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could, and not as he would. He cared not for the laughs and jeers of those who could dress better and live more sumptuously than himself, since it was absolutely necessary for him to dress as he did in order "to make his ends meet." He might have followed the example of some young men, and incurred a debt, in order "to cut a dash," but he believed then, as he wrote afterwards, that "lying rides on debt's back," and that it is "better to go to bed supperless than to rise in debt"; or, as he expressed himself in other maxims, "Those have a short Lent who owe money to be paid at Easter," and "It is easier to build two chimneys than to keep one in fuel."



OT many days after Benjamin replied to the letter of Captain Homes, an unusual scene transpired at Keimer's office.

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"There's Governor Keith on the other side of the street,' said Keimer to Benjamin, as they stood looking out of the window. "That tall man with a gentleman walking with him."

"I see," replied Benjamin. "I should think they were coming here."

"Sure enough, they are crossing the street; they must be coming here; I wonder what for." And Keimer ran down stairs to meet them before the last words, as above, were off his lips. He supposed, of course, that they were coming to see him. He met them politely at the door, for it was not every day that he had the privilege of welcoming a governor to his printing office, but was somewhat taken aback when the governor inquired :


Does Benjamin Franklin work here?"

"He does; do you wish to see him?" Keimer was almost bewildered when he answered.

governor want of that boy?" he thought.

"Can I see him?"

"Certainly, walk in."

"What can the

They walked in and took seats. Benjamin was called. "This is the young man you wanted to see," said Keimer, introducing him. "Governor Keith, Benjamin.”

"I am very happy to make your acquaintance," responded

the governor. "I met your brother-in-law, Captain Homes, at Newcastle, the other day, and I promised to call and see you. And this is Colonel French, of Newcastle, who also promised Captain Homes to call with me," introducing the colonel.

Benjamin was too much astonished to feel at ease. He would not have been so amazed if an officer from Boston had called to arrest him as a runaway. What the governor of Pennsylvania could want with him was beyond his wildest dreams.

"If Mr. Keimer can spare you a short time, we would like you to go with us for an interview, as we promised Captain Homes," added the governor.

"I am at your service," Benjamin replied, collecting his scattered and wandering thoughts. "Mr. Keimer can spare me, no doubt."

Within a few minutes, he was with the governor and Colonel French at a tavern on the corner of Third Street, in a room by themselves.

"I am very glad to meet a young man of your abilities," remarked the governor, "and I want to talk with you about setting up the printing business for yourself in this town. Captain Homes told me of your experience and ability, on this and other lines, and I am sure that you can start a printing house of your own, and make a success of it."

"But I have nothing to start such a business with. It requires capital."

"True, very true; but I think we can arrange that. Perhaps your father could give you a start, judging from what Captain Homes says."

I suppose that he might if he was so disposed; but I doubt whether he would do it." Benjamin was querying, as he spoke, whether Captain Homes had disclosed the fact of his being a runaway.

"I can write a letter to him, setting before him the excellent opportunity for a printer here who understands

the business as you do, and advise him to render you aid." The governor did not hint that he knew about his leaving home clandestinely.

"That is very kind on your part; but is it not true, that two printing houses are as many as this town can support well?"

"It would be if they were first-class; but they are not. The proprietors do not understand their business; they have poor equipments, too; and their outfit does not enable them to do first-class work."

"The governor will see that you have the Government printing of Pennsylvania to do," suggested Colonel French; " and I have no question that I can secure the Government printing of Delaware for you, also. This will give you patronage as well as business."

"I thank you both very much for your kindness and confidence; and I should like nothing better than to have a printing house of my own."

"How would this plan do?" continued the governor. "You return to Boston by the first vessel that goes, taking a letter from me to your father, in which I will lay the whole matter before him, so that he can understand it, recommending that he set you up in business here."

"Well," replied Benjamin, after some hesitation, "the plan is good enough; but I fear it will not work."

"It will do no hurt to try it," retorted the governor; "and you will have an opportunity to see your friends, and they will have an opportunity to see you."

"Yes, and I shall enjoy that; but I could not honourably leave Mr. Keimer at present."

"It will not be necessary to leave him at present. It may be three months before a vessel is billed for Boston. You can work for him at present, notifying him that you shall return to Boston on a visit the first vessel that goes." "Yes, I can do that," said Benjamin.

"You will not, of course, divulge your plan of establishing

a printing house of your own," suggested the governor. "Keep that a secret. Your plan may not work, so that it will be wise to keep it a secret for the present."

"Well, I will defer to your judgment, and return to Boston by the first vessel that sails. If the plan works, and Benjamin Franklin should run a successful business house in this town, the credit of it will belong to you."

They separated with the understanding that Benjamin would return to Boston by the first vessel sailing for that port. The governor and his friend retired, and Benjamin returned to his work at the printing office.

The reader will make special note of this unusual scene. Here was the governor of Pennsylvania and a leading public man of Delaware in conference with a boy of seventeen years, about establishing a printing house of his own in Philadelphia, with the promise of the Government patronage! What sort of a boy must he be? Not one of common mould or capacity; but one, as the sequel will show, who Ishall rule in the councils of the nation!

Keimer's curiosity was on tiptoe; he wanted to know what business Governor Keith could have with his young employé.

"Why," replied Benjamin, "he met my brother-in-law, who is captain of a sloop, at Newcastle, and learned of him that I was working in this town, and so he called."

"All that may be; but governors are not in the habit of calling upon boys as a matter of courtesy." And Keimer looked very unbelieving when he said it.

"He told my brother-in-law that he should call, and my brother-in-law urged him to do so. Colonel French was a personal friend, who came with him; and he, too, promised Captain Homes that he would call."

"That is all right; but you are the first boy that ever lived in Philadelphia, who has attracted the governor's patronage to himself." Keimer was somewhat jocose, while, at the same time, he was evidently suspicious that

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