Why does Franklin begin his program with temperance in The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin? Cite and explain evidence from the text in your answer.

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When he was sixteen years old, Franklin read a book by Thomas Tryon, advocating for a vegetarian diet. He resolved to try this for himself but says that his experiments with a temperate vegetarian lifestyle caused some inconvenience to his family, explaining:

My brother, being yet unmarried, did not keep...

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When he was sixteen years old, Franklin read a book by Thomas Tryon, advocating for a vegetarian diet. He resolved to try this for himself but says that his experiments with a temperate vegetarian lifestyle caused some inconvenience to his family, explaining:

My brother, being yet unmarried, did not keep house, but boarded himself and his apprentices in another family. My refusing to eat flesh occasioned an inconveniency, and I was frequently chid for my singularity.

Franklin therefore proposed that his brother should give him directly half the money that he paid for Franklin's board, an arrangement to which his brother readily agreed. This had several advantages for Franklin, who found that he was able to save half of what his brother gave him and that he also had quiet and leisure for study while everyone else left the house for their meals. Thus his simple, temperate lifestyle funded and facilitated his study, in which, he avers:

I made the greater progress, from that greater clearness of head and quicker apprehension which usually attend temperance in eating and drinking.

Temperance in food and drink therefore laid the foundations for his intellectual achievements.

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