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"The books we read have words and phrases in other languages, and I do not know their meaning. I studied some Latin in Boston, before I was ten years old, and Latin words I can guess at, but French I can't. Suppose we study French."

"You can study it if you want to," replied Scull, “but I have not the time for another study."


"And I have not the taste for it," said Meredith. language is all that I can handle, and I can't handle that as I want to."

"I like the suggestion," responded Coleman, "and can give a little time to French, though not a great deal. If Ben becomes an expert linguist, he can translate the foreign words and phrases for us."

"That last suggestion is best of all," remarked Parsons. "Ben can go ahead and become a linguist for our benefit. That is the benevolent side of this question," punning on his argument for the benevolent side of the club question.

Whether other members of the Junto studied the languages we have no means of knowing, but Benjamin did, with remarkable success. First he studied French, and when he could read it quite well, he took up Italian and Spanish. By this time, he became so interested in foreign languages that he revived his acquaintance with Latin, becoming quite a good scholar therein. It was a mystery to his companions how he found time to accomplish so much; but he did it by method and industry, improving the smallest fragments of time, working early and late. was very fond of playing chess; but he denied himself the pleasure wholly in order that he might have the more time for study. While at Keimer's he found more time for reading and hard study, because his employer observed Saturday as his Sabbath, giving only five days in the week to work.




T would require several months for the printing outfit ordered from England to reach Philadelphia. In the meantime, Benjamin was considering what to do; and while canvassing the field, he received the following note from Keimer:

"PHILADELPHIA, December 10th, 1772.


"Dear Sir,—It is not wise for old friends like you and I to separate for a few words spoken in passion. I was very hasty, and am sorry for it. I want my old foreman back again at the old price. I have plenty of work, and if you think well of my proposition, come and see me.

"Yours truly,


Benjamin's first impulse was to destroy the letter and take no further notice of it. But the second sober thought led him to consult Meredith, who continued to work for Keimer. Meredith read the letter, and said :


"I should advise you to accept his proposition, as you have nothing to do."

"But can you tell me what selfish end he has in view, for Keimer would never come down like that unless he had an axe to grind ?" Benjamin said.

"Most certainly I can. He can have a Government job if he can do the work. The Province of New Jersey is going to make a new issue of paper-money, and he can get

the job; but you are the only printer in Philadelphia who can do that work, so he wants you."

"I knew there must be something of that sort, or he never would have asked for my work again. He is too contemptible a man to work for," Benjamin spoke with much feeling; and he was right too.

"I am

"But here is the point," continued Meredith. poorly equipped to set up business for myself, and you can teach me. It will be anywhere from six to eight months before our outfit arrives from England, so here is a good opportunity for me to improve."

"I suppose that is the best way of looking at it; but Keimer has so little manhood about him that I have no respect for him. I dislike to work for a man whom I despise, and can't help it." Benjamin's language showed that it was almost too much to ask him to return to Keimer's printing office; but Meredith persevered.

"For my sake, I want you should decide to accept the proposition. Keimer has made an apology, so that you can return without compromising your manhood at all. It looks to me as if it were wiser to accept his proposal than to decline it."

"I will sleep over it to-night before I decide, and let you know in the morning," replied Benjamin, as he took his leave.

In the morning Benjamin put in his appearance at Keimer's office, ready for work. He received a hearty welcome, and was at once apprized of the paper-money job of New Jersey.

Benjamin succeeded in contriving and completing a copper-plate press; and when cuts and ornaments were all ready, Keimer and he proceeded to Burlington, New Jersey, where they remained three months to fulfil the contract. It proved a rare school for Benjamin. It brought him in contact with many prominent men, who were of much assistance to him afterwards. He was so much more

intelligent than Keimer, that the latter was of little consequence, and very little notice was taken of him. One day Isaac Decon, the surveyor-general, said to him :"You are complete master of your business, and success is before you."

"I have improved my opportunities," modestly answered Benjamin, "and done the best I could to learn my trade. I don't like the half-way method of doing business."

"I commenced business in a very humble way," continued Decon, without dreaming, that I should ever possess such an estate as I do now.”

"What was your business?"

"I wheeled clay for the brickmakers, and had no opportunity of going to school in my boyhood. I did not learn to write until I became of age. I acquired my knowledge of surveying when I carried a chain for surveyors, who were pleased with my desire to learn the business, and assisted me. By constant industry, and close application, and not a little perseverance, I have succeeded in reaching the place where you now see me."

"That is the only way any person ever reached an honourable position," remarked Benjamin, after listening to the interesting story of success.

"You are right in that view, and one-half of the battle is fought when correct views of life are fixed. When an employer like Keimer is inferior to his employé in ability, tact, and enterprise, there is a very poor show for him. If you set up for yourself in Philadelphia, you will work him completely out of his business."

Late in the spring of 1728, the printing outfit arrived from England. Benjamin and Meredith had settled with Keimer, who was unusually happy because his profits on his paper-money job in New Jersey had tided him over very discouraging embarrassments. Keimer knew nothing of their plans, however, when a settlement was consummated, as both had kept the secret. The first intimation

that he, or the public, had of such an enterprise, was the opening of their printing house in the lower part of Market Street-"FRANKLIN & MEREDITH."

"Here's a man looking for a printer," said George House, an old friend of Benjamin. "He inquired of me where he could get a job done, and I told him that here was a place above all others."

"Thank you for the advertisement, George. Yes, sir, we can serve you here at short notice. What will you have done?" Benjamin won the customer over at once by his genial, familiar way.

The man made known his wants; and it proved to be a five-shilling job, all the more acceptable because it was the first.

With the members of the Junto all interested in his success, and the public men of New Jersey, who made his acquaintance at Burlington, Benjamin's business was soon well advertised. Many people were taken by surprise, and most of them predicted a failure, since there were two printers in the town already. One day Samuel Nickle, an old citizen of the town, known somewhat as a croaker, was passing by, and, looking up, he read the sign. "Another printing house!" he said to himself. two in town already! Who can be so thoughtless?" He stopped and mused a few moments and then entered.


"Are you the young man who has opened this printing house?" he inquired of Benjamin.

"I am, sir."

"I am very sorry for you. You are throwing away your money; you can't succeed with two old printing houses here. You will fail."

"What makes you think so?"

"Because Philadelphia is degenerating, and half the people are now bankrupt, or nearly so, and how can they support so many printers ? "

"But the appearance of Philadelphia indicates thrift,"

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