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the reign of Charles II. when certain ministers, who had been ejected as non-conformists, having held Conventicles in Northamptonshire, they were joined by Benjamin and Josias, who adhered to them ever after. The rest of the family continued in the Episcopal Church,
My father, Josias, married early in life. He went, with his wife and three children, to New England, about the year 1682. Conventicles being at that time prohibited by law, and frequently disturbed, fome considerable persons of his acquaintance determined to go to America, where they hoped to enjoy the free exercise of their religion, and my father was prevailed on to accompany them.
My father had also by the same wife four children born in America, and ten others by a second wife, making in all seventeen. I remember to have seen thirteen seated together at his table, who all arrived to years of maturity, and were married. I was the last of the fons, and the youngest child, excepting two daughters. I was born at Boston in New England. My mother, the second wife, was Abiah Folger, daughter of Peter Folger, one of the first colonists of New England, of whom Cotton Mather makes honourable mention, in his Ecclefiaftical History of that province, as “a pious and learned Englishman," if I rightly recolleet his expressions. I have been told of his have ing written a variety of little pieces; but there appears to be only one in print, which I met with many years ago. It was published in the year 1675, and is in familiar verse, agreeably to the taite of the times and the counuy. The author
addresses himself to the governors for the time being, speaks for liberty of conscience, and in favour of the anabaptists, quakers, and other fectaries, who had suffered perfecution. To this persecution he attributes the wars with the natives, and other calamities which afflicted the country, regarding them as the judgments of God in punishment of so odious an offence, and he exhorts the
government to the repeal of laws so contrary to charity. The poem appeared to be written with a manly freedom and a pleasing fimplicity. I recollect the fix concluding lines, , though I have forgotten the order of words of the two first; the sense of which was, that his censures were dictated by benevolence, and that of consequence, he wished to be known as the author ; because, said he, I hate from my very Coul diffimulation : From Sherburne,* where I dwell,
I therefore put my name,
Peter Folgrr. My brothers were all put apprentice to different trades.
With respect to mylelf, I was lent, at the age of eight years, to a gram nar-School. My father destined me for the church, and already regarded me as the chaplain of the family. The promptitude with which from my infancy I had learned to read, for I do not remember to have been ever without this acquirement, and the encouragement of his friends, who assured him that I should one day certainly become a man of let.
* Town in the Island of Nantucket.
ters, confirmed him in this design.
My uncle Benjamin approved also of the scheme, and promiled to give me all his volumes of sermons, written, as I have said, in the short-hand of his invention, if I would take the pains to learn it.
I re nained however scarcely a year at grammar school, although, in this short interval, I had risen from the middle to the head of
class, from thence to the class immediately above, and was to pass, at the end of the year, to the one next in order. But my father, burthened with a numeious family, found that he was incapable, without fubjecting himself to difficulties, of providing for the expence of a collcgiate education, and considering besides, as I heard him say to his friends, that. persons so educated were often poorly provided for, he renounced his first intentions, took me from the grammar school, and sent me to a school for writing and arithmetic, kept by a Mr. George Brownwel, who was a skilful master, and succeeded very well in his profession by employing gentle means only, and such as were calculated to encourage his ichrlars. Under him I foon acquired an excellent hand; but I failed in arithmetic, and made therein no fort of progress.
I was called home to affit my father in his occupation, which was that of a soap-bciler and tallow-chandler; a bufiness to which he had served no apprenticeship, but which he embraced on his arrival in New-England, because he found his own, that of a dyer, in too little request to enable him to maintain his family. I was accordingly er ployed in cut
At ten years
their private affairs, and he was often chosen ar
biter between contending parties. pro
He was fond of having at his table, as often as this possible, some friends, or well-informed neigh
bours, capable of rational conversation, and he was always careful to introduce useful or ingenious topics of discourse, which might tend to form the minds of his children. By this means he early attracted our attention tô what was just, prudent, and beneficial in the conduct of life.
He never talked of the meats which appeared able,upon the table, never discussed whether they
were well or ill dressed, of good or bad flavour,
high-seasoned or otherwise, preferable or inferior o his to this or that dish of a similar kind. Thus ac
customed, from my infancy, to the utmost inatoften z in
tention as to these objects, I have always been and perfectly regardless of what kird er Low be
so little at sakon tot now, that it would be a hard matter for ire to recollect, a few hours after I had dined, us what my dinner had consisted. When travelling, I have particularly experienced the advantage of this habit; for it has often happened to me to be in company with persons, who, having a more delicate, because a more exercised tafte, have suffered in
cases considerable inconvenience ; while, as to myseif, I have had nothing to desire.
My mother was likewise poffefsed of an excellent constitution. She suckled all her ten chil. dren, and I never heard either her or
father Ency complain of any other disorder than that of which
they died : my father at the age of eighty-leven, in and mother at eighty-five. They are buricd to
fore me ;
afir , at of
gether at Boston where, a few years ago, I placed a marble over their grave, with this inscription :
66 Here lie “ Josias FRANKLIN and Abrah his wife: They « lived together with reciprocal affection for fif
ty-nine years; and without private fortune, “ without lucrative employment, by afsiduous la6 bour and honest industry, decently supported
a numerous family, and educated with success, 6 thirteen children, and seven grand children: “Let this example, reader, encourage thee dili“ gently to discharge the duties of thy calling,
and to rely on the support of divine provi66 dence.
• He was pious and prudent,
6 She discreet and virtuous, « Their youngest son, from a fentiment of filial 56 do..., consecrates this stone
66 To their memory.” !ceive, by my rambling digressions, that I dra sing old.
But we do not dress for a priVaic company as for a formal ball. This deserves perhaps the name of negligence.
To return. I thus continued employed in my father's trade for the space of two years; that is to say, till I arrived at twelve years of age. About this time my brother John, who had served his apprenticeship in London, having quitted my father, and being married and settled in business on his own account at Rhode-Island, I was destined, to all appearance, to supply his place, and be a candle-maker all my life: but my diflike of this occupation continuing, my father was apprehensive, that if a more agreeable