1. I was put to the grammar-school at eight years of age, myfather intending to devote me, as the tithe[註：Tithe本義為什一稅。 乃由區中土地牧畜等收入徵其十分之一以供教會及牧師之俸給者。Franklin之父有十子。當時有以財產十分之一獻教會之習慣。故借此為喻。]of his sons, tothe service of the churcb. My early readiness in learning to read (which must have been very early, as I do not remember when I couldnot read),and the opinion of all his friends that I should certainlymake a good scholar, encouraged him in this purpose of his. My uncleBenjamin, too, approved of it, and proposed to give me all his short-hand volumes of sermons, I suppose as a stock to set up with, if Iwould learn his character.[註：His character=his method of short-hand.]I continued, however, at the grammar school not quite one year, though in that time I had risen gradually from the middle of theclass of that year to be the head of it, and, farther, was removedinto the next class above it, in order to go with that into the thirdat the end of the year. But my father, in the meantime, from a viewof the expense of a college education, which, having so large afamily, he could not well afford, and the mean living many soeducated were after wards able to obtain—reasons that he gave to his friends in my hearing—altered his first intention, took me from thegrammar-school, and sent me to a school for writing and arithmetic, kept by a then famous man, Mr. George Brownell, very successful in his profession generally, and that[註：And that之“that”當上文之very successful]by milde, encoura-ging methods. Under him I acquired fairwriting pretty soon, but I failed in the arithmetic, and made noprogress in it. At ten years old I was taken home to assist my fatherin his business, which was that of a tallow chandler and soapboiler —a business he was not bred to, but had assumed on his arrival in NewEngland, and on finding his dyeing trade would not maintain his family, being in little request. Accordingly, I was employed in cuttingwick for the candles, filling the dipping-mould and the moulds forcast candles, attending the shop, going of errands, etc.
2. I disliked the trade, and had a strong inclination for the sea, but my father declared against it. However, living near the water, I was much in and about it, learned early to swim well, and to manageboats; and when in a boat or canoe with other boys, I was commonlyallowed to govern, especially in any case of difficulty. And uponother occasions I was generally a leader among the boys, andsometimes led them into scrapes, of which I will mention one instance, as it shows an early projecting public spirit, though notthenjustly conducted.
3. There was a salt marsh that bounded part of the mill- pond, onthe edge of which, at high-water,[註：ligh-water 潮滿]we used to standto fish for minnow. By much trampling, we had made it a mere quagmire. My proposal was to build a wharf there fit for us to stand upon, and I showed my comrades a large heap of stones which were intendedfor a new house near the marsh, and which would very well suit ourpurpose. Accordingly, in the evening, when the workmen were gone, I assembled a number of my play-fellows, working with them diligentlylike so many emmets, sometimes two or three to a stone, we broughtthem all away, and built our little wharf. The next morning theworkmen were surprised at missing the stones, which were found in ourwharf. Inquiry was made after the removers; we were discovered, andcomplained of; several of us were corrected[註：corrected 譴責] by ourfathers; and, though I pleaded the usefulness of the work, mine [註：Mine=my father.]convinced me that nothing was useful which was nothonest.
4. I think you may like to know something of his person andcharacter. He had an exceellnt constitution of body, was of middlestature, but well set, and very strong. He was ingenious, could drawprettily, was skilled a little in music, and had a clear, pleasingvoice; so that when he played psalm tunes on his violin and sungwithal, as he sometimes did in an evening after the business of theday was over, it was extremery agreeable to hear. He had a mechanicalgenius too, and, on occasion, was very handy in the use of othertradesmen's tools; but his great excellence lay in a soundunderstanding and solid judgment in prudential matters,[註：Prudentialmatters.=Matters requiring the exerci e of prudence or foresight. ]both in private and public affairs. In the latter, indeed, he wasnever employed, the numerous family he had to educate and thestraitness of his cireumstances[註：Straitness of his cir cumstances生計艱難]keeping him close to his trade; but I remember well his beingfrequently visited by leading people, who consulted him for hisopinion in affairs of the town or of the church he belonged to, andshowed a good deal of respect for his judgment and advice. He wasalso much consulted by private persons about their affairs when anydifficulty occurred, and frequently chosen an arbitrator betweencontending parties. At his table he liked to have, as often as hecould, some sensible friend or neighbor to converse with, and alwaystook care to start some ingenious or useful topic for discourse, which might tend to improve the minds of his children. By this meanshe turned our attention to what was good, just, and prudent in theconduct of life; and little or no notice was ever taken of whatrelated to the victuals on table, whether it was well or ill dressed, in or out of season, of good or bad flavor, preferable or inferior tothis or that other thing of the kind;[註：Inferior to……of the kind 較其同種類者之優劣，如此肉較彼肉如何此魚較他魚如何。 ] so that I wasbrought up in such a perfect inattention to those matters as to bequite indifferent what kind of food was set before me, and sounobservant of it that, to this day, if I am asked I can scarce tell, a few hours after dinner, what I dined upon. This has been aconvenience to me in travelling, where my companions have beensometimes very unhappy for want of a suitable gratification of theirmore delicate, because better instructed;[註：Better instructed 更知味，辨味更精之義。]tastes and appetites.
5. To return: I continued thus employed in my father's businessfor two years, that is, till I was twelve years old; and my brotherJohn, who was bred to that business, having left my father, married, and set up for himself at Rhode Island, there was all appearance thatI was destined to supply his place, and become a tallow-chandler. Butmy dislike to the trade continuing, my father was under apprehensionsthat if he did not find one for me more agreeable, I should breakaway[註：Break away 逃亡]and get to sea, as his son Josiah had done,tohis great vexation. He therefore sometimes took me to walk with him, and see joiners, bricklayers, turners, braziers, etc., at their work,that he might observe my inclination and endeavor to fix it on some trade or other on land. It has ever since been a pleasure to me tosee good workmen handle their tools; and it has been useful to me, having learned so much by it as to be able to do little jobs myselfin my house when a workman could not readily be got, and to constructlittle machines for my experiments [註： Experiments 謂電學之實驗也] while the intention of making the experiment was fresh and warm in my mind. My father at last fixed upon the culler's trade, and my uncle Benjamin's son, Samuel, who was bred to that business in London, being about, that time established in Boston, I was sent to be with him some time on liking.[註： On liking=On trial, at the pleasure of both,]But his expectations of a fee[註：A fee= A sum paidto a master. ] with me displeasing my father, I was taken home again.
6. From a child I was fond of reading, and all the little moneythat came into my hands was ever laid out in books. Pleased with the Pilgrim's Progress,[註：Pilgrim's Progress 即 Bunyan（1628—1688 英之宗教家）所著天路歷程。]my first collection was of John Bunyan's works, in separate little volumes. I afterwards sold them to enable me tobuy R. Burton's Historical Collections; [註：Burton's Historical Collections.此書為倫敦 Nathaniel Crouch 所發行，其時在十七世紀， 與著Anatomy of Melancholy 之 Robert Burton 為兩人。]they were smallchapmen's books, and cheap, forty or fifty in all. My father's little library consisted chiefly of books in polemic[註：Polemic—Controversal.]divinity, most of which I read, and have since often regretted that, at a time when I had such a thirst for knowledge, more proper books had not fallen in my way since it was now resolvedI should not be a clergyman. Plutarch's Lives[註：Plutarch's Lives為希臘史家 Plutarch所作英雄列傳，Emerson稱其為“the Bibble of Heroisms”者也]there was, in which I read abundantly, and I still think thattime spent to great advantage. There was also a book of De Foe's,[註： Daniel Defoe（1661—1731）英之小說家即著 Robinson Crusoe 者。]called an Essay on Projects, and another of Dr.Mather's, called Essaysto Do Good, which perhaps gave me a turn of thinking that had an influence on some of the principal future events of my life.
7. This bookish inclination at length determined my father tomake me a printer, though he had already one son ( James) of thatprofession. In 1717 my brother James returned from England with apress and letters, to set up his business in Boston[註：Rev. Dr.cottonMather（1663—1728）美之神學家。] I liked it much better than that ofmy father, but still had a hankering for the sea. To prevent the apprehended effect of such an inclination, my father was impatient tohave me bound ot my brother.I stood out[註：Stand out.違抗。]some time, bnt at last was persuaded, and signed the indentures when I was yetbut twelve years old. I was to serve as an apprentice till. I wastwenty-one years of age, only I was to be allowed journeyman's wagesduring the last year. In a little time I made great proficiency inthe business, and became a useful hand to my brother. I now hadaccess to better books. An acquaintance with the apprentices ofbooksellers enabled me somteimes to borrow a small one, which I wascareful to return soon and clean. Often I sat up in my room readingthe greatest part of the night, when the book was borrowed in theevening and to be returned early in the morning, lest it should bemissed or wanted.
8.And after some time an ingenious tradesman, Mr. Matthew Adams, who had a pretty collection of books,and who frequented our printing-house, took notice of me, invited me to his library, and very kindlylent me such books as I chose to read, I now took a fancy to poetry, and made some little pieces. My brother, thinking it might turn toaccount, [註：Turn to account 可用，可觀。]encouraged me, and put me on[註： Put me on=Induced me.] composing occasional ballads.One was called The Lighthouse Tragedy, and contained an account of the drowingof Captain Worthilake, with his two daughters;the other was a sailor'ssong, on the taking[註：The taking捕獲。]of Teach (or Blackbeard), thepirate. They were wretched stuff, in the Grub Street[註：Grub Street A street in London, "much inbabited (in 18th centnry) by writers of small histories, dictiouaries, and temporary poems, whence any mean production is called grubstreet.]ballad style; and when they wereprinted he sent me about the town to sell them. The first soldwonderfully, the event been recent, having made a great noice. Thisflattered my vanity; but my father discouraged me by ridiculing myperformances, and telling me verse-makers were generally beggars. SoI escaped being a poet, most probably a very bad one; but as prose-writing has been of great use to me in the course of my life; andwas a principal means of my advancement, I shall tell you how, insuch a situation, I acquired what little ability I have in that way ……
9. About this time I met with an odd volume of the Spectator. Itwas the third.[註：The third=The third volume.]I had never before seen any of them. I bought it, read it over and over and was much delighted with it. I thought the writing excellent, and wished, if possible, to imitate it. With this view I took some of the papers,and,making short hints of the sentiment in each sentence, laid them by afew days, and then, without looking at the book, tried to completethe papers again by expressing each hinted sentiment at length, andas fully as it had been expressed before, in any suitable words thatshould come to hand. Then I compared my Spectator with the original, discovered some of my faults, and corrected them. But I found Iwanted a stock of words, or a readiness in recollecting and using them, which I thought I should have acquired before that time if I hadgone on making verses; since the continual occasion for words of thesame import, but of different length[註：Different length.字母多寡之不同者。]to suit the measure, or of different sound for the ryhme, wouldhave laid me under a constant necessity of searching for variety [註：Variety.謂字異義同或字同義異等變化。]and also have tended to fixthat variety in my mind, and make me master of it. Therefore I tooksome of the tales and turned them into verse, and, after a time, whenI had pretty well forgotten the prose, turned them back again. I alsosometimes jumbled my collections of hints into confusion, and aftersome weeks endeavored to reduce them into the best order, before Ibegan to form the full sentences and complete the paper. This was toteach me method in the arrangement of thoughts. By comparing my workafterwards with the original, I discovered many faults and amandedthem; but I sometimes had the pleasure of fancying that, in certainparticulars of small import. I had been lucky enough to improve themethod or the language; and this encouraged me to think I mightpossibly in time to come be a tolerable English writer, of which Iwas extremely ambitious. My time for these exercises and for readingwas at night, after work, or before it began in the morning, or onSundays, when I contrived to be in the printing-house alone, evadingas much as I could the common attendance on public woiship which myfather used to exact of me when I was under his care, and whichindeed I still thought a duty, though I could not, as it seemed to me, afford time to practise it.
10. While I was intent on impr ving my language, I met with an English grammar(I think it was Greenwood's),[註：Greenwood' — James Greenwood 氏千七百十一年始刊行於倫敦之文法書]at the end of which there was two little sketches of the arts of rhetoric and logic, the latter finishing with a dispute in the Socratic method;[註： socratic Method—The mode of arguing pursued by Socrates, the illustrious Greek philosopher（B.C.471—399）.]and, soon after, I procured Xenophon's Memorable Things of Socrates,[註：Zenophon（B.C.444？ ）. 希臘名將而Socrates 之弟子也 ] wherein are many instances of the same method. I found this method safest for myself and very embarassing to those against whom I used it, therefore I took a delight in it, practised it continually, and grew very artful and expert in drawingpeople, even of superior knowledge, into concessions, the con equences of which they did not foresee,entangling them in difficultiesout of which they could not extricate themselves, and so obtaining victories that neither myself nor my cause always deserved……
11.I continued this method some few years, but gradually left it ,retaining only the habit of expressing myself in terms of modestdiffidence; never using, when I advanced anything that may possiblybe disputed, the words certainly, undoubtedly, or any others thatgive the air of positiveness to an opinion; but rather say, I conceiveor apprehend a thing to be so and so; it appears to me, or, Is ouldthink it so and so, for such and such reasons; or, I imagine it to beso; or, it is so, if I am not mistaken. This habit, I believe, hasbeen of great advantage to me when I have had occasion to inculcatemy opinions, and persuade men into measures that I have been fromtime to time engaged in promoting; and, as the chief ends ofconversation are to inform or to be informed, to please or topersuade, I wish well-meaning, sensible men would not lessen theirpower of doing good by a positive, assuming manner, that seldom failsto disgust, tends to creat opposition, and to defeat every one ofthose purposes for which speech was given us —to wit, giving orreceiving information or pleasure. For if you would inform, apositive and dogmatical manner in advancing your sentiments mayprovoke contradiction, and prevent a candid attention. If you wishinformation and inprovement from the knowledge of others, and yet atthe same time express yourself as firmly fixed in your presentopinions, modest, sensible men, who do not love disputation, willprobably leave you undisturbed in possession of yonr error. And bysuch a manner, you can seldom hope to recommend yourself in pleasingyour hearers, or to persuade those whose concurrence you desire.
Pope[註：Alexander Pope（ 1688 — 1744 ）英之大詩人。 所引句見彼所作Essay on Criticism]says judiciously:"Men must be taught as if you taught them not, And things unknown proposed as things forgot."[註： 二句之義蓋謂誨人當出以婉辭不可以師自居。不知之事當不提及有如忘卻也。]further recommending to usTo speak, though sure, with seeming diffidence." And he might havecoupled with this line that line that which he has coupled withanother, I think,less properly,[註：He might have coupled …… less properly.——that which=that lime which,指下“For want of modesty”&c.句。“this line”指“To speak, though sure”&c.句。 ‘ Another ’指“Immodest words odmit”&c.句。詳言之即“To speak, though sure”句當與“For want of modesty”句為對偶，今以與“Immodest words” 句相偶似覺失當。]"For want of modesty is want of sense."If you ask, why less properly? I must repeat the lines——"Immodest words admit of no defence,For want of modesty is want of sense."Now, is not "want of sense"(where a man is so unfortunate as to wantit)some apology for his "want of modesty"? And would not the linesstand more justly thus?"Immodest words admit but this defence,that want of modesty is want of sense."This,however, I submit to better judgments.
12. My brother had, in 1720 or 1721, begun to print a newspaper. It was the second that appeared in America, and was called the NewEngland Courant. The only one before it was the Boston News- Letter. Iremember his being dissuaded by some of his friends from theundertaking, as not likely to succeed, one newspaper being, in thierjudgment, enough for America. At this time there are no less thanfive-and-twenty. He went on, however with the undertaking, and afterhaving worked in composing the types and printing off the sheets, Iwas employed to carry the papers through the streets to the customers.
13.He had some ingenious men among his friends, who amusedthemselves by writing little pieces for this paper, which gained itcredit and made it more in demand, and these gentlemen often visitedus.Hearing their conversations, and their accounts of the approbationtheir papers were received with, I was excited to try my hand amongthem;but,being still a boy, and suspecting that my brother wouldobject to printing anything of mine in his paper if he knew it to bemine, I contrived to disguise my hand, and, writing an anonymouspaper, I put it in at night under the door of the printing-house. Itwas found in the morning, and communicated to his writing friendswhen they called in as usual. They read it, commented on it in myhearing, and I had the exquisite pleasure of finding it met withtheir approbation, and that, in their different guesses at the author,none were named but men of some character among us for learning andingenuity. I suppose now that I was rather lucky in my judges, andthat perhaps they were not really so very good ones as I thenesteemed them……
14. I have been the more particular in this description of myjourney,[註：My journey.上文所略甚多，此 my journey 謂其出印刷店而往Philadelphia之行也。]and shall be so of my first entry into that city,[註：That city 謂 philadelphia.]that you may in your mind compare such unlikely beginnings with a figure I have since made there. I wasin my working dress, my best clothes being to come round by sea.I was dirty from my journey; my pockets were stuffed out with shirts aud stockings, and I knew no soul, nor where to look for lodging. I was fatigued with travelling, rowing, and want of res; I was very hungry, and my whole stock of cash consisted of a Dutch dollar, and about a shilling in copper. The latter I gave to the people of the boat for my passage, who at first refused it on account of my rowing; but I insisted on their taking it. A man being sometimes more generous when he has but a little money than when he has plenty, perhaps through fear of being thought to have but little.
15. Then I walked up the street, gazing about, till, near themarket-house, I met a boy with bread. I had made many a meal on bread, and, inquiring where he got it, I went immediately to the baker'she directed me to, in Second Street, and asked for biscuit, intendingsuch as we had in Boston; but they, it seems, were not made inPhiladelphia. Then I asked for a threepenny loaf, and was told theyhad none such. So, not considering or knowing the difference of money, and the greater cheapness nor the names of his bread, I bade himgive me threepenny-worth of any sort. He gave me, accordingly, threegreat puffy rolls. I was surprised at the quantity, but took it, and,having no room in my pockets, walked off with a roll under each arm , and eating the other. Thus I went up Market Street as far as FourthStreet, passing by the door of Mr. Read, my future wife's father; when she, standing at the door, saw me, and thought I made, as Icertainly did, a most awkward, ridiculous appearance. Then I turnedand went down Chestnut Street, and part of Walnut Street, eating myroll all the way, and, coming round, found myself again at MarketStreet Wharf, near the boat I came in, to which I went for a draughtof the river water; and, being filled with one of my rolls, gave theother two to a woman and her child that came down the river in theboat with us, and were waiting to go farther.
16. Thus refreshed, I walked again up the street, which by thistime had many clean-dressed people in it, who were all walking thesame way. I joined them, and thereby was led into the great meeting-house of the Quakers,[註：Quaker—a religious sect founded by GeorgeFox (1624— 90)in Philade lphia.]near the market. I sat down amongthem, and, after looking round awhile and hearing nothing said,[註：Hearing nothing said —此派多好默禱故無所聞。 ] being very drowsythrough labor and want of rest the preceding night, I fell fastasleep, and continued so till the meeting broke up, when one was kindenough to rouse me. This was, therefore, the first house I was in, orslept in Philadelphia.