Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin | Go to book overview

A PETITION OF THE LEFT HAND

TO THOSE WHO HAVE THE SUPERINTENDENCY OF EDUCATION

I ADDRESS myself to all the friends of youth, and conjure them to direct their compassionate regards to my unhappy fate, in order to remove the prejudices of which I am the victim. There are twin sisters of us; and the two eyes of man do not more resemble nor are capable of being upon better terms with each other than my sister and myself, were it not for the partiality of our parents, who make the most injurious distinctions between us. From my infancy I have been led to consider my sister as a being of a more elevated rank. I was suffered to grow up without the least instruction, while nothing was spared in her education. She had masters to teach her writing, drawing, music, and other accomplishments ; but if by chance I touched a pencil, a pen, or a needle, I was bitterly rebuked; and more than once have I been beaten for being awkward and wanting a graceful manner. It is true, my sister associated me with her upon some occasions; but she always made a point of taking the lead, calling upon me only from necessity or to figure by her side.

But conceive not, sirs, that my complaints are instigated merely by vanity. No, my uneasiness is occasioned by an object much more serious. It is the practice in our family that the whole business of providing for its subsistence falls upon my sister and myself. If any indisposition should attack my sister — and I mention it in confidence upon this occasion that she is subject to the gout, the rheumatism, and cramp, without making mention of other accidents — what would be the fate of our poor family ? Must not the regret of our family be excessive at having placed so great a difference between sisters who are so perfectly equal ? Alas ! we must perish from distress; for it

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Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Introduction v
  • Chapter I 1
  • Chapter II 21
  • Chapter III 41
  • Chapter IV 53
  • Chapter V 62
  • Chapter IV 74
  • Chapter VII 90
  • Chapter VIII 103
  • Chapter IX 117
  • Chapter X 131
  • Chapter XI 146
  • Chapter XII 159
  • Poor Richard's Almanac and Other Papers *
  • Poor Richard's Almanac 175
  • Plan for Saving One Hundred Thousand Pounds 185
  • Necessary Hints to Those That Would Be Rich 187
  • Advice to a Young Tradesman 188
  • Digging for Hidden Treasure 190
  • Remarks concerning the Savages of North America 195
  • A Petition of the Left Hand 202
  • The Whistle 203
  • Dialogue between Franklin and the Gout 205
  • The Art of Procuring Pleasant Dreams 212
  • The Ephemera: An Emblem of Human Life 217
  • To Miss Georgiana Shipley 219
  • Familiar Letters 221
  • Notes 245
  • Macmillan's - Pocket Series of English Classics *
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