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The Life and Services of Benj; Franklin

The Life and Services of Benj; Franklin

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Excerpt from The Life and Services of Benj; Franklin: With Some of the Proverbs of Poor Richard and a Catalogue of the Benj; Franklin Pattern of Sterling Silver Tableware

Two hundred years ago, with little appreciation of its importance to the world, the life of Benjamin Franklin began. The home into which he was born was comfortable and the family eminently worthy, but it was entirely lacking presumption of the genius that the alchemy of humanity had compounded of greatness and goodness, energy, ingenuity and sagacity, in fact with some subtile tincture of all the elements of wisdom and strength, not utterly devoid of faults, but altogether unique in history and opportune in its bestowal.

The Franklin house stood on Milk street, Boston, nearly opposite the historic Old South Meetinghouse, and in accordance with the requirements of the religious belief of that time he was, on the day of his birth, Sunday, carried to the church by his mother and baptized. His father, Josiah Franklin, was a candle-maker of sufficient means to bring up in comfort his large family of children, but he was obliged to forego his plan of educating Benjamin for the ministry, and two years' schooling between the ages of eight and ten constituted the sum of his official intellectual guidance. This but opened the door to the stores and fields of knowledge that Franklin by ardent application was to make his own, and its brevity enhances the triumph of his achievement. When, therefore, at the age of ten, economic reasons prevailed, thoughts of a higher education gave way to candle-making in his father's employ.

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