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So saying, he took off his clothing and leaped into the river, and was soon as much at home there as a waterfowl. Sometimes he was under the water, and sometimes on it; it did not seem to make much difference to him which. He swam from Chelsea to Blackfriars, four miles, entertaining the company with many manœuvres all the way. Then he got on board, and arrayed himself in his apparel to hear such words of praise as these :

"Wonderful! I had no idea that any man could attain to such skill in the water."

"No one in London who can do that!"

"Nor in all England and Wales."

"Couldn't drown you, Franklin, if you were left in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean."

"You could make a fortune, if you chose to exhibit your skill."

As this brief experience, together with his teaching Wygate and Hall to swim, won him quite a reputation on this line; we may state here, that after Benjamin had decided to return to Philadelphia and arranged therefor, he received a note from Sir William Wyndham, a noted public man, who was Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Bolingbroke administration, inviting him to pay him a visit. Benjamin was again perplexed to know what this great man could want of him; but he went to see him.

"I am happy to see you, Mr. Franklin, and I hope it has been no inconvenience to you to call at this time."

"None at all," answered Benjamin. "On the other hand, I consider myself highly honoured by your invitation to call; and I have gladly embraced the first opportunity to do so."

"I have heard of your great skill in the art of swimming," continued Sir Wyndham; "and how quickly you taught two young printers to swim."

"Yes," modestly answered Benjamin, "I have some skill in the water, and I did teach two of my companions the art of swimming, so that they are excellent swimmers now."

"That is what I heard; and I have two sons who are soon to start upon extensive travels, and I want they should learn to swim before they go. It may be of great service to them."

"I have no doubt it would prove a benefit to them," responded Benjamin. "I should not want to part with my skill for any consideration whatever."

"Can you teach my two sons the art at once?"

66 I regret to say that I cannot for the reason that I am soon to leave London, and return to America."

"Sorry for that, very sorry indeed. Allow me to suggest that, if you could prolong your stay here, you might make a real pecuniary success of establishing a swimming school. I should be willing to pay almost any price for the instruction of my two sons." Sir Wyndham was very earnest in his counsel, and made this suggestion sincerely.

"I really feel under great obligations for your interest and good opinions," Benjamin answered; "but I have already accepted an invitation to engage in business in Philadelphia, my home, and may leave within a few days.” "That settles the matter, of course; but I am sorry that it is so," added Sir Wyndham. "I trust that you may

prosper wherever you are."

Benjamin thanked him heartily for his complimentary words and good wishes, and left him almost wishing that he could cancel his engagement with Mr. Denham and open a swimming school. Wygate and Hall assured him that he could do well in that business.

Soon after the excursion to Chelsea, Wygate made known to Benjamin a scheme that was in his mind.

"I want to travel extensively over Europe," he said, "and I have decided to do it if you will become my travelling companion. We can stop as necessity requires, from time to time, and work at our business, so as to pay our way."

"I should like nothing better than to travel all over

Europe," answered Benjamin. "I have a desire to see more than I have seen of this part of the world." "Well, what do you think of the plan?"

"I should say that it is practicable, although the suggestion is entirely new to me. Could we get work at our

business ?"

"I took it for granted that we could," replied Wygate. "I have no more means of knowing than you have."

"I should take it for granted that we could too," said Benjamin; "still I shall want to consider it; it is quite an enterprise to undertake."

"Somewhat of a scheme; but a very interesting and instructive one if successfully prosecuted."

"That is so, and I think favourably of it. I will consult my good friend, Denham, about it. He has seen more of the world than we have."

Benjamin was evidently favourably impressed with the proposition; for he embraced the first opportunity to lay the subject before Mr. Denham.

"It does not strike me favourably," said Mr. Denham. "We could both see and learn a great deal," remarked Benjamin.

"That is true; but other things are to be considered, which are of equal importance. What might do for Wygate, whose home is here, might not do for you, whose home is in America."

"That may be." Benjamin's brief reply indicated that he was not quite certain on that point.

"It appears to me," continued Mr. Denham, "that your first thoughts should be concerned about returning to Philadelphia, that you may set up business for yourself there."

"I do not see much prospect of that at present. Of course I should be glad to return home; for there is no place I prefer to Philadelphia.”

"So far as prospects of which you speak are concerned,

we cannot always judge; unexpected opportunities sometimes offer; and you do not want to put yourself where you cannot accept and use them."

"Of course not," Benjamin answered, evidently disappointed that his friend did not endorse the scheme.

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I should recommend decidedly that you abandon the project entirely, and think no more about it. Then you can continue your work with the intention of returning to America whenever a favourable opportunity occurs."

Benjamin accepted the advice of Mr. Denham, and reported to Wygate, to the no small disappointment of the latter; and both discarded the scheme and devoted themselves to honest labour.

Benjamin heard of a place where he could get boarded at two shillings a week, when he was paying three shillings and sixpence a week in Duke Street.

"I think I shall be under the necessity of changing," he said to to the widow with whom he was boarding. "I want to save all the money I can, so as to return to America."

"I shall be very sorry to have you leave, Mr. Franklin, if I can possibly arrange with you to remain."

"I have no desire to leave, except to save a little in my expenses, that I may return to America sooner that is all." "Rather than have you go, I will deduct two shillings a week from what you are paying me now."

“That is, you propose to board me for one shilling and sixpence a week?"

"Yes, that is it, and it is a bargain if you say so."

"It is a bargain, then." And Benjamin continued to board there as long as he remained in London.

Before this woman received him for a boarder in the first place, she sent to the printing house to inquire about his character. The report was so favourable that she took him to board. And now she had tried him she was a greater admirer of his character than ever.

It is one of the things to be said in Benjamin's favour,

that, with all his faults, he always pleased and satisfied his employers and boarding-house keepers.

Benjamin records the following interesting incident respecting his friend Denham, of whom we have spoken, and to whom we shall refer again :—

"I must record one trait of this good man's character. He had formerly been in business at Bristol, but failed; in debt to a number of people, compounded, and went to America. There, by a close application to business as a merchant, he acquired a plentiful fortune in a few years. Returning to England in the ship with me, he invited his old creditors to an entertainment, at which he thanked them for the easy composition they had favoured him with, and, when they expected nothing but the treat, every man at the first remove found under his plate an order on a banker for the full amount of the unpaid remainder, with interest."

It was this excellent man and friend, who finally approached Benjamin with a proposition.

"How would you like to return to Philadelphia?" he said to Benjamin.

"I should like nothing better, if the way was open for me to go."

"I will open a way

66 How?"

for you if you will go."

"I am going myself. I intend to open a store of goods in Philadelphia, and will employ you in the business, if you will go."

"I should like to go; but that will be a new business for me; perhaps I shall not succeed in it."

"That is my lookout. I think you will succeed; at any rate, I am prepared to take the risk.”

"And I am prepared to go if you will." Benjamin was really delighted with the proposition.

"I will pay you fifty pounds for one year, and increase your wages thereafter as you become familiar with the business."

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