Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 9

style,[9] just
four years to a day before I was born. The account we received of his
life and character from some old people at Ecton, I remember, struck
you as something extraordinary, from its similarity to what you knew
of mine. "Had he died on the same day," you said, "one might have
supposed a transmigration."[10]

John was bred a dyer, I believe, of woolens. Benjamin was bred a silk
dyer, serving an apprenticeship at London. He was an ingenious man. I
remember him well, for when I was a boy he came over to my father in
Boston, and lived in the house with us some years. He lived to a great
age. His grandson, Samuel Franklin, now lives in Boston. He left
behind him two quarto volumes, in manuscript, of his own poetry,
consisting of little occasional pieces addressed to his friends and
relations, of which the following, sent to me, is a specimen.[11] He
had formed a shorthand of his own, which he taught me, but, never
practicing it, I have now forgot it. I was named after this uncle,
there being a particular affection between him and my father. He was
very pious, a great attender of sermons of the best preachers, which
he took down in his shorthand, and had with him many volumes of them.
He was also much of a politician; too much, perhaps, for his station.
There fell lately into my hands, in London, a collection he had made
of all the principal pamphlets relating to public affairs, from 1641
to 1717; many of the volumes are wanting, as appears by the numbering,
but there still remain eight volumes in folio and twenty-four in
quarto and octavo. A dealer in old books met with them, and knowing me
by my sometimes buying of him, he brought them to me. It seems my
uncle must have left them here when he went to America, which was
above fifty years since. There are many of his notes in the margins.

This obscure family of ours was early in the Reformation, and
continued Protestants through the reign of Queen Mary,[12] when they
were sometimes in danger of trouble on account of their zeal against
the queen's religion. They had got an English Bible, and to conceal
and secure it, it was fastened open with tapes under and within the
cover of a joint stool.[13] When my great-great-grandfather read it to
his family, he turned up the joint stool upon his knees, turning over
the leaves then under the tapes. One of the children stood at the door
to give notice

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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 19
About this time my brother John, who had served his apprenticeship in London, having quitted my father, and being married and settled in business on his own account at Rhode Island, I was destined, to all appearance to supply his place, and be a candle-maker all my life: but my dislike of this occupation continuing, my father was apprehensive, that, if a more, agreeable one were not offered me, I might play the truant and escape to sea; as, to his extreme mortification, my brother Josias had done.
Page 21
He invited me to see his library, and had the goodness to lend me any books I was desirous of reading.
Page 33
I began again to walk along the street by the river side; and looking attentively in the face of every one I met, I at length perceived a young quaker whose countenance pleased me.
Page 66
Thomas Godfrey, a skilful, though self-taught mathematician, and who was afterwards the inventor of what now goes by the name of Hadley's quadrant; but he had little knowledge out of his own line, and was insupportable in company, always requiring, like the majority of mathematicians that had fallen in my way, an unusual precision in every thing that is.
Page 109
Franklin, Mr.
Page 115
I shall, however, if it is not diminished by some accident before my death, leave a considerable estate among my descendants and relations.
Page 119
_ _"But some persons, to whom they were read, and who had themselves been conversant in electrical disquisitions, were of opinion, they contained so many curious and interesting particulars relative to this affair, that it would be doing a kind of injustice to the public, to confine them solely to the limits of a private acquaintance.
Page 129
From that ring let a wire proceed up, till it touch the wire of the cork (_k_).
Page 135
through the substance of the glass, but must be done by a non-electric communication formed without, from surface to surface.
Page 150
Wood, rotting in old trees or buildings, does the same.
Page 157
Attempt to draw off the electricity with a.
Page 163
You may make this figure so acute below, and blunt above, as to need no under plate, it discharging fast enough into the air.
Page 164
By a little practice in blunting or sharpening the heads or tails of these figures, you may make them take place as desired, nearer or farther from the electrified plate.
Page 212
Page 254
Perhaps, though found on a sound part of the hearth, it might at the time of the stroke have stood on the part blown up, which will account both for the bruising and melting.
Page 266
It has been thought, that water reduced to vapour by heat was rarefied only fourteen thousand times, and on this principle our engines for raising water by fire are said to be constructed: but if the vapour so much rarefied from water is capable of being itself still farther rarefied to a boundless degree by the application of heat to the vessels or parts of vessels containing the vapour (as at first it is applied to those containing the water) perhaps a much greater power may be obtained, with little additional expence.
Page 268
_ _Published as the Act directs, April 1, 1806, by Longman, Hurst, Rees & Orme, Paternoster Row.
Page 272
But when it is considered that we owe our first knowledge of the nature and operations of lightning, to observations on such small experiments; and that on carefully comparing the most accurate accounts of former facts, and the exactest relations of those that have occurred since, the effects have surprizingly agreed with the theory; it is humbly conceived that in natural philosophy, in this branch of it at least, the suggestion has not so much weight; and that the farther new experiments now adduced in recommendation of _long_ sharp-pointed rods, may have some claim to credit and consideration.
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return to,.
Page 325
drawn from the clouds, by a kite, 268.