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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 170

quite back, so that the face looks upwards, all the back
part of the head being then under water, and its weight consequently
in a great measure supported by it, the face will remain above water
quite free for breathing, will rise an inch higher every inspiration,
and sink as much every expiration, but never so low as that the water
may come over the mouth.

7. If therefore a person unacquainted with swimming and falling
accidentally into the water, could have presence of mind sufficient
to avoid struggling and plunging, and to let the body take this
natural position, he might continue long safe from drowning till
perhaps help would come. For as to the cloaths, their additional
weight while immersed is very inconsiderable, the water supporting it
though, when he comes out of the water, he would find them very heavy

But, as I said before, I would not advise you or any one to depend on
having this presence of mind on such an occasion, but learn fairly to
swim; as I wish all men were taught to do in their youth; they would,
on many occurrences, be the safer for having that skill, and on many
more the happier, as freer from painful apprehensions of danger,
to say nothing of the enjoyment in so delightful and wholesome an
exercise. Soldiers particularly should, methinks, all be taught to
swim; it might be of frequent use either in surprising an enemy, or
saving themselves. And if I had now boys to educate, I should prefer
those schools (other things being equal) where an opportunity was
afforded for acquiring so advantageous an art, which once learned is
never forgotten.

I am, Sir, &c.



[36] Oliver Neale. _Editor._


_In Answer to some Enquiries of M. Dubourg[37]._

**** I am apprehensive that I shall not be able to find leisure for
making all the disquisitions and experiments which would be desirable
on this subject. I must, therefore, content myself with a few remarks.

The specific gravity of some human bodies, in comparison to that
of water, has been examined by Mr. Robinson, in our Philosophical
Transactions, volume 50, page 30, for the year 1757. He asserts, that
fat persons with small bones float most easily upon the water.

The diving-bell is accurately described in our Transactions.

When I was a boy, I made two oval pallets, each about ten inches
long, and six broad, with a hole for the thumb, in order to retain it
fast in the palm of my hand. They much resembled a painter's pallets.
In swimming

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 1 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 28
This visit of mine offended him extremely.
Page 32
"But, since he will not set you up, I will do it myself.
Page 33
I used to work him so with my Socratic method, and had trepanned him so often by questions apparently so distant from any point we had in hand, yet by degrees leading to the point, and bringing him into difficulties and contradictions, that at last he grew ridiculously cautious, and would hardly answer me the most common questions, without asking first "_What do you intend to infer from that?_" However, it gave him so high an opinion of my abilities in the confuting way, that he seriously proposed my being his colleague in a project he had of setting up a new sect.
Page 34
Perhaps, too, she thought my expectations not so well founded as I imagined them to be.
Page 44
He now told me he was about to return to Philadelphia, and should carry over a great quantity of goods in order to open a store there.
Page 51
My arguments perverted some others, particularly Collins and Ralph: but each of these having wronged me greatly without the least compunction; and recollecting Keith's conduct towards me (who was another freethinker), and my own towards Vernon and Miss Read, which at times gave me great trouble, I began to suspect that this doctrine, though it might be true, was not very useful.
Page 61
This was resented by the Godfreys; we differed, and they removed, leaving me the whole house, and I resolved to take no more inmates.
Page 76
" A number of us, however, are yet living; but the instrument was, after a few years, rendered null by a charter that incorporated and gave perpetuity to the company.
Page 77
_number of friends_, who had requested me to go about and propose it to such as they thought lovers of reading.
Page 114
" I bid her sweep the whole street clean, and I would give her a shilling; this was at nine o'clock; at noon she came for the shilling.
Page 124
, &c.
Page 144
Our captain of the packet boasted much before we sailed of the swiftness of his ship; unfortunately, when we came to sea, she proved the dullest of ninety-six sail, to his no small mortification.
Page 161
Page 197
_ If the stamp-act should be repealed, and an act should pass ordering the assemblies of the colonies to indemnify the sufferers by the riots, would they do it? _A.
Page 198
_ Can any private person take up those letters, and carry them as directed? _A.
Page 199
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Page 207
Their language, for the most part, is Turkish, or, rather, a dialect of the Arabic, though many of them speak also the Persian language.
Page 213
These were not taken in war against us, and have drunk with us, and we with them, for fourscore years.
Page 215
We love to stare more than to reflect; and to be indolently amused at our leisure rather than commit the smallest trespass on our patience by winding a painful, tedious maze, which would pay us in nothing but knowledge.