He starts with some anecdotes of his grandfather, uncles, father and mother. He deals with his childhood, his fondness for reading, and his service as an apprentice to his brother James Franklin , a Boston printer and the publisher of the New-England Courant. After improving his writing skills through study of the Spectator by Joseph Addison and Sir Richard Steele , he writes an anonymous paper and slips it under the door of the printing house by night. Not knowing its author, James and his friends praise the paper and it is published in the Courant, which encourages Ben to produce more essays the " Silence Dogood " essays which are also published. When Ben reveals his authorship, James is angered, thinking the recognition of his papers will make Ben too vain.
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Be encouraged to diligence in thy calling, And distrust not Providence. He was a pious and prudent man; She, a discreet and virtuous woman. Their youngest son, In filial regard to their memory, Places this stone.
By my rambling digressions I perceive myself to be grown old. But one does not dress for private company as for a publick ball. But my dislike to the trade continuing, my father was under apprehensions that if he did not find one for me more agreeable, 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. 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 not readily be got, and to construct little machines for my experiments, while the intention of making the experiment was fresh and warm in my mind.
But his expectations of a fee with me displeasing my father, I was taken home again. Here was the country seat of the Bishop of St.
Asaph, Dr. Jonathan Shipley, the "good Bishop," as Dr. Franklin used to style him. Their relations were intimate and confidential. In his pulpit, and in the House of Lords, as well as in society, the bishop always opposed the harsh measures of the Crown toward the Colonies.
Every year whose number in the common reckoning since Christ is not divisible by 4, as well as every year whose number is divisible by but not by , shall have days, and all other years shall have days.
In the eighteenth century there was a difference of eleven days between the old and the new style of reckoning, which the English Parliament canceled by making the 3rd of September, , the 14th. The Julian calendar, or "old style," is still retained in Russia and Greece, whose dates consequently are now 13 days behind those of other Christian countries.
The house where he was born was burned in Pastor of the North Church, Boston. He took an active part in the persecution of witchcraft. I afterward sold them to enable me to buy R.
This bookish inclination at length determined my father to make me a printer, though he had already one son James of that profession. In 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.
In a little time I made great proficiency in the business, and became a useful hand to my brother. I now had access to better books. An acquaintance with the apprentices of booksellers enabled me sometimes to borrow a small one, which I was careful to return soon and clean.
Often I sat up in my room reading the greatest part of the night, when the book was borrowed in the evening and to be returned early in the morning, lest it should be missed or wanted. And after some time an ingenious tradesman, Mr. Matthew Adams, who had a pretty collection of books, and who frequented our printing-house, took notice of me, invited me to his library, and very kindly lent me such books as I chose to read.
I now took a fancy to poetry, and made some little pieces; my brother, thinking it might turn to account, encouraged me, and put me on composing occasional ballads.
They were wretched stuff, in the Grub-street-ballad style;  and when they were printed he sent me about the town to sell them. The first sold wonderfully, the event being recent, having made a great noise. This flattered my vanity; but my father discouraged me by ridiculing my performances, and telling me verse-makers were generally beggars.
So I escaped being a poet, most probably a very bad one; but as prose writing has been of great use to me in the course of my life, and was a principal means of my advancement, I shall tell you how, in such a situation, I acquired what little ability I have in that way.
There was another bookish lad in the town, John Collins by name, with whom I was intimately acquainted. We sometimes disputed, and very fond we were of argument, and very desirous of confuting one another, which disputatious turn, by the way, is apt to become a very bad habit, making people often extremely disagreeable in company by the contradiction that is necessary to bring it into practice; and thence, besides souring and spoiling the conversation, is productive of disgusts and, perhaps enmities where you may have occasion for friendship.
Persons of good sense, I have since observed, seldom fall into it, except lawyers, university men, and men of all sorts that have been bred at Edinborough. A question was once, somehow or other, started between Collins and me, of the propriety of educating the female sex in learning, and their abilities for study.
He was of opinion that it was improper, and that they were naturally unequal to it. He was naturally more eloquent, had a ready plenty of words, and sometimes, as I thought, bore me down more by his fluency than by the strength of his reasons. As we parted without settling the point, and were not to see one another again for some time, I sat down to put my arguments in writing, which I copied fair and sent to him.
He answered, and I replied. Three or four letters of a side had passed, when my father happened to find my papers and read them. I saw the justice of his remarks, and thence grew more attentive to the manner in writing, and determined to endeavor at improvement.
About this time I met with an odd volume of the Spectator. I had never before seen any of them. I bought it, read it over and over, and was much delighted with it. I thought the writing excellent, and wished, if possible, to imitate it. Then I compared my Spectator with the original, discovered some of my faults, and corrected them.
But I found I wanted a stock of words, or a readiness in recollecting and using them, which I thought I should have acquired before that time if I had gone on making verses; since the continual occasion for words of the same import, but of different length, to suit the measure, or of different sound for the rhyme, would have laid me under a constant necessity of searching for variety, and also have tended to fix that variety in my mind, and make me master of it.
Therefore I took some of the tales and turned them into verse; and, after a time, when I had pretty well forgotten the prose, turned them back again. I also sometimes jumbled my collections of hints into confusion, and after some weeks endeavored to reduce them into the best order, before I began to form the full sentences and compleat the paper. This was to teach me method in the arrangement of thoughts. By comparing my work afterwards with the original, I discovered many faults and amended them; but I sometimes had the pleasure of fancying that, in certain particulars of small import, I had been lucky enough to improve the method of the language, and this encouraged me to think I might possibly in time come to be a tolerable English writer, of which I was extremely ambitious.
My time for these exercises and for reading was at night, after work or before it began in the morning, or on Sundays, when I contrived to be in the printing-house alone, evading as much as I could the common attendance on public worship which my father used to exact of me when I was under his care, and which indeed I still thought a duty, thought I could not, as it seemed to me, afford time to practise it.
When about 16 years of age I happened to meet with a book, written by one Tryon, recommending a vegetable diet. I determined to go into it. My brother, being yet unmarried, did not keep house, but boarded himself and his apprentices in another family. My refusing to eat flesh occasioned an inconveniency, and I was frequently chid for my singularity.
He instantly agreed to it, and I presently found that I could save half what he paid me. This was an additional fund for buying books. But I had another advantage in it. This habit, I believe, has been of great advantage to me when I have had occasion to inculcate my opinions, and persuade men into measures that I have been from time to time engaged in promoting; and, as the chief ends of conversation are to inform or to be informed, to please or to persuade, I wish well-meaning, sensible men would not lessen their power of doing good by a positive, assuming manner, that seldom fails to disgust, tends to create opposition, and to defeat everyone of those purposes for which speech was given to us, to wit, giving or receiving information or pleasure.
For, if you would inform, a positive and dogmatical manner in advancing your sentiments may provoke contradiction and prevent a candid attention. And by such a manner, you can seldom hope to recommend yourself in pleasing your hearers, or to persuade those whose concurrence you desire. I must repeat the lines, "Immodest words admit of no defense, For want of modesty is want of sense.
My brother had, in or , begun to print a newspaper. It was the second that appeared in America,  and was called the New England Courant. The only one before it was the Boston News-Letter. I remember his being dissuaded by some of his friends from the undertaking, as not likely to succeed, one newspaper being, in their judgment, enough for America.
At this time there are not less than five-and-twenty. Reduced about one-third. Hearing their conversations, and their accounts of the approbation their papers were received with, I was excited to try my hand among them; but, being still a boy, and suspecting that my brother would object to printing anything of mine in his paper if he knew it to be mine, I contrived to disguise my hand, and, writing an anonymous paper, I put it in at night under the door of the printing-house.
They read it, commented on it in my hearing, and I had the exquisite pleasure of finding it met with their approbation, and that, in their different guesses at the author, none were named but men of some character among us for learning and ingenuity. And, perhaps, this might be one occasion of the differences that we began to have about this time. 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.
But my brother was passionate, and had often beaten me, which I took extreamly amiss; and, thinking my apprenticeship very tedious, I was continually wishing for some opportunity of shortening it, which at length offered in a manner unexpected.
A very flimsy scheme it was; however, it was immediately executed, and the paper went on accordingly, under my name for several months. 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.
My friend Collins, therefore, undertook to manage a little for me. He agreed with the captain of a New York sloop for my passage, under the notion of my being a young acquaintance of his.
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 in New York, near miles from home, a boy of but 17, without the least recommendation to, or knowledge of, any person in the place, and with very little money in my pocket. The Spectator and its predecessor, the Tatler , marked the beginning of periodical literature. He drew up a constitution for the colonists of Carolina.
The Courant was really the fifth newspaper established in America, although generally called the fourth, because the first, Public Occurrences, published in Boston in , was suppressed after the first issue. 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, Aquilla Rose, by death; if you go thither, I believe he may employ you. In crossing the bay, we met with a squall that tore our rotten sails to pieces, prevented our getting into the Kill,  and drove us upon Long Island. In our way, a drunken Dutchman, who was a passenger too, fell overboard; when he was sinking, I reached through the water to his shock pate, and drew him up, so that we got him in again.
I have since found that it has been translated into most of the languages of Europe, and suppose it has been more generally read than any other book, except perhaps the Bible. De Foe in his Cruso, his Moll Flanders, Religious Courtship, Family Instructor, and other pieces, has imitated it with success; and Richardson  has done the same in his Pamela, etc. When we drew near the island, we found it was at a place where there could be no landing, there being a great surff on the stony beach.
So we dropt anchor, and swung round towards the shore. However, I proceeded the next day, and got in the evening to an inn, within eight or ten miles of Burlington, kept by one Dr.
He entered into conversation with me while I took some refreshment, and, finding I had read a little, became very sociable and friendly.
Povestea vietii mele - Benjamin Franklin (Autobiografia)
Biografia[ modifica modifica wikitesto ] La scuola della economia e della morale, Suo padre, Josiah Franklin, era un mercante di candele e di sego , e sua madre, Abiah Folger, era la seconda moglie di Josiah. Silence Dogood. Le lettere scritte con questo pseudonimo vennero tutte pubblicate e divennero ben presto oggetto di conversazione in tutta Boston. Tale almanacco era scritto dallo stesso Franklin e comprendeva calendari, previsioni meteorologiche, poesie, citazioni e previsioni astronomiche e astrologiche. Saltuariamente venivano inclusi anche esercizi di matematica e, a partire dal , ci furono anche schemi di crescita demografica. Uno dei modelli ispiratori per Benjamin Franklin e la Costituzione statunitense fu La Scienza della Legislazione, del napoletano Gaetano Filangieri , con il quale aveva intrattenuto una fitta corrispondenza .
Be encouraged to diligence in thy calling, And distrust not Providence. He was a pious and prudent man; She, a discreet and virtuous woman. Their youngest son, In filial regard to their memory, Places this stone. By my rambling digressions I perceive myself to be grown old. But one does not dress for private company as for a publick ball. But my dislike to the trade continuing, my father was under apprehensions that if he did not find one for me more agreeable, I should break away and get to sea, as his son Josiah had done, to his great vexation.
Autobiografia de Benjamin Franklin
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