachingss;" and, practis-
ing it, he always employed his moments of leisure by
doing something useful.
He was always, even from a boy, you know, a thought-
ful fellow. From the day when he paid too dear for
his whistle-you remember the story--he began to think
things out for himself. Every trouble he faced set him
to turning even his worries into teachers, from whom he
learned of prudence, patience, and endeavor. Like that
fine old Roman emperor, who was so much better than
his people, Marcus Aurelius, he made of every obstacle
in his road a help along the road, and, like Marcus Aure-
lius again, he became, as he studied into the whys and
wherefores of things, a man who thought to good pur-
pose,- in other words, what the world calls a philosopher.
He tried to make himself better, while yet a young
man, by watching himself; and to do this systematically,
he kept a little book, in which he made a table of a
dozen or more good qualities, such as temperance, order,
industry, sincerity, cleanliness, humility, etc.
Every day he would go over this list, just like a book-
keeper in a store, and put a check against such of the
"virtues" as he had not followed out. Day by day, week
by week, he would follow this up, keeping the black
marks always before him, until by the end of the year
they grew less and less, and he had his conduct under
fair control. How is that, boys and girls? Do you think






HOW THE PRINTER BECAME A PHILOSOPHER.


you could keep such an account with yourselves, and cure
yourselves of bad habits by putting them down in black
and white until you had figured them down to nothing?
Just try it once and see.
From giving advice to himself he fell to giving advice
to others, not in an objectionable manner, but in a friendly,
practical way, in which he would try results with his
companions.
Even when he was sowing his wild oats" in Lon-
don he would sandwich some good between his careless
acts. He showed his fellow-workmen how they could save
money and improve their health by stopping their beer-
drinking; and he kept himself poor by helping a heedless
comrade-printer, who had come to London with Franklin
because he loved him.
When he was really in business on his own hook, one
of his earliest business ventures was putting good advice
to good use by bringing out each year the little pam-
phlet known as "Poor Richard's Almanac."
Besides the monthly calendar that all almanacs have,
and .a lot of comic rhymes and take-offs, he had recipes
and cures, and, sprinkled in between, some of the wise
thoughts and helpful sayings that set people to thinking,
and which they always remembered.
You know many of them by heart yourself. Perhaps
you have said them, never thinking who wrote them or
why they were written.







76 HOW THE PRINTER BECAME A PHILOSOPHER.
Early to bed and early to rise
Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."
That is one of them. You know it, do you not? and
you know very well what it means.


Poor Richard, 1739.
AN

Almanack
t r V lFor the cr of Chri






," W AR .... : "1

,2 M 14 Ji. f








TITLE-PAGE AND SPECIMEN PAGE FROM "POOR RICHARD'S ALMANAC."
God helps those that help themselves" was another
of his sayings; and here I add a number, any one of








HOW THE PRINTER BECAME A PHILOSOPHER.


which you can easily understand, and all of which are
full of wisdom, wit, and helpfulness. Read these:-

"Well done is better than well said."
Each year some vicious habit rooted out
In time might make the worst man good throughout."
"When befriended, remember it;
When you befriend, forget it."
Have you somewhat to do to-morrow ? do it to-day."
Quarrels never could last long,
If on one side only lay the wrong."
"Make haste slowly."
"The things which hurt, instruct."
"A slip of the foot you may soon recover,
But a slip of the tongue you may never get over."
"When you're good to others you are best to yourself."
"If your riches are yours, why don't you take them to the other world?"
'Tis more noble to forgive and more manly to despise than to revenge an
injury."
"It is not leisure that is not used."
Haste makes waste."
"Virtue and a trade are a child's best portion."
"The cat in gloves catches no mice."
For age and want, save while you may;
No morning sun lasts a whole day."
"Speak little, do much."
"There never was a good knife made of bad steel."
Being ignorant is not so much a shame as being unwilling to learn."
Plough deep while sluggards sleep,
And you shall have corn to sell and to keep."
"One To-day is worth two To-morrows."

You would be surprised to know how much these sim-
ple, homely sayings helped people. For twenty-five years







HOW THE PRINTER BECAME A PHILOSOPHER.


Franklin published "Poor Richard's Almanac." Thousands
of copies were sold; and, in those days of few books, there
were many humble homes in which only two books were
owned, the Bible and Poor Richard's Almanac."
But Franklin did more than write wise things; he did
them. Almost the first thing he did when he got to work
again in Philadelphia, after his hard times in London,
was to start among his fellow-workmen and companions a
society for mutual improvement. He called it the Junto.
It was little more than a boys' club at first; but it kept
alive for more than forty years, and was of real and last-
ing benefit to its members, to the town, the province, and
America.
It began, as I have told you, as a sort of mutual im-
provement society; that is, these young fellows met every
Friday night, and tried to say or to do something that
should be of benefit to their fellow-members. They would
talk over all the things that were happening .bout them,
and see what good might be gained, or how things might
be improved.
They had a list of questions which each member of
the club had to answer in one way or another. Some
of these questions will give you an idea of what was
done in Franklin's boys' club:

"Do you know of a fellow-citizen who has lately done a worthy action, deserv-
ing praise or imitation; or who has lately committed an error proper for us to be
warned against and avoid ?








HOW THE PRINTER BECAME A PHILOSOPHER.


What new story have you heard agreeable for telling in conversation ?
"Have you or any of your acquaintances been lately sick or wounded? If so,
what remedies were used, and what were their effects?
Do you think of anything at present in which the Junto may be serviceable
to mankind, to their country, to their friends, or to themselves ?
Do you know of any deserving young beginner, lately set up, whom it lies
in the power of the Junto in any way to encourage?
Have you lately observed any encroachment on the just liberties of the
people ?
Is there any man whose friendship you want, and which the Junto, or any
of them, can procure ?
What benefits have you lately received from any man not present ?
Is there any difficulty in matters of opinion, of justice and injustice, which
you would gladly have discussed at this time?"


There were other questions besides these, but you can
see from these I have copied down what the idea of the
club was. Every boy had to do something-tell a story,
sing a song, speak a piece, read an essay; while in the
summer they would have swimming or wrestling or jump-
ing matches "across the river," and once a year they Would
have a dinner.
For a long time there were only a dozen members.
They would admit no more; and, as the most of them
worked at their trades, folks sometimes called the Junto
the "Leather-Apron Club." At their meetings, too, they
would have discussions and debates on all sorts of ques-
tions: "Which is best, to make a friend of a wise and
good man that is poor, or of a rich man that is neither
wise nor good?" "Whence comes the dew that stands on
the outside of a tankard that has cold water in it, in the







HOW THE PRINTER BECAME A PHILOSOPHER.


summer time?" Can a man arrive at perfection in life?"
"Can any particular form of government suit all man-
kind?" "How shall we judge of the goodness of a writ-
ing?" "Does it not require as much pains, study, and
application to become truly wise and strictly virtuous as
to become rich?" You see they had plenty of important
questions to occupy their times of meeting.
Franklin took great pleasure in this club for many
years, and he found that the other members enjoyed it
so much that he proposed that each member of the Junto
should start another club to which no other member of
the Junto could belong. So out of this boys' club grew
a number of others, to their own and other people's benefit.
Out of the Junto, too, as Franklin suggested, grew
another great movement. There were so many questions
to be discussed and answered which required reading and
study, that he suggested a subscription library, so that
members and their friends could have the use of books.
After much hard work and the raising of some money-
which was also hard-about two hundred dollars was
obtained, and the books desired were ordered from London.
This was in March, 1732, and was the foundation of a
library which has grown and grown until to-day it is the
great Philadelphia Library.
The Pennsylvania Gazelle, which was the name of
Franklin's paper, was the most wide-awake and "newsy"
newspaper in all America. Through its columns, too,








HOW THE PRINTER BECAME A PHILOSOPHER.


Franklin proposed and started many things that were of
great benefit to his town and colony. He wrote the news,
wrote the editorials, wrote the jokes, wrote everything,
except what came from outside contributors.
He would start all sorts of discussions. One week he


THE PHILADELPHIA LIBRARY OF TO-DAY.
(The Outgrowth of Franklin's Work in the Junto.)


wduld write a letter "to Mr. Franklin," as if it came from
some one else, asking some question, or proposing some
plan; and the next week he would answer it himself, as
editor. This would set other folks to thinking or writing;







82 HOW THE PRINTER BECAME A PHILOSOPHER.

and, in that manner, very often some bad way would be
bettered, some good reform started, or some excellent im-
provement begun.
In this way the Gazelle was built up to success, and
Philadelphia was benefited. It was Franklin who, through
his newspaper, improved the city watch- the old form of
the police department; he started the first fire company
in the town, had the streets lighted, the pavements swept,
the militia organized, and the fire department established.
So you see, from small beginnings, but with pluck and
brains and plenty of hard work, the candle-maker's son
grew to be a person of value and help to the community
in which he lived. While working for himself he worked
for others also; and while, by saving and shrewdness, he
put money into his own pocket, he put good thoughts,
noble suggestions, and wise plans for improvement, into
the heads and hearts of those about him.
This was being a philosopher to some purpose, was it
not? For, as people saw this very young printer making a
success of his life, they saw, too, that he was doing other
people good, and came gradually to look up to him as to
a leader, guide, and friend.
And so, at the early age of forty-two, Benjamin Frank-
lin was able to retire from business, and devote his time
to wise and worthy objects.







HOW HE SAVED THE COUNTRY FOR THE FIRST TIME. 83


CHAPTER V.

HOW HE SAVED THE COUNTRY FOR THE FIRST TIME.

WHEN you boys join together in any sport or
work or great discussion, there is always one
boy, is there not, whom you look upon as the
moving spirit the chief or leader of "the crowd"? He
is generally that because he thinks out things the best or
the soonest, plans the most satisfactorily, and is willing
to lead. If he fails or doesn't "come up to the mark,"
you soon desert him for one better suited to lead.
It is so with men. One who is willing, without seek-
ing, or who shows that he is able to do things without
too persistently putting himself forward, will soon find
that he is selected for labors or duties which need to be
done, and which grow more important as he is able to
stand the test, or as he shows himself inventive in plans
and wise leadership.
Franklin was just such a man. He was just such a
boy too. Don't you remember how, when he was a boy
in Boston, he was always foremost in plans for fun, and
sometimes in pranks too, that called for a captain to lead?
He proposed building that wharf in the minnow marsh,







84 HOW HE SAVED THE COUNTRY FOR THE FIRST TIME.

you know, and he led all the stumps" in swimming and
boating and playing. He was head of the spelling-class;
he took the lead among the apprentices at the printing-
offices; he, by his ingenuity in new plans, helped to save
his brother's newspaper from dulness and failure.
He kept on in just this way all his life. People found
out that he could do things, and they asked him to do
them. But it was his mind quite as much as his ability
and his willingness that led; and these combined, brought
him forward in direction and leadership.
Even while he was a tireless, hard-working man of
business in Philadelphia, his townsmen began to refer to
him and to ask his advice and help in their home affairs.
His shop became the place for meetings and discussions;
his newspaper gave these ideas to the public; and, when
the time for action came, it was Franklin who proposed
or advocated sensible plans for the improvement or pro-
tection of the community, or was asked by his townsmen
to undertake the work that must be done.
In the year 1736, when Franklin was just thirty years
old, he had his first public office. It was not much. It
was simply clerk or secretary to the general assembly of
the colony of Pennsylvania--what we call the legislature
-then composed of about forty members.
It did not give him so very much to do or bring him
in much salary; but it did give him a certain position in
the community, and he did so well that he was re-elected.







HOW HE SAVED THE COUNTRY FOR THE FIRST TIME. 85

About the same time he was elected a trustee of the
public school or "academy" that had been opened in Phil-
adelphia at his suggestion; the governor of the province
appointed him a justice of the peace; the city of Phila-
delphia selected him first for the common council, and
then made him an alderman; and, soon after, he was
elected a burgess that is, a member of the colonial
legislature, known, as I have told you, as the General
Assembly, and to this he was re-elected ten times.
All these honors came to him unsought, or, as he tells
us, "without my even asking any elector for his vote, or
signifying, either directly or indirectly, any desire of being
chosen." That was pretty good, was it not ? It was good
for those who so honored him too.
While he was clerk of the Assembly, in 1737, he was
made assistant-postmaster of Philadelphia, and was the
first one to suggest better postal arrangements for Amer-
ica. In 1738 he was named as one of two commissioners
to visit and treat with the Indians of the Ohio country,
-and there were plenty of them there in those days.
He served as postmaster of Philadelphia for sixteen years;
and when, in 1753, the postmaster-general for the colonies
died, the authorities .in England appointed Benjamin
Franklin of Philadelphia as postmaster-general of the
American colonies. That was getting ahead pretty well
for the candle-maker's son,-don't you think so?
Indeed, he did so well whatever was given him to do









86 HO W HE SAVED THE COUNTRY FOR THE FIRST TIME.


that by this time about 1753 he was well known,

both in England and America, and considered as one of



























e I 7
p. :.* .-.:. ;. d '


















BALDWIN COOLIDGb
MONUMENT TO FRANKLIN'S PARENTS,
(In the Old Granary Burying Ground, Boston. Erected in 1829, by the Citizens of Boston, on the site of one
,*t there by Franklin on one of his visits to / s boyhood's home.)


the wisest and most reliable men in his Majesty's colo-

nies in America."

As postmaster-general he was kept busy. He had to







HOW HE SAVED THE COUNTRY FOR THE FIRST TIME. 87

travel to all the principal points on the Atlantic border
looking after post-office matters; and he did his work in
such a business-like way that, for the first time in the his-
tory of America, he made the post-office pay.
In this duty of looking after post-office affairs he vis-
ited Boston, the home of his boyhood. He went there
with authority and dignity; and you can well imagine that
Benjamin Franklin, postmaster-general of the colonies, was
quite a different character in Boston from Benjamin Frank-
lin, the runaway apprentice of 1723. Thirty years had
made a great man of that poor, ill-treated boy.
He had been home twice before. In fact, he made a
practice of going back to Boston once every ten years.
He dearly loved the old town to the day of his death.
When he was eighty-two years old he spoke of it with
affection as "that beloved place;" and he was always writ-
ing to his brothers and sisters there, especially to his
favorite younger sister Jane, who outlived him.
In the Old Granary Burying Ground, as I have told
Syou, on one of these visits he placed a memorial above
the grave of his honored parents. And you may also be
glad to know that on one such visit to Boston he "made
up" with sulky Brother James, who was sick and unsuc-
cessful. He took James's ten-year-old boy back to Phila-
delphia, sent him to school, taught him a trade, and finally
set him up in business as a printer at Newport, in Rhode
Island. I imagine Brother James thought, after all, that







88 HOW HE SAVED IHE COUNTRY FOR THE FIRST TIME.

it was a good thing that his apprentice did run away and
strike out for himself.
The British colonies in North America in those days
needed men of brains and will to help them over the rough
places. They were having hard times. Their masters, the
king and parliament of England, were using the colonists
as something to make money from, and not as brother
Englishmen who needed help, protection, and kindness.
In fact, the American colonies had to protect them-
selves; and when, because of the "rows" between England,
France, and Spain, who were struggling for supremacy
in Europe and the ownership of America, it looked as
though war was to come, some one in each'of the colonies
was needed who could look out for America's interests,
safety,-almost for her very existence.
In the colony of Pennsylvania this man for the times
was, of course, Benjamin Franklin. Pennsylvania, you
know, was different from the other colonies. It belonged
to the Penn family, by gift of the king of England; and
the king only was a bigger man than the Penns. The
Penn family sent over the governor, and had a certain part
of the revenues of the colony; but the people, by their
General Assembly, governed the colony, in connection with
the governor. So, you see, when trouble came, only the
king or the Penn family could send help. But they did
not; and Franklin said to the people, "If our governor
cannot protect us we must protect ourselves "--for, you







HOW HE SAVED THE COUNTRY FOR THE FIRST TIME. 89

know, it was one of his mottoes that "God helps those
who help themselves."
But Pennsylvania was a Quaker colony, and one of the
chief points in the Quaker belief was peace with all men.
"You must not strike back," they said. "War is wrong;
so it is wicked to engage in war or fighting, and it is
very bad to be a soldier."
This is all very well to a certain extent. But self-pro-
tection is not only man's duty, it is a necessity if the state
is to be saved and made strong, and its men and women
hope to live in real peace and prosperity.
None knew this better than Franklin. So, when he
saw the danger, and what might happen if the colony were
left unprotected, he wrote and pleaded and planned and
worked until at last he got enough men, who were not
Quakers, to think as he did, and to back him up.
He found that he could not get help from the king,
neither could he get the Quaker assembly to vote money
for the defence of the colony. So he called upon the peo-
ple to help; and, after a public meeting in which he roused
the citizens to action, he sent around subscription papers,
asking for volunteers to serve as soldiers, and for money
to build a fort and start a militia.
He succeeded. The colonists, thanks to Franklin's
energy, responded nobly. Ten thousand names went on
the subscription paper; twelve hundred men enlisted as
militia to act as a home-guard.







90 HO W HE SA VED fHE COUNTRY FOR THE FIRST TIME.

When the Philadelphia regiment was formed, Franklin
was elected colonel. But he said he was not a military
man; he was, he declared, "unfit" for the position. So
another man was made colonel. But Franklin joined the
regiment.
More money was raised. A log fort was built for the
protection of the town; and then Franklin travelled to
New York to beg or borrow guns from Clinton, the gov-
ernor of the neighboring colony.
He did just as well there. For when Governor Clinton
said, at first, that he would not lend the Philadelphians a
single cannon, Franklin talked and coaxed and joked until
at last the governor said, "Well, take six." Franklin kept
at him; "You can have ten," said the governor. Still
Franklin worked, and, at last, made so good a friend of
the governor of New York that he went back to Phila-
delphia with eighteen fine large cannons and the gun
carriages on which to mount them.
The guns were placed in position on the new fort;
the home-guard did regular drill and guard duty, night
and day, until the danger was over, and the man who had
brought it all about and saved the colony from attack
and the whole country from invasion, who had himself de-
clined the part of colonel, did duty with the other soldiers,
and served as a private soldier, standing guard when his
time came just as the humblest militia-man did.
His energetic action, of course, greatly pleased the gov-







HOW HE SAVED THE COUNTRY FOR THE FIRST TIME. 91

ernor, who had seen the danger, but could do nothing to
prevent it. He sought Franklin's advice more and more,
and looked to him for help in many ways. Thus Frank-


"YOU CAN HAVE TEN," SAID THE GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK.

lin had his revenge, in a way, you see; for one governor
of Pennsylvania had played him a mean trick when he
was a poor young printer. Now this same Franklin had







92 HOW HE SAVED 7THE COUNTRY FOR 7HE FIRST TIME.

become the trusted advisor of another governor of Penn-
sylvania, and, instead of deceiving, had helped him.
The trouble between France and England grew worse
and worse. It was necessary that the Indian tribes who
were friendly to the British and the colonists should
be kept friendly. The British authorities requested these
American colonies to select men called commissioners, two
from each colony, and send them to Albany to meet and
talk with the Indians on the Canadian border. These
Indians were a powerful and warlike confederacy, and were
known as the Six Nations. You can read about them
in Cooper's splendid story, The Last of the Mohicans."
Upon them England relied for the protection of the
Canadian border. For Canada, you know, in those days
belonged to France.
Franklin was appointed one of the commissioners from
Pennsylvania. He went to Albany, and the Six Nations
were prevailed upon to remain friendly to England.
But, as Franklin travelled towards Albany, the idea
struck him that,.as he was going to meet representatives
from the other colonies, it would be a fine idea to. bring
about even more than this Indian treaty.
"Why not get all the colonies to unite in a plan for
mutual protection?" he thought; "why not form a union
under one colonial government and one council or assem-
bly made up of representatives from all colonies? This
would make us strong; it would enable us to help our-




























I -


L 01oi
lh il".


FRANKLIN STANDING GUARD AS A PRIVATE SOLDIER.







HO W HE SAVED THE COUNTRY Y FOR THE FIRST TIME. 95

selves; it would be a great help for the colonies, and
would give us protection, friendship, growth, and ad-
vancement."
To think, with Franklin, was, as you know, to act. As
he travelled, he wrote down just the plan of union and
government he would like to see. He brought it before
the Colonial Congress of Commissioners at Albany, and
was proud enough when his plan was unanimously ac-
cepted and adopted.
But when the matter was referred to England, as
everything in the colonies had to be referred, the king
and his ministers "sat down on it," as you say, at once.
Why," they said, "it would never do to let the colo-
nies unite. Some day they might get so strong that they
would wish to govern themselves; and that we will never
allow."
So Franklin's plan was not accepted. Another weak
and unsatisfactory one was put in its place. But you know
very well what came later. For Benjamin Franklin's plan
of American union is now a part of the government under
which we live, though the people of America and not the
king of England rule as master; the president (just what
Franklin suggested) is not appointed by the king of Eng-
land, as Franklin proposed, but is elected by the people;
and the council or assembly suggested by him is the
Congress of the United States of America, the nation
that grew out of Franklin's plan.







96 1HOW HE SAVED THE COUNTRY Y FOR THE FIRST TIME.

The dispute between France and England grew at last
into open conflict. There was war between the nations
in Europe and in America. In this land it became what
you study about in your history under the name of the
French and Indian War.
It resulted in the defeat of France, in the conquest of
Canada, in making all North America English, in show-
ing the colonies that, together, they could be a power;
and it brought to the front those great and noble men
whom to-day we call the Fathers of the Republic, chief
among whom were George Washington and Benjamin
Franklin.
The war in America threatened the destruction of the
colonies. The French and their Indian allies came down
to the Ohio. The Pennsylvania border was in danger.
Young George Washington, as you may read in the story
of his life, was sent to stop their advance, and, as you
know, in a fight with the French invaders at Great
Meadows in Western Pennsylvania, opened the long war
that was to do so much toward making the American
colonies united.
England sent more soldiers. She sent a brave gen-
eral to command them. But though a brave general he
was a foolish one. You know his name and the day of
his defeat and death. It is in all our history books--
General Braddock.
There was trouble about supplies for the soldiers;







20HOW HE SAVED 2HE COUNTRY FOR THE FIRST TIME. 97

there was trouble about transportation; there was trou-
ble, too, because the Quaker assembly of Pennsylvania
would not vote the money or supplies needed for the
king's soldiers.
General Braddock was very angry. He wished to talk
things over with men in power in the colonies; for, he
said, if I have come here to protect and
defend them, they should be willing to
help. And so it came to pass that in
April, 1755, the governor of New York, k .7
the governor of Massachusetts, and Post- '
master-General Franklin rode south into X=
Maryland to meet and talk with the Brit- .
ish general. GENERAL BRADDOCK.
Franklin explained matters to General
Braddock, and showed him that the people of Pennsylvania
were ready to help when the time came. Then, when he
saw in what a tangle and trouble the general was about
the horses and wagons needed for getting the army
supplies and the camp baggage out to the Ohio country,
he at once offered to see that horses and wagons should
be procured for the general.
General Braddock was greatly pleased at this offer of
help in his worries. He begged Franklin to try and get
the things he needed, and back into Pennsylvania rode the
energetic postmaster-general to make good his promises.
He did make them good. In his usual pleasant but







98 HOW HE SAVED iHE COUNTRY FOR THE FIRST IIME.

determined way he roused the Pennsylvania farmers to the
necessity of helping the British general; and in twenty
days after he had promised General Braddock to help
him, he rode into the British camp at Frederick, in Mary-
land, with one hundred and fifty farm wagons and two
hundred and fifty pack horses, with all the hay and oats
needed for them. That was business-like, was it not?
Again General Braddock was delighted. He praised
and thanked Mr. Franklin," and wrote home to Eng-
land about the postmaster's fidelity and promptitude."
Then Franklin, seeing that the army was liable to
run short of provisions, offered to get stores of food and
provisions from Pennsylvania. He kept his promise.
Ample food and supplies were collected; and at last Gen-
eral Braddock was ready to march into the Ohio country,
whip the French, and conquer Canada.
Franklin listened to all his big talk, and saw at once
how little the British general knew of the rough forest
land he was to enter, and the Indian way of fighting.
He tried to reason with the general, and get him to
move carefully and cautiously. But you know the story
of General Braddock. You know how pig-headed and wil-
ful he was, and how he kept his soldiers drilled and
dressed as if they were to make a fancy parade along the
streets of London. He would not be advised either by
Franklin or by young Colonel George Washington, who
also tried to argue him out of his plan.







HOW HE SAVED THE COUNTRY FOR THE FIRST TIME. 99

"What do you provincials know about real war?" he
said. "I'll show these French and Indians how a British
general fights. I'll conquer them; don't you worry."
So the army marched westward in splendid array, and
Franklin went home to Philadelphia.
But, soon after, came the news of that terrible disaster,
familiar to you in your history lessons as Braddock's
defeat." The splendid British army was surprised, sur-
rounded, and slaughtered. Braddock was killed; and his
army was only saved from destruction by the skill and
bravery of Colonel George Washington, the despised
" provincial."
After that, who gained so much credit for advice and
knowledge as wise Mr. Franklin"? He was called into
council by the governors; he was asked for advice; he
was listened to eagerly; and when a new army was gath-
ered for the defence of the threatened Pennsylvania colony
from the dreaded French and Indians, at its head marched
its new commander, brave General Benjamin Franklin--
for he was a general now.
He drove the Indians off; he forced the French to the
border; he built forts; he made the Pennsylvania border
safe; and then, after two months' soldiering, he went back
again to his books and his study at Philadelphia, while
all Philadelphia welcomed him home with gratitude and
thanks and cheers.
Then the governor begged him to take the field again,




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