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MonkeyNotes-The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
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FRANKLIN - A PRINTER

On his return to Philadelphia, Franklin finds many changes. Keith is no longer the Governor; Miss Read, married to a potter, is unhappy with her married life; and Keimer has a bigger printing house and is doing well. Soon after their arrival, both Denham and Franklin become seriously ill. Denham dies, leaving a small legacy for Franklin. Franklin goes back to work for Keimer, where he meets Hugh Meredith, a Welsh Pennsylvanian who becomes his future partner in the printing business.

At Keimer's, Franklin discovers that the employees are not trained and business is not in order. Benjamin goes to work to reform the printing house and bring it up to standard; he also contrives molds, makes ink, and works in the warehouse. In spite of his efforts, Franklin finds that Keimer is not civil towards him. One day he criticizes Franklin for peeping out of the window to see what is happening, for there has been a loud noise on the street outside. Unwilling to tolerate such ridiculous behavior, Franklin instantly leaves Keimer's employment. On the same evening that he quits, Meredith proposes that his father may help in setting up a printing house for Franklin, for he holds him in high regard. Franklin meets with Mr. Meredith, and they work out the details for the printing business. Meredith will provide the capital, and Franklin will run the shop. They will share equally in the profits from the business. They decide that whole thing is to be kept a private affair until everything is finalized.

Before the new business is ready to open, Keimer sends a message to Franklin asking him to come back to work. He has received an order to print paper money in New Jersey, and only Franklin knows how to make the cuts and blocks required. Franklin is ready to turn down the offer, but the younger Meredith persuades Franklin to accept the offer, for the experience may prove advantageous to the new business and Meredith can continue to be trained by his mentor. When both Franklin and Keimer go to Burlington, Franklin is more warmly received than his boss, for Keimer does not have civil manners or proper speech. During his three-month stay, Franklin makes friends with several distinguished persons, who have high regard for the young man from Philadelphia. The association with these New Jersey men proves to be useful to Franklin later in his life.

In this section, Franklin also writes briefly about his personal religion. He believes that man should conduct himself properly in the present life and not worry about the hereafter. Franklin practices what he "preaches." His sense of morals and principles is high, and he believes that truth, sincerity, and integrity are the most important aspects in human relations, whatever the dealings may be. He earnestly thanks Providence for saving him from several temptations and situations. He is proud that he is judged as a man with good character and promises to preserve his good name. Now, he is at a point where he is ready to begin a new phase of his life, and he hopes for divine guidance in the effort.

When Franklin and Keimer return from Burlington, the new types have arrived. Franklin and Meredith settle with Keimer, and leave to start their own printing house. Before everything is totally ready and organized, a customer comes in to place an order, which Franklin eagerly accepts. Franklin is very happy to receive five shillings from him, the first earnings of his new business.

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