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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 126

better able to bear the jerk, which may save the anchor, and by that
means in the course of the voyage may happen to save the ship.

One maritime observation more shall finish this letter. I have been a
reader of news-papers now near seventy years, and I think few years
pass without an account of some vessel met with at sea, with no
living soul on board, and so many feet of water in her hold, which
vessel has nevertheless been saved and brought into port: and when
not met with at sea, such forsaken vessels have often come ashore
on some coast. The crews, who have taken to their boats and thus
abandoned such vessels, are sometimes met with and taken up at sea by
other ships, sometimes reach a coast, and are sometimes never heard
of. Those that give an account of quitting their vessels generally
say, that she sprung a leak, that they pumped for some time, that
the water continued to rise upon them, and that, despairing to save
her, they had quitted her lest they should go down with her. It
seems by the event that this fear was not always well founded, and
I have endeavoured to guess at the reason of the people's too hasty

When a vessel springs a leak near her bottom, the water enters with
all the force given by the weight of the column of water, without,
which force is in proportion to the difference of level between the
water without and that within. It enters therefore with more force
at first and in greater quantity, than it can afterwards when the
water within is higher. The bottom of the vessel too is narrower,
so that the same quantity of water coming into that narrow part,
rises faster than when the space for it to flow in is larger. This
helps to terrify. But as the quantity entering is less and less as
the surfaces without and within become more nearly equal in height,
the pumps that could not keep the water from rising at first, might
afterwards be able to prevent its rising higher, and the people might
have remained on board in safety, without hazarding themselves in an
open boat on the wide ocean.(Fig. 8.)

Besides the greater equality in the height of the two surfaces, there
may sometimes be other causes that retard the farther sinking of a
leaky vessel. The rising water within may arrive at quantities of
light wooden work, empty chests, and particularly empty water-casks,
which if fixed so as not to float themselves may help to

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Way to Wealth; or, "Poor Richard Improved"

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Page 1
with Biographical and Interesting Anecdotes 1 6 Watt's Catechism and Prayers, in 1 vol.
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The hour of the sale not being come, they were conversing on the badness of the times; and one of the company called to a plain, clean, old man, with white locks, 'Pray, Father Abraham, what think you of the times? Will not those heavy taxes quite ruin the country! How shall we be ever able to pay them? What would you advise us to?'----Father Abraham stood up, and replied, 'If you would have my advice, I will give it you in short; "for a word to the wise is enough," as Poor Richard says.
Page 3
--"But, dost thou love life? then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of," as Poor Richard says.
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" [Illustration: Published by W.
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" [Illustration: Published by W.
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For, in another place, he says, "Many have been ruined by buying good pennyworths.
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'But what madness it must be to run in debt for these superfluities? We are offered, by the terms of this sale, six months credit; and that, perhaps, has induced some of us to attend it, because we cannot spare the ready money, and hope now to be fine without it.
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Remember, Job suffered, and was afterwards prosperous.
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--I am, as ever, thine to serve thee, RICHARD SAUNDERS.