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Governor Keith and Colonel French's visit.

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had no means of his own, and he frankly stated that he could not count at all upon being able to obtain such means from his father.

The governor met this objection by promising to write to Josiah Franklin, very fully, and to set forth the advantages of the plan, as well as the reasons why it must succeed, in such a light ag would, he was confident, procure his approval and assistance; and before the interview ended, it was concluded that Benjamin should avail himself of the first vessel bound for Boston, to go with Governor Keith's promised letter to his father. Meanwhile the whole scheme was to be kept strictly secret.

This affair having been thus arranged, Benjamin continued to work for Keimer as usual; his social intercourse being varied, and his hopes cheered, by accept-. ing, from time to time, the invitations of Sir William Keith to dine with him at his own house, on which occasions Sir William conversed with him in “the most affable, familiar, and friendly manner.”

At length, near the end of April, 1724, a vessel was advertised for Boston. Governor Keith prepared a long and elaborate letter to Benjamin's father, in which he spoke of his son in the strongest terms of commendation, and urged the proposed plan, with great earnestness, as being not only every way eligible for the young printer, but as most likely to lay the foundation for his permanent prosperity; and Benjamin, assigning to Keimer, as the reason of his going, a strong desire to visit his relations, took his leave, and embarked for his native town, having completed the eighteenth year

of his age, in the preceding January. In Delaware bay they struck a shoal and started a leak. This and rough weather at sea kept the pumps going, Benjamin taking his turn; but in two weeks they reached Boston in safety.




It was now seven months since Benjamin had left home without the knowledge of any of his relatives, and during all that time they had received no tidings of him; for his brother-in-law, Captain Holmes, had not yet returned to Boston, since his correspondence with Benjamin, while at Newcastle, nor had he said anything concerning him, in his letters. His appearance, therefore, took his parents and other friends by surprise. They were, nevertheless, glad to see him again, and they all gave him a cordial welcome home, except only his brother James, the printer. In his own narrative, Franklin says: “I went to see him at his printinghouse. I was better dressed than ever while in his service, having a genteel new suit from head to foot, a watch, and my pockets lined with near five pounds sterling, in silver. He received me not very frankly, looked me all over, and turned to his work again.”

This sullen coldness of James, however, did not chill the hands in the office, who received their former workfellow and companion, now returned from his travels, in a very different spirit. They gave him a hearty greeting, and crowded round him eager to learn where he had been, what he had seen, what he had been doing, and especially how he liked the place where he had been working at his trade, and what encouragements it offered in

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