The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 1 [of 3]

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 118

off most of
the rain, and prevent its soaking into the earth, and renewing and
purifying the springs, whence the water of the wells must gradually
grow worse, and in time be unfit for use, as I find has happened in
all old cities; I recommend, that, at the end of the first hundred
years, if not done before, the corporation of the city employ a part
of the hundred thousand pounds in bringing by pipes the water of
Wissahickon-creek into the town, so as to supply the inhabitants,
which I apprehend may be done without great difficulty, the level
of that creek being much above that of the city, and may be made
higher by a dam. I also recommend making the Schuylkil completely
navigable. At the end of the second hundred years, I would have
the disposition of the four millions and sixty-one thousand pounds
divided between the inhabitants of the city of Philadelphia and the
government of Pennsylvania, in the same manner as herein directed
with respect to that of the inhabitants of Boston and the government
of Massachusetts. It is my desire that this institution should
take place, and begin to operate within one year after my decease,
for which purpose due notice should be publicly given, previous
to the expiration of that year, that those for whose benefit this
establishment is intended may make their respective applications:
and I hereby direct my executors, the survivor or survivors of them,
within six months after my decease, to pay over the said sum of two
thousand pounds sterling to such persons as shall be duly appointed
by the select men of Boston, and the corporation of Philadelphia,
to receive and take charge of their respective sums of one thousand
pounds each, for the purposes aforesaid. Considering the accidents
to which all human affairs and projects are subject in such a
length of time, I have, perhaps, too much flattered myself with a
vain fancy, that these dispositions, if carried into execution, will
be continued without interruption, and have the effects proposed:
I hope, however, that if the inhabitants of the two cities should
not think fit to undertake the execution, they will at least accept
the offer of these donations, as a mark of my good will, token of
my gratitude, and testimony of my desire to be useful to them even
after my departure. I wish, indeed, that they may both undertake to
endeavour the execution of my project, because I think, that, though
unforeseen difficulties may arise, expedients will be found to remove
them, and the scheme be found practicable. If one of

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Text Comparison with The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 22
However, I proceeded the next day, and got in the evening to an inn, within eight or ten miles of Burlington, kept by one Dr.
Page 35
Perhaps, too, she thought my expectations not so well founded as I imagined them to be.
Page 39
By this letter it appear'd there was a secret scheme on foot to the prejudice of Hamilton (suppos'd to be then coming over with us); and that Keith was concerned in it with Riddlesden.
Page 47
He now told me he was about to return to Philadelphia, and should carry over a great quantity of goods in order to open a store there.
Page 50
George Webb, an Oxford scholar, whose time for four years he had likewise bought, intending him for a compositor, of whom more presently; and David Harry, a country boy, whom he had taken apprentice.
Page 56
William Maugridge, a joiner, a most exquisite mechanic, and a solid, sensible.
Page 57
But my giving this account of it here is to show something of the interest I had, every one of these exerting themselves in recommending business to us.
Page 60
be sold for payment, perhaps at half price.
Page 62
I was at first apprehensive of a powerful rival in Harry,.
Page 68
"The little private incidents which you will also have to relate, will have considerable use, as we want, above all things, rules of prudence in ordinary.
Page 78
Page 89
My ideas at that time were, that the sect should be begun and spread at first among young and single men only; that each person to be initiated should not only declare his assent to such creed, but should have exercised himself with the thirteen weeks' examination and practice of the virtues, as in the before-mention'd model; that the existence of such a society should be kept a secret, till it was become considerable, to prevent solicitations for the admission of improper persons, but that the members should each of them search among his acquaintance for ingenuous, well-disposed youths, to whom, with prudent caution, the scheme should be gradually communicated; that the members should engage to afford their advice, assistance, and support to each other in promoting one another's interests, business, and advancement in life; that, for distinction, we should be call'd The Society of the Free and Easy: free, as being, by the general practice and habit of the virtues, free from the dominion of vice; and particularly by the practice of industry and frugality, free from debt, which exposes a man to confinement, and a species of slavery to his creditors.
Page 95
, and without informing them of the connection with the Junto.
Page 102
Critics attack'd his writings violently, and with so much appearance of reason as to diminish the number of his votaries and prevent their encrease; so that I am of opinion if he had never written any thing, he would have left behind him a much more numerous and important sect, and his reputation might in that case have been still growing, even after his death, as there being nothing of his writing on which to found a censure and give him a lower character, his proselytes would be left at liberty to feign for him as great a variety of excellence as their enthusiastic admiration might wish him to have possessed.
Page 115
" This condition carried the bill through; for the members, who had oppos'd the grant, and now conceiv'd they might have the credit of being charitable without the expence, agreed to its passage; and then, in soliciting subscriptions among the people, we urg'd the conditional promise of the law as an additional motive to give, since every man's donation would be doubled; thus the clause work'd both ways.
Page 119
From the slowness I saw at first in her working, I could scarce believe that the work was done so soon, and sent my servant to examine it, who reported that the whole street was swept perfectly clean, and all the dust plac'd in the gutter, which was in the middle; and the next rain wash'd it quite away, so that the pavement and even the kennel were perfectly clean.
Page 137
Just before we left Bethlehem, eleven farmers, who had been driven from their plantations by the Indians, came to me requesting a supply of firearms, that they might go back and fetch off their cattle.
Page 154
Besides, it scarce ever happens that a ship is form'd, fitted for the sea, and sail'd by the same person.
Page 155
We had a watchman plac'd in the bow, to whom they often called, "Look well out before there," and he as often answered, "Ay ay;" but perhaps had his eyes shut, and was half asleep at the time, they sometimes answering, as is said, mechanically; for he did not see a light just before us, which had been hid by the studdingsails from the man at the helm, and from the rest of the watch, but by an accidental yaw of the ship was discover'd, and occasion'd a great alarm, we being very near it, the light appearing to me as big as a cart-wheel.
Page 157
Penn's house in Spring Garden.