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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 127

recommendations were never of any use
to me. As to rewards from himself, I asked only one, which was, that he
would give orders to his officers not to enlist any more of our bought
servants, and that he would discharge such as had been already enlisted.
This he readily granted, and several were accordingly returned to their
masters on my application. Dunbar, when the command devolved on him, was
not so generous. He being at Philadelphia on his retreat, or, rather,
flight, I applied to him for 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

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: I acquainted them that
the money was ready in the paymaster's hands, but the order for paying
it must first be obtained from General Shirley, and that I had applied
for it; but he being at a distance, an answer could not soon be
received, and they must have patience. All this, however, 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 fireworks, which it was intended to exhibit at a rejoicing on
receiving the news of our taking Fort Duquesne. I looked grave, and
said, "It would, I thought, be time enough to prepare the rejoicing when
we knew we should have occasion to rejoice." They seemed surprised that
I did not immediately comply with their proposal. "Why the d--l," said
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

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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 3
--Electrical feast.
Page 13
Thomas had learned the trade of a blacksmith under his father; but possessing a good natural understanding, he improved it by study, at the solicitation of a gentleman of the name of Palmer, who was at that time the principal inhabitant of the village, and who encouraged, in like manner, all my uncles to cultivate their minds.
Page 21
The first had a prodigious run, because the event was recent, and had made a great noise.
Page 59
He was also to be a pressman.
Page 63
But scarcely was I arrived at fifteen years of age, when, after having doubted in turn of different tenets, according as I found them combated in the different books that I read, I began to doubt of revelation itself.
Page 83
too generally for the interest of science, awaits unsuccessful experiments in philosophy.
Page 86
" The letter containing these observations is dated in September, 1753; and yet the discovery of ascending thunder has been said to be of a modern date, and has been attributed to the Abbé Bertholon, who published his memoir on the subject in 1776.
Page 149
An electrical spark, drawn from an irregular body at some distance is scarcely ever strait, but shows crooked and waving in the air.
Page 150
--For as whatever body can insinuate itself between the particles of metal, and overcome the attraction by which they cohere (as sundry menstrua can) will make the solid become a fluid, as well as fire, yet without heating it: so the electrical fire, or lightning, creating a violent repulsion between the particles of the metal it passes through, the metal is fused.
Page 165
the bullet is from its wire.
Page 174
Wilson, at London, tried it on too large masses, and with too small force.
Page 177
Other bodies conducting only as they contain a mixture of those; without more or less of which they will not conduct at all[59].
Page 196
But a rod of half an inch diameter would conduct four times as much as one of a quarter.
Page 197
These, as so many stepping-stones, assist in conducting a stroke between the cloud and a building.
Page 211
I laid one end of my discharging rod upon the head of the first; he laid his hand on the head of the second; the second his hand on the head of the third, and so to the last, who held, in his hand, the chain that was connected with the outside of the jars.
Page 231
It is extremely sensible of any alteration in the state of the included air, and fully determines that controverted point, Whether there be any heat in the electric fire? By the enclosed draught, and the following description, you will readily apprehend the construction of it.
Page 245
How many ways there are of kindling fire, or producing heat in bodies! By the sun's.
Page 295
_ 68.
Page 327
Page 340
_Trees_, dangerous to be under, in thunder-storms, i.