Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 158

and the
same vessel, laden by the judgment and orders of one captain, shall
sail better or worse than when by the orders of another. Besides, it
scarce ever happens that a ship is formed, fitted for the sea, and
sailed by the same person. One man builds the hull, another rigs her,
a third lades and sails her. No one of these has the advantage of
knowing all the ideas and experience of the others, and therefore
cannot draw just conclusions from a combination of the whole.

Even in the simple operation of sailing when at sea, I have often
observed different judgments in the officers who commanded the
successive watches,[199] the wind being the same. One would have the
sails trimmed sharper or flatter than another, so that they seemed to
have no certain rule to govern by. Yet I think a set of experiments
might be instituted, first, to determine the most proper form of the
hull for swift sailing; next, the best dimensions and properest place
for the masts; then the form and quantity of sails, and their
position, as the wind may be; and, lastly, the disposition of the
lading. This is an age of experiments, and I think a set accurately
made and combined would be of great use. I am persuaded, therefore,
that ere long some ingenious philosopher will undertake it, to whom I
wish success.

We were several times chased[200] in our passage, but outsailed
everything, and in thirty days had soundings.[201] We had a good
observation,[202] and the captain judged himself so near our port,
Falmouth, that, if we made a good run in the night, we might be off
the mouth of that harbor in the morning, and by running in the night
might escape the notice of the enemy's privateers,[203] who often
cruised near the entrance of the channel. Accordingly, all the sail
was set that we could possibly make, and the wind being very fresh and
fair, we went right before it, and made great way. The captain, after
his observation, shaped his course, as he thought, so as to pass wide
of the Scilly Isles; but it seems there is sometimes a strong
indraught[204] setting up St. George's Channel, which deceives seamen
and caused the loss of Sir Cloudesley Shovel's squadron. This
indraught was probably the cause of what happened to us.

We had a watchman placed in the bow, to whom they often called, "Look
well out before there," and he as often answered, "Ay, ay;" but
perhaps he had his eyes shut, and was half asleep at the time, they
sometimes answering, as

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with A Book of Gems Choice selections from the writings of Benjamin Franklin

Page 1
WILL BE READY DECEMBER 25th.
Page 6
227 Christ the Center 186 Christ will come 234 Church Decisions 262 Church Membership 349 Church Organization 42 Classification of Missionary Men 244 Clerical Young Pastors 277 Come out of Babylon 471 Communion 217 Conclusion of the Year 498 Converting the Cities .
Page 22
The volume will prove, as we trust, a monument to the memory of a great and good man, and a treasure to every Christian household.
Page 24
God never calls such men as these.
Page 46
John vi.
Page 60
They are trying to find this evidence in their feelings, impressions, emotions, impulses, sensations, dreams, some sound or voice, and not in the promise of God.
Page 83
If we were to sit down in our editorial chair, at home, and write the most stirring articles about the great work of evangelizing the world and urge men to go, we fear they would inquire, “Why do _you not go_?” We aim to be an example—to go ourself, as we urge others to do.
Page 98
them held certain points of doctrine, and to distinguish their views from some others, than to set forth the Christian faith.
Page 119
Not only so, but it gives no chance to assail, expose and refute, for it maintains nothing but the Bible, but Christianity, but what God has given by inspiration and proved by supernatural signs and wonders, accompanied with gifts of the Holy Spirit, which all its assailants have to admit true! Can we expect to present the only.
Page 131
Mere refinement and respectability have nothing to do in the matter.
Page 133
SPEAK PLEASANTLY.
Page 153
No good man will respect any man for setting aside his religious convictions, principles, or the law of God.
Page 158
We want no milk-and-water men, a little this way and a little that, but men of settled principles, religious convictions and reliable purposes.
Page 160
xvi.
Page 241
8.
Page 260
He may do this now, in answer to prayer, when consistent with his will.
Page 286
No one doubts that he _could_.
Page 302
They would preach on common ground matters till they draw their hearers on and gain their attention.
Page 307
We have recently heard of several churches of this sort.
Page 311
Who among our brethren are thinking how many humble, unassuming and comparatively obscure men we have, who are actually doing a great work, and not only doing it at their own charges, but doing it without thanks or even credit from their brethren? While we are paying much attention to a few men of popularity, influence and fame, we are overlooking a large number of the best, truest, most self-sacrificing men the Lord has given us.