FRANKLIN'S nature could not endure long concentration on any one subject. His method of refreshing his mind was to skip gaily from one project to another, just as they bobbed up. In a single letter he was capable of mingling observations on politics, science, women's fashions, ventilation in bedrooms, and the price of beans, with entire unconcern. Even his Autobiography does not concern itself with continuity. It backs, fills, retreats, recollects itself, darts forward at increased speed, and then wanders off on by-paths only remotely connected with the subject in hand.
Hence it is no surprise to find him suddenly switching off his electric currents to go back to his scheme for an academy. He begins, as usual, by prodding up the Junto, interesting a few friends, and then printing a pamphlet entitled "Proposals relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania." According to his Socratic method, he avoids mentioning it as a project of his own, but introduces it as that of "some public-spirited gentlemen." The scheme takes hold and the school is soon housed in the wooden tabernacle previously built for the Rev. Mr. Whitefield. By this time Franklin was experienced in the ways of religious sects, so to see that no one of them got the upper hand, it was provided that the trustees should consist of one representative of each Philadelphia sect. The Moravian one soon fell afoul of his colleagues. They waited patiently till he died and then re