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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 135

moving power, every step
of her motion that amounts to a drop's breadth: and there being no
such adhesions to break between the water and a greased bottom, may
occasion the difference.

So much respecting the motion of vessels. But we have sometimes
occasion to stop their motion; and if a bottom is near enough we can
cast anchor: where there are no soundings, we have as yet no means
to prevent driving in a storm, but by lying-to, which still permits
driving at the rate of about two miles an hour; so that in a storm
continuing fifty hours, which is not an uncommon case, the ship may
drive one hundred miles out of her course; and should she in that
distance meet with a lee shore, she may be lost.

To prevent this driving to leeward in deep water, a swimming anchor
is wanting, which ought to have these properties.

1. It should have a surface so large as, being at the end of a hauser
in the water, and placed perpendicularly, should hold so much of it,
as to bring the ship's head to the wind, in which situation the wind
has least power to drive her.

2. It should be able by its resistance to prevent the ship's
receiving way.

3. It should be capable of being situated below the heave of the sea,
but not below the undertow.

4. It should not take up much room in the ship.

5. It should be easily thrown out, and put into its proper situation.

6. It should be easy to take in again, and stow away.

An ingenious old mariner, whom I formerly knew, proposed, as a
swimming anchor for a large ship, to have a stem of wood twenty-five
feet long and four inches square, with four boards of 18, 16, 14, and
12, feet long, and one foot wide, the boards to have their substance
thickened several inches in the middle by additional wood, and to
have each a four inch square hole through its middle, to permit its
being slipt on occasionally upon the stem, and at right angles with
it; where all being placed and fixed at four feet distance from
each other, it would have the appearance of the old mathematical
instrument called a forestaff. This thrown into the sea, and held by
a hauser veered out to some length, he conceived would bring a vessel
up, and prevent her driving, and when taken in might be stowed away
by separating the boards from the stem. Figure 15. Probably such a
swimming anchor would have some good effect, but it

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Text Comparison with The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 3
My belief of this induces me to hope, though I must not presume, that the same goodness will still be exercised toward me, in continuing that happiness, or enabling me to bear a fatal reverse, which I may experience as others have done: the complexion of my future fortune being known to Him only in whose power it is to bless to us even our afflictions.
Page 4
" John was bred a dyer, I believe of woolens.
Page 8
generally a leader among the boys, and sometimes led them into scrapes, of which I will mention one instance, as it shows an early projecting public spirit, tho' not then justly conducted.
Page 14
My time for these exercises and for reading was at night, after work or before it began in the morning, or on Sundays, when I contrived to be in the printing-house alone, evading as much as I could the common attendance on public worship which my father used to exact on me when I was under his care, and which indeed I still thought a duty, though I could not, as it seemed to me, afford time to practise it.
Page 42
My companion at the press drank every day a pint before breakfast, a pint at breakfast with his bread and cheese,.
Page 47
; and, when all was on board, I had a few days' leisure.
Page 51
But, however serviceable I might be, I found that my services became every day of less importance, as the other hands improv'd in the business; and, when Keimer paid my second quarter's wages, he let me know that he felt them too heavy, and thought I should make an abatement.
Page 57
He became afterwards a merchant of great note, and one of our provincial judges.
Page 62
He went to Barbadoes, and there lived some years in very poor circumstances.
Page 65
Thus I corrected that great erratum as well as I could.
Page 80
And like him who, having a garden to weed, does not attempt to eradicate all the bad herbs at once, which would exceed his reach and his strength, but works on one of the beds at a time, and, having accomplish'd the first, proceeds to a second, so I should have, I hoped, the encouraging pleasure of seeing on my pages the progress I made in virtue, by clearing successively my lines of their spots, till in the end, by a number of courses, I should be happy in viewing a clean book, after a thirteen weeks' daily examination.
Page 86
--James ii.
Page 107
He told me the following anecdote of his old master, William Penn, respecting defense.
Page 116
erecting a new meeting-house.
Page 122
Mine happen'd to be preferr'd, and, with a few amendments, was accordingly reported.
Page 128
"Friends and Countrymen, "Being occasionally at the camp at Frederic a few days since, I found the general and officers extremely exasperated on account of their not being supplied with horses and carriages, which had been expected from this province, as most able to furnish them; but, through the dissensions between our governor and Assembly, money had not been provided, nor any steps taken for that purpose.
Page 133
He was there met with requests from the governors of Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, that he would post his troops on the frontiers, so as to afford some protection to the inhabitants; but he continu'd his hasty march thro' all the country, not thinking himself safe till he arriv'd at Philadelphia, where the inhabitants could protect him.
Page 155
but it seems there is sometimes a strong indraught setting up St.
Page 157
conversation having a little alarm'd me as to what might be the sentiments of the court concerning us, I wrote it down as soon as I return'd to my lodgings.
Page 162
1779 Appointed Minister Plenipotentiary to France.