Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 77

marriage over forty
years. Franklin's correspondence abounds with evidence
that their union was a happy one. "We are grown old
together, and if she has any faults, I am so used to
them that I don't perceive them." The following is a
stanza from one of Franklin's own songs written for the

"Of their Chloes and Phyllises poets may prate,
I sing my plain country Joan,
These twelve years my wife, still the joy of my life,
Blest day that I made her my own."

About this time, our club meeting, not at a tavern, but in a little
room of Mr. Grace's, set apart for that purpose, a proposition was
made by me, that, since our books were often referr'd to in our
disquisitions upon the queries, it might be convenient to us to have
them altogether where we met, that upon occasion they might be
consulted; and by thus clubbing our books to a common library, we
should, while we lik'd to keep them together, have each of us the
advantage of using the books of all the other members, which would be
nearly as beneficial as if each owned the whole. It was lik'd and
agreed to, and we fill'd one end of the room with such books as we
could best spare. The number was not so great as we expected; and tho'
they had been of great use, yet some inconveniences occurring for want
of due care of them, the collection, after about a year, was
separated, and each took his books home again.

And now I set on foot my first project of a public nature, that for a
subscription library. I drew up the proposals, got them put into form
by our great scrivener, Brockden, and, by the help of my friends in
the Junto, procured fifty subscribers of forty shillings each to begin
with, and ten shillings a year for fifty years, the term our company
was to continue. We afterwards obtain'd a charter, the company being
increased to one hundred: this was the mother of all the North
American subscription libraries, now so numerous. It is become a great
thing itself, and continually increasing. These libraries have
improved the general conversation of the Americans, made the common
tradesmen and farmers

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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 19
time, a tendency to hinder any direct or rising spout, by carrying off the lower part of the atmosphere as fast as it begins to rarefy; and yet spouts are frequent here, which strengthens my opinion, that all of them descend.
Page 23
Perhaps, while I am writing, some new light may strike me, for I.
Page 55
Thus the first snows that fall in the beginning of winter, seldom lie long on the surface, but are soon melted, and soon absorbed.
Page 61
on the ball with bellows; a second wetting and blowing, when the mercury is down, carries it yet lower.
Page 100
I suppose it will be generally allowed, on a little consideration of the subject, that scarce any drop of water was, when it began to fall from the clouds, of a magnitude equal to that it has acquired, when it arrives at the earth; the same of the several pieces of hail; because they are often so large and so weighty, that we cannot conceive a possibility of their being suspended in the air, and remaining at rest there, for any time, how small soever; nor do we conceive any means of forming them so large, before they set out to fall.
Page 113
Now I imagine that the wind, blowing over water thus covered with a film of oil, cannot easily _catch_ upon it, so as to raise the first wrinkles, but slides over it, and leaves it smooth as it finds it.
Page 137
If single canvas should not be found strong enough to bear the tug without splitting, it may be doubled, or strengthened by a netting behind it, represented by figure 20.
Page 145
in the transportation, and how many afterwards die from the hardships of slavery, he cannot look on a piece of sugar without conceiving it stained with spots of human blood! Had he added the consideration of the wars we make to take and retake the sugar islands from one another, and the fleets and armies that perish in those expeditions, he might have seen his sugar not merely spotted, but thoroughly dyed scarlet in grain.
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| | | | |Oct 29, 1776 | | Nov | | | | | | | | | | | | 1| 10 | | | 78 |WSW | E½N | 109 |No ob|68 12| | | --| | 4 | 71 | 81 | | | | | | | | 2| 8 | | 71 | 75 | N | | | | |Some sparks in | | --| 12 | | | 78 | | | 141 |ditto|65 23|the water these| | --| | 4 | 67 | 76 | | | | | |two last nights| | 3| 8 | | | 76 | NW | ESE½E| | | | | | --| 12 | | | 76 | | EbS | 160 |37 0|62 7| .
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| | --| 12 | | 70 | 75 | | | 163 |35 21|55 3| | | --| | 4 | | 75 | | .
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_ **** This letter will be forwarded to you.
Page 197
_Directions to the Bricklayer.
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two hours in a bath twice a week, covered with water, which certainly is much damper than any air can be, and this for years together, without catching cold, or being in any other manner disordered by it, I no longer dread mere moisture, either in air or in sheets or shirts: and I find it of importance to the happiness of life, the being freed from vain terrors, especially of objects that we are every day exposed inevitably to meet with.
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_Magical Square of Squares.
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Were there but one good reader in a neighbourhood, a public orator might be heard throughout a nation with the same advantages, and have the same effect upon his audience, as if they stood within the reach of his voice.
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The day you passed that act, you took away from before their eyes the greatest of all inducements to industry, frugality, and sobriety, by giving them a dependence on somewhat else than a careful accumulation during youth and health, for support in age or sickness.
Page 332
" I have not law enough to dispute his authorities, but I cannot persuade myself that it is equitable.
Page 350
My proposal then is, to leave the liberty of the press untouched, to be exercised in its full extent, force, and vigour, but to permit the liberty of the cudgel to go with it, _pari passu_.
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TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE Italic text is denoted by _underscores_.