Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 156

near three months longer, whereby their bottoms were so much
damaged by the worm[196] that a great part of them foundered in their
passage home.

Shirley was, I believe, sincerely glad of being relieved from so
burdensome a charge as the conduct of an army must be to a man
unacquainted with military business. I was at the entertainment given
by the city of New York to Lord Loudoun, on his taking upon him the
command. Shirley, though thereby superseded, was present also. There
was a great company of officers, citizens, and strangers, and, some
chairs having been borrowed in the neighborhood, there was one among
them very low, which fell to the lot of Mr. Shirley. Perceiving it as
I sat by him, I said, "They have given you, sir, too low a seat." "No
matter," says he, "Mr. Franklin, I find a _low seat_ the easiest."

While I was, as afore mentioned, detained at New York, I received all
the accounts of the provisions, etc., that I had furnished to Braddock,
some of which accounts could not sooner be obtained from the different
persons I had employed to assist in the business. I presented them to
Lord Loudoun, desiring to be paid the balance. He caused them to be
regularly examined by the proper officer, who, after comparing every
article with its voucher, certified them to be right, and the balance
due, for which his lordship promised to give me an order on the
paymaster. This was, however, put off from time to time; and, though I
called often for it by appointment, I did not get it. At length, just
before my departure, he told me he had, on better consideration,
concluded not to mix his accounts with those of his predecessors. "And
you," says he, "when in England, have only to exhibit your accounts at
the treasury, and you will be paid immediately."

I mentioned, but without effect, the great and unexpected expense I
had been put to by being detained so long at New York, as a reason for
my desiring to be presently paid; and on my observing that it was not
right I should be put to any further trouble or delay in obtaining the
money I had advanced, as I charged no commission for my service, "O
sir," says he, "you must not think of persuading us that you are no
gainer; we understand better those affairs, and know that every one
concerned in supplying the army finds means, in the doing it, to fill
his own pockets." I assured him that was not my case, and

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 1 [of 3]

Page 11
They may also, should they ever be placed in a similar situation, derive some advantage from my narrative.
Page 19
Let this example, reader, encourage thee diligently to discharge the duties of thy calling, and to rely on the support of divine providence, He was pious and prudent, She discreet and virtuous.
Page 25
" Some of his friends, I remember, would have dissuaded him from this undertaking, as a thing that was not likely to succeed; a single newspaper.
Page 40
But, during my absence, he had unfortunately addicted himself to brandy, and I learned, as well from himself as from the report of others, that every day since his arrival at New York he had been intoxicated, and had acted in a very extravagant manner.
Page 64
In a word, I was at last convinced that truth, probity, and sincerity in transactions between man and man, were of the utmost importance to the happiness of life; and I resolved from that moment, and wrote the resolution in my journal, to practise them as long as I lived.
Page 121
--If you present the point in the dark, you will see, sometimes at a foot distance and more, a light gather upon it, like that of a fire-fly, or glow-worm; the less sharp the point, the nearer you must bring it to observe the light; and at whatever distance you see the light, you may draw off the electrical fire, and destroy the repellency.
Page 126
Page 176
I am, with sincere respect, Your most obliged humble servant, B.
Page 182
_New Experiments.
Page 185
Page 190
while the bells were ringing, I took the phial charged from the glass globe, and applied its wire to the erected rod, considering, that if the clouds were electrised _positively_, the rod which received its electricity from them must be so too; and then the additional _positive_ electricity of the phial would make the bells ring faster:--But, if the clouds were in a _negative_ state, they must exhaust the electric fluid from my rod, and bring that into the same negative state with themselves, and then the wire of a positively charged phial, supplying the rod with what it wanted (which it was obliged otherwise to draw from the earth by means of the pendulous brass ball playing between the two bells) the ringing would cease till the bottle was discharged.
Page 201
And perhaps the tin tube may lose some of its natural quantity of the electrical fluid, before it receives any from the glass; as that fluid will more readily run off from the ends and edges of it, than enter at the middle: and accordingly, when the glass tube is withdrawn, and the fluid is again equally diffused through the apparatus, it is found to be electrified negatively: for excited glass brought under the balls will increase their repulsion.
Page 213
[66] See page 286, for the paper here mentioned.
Page 237
A light lock of cotton, suspended a fine thread from the cieling, hung opposite to, and within an inch of the bullet.
Page 263
**** It is perhaps not so extraordinary that unlearned men, such as commonly compose our church vestries, should not yet be acquainted with, and sensible of the benefits of metal conductors in averting the stroke of lightning, and preserving our houses from its violent effects, or that they should be still prejudiced against the use of such conductors, when we see how long even philosophers, men of extensive science and great ingenuity, can hold out against the evidence of new knowledge, that does not square with their preconceptions; and how long men can retain a practice that is conformable to their prejudices, and expect a benefit.
Page 290
Cet honnête ecclésiastique arrive près de la machine, & voyant qu'il n'y avoit point de danger, met lui-même la main â l'oeuvre & tire de fortes étincelles.
Page 295
This is an effect which I have constantly observed, but do not think that it proceeds from an attractive quality in the exterior surface of the phial, but in those light bodies themselves, which seem to be attracted by the phial.
Page 299
This experiment fully evidences, that the water in the phial contains no more electric matter than it would do in an open bason, and has not any of that great quantity which produces the shock, and is only retained by the glass.
Page 304
181, 185.
Page 344
'over the the lives' replaced by 'over the lives'.