CHAPTER IX.
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY.

No sooner was the great man dead than his life and works fell a prey to biographers and editors. For this he was himself to blame. Long before he died, he saw many of his letters and pieces published and republished, in magazines and newspapers, both at home and abroad. He well knew that, do what he might, they would live. Yet he would not arrange and publish them himself, nor gather them with a view to being published by his executors. The great discoveries with which his name was joined, the events in which he had borne so striking a part, made his life of no common interest to his countrymen. Yet it was only by pestering that he was led to go on with an Autobiography begun with diffidence, and never brought to a close.

So much as now makes the five opening chapters was written during a visit to the Bishop of St. Asaph, at Twyford, in 1771. The visit over, the writing stopped, and the

-251-

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Benjamin Franklin
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents vii
  • General Introduction xi
  • Introduction to the Chelsea House Edition xiii
  • Author's Note to the 1887 Edition xxv
  • Chapter I - 1706-1723 1
  • Chapter II - 1723-1729 36
  • Chapter III - 1729-1748 65
  • Chapter IV - 1732-1748 96
  • Chapter V - 1743-1756 136
  • Chapter VI - 1756-1764 168
  • Chapter VII - 1764-1776 189
  • Chapter VIII - 1776-1790 218
  • Chapter IX - The Autobiography 251
  • Index 283
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