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5th. I lay down in the office again fire being spread as far as I could see; pon W. Hewer's quilt, being mighty and to Sir W. Pen's, and there eat a eary, and sore in my feet with going piece of cold meat, having eaten nothing Il I was hardly able to stand. About since Sunday, but the remains of Sunwo in the morning my wife calls me up, day's dinner. Here I met with Mr. nd tells me of new cryes of fire, it be- Young and Whistler; and, having reig come to Barking Church, which is the moved all my things, and received good ottom of our lane. I up; and finding hopes that the fire at our end is stopped, t so, resolved presently to take her away, they and I walked into the town, and find nd did, and took my gold, which was Panchurch Street, Gracious Street, and bout £2350, W. Hewer and Jane down Lumbard Street all in dust. The Exvy Proundy's boat to Woolwich; but, change a sad sight, nothing standing Lord! what a sad sight it was by moone- there, of all the statues or pillars, but Sir ight, to see the whole City almost on Thomas Gresham's picture in the corner. ire, that you might see it as plain at Into Moore-fields, our feet ready to burn, Woolwich as if you were by it. There, walking through the town among the hot when I come, I find the gates shut, but coles, and find that full of people, and 10 guard kept at all; which troubled me, poor wretches carrying their goods there, because of discourses now begun, that and every body keeping his goods tothere is a plot in it, and that the French gether by themselves; and a great blessing had done it. I got the gates open, and it is to them that it is fair weather for to Mr. Sheldon's, where I locked up my, them to keep abroad night and day; gold, and charged my wife and w.
and W. drunk there, and paid twopence for plain Hewer never to leave the room without penny loaf. Thence homeward, having one of them in it night or day. So back passed through Cheapside, and Newgate again, by the way seeing my goods well market, all burned; and seen Anthony in the lighters at Deptford, and watched Joyce's house in fire; and took up, which well by people. Home, and whereas I | I keep by me, a piece of glass of the Merexpected to have seen our house on fire, cers' chapel in the street, where much it being now about seven o'clock, it was more was, so melted and buckled with the not. But to the fire, and there find heat of the fire like parchment. I also greater hopes than I expected; for my did see a poor cat taken out of a hole in confidence of finding our Office on fire, a chimney, joyning to the wall of the Exwas such, that I durst not ask any body change, with the hair all burned off the how it was with us, till I come and saw body, and yet alive. So home at night, it was not burned. But, going to the and find there good hopes of saving our fire, I find, by the blowing up of houses, office; but great endeavors of watching and the great help given by the workmen all night, and having men ready; and so out of the King's yards, sent up by Sir we lodged them in the office, and had W. Pen, there is a good stop given to it, drink and bread and cheese for them. as well at Marke Lane end as ours; it And I lay down and slept a good night having only burned the dyall of Barking about midnight: though, when I rose, I Church, and part of the porch, and was heard that there had been a great alarme there quenched. I up to the top of Bark- of French and Dutch being risen, which ing steeple, and there saw the saddest proved nothing. But it is a strange sight of desolation that ever I saw; every- thing to see how long this time did look where great fires, oyle-cellars, and brim- since Sunday, having been always full of stone, and other things burning. I be- variety of actions, and little sleep, that it came afraid to stay there long, and there- looked like a week or more, and I had fore down again as fast as I could, the I forgot almost the day of the week.
THE YOUNG FRANKLIN
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), statesman, scientist, and author, is an outstanding figure of Colonial America. As a statesman he was sent by his government on political missions to England and France. His accomplishments in science won for him honorary degrees from Edinburgh and Oxford. He is best remembered in literature for his Autobiography (1817) and for the maxims of “Poor Richard.” He was influenced by the style of the Spectator papers but his work is not a mere imitation. It has all the informality of conversation, an unstudied naturalness of expression, and a naïve didacticism.
AT LENGTH, a fresh difference arising openly, means would be used to prevent between my brother and me, I took upon me. My friend Collins, therefore, unme to assert my freedom, presuming that dertook to manage my flight. He agreed he would not venture to produce the new with the captain of a New York sloop to indentures. It was not fair in me to take me, under pretense of my being a take this advantage, and this I therefore young man of his acquaintance, that had reckon as one of the first errata of my an intrigue with a girl of bad character, life; but the unfairness of it weighed lit- whose parents would compel me to marry tle with me, when under the impression her, and that I could neither appear nor of resentment for the blows his passion come away publicly. I sold my books too often urged him to bestow upon me, to raise a little money, was taken on board though he was otherwise not an ill- the sloop privately, had a fair wind, and natured man: perhaps I was too saucy in three days found myself at New York, and provoking.
near three hundred miles from my home, When he found I would leave him, he at the age of seventeen (October, 1723), took care to prevent my getting employ- without the least recommendation, or ment in any other printing-house of the knowledge of any person in the place, and town, by going round and speaking to very little money in my pocket. every master, who accordingly refused to The inclination I had had for the sea give me work. I then thought of going was by this time done away, or I might to New York as the nearest place where now have gratified it. But, having anthere was a printer; and I was rather in- other profession, and conceiving myself a clined to leave Boston when I reflected pretty good workman, I offered my serthat I had already made myself a little vices to a printer in the place, old Mr. obnoxious to the governing party, and, William Bradford, who had been the from the arbitrary proceedings of the As- first printer in Pennsylvania, but had resembly in my brother's case, it was likely moved thence in consequence of a quarrel I might, if I stayed, soon bring myself into with the governor, George Keith. He scrapes; and further, that my indiscreet could give me no employment, having litdisputations about religion began to make tle to do, and hands enough already; but me pointed at with horror by good people he said, "My son at Philadelphia has as an infidel and atheist. I concluded, lately lost his principal hand, Aquila therefore, to remove to New York; but Rose, by death; if you go thither, I believe my father now siding with my brother, he may employ you.” Philadelphia was I was sensible that, if I attempted to go one hundred miles further; I set out,
however in a boat for Amboy, leaving my 1 Benjamin Franklin was apprenticed to
chest and things to follow me round by his brother James, editor and printer of The
the sea. New England Courant, the second newspaper In crossing the bay, we met with a published in America. The indentures here referred to were drawn up secretly to evade squall that tore our rotten sails to pieces
, a court decree.
prevented our getting into the Kill, and
Irove us upon Long Island.
In our way,
little rest; but, the wind abating the next i drunken Dutchman, who was a passen- day, we made a shift to reach Amboy beger, too, fell overboard; when he was fore night, having been thirty hours on inking, I reached through the water to the water, without victuals, or any drink is shock pate, and drew him up, so that but a bottle of filthy rum, the water we we got him in again. His ducking sob- sailed on being salt. ered him a little, and he went to sleep, In the evening I found myself very taking first out of his pocket a book, feverish, and went to bed; but, having which he desired I would dry for him. read somewhere that cold water drunk It proved to be my old favorite author, plentifully was good for a fever, I folBunyan's Pilgrim Progress, in Dutch, lowed the prescription, and sweat plentifinely printed on good paper, copper cuts, fully most of the night.
fully most of the night. My fever left a dress better than I had ever seen it wear me, and in the morning, crossing the in its own language. I have since found ferry, I proceeded on my journey on foot, that it has been translated into most of having fifty miles to go to Burlington, the languages of Europe, and suppose it where I was told I should find boats that has been more generally read than any would carry me the rest of the way to other book, except perhaps the Bible. Philadelphia. Honest John was the first that I know of It rained very hard all the day; I was who mixed narration and dialogue; a thoroughly soaked, and by noon a good method of writing very engaging to the deal tired; so I stopped at a poor inn, reader, who in the most interesting parts where I stayed all night, beginning now finds himself, as it were, admitted into to wish I had never left home. I made the company and present at the conversa- so miserable a figure, too, that I found, tion. De Foe has imitated him success- by the questions asked me, I was susfully in his Robinson Crusoe, in his Moll
pected to be some runaway indentured Flanders, and other pieces; and Richard- servant, and in danger of being taken up son has done the same in his Pamela, etc. on that suspicion. However, I pro
On approaching the island, we found ceeded next day, and got in the evening it was in a place where there could be no to an inn, within eight or ten miles of landing, there being a great surge on the Burlington, kept by one Dr. Brown. He stony beach. So we dropped anchor, entered into conversation with me while and swung out our cable toward the I took some refreshment, and, finding I shore. Some people came down to the had read a little, became very obliging shore, and hallooed to us, as we did to and friendly. Our acquaintance continthem; but the wind was so high, and the ued all the rest of his life. He had been, surge so loud, that we could not under- I imagine, an ambulatory quack doctor, stand each other. There were some small for there was no town in England, nor boats near the shore, and we made signs, any country in Europe, of which he could and called to them to fetch us; but they not give a very particular account. He either did not comprehend us, or it was had some letters, and was ingenious, but impracticable, so they went off. Night he was an infidel, and wickedly underapproaching, we had no remedy but to
took, some years after, to turn the Bible have patience till the wind abated; and, into doggerel verse,
Cotton had in the mean time, the boatman and my- formerly done with Virgil. By this self concluded to sleep, if we could; and means he set many facts in a ridiculous so we crowded into the hatches, where light, and might have done mischief with we joined the Dutchman, who was still weak minds if his work had been pubwet, and the spray, breaking over the lished; but it never was. head of our boat, leaked through to us, At his house I lay that night, and arso that we were soon almost as wet as he. rived the next morning at Burlington, In this manner we lay all night, with very but had the mortification to find that the
regular boats were gone a little before, and about a shilling in copper coin, which and no other expected to go before Tues- I gave to the boatmen for my passage. day, this being Saturday; wherefore I re- At first they refused it, on account of my turned to an old woman in the town, of having rowed; but I insisted on their takwhom I had bought some ginger-bread to ing it. Man is sometimes more generous eat on the water, and asked her advice. when he has little money than when he She proposed to lodge me till a passage by has plenty, perhaps to prevent his being some other boat occurred. I accepted her thought to have but little. offer, being much fatigued by travelling on foot. Understanding I was a printer, I walked toward the top of the street, she would have had me remain in that gazing about till near Market-street, town and follow my business, being ig- where I met a boy with bread. I had norant what stock was necessary to begin often made a meal of dry bread, and inwith. She was very hospitable, gave me a
quiring where he had bought it, I went dinner of oxcheek with good will ac- immediately to the baker's he directed me cepting only of a pot of ale in return; and to. I asked for biscuits, meaning such I thought myself fixed till Tuesday should as we had at Boston; that sort, it seems, come. However, walking in the evening was not made in Philadelphia. I then by the side of the river, a boat came by, asked for a three-penny loaf, and was told which I found was going toward Phila- they had none. Not knowing the difdelphia, with several people in her. They ferent prices, nor the names of the diftook me in, and, as there was no wind, ferent sorts of bread, I told him to give we rowed all the way; and about mid- me three-penny worth of any sort. He night, not having yet seen the city, some gave me, accordingly, three great puffy of the company were confident we must rolls. I was surprised at the quantity, have passed it, and would row no fur- but took it, and, having no room in my ther; the others knew not where we pockets, walked off with a roll under were; so we put toward the shore, got each arm, and eating the other. Thus into a creek, landed near an old fence, I went up Market-street as far as Fourthwith the rails of which we made a fire, street, passing by the door of Mr. Read, the night being cold, in October, and my future wife's father; when she, standthere we remained till daylight. Then ing at the door, saw me, and thought I one of the company knew the place to be made, as I certainly did, a most awkward, Cooper's Creek a little above Philadel- ridiculous appearance. Then I turned phia, which we saw as soon as we got out
and went down Chestnut-street and part of the creek, and arrived there about of Walnut-street, eating my roll all the eight or nine o'clock on the Sunday morn- way, and, coming round, found myself ing, and landed at Market-street wharf. again at Market-street wharf, near the
I have been the more particular in this boat I came in, to which I went for a description of my journey, and shall be draught of the river water; and, being so of my first entry into that city, that filled with one of my rolls, gave the you may in your mind compare such un- other two to a woman and her child that likely beginnings with the figure I have came down the river in the boat with us, since made there. I was in my working and were waiting to go further. dress, my best clothes coming round by sea.
Thus refreshed, I walked again up the I was dirty from my being so long in the street, which by this time had many cleanboat. My pockets were stuffed out with dressed people in it, who were all walking shirts and stockings, and I knew no one, the same way. I joined them, and therenor where to look for lodging. Fatigued by was led into the great meeting-house with walking, rowing, and the want of of the Quakers near the market. I sat sleep, I was very hungry; and my whole down among them, and, after looking stock of cash consisted in a single dollar, | round a while and hearing nothing said
being very drowsy through labor and mon question, without asking first, “What want of rest the preceding night, I fell do you intend to infer from that?” Howasleep, and continued so till the meeting ever, it gave him so high an opinion of broke up, when some one was kind enough my abilities in the confuting way, that he to rouse me. This, therefore, was the seriously proposed my being his colleague first house I was in, or slept in, in Phila- in a project he had of setting up a new delphia.
sect. He was to preach the doctrines, and I was to confound all opponents. When he
came to explain with me upon the docI believe I have omitted mentioning trines, I found several conundrums which that, in my first voyage from Boston to I objected to, unless I might have my way Philadelphia, being becalmed off Block a little, too, and introduce some of mine. Island, our crew employed themselves in Keimer wore his beard at full length, catching cod, and hauled up a great num- because somewhere in the Mosaic law it ber. Till then, I had stuck to my reso- is said, “Thou shalt not mar the corners lution to eat nothing that had had life; of thy beard.” He likewise kept the and on this occasion I considered, accord- Seventh day, Sabbath; and these two ing to my master Tryon, the taking every points were essential with him. I disfish as a kind of unprovoked murder, since liked both; but agreed to them on connone of them had, nor could do us any dition of his adopting the doctrine of not injury that might justify this massacre. using animal food. "I doubt,” said he, All this seemed very reasonable. But I "my constitution will not bear it." I had been formerly a great lover of fish, assured him it would, and that he would and, when it came out of the frying-pan, be the better for it. He was usually a it smelt admirably well. I balanced some great eater, and I wished to give myself time between principle and inclination, some diversion in half starving him. He till recollecting that, when the fish were consented to try the practice, if I would opened, I saw smaller fish taken out of keep him company. I did so, and we their stomachs; then thought I, “If you held it for three months. Our provieat one another, I don't see why we may sions were purchased, cooked, and brought not eat you." So I dined upon cod very to us regularly by a woman in the neighheartily, and have since continued to eat borhood, who had from me a list of forty as other people, returning only now and dishes, which she prepared for us at difthen occasionally to a vegetable diet. So ferent times, in which there entered neiconvenient a thing it is to be a reasonable ther fish, Alesh, nor fowl. This whim creature, since it enables one to find or suited me the better at this time from the make a reason for every thing one has a cheapness of it, not costing us above mind to do.
eighteen pence sterling each per week. I Keimer and I lived on a pretty good, have since kept several Lents most strictly, familiar footing, and agreed tolerably leaving the common diet for that, and that well, for he suspected nothing of my set- for the common, abruptly, without the ting up. He retained a great deal of his least inconvenience, so that I think there old enthusiasm, and loved argumentation. is little in the advice of making those We therefore had many disputations. I changes by easy gradations. I went on used to work him so with my Socratic pleasantly, but poor Keimer suffered griemethod, and had trepanned him so often vously, grew tired of the project, longed by questions apparently so distant from for the fleshpots of Egypt, and ordered a any point we had in hand, yet by degrees roast pig. He invited me and two womleading to the point, and bringing him en friends to dine with him; but, it being into difficulties and contradictions, that at brought too soon upon table, he could not last he grew ridiculously cautious, and resist the temptation, and ate the whole would hardly answer me the most com- before we came.