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convinced me she was in the right. I thanked her for ber obliging advice, and promised to follow it. When we arrived at New York, they informed me where they lodged, and invited me to come and see them. It was, however, well I did not go, for the next day the captain missing a silver spoon and some other things, which had been taken from the cabin, he procured a search-warrant, found the stolen goods, and had them punished. Thus, after having been preserved from one rock concealed under water, upon which the vessel struck, during our passage, I es. caped another of a more dangerous nature.” It must not be omitted, that in this passage, during a calm which stopped the vessel above Block-island, the crew employed themselves in fishing for cod, of which they caught a great number. Franklin 'had hitherto adhered to his resolution of abstaining from eating every thing which had lived and moved. “I considered says he,
agreeably to the maxims of my master Tryon, that the capture of every fish was a murder committed without provocation; since these animals had neither done, nor were capable of do. ing, the smallest injury to any one, that could jus. tify such a measure. This mode of reasoning I con. ceived to be unanswerable. I had formerly been fond of fish, and when one of these cod were taken out of the frying-pan, I thought it's flarour deli. cious. Hesitating, for some time, between princi. ple and inclination, I recollected that when the cod had been opened some small fish had been found in it's belly. I then argued, if fish eat each other, why may they not be eaten ?
I then dined on the cod, and have continued since to eat like mankind in general, returning only occasionally to my veget. ablediet. How convenientit provesto bea RATIONAL
animal, who knows how to find or invent, a plausible pretext for whatever it has an inclination to do!”
Franklin returned from this visit to Keimer, with whom he lived on good terms, but he concealed from him a design which he had formed of going to Lone don. Keimer was fond of argumentation, but Frank lin drew him into difficulties by his Socratic method of reasoning, from whence he could not extricate himar self. Keimer urged him to wear his béard and keep
the sabbath, to which Franklin consented, on condiition that he would abstain from eating flesh. Kei.
mer doubted whether his constitution would be able to bear it. Franklin assured him that he would find himself much better for it. " He was a glutton," says Franklin, " and I wished to amuse myself by starving him. He.consented to make trial of this regimen, if I would bear him company; we continued it for three months. A woman in the neighbourhood prepared and brought our victnals, to whom I gave a list of forty dishes,
in the composition of which there entered neither flesh nor fish. This fancy was the more agreeable to me as it turned to good account. The whole expense of our living did not exceed, for each, eighteen-pence a week. I have since that pe. ‘riod,” continues Franklin, “observed several Lents with the greatest strictness, and bave suddenly-returned again to my ordinary diet, without experiencing the smallest inconvenience; which had led me to regard as of no importance the advice commonly given, of introducing gradually such alterations of regimen. I continued this plan cheerfully; but poor Keimer was a great sufferer. Tired of the project, he sighed for the flesh pots of Egypt. At length he ordered a roast pig, and invited me and two of our female ac. quaintance to dine with him; but the pig being ready
a little too soon, he had eaten it all up before we arrived !” At the end of 1724, Franklin deter, mined on removing to London. He was much encouraged in this undertaking by Sir William Keith, who promised him letters of recommendation, and one of credit, to enable him to purchase a press, types,
After repeated waitings, and repeated evasions, on the part of Sir William, Franklin obtained not a single letter. An associate of the name of James Ralph, accompanied Franklin on his voy. age, but as he had no business to recur to for subsisa tence he was a considerable incumbrance to Franklin. This man underwent some difficulties, and was involved in some adventures, before he became settled as a schoolmaster at a village in Berkshire. He after wards became a political writer of some eminence, and is noticed in Pope's Dunciad. Franklin, thus unrecommended, was fortunate enough to obtain employment at Palmer's in Bartholomew-close, where he continued nearly a year.
Here he was en. gaged in compositing “Wolaston's Religion of Na.
Franklin thought some of Wolaston's argu. ments not well founded, and wrote an animadversion on some passages, intitled A Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain; dedicated to his friend Ralph. In this production he endeavoured to prove that there is no difference between virtue and vice; which he afterwards considered as one of the great errors of his life.
“ This pamphlet,” says our author, falling into the hands of a surgeon, of the name of Lyons, author of a book called “Infallibil. ity of Human Judgment,” was the occasion of a considerable intimacy between us. He expressed great esteem for me, came frequently to see me, in order to converse on metaphysical subjects; and introduced
He was a
me to Dr. Mandeville, author of the “Fable of the Bees,” who had instituted a club at a tavern in Cheapside, of which he was the soul. facetious and very amusing character. He also introduced me at Baston's coffee house, to Dr. Pemberton, who promised to give me an opportunity of seeing Sir Isaac Newton, which I very ardently desired; but he did not keep his word. I had brought some curiosities with me from America; the principal of which was a purse made of the abestos, which fire only purifies. Sir Hans Sloane hearing of it, called on me, and invited me to his house in Bloomsburysquare, where, after shewing me all his curiosities he prevailed on me to add this piece to his collection; for which he paid me very handsomely." Franklin calculating on some advantages to be obtained by a removal, solicited and obtained employment as a pressman at the printing-house of Watts, near Lincoln's-Inn-Fields. “I drank," says he, “nothing but water. The other workmen, to the number of about fifty, were great drinkers of beer. I carried occasionally a large form of types in each hand, up and down stairs, while the rest employed both hands to carry one. They were surprised to see, by this and many other examples, that the “ American A. quatic,” as they used to call me, was stronger than those who drank porter. My fellow pressmen drank every day a pint of beer before breakfast, a pint with bread and cheese for breakfast, one between breakfast and dinner, one at dinner, one again about the hour of six in the afternoon, and another after he had finished his day's work. This custom appeared to me abominable; but he had need, he said, of all this beer, in order to acquire strength to work. I endeavoured to convince him that the bodily strength produced by the beer, could only be in proportion to the solid part of the barley dissolved in the water of which the beer.was composed; that there was a larger portion of flour in a penny loaf, and that consequently if he ate such a loaf and drank a pint of water with it, he would derive more strength from it than from a pint of beer. This reasoning, however, did not deter him from drinking his accustomed quantity of beer, and paying every Saturday night a score of four or five shillings a week for this cursed beverage; an expense from which I was wholly exempt. Thus do such poor
devils continue all their lives in a state of voluntary wretchedness and poverty.” Franklin was afterwards required as a compositor, in thesame house, and quitted the press. His example prevailed with several of his fellow workmen to renounce theirabom. inable practice of bread and cheese with beer; and they procured, like him, from a neighbouring house, a good bason of warm gruel, in which was a small slice of butter, with toasted bread and nutmeg. This was a much better breakfast, which did not cost more than threehalfpence, and preserved the head clear.
Franklin recommended himself to his employer by his assiduous application to business; and his extra. ordinary quickness in compositing always procured him the work most urgently required, which is commonly paid an advanced price for. He lodged in Duke-street, with a woman rather advanced in life, who had been educated a protestant; but her husband, whose memory she highly revered, had converted her &o the Catholic religion. Franklin was always glad Ho pass an evening with her, and was sometimes inmited to her room. Their supper consisted only of half an anchovy each, upon a slice of bread and but. ter, and half a pint of ale between them. But the en.