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sense, so that they would rather please the Lord than all mankind."
Mr. Willard was seen, and he endorsed the act as perfectly proper, and in complete harmony with a felt sense. of parental obligation. Therefore, Benjamin was wrapped closely in flannel blankets, and carried into the meetinghouse in the afternoon, where he was consecrated to the Lord by the pastor.
On the "Old Boston Town Records of Births," under the heading, "Boston Births Entered 1708," is this,“Benjamin, son of Josiah Franklin, and Abiah, his wife, born 6 Jan., 1706."
From some mistake or oversight the birth was not recorded until two years after Benjamin was born; but it shows that he was born on January 6th, 1706.
Then the records of the "Old South Church," among the baptism of infants, have this :-"1706, Jan. 6, Benjamin, son of Josiah and Abiah Franklin."
Putting these two records together, they establish beyond doubt the fact that Benjamin Franklin was born and baptised on the same day. The Old South Church had two pastors then, and it is supposed that Dr. Samuel Willard officiated instead of Rev. Ebenezer Pemberton, because the record is in the hand-writing of Doctor Willard.
The following will give some idea of the house in which he was born. It measured twenty feet in width, and was about thirty feet long. It was three stories high in appearance, the third being the attic. On the lower floor of the main house there was only one room, which was about twenty feet square, and served the family the triple purpose of parlour, sitting-room, and dining-hall. It contained an old-fashioned fireplace, so large that an OX might have been roasted before it. The second and third stories originally contained but one chamber each, of ample dimensions, and furnished in the plainest manner. The attic was an unplastered room, which might have been used
for lodgings or storing trumpery. The house stood about one hundred years after Josiah Franklin left it, and was finally destroyed by fire, on Saturday, December 29th, 1810. The spot on which it stood is now occupied by a granite warehouse bearing the inscription, "BIRTHPLACE OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN."
Mr. Franklin had three children when he left Banbury, and four more were given to him during the first four years of his residence in Boston, one of whom died. Soon after the birth of the seventh child, Mrs. Franklin died.
So young and large a family needed a mother's watch and care, as Josiah Franklin found to his sorrow. The additional burden laid upon him by the death of his wife interfered much with his business, and he saw fresh reasons each day for finding another helpmate as soon as possible. To run his business, successfully, and take the whole charge of his family, was more than he could do. In these circumstances he felt justified in marrying again as soon as possible, and, with the aid of interested friends, he made a fortunate choice of Abiah Folger, of Nantucket, a worthy successor of the first Mrs. Franklin. He married her a few months after the death of his first wife. The second Mrs. Franklin became the mother of ten children, which, added to those of the first Mrs. Franklin, constituted a very. respectable family of seventeen children, among whom was Benjamin, the fifteenth child. His "Autobiography" says: "Of the seventeen children I remember to have seen thirteen sitting together at the table, who all grew up to years of maturity and were married." Of the second it says: My mother, the second wife of my father, was Abiah Folger, daughter of Peter Folger, one of the first settlers of New England, of whom honourable mention is made by Cotton Mather in his ecclesiastical history of that country, as a godly and learned Englishman.'
PAYING TOO DEAR FOR THE WHISTLE.
HEN Benjamin was seven years old he had not been to school a day. Yet he was a good reader and speller. In manhood he said: "I do not remember when I could not read, so it must have been very early." He was one of those irrepressible little fellows, whose intuition and observation are better than school. He learned more out of school than he could or would have done in it. His precocity put him in advance of most boys at seven, even without schooling. It was not necessary for him to have school-teachers to testify that he possessed ten talents, his parents knew that, and every one else who was familiar with him.
The first money he ever had to spend as he wished was on a holiday when he was seven years old. It was not the Fourth of July, when torpedoes and fire-crackers scare horses and annoy men and women, for Benjamin's holiday was more than sixty years before the Declaration of Independence was declared, and that is what is celebrated now on the Fourth of July. Indeed, his holiday was a hundred years before torpedoes and fire-crackers were invented. It was a gala-day, however, in which the whole community was interested, including the youngest boy in the Franklin family.
"See that you spend your money well," remarked his mother, who presented him with several coppers; “and keep out of mischief.”