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sure 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. I suppose, that I was rather lucky in my judges, and that they were not really so very good as I then believed them to be. Encouraged however by this attempt, I wrote and sent in the same way to the press several other pieces, that were equally approved, and I kept my secret till all my fund of sense for such performances was exhausted, and then discovered it, when I began to be considered a little more by my brother's acquaintance. However that did not quite please him, as he thought it tended to make me too vain. This might be one occasion of the differences we began to have about this time. Though a brother, he considered himself as my master, and me as his apprentice, and accordingly expected the same services from me as he would from another, while I thought he degraded me too much in some he required of me, who from a brother expected more indulgence. 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: extremely 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. Perhaps this harsh and tyrannical treatment of me, might be a means of impressing me with the aversion to arbitrary power, that has stuck to me through my whole life. One of the pieces in our newspaper on some political point, which I have now forgotten, gave offence to the assembly. He was taken up, censured, and imprisoned for a month by the speaker's warrant, I suppose because he would not discover the author. I too was taken up and examined before the council; but, though I did not give them any satisfaction, they contented themselves with admonishing me, and dismissed me, considering me perhaps as an apprentice, who was bound to keep his master's secrets. During my brother's confinement, which I resented a good deal, notwithstanding our private differences, I had the management of the paper; and I made bold to give our rulers some rubs in it, which my brother took very kindly, while others began to consider me in an unfavorable light, as a youth that had a turn for libelling and satire. My brother's discharge was accompanied with an order (and a very odd one) that “ James Franklin should no longer print the newspaper, called The New England Courant." On a consultation held in our printing-office amongst his friends,' what he should do in this conjuncture, it was proposed to elude the order, by changing the name of the paper. But my brother seeing inconveniences in this, came to a conclusion, as a better way, to let
the paper in future be printed in the name of Benjamin Franklin : and in order to avoid the censure of the assembly, that might fall on him, as still printing it by his apprentice, he contrived and consented that my old indenture should be returned to me with a discharge on the back of it, to shew in case of necessity; and in order to secure to him the benefit of my service, I should sign new indentures for the remainder of my time, which were to be kept private. A very flimsy scheme it was : however it was immediately executed, and the paper was printed 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. It was not fair in me to take this advantage, and this I therefore reckon one of the first errata of my life: but the unfairness of it weighed little with me, when under the impressions of resentment for the blows his passion too often urged him to bestow upon me. Though he was otherwise not an ill-natured man: perhaps I was too saucy and provoking.
When he found I would leave him, he took care to prevent my getting employment in any other printing-house of the town, by going round and speaking to every master, who accordingly refused to give me work. I then thought of going to New York, as the nearest place where there was a print:
And I was rather inclined to leave Boston, when I reflected that I had already made myself a little obnoxious to the governing party, and from the arbitrary proceedings of the assembly in my brother's case it was likely I might, if I staid, soon bring myself into scrapes; and further, that my indiscreet disputations about religion, began to make me pointed at with horror by good people, as an infidel or atheist. I concluded, therefore, to remove to New York; but my father now siding with my brother, I was sensible that if I attempted to go openly, means would be used to prevent me. My friend Collins, therefore, undertook to manage my flight. He agreed with the captain of a NewYork sloop to take me, under pretence of my being a young man of his acquaintance, that had 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. I sold my books to raise a little money, was taken on board the sloop privately, had a fair wind, and in three days found myself at New York, near 300 miles from my home, at the age of 17, without the least recommendation, or knowledge of any person in the place, and very little money in my pocket.
The inclination I had had for the sea was by this time done away, or I might now have gratified it. But having another profession, and conceiving myself a pretty good workman, I offered my services to a printer of the place, old Mr. W. Bradford (who had been the first printer in Pennsylvania, but had removed thence, in consequence of a quarrel with the governor, Geo. Keith.) He could give me no employmert, having little to do, and hands enough already ; but he said, “my son at Philadelphia has lately lost his principal hand, Aquila Rose, by death : if you go thither, I believe he may employ you.” Philadelphia was 100 miles further; I set out however in a boat for Amboy, leaving my chest and things to follow me round by sea.
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. His ducking sobered him a little, and he went to sleep, taking first out of his pocket a book, which he desired I would dry for him. It proved to be my old favorite author, Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, in Dutch, finely printed on good paper, copper cuts, a dress better than I had ever seen it wear in its own language. 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. Honest John was the first that I know of, who mixed narration and dialogue; a method of writing very engaging to the reader, who in the most interesting