A Book of Gems Choice selections from the writings of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 206

not an indication of parsimoniousness, and on the other, not an item
of extravagance. The same was true of the entire outfit, furniture,
table and all. There was an abundance for all, and nothing wasteful or

_Second._ This thing of gaining wealth is not fully to be explained.
It is not to be ascribed entirely to the _art_ of man, to his great
business capacity, his industry or energy, for we find plenty of men
that have these qualities, but accumulate but little. Wealth gathers
round some men as naturally as it departs from others, when no man can
see the reason. Some call it fortune, others luck, and, in other cases
we say, they know how to make it. True, there must be the industry, the
energy, the management and economy; there must be the good judgment,
sagacity, etc. These are main articles in running the world, but wealth
bears no just proportion to these. We speak not of a fortuity, which
brings an estate at once, but of the growing up of an estate. There is
something lying back of all industry, economy, management, foreseeing
sagacity, etc., call it fate, luck, fortune or providence, or what we
may, that no philosophy or reason can fully explain. Men accumulate
a vast estate without struggling for it, aiming at it, or seeming to
think about it. Alex. Campbell was of this class. We can see that he
managed well, that he wasted nothing, that he saw that business was in
shape, etc., but this does not account for the amount that accumulated
around him. Much of it came in a way that he knew not, and certainly
never _planned_.

_Third._ Alex. Campbell did not _raise himself up_. God raised him, not
for _himself_, nor for us to _glory in him_, but for _his own glorious
purpose_, and he did not leave him without the _means_ to accomplish
that great purpose. He always provides a way for a man to do the work
for which he has raised him up. Alex. Campbell could not have gone, as
he did, at his _own charges_, traveling thousands of miles, and for many
long months at a time, and through immense districts of country, where
he had no kind brethren to entertain him and support him, if the
means had not been provided. Nor could he have started, maintained
and sent forth a publication, coming in collision with all the
religious publications in the world without the means to sustain him.
God provided him the means, so that he never lacked. No man ever had
the power to stop

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 2 [of 3]

Page 39
Were this case possible, and a whirlwind take place in it, it might act with a force equal to the mentioned.
Page 40
"Air and water mutually attract each other, (saith Mr.
Page 64
Thus, as by a constant supply of fuel in a chimney, you keep a warm room, so, by a constant supply of food in the stomach, you keep a warm body; only where little exercise is used, the heat may possibly be conducted away too fast; in which case such materials are to be used for cloathing and bedding, against the effects of an immediate contact of the air, as are, in themselves, bad conductors of heat, and, consequently, prevent its being communicated through their substance to the air.
Page 72
**** I am, Sir, &c.
Page 79
--Method of relieving Thirst by Sea-Water.
Page 94
What becomes of that fluid? Does it rise above our atmosphere, and mix with the universal mass of the same kind? Or does a spherical stratum of it, denser, as less mixed with air, attracted by this globe, and repelled or pushed up only to a certain height from its surface, by the greater weight of air, remain there surrounding the globe, and proceeding with it round the sun? In such case, as there may be a continuity or communication of this fluid through the air quite down to the earth, is it not by the vibrations given to it, by the sun, that light appears to us? And may it not be, that every one of the infinitely small vibrations, striking common matter with a certain force, enters its substance, is held there by attraction, and augmented by succeeding vibrations, till the matter has received as much as their force can drive into it? Is it not thus, that the surface of this globe is continually heated by such repeated vibrations in the day, and cooled by the escape of the heat when those vibrations are discontinued in the night, or intercepted and reflected by clouds? Is it not thus, that fire is amassed and makes the greatest part of the substance of combustible bodies? Perhaps, when this globe was first formed, and its original particles took their place at certain distances from the centre, in proportion to their greater or less gravity, the fluid fire, attracted towards that centre, might in great part be obliged, as lightest, to take place above the rest, and thus form the sphere of fire above supposed, which would afterwards be continually diminishing by the substance it afforded to organised bodies, and the quantity restored to it again, by the burning or other separating of the parts of those bodies.
Page 96
Is not the finding of great quantities of shells and bones of animals (natural to hot climates) in the cold ones of our present world, some proof that its poles have been changed? Is not the supposition that the poles have been changed, the easiest way of accounting for the deluge, by getting rid of the old difficulty how to dispose of its waters after it was over? Since if the poles were again to be changed, and placed in the present equator, the sea would fall there about fifteen miles in height, and rise as much in the present polar regions; and the effect would be proportionable if the new poles were placed any where between the present and the equator.
Page 109
This practice I had never before heard of, and was obliged to him for the information; though I thought him mistaken as to the sameness of the experiment, the operations being different as well as the effects.
Page 112
A gentleman from Rhode-island told me, it had been remarked, that the harbour of Newport was ever smooth while any whaling vessels were in it; which probably arose from hence, that the blubber which they sometimes bring loose in the hold, or the leakage of their barrels, might afford some oil, to mix with that water, which from time to time they pump out to keep their vessel free, and that some oil might spread over the surface of the water in the harbour, and prevent the forming of any waves.
Page 140
"This motion in a ship and cargo is of great force; and if she could be lifted up suddenly from the harbour in which she lay quiet, and set down instantly in the latitude of the port she was bound to, though in a calm, that force contained in her would make her run a great way at a prodigious rate.
Page 145
For the utility of tobacco there is little to be said; and for that of sugar, how much more commendable would it be if we could give up the few minutes gratification afforded once or twice a day by the taste of sugar in our tea, rather than encourage the cruelties exercised in producing it.
Page 155
| | | | | | --| | 8 | | 75 | | | | | | | | 6| 8 | | | 76 |EbN | S50E | | | | | | --| 12 | | | 77 | | | 7 |35 33|53 52| | | 7| 8 | | | 78 |SEbE| N30W | | | | | | --| 12 | | | 77 | | | 108 |36 6|52 46| | | --| | 4 | | 77 | | | | | | | | 8| 9 | | 75 | 77 |SbE | N49E | | | | .
Page 215
In summer, if you open your upper room windows for air, a light breeze blowing over your kitchen chimney towards the house, though not strong enough to force down its smoke as aforesaid, is sufficient to waft it into your windows, and fill the rooms with it; which, besides the disagreeableness, damages your furniture.
Page 289
In giving the lesson, let it be read to them; let the meaning of the difficult words in it be explained to them; and let them con over by themselves before they are called to read to the master or usher, who is to take particular care, that they do not read too fast, and that they duly observe the stops and pauses.
Page 292
The reading of history, and the exercises of good reading and just speaking still continued.
Page 307
Does not some _duty_ hence arise from us towards other countries, still remaining in our former state? "Britain is now the first maritime power in the world.
Page 342
--But the non-appointment of bishops for America seems to arise from another quarter.
Page 352
_Albany_ plan of union, short account of, i.
Page 374
experiment to prove its qualities, 245.
Page 389