Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 166

small mortification. After
many conjectures respecting the cause, when we were near another ship
almost as dull as ours, which, however, gain'd upon us, the captain
ordered all hands to come aft, and stand as near the ensign staff as
possible. We were, passengers included, about forty persons. While we
stood there, the ship mended her pace, and soon left her neighbour far
behind, which prov'd clearly what our captain suspected, that she was
loaded too much by the head. The casks of water, it seems, had been
all plac'd forward; these he therefore order'd to be mov'd further
aft, on which the ship recover'd her character, and proved the best
sailer in the fleet.

The captain said she had once gone at the rate of thirteen knots,
which is accounted thirteen miles per hour. We had on board, as a
passenger, Captain Kennedy, of the Navy, who contended that it was
impossible, and that no ship ever sailed so fast, and that there must
have been some error in the division of the log-line, or some mistake
in heaving the log.[115] A wager ensu'd between the two captains, to be
decided when there should be sufficient wind. Kennedy thereupon
examin'd rigorously the log-line, and, being satisfi'd with that, he
determin'd to throw the log himself. Accordingly some days after, when
the wind blew very fair and fresh, and the captain of the
paquet, Lutwidge, said he believ'd she then went at the rate of
thirteen knots, Kennedy made the experiment, and own'd his wager lost.

[115] A piece of wood shaped and weighted so as to keep it
stable when in the water. To this is attached a line
knotted at regular distances. By these devices it is
possible to tell the speed of a ship.

The above fact I give for the sake of the following observation. It
has been remark'd, as an imperfection in the art of ship-building,
that it can never be known, till she is tried, whether a new ship will
or will not be a good sailer; for that the model of a good-sailing
ship has been exactly follow'd in a new one, which has prov'd, on the
contrary, remarkably dull. I apprehend that this may partly be
occasion'd by the different opinions of seamen respecting the modes of
lading, rigging, and sailing of a ship; each has his system; and the
same vessel, laden by the judgment and orders of one captain, shall
sail better or worse than when by the orders of

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Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin Representative selections, with introduction, bibliograpy, and notes

Page 26
"[i-38] In Samuel Johnson's retrospective view, the Yale of 1710 at Saybrook was anything but progressive with its "scholastic cobwebs of a few little English and Dutch systems.
Page 31
"[i-87] Surely a humanistic catholicity of interest! Schemes for getting on materially, suggestions for improving the laws and protecting the "just liberties of the people,"[i-88] efforts to aid the strangers in Philadelphia (an embryonic association of commerce), curiosity in the latest remedies used for the sick and wounded:.
Page 129
Page 184
Read's beforementioned, who was the Owner of his House.
Page 314
But I beg they would not endeavour to dissuade others, for that will look like Malice.
Page 346
Grafting, Inoculating, and the like, as to despise all other Amusements for their Sake, why may not we expect they should acquire a Relish for that _more useful_ Culture of young Minds.
Page 354
FIFTH CLASS To improve the Youth in _Composition_, they may now, besides continuing to write Letters, begin to write little Essays in Prose, and sometimes in Verse, not to make them Poets, but for this Reason, that nothing acquaints a Lad so speedily with Variety of Expression, as the Necessity of finding such Words and Phrases as will suit with the Measure, Sound, and Rhime of Verse, and at the same time well express the Sentiment.
Page 371
pleas'd to understand that my _Predictions of the Weather_ give such general Satisfaction; and indeed, such Care is taken in the Calculations, on which those Predictions are founded, that I could almost venture to say, there's not a single One of them, promising _Snow_, _Rain_, _Hail_, _Heat_, _Frost_, _Fogs_, _Wind_, or _Thunder_, but what comes to pass _punctually_ and _precisely_ on the very Day, in some Place or other on this little _diminutive_ Globe of ours; (and when you consider the vast Distance of the Stars from whence we take our Aim, you must allow it no small Degree of Exactness to hit any Part of it) I say on this Globe; for tho' in other Matters I confine the Usefulness of my _Ephemeris_ to the _Northern Colonies_, yet in that important Matter of the Weather, which is of such _general Concern_, I would have it more extensively useful, and therefore take in both Hemispheres, and all Latitudes from _Hudson's Bay_ to _Cape Horn_.
Page 410
| +----+-----------------+---------------------------------------------+ | 1 |[Pisces] 18 | [Mars] rise 3 22 | | 2 |[Aires] 0 | _The Good-will_ | | 3 | 13 | _of the Governed_ | | 4 | 26 | [Moon] w.
Page 417
= _V Month.
Page 447
Page 501
9 0 | | 29 |[Pisces] 5 | [Conjunction] [Sun] [Saturn] _not_ | | 30 | 17 | [Trine] [Jupiter] [Venus] _given.
Page 558
I wrote to you before, that we saw him at Bury, when we went thro' Suffolk into Norfolk, the Year before last.
Page 569
He frequently speaks of what he calls not only _the Duties_, but _the Sacred Rites of Hospitality_, (exercised towards Strangers, while in our House or Territory) as including, besides all the common Circumstances of Entertainment, full Safety and Protection of Person, from all Danger of Life, from all Injuries, and even Insults.
Page 578
This support, in my opinion, the old tunes do not need, and are rather confused than aided by it.
Page 580
And this is the same kind of argument that is used by those, who would fix on the colonies the heavy charge of unreasonableness and ingratitude, which I think your friend did not intend.
Page 588
I know not which are most rapacious, the English or French, but the latter have, with their Knavery, the most Politeness.
Page 594
The pay of officers, civil and military, and of the private soldiers and sailors, requires the rest; and they spend that also in paying for what is produced by the labouring poor.
Page 630
Other parts are _local_, and allude to places of which we have no knowledge, and therefore do not affect us.
Page 705
And when the Governments have been solicited to support such Schemes by Encouragements, in Money, or by imposing Duties on Importation of such Goods, it has been generally refused, on this Principle, that, if the Country is ripe for the Manufacture, it may be carried on by private Persons to Advantage; and if not, it is a Folly to think of forcing Nature.