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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 179

subsist a considerable time
without any nourishment whatever.--A plant, with its flowers, fades
and dies immediately, if exposed to the air without having its
root immersed in a humid soil, from which it may draw a sufficient
quantity of moisture to supply that which exhales from its substance
and is carried off continually by the air. Perhaps, however, if it
were buried in quicksilver, it might preserve for a considerable
space of time its vegetable life, its smell and colour. If this be
the case, it might prove a commodious method of transporting from
distant countries those delicate plants, which are unable to sustain
the inclemency of the weather at sea, and which require particular
care and attention. I have seen an instance of common flies preserved
in a manner somewhat similar. They had been drowned in Madeira wine,
apparently about the time when it was bottled in Virginia, to be
sent hither (to London). At the opening of one of the bottles, at
the house of a friend where I then was, three drowned flies fell
into the first glass that was filled. Having heard it remarked, that
drowned flies were capable of being revived by the rays of the sun,
I proposed making the experiment upon these: they were therefore
exposed to the sun upon a sieve, which had been employed to strain
them out of the wine. In less than three hours, two of them began by
degrees to recover life. They commenced by some convulsive motions
of the thighs, and at length they raised themselves upon their legs,
wiped their eyes with their fore-feet, beat and brushed their wings
with their hind-feet, and soon after began to fly, finding themselves
in Old England, without knowing how they came thither. The third
continued lifeless till sunset, when, losing all hopes of him, he was
thrown away.

I wish it were possible, from this instance, to invent a method of
embalming drowned persons, in such a manner that they may be recalled
to life at any period, however distant; for having a very ardent
desire to see and observe the state of America an hundred years
hence, I should prefer to any ordinary death, the being immersed in a
cask of Madeira wine, with a few friends till that time, to be then
recalled to life by the solar warmth of my dear country! But since in
all probability we live in an age too early and too near the infancy
of science, to hope to see such an art brought in our time to its
perfection, I must for the present content myself with

Last Page Next Page

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

Page 2
I left England about the end of August, 1762, in company with ten sail of merchant ships, under a convoy of a man-of-war.
Page 7
, but some vain thing immediately followed.
Page 10
[15] My mother, the second wife, was Abiah Folger, daughter of Peter Folger, one of the first settlers of New England, of whom honorable mention is made by Cotton Mather, in his Church history of that country entitled "Magnalia Christi Americana," as "a goodly learned Englishman," if I remember the words rightly.
Page 15
I now took a fancy to poetry, and made some little pieces; my brother, thinking it might turn to account, encouraged me, and put me on composing occasional ballads.
Page 21
And perhaps this might be one occasion of the differences that we began to have about this time.
Page 32
I praised it much, and the happy life.
Page 58
Some books against Deism[91] fell into my hands; they were said to be the substance of sermons preached at Boyle's Lectures.
Page 65
have undertaken in this affair of ours, and is unwilling to advance for you and me what he would for you alone.
Page 70
This was the mother of all the North American subscription libraries, now so numerous.
Page 73
I never doubted, for instance, the existence of the Deity; that he made the world, and governed it by his providence; that the most acceptable service of God was the doing good to man; that our souls are immortal; and that all crime will be punished, and virtue rewarded, either here or hereafter.
Page 79
| |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | T[emperance] | | | | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | S[ilence] | * | * | | * | | * | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | O[rder] | ** | * | * | .
Page 80
| * | * | * | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | R[esolution] | | | * | | | * | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | F[rugality] | | * | | | * | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | I[ndustry] | | | * | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | S[incerity] | | | | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | J[ustice] | | | | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | M[oderation] | | | | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | C[leanliness] | | | | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | T[ranquillity] | | | | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | C[hastity] | | | | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | H[umility] | | | | .
Page 87
, and I adopted, instead of them, "I conceive," "I apprehend," or "I imagine" a thing to be so or so; or "it so appears to me at present.
Page 114
I would not, however, insinuate that my ambition was not flattered by all these promotions.
Page 116
with,' and it must be so.
Page 148
The publication offended the Abbe[187] Nollet, preceptor in natural philosophy to the royal family and an able experimenter, who had formed and published a theory of electricity which then had the general vogue.
Page 156
I presented them to Lord Loudoun, desiring to be paid the balance.
Page 161
I did so soon after, but they put the paper into the hands of their solicitor, Ferdinand John Paris, who managed for them all their law business in their great suit with the neighboring proprietary of Maryland, Lord Baltimore, which had subsisted seventy years, and who wrote for them all their papers and messages in their dispute with the Assembly.
Page 168
Trusting too much to others' care is the ruin of many; for, In the affairs of this world men are saved, not by faith, but by the want of it.
Page 170
But ah! think what you do when you run in debt; you give to another power over your liberty.