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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 34

Company was one of
the factors in the formation of the scientific society may be inferred
from Franklin's request that it be founded in Philadelphia, which,
"having the advantages of a good growing library," can "be the centre of
the Society."[i-100] The most important factor, however, was obviously
the desire to imitate the forms and ideals of the Royal Society of
London. Both societies had as their purpose the improvement of "the
common stock of knowledge"; neither was to be provincial or national in
interests, but was to have in mind the "benefit of mankind in general."
A study of Franklin's _Proposal_ will suggest the purpose of the Royal
Society as interpreted by Thomas Sprat:

Their purpose is, in short, to make faithful Records, of all
the Works of Nature, or Art, which can come within their
reach: that so the present Age, and posterity, may be able to
put a mark on the Errors, which have been strengthened by
long prescription: to restore the Truths, that have lain
neglected: to push on those, which are already known, to more
various uses: and to make the way more passable, to what
remains unreveal'd.[i-101]

The Royal Society, no less than Franklin's _Proposal_, stressed the
usefulness of its experimentation. Even as it sought "to overcome the
mysteries of all the Works of Nature"[i-102] through experimentation and
induction, the Baconian empirical method, so Franklin urged the
cultivation of "all philosophical experiments that let light into the
nature of things, tend to increase the power of man over matter, and
multiply the conveniences or pleasures of life."[i-103] Though Franklin
may have stopped short of theoretical science,[i-104] he was not only
interested in making devices but also in discovering immutable natural
laws on which he could base his mechanics for making the world more
habitable, less unknown and terrifying. Interpreting natural phenomena
in terms of gravity and the laws of electrical attraction and repulsion
is to detract from the terror in a universe presided over by a
providential Deity, exerting his wrath through portentous comets,
"fire-balls flung by an angry God."

Franklin's program is no more miscellaneous, or seemingly pedestrian,
than the practices of the Royal Society. As a discoverer of nature's
laws and their application to man's use, Franklin, the Newton of
electricity, appealed to fact and experiment rather than authority and
suggested that education in science may serve, in addition to making the
world more comfortable, to make it more

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

Page 9
I remember him well, for when I was a boy he came over to my father in Boston, and lived in the house with us some years.
Page 11
I disliked the trade, and had a strong inclination for the.
Page 22
Perhaps I was too saucy and provoking.
Page 23
Jonathan Shipley had his country house.
Page 36
I knew he was a good swimmer, and so was under little concern about him; but before he could get round to lay hold of the boat, we had with a few strokes pulled her out of his reach; and ever when he drew near the boat, we asked if he would row, striking a few strokes to slide her away from him.
Page 47
They wondered to see, from this and several instances, that the "Water-American," as they called me, was stronger than themselves, who drank strong beer! We had an alehouse boy who attended always in the house to supply the workmen.
Page 48
My constant attendance (I never making a Saint Monday[73]) recommended me to the master; and my uncommon quickness at composing occasioned my being put upon all work of dispatch, which was generally better paid.
Page 55
Our printing house often wanted sorts, and there was no.
Page 56
Meredith came accordingly in the evening, when we talked my affair over.
Page 60
This man continued to live in this decaying place, and to declaim in the same strain, refusing for many years to buy a house there, because all was going to destruction; and at last I had the pleasure of seeing him give five times as much for one as he might have bought it for when he first began his croaking.
Page 80
| * | * | * | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | R[esolution] | | | * | | | * | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | F[rugality] | | * | | | * | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | I[ndustry] | | | * | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | S[incerity] | | | | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | J[ustice] | | | | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | M[oderation] | | | | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | C[leanliness] | | | | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | T[ranquillity] | | | | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | C[hastity] | | | | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | H[umility] | | | | .
Page 81
16, 17.
Page 83
Examination of { 9} the day.
Page 100
The small fines that have been paid by members for absence from the monthly meetings have been applied to the purchase of fire engines, ladders, fire hooks, and other useful implements for each company, so that I question whether there is a city in the world better provided with the means of putting a stop to beginning conflagrations; and, in fact, since these institutions, the city has never lost by fire more than one or two houses at a time, and the flames have often been extinguished before the house in which they began, has been half consumed.
Page 103
By hearing him often, I could distinguish easily between sermons newly composed and those which he had often preached in the course of his travels.
Page 111
, in 1770.
Page 117
It was about this time that another projector, the Rev.
Page 122
Some of these were inevitably at first expensive, so that in.
Page 152
, money paid for the copy or article.
Page 154
The other two packets he still detained, carried them with him to Halifax, where he stayed some time to exercise the men in sham attacks upon sham forts, then altered his mind as to besieging Louisburg, and returned to New York with all his troops, together with the two packets above mentioned, and all their passengers! During his absence the French and savages had taken Fort George, on the frontier of.