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him to be in all his conduct decidedly an honest and sincere man. Franklin, however, blames him for committing himself to paper so often, and concludes, as many others will do, that he would have left a much more numerous and respectable body of admirers had he never written anything for the press. The following also occurs in the autobiography
By hearing him often, I came to distinguish easily between sermons newly composed, and those which he had often preached in the course of his travels. His delivery of the latter was so improved by frequent repetition, that every accent, every emphasis, every modulation of voice, was so perfectly well turned and well placed, that, without being interested in the subject, one could not help being pleased with the discourse; a pleasure of much the same kind with that received from an excellent piece of music.” “He used sometimes to pray for my conversion, but never had the satisfaction of believing that his prayers were heard. Ours was a mere civil friendship, sincere on both sides, and lasted to his death."
Franklin acted in every thing upon system, as far as his knowledge and opportunities permitted. His parternership business at Charlestown having fully answered his expectations, he carried out the principle on a wider scale in proportion as he found neighbouring colonies in want of printers. The plan he adopted was to select one of the most competent and discreet of his workmen, and enter into explicit articles of partnership with him for six years, Franklin furnishing all the capital for materials, &c., in the first instance, and his partner devoting himself to procure and conduct the business. He speaks with great satisfaction of the general issue of these engagements : they remunerated him for his money, and established several respectable families in the different colonies, most of his partners being able to purchase his interest at the end of the term, and the connexion ending in all cases with personal good will. In his account of these speculations, he urges the importance of very specific articles being in all cases drawn up between the parties.
His situation in the capital of Pensylvania gave Franklin full opportunity for the display of his powers as a rising tradesman, politician, and philosopher :---points of his character, indeed, essentially depending on each other. He was too prudent not to secure first those pecuniary advantages and that opulent ease, by which alone he could have become the important public man we find him. His newspaper, about the year 1740, was almost the only one in great demand in the central states of America, and became very lucrative; he therefore found the pleasing
truth of one of his proverbial sayings, that " after getting the first hundred pounds, it is much easier to get the second and realize at least three-fourths of another. Learning is to the studious, riches to the careful, as well as favour to the bold, and heaven to the virtuous.”
In 1742, Franklin launched his first practical invention in philosophy, by presenting a friend, Mr. Robert Green, of Philadelphia, with a model of an open stove for the better warming of rooms and economy of fire wood, pit coal being unknown at this period in that city as an article of fuel. The provincial governor of the day, Mr. Thomas, offered our philosopher a patent for his invention which he respectfully declined. It rewarded him sufficiently, he said, that some of his particular friends should find it useful in the way of trade; while, with regard to the public, he argued that our personal advantages from the inventions of others should induce us to communicate to the world, as freely as possible, any discoveries we may be enable to make. Although, therefore, in England his invention was not only pirated, but a patent granted to an ironmonger for the sale of it, with some unimproving alteration, Franklin allowed the trick to succeed, hating disputes, he says, and determined not to profit by patents. On this same principle, he afterwards suffered several patents to be worked from his inventions without any compensation.
No philosopher of ancient or modern times ever more fully perceived than Franklin, the natural union between knowledge and virtue; accordingly he is at length to be found occupied with various projects for enlightening the public mind. His first effort of this kind was the formation of an academy in 1743; but the only person in Philadelphia whom he considered competent for a principal, declining to act, the mudertaking was suspended for a short period. But in the ensuing year, another project of his, the Philosophical Society of Philadelphia, an institution congenial with his intellectual habits, was more fortunate, and soon ranked amongst its members all the leading persons of the province. This society still exists as a memorial of Franklin's zeal for mental advancement, ranking now among its members some of the most distinguished men of letters and science in America and Europe.
IN the year, 1744, the same in which he projected the Philosophical Society, Franklin became the patriotic advocate of the rights and liber
ties of his country. A Spanish privateer (Spain having been several years at war against Great Britain, and being at length joined by France) had descended the bay of Delaware, as high as Newcastle, and Franklin thinking of their defenceless condition, published a pamphlet, entitled “ Plain Truth, or Serious Considerations on the present state of the City of Philadelphia, and pr nces of Pensylvania ; by a tradesman of Philadelphia,” exposing the dangers, and exhorting his fellow citizens to prompt and united measures for the public security. The publication was fraught with the characteristic soundness and force of the author's reasoning, producing a remarkable and instantaneous effect; containing, besides, a spirited and powerful eulogium upon that parent country against which afterwards he was called to act so much like an enemy. Indeed the effect of the appeal was prodigious, arouse ing the capital at once. A public meeting was called in Whitfield's preaching-house; and Franklin being requested to produce his promised plan, which was, in fact, that of a general volunteer militia, twelve hundred signatures to it were obtained on the occasion. In the neighbourhood the flame spread with equal ardour. Copies of the address being promptly circulated, ten thousand men were soon enrolled, who furnished themselves with arms, elected officers and formed them selves into a united body, without any very important aid from the gove ernment. They met and mustered with great punctuality every week, to learn the manual exercise; the female part of the community inflaming their gallantry, by providing and presenting them with colours, which were covered with devices and appropriate mottoes supplied by Franklin, The Philadelphia association requested him to become their colonel, which he modestly declined in favour of a Mr. Lawrence, who was accordingly appointed.
Franklin next contended, that a battery below the town, was essential to its safety, and proposed to raise a sufficient sum by lottery, for its erection and support. This scheme also proved popular; the shares were taken off immediately, the projector and soul of all these patriotic measures being dispatched with some other citizens to New York, to solicit the loan of cannon until their own should come from England. At New York, they at first found the governor, Sir William Clinton, very unwilling to comply with their request ; but after dinner, Franklin watching the movements of the bottle, there being a great drinking of Madeira wine, as the custom of that place then was," began to press his suite accordingly. The governor was softening by degrees, so that
at length, six cannon were granted. “ After a few more bumpers, he advanced to ten; and at last, he very good-naturedly conceded eighteen. They were fine cannon, eighteen-pounders, with the carriages, which were soon transported and mounted on our batteries ; where the associators kept a nightly guard, while the war lasted, and among the rest, I regularly took my turn of duty there, as a common soldier.”
Being soon after, in consequence of these efforts, made a member of the governor's council, Franklin proposed to promote the recent measures through the influence of the clergy. A public fast was proclaimed at his suggestion, the pulpit resounded with patriotic addresses, and the enrolling was carried on with great spirit and activity among all classes, except Quakers.
With this respectable part of the community, Franklin's friends began to fear he had embroiled himself hopelessly on this occasion. But his being many years in the Assembly, a majority of which were constantly of the sect, he had enjoyed frequent opportunities of seeing the embarrassment given them by their principle against war, whenever application was made to him by order of the crown, to gain aids for military purposes. " They were unwilling to offend government, on the one hand, by a direct refusal ; and their friends, the body of the Quakers, on the other, by a compliance, contrary to their principles; using a variety of evasions to avoid complying, and modes of disguising the compliance, when it became unavoidable. The common mode at last was, to grant money under the phrase of its being “ for the King's use," and never to inquire how it was applied. "But, if the demand was not directly from the crown,
that phrase was found not so proper, and some other was invented. Thus, when powder was wanted, and the government of New England solicited a grant of some from Pensylvania, which was much urged upon the House by Governor Thomas, they would not grant money to buy powder because that was an ingredient of war; but they granted an aid to New England, of three thousand pounds, to be put into the hands of the gove ernors, and appropriated it for the purchase of bread, flour, wheat or other grain. Some of the Council, desirous of giving the house still farther embarrassment, advised the governor not to accept provision, as not being the thing he had demanded, but he replied, 'I shall take the money, for I understand very well their meaning ; other grain is gunpowder,' which he accordingly bought, and they never objected to it.
“It was in allusion to this fact, that, when in our fire company we
feared the success of our proposal in favour of the lottery, and I had said to a friend of mine, one of our members, ' If we fail, let us move the purchase of a fire engine with the money, the Quakers can have no objection to that; and then, if you nominate me and I you as a committee for that purpose, we will buy a great gun, which is certainly a fire engine.' 'I see,' said he, 'you have improved by being so long in the Assembly ; your equivocal project would be just a match for their wheat or other grain.”'
But there were a number of the Quakers, who, though greatly against offensive, yet were clearly for defensive war, showed themselves ready to become members of the militia force in order to protect their country. There was a Mr. Logan, for example, a distinguished character belonging to the sect, who wrote an address in favour of defensive war, and subscribed sixty pounds to the lottery. This gentleman in his youth bad accompanied the celebrated William Penn to America as his private secretary, and gave Franklin the following anecdote of their connection : -Their vessel, in its passage, was chased by a supposed enemy; and the captain pressed the passengers as well as crew into his service, except Penn and his associates, whom he expected to find impracticable. Logan, however, to his surprise joined in manning the guns, while the rest of the Quakers retired below. In a short time it was discovered that the vessel bearing down upon them was friendly; when the young secretary running to inform his master, was rebuked for his apparent willingness to abandon the principles of the Friends on the occasion. This reprimand being before all the company piqued the secretary, who answered—“I being thy servant, why did thee not order me to come down? But thee was willing enough that I should stay and help to fight the ship when thee thought there was danger.” Franklin declares that he had cause to believe, that the defence of the country was not disagreeable to any of the Quakers, provided they were not required to assist in it.
THE CITIZEN AND PHILOSOPHER.
Peace being at length established, Franklin again turned his thoughts to the subject of education, and the founding of an academy on an extended and improved plan. The Junto accordingly was moved to influence the good work, while the great promoter of the institution published a pamphlet entitled, “ Proposals relating to the Education of Youth in Pensyle