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DECISION AGAINST THE NEW PROJECT.

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that line. Benjamin cheerfully answered their inquiries, spoke warmly in praise of Philadelphia and of the happy life he led there, and in strong terms declared his intention to return thither. On being asked by one of the hands, what sort of money was commonly in use there, he replied by spreading a handful of silver coin before them, which, as he remarks, was a kind of raree-show they had not been used to," the currency in Boston, at that period, consisting almost exclusively of paper-money. He then showed them his watch ; and finally, observing the sullen demeanor of his brother, he gave them a dollar to regale themselves with, and took his leave.

These things, as it afterward appeared, offended his brother deeply; for when their excellent mother subsequently took an opportunity to speak to him of reconciliation, expressing her earnest desire to see them living together in mutual kindness, as brothers should, James replied to her, says Benjamin, “that I had insulted him in such a manner, before his people, that he could never forget or forgive it.” It is gratifying to record, however, that in the last particular James was mistaken, and that the two brothers became ultimately reconciled.

Josiah Franklin, the father, read Governor Keith’s letter, as might well be supposed, with no little surprise. Being a circumspect and prudent man, however, he deferred saying much about it to Benjamin, until he could see his son-in-law, Captain Holmes, to whom, when he got back to Boston, he immediately showed the letter, and made very particular inquiries of him as to Keith's character; expressing much doubt of his discretion, from his having proposed to place so young a person as Benjamin, in so responsible a situation; and entering fully into the consideration of the whole matter.

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Holmes, who felt a warm regard for his young

brotherin-law and had formed a high estimate of his abilities, presented, in favor of the project, such reasons as his knowledge of Philadelphia and of the prospects of business in that quarter, as well as the capacity of Benjamin and the esteem in which he was held, could supply. But the clear understanding and solid judgment of the father not being convinced, he at length, after due deliberation, gave an unqualified decision against the proposed scheme, and wholly refused to render his assistance to carry it into effect. He stated this determination, in

very civil language, in a letter to Governor Keith, in which he thanked him for the countenance he had given his son, and for the patronage he had so kindly promised him; placing his own decision in the case, on the ground that his son was too young and inexperienced safely to encounter the responsibilities of a business, which required such considerable means to establish it, and so much care, discretion, and steadiness, to manage it successfully.

But, though such was the decision concerning the proposed plan, yet Benjamin was largely compensated, for the disappointment of any hopes he might have indulged, in that respect, by the deep gratification his father plainly manifested, at finding that his son had not only been able to win the notice and esteem of a person of such distinction as Sir William Keith, but that he had also been able, by his industry and frugality, to provide for himself so well, in so short a time. These circumstances, together with the embittered state of feeling

part of James, which rendered any harmonious co-operation between the two brothers hopeless, at least for the present, induced the father to give his ready consent to Benjamin's return to Philadelphia; accompanying that consent with his advice to the young man

on the

PARENTAL LOVE AND COUNSEL.

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to check his propensity to satire; to seek the esteem and goodwill of the community by a respectful and conciliatory deportment; and to treat all subjects of grave import, with the considerate sobriety due to them, and with that deference to the feelings as well as the opinions of others, which is, in truth, the duty of all, but is peculiarly becoming in the young.

To this sound and apposite counsel, the father, as mindful of his love as of his duty, added the encouraging suggestion, that his son, “ by steady industry and prudent parsimony," might, by the time he would be twenty-one, save from his earnings nearly or quite enough to set himself up in business, with his own independent means; but that if, in faithfully pursuing such a course, he should fall somewhat short of the sum requisite for so important a purpose, he would himself, in that case, supply the deficiency.

“ This was all I could obtain," says Franklin, “except some small gifts, as tokens of his and my mother's love, when I embarked again for New York — now with their approbation and blessing.” And better to the youth were those tokens of parental love, and that parental blessing, than could have been, at that period of his life, the readiest consent to the proposed undertaking, with the most ample supply of money only, to carry it forward.

The observant and sagacious father, who had long been watching the growth of his son's character, and the form it was receiving from its predominant elements as they unfolded, though he looked on with a cheering hope, yet clearly saw that the gifted youth intrusted to his care, needed a fuller experience of himself, not less than of others, and a judgment more exercised in the actual concerns of life, as well as more settled principles and habits of action, before he could safely encounter the responsibilities of business, or even secure that confidence, on the part of the community, which is as necessary as money, to permanent success in the management of private affairs. The events of only a few quick following years, showed Benjamin, very plainly, that his father had, on this occasion, decided wisely ; and the union of considerate kindness, prudence, and firmness, so happily blended in the conduct of his father, throughout this whole affair, presents a beautiful example of the true paternal character.

While waiting in Boston for his father's decision, as related, Benjamin renewed his intercourse with his former companion, Collins, who was now employed as a clerk in the postoffice in that town; and who became so much smitten with Benjamin's description of Philadelphia, of his associates, and his way of life there, that he resolved to transfer himself to the same place.

Collins had accumulated what, for a youth in his circumstances was a considerable and valuable collection of books, chiefly on mathematics and natural philosophy. Leaving these to go on, by water, with Benjamin's books and under his charge, and wishing to visit some friends in Rhode Island, Collins quitted Boston first, intending to go by land to New York, where the two friends were again to meet and proceed to Philadelphia together.

It has already been related that, while Benjamin was still employed as a boy in his father's shop, his brother John had married and gone to settle himself in business, in Rhode Island. As the sloop, in which Benjamin now took passage for New York, touched at Newport, it gave him the very gratifying opportunity of again seeing John, who “received him

very

affectionately, for he had always loved him."

While at Newport, a friend of his brother, by the name of Vernon, who had a debt of about thirty-five pounds

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