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THE LIFE .

of . . .

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN,

Including a sketch of

THE RISE AND PROGRESS OF THE WAR
OF INDEPENDENCE,

and of

THE WARIOUS NEGOCIATIONS AT PARIS FOR PEACE;

With the History of

HIS POLITICAL AND OTHER, WRITINGS.

L ON DO N:–1826.

PRINTED FOR HUNT AND CLARKE,
TAVISTOCKSTREET, COVENT-GARDEN:

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THE LIFE

of

B E N J AM IN FRAN KL IN.

CHAPTER I.

Importance of his life and character.—Family history.-Early destination
and apprenticeship.–Absconds, and arrives at Philadelphia.

THE lives of great and useful men have been com-
pared to the course of rivers. They often rise in the
most obscure and desolate regions; a child might leap
over their sources; and thorns and briars alone appear
destined to obey their unregarded progress:
But silently that slighted thing
Shall demonstrate its living spring.
The stream widens and deepens; it becomes the pride
of the meadows, and the fertilizer of extensive dis-
tricts; it arrives within the sweep of tides and the
bustle of commerce; conveys prosperity to towns and
cities; bears on its bosom the hopes and fortunes of
millions, and at length reaches the ocean, the health
and hope of a country. -
The life of BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, which extends
through nearly the whole of the eighteenth century,
realized this ancient metaphor in a most remarkable
degree. He was at once the humble mechanic, the
yet humbler son of a tallow-chandler whose busi-
mess he hated, and the artificer of his country's inde-
pendence. He was an oppressed apprentice in the
obscure and dingy press-room of a provincial town,
and one of the most formidable opponents of

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