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through another experience with him, such as I have been through two years in the candle-factory."

Mr. Franklin had evidently acquired new views about boys, judging from his last remarks. He saw but one way out of the difficulty. Choice of an occupation was a more important matter than he had dreamed of. However, he had acted in accordance with the custom of that day, to choose occupations for sons without the least regard to fitness or their preferences. Boys must not have their own way in that matter any more than they should in other things, was the opinion of that age. But progress has been made on this line. It is thought now that the more nearly the aptitudes of the person fit the occupation, the more congenial and successful is the career. To follow the "natural bent," whenever it is possible, appears to be eminently wise. For square men should be put into square holes and round men into round holes. Failing to regard the drift of one's being in the choice of an occupation, is almost sure to put square men into round holes, and round men into square holes. In this way good mechanics have been spoiled to make poor clergymen or merchants, and a good minister spoiled to make a commonplace artisan.

The celebrated English engineer, Smeaton, displayed a marvellous ability for mechanical pursuits even in his childhood. Before he had donned jackets and pants in the place of short dress, his father discovered him on the top of the barn putting up a windmill that he had made. But he paid no regard to the boy's aptitude for this or that position. He was determined to make a lawyer of him, and sent him to school with that end in view. But the boy thought more of windmills and engines than he did of Euclid or Homer, and the result was unfavourable. His father was trying to crowd a square boy into a round hole, and it was repugnant to the born engineer.

Josiah Franklin tried to do with Benjamin just what Smeaton tried to do with his son, squeeze a square boy into

a round hole. That was a mistake. The son did not like the operation, and rebelled against the squeezing. This created trouble for both, until, with the aid of "Uncle Benjamin," Josiah discovered the way out of the difficulty.

Benjamin was delighted when his father disclosed to him his new plan.

"Anything is preferable to making candles," he said. "It will not take me long to choose something in place of a soap-factory.

"You have considerable mechanical ingenuity," his father said; "you like to work with tools, and you can see how tools are handled in different trades. How would you like your cousin Samuel's business ?"

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"I should like it vastly better than making candles, though I have not examined it much. I can tell better when we have looked in upon other trades. When shall we go?" Begin to-morrow, and first call upon your cousin Samuel. His cutlery trade is good, and it must increase as the population grows. Then we will examine other kinds of business. It will take some time to go the rounds."

On the morrow, as agreed upon, they went forth upon the memorable errand. Benjamin felt like an uncaged bird, and was highly elated by his prospects. Their first call was at Samuel's shop, where they could see a line of cutlery that was quite ample for that day. Samuel explained his methods, use of tools, etc., and Benjamin listened. He was well pleased with the trade, as Samuel saw at once, and encouraged him to choose it.

"I was never sorry that I learned the business," he said. "There is no easier way of getting a living, and the work is interesting, because it requires some ingenuity and skill. Benjamin has both, and will succeed."

"But I want he should examine other trades," replied his father. "When he has taken in several he will know more what he wants."

"Perhaps he will not know as well what he wants,"

rejoined Samuel.

"If he is like some boys he will be less settled in his mind what to choose than he is now."

"My mind is partly settled now," said Benjamin, "I should choose any trade on earth in perference to making candles and boiling soap. I should be content with your business."

Next they called on a brazier, who manufactured many articles in brass. This was entirely new to Benjamin; he had never seen anything of the kind before, and he examined the methods of work with much interest. The brazier was communicative, and explained matters fully and clearly, at the same time assuring Benjamin that he would like to teach a boy like him."

In like manner they visited a joiner, or carpenter, as he is called in New England now; also a turner, who formed various things with a lathe; also a silversmith, bricklayer, and stonemason. A part of several days was occupied in this examination; and it was time well spent, for it put much information into Benjamin's head, and enlarged his ideas. Referring to the matter when he had become an old man, he said: "It has ever since been a pleasure to me to see good workmen handle their tools. And it has often been useful to me to have learned so much by it as to be able to do some trifling jobs in the house when a workman was not at hand, and to construct little machines for my experiments at the moment when the intention of making these was warm in my mind."

"I like Samuel's trade as well as any," Benjamin remarked, after the trips of examination were concluded; and his father rejoiced to hear it. From the start Mr. Franklin showed that none of the trades suited him so well as his nephew's; so that he was particularly gratified to hear the above remark.


"Do you like it well enough to choose it, Benjamin ?" "Yes, father; on the whole, I think I shall like it best any; and cutlery will always be needed."

"We will understand then that you choose that trade, and I will see Samuel at once. It may be best for you to go into the shop for a short time before I make a bargain with him. Then he will know what you can do, and you will know how you like it."

At that time it was customary to bind boys to their employers, in different pursuits, until twenty-one years of age. Benjamin was twelve, and, if he should be bound to his cousin, as was the custom, it would be for nine years. For this reason it was a step not to be hastily taken. If a short service in the shop should prove favourable for both sides, the long apprenticeship could be entered upon more intelligently and cheerfully.

Mr, Franklin lost no time in securing a place in Samuel's shop. Both parties agreed that it would be best for Benjamin to spend a brief period in the business before settling the terms of apprenticeship. Accordingly he entered upon his new trade immediately, and was much pleased with it. It was so different from the work of candle-making, and required so much more thought and ingenuity, that he enjoyed it. He went to each day's work with a light and cheerful heart. He was soon another boy in appearance, contented, happy, and hopeful. Samuel recognized his ingenuity and willingness to work, and prophesied that he would become an expert cutler. He was ready to receive him as an apprentice, and Benjamin was willing to be bound to him until he was twenty-one years of age.

But when Mr. Franklin conferred with Samuel as to the terms of the apprenticeship, they could not agree. The latter demanded an exorbitant fee for his apprenticeship, which the former did not feel able to pay. With good nature they discussed the subject, with reference to an agreement on the terms; but Samuel was immovable. He had but one price. Benjamin might stay or go. Very much to the disappointment of both father and son, the plan failed and was abandoned.

Benjamin was afloat again. He had no disposition to return to candle-making, nor did his father desire that he should. He must choose an occupation again. As it turned out, it would have been better to settle the terms of apprenticeship in the first place.

It has been said that "there is no loss without some gain." So there was some gain to Benjamin. He was sadly disappointed; and he had given some time to a trade that amounted to nothing, but it was not all loss. He had learned much about the trades: the importance of a trade to every boy, and its necessity as a means of livelihood, and he never lost the lesson which he learned at that time. In his ripe manhood he wrote,

"He that hath a trade hath an estate."

"He that hath a calling hath an office of honour."

He believed that a trade was as good as a farm for a livelihood, and that a necessary calling was as honourable as a public office of distinction. How much his early discipline about trades had to do with these noble sentiments of his mature life, we may not say, but very much, without doubt.

While Benjamin was waiting for something to turn up, an incident occurred which may be rehearsed in this place. He was already an expert in swimming and rowing, and he loved the water and a boat passionately. He was fond of fishing, also; and there was a marsh, flooded at high tides, where the boys caught minnows. Here they repaired for a fine time one day, Benjamin and several companions.

"All aboard!" exclaimed Benjamin, as he bounded into the boat lying at the water's edge. "Now for a ride; only hurry up, and make the oars fly ;" and several boys leaped in after him from the shaky, trampled quagmire on which they stood.

"We shall be heels over head in mud yet," said one of the number, "unless we try to improve this marsh. There is certainly danger that we shall go through that shaky

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