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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 288

This I shall sometimes do, when
I happen to have nothing of my own to say that I think of more
Consequence. Sometimes I propose to deliver Lectures of Morality or
Philosophy, and (because I am naturally enclin'd to be meddling with
Things that don't concern me) perhaps I may sometimes talk Politicks.
And if I can by any means furnish out a Weekly Entertainment for the
Publick that will give a rational Diversion, and at the same Time be
instructive to the Readers, I shall think my Leisure Hours well
employ'd: And if you publish this, I hereby invite all ingenious
Gentlemen and others (that approve of such an Undertaking) to my
Assistance and Correspondence.

'Tis like by this Time, you have a Curiosity to be acquainted with my
Name and Character. As I do not aim at publick Praise, I design to
remain concealed; and there are such Numbers of our Family and Relations
at this Time in the Country, that tho' I've sign'd my Name at full
Length, I am not under the least Apprehension of being distinguish'd and
discover'd by it. My Character, indeed, I would favour you with, but
that I am cautious of praising mySelf, lest I should be told my
Trumpeter's dead: And I cannot find in my Heart at present, to say any
Thing to my own Disadvantage.

It is very common with Authors, in their first Performances, to talk to
their Readers thus; "If this meets with a SUITABLE Reception; Or, If
this should meet with DUE Encouragement, I shall hereafter publish, &c."
This only manifests the Value they put on their own Writings, since they
think to frighten the Publick into their Applause, by threatning, that
unless you approve what they have already wrote, they intend never to
write again; when perhaps it mayn't be a Pin Matter whether they ever do
or no. As I have not observ'd the Criticks to be more favourable on this
Account, I shall always avoid saying any Thing of the Kind; and conclude
with telling you, that, if you send me a Bottle of Ink and a Quire of
Paper by the Bearer, you may depend on hearing further from, Sir, your
most humble Servant,



Tuesday, February 11, 1728/9

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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 26
" He observes, on a number of histories of whirlwinds, &c.
Page 38
However, it is not improbable, that just about the place of descent may be cooler than the neighbouring parts, and so favour the wonderful celerity of condensation.
Page 51
from all sides of it; so that supposing the cloud moves south-easterly, those on the north-east side of it feel a south-west wind, and others on the south-west side, a north-east.
Page 61
Thus, if a silver tea-pot had a handle of the same metal, it would conduct the heat from the water to the hand, and become too hot to be used; we therefore give to a metal tea-pot a handle of wood, which is not so good a conductor as metal.
Page 62
You will likewise observe, that the leaden bar, as it has cooled the melted lead more than the wooden bars have done, so it is itself more heated by the melted lead.
Page 70
Among the rest, I threw out my conjecture, that the said appearance might be caused by a great number of little animals, floating on the surface of the sea, which, on being disturbed, might, by expanding their finns, or otherwise moving themselves, expose such a part of their bodies as exhibits a luminous appearance, somewhat in the manner of a glow-worm, or fire-fly: that these animals may be more numerous in some places than others; and, therefore, that the appearance above-mentioned being fainter and stronger in different places, might be owing to that: that certain circumstances of weather, &c.
Page 84
" Here I suspect some mistake creeps in.
Page 119
100 94 79 2 104 93 78 3 104 91 77 4 106 87 79 5 100 88 79 6 99 86 80 .
Page 170
Page 171
A copious draught of cold water, in similar circumstances, is frequently attended with the same effect in North America.
Page 183
It is strange, methinks, that though chimneys have been so long in use, their construction should be so little understood till lately, that no workman pretended to make one which should always carry off all smoke, but a chimney-cloth was looked upon as essential to a chimney.
Page 195
Yet we find we can leap out of the warmest bed naked, in the coldest morning, without any such danger; and in the same manner out of warm cloaths into a.
Page 213
In a very tight house, I have known a kitchen chimney on the lowest floor, when it had a great fire in, it, overpower any other chimney in the house, and draw air and smoke into its room, as often as the door was opened communicating with the stair-case.
Page 234
The carrying it in the kitchen, too, every time the fire should happen to be out, must be so troublesome, that it is not likely ever to have been in practice, and probably has never been shown but as a philosophical experiment.
Page 263
But if there should be, as possibly there may be, something in the ear, similar to what we find in the eye, that ability would not be entirely owing to memory.
Page 264
To avoid actual discord, it was therefore necessary that the succeeding emphatic note should be a chord with the preceding, as their sounds must exist at the same time.
Page 307
_ _Plan, by Messieurs Franklin and Dalrymple, for benefitting distant unprovided Countries[82].
Page 322
" "True (said the farmer), but you do not tell all the story.
Page 364
shock, observations on, 182.
Page 371
fires, 321.