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A heritage, it seems to me,
A king might wish to hold in fee.

What does the poor man's son inherit?
Wishes o’erjoyed with humble things,
A rank adjudged by toil-worn merit,
Content that from enjoyment springs,
A heart that in his labor sings;
A heritage, it seems to ine,
A king might wish to hold in fee.

What does the poor man's son inherit?
A patience learned by being poor ;
Courage, if sorrow come, to bear it;
A fellow feeling that is sure
To make the outcast bless his door;
A heritage, it seems to me,
A king might wish to hold in fee.

Oh, rich man's son, there is a toil
That with all others level stands;
Large charity doth never soil,
But only whitens, soft white hands;
This is the best crop from thy lands
A heritage, it seems to me,
Worth being rich to hold in fee.

Oh, poor man's son, scorn not thy state !
There is worse weariness than thine, -
In being merely rich and great:
Work only makes the soul to shine,
And makes rest fragrant and benign, -

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A heritage, it seems to me,
Worth being poor to hold in fee.

Both heirs to some six feet of sod,
Are equal in the earth at last
Both children of the same dear God,
Prove title to your heirship vast,
By record of a well-filled past!
A heritage, it seems to me,
Well worth a life to hold in fee.



1. From a child I was fond of reading, and all the little money that came into my

hands was laid out in books. Pleased with the “ Pilgrim's Progress," my first collection was of John Bunyan's works, in separate little volumes. I afterward sold them to enable me to buy Burton's "Historical Collections”; they were small books, and cheap, forty or fifty in all.

2. “Plutarch's Lives” I read abundantly, and I still think that time spent to great advantage. There was also a book of De Foe's, called “ An Essay on Projects," and another of Dr. Mather's, called "Essays to do Good,which perhaps gave me a turn of thinking that had an influence on some of the principal future events of my life.

3. This bookish inclination at length determined my


father to make me a printer, though he had already one son (James) of that profession. In 1717 my brother James returned from England with a press and letters, to set up his business in Boston. I liked it much better than that of my father, but still had a hankering for the

To prevent the apprehended effect of such an inclination, my father was impatient to have me bound to my brother.

4. I stood out some time, but at last was persuaded, and signed the indentures when I was yet but twelve years old. I was to serve as an apprentice till I was twenty-one years of age, only I was to be allowed journeyman's wages during the last year. In a little time I made great proficiency in the business, and became a useful hand to my brother. I now had access to better books.

5. An acquaintance with the apprentices of booksellers enabled me sometimes to borrow a small book, which I was careful to return soon and clean. Often I sat up in my room reading the greatest part of the night, when the book was borrowed in the evening and to be returned early in the morning, lest it should be missed or wanted.

6. After some time an ingenious tradesman, Mr. Matthew Adams, who had a pretty collection of books, and who frequented our printing-house, took notice of me, invited me to his library, and very kindly lent me such books as I chose to read. I now took a fancy to poetry, and made some little pieces. My brother, thinking it might turn to account, encouraged me, and put me on composing occasional ballads.

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