Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 121

three hours, a strong, active man might have done it in half the time.
And here let me remark the convenience of having but one gutter in
such a narrow street, running down its middle, instead of two, one on
each side, near the footway; for where all the rain that falls on a
street runs from the sides and meets in the middle, it forms there a
current strong enough to wash away all the mud it meets with; but when
divided into two channels, it is often too weak to cleanse either, and
only makes the mud it finds more fluid, so that the wheels of
carriages and feet of horses throw and dash it upon the foot pavement,
which is thereby rendered foul and slippery, and sometimes splash it
upon those who are walking. My proposal communicated to the good
doctor was as follows:

"For the more effectual cleaning and keeping clean the streets of
London and Westminster[147] it is proposed that the several watchmen
be contracted with to have the dust swept up in dry seasons, and the
mud raked up at other times, each in the several streets and lanes of
his round; that they be furnished with brooms and other proper
instruments for these purposes, to be kept at their respective stands,
ready to furnish the poor people they may employ in the service.

"That in the dry summer months the dust be all swept up into heaps at
proper distances, before the shops and windows of houses are usually
opened, when the scavengers, with close-covered carts, shall also
carry it all away.

"That the mud, when raked up, be not left in heaps to be spread abroad
again by the wheels of carriages and trampling of horses, but that the
scavengers be provided with bodies of carts, not placed high upon
wheels, but low upon sliders, with lattice bottoms, which, being
covered with straw, will retain the mud thrown into them, and permit
the water to drain from it, whereby it will become much lighter, water
making the greatest part of its weight; these bodies of carts to be
placed at convenient distances, and the mud brought to them in
wheelbarrows, they remaining where placed till the mud is drained, and
then horses brought to draw them away."

I have since had doubts of the practicability of the latter part of
this proposal, on account of the narrowness of some streets, and the
difficulty of placing the draining sleds so as not to encumber too
much the passage; but I am still of opinion that the former, requiring
the dust

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 1 of 2] With His Most Interesting Essays, Letters, and Miscellaneous Writings; Familiar, Moral, Political, Economical, and Philosophical, Selected with Care from All His Published Productions, and Comprising Whatever Is Most Entertaining and Valuable to the General Reader

Page 0
"This self-taught American," to quote from the Edinburgh Review of 1806, "is the most rational, perhaps, of all philosophers.
Page 12
I liked it much better than that of my father, but still had a hankering for the sea.
Page 25
Bradford had been bred to it, and was very illiterate; and Keimer, though something of a scholar, was a mere compositor, knowing nothing of presswork.
Page 60
Page 71
Such a conduct is easy for those who make virtue and themselves their standard, and who try to keep themselves in countenance by examples of other truly great men, of whom patience is so.
Page 91
This is as much as I can now recollect of the project, except that I communicated it in part to two young men, who adopted it with enthusiasm: but my then narrow circumstances, and the necessity I was under of sticking close to my business, occasioned my postponing the farther prosecution of it at that time, and my multifarious occupations, public and private, induced me to continue postponing, so that it has been omitted, till I have no longer strength or activity left sufficient for such an enterprise.
Page 96
; they were useful to themselves, and afforded us a good deal of amusement, information, and instruction, besides answering, in some degree, our views of influencing the public on particular occasions; of which I shall give some instances in course of time as they happened.
Page 97
It was managed by the constables of the respective wards in turn; the constable summoned a number of housekeepers to attend him for the night.
Page 98
This idea, being approved by the Junto, was communicated to the other clubs, but as originating in each of them; and though the plan was not immediately carried into execution, yet, by preparing the minds of the people for the change, it paved the way for the law, obtained a few years after, when the members of our clubs were grown into more influence.
Page 105
Governor Thomas was so pleased with the construction of this stove, as described in it, that he offered to give me a patent for the sole vending of them for a term of years; but I declined it, from a principle which has ever weighed with me on such occasions, viz.
Page 108
The year following, a treaty being to be held with the Indians at Carlisle, the governor sent a message to the house, proposing that they should nominate some of their members, to be joined with some members of council, as commissioners for that purpose.
Page 109
It has already annihilated all the tribes who formerly inhabited the seacoast.
Page 134
He accused me to the ministry as being the great obstacle to the king's service, preventing, by my influence in the house, the proper form of the bills for raising money; and he instanced the parade with my officers as a proof of my having an intention to take the government of the province out of his hands by force.
Page 158
Puckeridge, an Irishman, by placing on a table a number of glasses of different sizes, and tuning them, by partly filling them with water, endeavoured to form an instrument capable of playing tunes.
Page 173
His conceptions were so bright and perfect, that he did not choose to involve them in a cloud of expressions.
Page 183
_ Are not you concerned in the management of the _postoffice_ in America? _A.
Page 187
Page 188
_ I do not know a single article imported into the _northern_ colonies but what they can either do without or make themselves.
Page 208
You ought to suffer; but you have eaten with me, and I have given you my faith, which must not be broken.
Page 211
I will not dissemble that numberless stories have been raised and spread abroad, against not only the poor wretches that are murdered, but also against the hundred and forty Christianized Indians still threatened to be murdered; all which stories are well known, by those who know the Indians best, to be pure.