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THE LIFE

OF

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN,

INCLUDING A SKETCH OF

THE RISE AND PROGRESS OF THE WAR

OF INDEPENDENCE,

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PRINTED FOR HUNT AND CLARKE,

TAVISTOCK-STREET, COVENT-GARDEN,

LONDON : Printed by WILLIAM CLOWES,

Northumberland-court,

THE LIFE

OF

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.

CHAPTER I.

Importance of his life and character.---Family history.- Early destination

and apprenticeship.-Absconds, and arrives at Philadelphia. THE lives of great and useful men have been compared to the course of rivers. They often rise in the most obscure and desolate regions; a child might leap over their sources; and thorns and briars alone appear destined to obey their unregarded progress:

Bat silently that slighted thing

Shall demonstrate its living spring. The stream widens and deepens ; it becomes the pride of the meadows, and the fertilizer of extensive districts; it arrives within the sweep of tides and the bustle of commerce; conveys prosperity to towns and cities;

bears on its bosom the hopes and fortunes of millions, and at length reaches the ocean, the health and hope of a country.

The life of BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, which extends through nearly the whole of the eighteenth century, realized this ancient metaphor in a most remarkable degree. He was at once the humble mechanic, the yet humbler son of a tallow-chandler whose business he hated, and the artificer of his country's independence. He was an oppressed apprentice in the obscure and dingy press-room of a provincial town, and one of the most formidable opponents of

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