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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 29

danger. It
makes the work of the Creator none the less wonderful, glorious and
overwhelming. It matters not how long before the work of the six days
it was that “God created the heaven and the earth,” or brought the
universe into existence. Nor need we be startled at this. The work of
the six days, as described by Moses, is wonderful beyond all human
imagination. We can comprehend but little of it. We may well exclaim,
as Paul did, in view of a different matter: “O the depth of the riches
both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his
judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind
of the Lord? or who hath been his counselor? For of him, and through
him, are all things; to whom be glory forever. Amen.”


The entire lottery scheme is gambling. The desire and intention in
lotteries is to get money by a base method, or, in other words,
dishonestly. The desire and intention is to get money without rendering
an equivalent, or to get something for nothing. The man or company that
conducts a lottery knows the precise per cent. that is made in selling
out the tickets. If everything is conducted fairly; that is, what they
call _fairly_; that is, to conduct according to their proposed rule,
some few would draw prizes of much value and some larger number will
draw small prizes, while the great body of them will draw nothing. They
simply give their money to make up the prizes that others draw, and
make a fine purse to run the establishment. Think of the following:

1. We do not profess to know, but probably if the _green ones_ that buy
lottery tickets would pay $100,000 for tickets, all the prizes they
would all draw would not amount to more than $66,000, thus leaving
$34,000 in the concern. This is swindle No. 1, to the tune of $34,000!

2. There can be but very few who can draw prizes of any considerable
value, for there are but few of that kind in the concern. The
purchasers of lottery tickets would be astonished to know how few could
possibly draw a prize to the amount of $1,000, if enough would draw
tickets to pay in $100,000.

3. They would be still more astonished to know how few can draw even
small prizes, and most of all astonished to know how few can draw

4. The concern proceeds on a principle of dishonesty on both sides—the
principle of getting something for nothing. The man that studies how

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 2 of 2] With his Most Interesting Essays, Letters, and Miscellaneous Writings; Familiar, Moral, Political, Economical, and Philosophical, Selected with Care from All His Published Productions, and Comprising Whatever Is Most Entertaining and Valuable to the General Reader

Page 14
Handle your tools without mittens; remember that _The cat in gloves catches no mice_, as Poor Richard says.
Page 36
But this latter method is not equal to the former.
Page 50
First, let honesty and industry be thy constant companions; and, Secondly, spend one penny less than thy clear gains.
Page 58
And yet such is our insensibility to justice in this particular, that nothing is more common than to see, even in a reputable company, a _very honest_ gentleman or lady declare his or her intention to cheat the nation of threepence by a frank, and, without blushing, apply to one of the very legislators themselves, with a modest request that he would be pleased to become an accomplice in the crime and assist in the perpetration.
Page 63
They ought to be repressed; but to whom dare we commit the care of doing it? An evil magistrate, intrusted with power to _punish for words_, would be armed with a weapon the most destructive and terrible.
Page 68
He was prosecuted for high treason.
Page 100
But if my friends require of me to gratify not only their inclinations, but their resentments, they expect too much of me.
Page 138
Perhaps I shall be the last to discover that; but I am sensible of great diminution in my activity, a quality I think particularly necessary in your minister at this court.
Page 146
Blagden, and esteem myself much honoured by your friendly remembrance.
Page 149
This advice, thus beat into my head, has frequently been of use to me; and I often think of.
Page 150
"I long much to see again my native place, and to lay my bones there.
Page 172
Losing our friends thus one by one is the tax we pay for long living; and it is indeed a heavy one! "I have not seen the King of Prussia's posthumous works; what you mention makes me desirous to have them.
Page 177
Thus the surface of the globe would be a shell, capable of being broken or disordered by the violent movements of the fluid on which it rested.
Page 186
He endeavours to show that the subterraneous heat or fire (which is continually elevating water out of the abyss, to furnish the earth with rain, dew, springs, and rivers), being stopped in any part of the earth, and so diverted from its ordinary course by some accidental glut or.
Page 187
That as the water resident in the abyss is, in all parts of it, stored with a considerable quantity of heat, and more especially in those where those extraordinary aggregations of this fire happen, so likewise is the water which is thus forced out of it, insomuch that, when thrown forth and mixed with the waters of wells, or springs of rivers and the sea, it renders them very sensibly hot.
Page 198
If the building be very large and extensive, two or more rods may be placed at different parts, for greater security.
Page 202
If the atmosphere were, all of it (both above and below), always of the same temper as to cold or heat, then the upper air would always be _rarer_ than the lower, because the pressure on it is less; consequently lighter, and, therefore, would keep its place.
Page 214
Page 235
To give motion to the boat, I fixed one end of a long silk thread to its bow, just even with the water's edge; the other end passed over a well-made brass pully, of about an inch diameter, turning freely on a small axis; and a shilling was the weight.
Page 238
That though the legs, arms, and head of a human body, being solid parts, are specifically something heavier than fresh water, yet the trunk, particularly the upper part, from its hollowness, is so much lighter than water, as.