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success in this life ; for he was, through the favor with which that Providence regards such means, the founder and builder of his own prosperity.

His success in the acquisition of property was the just recompense of his vigorous industry, his frugality, temperance, prudence, integrity, punctuality, enlightened and sound judgment, civil manners, respect for himself as well as for others, and his frank and manly deportment. All these qualities marked his conduct in the transaction of business, and in his general intercourse with his fellow-men; and by securing general confidence, esteem, and good will, they were all instrumental to his prosperity.

His success in the pursuit of literature and science, and in the acquisition of fame as a philosopher, was also the consequence, at least in part, of some of the same qualities. For, although he could not have attained the high distinction he ultimately enjoyed as a writer and a philosopher, without the great natural abilities with which he was endowed, yet, without his active and persevering spirit, his industrious, frugal, temperate, methodical, and time-saving habits, even his great talents would have been far less available, and his philosophical genius could not have accomplished so much.

His success in political affairs, and in the acquisition of public honors, was also the natural result, not merely of his talents associated with the other attributes already mentioned, but also of additional causes inherent in his character-of his genuine public spirit, his zeal in applying himself to understand the real condition of public affairs, and the intelligence and fidelity with which he performed the duties of every public station in which he was placed; of his thorough comprehension of the political and civil rights and privileges of the

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BIRTH AND PARENTAGE.

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people whom he served, his sagacious and sound views of their true interests, and the steady firmness with which he maintained and promoted those interests; of his moderation, candor, and love of truth and justice; his respect for law and for all lawful authority; his stanch patriotism, and the unsurpassed moral weight and influence of his character.

Such were the sources of his success, and the elements of his greatness. Such were the causes of that steady, rapid, and almost wholly uninterrupted advance from poverty to wealth, from obscurity to renown, by which his career was so remarkably distinguished; and which not only rendered that career, during its progress, so honorable to himself and so useful to his country and mankind, but have for ever sealed it as an example, especially to his own countrymen, rich beyond parallel in lessons of practical wisdom for all, of every age, calling, and condition in life, public and private, in every coming generation.

Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on the 6th of January, old style, equivalent to the 17th of that month, according to the present reckoning of time or the new style, in the year 1706. His father, Josiah Franklin, was a native of the village of Ecton, in Northamptonshire, England; but he married his first wife, at an early age, in Banbury, in the neighboring county of Oxford, where he served his apprenticeship as a wool-dyer, with his uncle John Franklin, and where his first three children were born. In the year 1684, or early in 1685, in consequence of the intolerant and oppressive laws of that country respecting religion and public worship, he emigrated with his family to Boston, Massachusetts, where four more children were borne to him by the same wife. After her decease, he married Abiah Folger, born August 15th, 1667, the ninth child, but the seventh daughter, of Peter Folger and his wife Mary, in the town of Sherburn, on the island of Nantucket. By this second wife, Josiah Franklin had ten children, making the whole number seventeen; ten of whom were sons, and seven daughters. Of these, Benjamin was the fifteenth child and the youngest son; and in the very entertaining and instructive narrative of his life, written by himself as far as to the fifty-first year of his

age, he states the interesting and uncommon fact, that, of those seventeen children, he had seen sitting together at his father's table thirteen, who all grew up to years of maturity and were married.

According to the wise and wholesome usage of those times, the nine elder sons, as they successively arrived at a proper age, were bound by their father as apprentices to different trades, though by no means to the neglect of such instruction in the elements of useful knowledge, as could be imparted in those schools which it was the early care of the founders of New England to establish.

With Benjamin, however, it was his father's original intention to take a different course. The boy had exhibited a rare facility in learning to read. His proficiency in this particular was so remarkable, that he states, at the age of sixty-five years, in his own account of his life, that he was unable to recollect a time when he could not read. His fondness for books, together with his eagerness for knowledge and other indications of bright parts, prompted a disposition in his father “to devote Benjamin, as the tithe of his sons, to the service of the church.” With this view, Benjamin, at the age of eight years, was sent to a grammar-school, where his progress was such as to justify the impression his early docility had made upon his friends ; for, in less than a year, having risen from the middle of the class

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in which he was first placed, to its head, he was transferred to the next class above, from which he was to be removed to a still higher one, at the end of the year.

But narrow circumstances and large family soon made it apparent to his father, that the long course of study at the grammar-school and college, which would be requisite to give his son a suitable preparation for the contemplated profession, would involve an expense which he would be unable to meet, without very great difficulty, if at all. Besides, on looking more closely into the matter, he thought the proposed profession afforded, as he remarked to a friend, in the presence of Benjamin, “but little encouragement to those who were educated for that line of life.” These considerations induced his father to abandon his original design ; and taking the boy from the grammar-school before a year had expired, he placed him in a school devoted exclusively to writing and arithmetic, kept by a Mr. George Brownwell, who had gained much reputation as a teacher of those two essential branches of a. practical business education, and who, as Franklin himself testifies, was “a skilful master, and successful in his profession, employing the mildest and most encouraging methods." In this school the lad became an excellent penman; to cite his own confession, he “ entirely failed in arithmetic."

Benjamin appears to have remained under the tuition of Mr. Brownwell about twelve months, or the greater part of his ninth year. This was the last of his going to school; for, on his reaching his tenth year, his father transferred him to his own business, as a tallowchandler and soapboiler, to which business, though not bred to it, his father had betaken himself, on finding that, in the community where he had fixed his new home, his trade as a dyer, to which he had been regularly trained in

but,

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England, would not yield him employment enough for the support of his family. Benjamin's occupation, now, was cutting candlewicks and fitting them to the moulds, tending shop, and running upon errands.

These employments, however, were exceedingly distasteful to him; and a strong desire sprung up in him to go to sea. Having an active, enterprising spirit, and living near the water, he often resorted to it for both amusement and exercise, and grew familiar with it and fond of it. He very early made himself an expert and bold swimmer, and so dexterous in managing a boat, that whenever he and his playmates were enjoying themselves in that

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commonly allowed to govern, especially in case of difficulty.” Indeed, in the various enterprises in which he and his young comrades were engaged, he was generally the leader. One of these enterprises he relates, as it shows,” to use his own words, “ an early projecting public spirit, though not then justly directed;" and inasmuch as it serves to exemplify that ready ingenuity in devising means to overcome difficulties, which subsequently developed itself to such a degree as to constitute one of the marked traits of his character, his own sprightly account of the performance in question is here copied.

“ There was,” he relates, a salt-marsh which bounded part of the millpond, on the edge of which, at highwater, we used to stand to fish for minnows. By much trampling we had made it a mere quagmire. My proposal was to build a wharf there for us to stand upon; and I showed my comrades a large heap of stones, which were intended for a new house near the marsh, and which would very well suit our purpose. Accordingly, in the evening, when the workmen were gone home, I assembled a number of my playfellows, and we worked diligently, like so many emmets, sometimes two or three

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