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Online Quiz (Worksheet A B C D)

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American History
2.2 Stoop to Conquer

As he worked in Printing press, he learnt the techiques. It helped him to publish a small newspaper called The Pennsylvania Gazette. Today printing has become a easy chore. Even two hundred to three hundred newspapers can be printed at a wink of an eye. But on those days it was really difficult.

Franklin, standing in his shirt sleeves at a little press, printed with his own hands. He struggled a lot. It was slow as well as hard. The young man not only wrote himself most of what he printed in his paper, but he often made his own ink, sometimes he even made his own type. (the raised metal letters used in printing are made by melting lead and some other metals together and pouring the mixture into molds.) When he got out of paper he would take a wheel barrow, go out and buy a load and wheel it home. Today there are more than three hundred newspapers printed in Philadelphia, then there were only two and Franklin's was better of those two.

Besides this paper he published an almanac, which thousands of people bought. In it he printed such sayings as these: "He who would thrive[7] must rise at five," and "If you want a thing well done, do it yourself." But Franklin was not contented with simply printing these sayings, for he practised them as well.

Sometimes his friends would ask him why he began work so early in the morning, and kept at it so many hours. He would laugh, and tell them that his father used to repeat to him this saying of Solomon's: "Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men."[8]

At that time the young printer never actually expected to stand in the presence of a king, but years later he met with five; and one of them, his friend the king of France, gave him his picture set round with diamonds. "He who would thrive must rise at five." "If you want a thing well done, do it yourself." "Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men."

Benjamin Franklin not only preached the above sayings but also he followed them. Therefore, he was able to do an excellent work. When he came to Philadelphia he was not having even a cent in his pocket. However, with his sheer hard work within a short span of time, he made good name and earned good money. After six months of his settlement in Philadelphia, he decided to go back to Boston to see his friends. He started on his journey with a good suit of clothes, a silver watch and a well fat purse.

While in Boston Franklin went to call on a minister Rev. Cotton Mather who had written a little book titled "Essays to do God". Franklin was fond of reading this book, when he was coming back from the minister's house, he had to bow through a small passage under a large beam. One gentleman cried out "Stoop!, Stoop!". As Franklin did not understand him he hit against the beam. A friend who was accompanying him told "Ah, you are young, and have the world before you; stoop as you go through it, and you will miss many hard thumps." Franklin took this sensible advice and learnt how to stoop to conquer. He practised in his life.

Franklin went back to Philadelphia, the Governor of Pennsylvania persuaded him to go to London to get a Printing Press and type to start a newspaper in Philadelphia. He stayed in London more than a year. Instead of buying a Press, he had to goto work in a Printing office to earn his bread. His co-workers were great beer drinkers. Franklin drank nothing but water. The others laughed at him and nick named him "Water American". But later they had to confess that he was stronger than them. The fact was that Franklin could beat them both at work and play. When they went out for a bath at the Thames (famous river in London), they found that Water American could swim like a fish. A rich man in London try to persuade Benjamin to start a swimming school in London to teach his sons. Franklin refused politely and decided to get back to Philadelphia.

Directions: Answer the following multiple choice questions. Also, answer the following questions on a sheet of paper:
  1. What was the lesson learnt by Benjamin when he was in Boston?
  2. How was his life in London
  3. What enabled Benjamin to start a Printing press?
  4. Printing was not an easy chore on those days. Explain

Q 1: What do you mean by Stoop to conquer?
Stop before Leap
Be careful when you are crossing steep rivers.
Be polite and humble to be a successful man.

Q 2: What is the implied information in the passage.
To be healthy and wealthy we should always work.
We should get up early to stay healthy.
Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy wealthy and wise.

Q 3: What were the noticebale changes in Benjamin after six months?
He was struggling to establish his Printing press.
He was establishing another press in London.
a good suit of clothes, a silver watch and a well fat purse.

Q 4: Why was Benjamin asked to go to London?
to get a new job.
To get a printing press and types
To start swimming school

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