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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 137

to permit the kite's descending
into the undertow, or if you please lower into still water. It should
be held by a hauser. To get it home easily, a small loose rope may be
veered out with it, fixed to the keg. Hauling on that rope will bring
the kite home with small force, the resistance being small as it will
then come end ways.

It seems probable that such a kite at the end of a long hauser would
keep a ship with her head to the wind, and, resisting every tug,
would prevent her driving so fast as when her side is exposed to it,
and nothing to hold her back. If only half the driving is prevented,
so as that she moves but fifty miles instead of the hundred during a
storm, it may be some advantage, both in holding so much distance as
is saved, and in keeping from a lee-shore. If single canvas should
not be found strong enough to bear the tug without splitting, it may
be doubled, or strengthened by a netting behind it, represented by
figure 20.

The other machine for the same purpose, is to be made more in the
form of an umbrella, as represented, figure 21. The stem of the
umbrella a square spar of proper length, with four moveable arms, of
which two are represented C, C, figure 22. These arms to be fixed in
four joint cleats, as D, D, &c. one on each side of the spar, but so
as that the four arms may open by turning on a pin in the joint. When
open they form a cross, on which a four-square canvas sail is to be
extended, its corners fastened to the ends of the four arms. Those
ends are also to be stayed by ropes fastened to the stem or spar, so
as to keep them short of being at right angles with it: and to the
end of one of the arms should be hung the small bag of ballast, and
to the end of the opposite arm the empty keg. This, on being thrown
into the sea, would immediately open; and when it had performed its
function, and the storm over, a small rope from its other end being
pulled on, would turn it, close it, and draw it easily home to the
ship. This machine seems more simple in its operation, and more
easily manageable than the first, and perhaps may be as effectual[32].

Vessels are sometimes retarded, and sometimes forwarded in their
voyages, by currents at sea, which are often not perceived.

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

Page 0
By R.
Page 1
coloured 1 6 Portraits of Curious Characters in London, &c.
Page 2
We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly; and from these taxes the commissioners cannot ease or deliver us by allowing an abatement.
Page 3
on diseases, absolutely shortens life.
Page 4
Many, without labour, would live by their wits only, but they break for want of stock;" whereas industry gives comfort, and plenty, and respect.
Page 5
A man may if he knows not how to save as he gets, "keep his nose all his life to the grindstone, and die not worth a groat at last.
Page 6
Remember what poor Richard says, "Buy what thou hast no need of, and ere long thou shalt sell thy necessaries.
Page 7
"It is hard for an empty bag to stand upright.
Page 8
And when you have got the Philosopher's stone, sure you will no longer complain of bad times, or the difficulty of paying taxes.
Page 9
The frequent mention he made of me must have tired any one else; but my vanity was wonderfully delighted with it, though I was conscious that not a tenth part of the wisdom was my own, which he ascribed to me; but rather the gleanings that I had made of the sense of all ages and nations.