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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 251

not lost by this destructive element. Of late, indeed, they begin
here to leave off wainscoting their rooms, and instead of it cover
the walls with stucco, often formed into pannels like wainscot,
which being painted, is very strong and warm. Stone staircases too,
with iron rails, grow more and more into fashion here: but stone
steps cannot, in some circumstances, be fixed; and there, methinks,
oak is safer than pine; and I assure you, that in many genteel
houses here, both old and new, the stairs and floors are oak, and
look extremely well. Perhaps solid oak for the steps would be still
safer than boards; and two steps might be cut diagonally out of one
piece. Excuse my talking to you on a subject with which you must
be so much better acquainted than I am. It is partly to make out a
letter, and partly in hope, that, by turning your attention to the
point, some methods of greater security in our future building may be
thought of and promoted by you, whose judgment I know has deservedly
great weight with our fellow-citizens. For though our town has not
hitherto suffered very greatly by fire, yet I am apprehensive, that
some time or other, by a concurrence of unlucky circumstances, such
as dry weather, hard frost, and high winds, a fire then happening
may suddenly spread far and wide over our cedar roofs, and do us an
immense mischief. I am,

Yours, &c.


_Paper referred to in the preceding Letter._

The carpentry of the roof being formed with its proper descents,
is, in the first place, sheeted or covered with deals, nailed
horizontally upon the rafters, after the same manner as when intended
to be covered with lead. The sheets of the copper for this covering
are two feet by four, and for covering the slopes of the roof are
cast so thin, as to weigh eight or nine pounds, and for covering the
flats or gutters, ten or eleven pounds each, or about one pound, or a
pound and a quarter, to the superficial foot.

A string of strong cartridge paper (over-lapping a little at its
joints) is regularly tacked down upon the sheeting, under the copper
covering, as the work proceeds from eaves to ridge. It prevents the
jingling sound of hail or rain falling upon the roof, and answers
another purpose to be mentioned by-and-by.

In order to shew the regular process of laying down the roof, we must
begin with fastening two sheets together lengthwise. The edges of two
sheets are laid down so

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Franklin's Way to Wealth; or, "Poor Richard Improved"

Page 0
_Just Published_, A GRAMMATICAL CATECHISM for the use of Schools, upon the plan of Lindley Murray.
Page 1
Proprietors, W.
Page 2
We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly; and from these taxes the commissioners cannot ease or deliver us by allowing an abatement.
Page 3
Drive thy business, let not that drive thee; and early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise," as Poor Richard says.
Page 4
Handle your tools without mittens: remember, that "The cat in gloves catches no mice," as Poor Richard says.
Page 5
] [Illustration: Published by W.
Page 6
"If you would know the value of money, go and try to borrow some; for he that goes a borrowing, goes a sorrowing," as Poor Richard says; and, indeed, so does he that lends to such people, when he goes to get it in again.
Page 7
" It is, however, a folly soon punished: for, as Poor Richard says, "Pride that dines on vanity, sups on contempt;--Pride breakfasted with Plenty, dined with Poverty and supped with Infamy.
Page 8
yet you are about to put yourself under that tyranny, when you run in debt for such dress! Your creditor has authority, at his pleasure, to deprive you of your liberty, by confining you in gaol for life, or by selling you for a servant, if you should not be able to pay him.
Page 9
' * * * * * Thus the old gentleman ended his harangue.