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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 184

very deep in many
places, and covered it with many different strata, we are indebted to
subsequent convulsions for having brought within our view the
extremities of its veins, so as to lead us to penetrate the earth in
search of it. I visited last summer a large coalmine at Whitehaven, in
Cumberland; and in following the vein, and descending by degrees towards
the sea, I penetrated below the ocean where the level of its surface was
more than eight hundred fathoms above my head, and the miners assured me
that their works extended some miles beyond the place where I then was,
continually and gradually descending under the sea. The slate, which
forms the roof of this coalmine, is impressed in many places with the
figures of leaves and branches of fern, which undoubtedly grew at the
surface when the slate was in the state of sand on the banks of the sea.
Thus it appears that this vein of coal has suffered a prodigious
settlement.

B. FRANKLIN.

* * * * *

CAUSES OF EARTHQUAKES.

The late earthquake felt here, and probably in all the neighbouring
provinces, having made many people desirous to know what may be the
natural cause of such violent concussions, we shall endeavour to gratify
their curiosity by giving them the various opinions of the learned on
that head.

Here naturalists are divided. Some ascribe them to water, others to
fire, and others to air, and all of them with some appearance of reason.
To conceive which, it is to be observed that the earth everywhere
abounds in huge subterraneous caverns, veins, and canals, particularly
about the roots of mountains; that of these cavities, veins, &c., some
are full of water, whence are composed gulfs, abysses, springs,
rivulets; and others full of exhalations; and that some parts of the
earth are replete with nitre, sulphur, bitumen, vitriol, &c. This
premised,

1. The earth itself may sometimes be the cause of its own shaking; when
the roots or basis of some large mass being dissolved, or worn away by a
fluid underneath, it sinks into the same, and, with its weight,
occasions a tremour

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin Representative selections, with introduction, bibliograpy, and notes

Page 41
"[i-148] A.
Page 50
It must be observed, however, that Franklin differed from the proper mercantilists to the extent that simple valuable metals were not to be measures of value.
Page 81
[i-427] But then, Franklin (after reading this sublimated geometry which reduced the parts of creation to an equally sublime simplicity) noted in Wollaston that man must be a free agent,[i-428] that good and evil are as black and white, distinguishable,[i-429] that empirically the will is free, the author urging with Johnsonian good sense, "The short way of knowing this certainly is to try.
Page 178
So I sold some of my Books to raise a little Money, Was taken on board privately, and as we had a fair Wind[,] in three Days I found myself in New York near 300 Miles from home, a Boy of but 17, without the least Recommendation to or Knowledge of any Person in the Place, and with very little Money in my Pocket.
Page 187
-- My Friend and Companion Collins, who was a Clerk at the Post-Office, pleas'd with the Account I gave him of my new Country, determin'd to go thither also: And while I waited for my Fathers Determination, he set out before me by Land to Rhodeisland, leaving his Books which were a pretty Collection of Mathematicks and Natural Philosophy, to come with mine and me to New York where he propos'd to wait for me.
Page 200
On occasion I carried up and down Stairs a large Form of Types in each hand, when others carried but one in both Hands.
Page 223
For instance, my breakfast was a long time bread and milk (no tea), and I ate it out of a twopenny earthen porringer, with a pewter spoon.
Page 232
In truth, I found myself incorrigible with respect to Order; and now I am grown old, and my memory bad, I feel very sensibly the want of it.
Page 265
As for his Morals, he is a chearly Christian, as the Country Phrase expresses it.
Page 282
Amen! ADORATION PREL.
Page 297
How many Impertinences do we daily suffer with great Uneasiness, because we have not Courage enough to discover our Dislike? And why may not a Man use the Boldness and Freedom of telling his Friends, that their long Visits sometimes incommode him? On this Occasion, it may be entertaining to some of my Readers, if I acquaint them with the _Turkish_ Manner of entertaining Visitors, which I have from an Author of unquestionable Veracity; who assures us, that even the Turks are not so ignorant of Civility and.
Page 322
He that wastes idly a Groat's worth of his Time per Day, one Day with another, wastes the Privilege of using L100 each Day.
Page 346
That the boarding Scholars diet together, plainly, temperately, and frugally.
Page 362
The Northern Colonies, having few Slaves, increase in Whites.
Page 397
| 6 18 | 5 42 | | 8 | 5 |Days 11 28 long | 6 16 | 5 44 | | 9 | 6 | _follow'd by sharp_| 6 15 | 5 45 | | 10 | 7 | _nipping weather;_| 6 14 | 5 46 | | 11 | G |1st in Lent.
Page 448
| | --> +----+----------+----------+----+------+ | 1 | A.
Page 515
In _Somerset_, the first tuesdays in _January_, _April_ and _October_, and the 2d tuesdays in _June_.
Page 590
, in Marble and Bronze of exquisite Workmanship, is beyond Conception.
Page 606
Too soon, alas! didst thou obtain it; And wandering, Thou art fallen by the fangs of wanton, cruel RANGER! Learn hence, Ye who blindly seek more liberty, Whether subjects, sons, squirrels or daughters, That apparent restraint may be real protection; Yielding peace and plenty With security.
Page 781
For Franklin's own comments see _Writings_, IX, 358-9, 556.