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went to New York-a bold step for a boy of fourteen, alone, without friends or money; giving indications of, and in its consequences contributing to strengthen, a disposition free, independent and fearless. Not finding employ. ment in New York, instead of repenting and returning as most of his timorous age would have done, he bravely pushed on to Philadelphia, where at the end of his journey, he found himself a perfect stranger, young and inexperienced. But he was economical and industrious, and he soon found work, and by his habits of perseverance and order rapidly gained friends. No man, in any condition, should despair, says this part of Franklin's life. Let him look about him, and what his hands find to do, do it with his might. Being advised by some to commence business as a master he decided to return and consult his father on the subject. How different in this was his from the conduct of most young men! Instead of rashly presuming him. self equal to any task, because it was of desirable accomplishment, he modestly and prudently distrusts his own judgment and appeals to an older and a wiser man. A young person should hardly decide on any important step, before the age of twenty-one years, without the concurrence of parental opinión. Such a deference to our natural guardians is becoming, and will save from innumerable imprudences that would not cease to be deplored long after they had become irremediable. Old Mr. Franklin dissuaded his son from this project, and it was for the time laid aside. But the temptation was too strong to be. entirely subdued, and a short time after, in accordance with the advice and with the promised assistance of Governor Keith, who proposed to advance the requisite funds, he sailed for England to procure his press and other indispensables. What was his disappointment, on arriving at Lon

don, to find that his letters of credit were entirely worthless; that he had been deceived and was three thousand miles from home, in a foreign country and destitute of money! Surprising and discouraging as was the revelation, he lost no time in anger or despondency, but, like a man as he was, ever ready for any emergency, he immediately took the only course that opened before him, and seeking found employment in his customary avocation. About eighteen months' diligent labor enabled him to return again to Philadelphia, not indeed with his printing apparatus as expected, but with his brave heart, which had nobly conquered by patiently enduring a most trying misfortune.

Soon after his return he established the famous "Junto," a literary club composed of himself and eleven of his most intimate friends, who met weekly for the discussion of miscellaneous questions. This may be regarded as the parent of debating societies in this country, which have since become so common and productive doubtless of great good. It is too generally the case that men feel, when they leave school and enter upon the more active business of life, that their education is ended, and give up all care for a future cultivation of their minds. No notion is more foolish or fraught with worse consequences. All life is

our school. Each day should have its lesson. And to aid us in learning this, nothing can afford us greater assistance than scientific and literary associations. Every man should be a member, and an active member, of at least one such. Its beneficial influence on his character will soon become apparent. Not long after the Junto, Franklin instituted a public library, which had been previously wanted in Philadelphia. It is to be regretted that such libraries are not more common and better sustained where they do exist. Few men, compared with the number who ought

to read, can afford to purchase a thousand volumes for their own private property. A thousand persons can very well do so, and thus secure valuable reading for years at a trifling expense. Every town in the Union ought to have several thousand dollars thus invested. It would pay immensely better than ten times the amount in the best bank or rail road stock.

Ever studiously desirous of doing good, in the year 1732 our subject commenced the publication of Poor Richard's Almanac, a little annual that for twenty-five years served as the medium for communicating to a nation of readers very much valuable instruction in a preeminently attrac tive form. From the boundless success of this little missionary, might many modern preachers learn wisdom as to the form and manner of efficiently administering their didactics.

In 1736, at the mature age of thirty years, Franklin's public life began by his appointment as Clerk of the General Assembly, the duties of which office he discharged with honor to himself and satisfaction to the state. About the same time he formed the first fire-company, a benevolent institution now as common throughout our country as it is invaluable.

In 1744 he wrote and published a pamphlet entitled Plain Truth, in which he urged the necessity of a regularly organized militia force for the defence of property in case of invasion, which there was continual reason to apprehend. This forcible tract produced an immediate and surprising effect upon the Quaker descendants of peaceful A meeting was called for the purpose of considering the subject, where, after a short speech from the author, papers were distributed for the signatures of such as would agree to arm and equip themselves. The number amount


ed to twelve hundred, and shortly after was increased to above ten thousand. These organized themselves into regiments, by one of which Franklin was chosen Colonel. But he, deeming himself unable properly to discharge the duties of that office, resigned in favor of a friend, who on his recommendation was substituted. This whole affair exhibits the commanding influence which may be exercise d by a great mind over others. Even those whose principles were strongly opposed to war in any form, were induced by his persuasive power to assume arms in the just defence of their country and their rights. About this time he was elected justice of the peace, but thinking his knowledge of law insufficient for an intelligent discharge of duty in that station, he resigned it immediately. If modern justices who know nothing of the law were wise enough to follow his example, there might be occasion for some special elections in several places. But men seek office now for their own pecuniary advantage. They do not, like our fathers, require urging to accept, and a conviction that the public good demands their services. The spirit of those old patriots who loved their country better than gold, has become almost obsolete, while it can never cease to be admired.

In September, 1746, he entered upon a course of scien tific experiments, resulting in his important discoveries in electricity, which have rendered his name as a philosopher immortal, and justly entitled him to the appellation of the LIGHTNING KING, which we have chosen as his fitting title of glory. His own useful applications to practical purposes, of the grand truths which he established relating to the nature and operations of the electric fluid, not less than the subsequent revelations in this interesting and important science, and their wonderful power to produce the most

surprising results, have given him a distinguished place among the most eminent savans of his own or any other age.

Most men in active business and political life, find at the age of forty years, little time for the study of physical or any other science, and still less of inclination than of time. Franklin, in the midst of all his arduous labors for his country, had leisure to study largely the intricate laws of nature, to investigate vigorously recondite phenomena, and to deduce successfully previously unknown principles. Here again his illustrious example is at once a reproach, an exhortation and a promise. There is much of time in the life of every man, however exacting may be the calls of his profession, that could, by an ever-watchful industry, be found or made and appropriated to the prosecution of scientific investigations, or some other elevated employment, which would yield the highest pleasure and at the same. time advance him in his transcendental life. We are prone to rest satisfied with very moderate efforts, supposing that our duties to God, our neighbors and ourselves, are quite fulfilled by a mere observance of customary forms. If we labor diligently in our regular business, give liberally to the popular charitable institutions of our town, county and state, and attend systematically to the ordinances of our religion, the voice of community says, "Well done!" and our stupid conscience is schooled to endorse the plaudit. We have learned that great and extraordinary efforts are manifestations of great and original genius, to which, in our slothful modesty, we dare not pretend. When that greatest of military leaders assumed command of the army of Italy," he called his generals together and announced the manner in which he proposed to conduct the war. Old pedantic tacticians were astonished, and wonderingly in

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