Justice, wrong none by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty. Moderation, avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve. Cleanliness, tolerate no uncleanliness in body, report clothes, or habitation. Tranquillity, be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable. Chastity, rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation. Imitate jesus and Socrates. My intention being to acquire the habitude of all these virtues, i judged it would be well not to distract my attention by attempting the whole at once, but to fix it on one of them at a time, and, when I should be master. Temperance first, as it tends to procure that coolness and clearness of head which is so necessary where constant vigilance was to be kept up, and guard maintained against the unremitting attraction of ancient habits and the force of perpetual temptations.
Temperance, for example, was by some confined to eating and drinking, while by others it was extended to mean the moderating every other pleasure, appetite, inclination, or passion, bodily or mental, even to our avarice review and ambition. I proposed to myself, for the sake of clearness, to use rather more names, with fewer ideas annexed to each, than a few names with more ideas; and i included under thirteen names of virtues all that at that time occurred to me as necessary. These names of virtues, with their precepts were: Temperance, eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation. Silence, speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation. Order, let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time. Resolution, resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself,. Industry, lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
I wished to live without committing any fault at any time; I would conquer all that either natural inclination, custom, or company might lead me into. As i knew, or thought i knew, what was right and wrong, i did not see why i might not always do the one and avoid the other. But I soon found I had undertaken a task of more difficulty than I had imagined. While my care was employed in guarding against one fault, i was often surprised by another; habit took the advantage of inattention; inclination was sometimes too strong for reason. I concluded, at length, that the mere speculative conviction that it was our interest to be completely virtuous was not sufficient to prevent our slipping, and that the contrary habits must be broken, and good ones acquired and established, before we can have any dependence. For this purpose i therefore contrived the following method. In the various enumerations of the moral virtues I met in my reading, i found the catalogue more or less numerous, as different writers included more or fewer ideas under the same name.
The, autobiography, of Benjamin, franklin /
He introduc'd me to his son, who receiv'd me civilly, gave me a breakfast, but answer told me he did not at present want a hand, being lately suppli'd with one; but there was another printer in town, lately set up, one keimer, who, perhaps, might. I fancy his harsh and tyrannical treatment of me might be a means of impressing me with that aversion to arbitrary power that has stuck to me through my whole life.( back ) This was in October, 1723.-B. ( back ) Although Benjamin Franklin's (1706-1790) autobiography breaks off in 1757, it is an invaluable document for understanding both colonial life and the eighteenth century American mind. In this excerpt Franklin gives an excellent picture of the important eighteenth-century institution of apprenticeship and offers some clues as to why in America it inevitably became a looser arrangement than it was in the old world. Franklin, one of the nation's founding fathers, exhibited a versatility that ranged from a capacity to conduct scientific experiment to service as a diplomat in the court at Paris. His self-made background, illustrated in this selection, fitted him for a range of activities almost unparalleled in the revolutionary period. Text from : John Bigelow (editor autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.
Lippincott and Company, 1868. 85-86, 90-93, 103-107, 114). The autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. Table of Contentspage 1 - part 1page 2page 3page 4page 5page 6page 7page 8page 9page 10page 11page 12page 13page 14page 15page 16page 17page 18page 19page 20page 21page 22page 23page 24page 25page 26page 27page 28page 29page disadvantages 30page 31page 32page 33page 34page 35 - part 2page 36page. Page 38, it was about this time i conceived the bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection.
At length, a fresh difference arising between my brother and me, i took upon me to assert my freedom, presuming that he would not venture to produce the new indentures. It was not fair in me to take this advantage, and this I therefore reckon one of the first errata of my life; but the unfairness of it weighed little with me, when under the impressions of resentment for the blows his passion too often. When he found I would leave him, he took care to prevent my getting employment in any other printing-house of the town, by going round and speaking to every master, who accordingly refus'd to give me work. I then thought of going to new York, as the nearest place where there was a printer; and I was rather inclin'd to leave boston when I reflected that I had already made myself a little obnoxious to the governing party, and, from the arbitrary. I determin'd on the point, but my father now siding with my brother, i was sensible that, if i attempted to go openly, means would be used to prevent. My friend Collins, therefore, undertook to manage a little for.
He agreed with the captain of a new York sloop for my passage, under the notion of my being a young acquaintance of his, that had got a naughty girl with child, whose friends would compel me to marry her, and therefore i could not. So i sold some of my books to raise a little money, was taken on board privately, and as we had a fair wind, in three days I found myself. New York, near 300 miles from home, a boy of but 17 2 without the least recommendation to, or knowledge of any person in the place, and with very little money in my pocket. My inclinations for the sea were by this time worne out, or I might now have gratify'd them. But, having a trade, and supposing myself a pretty good workman, i offer'd my service to the printer in the place, old. William Bradford, who had been the first printer in Pennsylvania, but removed from thence upon the quarrel of george keith. He could give me no employment, having little to do, and help enough already; but says he, "My son at Philadelphia has lately lost his principal hand, Aquila rose, by death; if you go thither, i believe he may employ you." Philadelphia was a hundred. Then I made myself as tidy as I could, and went to Andrew Bradford the printer's. I found in the shop the old man his father whom I had seen at New York, and who, traveling on horseback, had got to Philadelphia before.
Historian John Hope, franklin to discuss His New
But my brother was passionate, and had often beaten me, which I took resume extreamly amiss; and, thinking my apprenticeship very tedious, i was continually wishing for some opportunity of tree shortening it, which at length offered in a manner unexpected. One of the pieces in our newspaper on some political point, which I have now forgotten, gave offense to the Assembly. He james was taken up, censur'd, and imprison'd for a month, by the speaker's warrant, i suppose, because he would not discover reveal his author. I too was taken up and examin'd before the council; but, tho' i did not give them any satisfaction, they content'd themselves with admonishing me, and dismissed me, considering me, perhaps, as an apprentice, who was bound to keep his master's secrets. During my brother's confinement, which I resented a good deal, notwithstanding our private differences, i had the management of the paper; and I made bold to give our rulers some rubs in it, which my brother took very kindly, while others began to consider. My brother's discharge was accompany'd with an order of the house (a very odd one that "James Franklin should no longer print the paper called the new England courant.". There was a consultation held in our printing-house among his friends, what he should do in this case. Some proposed to evade the order by changing the name of the paper; but my brother, seeing inconveniences in that, it was finally concluded on as a better way, to let it be printed for the future under the name of benjamin franklin; and. A very flimsy scheme it was; however, it was immediately executed, and the paper went on accordingly, under my name for several months.
This bookish inclination at length determined my father to make me winter 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. 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 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. Though a brother, he considered himself as my master, and me as his apprentice, and, accordingly, expected the same services from me as he would from another, while i thought he demean'd me too much in some he requir'd of me, who from a brother. Our disputes were often brought before our father, and I fancy i was either generally in the right, or else a better pleader, because the judgment was generally in my favor.
himself at Rhode Island, there. But my dislike to the trade continuing, my father was under apprehensions that if he did not find one for me more aggreeable, i should break away and get to sea, 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 workmen handle their tools; and it has been useful to me, having learnt so much by it as to be able to do little jobs myself in my house when a workman could. My 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. 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. L afterward sold them to enable me to buy. Burton's Historical Collections; they were small chapmen's books, and cheap, 40 or 50 in all.
I continued, however, at the plan grammar-school not quite one year, though in that time i had risen gradually from the middle of the class of that year to be the head of it, and farther was removed into the next class above it, in order. But my father, in the mean time, from a view of the expense of a college education, which having so large a family he could not well afford, and the mean living many so educated were afterwards able to obtain-reasons that he gave to his. George Brownell, very successful in his profession generally, and that by mild, encouraging methods. Under him i acquired fair writing pretty soon, but I failed in the arithmetic, and made no progress. At ten years old I was taken home to assist my father in his business, which was that of a tallow-chandler and sope-boiler; a business he was not bred to, but had assumed on his arrival. New England, and on finding his dying trade would not maintain his family, being in little request. Accordingly, i was employed in cutting wick for the candles, filling the dipping mold and the molds for cast candles, attending the shop, going of errands, etc. I disliked the trade, and had a strong inclination for the sea, but my father declared against it; however, living near the water, i was much in and about it, learnt early to swim well, and to manage boats; and when in a boat.
Autobiography - research Papers