By Richard E. Noble I was watching “Book Notes” and this famous author was talking about the fact that as a youth he was forced, as were all grade-schoolers of his day, to read the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. He hated it, the book being so “dull, pompous and laden with platitudes”, he said. I’ve just finished reading the Autobiography of Ben Franklin, and I have gotten a belly laugh out of just about every chapter. The man is hilarious. I really haven’t decided whether the whole book is an outright tongue-in-cheek put-on, or that old Ben is just such a practical, unemotional fellow, that his guidelines for living a virtuous life sound like a biology professor trying to explain to a slow student how to rationally distinguish his left hand from his right. The story of his courtship with “Miss Read”, his eventual wife, I’m sure, is not something that “Miss Read” cut out of her husband’s book and hid away in a trunk of loving memorabilia in an upstairs attic, along with her first love poem and a piece of her wedding cake. She was “deserving ... pitiable and a good and faithful helpmate”, says Ben. And, believe it or not, she nearly lost Ben’s attentions by her inability to get her parents to cough up one hundred pounds as her dowry. In fact, she did loose Ben for a good period during the negotiations, and in the interim Ben being left hot to trot explains that; “In the meantime, that hard to be governed passion of youth had harried me frequently into intrigues with low woman that fell in my way.” He goes on to explain his thankfulness at not catching “distemper” or something worse. His battle with being a perfect, virtuous individual he compares with a man attempting to buy a shinny ax. After a few hours and some time at the hard work of turning the wheel for the blacksmith who is trying to get the man’s desired ax to shine, the customer decides that a speckled ax will do just fine. This becomes even funnier when you remember that Ben is talking about his own moral character here. So when put next to the hard work of becoming moral and virtuous, Ben’s decision is that he would just as soon have a speckled soul to carry to his Maker. Oh, my goodness! And this has got to be the best one of all. Ben is going into his shop on Craven Street one morning where upon he finds a “poor ... very pale and feeble” sickly woman, sweeping the walk in front of his door. He asks her who hired her to sweep his walk and she replies; “Nobody; but I am poor and in distress, and I sweeps before gentle folks’ doors and hopes they will give me something.” Oh, my, doesn’t that nearly break your heart? So what does old compassionate Ben do? Why he offers the feeble, poor, pale, very sickly woman a shilling to sweep the whole darn street. When she comes for her shilling he presumes that a woman in her obviously poor condition couldn’t have done a very good job, so he sends his servant, out to check her work. Jeeves reports that the poor, dying, old lady has really done an excellent job - so what does Ben conclude? - that she deserves, possibly, a permanent, full-time job back at the Franklin plantation or something of the like? Not quite: “I then judged that if that feeble woman could sweep such a street in three hours, a strong, active man might have done it in half the time.” Ben Franklin, the grandfather of compassionate conservatism - and possibly several illegitimate children - so, what’s new.
Books by Richard Edward Noble. Click on covers below for more info and purchasing instructions.
Classic Tragic Novel
Don't Laugh - This Could Have Been Your Life
Funny stories and some strange characters.
Monkey Dishes and Cocktail Fawks
My Harrowing days in the restaurant business. Great Read.
It's a Long Story
Long Short Fiction - Great stories!
Bloggin' Be My Life
"Bloggin' be My Life" contains a selection of some of my more popular Hobo Philosopher blogs.If you enjoy reading this blog, you should love Bloggin' Be My Life.
It's All About Love
It's All About Love is ... all about love. This is the 2nd book of poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford off Arlington. Every poem in this book comes with a prose introduction. If you enjoy poetry this is a simple choice. Have fun!
A Little Something
Traditional poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford Off Arlington with some poignant prose introductions. If you enjoy any type of poetry, you will enjoy this volume. Thanks.
Talking To Myself
This is my third book of poetry.
Bits and Pieces
The Hobo Philosopher - My first book using the Hobo Philosopher brand. Featuring a variety of writing styles and ideas. Look for the Thoughtful Hobo on the cover.
A Baker's Dozen
The Hobo Philosopher: My Second book of Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction and Short Stories. All varieties of short stories - lots of laughs!
Cat Point - and Them Dang Oyster People
Cat Point is the sequel to "The Eastpointer." Both books contain humorous tales about life in a fishing community on the Florida Panhandle. Lots of laughs.
Won 1st Place award for humor in 2007 from Florida Press Association. More wit, wisdom and humor from the yet to be world famous author, R.E. Noble
A Summer with Charlie - Lawrence
Fiction - Salisbury Beach, Lawrence, Mass. Featured in Merrimack Valley Magazine July /Aug. issue 2010
Travel, Humor, Commentary on migrant farm work and illegal immigration still very pertinent today.
"Just Hangin' Out Ma"
Thank God for the Street Corners of Lawrence, Mass. Anecdotes and humorous escapades about growing up in an industrial mill town in the 40s,50s and 60s.
This is the sequel to "Just Hangin' Out, Ma"
That Old Gang of Mine
This is # 3 in my Lawrence Hometown series. The series is about growing up in the 40's, 50's and 60's in an industrial mill town. Sorta like a Huck Finn goes to vist Uncle Ralph, the bus driver, who lives in a big, rundown city. Lots of fun.
Come On-A My House
This is # 4 in my Lawrence Hometown series.The old homested at 32 Chelmsford ST is pictured on the cover..
Down By The Old Mill Stream
# 5 in the Lawrence My Hometown series.
Standing on the Corner is # 6 in the lawrence My Hometown series.
The old Howard Playstead on Lawrence St.
Eat, Drink and Be Merry
# 7 in the Lawrence my Hometown series.
Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother
Classic tragic novel written from child's perspective. Deals with abuse, poverty, unemployment. Pulls no punches.
Noble Notes on Famous Folks
Humorous, satirical notes on everybody from Constantine to Bill Clinton. Inspiration: Willy Cuppy.
America on Strike
History - documented survey of labor strikes in America
Mein Kampf - An Analysis of Book One
Who are the American Nazis - the Liberals or the Conservatives?
MY NAME IS RICHARD EDWARD NOBLE. I AM A FREELANCE WRITER AND I HAVE PUBLISHED 12 BOOKS:"THE EASTPOINTER" - SELECTIONS FROM AWARD WINNING NEWSPAPER COLUMN - "A LITTLE SOMETHING" - POETRY WITH PROSE -"HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER" - A NOVEL ABOUT GROWING UP IN THE NEW ENGLAND MILL TOWN OF LAWRENCE, MASS, "HOBO-ING AMERICA" - A WORKINGMAN'S TOUR OF THE U.S.A. - "A SUMMER WITH CHARLIE" - THE STORY OF A YOUNG SAILOR'S LAST DAYS AT SALISBURY BEACH, "NOBLE NOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS" - HUMOROUS ANECDOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS IN HISTORY,
"AMERICA ON STRIKE" HISTORY BOOK - A SURVEY OF LABOR STRIKES IN AMERICA; "A BAKER'S DOZEN" A BOOK OF HUMOROUS SHORT STORIES; "JUST HANGIN' OUT, MA" - GROWING UP IN THE 40'S, 50'S AND 60'S IN LAWRENCE, MY HOMETOWN, "TENEMENT DWELLERS" - SEQUEL TO JUST HANGIN OUT, MA; MEIN KAMPF - ANALYSIS OF BOOK ONE - HISTORY. CAT POINT - AND THEM DANG OYSTER PEOPLE - SEQUEL TO THE EASTPOINTER
All 12 BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM, BARNES AND NOBLE AND OTHER INTERNET SOURCES OR FROM NOBLE PUBLISHING. ALL 12 OF MY BOOKS ARE NOW ON KINDLE AT BARGAIN PRICES TOO. IF YOU WOULD LIKE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT DISCOUNTS AND SPECIAL OFFERS E-MAIL ME. MY EMAIL IS ON MY PROFILE PAGE.