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friends. One of them was Isaac Decon, the surveyor-general, a shrewd, sagacious old man, who begra, when young, by wheeling clay for the brickmakers. He learned to write after he was twentyone years of age, afterwards learned surveying, and had now acquired, by his industry, a considerable property.

19. What had chiefly induced Franklin to return to Keimer, after his quarrel, was the persuasion of a fellow-workman, by the name of Meredith. The father of this young man had promised to advance money to establish him in business, in the ensuing spring, and he was desirous to set Franklin's skill against his own capital, and form a copartnership. The proposal was a fair one, and acceptable upon both sides,

20. A short time after their return from Burlington, the types that Meredith had ordered arrived from London. They settled with Keimer, and left him, by his consent, before he knew any thing about their project.

19. What induced Franklin to return to Keimer, after the separation? What was the proposal of Mercdith ? 20. When did they leave Keimer ?

5

CHAPTER VI.

The Junto. A new Paper started by Keimer. Frank

lin purchases it. Difficulties in their Business. ut Dissolution of the Partnership. Franklin assisted by his Friends. David Harry. Match-making. Marriage with Miss Read.

1. In the autumn of the preceding year, Franklin had formed, among his acquaintance, a small club for mutual improvement, which they termed the Junto. They met on Friday evenings. The rules required that each member, in his turn, should produce one or more questions on any point of politics, morals or natural philosophy, to be discussed by the company, and once in three months produce and read an essay of his own writing on any subject he pleased.

2. This club answered many good purposes for a great length of time. It introduced better habits of conversation, and drew attention to the most interesting subjects of general inquiry. The members of the club now assisted in bringing business to the young printers. Their industry was unwearied, and soon began to be noticed by their neighbors. This gave them character and credit.

3. George Webb now came to offer them his services, as a journeyman. They were not then

1. What was the Junto? What did the rules of this club re quire 2 What gorl purposes did it answer ?

able to give him employment, but Franklin let him know, as a secret, that he soon intended to begin a newspaper, and would then probably have work for him. He told him his plan and expectations. His hopes of success were founded on this; that the only newspaper at that time printed there, by Bradford, was a miserable affair, badly managed, not entertaining, and yet profitable.

4. Franklin requested Webb not to mention the project; but he told it to Keimer, who immediately issued proposals for publishing one himself. This vexed Franklin, and, as he was at that time unable to commence his paper, he wrote several amusing pieces for Bradford, under the title of the Busy Body, which were continued by one of his friends for several months. By this means the attention of the public was fixed on that paper, and Keimer's proposals were neglected. He began his paper, however, and carried it on about nine months, with only ninety subscribers. At this time, he offered it, at a very low price, to Franklin, who purchased it, and in a few years made it very profitable.

5. The partnership still continued, though the wholé management of the business was confided to Franklin. Meredith knew very little about setting types, or working at the press, and was seldom sober. The connection between them was to be

3. What project did Franklin communicate to George Webb? 4 What was the consequence of this communication ? What course did Franklin pursue ?

regretted, on many accounts, but Meredith had established the business, and it was now necessary to make the best of it.

6. Their first papers made a better appearance than any that had been before printed in the province. The number of subscribers continually increased, and the leading men found it convenient to oblige and encourage the printers. Bradford still printed the votes, and laws, and public documents; but this business soon fell into the hands of Franklin.

7. A difficulty now occurred, which had been little expected. Mr. Meredith's father, who was to have paid for the printing house, was able to advance only one hundred pounds; and one hundred more were due to the merchant, who became impatient, and sued them all. They gave bail, but unless the money

could have been raised in season, they must have sold their

payment. 8. In this distress, two friends came forward to Franklin, and offered to advance the money, if he would discontinue the partnership with Meredith. Each made the proposition separately, and without the knowledge of the other. These friends were William Coleman and Robert Grace. Franklin told them that he considered himself under obligations to the Merediths, and if they should be able to

types, for

press
and

6. How did the paper succeed under Franklin's management ? 7. What difficulty arose at this time? 8. Who offered Franklig their assistance ?

fulfil their part of the agreement, he could not think of proposing a separation. If they should finally fail in their performance, and the partnership should be dissolved, he would then think himself at liberty to accept the assistance of his friends.

9. Meredith finally proposed a dissolution of the partnership. Franklin consented, and the whole business was left in his hands. He then recurred to his friends, and took half of what he wanted from one, and half from the other. The separation was then publicly advertised, the old debts were paid off, and the business went on in the name of Franklin. This was in or about the year 1729.

10. He now obtained several jobs from the government, and was employed in printing the paper money. A stationer's shop was soon added to his establishment, and he began to pay off gradually the debt he was under for the printing house. In order to secure his character and credit as a tradesman, he was not only industrious and frugal in reality, but avcided any appearance to the contrary. He dressed plainly, and was seen at no places of amusement. To show that he was not above his business, he himself sometimes brought home, on a wheel-barrow, the paper he purchased at the stores

11. Being thus considered an industrious and thriving young man, the merchants who imported

9. What did Meredith propose ? How was Franklin relieved ? 10. Describe the increase of his business, and his character and conduct as a tradesman.

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