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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 249

likely to procure assent. Pope's rule

To speak, though sure, with seeming diffidence,

is therefore a good one; and if I had ever seen in your conversation
the least deviation from it, I should earnestly recommend it to your

I am, &c.



_Respecting covering Houses with Copper.[61]_

_London, March 17, 1770._


I received your favour of November 25, and have made enquiries, as
you desired, concerning the copper covering of houses. It has been
used here in a few instances only, and the practice does not seem to
gain ground. The copper is about the thickness of a common playing
card, and though a dearer metal than lead, I am told, that, as less
weight serves, on account of its being so much thinner, and as
slighter woodwork in the roof is sufficient to support it, the roof
is not dearer on the whole, than one covered with lead. It is said,
that hail and rain make a disagreeable drumming noise on copper; but
this I suppose is rather fancy; for the plates being fastened on
the rafters, must, in a great measure, deaden such sound. The first
cost, whatever it is, will be all, as a copper covering must last for
ages; and when the house decays, the plates will still have intrinsic
worth. In Russia, I am informed many houses are covered with plates
of iron tinned, such as our tin pots and other vases are made of,
laid on over the edges of one another like tiles; and which, it is
said, last very long, the tin preserving the iron from much decay by
rusting. In France and the Low Countries, I have seen many spouts or
pipes for conveying the water down from the roofs of houses, made of
the same kind of tin plates soldered together; and they seem to stand
very well.

With sincere regard, I am,

Yours, &c.



[61] The two following letters, and the accompanying paper, appeared
in several periodical publications, both English and American, many
years before the death of Franklin, which is sufficient to give them
authenticity. _Editor._


_On the same Subject._

_London, June 26, 1770._


It is a long time since I had the pleasure of hearing from you
directly. Mrs. Franklin has indeed now and then acquainted me of your
welfare, which I am always glad to hear of. It is, I fear, partly,
if not altogether, my fault, that our

Last Page Next Page

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

Page 89
I only remarked, that at the lowest part of that rocky mountain which was in sight, there were oyster shells mixed in the stone; and part of the high county of Derby being probably as much above the level of the sea, as the coal mines of Whitehaven were below it, seemed a proof, that there had been a great _bouleversement_ in the surface of that island, some part of it having been depressed under the sea, and other parts, which had been under it, being raised above it.
Page 95
have been from such considerations that the ancient philosophers supposed a sphere of fire to exist above the air of our atmosphere? B.
Page 104
ten years, and during all that time, after the first change, I perceived no alteration.
Page 121
Page 140
"This motion in a ship and cargo is of great force; and if she could be lifted up suddenly from the harbour in which she lay quiet, and set down instantly in the latitude of the port she was bound to, though in a calm, that force contained in her would make her run a great way at a prodigious rate.
Page 146
FOOTNOTES: [30] This letter and the annexed paper on the Gulph stream, are taken from the Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, in which they were read December 2, 1785.
Page 184
Its conveniencies are, that it makes a room all over warm; for the chimney being wholly closed, except the flue of the stove, very little air is required to supply that, and therefore not much rushes in at crevices, or at the door when it is opened.
Page 212
Or you may in some cases, to advantage, build additional stories over the low building, which will support a high funnel.
Page 214
from another, nor under the necessity of lending.
Page 278
| di |The same; touching a little fuller.
Page 298
Laws, therefore, that prevent such importations, and, on the contrary, promote the exportation of manufactures to be consumed in foreign countries, may be called (with respect to the people that make them) _generative laws_, as, by increasing subsistence, they encourage marriage.
Page 330
Page 333
If we really believe, as we profess to believe, that the law of Moses was the law of God, the dictate of divine wisdom, infinitely superior to human; on what principles do we ordain death as the punishment of an offence, which, according to that law, was only to be punished by a restitution of fourfold? To put a man to death for an offence, which does not deserve death, is it not a murder? And, as the French writer says, _Doit on punir un délit contre la societé, par un crime contre la nature?_ Superfluous property is the creature of society.
Page 338
Page 340
_" B.
Page 349
Nor is it hereditary, as is the court of dernier resort in the peerage of England.
Page 352
military establishments, 23.
Page 354
Page 361
Page 362