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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 177

me to omit the practice. But talking afterwards with Mr. James, a
letter-founder in the same Close, and asking him if his people, who
worked over the little furnaces of melted metal, were not subject to
that disorder; he made light of any danger from the effluvia, but
ascribed it to particles of the metal swallowed with their food by
slovenly workmen, who went to their meals after handling the metal,
without well washing their fingers, so that some of the metalline
particles were taken off by their bread and eaten with it. This
appeared to have some reason in it. But the pain I had experienced
made me still afraid of those effluvia.

Being in Derbyshire at some of the furnaces for smelting of lead
ore, I was told, that the smoke of those furnaces was pernicious to
the neighbouring grass and other vegetables; but I do not recollect
to have heard any thing of the effect of such vegetables eaten by
animals. It may be well to make the enquiry.

In America I have often observed, that on the roofs of our
shingled-houses, where moss is apt to grow in northern exposures,
if there be any thing on the roof painted with white lead, such as
balusters, or frames of dormant windows, &c. there is constantly a
streak on the shingles from such paint down to the eaves, on which
no moss will grow, but the wood remains constantly clean and free
from it. We seldom drink rain-water that fall on our houses; and
if we did, perhaps the small quantity of lead descending from such
paint might not be sufficient to produce any sensible ill-effect
on our bodies. But I have been told of a case in Europe, I forget
the place, where a whole family was afflicted with what we call
the dry-belly-ach, or _colica pictorum_, by drinking rain-water.
It was at a country-seat, which, being situated too high to have
the advantage of a well, was supplied with water from a tank, which
received the water from the leaded roofs. This had been drank several
years without mischief, but some young trees planted near the house
growing up above the roof, and shedding their leaves upon it, it
was supposed, that an acid in those leaves had corroded the lead
they covered, and furnished the water of that year with its baneful
particles and qualities.

When I was in Paris with Sir John Pringle in 1767, he visited _La
Charité_, an hospital particularly famous for the cure of that
malady, and brought from thence a pamphlet, containing a list of
the names of

Last Page Next Page

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

Page 2
I accompanied him to his government [New Jersey], where he met with the kindest reception from the people of all ranks, and has lived with them ever since in the greatest harmony.
Page 4
Page 6
But the work shall not be lost, For it will (as he believed) appear once more In a new and elegant edition, Revised and corrected by The Author.
Page 9
"Had he died on the same day," you said, "one might have supposed a transmigration.
Page 12
There was a salt marsh that bounded part of the mill pond, on the edge of which, at high water, we used to stand to fish for minnows.
Page 40
Ralph only made some criticisms, and proposed some amendments; but I defended my text.
Page 46
She had been genteelly bred, was sensible and lively, and of most pleasing conversation.
Page 52
We sailed from Gravesend on the 23d of July, 1726.
Page 85
In truth, I found myself incorrigible with respect to order; and, now I am grown old and my memory bad, I feel very sensibly the want of it.
Page 93
I stuck by him, however, as I rather approved his giving us good sermons composed by others than bad ones of his own manufacture, though the latter was the practice of our common teachers.
Page 95
Thus it was that I made my brother ample amends for the service I had deprived him of by leaving him so early.
Page 104
Page 111
[n]] [Footnote 126: In London.
Page 128
War being in a manner commenced with France,[158] the government of Massachusetts Bay projected an attack upon Crown Point,[159] and sent Mr.
Page 142
Finding ourselves now posted securely, and having a place to retreat to on occasion, we ventured out in parties to scour the adjacent country.
Page 150
This summary was then printed in their "Transactions;" and some members of the society in London, particularly the very ingenious Mr.
Page 152
Page 153
Page 157
Each has his system;.
Page 172
He that can take rest is greater than he that can take cities.