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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 121

pretend to Believe a Thing or the
Working of a Miracle, is a stupid and gaping Astonishment" (p. 195).
Although he enjoyed Franklin's dissertation, he does not in his work
hold to Franklin's necessitarianism: "Nothing interrupts Men, but only
as they interrupt one another" (p. 238). Religion to Lyons is remote
from books, but is found in the "unalterable laws of Nature, which no
Authority can destroy, or Interpolator corrupt" (p. 252).

[i-440] Although Franklin indicates in his _Autobiography_ that he
delighted to listen to Mandeville hold forth at the Horns, there seems
to be traceable in his writings no direct influence of Mandeville's
thought. (One may wonder whether Franklin's use of the name "Horatio"
in his 1730 dialogues between Philocles and Horatio could be traced to
Mandeville's use of the name in his dialogues between Cleomenes and
Horatio.) Mandeville's empirical view of man's essential egoism would
have found sympathetic response from Franklin. On the other hand,
Mandeville's ethical rigorism (see Kaye's Introd. to The _Fable of the
Bees_) differs from the utilitarian cast Franklin sheds over his
strenuous ethicism. One may suspect that like a Bunyan, a Swift, a
Rabelais, Mandeville would have fortified Franklin against accepting
too blithely Shaftesbury's faith in man's innate altruism, even if he
did not short-circuit Franklin's growing humanitarianism.

[i-441] _Writings_, I, 278.

[i-442] David Brewster, _Life of Sir Isaac Newton_ (New York, 1831),
258. For fuller treatment see his _Memoirs of the Life, Writings, and
Discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton_ (Edinburgh, 1855), II, 378 ff., and

[i-443] Quoted in C. S. Duncan, _op. cit._, 16. See Desaguliers's _A
System of Experimental Philosophy, Prov'd by Mechanicks ..._ (London,
1719), and his _The Newtonian System of the World, The Best Model of
Government: An Allegorical Poem_ (Westminster, 1728). The popularizers
of Newton were legion: see especially Watts, Derham, Ray, Huygens,
Blackmore, Locke, Thomson, Shaftesbury, S. Clarke, Whiston, Keill,

[i-444] _A View of Sir Isaac Newton's Philosophy_ (London, 1728), 2-3.

[i-445] _Ibid._, 405. Cf. also 13, 18, 181, 406.

[i-446] Not to be neglected in a summary of the factors influencing
Franklin during his youth is Quakerism. Taught in Boston to suspect
the Quakers, in Philadelphia in the midst of their stronghold he came
soon, one may imagine, to have a sympathetic regard for them.
Quakerism, in its antagonism towards sacraments and ceremonies, in its
emphasis on the priesthood of every man and the right of private
judgment, in its strenuous effort to promote fellow-service, was
congenial to the young printer, reacting against Presbyterianism. Like
the radical thought of the age, Quakerism refused first place to
scriptural revelation, which became secondary to the light within, the
dictates of one's

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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 14
But cold condenses and renders visible the vapour; a tankard or decanter filled with cold water will condense the moisture of warm clear air on its outside, where it becomes visible as dew, coalesces into drops, descends in little streams.
Page 38
Places liable to these appearances are very liable to frequent and sudden alterations of it.
Page 97
The slate, which forms the roof of this coal mine, is impressed in many places with the figures of leaves and branches of fern, which undoubtedly grew at the surface when the slate was in the state of sand on the banks of the sea.
Page 98
page 94.
Page 100
I will however endeavour to explain to you what occurred to me, when I first heard of the fact.
Page 120
7 100 90 79 8 100 88 81 ---- ---- ---- 813 717 632 ---- ---- ---- Medium 101 Medium 89 Medium 79 I made many other experiments, but the above are those in which I was most exact; and they serve sufficiently to show that the difference is considerable.
Page 128
But there is besides, something in the modern form of our ships that seems as if calculated expressly to allow their oversetting more easily.
Page 136
Let these be united by a bolt at E, yet so as that by turning on the bolt they may be laid parallel to each other.
Page 142
will tow him along while lying on his back.
Page 144
You will sometimes be induced to eat of the ship's salt beef, as it is often good.
Page 145
the ship grind them as fine as mustard.
Page 183
For these new chimneys, though they keep rooms generally free from smoke, and, the opening being contracted, will allow the door to be shut, yet the funnel still requiring a considerable quantity of air, it rushes in at every crevice so strongly, as to make a continual whistling or howling; and it is very uncomfortable, as well as dangerous, to sit against any such crevice.
Page 277
Page 278
| es |This sound is formed by the breath | | | .
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Page 316
When we have, to an inconvenient degree, parted with our gold and silver, our industry is stimulated afresh to procure more; that, by its means, we may contrive to procure the same advantage.
Page 323
be prudent, live within bounds, and preserve what they have gained for their posterity: others, fond of showing their wealth, will be extravagant, and ruin themselves.
Page 362
_Domien_, a traveller, short account of, i.
Page 377
_Music_, harmony and melody of the old Scotish, ii.
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