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satisfactorily, the latter received a sum of money, which upheld his credit for some time.
Here Franklin's acquaintance became numerous and respectable. Several distinguished persons of the province having been appointed a committee to attend the press, and see that no more bills were printed than were directed by law, they were with Franklin and his employer continually; and the former evidently possessing the more cultivated and fertile mind, a greater value was set on his company and conversation. Franklin was invited to their houses, introduced to their friends, and honoured with civilities from which Keimer was excluded. The subject of our memoir was indeed placed by the side of no very formidable rival ; Keimer evinced great practical ignorance of life, was rude in his manners, dirty and slovenly in his person, and enthusiastic in that sort of religion which permitted him to be no small knave. Among his friends, Franklin could, at length, enumerate judge Allen, Bustil, the secretary of the province, Messrs Pearson and Cooper, several of the Smiths, who were members of the assembly, and Isaac Decow, the surveyor-general. These friends, all obtained during the short interval of three months in which he remained at Burlington, continued more or less connected with him during the whole of his future life. Decow was a keen old man, whose history was not greatly dissimilar to that of Franklin. He told him, that when young he was employed in wheeling clay for the brickmakers; that he learnt to write after he was of age; then carried the chain for the surveyors, who taught him their art; and that he had now by his industry acquired a good estate. " I foresee,” said he, " that you will soon work this man Keimer out of his business, and make a fortune in it at Philadelphia.” At this time he had not the least intimation of Franklin's intention to set up anywhere.
Soon after Franklin's return to Philadelphia, the new types which had been ordered arrived from London. He and Meredith left Keimer, and took a shop near the market-place, the rent of which was
twenty-four pounds a year. To lessen it, they parted off a portion of the house for Thomas Godfrey, a glazier; and had just put their press in order, and expended all their cash, when George House, an acquaintance of Franklin, brought a countryman to them who had been inquiring for a printer. The extent of his first order in business was about five shillings, which Franklin says gave him more pleasure than any equal sum he afterwards earned ; and the gratitude which he felt on this occasion, inclined him, oftener than he should have been otherwise disposed, to assist beginners. Some persons however foreboded their speedy downfall. A gentleman named Samuel Mickle, in particular, of a solemn aspect and a very grave manner of speaking, stopped Franklin one day, and asked him if he were the young man who had lately opened a new printing-house? Being answered in the affirmative, he said that he was sorry for him, because Philadelphia was a sinking place, half the people already bankrupts or near being so; and added such a detail of existing and impending misfortunes, that he left Franklin half repentant of his new plans.
This person however continued to live in the decaying place he had described, and to declaim in the same strain, refusing for many years to buy a house, because all was going to destruction. "Until at last,” says Franklin, “ I had the pleasure of seeing him give five times as much for one as he might have bought it for when he first began croaking.”
Early in his career as a printer, Franklin formed most of his acquaintance into a club called the JUNTO, which met on Friday evenings; and drew up for them a body of rules, requiring that each member should in kis turn produce one or more queries, to be discussed by the company, on any point of morals, politics, or natural philosophy; and should every three months read an essay of his own writing on some subject generally interesting. The meetings of the society were to be conducted by a president, in a sincere spirit of inquiry after truth, with out fondness for dispute, or
desire of victory. To prevent distraction or division all positiveness of opinion, direct contradiction, &c., were prohibited under small pecuniary penalties. Some of the early members were-Joseph Breintual, a copier of law-deeds, a friendly, middle-aged man, fond of poetry, and a tolerable composer in that department of the belles-lettres, of sensible conversation, and an ingenious mechanic ;- Thomas Godfrey, an able self-taught mathematician, afterwards inventor of what is called Hadley's Quadrant, a man of contracted knowledge upon general subjects, and by no means a pleasing companion : like most other great mathematicians, Franklin says, he expected universal precision, and was for ever denying or distinguishing upon trifles, to the great annoyance of the society: he soon left them ;-Nicholas Scull, afterwards surveyor-general, a man of considerable readįng, who acquired a considerable share of mathematical knowledge, with a view to the practice astrology, the delusions of which he soon discovered ;-William Maguridge, a joiner, an excellent mechanic, and a judicious, worthy man ;-Robert Grace, a young gentleman of fortune, who loved punning, and had some pretensions to true wit ;-and W. Coleman, a merchant's clerk, “ about my own age,” says Franklin, " who had the coolest and clearest head, the best heart, and the most exact morals, of almost
any man I ever met with.” He afterwards became considerable merchant, and one of the provincial judges. A close friendship subsisted between him and Franklin for a period of forty years. The society continued nearly as long, and was throughout a flourishing school of philosophy, morality, and politics.
The original rules of this institution are worth preserving here, as exhibiting the honest struggles of growing intellect among the members. Instrumental as it was in the formation of many public measures, it existed for nearly thirty years without being publicly known.
Rules for a Club formerly established in Philadelphia. Previous question, to be answered at every meeting :
Have you read over these queries this morning, in order to consider what you might have to offer to the Junto touching any one of them ? viz.
1. Have you met with any thing in the author you last read, remarkable, or suitable to be communicated to the Junto, particularly in history, morality, poetry, physic, travels, mechanics, arts, or other parts of knowledge ?
2. What new story have you lately heard, agreeable for telling in conversation ?
3. Hath any citizen, in your knowledge, failed in in his business lately, and what have you heard of the cause ?
4. Have you lately heard of any citizen's thriving well, and by what means ?
5. Have you lately heard how any present rich man, here or elsewhere, got his estate?
6. Do you know of any fellow-citizen who has lately done a worthy action, deserving praise and imitation, or who has lately committed an error proper for us to be warned against and avoid ?
7. What unhappy effects of intemperance have you lately observed or heard; of imprudence, of passion, or of any other vice or folly ?
8. What happy effects of temperance, of prudence, of moderation, or of any other virtue ?
9. Have you, or any of your acquaintance, been lately sick or wounded? If so, what remedies were used, and what were their effects ?
10. Whom do you know that are shortly going voy. ages or journies, if we should have occasion to send by them?
11. Do you think of any thing, at present, in which the Junto may be serviceable to mankind, to their country, to their friends, or to themselves ?
12. Hath any deserying stranger arrived in town
since last meeting, that you heard of; and what have you heard or observed of his character or merits; and whether, think you, it lies in the power of the Junto to oblige him, or encourage him as he deserves ?
13. Do you know of any deserving young beginner, lately set up, whom it lies in the power of the Junto any way to encourage ?
14. Have you lately observed any defect in the laws of your country, (of) which it would be proper to move the legislature for amendment; or do you know of any beneficial law that is wanting ?
15. Have you lately observed any encroachment on the just liberties of the people ?
16. Hath any body attacked your reputation lately, and what can the Junto do towards securing it ?
17. Is there any man whose friendship you want, and which the Junto, or any of them, can procure for you?
18. Have you lately heard any member's character attacked, and how have you defended it?
19. Hath any man injured you, from whom it is in the
power of the Junto to procure redress? 20. In what manner can the Junto, or any of them, assist you in any of your honourable designs ?
21. Have you any weighty affair in hand, in which you think the advice of the Junto may be of service ?
22. What benefits have you lately received from any man not present ?
23. Is there any difficulty in matters of opinion, of justice, and injustice, which you would gladly have discussed at this time?
24. Do you see any thing amiss in the present customs or proceedings of the Junto, which might be amended ?
Any person to be qualified, to stand up, and lay his hand on his breast, and be asked these questions, viz.
1. Have you any particular disrespect to any present members ? Answer. I have not.