FRANKLIN AND HIS LOAF OF BREAD.
Benjamin Franklin, born in Boston in 1706, when a boy laid down certain
rules of conduct which he always followed. He made up his mind to be
temperate, orderly, frugal, and industrious. When ten years old, he cut
wicks for candles, minded the shop, and ran errands for his father, who
was a tallow-chandler. He did not, however, neglect his books, for he
tells us, "I do not remember when I could not read." Though no boy ever
worked harder, he was fond of manly sports, and was an expert swimmer.
Not liking the tallow-chandlery business, his father apprenticed him to
a printer. This was precisely the kind of work which suited Franklin.
When hardly eighteen years old, he was sent to England to buy printing
material, and to improve himself in his trade. As a printer in London, a
very young man, entirely his own master, with no friends to control him,
surrounded by temptations, those rules which he had fixed upon early in
life were of singular benefit to him. Returning to America in 1726, in
time he opened a modest printing-house in Philadelphia. Industry,
honesty, and good work made him successful. He became member of the
Assembly, Postmaster, and during the Revolution, while in France,
induced that country to espouse our cause. If to-day the world has to
thank Americans for making electricity their servant, Benjamin Franklin
first discovered its most marked qualities. With a kite he brought down
the spark from heaven to earth, and held it under control. Franklin
died, honored by all his countrymen, in 1790.
When a lad, hungry and tired, he landed in Philadelphia with a dollar in
his pocket, he bought some bread, and marched through the streets
munching his crust. He happened to see a young lady, a Miss Read, at the
door of her father's house. He made up his mind then and there that he
would marry her; and so in time he did. Strangely enough, that exact
part of New York from whence Harper's Young People is issued is called