Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 138

the discharge of the
servants of three poor farmers of Lancaster County that he had
enlisted, reminding him of the late general's orders on that head. He
promised me that, if the masters would come to him at Trenton, where
he should be in a few days on his march to New York, he would there
deliver their men to them. They accordingly were at the expense and
trouble of going to Trenton, and there he refused to perform his
promise, to their great loss and disappointment.

As soon as the loss of the wagons and horses was generally known, all
the owners came upon me for the valuation which I had given bond to
pay. Their demands gave me a great deal of trouble. My acquainting
them that the money was ready in the paymaster's hands, but that
orders for paying it must first be obtained from General Shirley, and
my assuring them that I had applied to that general by letter, but, he
being at a distance, an answer could not soon be received, and they
must have patience,--all this was not sufficient to satisfy, and some
began to sue me. General Shirley at length relieved me from this
terrible situation by appointing commissioners to examine the claims,
and ordering payment. They amounted to near twenty thousand pounds,
which to pay would have ruined me.

Before we had the news of this defeat, the two Doctors Bond came to me
with a subscription paper for raising money to defray the expense of a
grand firework, which it was intended to exhibit at a rejoicing on
receipt of the news of our taking Fort Duquesne. I looked grave, and
said it would, I thought, be time enough to prepare for the rejoicing
when we knew we should have occasion to rejoice. They seemed surprised
that I did not immediately comply with their proposal. "Why," says one
of them, "you surely don't suppose that the fort will not be taken?"
"I don't know that it will not be taken, but I know that the events of
war are subject to great uncertainty." I gave them the reasons of my
doubting; the subscription was dropped, and the projectors thereby
missed the mortification they would have undergone if the firework had
been prepared. Dr. Bond, on some other occasion afterward, said that
he did not like Franklin's forebodings.

Governor Morris, who had continually worried the Assembly with message
after message, before the defeat of Braddock, to beat them into the
making of acts to raise money for the defense of the province without
taxing, among others, the proprietary estates,

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 2 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 2
42 On Luxury, Idleness, and Industry 45 On Truth and Falsehood 50 Necessary Hints to those that would be Rich 53 The Way to make Money plenty in every Man's Pocket 54 The Handsome and Deformed Leg 55 On Human Vanity 58 On Smuggling, and its various Species 62 Remarks concerning the Savages of North America 66 On Freedom of Speech and the Press 71 On the Price of Corn and the Management of the Poor 82 Singular Custom among the Americans, entitled Whitewashing .
Page 13
We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly; and from these taxes the commissioners cannot ease or deliver us, by allowing an abatement.
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_ "What would you think of that prince or of that government who should issue an edict forbidding you to dress like a gentleman or gentlewoman, on pain of imprisonment or servitude? Would you not say that you were free, have a right to dress as you please, and that such an edict would be a breach of your privileges, and such a government tyrannical? And yet you are about to put your self under such tyranny, when you run in debt for such dress! Your creditor has authority, at his pleasure, to deprive you of your liberty, by confining you in jail till you shall be able to pay him.
Page 23
' "'When, therefore, we are certain of it,' said Socrates, 'and can speak upon better grounds than simple conjectures, we will propose this advice to the senate.
Page 31
By geometry the surveyor is directed how to draw a map of any country, to divide his lands, and to lay down and plot any piece of ground, and thereby discover the area in acres, rods, and perches; the gauger is instructed how to find the capacities or solid contents of all kinds of vessels, in barrels, gallons, bushels, &c.
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portion of cool air that approaches the warm skin, in receiving its portion of that vapour, receives therewith a degree of heat that rarefies and renders it lighter, when it will be pushed away, with its burden, by cooler and, therefore, heavier fresh air, which for a moment supplies its place, and then, being likewise changed and warmed, gives way to a succeeding quantity.
Page 61
Two of our young hunters, having killed a deer, made a fire in the woods to broil some parts of it.
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our tenderest and most compassionate feelings, and, at the same time, raise our highest indignation against the instruments of it.
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" * * * * * _To the same.
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Their refusal is here called _rebellion_, and punishment is thought of.
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While reading it, I made a few remarks as I went along.
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Being landed, I found the greatest part of my meadow was really a marsh, in crossing which, to come at my tree, I was up to my knees in mire: and I had not placed myself under its shade five minutes before the moschetoes in swarms found me out, attacked my legs, hands, and face, and made my reading and my rest impossible; so that I returned to the beach, and called for the boat to come and take me on board again, where I was obliged to bear the heat I had strove to quit, and also the laugh of the company.
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But, after all, my dear friend, do not imagine that I am vain enough to ascribe our success to any superiority in any of those points.
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"He that raises a large family does, indeed, while he lives to observe them, _stand_, as Watts says, _a broader mark for sorrow_; but then he stands a broader mark for pleasure too.
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The rod may be fastened to the wall, chimney.
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The air, in its whirling motion, receding every way from the centre or axis of the trumpet, leaves there a _vacuum_, which cannot be filled through the sides, the whirling air, as an arch, preventing; it must then press in at the open ends.
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And the following are the results: Water 1-1/2 inches deep.