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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 128

never have
another occasion of writing on this subject, I think I may as well
now, once for all, empty my nautical budget, and give you all the
thoughts that have in my various long voyages occurred to me relating
to navigation. I am sure that in you they will meet with a candid
judge, who will excuse my mistakes on account of my good intention.

There are six accidents that may occasion the loss of ships at
sea. We have considered one of them, that of foundering by a
leak. The other five are, 1. Oversetting by sudden flaws of wind,
or by carrying sail beyond the bearing. 2. Fire by accident or
carelessness. 3. A heavy stroke of lightning, making a breach in the
ship, or firing the powder. 4. Meeting and shocking with other ships
in the night. 5. Meeting in the night with islands of ice.

To that of oversetting, privateers in their first cruize have, as
far as has fallen within my knowledge or information, been more
subject than any other kind of vessels. The double desire of being
able to overtake a weaker flying enemy, or to escape when pursued
by a stronger, has induced the owners to overmast their cruizers,
and to spread too much canvass; and the great number of men, many
of them not seamen, who being upon deck when a ship heels suddenly
are huddled down to leeward, and increase by their weight the effect
of the wind. This therefore should be more attended to and guarded
against, especially as the advantage of lofty masts is problematical.
For the upper sails have greater power to lay a vessel more on her
side, which is not the most advantageous position for going swiftly
through the water. And hence it is that vessels, which have lost
their lofty masts, and been able to make little more sail afterwards
than permitted the ship to sail upon an even keel, have made so much
way, even under jury masts, as to surprize the mariners themselves.
But there is besides, something in the modern form of our ships
that seems as if calculated expressly to allow their oversetting
more easily. The sides of a ship, instead of spreading out as they
formerly did in the upper works, are of late years turned in, so as
to make the body nearly round, and more resembling a cask. I do not
know what the advantages of this construction are, except that such
ships are not easily boarded. To me it seems a contrivance to have
less room in a ship at nearly the

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 0
Page 25
I determined to go into it.
Page 28
I suppose now that I was rather lucky in my judges, and that perhaps they were not really so very good ones as I then esteem'd them.
Page 34
I was fatigued with traveling, rowing, and want of rest, I was very hungry; and my whole stock of cash consisted of a Dutch dollar, and about a shilling in copper.
Page 63
He had conceiv'd a great regard for me, and was very unwilling that I should leave the house while he remain'd in it.
Page 69
[55] A sheet 8-1/2 by 13-1/2 inches, having the words _pro patria_ in translucent letters in the body of the paper.
Page 79
Charles Brockden, to put the whole in form of articles of agreement to be subscribed, by which each subscriber engag'd to pay a certain sum down for the first purchase of books, and an annual contribution for increasing them.
Page 80
, etc.
Page 85
| | | | | | | | +----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+ I determined to give a week's strict attention to each of.
Page 89
After a while I went thro' one course only in a year, and afterward only one in several years, till at length I omitted them entirely, being employ'd in voyages and business abroad, with a multiplicity of affairs that interfered; but I always carried my little book with me.
Page 98
14 2 2h Aq 4 35 8 _Now I've a sheep_ 15 3 K.
Page 115
The pamphlet had a sudden and surprising effect.
Page 124
The trustees of the academy, after a while, were incorporated by a charter from the governor; their funds were increas'd by contributions in Britain and grants of land from the proprietaries, to which the Assembly has since made considerable addition; and thus was established the present University of Philadelphia.
Page 128
" He laugh'd and thank'd me, and said he would take my advice.
Page 130
The honour of this public benefit has also been ascrib'd to me, but it belongs truly to that gentleman.
Page 155
He would, therefore, sometimes call in a friendly way to advise with me on difficult points, and sometimes, tho' not often, take my advice.
Page 168
Charles had provided for me, I went to visit Dr.
Page 172
That the assessors were honest and discreet men under an oath to assess fairly and equitably, and that any advantage each of them might expect in lessening his own tax by augmenting that of the proprietaries was too trifling to induce them to perjure themselves.
Page 174
) It would be thought a hard Government that should tax its People one-tenth Part of their _Time_, to be employed in its Service.
Page 188
therefore suspected to have received the Contagion; But upon the matter, it doth not appear there was the least Foundation for such a Report; tho' it is too plain the Distemper gains ground space in the Southern Parts of France.