« ZurückWeiter »
(Edition of 1817, P. 4)
(Autograph, p. 2.) My grandfather had four sons My grandfather had four sons who grew up, viz.: Thomas, John, that grew up, viz.: Thomas, John, Benjamin and Josiah. Being at a Benjamin and Josiah. I will give distance from my papers, I will give you what account I can of them at you what account I can of them this distance from my papers, and if from memory, and if my papers these are not lost in my absence, you are not lost in my absence, you will will, among them, find many more find among them many more par particulars. ticulars.
(Autograph, p. 3.) I was named after this uncle, there being a particular affection between him and my father.
(From the Edition of 1817, P. 10.)
I suppose you may like to know what kind of a man my father was. He had an excellent constitution, and was of a middle stature, well set, and very strong; he could draw prettily, and was
a little skilled in music; his voice was sonorous and agreeable so that when he played on his violin and sung withal, as he was aicustomed to do after the business of the day was over, it was extremely agreeable to hear. He had some knowledge of mechanics, and on occasion was very handy with other tradesmen's tools but his great excellence was his sound understanding, etc.
(From the Autograph, p. 7.) I think you may like to know something of his person and character. He had an excellent constitution of body, was of middle stature, but well set and very strong; he was ingenious; could draw prettily, and was skilled a little in music, and had a clear, pleasing voice, so that when he played psalm tunes on his violin, and sung withal, as he sometimes did in an evening, after the business of the day was over, it was extremely agreeable to hear. He had a mechanical genius too, and on occasion was very handy in the use of other tradesmen's tools but his great excellence lay in a sound understanding, etc.
(Edition of 1817, p. 15.) About this time I met with an odd volume of the Spectator. I had never before seen any of them.
(Autograph, p. 13.) About this time I met with an odd volume of the Spectator. It was the third. I had never before, etc.
(From Edition of 1817, P. 16.) (From the Autograph, P. 14.)
The time I allotted for writing My time for these exercises and Exercises and for reading was at for reading was at night after work, night or before work began in the or before it began in the morning morning or on Sunday, when I or on Sundays, when I contrived contrived to be in the printing to be in the printing house alone, house, evading as much as I could avoiding as much as I could the the constant attendance at public Common attendance on public worworship, which my father used to ship which my father used to exact from me when I was under exact from me when I was under his care and which I still con his care and which, indeed, I still tinued to consider as a duty, though thought a duty, though I could not, I could not afford time to practice as it seemed to me, afford time to it.
(Edition of 1817, p. 21.) He agreed with the captain of a New York sloop to take me under pretence of my being a young man of his acquaintance that had an intrigue with a girl of bad character, whose parents would compel me to marry her; and that I could neither appear or come away publicly.
(Autograph, p. 22.) 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 appear, or come away publicly.
(From the Edition of 1817, p. 23.)
On approaching the island, we found it was in a place where there could be no landing, there being a grea: surf on the stony beach, so we dropped anchor and swung out our cable towards the shore. Some people came down to the shore and hallooed as we did to them, but the wind was so high and the surf so loud that we could not understand each other. There were small boats near the shore and we made signs and called them to
(From the Autograph, p. 24.)
When we drew near the island we found it was at a place where there could be no landing, there being a great surf on the stony beach, so we dropped anchor and swung around toward the shore. Some people came down to the water edge and hallooed to us as we did to them, but the wind was so high and the surf so loud, that we could not hear, so as to understand each other. There were canoes on the shore, and we made signs and hol.
fetch us; but they either did not loed that they should fetch us, but comprehend us, or it was imprac. they either did not understand us ticable, so they went off; night ap or thought it impracticable, so they proaching, we had no remedy but went away, and night coming on, to have patience till the wind abated, we had no remedy but to wait till and in the meantime the boatman the wind should abate; and, in the and myself concluded to sleep if meantime, the boatman and I conwe could; and so we crowded into cluded to sleep if we could; and so the hatches where we joined the crowded into the scuttle with the Dutchman, who was still wet, and Dutchman who was still wet, and the spray breaking over the head the spray beating over the head of of our boat, etc.
our boat, etc.
(From the Edition of 1817, p. 29.) (From the Autograph, p. 34.)
I was not a little surprised, and I was not a little surprised, and Keimer stared with astonishment. Keimer stared like a pig poisoned. (Edition of 1817, P. 33.)
(From the Autograph, p. 39.) But during my absence he had ac But during my absence he had quired a habit of drinking of bran- acquired a habit of sotting with dy; and I found by his own account brandy; and I found by his own as well as that of others, that he had account and what I heard from been drunk every day since his others, that he had been drunk arrival at New York, and behaved every day since his arrival at New himself in a very
travagant man York, and behaved very oddly.
Thc Governor received me with great civility, showed me his library, which was a considerable one, and we had a good deal of conversation relative to books and authors.
The Governor treated me with great civility, showed me his libra. ry, which was a very large one, and we had a good deal of conversation about books and authors.
Collins wished to be employed in Collins wished to be employed in some counting house, but whether some counting house, but whether they discovered his dram drinking they discovered his dramming by by his breath, or, etc.
his breath, or, etc. (Edition 1817, P. 34.)
(Autograph, p. 40.) The violation of my trust respect
The breaking into this money of ing Vernon's money was, etc.
Vernon's, was, etc.
(Edition 1817, p. 47.)
(Autograph, p. 53.) I drank only water, the other I drank only water, the other workmen, near fifty in number, workmen, near fifty in number, were great drinkers of beer.
were great guzzlers of beer.
(Edition 1817, P. 55.)
(Autograph, p. 62.) At length, receiving his quar At length, receiving his quar. terly allowance of fifteen guineas, terly allowance of fifteen guineas, instead of discharging his debts he instead of discharging his debts he went out of town, hid his gown in walked out of town, hid his gown a furze bush and walked to London. in a furze bush, and footed it to
By whom were these changes made in the text of this manuscript?
How came the closing pages to be overlooked?
Why was the publication which purported to be made from the manuscript deferred for twenty-seven years after their author's death?
How happened it that this posthumous work which may be read in nearly every written language and is one of the half-dozen most widely popular books ever printed, should have filled the book-marts of the world for a quarter of a century without having ever been verified by the original manuscript ?
I doubt if it will ever be possible to determine all these questions with absolute certainty ; but I propose to lay before the reader such information as I have been able to glean from a variety of sources, both published and unpublished, leaving hiin to draw from them such conclusions as he thinks the testimony will warrant. The array which I shall make, if it do not settle all these questions, may lead, it is to be hoped, to the production of latent testimony that will.
Dr. Franklin informs us, in the very first paragraph of his Memoirs, that he had undertaken to prepare them for the edification of his family. The first eighty-seven pages of the MS., which embrace the first twenty-five years of his life down to his marriage, appear to have been written in 1771, during one of his visits to Twyford, the countryseat of Dr. Shipley, then Bishop of St. Asaph, and without any view to publication.*
The MS. of this part was shown to some of his friends, among others to Mr. Benjamin Vaughan, Mr. Abel James, and to M. le Veillard, who were all so pleased with it that they urged him to resume and publish them. He was persuaded to do so, and in 1784, while residing at Passy, then a suburb of Paris, wrote the succeeding pages of the MS. to page 104. The part written in England was followed with this memorandum, written, doubtless, when he revised the Memoirs in 1789:
• MEM.—Thus far was written with the intention expressed in the beginning, and therefore contains several little family anecdotes of no importance to others. What follows was written many years after, and in compliance with the advice contained in these letters,f and accord
* "Expecting,” he says, “a week's uninterrupted leisure in my present country retirement, I sit down to write them for you.” The MS. shows that he had originally written it "for your perusal.” “Perusal” was afterward stricken out, and "use" written after it. This word was also stricken out, and the phrase left as in the text. The editor of the edition of 1817 strikes out the words “to you” also.
The letters here referred to are from Messrs. Vaughan and James, and will be found in their proper place.