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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 174

by Dr. Lettsom, a young
American physician of much merit, and one of the peaceable sect of
Quakers: you will therefore at least regard him as a curiosity, even
though you should have embraced all the opinions of the majority of
your countrymen concerning these people ****



_Respecting the Number of Deaths in Philadelphia by Inoculation._

_Boston, Aug. 3, 1752._


This comes to you on account of Dr. Douglass: he desired me to write
to you for what you know of the number that died of the inoculation
in Philadelphia, telling me he designed to write something on the
small-pox shortly. We shall both be obliged to you for a word on this

The chief particulars of our visitation, you have in the public
prints. But the less degree of mortality than usual in the common way
of infection, seems chiefly owing to the purging method designed to
prevent the secondary fever; a method first begun and carried on in
this town, and with success beyond expectation. We lost one in eleven
one-sixth, but had we been experienced in this way, at the first
coming of the distemper, probably the proportion had been but one in
thirteen or fourteen. In the year 1730 we lost one in nine, which is
more favourable than ever before with us. The distemper pretty much
the same then as now, but some circumstances not so kind this time.

If there be any particulars which you want to know, please to signify
what they are, and I shall send them.

The number of our inhabitants decreases[40]. On a strict inquiry,
the overseers of the poor find but fourteen thousand one hundred and
ninety Whites, and one thousand five hundred and forty-four Blacks,
including those absent, on account of the small-pox, many of whom, it
is probable, will never return.

I pass this opportunity without any particulars of my old theme.
One thing, however, I must mention, which is, that perhaps my last
letters contained something that seemed to militate with your
doctrine of the _Origin_, &c. But my design was only to relate the
phenomena as they appeared to me. I have received so much light and
pleasure from your writings, as to prejudice me in favour of every
thing from your hand, and leave me only liberty to observe, and a
power of dissenting when some great probability might oblige me: and
if at any time that be the case, you will certainly hear of it.

I am, Sir, &c.


[38] The

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

Page 19
Twenty miles was set down as a day's journey, to allow for accidental hinderances on the road, and the.
Page 36
-- -- -- If two strong colonies of English were settled between the Ohio and lake Erie, in the places hereafter to be mentioned,--these advantages might be expected: 1.
Page 48
The Roman provinces did not stand more in need of patronage than ours: and such clients as we are would have preferred the integrity of Cato to the fortune of Cæsar.
Page 127
We do not therefore presume to impeach their lordships' judgment, that the act, as it enforced the acceptance of bills for money at a value which they had only nominally, and not really, was in that respect fundamentally wrong and unjust.
Page 145
The truth is, that his number of souls is vastly exaggerated.
Page 161
I do not undertake here to support these opinions of the Americans; they have been refuted by a late act of parliament, declaring its own power; which very parliament, however, showed wisely so much tender regard to those inveterate prejudices, as to repeal a tax that had militated against them.
Page 171
And this is the same kind of argument that is used by those who would fix on the colonies the heavy charge of unreasonableness and ingratitude, which I think your friend did not intend.
Page 245
She may doubtless destroy them all; but if she wishes to recover our commerce, are these the probable means? She must certainly be distracted; for no tradesman out of Bedlam ever thought of encreasing the number of his customers by knocking them [on] the head; or of enabling them to pay their debts by burning their houses.
Page 259
Her numbers too, instead of increasing from increased subsistence, are continually diminishing from growing luxury, and the increasing difficulties of maintaining families, which of course discourage early marriages.
Page 270
If merchants calculate amiss on this proportion, and import too much, they will of course find the sale dull for the overplus, and some of them will say, that trade languishes.
Page 292
Nequid nimis.
Page 304
For, as he acquainted me, there are among us great numbers of honest artificers and labouring people, who, fed with a vain hope of growing suddenly rich, neglect their business, almost to the ruining of themselves and families, and voluntarily endure abundance of fatigue in a fruitless search after imaginary hidden treasure.
Page 311
" When you have bought one fine thing, you must buy ten more, that your appearance may be all of a piece; but poor Dick says, "it is easier to suppress the first desire than to satisfy all that follow it:" and it is as truly folly for the poor to ape the rich, as for the frog to swell, in order to equal the ox.
Page 336
This is the order of nature, to prevent animals being infected by their own perspiration.
Page 356
When New England, a distant colony, involved itself in a grievous debt to reduce Cape Breton, we freely gave four thousand pounds for _their_ relief.
Page 363
The very fame of our strength and readiness would be a means of discouraging our enemies; for it is a wise and true saying, that _one sword often keeps another in the scabbard_.
Page 366
I am happy in not having them both together, and I join in your prayer, that you may live till you die without either.
Page 398
Page 406
1, 45, 66.
Page 409
383, _et seq.