THE evidence is that Benjamin Franklin, born in 1706, first "came alive," as the saying is, about the year 1718. Let us consider, then, his small and somewhat pudgy person at the age of twelve.
From his parents, whom he never knew "to have any sickness but that of which they dy'd,"1 he has inherited a healthy and vigorous body and under their tutelage has had his attention turned to what is "good, just and prudent in the conduct of life." At the family table, where the food is regarded as secondary, he has listened to the discussions of ingenious and useful topics by the sensible friends and neighbors whom his father, "pious and prudent man," has invited for the edification of his multitudinous children.
The first incident which we know of concerning the canny influence of his relatives on the childish Franklin occurred when he was seven years old. Friends had given him some coppers, with which he sought a toy shop. There he was charmed with a whistle. He gave all his money for it. When the disturbance he created at home with the whistle led to a discovery of the price he had paid for it, his relatives made great fun of him, and told him he had paid four times what it was worth. They at the same time pointed out to him the good things he might have bought with the rest of the money. It is on record that little Ben "cried with vexation." He then and there resolved never again____________________