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was much harrassed by pecuniary difficulties. In his first visit to Philadelphia he had received £36 for a friend of his brother John, of the name Vernon; this money he had not yet repaid. Mr. Ver. non reminded him of it. Meredith's father had a greed to advance the whole expense of the printing materials, but had paid only £100. Another £100 was still due, and the merchant, tired of waiting, commenced a suit for it's recovery.

In this dis tress two real friends, offered, without the knowledge of each other's intentions, to assist our enterprising printer with whatever money was necessary, if he would detach himself from Meredith, who they said was frequently seen drunk in the streets. These friends were William Coleman, and Robert Grace.

Such a separation Franklin soon effected; for Meredith's father could not advance the money he promised, and his son, having not been educated a printer, grew tired of it, and gladly returned to his original occupation of farming, and thus in 1729, Franklin was left sole proprietor of the business. He then accepted from his friends one half of the needful sum from each, which enabled him to carry on his undertaking more extensively.

At this time a new emission of paper.currency being wished for by the public, but opposed by the opulent part of the Assembly, Franklin published a pamphlet on the subject, which, being unanswerable, occasioned the measure to be carried, and the author rewarded by the lucrative employment of printing the bills. Public and private employment now enabled our author to begin to pay the debt he had contracted, and to open a stationer's shop.

In order," says he, “ to insure my credit and character as a tradesman, I took care not only to be really indus,

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trious and frugal, but also to avoid every appearance of the contrary. I was plainly dressed, and never seen in any place of public amusement.. I never went a fishing or hunting. A book indeed enticed me sometimes from my work, but it was by stealth, and occasioned no-scandal. To shew that I did not think myself above my business, I conveyed home, occasionally, in a wheel-barrow, the paper I had purchased at the warehouses. I thus obtained the reputation of being industrious, and punctual in my payments. The merchants who imported artic. les of stationary solicited my custom; others offered to furnish me with books, and my little trade went on prosperously.” Franklin, early in life, had made an acquaintance with the daughter of Mr. Read of Philadelphia; at whose house he was a lodger on his first visit to that place. On his departure for London they parted with regret, interchanging mutual promises of fidelity ; but on this new theatre of amusement he forgot his fair blossom. He wrote to her indeed, once, but his letter merely informed her that he was not likely to return soon. Her fam. ily, justly despairing of Franklin's attachment, urged her to marry a potter, of the name of Rogers; to which she consented; but they grew miserable and parted. The husband involved himself in debt and ded, about 1727, to the West Indies, where he died. In the mean time, the passion of youth, so difficult to govern, led Franklin into various intrigues, not unaccompanied with expense and inconvenience, but fortunately his health remained untainted. On his return to Philadelphia, he reflected on his conduct with shame, regarding his inconstancy, during his abode in London, as the principal cause of Miss Read's misfortune. Franklin endeavoured, as a neighbour and old acquaintance, to cultivate a friendJy intimacy with her family. A mutual affection res vived, and they married on the 1st of September 1730. She proved an excellent wife, a faithful companion, and contributed essentially to the success of his shop. We deeply regret that here termi. nates the invaluable clue of our author, which has hitherto been our almost entire conductorThe fol lowing narrative is from a continuation by his friend Dr. Stubner, of Philadelphia, and from other authentic sources of information.

In 1731, Franklin's love of literature induced him to establish first a private, and afterwards a public library, which in 1742, became incorporated by the name of “The Library Company of Philadelphia;"> which now consists of many thousand volumes, besides a philosophical apparatus, &c.

In 1732 Franklin began to publish Poor Richard's Almanack, a work that he rendered remarkable by a valuable selection of concise, moral and economic maxims, which he at last collected into one humorous address to the reader, entitled The Way to Wealth, which has been translated into various languages.

In 1736 he entered on his political career, by being appointed Clerk to the General Assembly of Pennsylvania. In 1737 he was appointed post-master. In 1738 he formed the first company for preventing damages by fires, and soon after obtained the establishment of an insurance company.

In 1744, during the war between France and Britain, the French and Indians having made inroads on the frontiers of the prov. ince, he proposed a voluntary association for it's de. fence; which was approved of, and immediately signed by 1200 citizens, who chose Franklin their colonel. But he was then too deeply engaged in


philosophic and political pursuits to accept of that honour. In 1745, he published an account of a new invented fire-place, of which the particulars at length are given in his Letters and Papers on Philo. sophical Subjects, p. 284 to 318, edit. 1769. About the same time he commenced those electric experiments which have conferred celebrity on his

His discoveries were communicated in three publications, entitled, “ New Experiments and Ob. servations in Electricity, made at Philadelphia in America,” in letters to Mr. Collinson, dated from 1747 to 1754. These tracts were universally admir. ed. Dr. Priestley in his “History of Electricity," remarks of them, “It is not easy to say whether we are most pleased with the simplicity and perspicuity with which these letters are written, the modesty with which the author proposes every hypothesis of his own, or the noble frankness with which he relates his mistakes, when they were corrected by subse. quent experiments." Concluding that in the excitation of the electric tube, the fluid was conveyed from the person who rubbed it, to him who touch. ed it, he termed the latter state that of being elec. trified positively, or possessing more than his natural quantity of eclectic effluvia ; the former person was said to be negitively electrified, or possessing less than his natural quantity.

This led to his capital theory of the charged Leyden phial, namely, that when one side is electrified positively or plus, the other is electrified negitively or minus; so that in .charging a phial the electricity is thrown from the outside into the inside, and when it is discharged the equilibrium is restored. He confirmed this theory by a set of very ingenious experiments, which have been thought decisive. He farther proved that the accumu. lated electric fire in the charged side of the phialre sided not in the coating, but in the pores of the glass itself. In the course of his experiments, he, in common with other electricians, was accidentally surpris. ed and alarmed at the power of the electric fluid. He received a discharge from two of his large electric jars, through his head, which struck him to theground, but did him no lasting injury. A young woman, in attending to one of his experiments, inadvertently brought her head so near the conductor as to receivea still greater shock, which caused her to fall; but she instantly rose up, uninjured. This encouraged him to try whether it's power might not be lessened when the experiment was made on six men at the same time, the first placing his hand on the head of the second, and so on. - Having obtained the men and placed them in the manner just mentioned, he discharged his two jars, by laying his conducting rod upon the head of the first man. They all fell to the ground at the same instant, believing he had struck them down by some kind of magic. When he endeavoured to explain to them in what manner he had performed the experiment, they declared they had neither seen the flash nor heard the report of the discharge. The most brilliant, however, of his discoveries, was that of the identity of the electric fire and that of lightning. Franklin was directed towards the complete verifica. tion of the fact by the extraordinary power which he had observed to be possessed by pointed bodies, in attracting and throwing off the electric effluvia. The -first positive proof which he obtained of his problem oc. curred in June, 1752; when, by means of a silken kite, furnished with an iron point, having a key appended to the termination of it's hempen string, and from thence a silken cord, he drew down from a passing

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