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of his father about two years, that is, till he was twelve years old. His brother John, who had also been brought up to the trade, had left his father, married, and set up for himself in Rhode Island There was now every appearance that Benjamin was destined to become a tallow-chandler. As his dislike to the trade continued, his father was afraid that, if he did not put Benjamin to one that was more agreeable, he would run away, and go to sea, as an elder brother of his had done. In consequence of this apprehension, he used to take him to walk, to see joiners, bricklayers, turners and braziers at their work, that he might observe his inclination, and fix it on some trade or profession that would keep him on land.
9. Ilis father at length determined on the cutler's trade, and placed him for some days on trial with his cousin Samuel, who was bred to that trade in London, and had just established himself in Boston. It was then usual to ask a sum of money for receiving an apprentice, and the cutler charged so much for taking Benjamin, that his father was displeased, and put him to his old business again.
10. From his infancy Benjamin had been pas sionately fond of reading; and all the money that he could get was laid out in purchasing books. He was very fond of voyages and travels. The dangers and adventures of sailors in the different parts of the world, and stories of the strange people and customs they met with, he would always read with delight.
8. What were his father's fears in relation to his new occupation ? 9. On what trade did his father finally determine ? 10. Describe his early fondvess for reading, and the books of which he was
11. The first books that he was able to buy were the works of a famous old English writer, named John Bunyan. These he afterwards sold, in order to purchase some volumes of Historical Collections. His father's library consisted principally of works on divinity, most of which he read at an early age. Beside these, there was a book by De Foe, the author of Robinson Crusoe; and another called An Essay to do Good, by Dr. Mather, an old New England divine.
12. This fondness for books at length determined his father to bring him up as a printer, though he had already one son in that employment. In 1717, this son returned from England with a press and letters to set up his business in Boston. Benjamin liked this trade much better than that of his father, but still had a desire to go to sea. To prevent this step, his father was impatient to have him bound apprentice to his brother, and at length persuaded him to consent to it.
13. He was to serve as apprentice till he was twenty-one years of age, and during the last year was to be allowed the wages of a journeyman. In a little time, he made great progress in the business,
11. What books did he first buy? 12. What induced his father to bring up Benjamin as a printer ? To whom was he bound apprentice ? 13. Ilow did he succeed in his new trade?
and became quite useful. He was now able to obtain better books. An acquaintance with the apprentices of the booksellers sometimes enabled him to borrow a small one, which he was careful to return clean and in good season. He often sat up in his chamber the greater part of the night, to read a book that he was obliged to return in the morning
14. After some time, an ingenious and sensible merchant, Mr. Matthew Adams, who had a pretty collec:ion of books, took notice of Franklin at the printing office, and invited him to see his library. He very kindly offered to lend him any work that he might like to read.
15. He now took a strong inclination for poetry, and wrote some little pieces. His brother supposed that he might use this talent to advantage, and encouraged him to cultivate it. About this time, he produced two ballads. One was called the LightHouse Tragedy, and contained an account of the shipwreck of Captain Worthilake, with his two daughters; the other was a sailor's song, on the taking of the famous Blackbeard, the pirate.
16. They were written in the doggerel street-ballad style, and when they were printed, his brother sent Benjamin about the town to sell them. The first sold very rapidly, as the event on which it was founded had recently occurred, and made a great
What advantages did it afford him for pursuing his studies ? 15. Relate the account of his first attempts in poetry. 16. How did his ballads succeed ?
deal of noise. This success flattered his vanity very much, but his father discouraged him by criticising his ballads, and telling him that verse-makers were generally beggars.
17. This prevented him from giving any further attention to poetry, and led him to devote more time and care to prose compositions. He was at this time intimately acquainted with another lad very fond of books, named John Collins. They sometimes discussed different questions together, and had become very apt to indulge in arguments and disputes.
18. A question was once started between them, on the propriety of educating the female sex in learned studies, and their abilities for these studies. As they parted without settling the point, and were not to see one another again for a long time, Franklin sat down to put his arguments in writing. He then made a fair copy of them, and sent it to Collins.
19. Three or four letters passed between them on the subject, when the father of Franklin happened to find the papers, and read them. Without entering into the subject in dispute, he took occasion to talk to him about his manner of writing He marked the defects in his expressions, and in the arrangement of his sentences, but gave him the credit of spelling and pointing with great correct
Ilow did his father discourage his new taste ? 18. What was the subject of his discussion with his friend Collins ? 19. What praise and advice did his father give him on this occasion ?