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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 224

necessaries, and have decent habitations. The obvious reason is,
that the working hours of such people are the profitable hours, and
they who cannot afford sufficient fuel have fewer such hours in the
twenty four, than those who have it cheap and plenty: for much of the
domestic work of poor women, such as spinning, sewing, knitting; and
of the men in those manufactures that require little bodily exercise,
cannot well be performed where the fingers are numbed with cold,
those people, therefore, in cold weather, are induced to go to bed
sooner, and lie longer in a morning, than they would do if they could
have good fires or warm stoves to sit by; and their hours of work are
not sufficient to produce the means of comfortable subsistence. Those
public works, therefore, such as roads, canals, &c. by which fuel
may be brought cheap into such countries from distant places, are of
great utility; and those who promote them may be reckoned among the
benefactors of mankind.

I have great pleasure in having thus complied with your request, and
in the reflection, that the friendship you honour me with, and in
which I have ever been so happy, has continued so many years without
the smallest interruption. Our distance from each other is now
augmented, and nature must soon put an end to the possibility of my
continuing our correspondence: but if consciousness and memory remain
in a future state, my esteem and respect for you, my dear friend,
will be everlasting.


_Notes for the Letter upon Chimneys._

No. I.

The latest work on architecture that I have seen, is that entitled
_Nutshells_, which appears to be written by a very ingenious man, and
contains a table of the proportions of the openings of chimneys; but
they relate solely to the proportions he gives his rooms, without
the smallest regard to the funnels. And he remarks, respecting those
proportions, that they are similar to the harmonic divisions of a
monochord.[58] He does not indeed lay much stress on this; but it
shows that we like the appearance of principles; and where we have
not true ones, we have some satisfaction in producing such as are

No. II.

The description of the sliding plates here promised, and which hath
been since brought into use under various names, with some immaterial
changes, is contained in a former letter to J. B. Esq. as follows:


_London, Dec. 2, 1758,_


I have executed here an easy simple contrivance, that I have long
since had in

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