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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 195

have (as the writer of this has) been present at a furnace
when the workmen were pouring out the flowing metal to cast large
plates, and not the least smell of it to be perceived. That hot
iron does not, like lead, brass, and some other metals, give out
unwholesome vapours, is plain from the general health and strength
of those who constantly work in iron, as furnace-men, forge-men,
and smiths; that it is in its nature a metal perfectly wholesome
to the body of man, is known from the beneficial use of chalybeate
or iron-mine-waters; from the good done by taking steel filings in
several disorders; and that even the smithy water in which hot irons
are quenched, is found advantageous to the human constitution.--The
ingenious and learned Dr. Desaguliers, to whose instructive writings
the contriver of this machine acknowledges himself much indebted,
relates an experiment he made, to try whether heated iron would yield
unwholesome vapours: he took a cube of iron, and having given it
a very great heat, he fixed it so to a receiver, exhausted by the
air-pump, that all the air rushing in to fill the receiver, should
first pass through a hole in the hot iron. He then put a small bird
into the receiver, who breathed that air without any inconvenience,
or suffering the least disorder. But the same experiment being made
with a cube of hot brass, a bird put into that air died in a few
minutes. Brass, indeed, stinks even when cold, and much more when
hot; lead, too, when hot, yields a very unwholesome steam; but iron
is always sweet and every way taken is wholesome and friendly to the
human body--except in weapons.

_That warmed rooms make people tender, and apt to catch cold_, is a
mistake as great as it is (among the English) general. We have seen
in the preceding pages how the common rooms are apt to give colds;
but the writer of this paper may affirm from his own experience, and
that of his family and friends who have used warm rooms for these
four winters past, that by the use of such rooms, people are rendered
_less liable_ to take cold, and, indeed, _actually hardened_. If
sitting warm in a room made one subject to take cold on going out,
lying warm in bed, should by a parity of reason, produce the same
effect when we rise. Yet we find we can leap out of the warmest bed
naked, in the coldest morning, without any such danger; and in the
same manner out of warm cloaths into a

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 2 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

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114 To the same 115 To the same 116 To Miss Stevenson 119 To Lord Kames 120 To the same 121 To the same 128 To John Alleyne .
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And leave behind an empty dish.
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If, while we sleep, we can have any pleasing.
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Two of our young hunters, having killed a deer, made a fire in the woods to broil some parts of it.
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And cheap enough they will be, I will warrant you, till people leave off making them.
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This was abusing their power and commencing a tyranny.
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"There are some things in your New-England doctrine and worship which I do not agree with: but I do not therefore condemn them, or desire to shake your belief or practice of them.
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"But to be serious, my dear old friend, I love you as much as ever, and I love all the honest souls that meet at the London Coffee-house.
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Price, who sometimes has his doubts and despondencies about our firmness, that America is determined and unanimous; a very few tories and placemen excepted, who will probably soon export themselves.
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And, indeed, being then but four days landed at Nantes, I think you could scarce have heard so soon of my being in Europe.
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"DEAR SIR, "I received your very kind letter by Dr.
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_[35] [35] Occasioned by his sending me some notes he had taken of what I had said to him in conversation on the Theory of the Earth.
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If it were supposed to burst out under the sea, it would produce a spout; and if it were in the clouds, the effect would be thunder and lightning.
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It was attended with a hollow.
Page 194
What becomes of that fluid? Does it rise above our atmosphere, and mix with the universal mass of the same kind? Or does a spherical stratum of it, denser, as less mixed with air, attracted by this globe, and repelled or pushed up only to a certain height from its surface by the greater weight of air, remain there surrounding the globe, and proceeding with it round the sun? In such case, as there may be a continuity of communication of this fluid through the air quite down to the earth, is it not by the vibrations given to it by the sun that light appears to us? And may it not be that every one of the infinitely small vibrations, striking common matter with a certain force, enters its substance, is held there by attraction, and augmented by succeeding vibrations till the matter has received as much as their force.
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Water being in a tub, if a hole be opened in the middle of the bottom, will flow from all sides to the centre, and there descend in a whirl.
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Lining, at Charleston.
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Men do not catch cold by wet clothes at sea.