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 190

cold bodies in cold ground; there
only wants a sufficient quantity of this mixture to produce a true Aetna.
If it were supposed to burst out under the sea, it would produce a
spout; and if it were in the clouds, the effect would be thunder and
lightning.

An earthquake is defined to be a vehement shake or agitation of some
considerable place, or part of the earth, from natural causes, attended
with a huge noise like thunder, and frequently with an eruption of
water, or fire, or smoke, or winds, &c.

They are the greatest and most formidable phenomena of nature. Aristotle
and Pliny distinguish two kinds, with respect to the manner of the
shake, viz., a tremour and a pulsation; the first being horizontal, in
alternate vibrations, compared to the shaking of a person in an ague;
the second perpendicular, up and down, their motion resembling that of
boiling.

Agricola increases the number, and makes four kinds, which Albertus
Magnus again reduces to three, viz., inclination, when the earth
vibrates alternately from right to left, by which mountains have been
sometimes brought to meet and clash against each other; pulsation, when
it beats up and down, like an artery; and trembling, when it shakes and
totters every way, like a flame.

The Philosophical Transactions furnish us with abundance of histories of
earthquakes, particularly one at Oxford in 1665, by Dr. Wallis and Mr.
Boyle. Another at the same place in 1683, by Mr. Pigot. Another in
Sicily, in 1692-3, by Mr. Hartop, Father Alessandro Burgos, and Vin.
Bonajutus, which last is one of the most terrible ones in all history.

It shook the whole island; and not only that, but Naples and Malta
shared in the shock. It was of the second kind mentioned by Aristotle
and Pliny, viz., a perpendicular pulsation or succussion. It was
impossible, says the noble Bonajutus, for anybody in this country to
keep on their legs on the dancing earth; nay, those that lay on the
ground were tossed from side to side as on a rolling billow; high walls
leaped from their foundations several paces.

The mischief it did is amazing; almost all the buildings in the
countries were thrown down. Fifty-four cities and towns, besides an
incredible number of villages, were either destroyed or greatly damaged.
We shall only instance the fate of Catania, one of the most famous,
ancient, and flourishing cities in the kingdom, the residence of several
monarchs, and a university. "This once famous, now unhappy Catania," to
use words of Father Burgos, "had the greatest share in the tragedy.
Father Antonio Serovita, being on his way thither,

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 4
.
Page 15
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.
Page 25
The _Spectator_ and its predecessor, the _Tatler_ (1709), marked the beginning of periodical literature.
Page 26
He drew up a constitution for the colonists of Carolina.
Page 27
into measures that I have been from time to time engaged in promoting; and, as the chief ends of conversation are to _inform_ or to be _informed_, to _please_ or to _persuade_, I wish well-meaning, sensible men would not lessen their power of doing good by a positive, assuming manner, that seldom fails to disgust, tends to create opposition, and to defeat everyone of those purposes for which speech was given to us, to wit, giving or receiving information or pleasure.
Page 38
[31] On my doubting whether my father would assist me in it, Sir William said he would give me a letter to him, in which he would state the advantages, and he did not doubt of prevailing with him.
Page 63
He dissuaded me from returning to my native country, which I began to think of; he reminded me that Keimer was in debt for all he possess'd; that his creditors began to be uneasy; that he kept his shop miserably, sold often without profit for ready money, and often trusted without keeping accounts; that he must therefore fail, which would make a vacancy I might profit of.
Page 68
From hence the long continuance of the club, which I shall have frequent occasion to speak further of hereafter.
Page 73
Our debates possess'd me so fully of the subject, that I wrote and printed an anonymous pamphlet on it, entitled "_The Nature and Necessity of a Paper Currency_.
Page 77
marriage over forty years.
Page 84
EAT NOT TO DULLNESS.
Page 89
I had not been early accustomed to it, and, having an exceeding good memory, I was not so sensible of the inconvenience attending want of method.
Page 111
[79] George Whitefield, pronounced Hwit'field (1714-1770), a celebrated English clergyman and pulpit orator, one of the founders of Methodism.
Page 135
The Board of Trade therefore did not approve of it, nor recommend it for the approbation of his majesty; but another scheme was form'd, supposed to answer the same purpose better, whereby the governors of the provinces, with some members of their respective councils, were to meet and order the raising of troops, building of forts, etc.
Page 136
He had been brought up to it from a boy, his father, as I have heard, accustoming his children to dispute with one another for his diversion, while sitting at table after dinner; but I think the practice was not wise; for, in the course of my observation, these disputing, contradicting, and confuting people are generally unfortunate in their affairs.
Page 139
XVI BRADDOCK'S EXPEDITION The British government, not chusing to permit the union of the colonies as propos'd at Albany, and to trust that union with their defense, lest they should thereby grow too military, and feel their own strength, suspicions and jealousies at this time being entertain'd of them, sent over General Braddock with two regiments of regular English troops for that purpose.
Page 150
When they were set up, our carpenters built a stage [Illustration: "Our axes .
Page 158
le Roy, of the Royal Academy of Sciences, took up my cause and refuted him; my book was translated into the Italian, German, and Latin languages; and the doctrine it contain'd was by degrees universally adopted by the philosophers of Europe, in preference to that of the abbe; so that he lived to see himself the last of his sect, except Monsieur B----, of Paris, his _eleve_ and immediate disciple.
Page 165
I presented them to Lord Loudoun, desiring to be paid the balance.
Page 180
_Address to the Public from the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting Abolition of Slavery.