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Bartholomew Close, where fifty hands were then employed, and applied for a situation.

"What experience have you had?" inquired the overseer. "Several years. I learned the business of my brother, James Franklin, in Boston, America; and he came to your country and learned it, before setting up the business in his own country."

"You ought to understand it, then. But why do you seek work in this country?

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"I did not come to London for work, but for an outfit with which to establish the business in Philadelphia." And Benjamin rehearsed his arrangement with Governor Keith, and the treachery which had been practised upon him, which interested the manager very much, and, at the same time, won his sympathy.

"Though Governor Keith proved so treacherous to you, the facts show his confidence in your ability as a printer," he remarked; "and, surely, in these misfortunes, a friend in need is a friend indeed. I think I can find something for you to do."

"You can try me, and I shall be very thankful for the chance," Benjamin answered. "I have no desire to work for any man unless I can suit him."

"That is an honourable view of the matter; and I have no doubt of your ability to satisfy me. You can come at once, and I will give you a position."

They agreed upon wages that were satisfactory to Benjamin, and the next day he went to work. The truth was, that the "boss" of Palmer's printing house was very much pleased with Benjamin's appearance. He saw at once that he was a young man of uncommon ability. He was surprised to learn that he was not quite nineteen years of age, since his appearance was that of a young man of twenty-two. Therefore, he was not only desirous of aiding him in his embarrassing situation, but he was glad to employ a young man of so much promise.

Ralph was not so successful. Here and there he applied for work, but no one appeared to want him. Benjamin rendered him all the assistance possible in the evenings; but his efforts met with no success. In advanced life, Benjamin spoke of Ralph's efforts as follows:

"He first endeavoured to get into the playhouse, believing himself qualified for an actor; but Wilkes, to whom he applied, advised him candidly not to think of that employment, as it was impossible he should succeed in it. Then he proposed to Roberts, a publisher in Paternoster Row, to write for him a weekly paper like the Spectator, on certain conditions; which Roberts did not approve. Then he endeavoured to get employment as a hackney writer, to copy for the stationers and lawyers about the Temple; but could not find a vacancy."

Ralph possessed considerable ability as an amateur player of tragedy or comedy; and he was quite a racy writer, also; hence his application for a situation as above. Benjamin was familiar with his qualifications on the lines mentioned, and seconded his efforts as best he could; but all to no purpose.

As Ralph had no money or work, Benjamin was obliged to support him. He paid his board, and loaned him small sums from time to time, so that he could maintain the appearance of a respectable citizen. But he was another elephant on Benjamin's hands. The weeks multiplied, and still Ralph had no employment. He was a constant bill of expense. Willing to work, abhorring a life of idleness, his condition and prospects were a torment to himself. He was more troubled even than Benjamin over his misfortune. At length, however, he announced :

"I am going to put an end to this sort of a life, Ben. I have stood it as long as I can. I am going out into the country to find a school to teach. I am told that I can easily find one."

"Not a bad idea, in the circumstances," replied Ben

jamin. "Teaching is an honourable and useful business; and it will make you friends."

"I should much prefer to remain in this city, and find a more congenial situation; but beggars can't be choosers, and so I have concluded to make the best of it. I am completely discouraged in trying for work in London." Ralph spoke as he felt, for he had become disheartened.

"It seems strange, almost," continued Benjamin, “that you can find no situation of any sort in this great city, where"

"I was not born under a lucky star, as you were, Ben," interrupted Ralph.

"My experience with Governor Keith doesn't show much of a star any way," rejoined Benjamin. "Certainly, it is not a lucky one, nor a morning star; if it is a star at all, it must be an evening star, seen only when it is getting dark."

"I wish I could accept disappointment and defeat as philosophically as you can, Ben; but I can't. It is quite impossible for me to make the best out of the worst; but you can."

"It is the way I am made, no doubt," said Benjamin in reply. "I never could make anything by fretting."

"Nor anybody else," quickly answered Ralph, "and still I fret and worry as if thereby I could mend the matter. But I am going to strike out for a school, and leave London to suffer the consequences of not employing me.”

"That is philosophical, sure," added Benjamin.

The school was secured within a short time, and Ralph became a schoolmaster a few miles out of London. Benjamin continued to serve in Palmer's printing house, where he gave satisfaction, and made his mark, as we shall see.




LETTER from Ralph to Benjamin informed the

latter that the former was settled in a small village called Berkshire, where he was teaching about a dozen boys in reading and writing at sixpence each per week,--not a very flattering position, but, in the circumstances, better than none.

What surprised Benjamin, however, was that Ralph had changed his name, and was known in that village as Franklin. He had assumed Franklin's name, thinking that such a position was not honourable for James Ralph to wear. At first, Benjamin was somewhat displeased to find himself scattered about in such a way, printer and schoolmaster, and he knew not what next. But on the whole, he concluded to let the matter rest; and, if his old friend could get success out of his name, allow him to do it. So he corresponded with him from time to time, directing his letters to "Mr. Franklin, schoolmaster," as Ralph desired.

It was not long before Benjamin began to receive instalments of an epic poem which Ralph was composing, with the request to examine and return remarks and corrections. Benjamin did examine and return it with the advice to cease writing epic poems and attend to his legitimate business or get into some other. But it was of no use, the poem continued to come by instalments.

At this juncture, too, another trial was added to his singular experience. Ralph's English wife called upon him

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