Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 118

war, were clearly for the
defensive. Many pamphlets _pro and con_ were publish'd on the subject,
and some by good Quakers, in favour of defense, which I believe
convinc'd most of their younger people.

A transaction in our fire company gave me some insight into their
prevailing sentiments. It had been propos'd that we should encourage
the scheme for building a battery by laying out the present stock,
then about sixty pounds, in tickets of the lottery. By our rules, no
money could be dispos'd of till the next meeting after the proposal.
The company consisted of thirty members, of which twenty-two were
Quakers, and eight only of other persuasions. We eight punctually
attended the meeting; but, tho' we thought that some of the Quakers
would join us, we were by no means sure of a majority. Only one
Quaker, Mr. James Morris, appear'd to oppose the measure. He expressed
much sorrow that it had ever been propos'd, as he said _Friends_ were
all against it, and it would create such discord as might break up the
company. We told him that we saw no reason for that; we were the
minority, and if _Friends_ were against the measure, and outvoted us,
we must and should, agreeably to the usage of all societies, submit.
When the hour for business arriv'd it was mov'd to put the vote; he
allow'd we might then do it by the rules, but, as he could assure us
that a number of members intended to be present for the purpose of
opposing it, it would be but candid to allow a little time for their

While we were disputing this, a waiter came to tell me two gentlemen
below desir'd to speak with me. I went down, and found they were two
of our Quaker members. They told me there were eight of them assembled
at a tavern just by; that they were determin'd to come and vote with
us if there should be occasion, which they hop'd would not be the
case, and desir'd we would not call for their assistance if we could
do without it, as their voting for such a measure might embroil them
with their elders and friends. Being thus secure of a majority, I went
up, and after a little seeming hesitation, agreed to a delay of
another hour. This Mr. Morris allow'd to be extreamly fair. Not one of
his opposing friends appear'd, at which he express'd great surprize;
and, at the expiration of the hour, we carri'd the resolution eight to
one; and as, of the twenty-two Quakers, eight were ready to

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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 6
Stark, and Dr.
Page 24
Whirlwinds generally arise after calms and great heats: the same is observed of water-spouts, which are, therefore, most frequent in the warm latitudes.
Page 38
It commonly rains when spouts disappear, if it did not before, which it frequently does not, by the best accounts I have had; but the cloud encreases much faster after they disappear, and it soon rains.
Page 53
Yet when the post brought us the Boston news-paper, giving an account of the effects of the same storm in those parts, I found the beginning of the eclipse had been well observed there, though Boston lies N.
Page 74
Adieu, my dear friend, and believe me ever Yours affectionately, B.
Page 81
The common supply of rivers is from springs, which draw their origin from rain that has soaked into the earth.
Page 91
But we are still subject to the accidents on the surface, which are occasioned by a wave in the internal ponderous fluid; and such a wave is producible by the sudden violent explosion you mention, happening from the junction of water and fire under the earth, which not only lifts the incumbent earth that is.
Page 93
While organised bodies, animal or vegetable, are augmenting in growth, or are supplying their continual waste, is not this done by attracting and consolidating this fluid called fire, so as to form of it a part of their substance? And is it not a separation of the parts of such substance, which, dissolving its solid state, sets that subtle fluid at liberty, when it again makes its appearance as fire? For the power of man relative to matter, seems limited to the separating or mixing the various kinds of it, or changing its form and appearance by different compositions of it; but does not extend to the making or creating new matter, or annihilating the old.
Page 96
and thereby wrecking and deranging its surface, placing in different regions the effect of centrifugal force, so as to raise the waters of the sea in some, while they were depressed in others? Let me add another question or two, not relating indeed to magnetism, but, however, to the theory of the earth.
Page 144
A small tin oven, to place with the open side before the fire, may be another good utensil, in which your own servant may roast for you a bit of pork or mutton.
Page 192
They may sit with comfort in any part of the room, which is a very considerable advantage in a large family, where there must often be two fires kept, because all cannot conveniently come at one.
Page 204
Page 214
from another, nor under the necessity of lending.
Page 215
A room, that has no fire in its chimney, is sometimes filled with _smoke which is received at the top of its funnel and descends into the room_.
Page 278
| | t |Teeth.
Page 291
got by heart a short table of the principal epochs in chronology.
Page 322
I am not sure that in a great state it is capable of a remedy, nor that the evil is in itself always so great as it is represented.
Page 328
In this view of wronging the revenue, what must we think of those who can evade paying for their wheels and their plate, in defiance of law and justice, and yet declaim against corruption and peculation, as if their own hands and hearts were pure and unsullied? The Americans offend us grievously, when, contrary to our laws, they smuggle goods into their own country: and yet they had no hand in making those laws.
Page 357
_Capitals_, their use in printing, ii.
Page 378
heat better, and cold worse, than whites, ii.