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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 145

the ship grind them as
fine as mustard.

The accidents I have seen at sea with large dishes of soup upon a
table, from the motion of the ship, have made me wish, that our
potters or pewterers would make soup-dishes in divisions, like a set
of small bowls united together, each containing about sufficient for
one person, in some such form as fig. 26; for then when the ship
should make a sudden heel, the soup would not in a body flow over one
side, and fall into people's laps and scald them, as is sometimes the
case, but would be retained in the separate divisions, as in figure
27.

After these trifles, permit the addition of a few general
reflections. Navigation, when employed in supplying necessary
provisions to a country in want, and thereby preventing famines,
which were more frequent and destructive before the invention of that
art, is undoubtedly a blessing to mankind. When employed merely in
transporting superfluities, it is a question whether the advantage of
the employment it affords is equal to the mischief of hazarding so
many lives on the ocean. But when employed in pillaging merchants
and transporting slaves, it is clearly the means of augmenting the
mass of human misery. It is amazing to think of the ships and lives
risqued in fetching tea from China, coffee from Arabia, sugar and
tobacco from America, all which our ancestors did well without.
Sugar employs near one thousand ships, tobacco almost as many. For
the utility of tobacco there is little to be said; and for that of
sugar, how much more commendable would it be if we could give up the
few minutes gratification afforded once or twice a day by the taste
of sugar in our tea, rather than encourage the cruelties exercised
in producing it. An eminent French moralist says, that when he
considers the wars we excite in Africa to obtain slaves, the numbers
necessarily slain in those wars, the many prisoners who perish at sea
by sickness, bad provisions, foul air, &c. &c. in the transportation,
and how many afterwards die from the hardships of slavery, he cannot
look on a piece of sugar without conceiving it stained with spots of
human blood! Had he added the consideration of the wars we make to
take and retake the sugar islands from one another, and the fleets
and armies that perish in those expeditions, he might have seen his
sugar not merely spotted, but thoroughly dyed scarlet in grain. It is
these wars that make the maritime powers of Europe, the inhabitants
of London and Paris, pay dearer for

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 2 of 2] With his Most Interesting Essays, Letters, and Miscellaneous Writings; Familiar, Moral, Political, Economical, and Philosophical, Selected with Care from All His Published Productions, and Comprising Whatever Is Most Entertaining and Valuable to the General Reader

Page 1
16 The Waste of Life 22 Self-denial not the Essence of Virtue 25 On the Usefulness of the Mathematics 27 The Art of procuring Pleasant Dreams 31 Advice to a young Tradesman 37 Rules of Health 39 The Ephemera; an Emblem of Human Life.
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less so.
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" Physicians, after having for ages contended that the sick should not be indulged with fresh air, have at length discovered that it may do them good.
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The difficulty lies in finding out an exact measure; but eat for necessity, not pleasure; for lust knows not where necessity ends.
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Banish the bleak winds of sorrow from thy mind and live independent.
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This fact was discovered to the world by Dr.
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ARATOR.
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But habit reconciles everything.
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"La cause de tous les relachemens vient de l'impunite des crimes, et non de la moderation des peines.
Page 99
"I am glad to hear Jamey is so good and diligent a workman; if he ever sets up at the goldsmith's business, he must remember that there is one accomplishment without which he cannot possibly thrive in that trade (i.
Page 114
A young angel being sent down to this world on some business for the first time, had an old courier-spirit assigned him as a guide; they arrived over the seas of Martinico, in the middle of the long day of obstinate fight between the fleets of Rodney and De Grasse.
Page 135
I am sorry for the loss of the _squibs_.
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What was that saying? You do not, it seems, feel any occasion for such an excuse, though you are, as you say, rising 75.
Page 161
I always thought with you, that the prejudice in Europe, which supposes a family dishonoured by the punishment of one of its members, was very absurd, it being, on the contrary, my opinion, that a rogue hanged out of a family does it more honour than ten that live in it.
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Barclay was elected.
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"I hope the Congress will soon be able to attend to this business for the satisfaction of the public, as well as in condescension to my request.
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Philosophical Society, November 22, 1782.
Page 205
, has not strength to support it, or the whirling arch is broken so as to admit the air: falling in the sea, it is harmless unless ships happen under it; and if in the progressive motion of the whirl it has moved from the sea over the land, and then breaks, sudden, violent, and mischievous torrents are the consequences.
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of Philadelphia about four hundred miles.
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FRANKLIN.