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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 36

and correctness.
(These plans he more fully expressed in his _Idea of the English
School_, published in 1751.) As he grew older he apparently became less
tolerant of the teaching of the ancient languages in colonial schools:
in _Observations Relative to the Intentions of the Original Founders of
the Academy of Philadelphia_ (1789), he charged that the Latin school
had swallowed the English and that he was hence "surrounded by the
Ghosts of my dear departed Friends, beckoning and urging me to use the
only Tongue now left us, in demanding that Justice to our Grandchildren,
that our Children has [_sic_] been denied."[i-111] The Latin and Greek
languages he considered "in no other light than as the _Chapeau bras_ of
modern Literature."[i-112] Like Emerson's, his opposition was to
linguistic study rather than to the classical ideas.

Although he emphasized the study of science and mechanics, it is
important to observe that he kept his balance. He warned Miss Mary
Stevenson in 1760: "There is ... a prudent Moderation to be used in
Studies of this kind. The Knowledge of Nature may be ornamental, and it
may be useful; but if, to attain an Eminence in that, we neglect the
Knowledge and Practice of essential Duties, we deserve
Reprehension."[i-113] Not without reserve did he champion the Moderns;
remembering several provocative scientific observations in Pliny, he
wrote to William Brownrigg (Nov. 7, 1773): "It has been of late too much
the mode to slight the learning of the ancients."[i-114] He would not
agree with the enthusiastic and trenchant disciple of the moderns, M.
Fontenelle, that "We are under an obligation to the ancients for having
exhausted almost all the false theories that could be found."[i-115]
Although he would agree that the empirical method of acquiring knowledge
is more reasonable than authoritarianism reared on syllogistic
foundations, and with Cowley that

Bacon has broke that scar-crow Deity ["Authority"],[i-116]

he was not blithely confident that science and the knowledge gained from
experimentation would create a more rigorously moral race. He wrote to
Priestley in 1782: "I should rejoice much, if I could once more recover
the Leisure to search with you into the Works of Nature; I mean the
_inanimate_, not the _animate_ or moral part of them, the more I
discover'd of the former, the more I admir'd them; the more I know of
the latter, the more I am disgusted with them."[i-117] He often
suggested, "As Men grow more enlightened," but seldom did this clause
carry more than an intellectual connotation. Progress in
knowledge[i-118] did not on the whole suggest to Franklin progress in
morals or the general progress

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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 3
--Effect of the sun's rays on cloth of different colours 105 On the vis inertiæ of matter 110 On the different strata of the earth .
Page 7
--Modesty in disputation 317 Covering houses with copper 318 On the same subject 320 Paper referred to in the preceding letter 322 Magical square of squares 324 Magical circle 328 New musical instrument composed of glasses 330 Best mediums for conveying sound 335 On the.
Page 46
Others of them were bent or arched.
Page 81
The common supply of rivers is from springs, which draw their origin from rain that has soaked into the earth.
Page 85
I think it is generally allowed by the philosophers, and, for aught we know, is certainly true, that there is no mass of matter, how great soever, but may be moved by any force how small soever (taking friction out of the question) and this small force continued, will in time bring the mass to move with any velocity whatsoever.
Page 86
"--This I think is not true; but that the body 2 _a_ moved by the force 1 _f_ (though the eye may judge otherwise of it) does really move with the same celerity as it did when impelled by the same force; for 2 _a_ is compounded of 1 _a_ + 1 _a_: and if each of the 1 _a_'s or each part of the compound were made to move with 1 _c_ (as they might be by 2 _f_) then the whole would move with 2 _c_, and not with 1 _c_, as our author supposes.
Page 101
It was communicated by the person to whom it is addressed, and was read in the Society, January 21, 1784, as an appendix to a paper by Dr.
Page 135
To prevent this driving to leeward in deep water, a swimming anchor is wanting, which ought to have these properties.
Page 146
_ After you have passed the banks of Newfoundland in about the 44th degree of latitude, you will meet with nothing, till you draw near the Isle of Sables, which we commonly pass in latitude 43.
Page 205
And, without warming the tube, if you hold under it a knob of hot iron, the air thereby heated will rise and fill the tube, going out at its top, and this motion in the tube will continue as long as the knob remains hot, because the air entering the tube below is heated and rarefied by passing near and over that knob.
Page 227
What supplies its place from below, being warmed, in its turn, by the warmer funnel, is likewise forced up by the colder and weightier air below, and so the current is continued till the next day, when the sun gradually changes the state of the outward air, makes it first as warm as the funnel of the chimney can make it (when the current begins to hesitate) and afterwards warmer.
Page 270
_ _Philadelphia, Dec_.
Page 271
_I should not have_ noticed _this, were it not that the gentleman_, &c.
Page 318
Page 332
I will, however, own for the present, that it may be lawful when necessary; but then I contend, that it may be used so as to produce the same good effects, _the public security_, without doing so much intolerable injustice as attends the impressing common seamen.
Page 341
It was not in those days deemed wrong _in itself_.
Page 347
The Court of the Press[102].
Page 352
place of first meeting, 13.
Page 353
Page 359
_Collinson_, Mr.