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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 176

small paper of _Thoughts on the peopling of
Countries_[41], which, if I can find, I will send you, to obtain your
sentiments. The favourable opinion you express of my writings, may,
you see, occasion you more trouble than you expected from,

Sir, yours, &c.



[41] This paper will be found in a subsequent part of the present
volume. _Editor._


_On the Effects of Lead upon the human Constitution[42]._

_Philadelphia, July 31, 1786._


I recollect that when I had last the pleasure of seeing you at
Southampton, now a twelvemonth since, we had some conversation on
the bad effects of lead taken inwardly; and that at your request I
promised to send you in writing a particular account of several facts
I then mentioned to you, of which you thought some good use might be
made. I now sit down to fulfil that promise.

The first thing I remember of this kind was a general discourse
in Boston when I was a boy, of a complaint from North Carolina
against New-England rum, that it poisoned their people, giving
them the dry-belly-ach, with a loss of the use of their limbs. The
distilleries being examined on the occasion, it was found, that
several of them used leaden still-heads and worms, and the physicians
were of opinion, that the mischief was occasioned by that use of
lead. The legislature of Massachussetts thereupon passed an act,
prohibiting, under severe penalties, the use of such still-heads and
worms hereafter.

In 1724, being in London, I went to work in the printing-house of Mr.
Palmer, Bartholomew-close, as a compositor. I there found a practice,
I had never seen before, of drying a case of types (which are wet in
distribution) by placing it sloping before the fire.

I found this had the additional advantage, when the types were not
only dried but heated, of being comfortable to the hands working over
them in cold weather. I therefore sometimes heated my case when the
types did not want drying. But an old workman observing it advised me
not to do so, telling me I might lose the use of my hands by it, as
two of our companions had nearly done, one of whom, that used to earn
his guinea a week, could not then make more than ten shillings, and
the other, who had the dangles, but seven and sixpence. This, with a
kind of obscure pain, that I had sometimes felt, as it were, in the
bones of my hand when working over the types made very hot,

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

Page 4
They were governed by this country at the expense only of a little pen, ink, and paper; they were led by a thread.
Page 7
Most people dislike vanity in others, whatever share they may have of it themselves; but I give it fair quarter wherever I meet with it, being persuaded that it is often productive of good to the possessor, and to others that are within his sphere of action; and therefore, in many cases, it would not be altogether absurd if a man were to thank God for his vanity among the other comforts of life.
Page 8
He died in 1702, Jan.
Page 11
I disliked the trade, and had a strong inclination for the.
Page 15
They were wretched stuff, in the Grub Street[28] ballad style; and when they were printed.
Page 20
I suppose now that I was rather lucky in my judges, and that perhaps they were not really so very good ones as I then esteemed them.
Page 28
Then I turned and went down Chestnut Street and part of Walnut Street, eating my roll all the way, and, coming round, found myself again at Market Street wharf, near the boat I came in, to which I went for a draught of the river water; and, being filled with one of my rolls, gave the other two to a woman and her child that came down the river in the boat with us, and were waiting to go farther.
Page 35
The then governor of New York, Burnet (son of Bishop Burnet), hearing from the captain that a young man, one of his passengers, had a great many books, desired he would bring me to see him.
Page 37
You shall repay me when you are able; I am resolved to have a good printer here, and I am sure you must succeed.
Page 40
"But who would have imagined," said.
Page 50
At Watts's printing house I contracted an acquaintance with an ingenious young man, one Wygate, who, having wealthy relations, had been better educated than most printers,--was a tolerable Latinist, spoke French, and loved reading.
Page 61
He became afterward a merchant of great note, and one of our provincial judges.
Page 72
I spent no time in taverns, games, or frolics of any kind; and my industry in my business continued as indefatigable as it was necessary.
Page 99
About this time I wrote a paper, (first to be read in Junto, but it was afterward published,) on the different accidents and carelessnesses by which houses were set on fire, with cautions against them, and means proposed of avoiding them.
Page 106
This gave the clergy of the different sects an opportunity of influencing their congregations to join in the association, and it would probably have been general among all but Quakers if the peace had not soon intervened.
Page 108
" My being many years in the Assembly, the majority of which were constantly Quakers, gave me frequent opportunities of seeing the embarrassment given them by their principle against war whenever application was made to them, by order of the Crown, to grant aids for military.
Page 113
Writings were accordingly drawn, and on paying the debts the trustees of the academy were put in possession of the premises; and by dividing the great and lofty hall into stories, and different rooms above and below for the several schools, and purchasing some additional ground, the whole was soon made fit for our purpose, and the scholars removed into the building.
Page 127
He thanked me, and replied that he ever made it a point to wait upon himself, and, although he began to find himself infirm, he was determined not to increase his infirmities by giving way to them.
Page 143
The first night, being in a good bed, I could hardly sleep, it was so different from my hard lodging on the floor of our hut at Gnaden, wrapped only in a blanket or two.
Page 157
The captain said she had once gone at the rate of thirteen knots, which is accounted thirteen miles per hour.