Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 132

here let me remark the convenience of having but one gutter in
such a narrow street, running down its middle, instead of two, one on
each side, near the footway; for where all the rain that falls on a
street runs from the sides and meets in the middle, it forms there a
current strong enough to wash away all the mud it meets with; but when
divided into two channels, it is often too weak to cleanse either, and
only makes the mud it finds more fluid, so that the wheels of
carriages and feet of horses throw and dash it upon the foot-pavement,
which is thereby rendered foul and slippery, and sometimes splash it
upon those who are walking. My proposal, communicated to the good
doctor, was as follows:

"For the more effectual cleaning and keeping clean the streets of
London and Westminster, it is proposed that the several watchmen be
contracted with to have the dust swept up in dry seasons, and the mud
rak'd up at other times, each in the several streets and lanes of his
round; that they be furnish'd with brooms and other proper instruments
for these purposes, to be kept at their respective stands, ready to
furnish the poor people they may employ in the service.

"That in the dry summer months the dust be all swept up into heaps at
proper distances, before the shops and windows of houses are usually
opened, when the scavengers, with close-covered carts, shall also
carry it all away.

"That the mud, when rak'd up, be not left in heaps to be spread abroad
again by the wheels of carriages and trampling of horses, but that the
scavengers be provided with bodies of carts, not plac'd high upon
wheels, but low upon sliders, with lattice bottoms, which, being
cover'd with straw, will retain the mud thrown into them, and permit
the water to drain from it, whereby it will become much lighter, water
making the greatest part of its weight; these bodies of carts to be
plac'd at convenient distances, and the mud brought to them in
wheelbarrows; they remaining where plac'd till the mud is drain'd, and
then horses brought to draw them away."

I have since had doubts of the practicability of the latter part of
this proposal, on account of the narrowness of some streets, and the
difficulty of placing the draining-sleds so as not to encumber too
much the passage; but I am still of opinion that the former, requiring
the dust to be swept up and carry'd away before the shops are open, is
very practicable in the

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 1 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 1
It is from these and other considerations scarcely less interesting, that the publishers feel great confidence and pleasure in presenting this work to the public favour.
Page 12
I was to serve as an apprentice till I was twenty-one years of age, only I was to be allowed journeyman's wages during the last year.
Page 50
The New-Jersey job was obtained; I contrived a copperplate press for it, the first that had been seen in the country; I cut several ornaments and checks for the bills.
Page 53
This person continued to live in this _decaying place_, and to declaim in the same strain, refusing for many years to buy a house there, because all was going to destruction; and at last I had the pleasure of seeing him give five times as much for one as he might have bought it for when he first began croaking.
Page 69
and situation of a _rising_ people; and in this respect I do not think that the writings of Caesar and Tacitus can be more interesting to a true judge of human nature and society.
Page 70
It will be so far a sort of key to life, and explain many things that all men ought to have once explained to them, to give them a chance of becoming wise by foresight.
Page 81
| Th.
Page 83
" Another from Cicero: O vitae philosophia dux! O virtutum indagatrix et expultrixque vitiorum! Unus dies bene, et ex praeceptis tuis actus, peccanti immortalitati est anteponendus.
Page 85
_ { 6} The Question, { 7} Put things in their places.
Page 107
good opportunity of negotiating with both and brought them finally to an agreement, by which the trustees for the building were to cede it to those of the academy; the latter undertaking to discharge the debt, to keep for ever open in the building a large hall for occasional preachers, according to the original intention, and maintain a free school for the instruction of poor children.
Page 123
Ground Coffee, 6 do.
Page 141
Ours was the first to be despatched, as having been there longest.
Page 146
George's Channel, which formerly caused the loss of Sir Cloudesley Shovel's Squadron (in 1707): this was probably also the cause of what happened to us.
Page 151
The effect of these, he concluded, would be either to prevent a stroke by repelling the cloud beyond the striking distance, or by drawing off the electrical fire which it contained; or, if they could not effect this, they would at least conduct the electric matter to the earth, without injury to the building.
Page 160
On the meeting of the Assembly it appeared that there was still a decided majority of Franklin's friends.
Page 164
The public mind had been already prepared for this event by Mr.
Page 183
And therefore, in consideration of their distresses, our late tax laws do expressly favour those counties, excusing the sufferers; and I suppose the same is done in other governments.
Page 184
Page 210
I must fight for him.
Page 213
These were not enemies; they were born among us, and yet we have killed them all.