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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 326

have a great Regard for, and I wish his Profit ten times
greater than it is. For I am, dear Reader, his, as well as thy

_Affectionate Friend_



Philadelphia, May 14, 1743.

The English are possessed of a long tract of continent, from Nova Scotia
to Georgia, extending north and south through different climates, having
different soils, producing different plants, mines, and minerals, and
capable of different improvements, manufactures, &c.

The first drudgery of settling new colonies, which confines the
attention of people to mere necessaries, is now pretty well over; and
there are many in every province in circumstances that set them at ease,
and afford leisure to cultivate the finer arts and improve the common
stock of knowledge. To such of these who are men of speculation, many
hints must from time to time arise, many observations occur, which if
well examined, pursued, and improved, might produce discoveries to the
advantage of some or all of the British plantations, or to the benefit
of mankind in general.

But as from the extent of the country such persons are widely separated,
and seldom can see and converse or be acquainted with each other, so
that many useful particulars remain uncommunicated, die with the
discoverers, and are lost to mankind; it is, to remedy this
inconvenience for the future, proposed,

That one society be formed of _virtuosi_ or ingenious men,
residing in the several colonies, to be called _The American
Philosophical Society_, who are to maintain a constant

That Philadelphia, being the city nearest the centre of the

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 1 [of 3]

Page 1
It was so understood by the person in question, his grandson, who, accordingly, shortly after the death of his great relative, hastened to London, the best mart for literary property, employed an amanuensis for many months in copying, ransacked our public libraries that nothing might escape, and at length had so far prepared the works of Dr.
Page 23
I determined to observe it.
Page 25
By following such a method, you can rarely hope to please your auditors, conciliate their good-will, or work conviction on those whom you may be desirous of gaining over to your views.
Page 38
The sloop having touched at Newport in Rhode Island, I paid a visit to my brother John, who had for some years been settled there, and was married.
Page 44
The sublimest poets, he pretended, when they first began to write, committed as many faults as himself.
Page 88
Richard Peters, then secretary of the province, Tench Francis, Esq.
Page 94
--Davis was lost, and with him your letters, to my great disappointment.
Page 126
Page 209
project! But he was, as you observe, a very singular character.
Page 212
I find a frank acknowledgment of one's ignorance is not only the easiest way to get rid of a difficulty, but the likeliest way to obtain information, and therefore I practise it: I think it an honest policy.
Page 223
I have sometimes queried whether the friction of the air, an electric _per se_, in violent winds, among trees, and against the surface of the earth, might not pump up, as so many glass globes, quantities of the electric fluid, which the rising vapours might receive from the air, and retain in the clouds they form? on which I should be glad to have your sentiments.
Page 226
] The steeple, when repaired, was guarded by an iron conductor, or rod, extending from the foot of the vane-spindle down the outside of the building, into the earth.
Page 244
In this town the air is generally moister than with us, and here I have seen Mr.
Page 249
On the ground-floor in the chimney stood a.
Page 254
The iron dogs, loggerhead and iron pot were not hurt, being of sufficient substance, and they probably protected the cat.
Page 258
It appeared to my eye as about two inches diameter, and had nothing of the zig-zag lightning motion.
Page 263
downwards three or four feet, it will prevent damage to any of the stones of the foundation.
Page 264
in different places, unprovided with rods, have been struck and greatly damaged, demolished or burnt.
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