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 238

water is clear. It must lie in water so deep as that you cannot
reach it to take it up but by diving for it. To encourage yourself in
order to do this, reflect that your progress will be from deeper to
shallower water, and that at any time you may, by bringing your legs
under you and standing on the bottom, raise your head far above the
water. Then plunge under it with your eyes open, throwing yourself
towards the egg, and endeavouring, by the action of your hands and feet
against the water, to get forward till within reach of it. In this
attempt you will find that the water buoys you up against your
inclination; that it is not so easy a thing to sink as you imagined;
that you cannot, but by active force, get down to the egg. Thus you feel
the power of the water to support you, and learn to confide in that
power; while your endeavours to overcome it and to reach the egg teach
you the manner of acting on the water with your feet and hands, which
action is afterward used in swimming to support your head higher above
water, or to go forward through it.

I would the more earnestly press you to the trial of this method,
because, though I think I satisfied you that your body is lighter than
water, and that you might float in it a long time, with your mouth free
for breathing, if you would put yourself in a proper posture, and would
be still and forbear struggling, yet, till you have obtained this
experimental confidence in the water, I cannot depend on your having the
necessary presence of mind to recollect that posture and directions I
gave you relating to it. The surprise may put all out of your mind. For
though we value ourselves on being reasonable, knowing creatures, reason
and knowledge seem, on such occasions, to be of little use to us; and
the brutes, to whom we allow scarce a glimmering of either, appear to
have the advantage of us.

I will, however, take this opportunity of repeating those particulars to
you which I mentioned in our last conversation, as, by perusing them at
your leisure, you may possibly imprint them so in your memory as, on
occasion, to be of some use to you.

1. That though the legs, arms, and head of a human body, being solid
parts, are specifically something heavier than fresh water, yet the
trunk, particularly the upper part, from its hollowness, is so much
lighter than water, as

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

Page 65
Thoughts on the Present Situation of Our Public Affairs_ (1764) he set up a sturdy antagonism between "Proprietary Interest and Power, and Popular Liberty.
Page 173
This was an additional Fund for buying Books.
Page 174
While I was intent on improving my Language, I met with an English Grammar (I think it was Greenwood's) at the End of which there were two little Sketches of the Arts of Rhetoric and Logic, the latter finishing with a Specimen of a Dispute in the Socratic Method.
Page 209
I contriv'd a Copper-Plate Press for it, the first that had been seen in the Country.
Page 270
_And therefore every Creature must be equally esteem'd by the Creator.
Page 342
Remember, that money is of the prolific, generating nature.
Page 349
, may also be made entertaining to Youth, and will be useful to all.
Page 357
There is no human Scheme so perfect, but some Inconveniencies may be objected to it: Yet when the Conveniencies far exceed, the Scheme is judg'd rational, and fit to be executed.
Page 367
=BEING AN= =ALMANACK= =AND= =_EPHEMERIS_= =OF THE= MOTIONS of the =SUN= and =MOON=; =THE TRUE= PLACES and ASPECTS of the PLANETS; =THE= =_RISING_= and =_SETTING_= of the =_SUN_=; =AND THE= Rising, Setting _and_ Southing _of the_ Moon, =FOR THE= YEAR of our =LORD= 1753: Being the First after LEAP-YEAR.
Page 425
0 | | 7 | 17 | 6 | 11 | 9 | 23 | 14 | S.
Page 469
| +----+-------+--------+---------+-------+-------+---------+----------+ | | [Vir.
Page 527
Page 555
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.
Page 607
But as you aimed at making it general, I wonder you chose so uncommon a measure in poetry, that none of the tunes in common use will suit it.
Page 682
MY DEAR FRIEND, I received your favour of September 26th,[110] containing your very judicious proposition of securing the spectators in the opera and play houses from the danger of fire.
Page 698
I shall not fail to write to the Government of America, urging that effectual Care may be taken to protect & save the Remainder of those unhappy People.
Page 699
Page 715
AN ECONOMICAL PROJECT TO THE AUTHORS OF THE JOURNAL OF PARIS [March 20, 1784?[120]] MESSIEURS, You often entertain us with accounts of new discoveries.
Page 769
Confined air, when saturated with perspirable matter, will not receive more; and that matter must remain in our bodies, and occasion diseases; but it gives some previous notice of its being about to be.
Page 778
For Franklin's quarrel with the Proprietors see _Cool Thoughts on the Present Situation of Our Public Affairs_ (April 12, 1764, _Writings_, IV, 226-41).