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 231

the
purpose; a pinhole will do the business. And if you could look behind
the frame to which your barometer is fixed, you would certainly find
some small opening.

There are, indeed, some barometers in which the body of the mercury in
the lower end is contained in a close leather bag, and so the air cannot
come into immediate contact with the mercury; yet the same effect is
produced. For the leather, being flexible, when, the bag is pressed by
any additional weight of air, it contracts, and the mercury is forced up
into the tube; when the air becomes lighter and its pressure less, the
weight of the mercury prevails, and it descends again into the bag.

Your observations on what you have lately read concerning insects is
very just and solid. Superficial minds are apt to despise those who make
that part of the creation their study as mere triflers; but certainly
the world has been much obliged to them. Under the care and management
of man, the labours of the little silkworm afford employment and
subsistence to thousands of families, and become an immense article of
commerce. The bee, too, yields us its delicious honey, and its wax
useful to a multitude of purposes. Another insect, it is said, produces
the cochineal, from whence we have our rich scarlet dye. The usefulness
of the cantharides, or Spanish flies, in medicine, is known to all, and
thousands owe their lives to that knowledge. By human industry and
observation, other properties of other insects may possibly be hereafter
discovered, and of equal utility. A thorough acquaintance with the
nature of these little creatures may also enable mankind to prevent the
increase of such as are noxious, or secure us against the mischiefs they
occasion. These things doubtless your books make mention of: I can only
add a particular late instance, which I had from a Swedish gentleman of
good credit. In the green timber intended for shipbuilding at the king's
yard in that country, a kind of worms was found, which every year became
more numerous and more pernicious, so that the ships were greatly
damaged before they came into use. The king sent Linnaeus, the great
naturalist, from Stockholm, to inquire into the affair, and see if the
mischief was capable of any remedy. He found, on examination, that the
worm was produced from a small egg, deposited in the little roughnesses
on the surface of the wood, by a particular kind of fly or beetle; from
whence the worm, as soon as it was hatched, began to eat into the
substance of the

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Text Comparison with Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 30
I determin'd on the point, but my father now siding with my brother, I was sensible that, if I attempted to go openly, means would be used to prevent me.
Page 33
Then one of the company knew the place to be Cooper's Creek, a little above Philadelphia, which we saw as soon as we got out of the creek, and arriv'd there about eight or nine o'clock on the Sunday morning, and landed at the Market-street wharf.
Page 44
So convenient a thing is it to be a _reasonable creature_, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do.
Page 46
I approv'd the amusing one's self with poetry now and then, so far as to improve one's language, but no farther.
Page 51
but they were poor, and unable to assist him.
Page 61
John----, a wild Irishman, brought up to no business, whose service, for four years, Keimer had purchased from the captain of a ship; he, too, was to be made a pressman.
Page 75
I let her know that I expected as much money with their daughter as would pay off my remaining debt for the printing-house, which I believe was not then above a hundred pounds.
Page 84
| +----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+ | EAT NOT TO DULLNESS.
Page 85
| S.
Page 102
--Smyth.
Page 108
I did not, however, aim at gaining his favour by paying any servile respect to him, but, after some time, took this other method.
Page 118
This Mr.
Page 129
After some inquiry, I found a poor, industrious man, who was willing to undertake keeping the pavement clean, by sweeping it twice a week, carrying off the dirt from before all the neighbours' doors, for the sum of sixpence per month, to be paid by each house.
Page 142
I commiserated their case, and resolved to endeavour procuring them some relief.
Page 144
" Having before revolv'd in my mind the long line his army must make in their march by a very narrow road, to be cut for them thro' the woods and bushes, and also what I had read of a former defeat of fifteen hundred French, who invaded the Iroquois country, I had conceiv'd some doubts and some fears for the event of the campaign.
Page 145
The general, being wounded, was brought off with difficulty; his secretary, Mr.
Page 153
I inquir'd concerning the Moravian marriages, whether the report was true that they were by lot.
Page 155
We acted in concert to supply Braddock's army with provisions; and, when the shocking news arrived of his defeat, the governor sent in haste for me, to consult with him on measures for preventing the desertion of the back counties.
Page 173
And when the rain has wet the kite and twine, so that it can conduct the electric fire freely, you will find it stream out plentifully from the key on the approach of your knuckle.
Page 182
_ _As to the_ Religious Courtship, _Part of which has been retal'd to the Publick in these Papers, the Reader may be inform'd, that the whole Book will probably in a little Time be printed and bound up by it-self; and those who approve of it, will doubtless be better pleas'd to have it entire, than in this broken interrupted Manner.