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 232

wood, and, after some time, came out again a fly of the
parent kind, and so the species increased. The season in which the fly
laid its eggs Linnaeus knew to be about a fortnight (I think) in the
month of May, and at no other time in the year. He therefore advised,
that some days before that season, all the green timber should be thrown
into the water, and kept under water till the season was over. Which
being done by the king's order, the flies, missing the usual nests,
could not increase, and the species was either destroyed or went
elsewhere: and the wood was effectually preserved, for after the first
year it became too dry and hard for their purpose.

There is, however, a prudent moderation to be used in studies of this
kind. The knowledge of nature may be ornamental, and it may be useful;
but if, to attain an eminence in that, we neglect the knowledge and
practice of essential duties, we deserve reprehension. For there is no
rank in natural knowledge of equal dignity and importance with that of
being a good parent, a good child, a good husband or wife, a good
neighbour or friend, a good subject or citizen, that is, in short, a
good Christian. Nicholas Gimcrack, therefore, who neglected the care of
his family to pursue butterflies, was a just object of ridicule, and we
must give him up as fair game to the satirist.


* * * * *

_To Dr. Joseph Priestley._


* * That the vegetable creation should restore the air which is spoiled
by the animal part of it, looks like a rational system, and seems to be
of a piece with the rest. Thus fire purifies water all the world over.
It purifies it by distillation, when it raises it in vapours, and lets
it fall in rain; and farther still by filtration, when, keeping it
fluid, it suffers that rain to percolate the earth. We knew before that
putrid animal substances were converted into sweet vegetables when mixed
with the earth

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Text Comparison with 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

Page 9
At his table he liked to have, as often as he could, some sensible friend or neighbour to converse with, and always took care to start some ingenious or useful topic for discourse, which might tend to improve the minds of his children.
Page 26
He being at Newcastle, forty miles below Philadelphia, and hearing of me, wrote me a letter, mentioning the grief of my relations and friends in Boston at my abrupt departure, assuring me of their good-will towards me, and that everything would be accommodated to my mind if I would return, to which he entreated me earnestly.
Page 36
For these letters I was appointed to call at different times, when they were to be ready, but a future time was still named.
Page 45
Denham among the tradesmen, to purchase various articles and see them packed up, delivering messages, calling upon workmen to despatch, &c.
Page 57
Many of our Welsh people are going to settle in North Carolina, where land is cheap.
Page 82
| | | | | | | | +------+------+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+ | Mod.
Page 88
But it so happened that my intention of writing and publishing this comment was never fulfilled.
Page 92
Whenever I was solicited to insert anything of that kind, and the writers pleaded (as they generally did) the liberty of the press, and that a newspaper was like a stagecoach,.
Page 95
, twelve.
Page 96
The choice was made that year without opposition; but the year following, when I was again proposed (the choice, like that of the members, being annual), a new member made a long speech against me, in order to favour some other candidate.
Page 99
Whitefield, on leaving us, went preaching all the way through the colonies to Georgia.
Page 123
I commiserated their case, and resolved to endeavour procuring them some relief.
Page 139
The drinkers, finding we did not return immediately to the table, sent us a decanter of Madeira, which the governor made liberal use of, and, in proportion, became more profuse of his solicitations and promises.
Page 159
A number of persons, to the amount of about 120, principally inhabitants of Donegal and Peckstang, or Paxton, townships, in the county of York, assembled, and, mounted on horseback, proceeded to the settlement of these harmless and defenceless Indians, whose number had now been reduced to about twenty.
Page 174
Page 175
These, as they are stated in my great folio leger E, I bequeath to the contributors of the Pennsylvania Hospital, hoping that those debtors, and the descendants of such as are deceased, who now, as I find, make some difficulty of satisfying such antiquated demands as just debts, may,.
Page 177
"I was born in Boston, New-England, and owe my first instructions in literature to the free grammar-schools established there.
Page 192
_ But will not this increase of expense be a means Of lessening the number of lawsuits? _A.
Page 201
Peggy was Shehaes's daughter; she worked for her aged father, continuing to live with him, though married, and attended him with filial duty and tenderness.
Page 211
The Six Nations will not defile their own land with the blood of men that come unarmed to ask for peace.