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ing, my father was under apprehensions that if he did not find one for me more agreeable, I should break away and get to sea, 100 as his son Josiah had done, to his great vexation. He therefore sometimes took me to walk with him, and see joiners, bricklayers, turners, braziers, etc., at their work, that he might observe my inclination and endeavor to fix it on some trade or other on land. It has ever since been a pleasure to me to see good work- 105 men handle their tools; and it has been useful to me, having learned so much by it as to be able to do little jobs myself in my house when a workman could not readily be got, and to construct little machines for my experiments while the intention of making the experiment was fresh and warm in my mind. My 110 father at last fixed upon the cutler's trade, and my uncle Benjamin's son, Samuel, who was bred to that business in London, being about that time established in Boston, I was sent to be with him some time on liking. But his expectations of a fee with me displeasing my father, I was taken home again.
6. From a child I was fond of reading, and all the little money that came into my hands was ever laid out in books. Pleased with the Pilgrim's Progress, my first collection was of John Bunyan's works, in separate little volumes. I afterwards sold them to enable me to buy R. Burton's Historical Collections ; they were 120 small chapmen's books, and cheap, forty or fifty in all. My father's little library consisted chiefly of books in polemic divinity, most of which I read, and have since often regretted that, at a time when I had such a thirst for knowledge, more proper
114. on liking: that is, on trial, at the compilations, published (and
pleasure of both parties. ---a fee, supposed to have been written) a sum of money paid to a mas by Nathaniel Crouch of Lon. ter when an apprentice is bound don, from 1681 to 1736. The to him.
name must not be confounded 120. R. Burton's Historical Collections. with that of Robert Burton, the " Robert Burton" is a name
author of the famous Anatomy which occurs in the title-page of Melancholy. of a number of very popular 121. chapmen, peddlers. historical and miscellaneous 122. polemic, controversial.
Are the words “fresh" and
LITERARY ANALYSIS.-110. fresh and warm. "warm" used literally or figuratively?
books had not fallen in my way, since it was now resolved I 125 should not be a clergyman. Plutarch's Lives there was, in which I read abundantly, and I still think that time spent to great advantage. There was also a book of De Foe's, called an Essay on Projects, and another of Dr. Mather's, called Essays to Do Good, which perhaps gave me a turn of thinking that had an in- 130 fluence on some of the principal future events of my life.
7. This bookish inclination at length determined my father to make me a printer, though he had already one son (James) of that profession. In 1717 my brother James returned from England with a press and letters, to set up his business in Boston. 135 I liked it much better than that of my father, but still had a hankering for the sea. To prevent the apprehended effect of such an inclination, my father was impatient to have me bound to my brother. I stood out some time, but at last was persuaded, and signed the indentures when I was yet but twelve years old. I 140 was to serve as an apprentice till I was twenty-one years of age, only I was to be allowed journeyman's wages during the last year. In a little time I made great proficiency in the business, and became a useful hand to my brother. I now had access to better books. An acquaintance with the apprentices of 145 booksellers enabled me sometimes to borrow a small one, which
126. Platarch's Lives. This famous | 129, 130. Essays to Do Good. This work
work, styled by R. W. Emerson is by Rev. Dr. Cotton Mather,
| 135. letters: that is, a supply of print. 128, 129. Essay on Projects. This is | ing type.
one of the numerous works of 140. Indentures, the written agreement the author of Robinson Crusoe, | or contract between master and and was published in 1697.
LITERARY ANALYSIS. — 126. Plutarch's Lives there was. This is one of Franklin's few inversions of construction. Transpose into the direct order.
132-150. This bookish ... wanted. Point out three or more colloquial words or expressions in paragraph 7.
142. only. To what conjunction is “only” here equivalent? 144. hand. What is the figure of speech? (See Def. 28.)
I was careful to return soon and clean. Often I sat up in my room reading the greatest part of the night, when the book was borrowed in the evening and to be returned early in the morning, lest it should be missed or wanted.
8. And after some time an ingenious tradesman, Mr. Matthew Adams, who had a pretty collection of books, and who frequented our printing-house, took notice of me, invited me to his library, and very kindly lent me such books as I chose to read. I now took a fancy to poetry, and made some little pieces. My brother, 155 thinking it might turn to account, encouraged me, and put me on composing occasional ballads. One was called The Lighthouse Tragedy, and contained an account of the drowning of Captain Worthilake, with his two daughters; the other was a sailor's song, on the taking of Teach (or Blackbeard), the pirate. They 160 were wretched stuff, in the Grub Street ballad style ; and when they were printed he sent me about the town to sell them. The first sold wonderfully, the event being recent, having made a great noise. This flattered my vanity; but my father discouraged me by ridiculing my performances, and telling me verse-makers 165 were generally beggars. So I escaped being a poet, most probably a very bad one ; but as prose-writing has been of great use to me in the course of my life, and was a principal means of my advancement, I shall tell you how, in such a situation, I acquired what little ability I have in that way. . .
9. About this time I met with an odd volume of the Spectator.
161. Grub Street. A street in London rary poems, whence any mean
(now called Milton Street), production is called grub-
LITERARY ANALYSIS.—152. pretty collection. What is the force of “pret. ty" here?
156, 157. put me on composing. Modernize this expression. 163, 164. made a great noise. What is the figure of speech? (See Def. 20.)
171-208. Write out an abstract from memory of the method taken by Franklin to cultivate his powers of expression, enlarge his vocabulary, etc. (Paragraph 9.)
It was the third. I had never before seen any of them. I bought it, read it over and over, and was much delighted with it. I thought the writing excellent, and wished, if possible, to imitate it. With this view I took some of the papers, and, 175 making short hints of the sentiment in each sentence, laid them by a few days, and then, without looking at the book, tried to complete the papers again by expressing each hinted sentiment at length, and as fully as it had been expressed before, in any suitable words that should come to hand. Then I com- 180 pared my Spectator with the original, discovered some of my faults, and corrected them. But I found I wanted a stock of words, or a readiness in recollecting and using them, which I thought I should have acquired before that time if I had gone on making verses; since the continual occasion for words of 185 the same import, but of different length, to suit the measure, or of different sound for the rhyme, would have laid me under a constant necessity of searching for variety, and also have tended to fix that variety in my mind, and make me master of it. Therefore I took some of the tales and turned them into 190 verse, and, after a time, when I had pretty well forgotten the prose, turned them back again. I also sometimes jumbled my collections of hints into confusion, and after some weeks endeavored to reduce them into the best order, before I began to form the full sentences and complete the paper. This was to 195 teach me method in the arrangement of thoughts. By comparing my work afterwards with the original, I discovered many faults and amended them ; but I sometimes had the pleasure of fancying that, in certain particulars of small import, I had been lucky enough to improve the method or the language ; and this 200 encouraged me to think I might possibly in time come to be a tolerable English writer, of which I was extremely ambitious. My time for these exercises and for reading was at night, after work, or before it began in the morning, or on Sundays, when I contrived to be in the printing-house alone, evading as much as 205 I could the common attendance on public worship which my father used to exact of me when I was under his care, and which indeed I still thought a duty, though I could not, as it seemed to me, afford time to practise it.
10. While I was intent on improving my language, I met with 210
an English grammar (I think it was Greenwood's), at the end of which there was two little sketches of the arts of rhetoric and logic, the latter finishing with a dispute in the Socratic method ; and, soon after, I procured Xenophon's Memorable Things of Socrates, wherein are many instances of the same method. found this method safest for myself and very embarrassing to those against whom I used it ; therefore I took a delight in it, practised it continually, and grew very artful and expert in drawing people, even of superior knowledge, into concessions, the consequences of which they did not foresee, entangling them in 220 difficulties out of which they could not extricate themselves, and so obtaining victories that neither myself nor my cause always deserved....
11. I continued this method some few years, but gradually left it, retaining only the habit of expressing myself in terms of mod-225 est diffidence ; never using, when I advanced anything that may possibly be disputed, the words certainly, undoubtedly, or any others that give the air of positiveness to an opinion ; but rather say, I conceive or apprehend a thing to be so and so; it appears
211. Greenwood's. There was an Eng suming the character of an ig
lish grammar by James Green norant learner till he involved wood, published in London in his opponent in contradictory
1711. 213. Socratic method, the mode of argu- 214. Xenophon, born about B.C. 444,
ing pursued by Socrates, the was a distinguished soldier and illustrious Greek philosopher in youth was a pupil of Socra(B.C. about 471 - 399). The tes, whose sayings he recorded method consisted in systematic in the work usually called the cross-examination, Socrates as
LITERARY ANALYSIS. 212. there was two little sketches. Indicate the grammatical fault.
215-223. Substitute synonymous terms for the italicized words in the following : I found this method safest for myself and very embarrassing to those against whom I used it; therefore I took a delight in it, practised it continually, and grew very artful and expert in drawing people, even of superior knowledge, into concessions, the consequences of which they did not foresee, entangling them in difficulties out of which they could not extricate themselves, and so obtaining victories that neither myself nor my cause always deserved.”—It may be observed that, perhaps influenced by his subject, Franklin in this sentence employs, a for him unusual number of what may be called bookish words.