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Franklin, “ it would be dishonourable in me to propose a separation while there remained any prospect of the Merediths fulfilling their agreement, because I thought myself under great obligations to them for what they had done already; but if they failed, and the partnership must be dissolved, I must then accept the kind assistance of friends.” To Meredith, Franklin shortly after remarked, that perhaps his father was dissatisfied with their partnership arrangements, and would not advance for the firm what he would for his son alone, offering, in such case, to resign the whole to his partner. This the latter declined. “I was bred a farmer,” said he, “and it was folly in me to come to town, and put myself, at thirty years of age, apprentice to a new trade. Many of our Welsh people are going to settle in North Carolina: I am inclined to go with them, and follow my old employment. He finally agreed, that if Franklin would pay the debts of the firm, and some small ones of his own, return the 100l. advanced, and give him 30l. and a new saddle, he would relinquish all his interest in the partnership. This the latter cheerfully acceded to; and, as he wanted money, took half from one of his friends, and half from the other. We are now brought by our narrative to the year 1729.
There being at this time only 1500l. paper-currency in the province of Pennsylvania, a clamour arose among the tradesmen and lower orders for more. But the increase was opposed by the opulent part of the community, who imagined it would result in the general depreciation of credit, as it had already done in New England. This point had been discussed in the Junto; and Franklin was on the side of an addition, from a strong persuasion that the sum issued in 1723 had increased the trade, employment, and even population, of the province. “I remembered well,” says he, 66 when I first walked about the streets of Philadelphia, eating my roll, that I saw many houses in some of the most important streets, with bills on their doors, to be let,' whereas now I see the old ones all inhabited, and many new ones building." Shortly after this, he published an anonymous pamphlet, entitled The Nature and Necessity of a Paper Currency, which was well received ; and the opponents of the measure, having no writers among them capable of answering it, the point was carried in the House by a considerable majority ; Franklin being appointed to print the money. This was a lucrative job to our author, who lived to see other sums put in circulation on the same principle; trade and population increasing, in the mean time, in full proportion. Mr Hamilton, Franklin's friend, shortly afterwards procured him the printing of the Newcastle paper-money, as well as of the laws and votes of that government, which was continued in his hands as long as he followed the business. About this time he opened a small stationer's shop, and circulated blank bonds, and agreements of all kinds, the most correct that had ever appeared in the province; being indebted for the forms of them to his friend Breintual. He obtained likewise an able compositor, of the name of Whitemash, from London, and took, as an apprentice, the son of Aquila Rose.
To secure his credit and character as a tradesman, Franklin was not only really industrious and frugal, but took great pains to appear so. He dressed plainly, went to no places of public diversion ; even his reading was private, so as to form no drawback
his apparent diligence. He himself frequently brought home in a wheelbarrow the paper purchased at the stores. Being now esteemed an industrious thriving young man, and paying duly for what he bought, the merchants sought his custom; while Keimer's credit declined daily, until at length he sold his printinghouse to an apprentice of his, whom Franklin had instructed in the business. The friends of this young man having considerable interest, Franklin was at first apprehensive of a powerful rival, and accordingly proposed a partnership, which, fortunately for him, was rejected with scorn. David Harry became proud, careless of his business, and expensive in his habits,
until his business entirely fell away, and he followed Keimer to Barbadoes. No other printer now remained in Philadelphia but Bradford, who was rich, and cared little about his trade. As he held the postoffice, his paper obtained a wider circulation than Franklin's, both from the idea that he must have better opportunities of procuring information, and from his efforts to keep his rival's
paper from the public; for Franklin could only receive and send papers by the post by bribing the postmen, Bradford taking care to forbid their taking it out; "a practice," says Franklin, 66 which I thought so meanly of, that when I afterwards came into the same situation, I took care never to imitate it."
In 1729, Mr and Mrs Godfrey, with whom he boarded (as they still lived in part of his house) proposed a match for him with the daughter of a relative of theirs, whose parents also encouraged the affair, inviting Franklin frequently, and leaving the daughter and him together. Franklin at length commissioned Mrs Godfrey to inform the young lady's friends, that he expected as much money, for a marriage portion, as would pay off the running debt upon
his printing-house, to the amount perhaps of 1001.; they replied, that they had no such sum to spare, when he suggested that they might obtain it by way of mortgage on their house: but they now abruptly pretended not to approve of the match; said that printing was a poor business; that the types would be soon defaced and useless; that Keimer and Harry having failed in succession, he would, in all probability, shortly do the same, &c. Franklin considered this so unhandsome, that when Mrs Godfrey afterwards brought him more favourable accounts of their disposition towards him, he declared his resolution to have no further connexion with the family; and differences shortly afterwards arose, in consequence of which they left the house.
But Franklin had turned his thoughts seriously to marriage; and after having made overtures in other places, he found that the business of a printer was in small repute, and that he was not to expect money with a wife. In the mean time, he says, his youthful passions often hurried him into intrigues with low women, which were attended with expense, and occasional disgrace. He resumed his attentions therefore to Miss Read, as he still lived on intimate terms with the family; and when he observed her frequent dejection and solitary habits, could not at times avoid reflecting that his own inconstancy had been their primary cause. Their mutual affection, in fact, was renewed, but there were formidable obstacles in the way of their union. She had married a man who had long forsaken her during Franklin's absence in England; and although the marriage was considered as invalid, the husband being said to have had another wife at the time, there was no actual proof of the circumstance, and the reports of his death could be traced to no certain origin. Besides, he had left many debts, which his successor might be called upon to pay. Notwithstanding these difficulties, Franklin married this lady, September 1730; neither the former claim on her (if any) nor any of its consequences, ever appeared ; but he found the union every thing that could contribute to his prosperity and happiness.
About this period, he formed what he justly calls the bold design of endeavouring to arrive in his practice at moral perfection. " As he knew,” he says,
or thought he knew, right from wrong, he could not see why he might not always do the one, and avoid the other." Now, therefore, he formed the following scale of virtues and
precepts :1. TEMPERANCE.-Eat not to dulness; drink not to elevation.
2. SILENCE.-Speak not but what others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
3. ORDER.—Let all your things have their places ; let each part of your business have its time.
4. RESOLUTION.—Resolve to perform what yo a ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
5. FRUGALITY.—Make no expense but to do good to others, or yourself; i. e., waste nothing.
6. INDUSTRY.—Lose no time; he always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
7. SINCERITY.-Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly; and if you speak, speak accordingly.
8. JUSTICE.—Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
8. MODERATION.-Avoid extremes.; forbear resenting injuries, so much as you think they deserve.
10. CLEANLINESS.—Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation.
11. TRANQUILLITY.—Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable,