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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 92

C. Becker, _The
Declaration of Independence_, especially chap. II, and _The Heavenly
City of the Eighteenth-Century Philosophers_; and in Bibliography, pp.
cli ff., below, W. M. Horton (chap. II); C. S. Duncan; H. Drennon; L.
Bloch; E. Halevy. See also Isabel St. John Bliss, "Young's _Night
Thoughts_ in Relation to Contemporary Christian Apologetics,"
_Publications of the Modern Language Association_, XLIX, 37-70 (March,
1934); J. H. Randall, _The Making of the Modern Mind_ (Boston, 1926),
chap. X ff.; H. H. Clark, "An Historical Interpretation of Thomas
Paine's Religion," _University of California Chronicle_, XXXV, 56-87
(Jan., 1933), and "Toward a Reinterpretation of Thomas Paine,"
_American Literature_, V, 133-45 (May, 1933).

[i-5] Burtt, _op. cit._ 223.

[i-6] Article, "Deism."

[i-7] Article, "Nature."

[i-8] P. Smith, _A History of Modern Culture_ (New York, 1934), II,

[i-9] See S. Hefelbower, _The Relation of John Locke to English

[i-10] _Primitivism and the Idea of Progress in English Popular
Literature of the Eighteenth Century_, 168-9: "One inference that
might be drawn from the theory was that while the infant whose mind is
a blank page at birth is not so well off from the primitivistic point
of view as the one who comes into the world already equipped with a
complete set of the laws of nature and a predisposition to obey them,
he is infinitely better off than the infant whose poor little mind had
been loaded with original sin by his remote ancestors. For the
orthodox baby, born in sin, there is almost no hope, except in
supernatural aid; but if we suppose that man's ideas are all derived,
as Locke postulated, from sense-impressions, then we may conclude that
all men, rich and poor, primitive and civilized, are on an equal
footing intellectually at birth. Although the primitive child does not
have the help of civilization in the development of his mind, neither
does he have its superstitions, prejudices, and corrupting influences;
and he might actually be better off than the product of
civilization--at least so many a primitivist argued. But one might
draw another inference from the _tabula rasa_ theory. Men, however
corrupt they are now, may still have a chance of regeneration if their
mind is really like blank paper at birth." For eighteenth-century
primitivism see also H. N. Fairchild, _The Noble Savage_ (New York,

[i-11] H. J. Laski, _Political Thought in England from Locke to
Bentham_ (New York, 1920), 9. See also W. A. Dunning, _A History of
Political Theories from Luther to Montesquieu_; G. S. Veitch, _Genesis
of Parliamentary Reform_; and G. P. Gooch, _English Democratic Ideas
in the Seventeenth Century_ (2d ed., Cambridge, England, 1927).

[i-12] K. Martin, _French Liberal Thought in the

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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 13
causes and circumstances, and, consequently, changes in its specific gravity, must therefore be in continual motion.
Page 20
Since my last I considered, that, as I had begun with the reasons of my dissatisfaction about the ascent of water in spouts, you would not be unwilling to hear the whole I have to say, and then you will know what I rely upon.
Page 40
But it seems necessary to mention something I then forgot.
Page 43
Page 57
Page 63
The sensation that the separation by fire occasions, we call heat, or burning.
Page 64
That some fossils, as sulphur, sea-coal, &c.
Page 71
I own I am inclined to a different opinion, and rather think all the water on this globe was originally salt, and that the fresh water we find in springs and rivers, is the produce of distillation.
Page 75
And on the other hand, when it is low water at E, H, it is high water both at F, G, and at A, B, at or near the same time: and the surface would then be described by the inverted curve line, A, H, F.
Page 78
commonly runs during the flood at the rate of two miles in an hour, and that the flood runs five hours, you see that it can bring at most into our canal only a quantity of water equal to the space included in the breadth of the canal, ten miles of its length, and the depth between low and high-water mark; which is but a fourteenth part of what would be necessary to fill all the space between low and high-water mark, for one hundred and forty miles, the whole length of the canal.
Page 81
The common supply of rivers is from springs, which draw their origin from rain that has soaked into the earth.
Page 97
the rumbling sound being first heard at a distance, augmenting as it approaches, and gradually dying away as it proceeds? A circumstance observed by the inhabitants of South America in their last great earthquake, that noise coming from a place, some degrees north of Lima, and being traced by enquiry quite down to Buenos Ayres, proceeded regularly from north to south at the rate of [___] leagues per minute, as I was informed by a very ingenious Peruvian whom I met with at Paris.
Page 106
FOOTNOTE: [26] This letter is taken from the Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, in which it was read, January 26, 1786.
Page 116
The motion they have received will, for some time, continue; and if the shore is not far distant, they arrive there so soon, that their effect upon it will not be visibly diminished.
Page 119
4½ inches.
Page 137
Hauling on that rope will bring the kite home with small force, the resistance being small as it will then come end ways.
Page 147
The most southern part of the shoals of Nantucket lie in about 40° 45′.
Page 165
---- 6.
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Page 348
It seems, indeed, somewhat like the liberty of the press, that felons have, by the common law of England, before conviction; that is, to be either pressed to death or hanged.