The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 2 [of 3]

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 109

being at sea in a fleet of 96 sail bound against Louisbourg,
I observed the wakes of two of the ships to be remarkably smooth,
while all the others were ruffled by the wind, which blew fresh.
Being puzzled with the differing appearance, I at last pointed it out
to our captain, and asked him the meaning of it. "The cooks," says
he, "have, I suppose, been just emptying their greasy water through
the scuppers, which has greased the sides of those ships a little;"
and this answer he gave me with an air of some little contempt, as
to a person ignorant of what every body else knew. In my own mind
I at first slighted his solution, though I was not able to think
of another, but recollecting what I had formerly read in Pliny, I
resolved to make some experiment of the effect of oil on water, when
I should have opportunity.

Afterwards being again at sea in 1762, I first observed the wonderful
quietness of oil on agitated water, in the swinging glass lamp I made
to hang up in the cabin, as described in my printed papers[29]. This
I was continually looking at and considering, as an appearance to me
inexplicable. An old sea captain, then a passenger with me, thought
little of it, supposing it an effect of the same kind with that of
oil put on water to smooth it, which he said was a practice of the
Bermudians when they would strike fish, which they could not see, if
the surface of the water was ruffled by the wind. This practice I had
never before heard of, and was obliged to him for the information;
though I thought him mistaken as to the sameness of the experiment,
the operations being different as well as the effects. In one
case, the water is smooth till the oil is put on, and then becomes
agitated. In the other it is agitated before the oil is applied, and
then becomes smooth. The same gentleman told me, he had heard it was
a practice with the fisherman of Lisbon when about to return into the
river (if they saw before them too great a surf upon the bar, which
they apprehended might fill their boats in passing) to empty a bottle
or two of oil into the sea, which would suppress the breakers, and
allow them to pass safely. A confirmation of this I have not since
had an opportunity of obtaining: but discoursing of it with another
person, who had often been in the Mediterranean, I was informed,
that the

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

Page 19
_ The speaker should be presented for approbation; it being convenient, to prevent misunderstandings and disgusts, that the mouth of the council should be a person agreeable, if possible, both to the council and president general.
Page 22
_That they make laws for regulating and governing such new settlements, till the crown shall think fit to form them into particular governments.
Page 53
Room left in the constitution of the province for self defence by force of arms, though the use of arms was not consistent with the principles of quakers.
Page 54
Amendments proposed by the governor.
Page 77
" The very reason he assigns for their so extending, and which is indeed the true one (their being "invited to it by the pleasantness, fertility, and plenty of the country,") may satisfy us, that this extension will continue to proceed, as long as there remains any pleasant fertile country within their.
Page 88
In fact, neither the very worst of governments, the worst of politics in the last century, nor the total abolition of their remaining liberty, in the provinces of Spain itself, in the present, have produced any independency [in Spain] that could be supported.
Page 115
" By the words _legally convicted_, was intended a conviction after legal trial, in the common course of the laws of the land.
Page 176
_ How then do you pay the balance? _A.
Page 191
They continually gained ground, and have driven the Indians over the mountains, without any troops sent to their assistance from this country.
Page 215
accompanied this paper to Dr.
Page 219
Page 256
_Comparison of Great Britain and America as to Credit, in 1777[157].
Page 272
who draws a fish out of our water, draws up a piece of silver.
Page 299
Page 318
introduced, and much admired for its splendor; but a general enquiry was made, whether the oil it consumed was not in proportion to the light it afforded, in which case there would be no saving in the use of it.
Page 319
I considered that, if I had not been awakened so early in the morning, I should have slept six hours longer by the light of the sun, and in exchange have lived six hours the following night by candle-light; and the latter being a much more expensive light than the former, my love of economy induced me to muster up what little arithmetic I was master of, and to make some calculations, which I shall give you, after observing that utility is, in my opinion, the test of value in matters of invention, and that a discovery which can be applied to no use, or is not good for something, is good for nothing.
Page 326
For to me it seems, that most of the unhappy people we meet with, are become so by neglect of that caution.
Page 386
Page 388
_ evaporation.
Page 421
_Wyndham_, sir William, applies to Franklin to teach his sons swimming, i.