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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 294

to consult immediately when you meet
with a word you do not comprehend the precise meaning of. This may
at first seem troublesome and interrupting; but it is a trouble that
will daily diminish, as you will daily find less and less occasion
for your dictionary as you become more acquainted with the terms; and
in the mean time you will read with more satisfaction, because with
more understanding. When any point occurs, in which you would be glad
to have farther information than your book affords you, I beg you
would not in the least apprehend, that I should think it a trouble
to receive and answer your questions. It will be a pleasure, and no
trouble. For though I may not be able, out of my own little stock of
knowledge, to afford you what you require, I can easily direct you to
the books, where it may most readily be found. Adieu, and believe me
ever, my dear friend,

Yours affectionately,



[76] Stevenson. _Editor._







_Observations concerning the Increase of Mankind, peopling of
Countries, &c[77]._

Written in Pensylvania, 1751.

1. Tables of the proportion of marriages to births, of deaths to
births, of marriages to the number of inhabitants, &c. formed on
observations made upon the bills of mortality, christenings, &c. of
populous cities, will not suit countries; nor will tables, formed on
observations made on full settled old countries, as Europe, suit new
countries, as America.

2. For people increase in proportion to the number of marriages,
and that is greater, in proportion to the ease and convenience of
supporting a family. When families can be easily supported, more
persons marry, and earlier in life.

3. In cities, where all trades, occupations, and offices are full,
many delay marrying, till they can see how to bear the charges of
a family; which charges are greater in cities, as luxury is more
common; many live single during life, and continue servants to
families, journeymen to trades, &c. Hence cities do not, by natural
generation, supply themselves with inhabitants; the deaths are more
than the births.

4. In countries full settled, the case must be nearly the same, all
lands being occupied and improved to the height; those who cannot
get land, must labour for others, that have it; when labourers are
plenty, their wages will be low; by low wages a family is supported
with difficulty; this difficulty deters many from marriage, who
therefore long continue servants and single. Only, as the cities take
supplies of people from the country, and thereby make

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 1 [of 3]

Page 8
Page 18
He was fond of having at his table, as often as possible, some friends or well-informed neighbours, capable of rational conversation, and he was always careful to introduce useful or ingenious topics of discourse, which might tend to form the minds of his children.
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Page 56
I took leave therefore, as I believed for ever, of printing, and gave myself up entirely to my new occupation, spending all my time either in going from house to house with Mr.
Page 64
I no longer regarded it as so blameless a work as I had formerly imagined; and I suspected that some error must have imperceptibly glided into my argument, by which all the inferences I had drawn from it had been affected, as frequently happens in metaphysical reasonings.
Page 129
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When we use the terms of _charging_ and _discharging_ the phial, it is in compliance with custom, and for want of others more suitable.
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Page 159
The horizontal motion of the scales over the floor, may represent the motion of the clouds over the earth; and the erect iron punch, a hill or high building; and then we see how electrified clouds passing over hills or high buildings at too great a height to strike, may be attracted lower till within their striking distance.
Page 171
For if it was fine enough to come with the electric fluid through the body of one person, why should it stop on the skin of another? But I shall never have done, if I tell you all my conjectures, thoughts, and imaginations on the nature and operations of this electric fluid, and relate the variety of little experiments we have tried.
Page 184
_ SIR, Having brought your brimstone globe to work, I tried one of the experiments you proposed, and was agreeably surprised to find, that the glass globe being at one end of the conductor, and the sulphur globe at the other end, both globes in motion, no spark could be obtained from the conductor, unless when one globe turned slower, or was not in so good order as the other; and then the spark was only in proportion to the difference,.
Page 212
Perhaps you may discover it, and then you will be so good as to communicate it to me[67].
Page 218
A column or cylinder of air, having the diameter of its base equal to the diameter of the electrical spark, intervenes that part of the body which the spark is taken from, and of the body it aims at.
Page 269
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There is no example of a house, provided with a perfect conductor, which has suffered any considerable damage; and even those which are without them have suffered little, since conductors have come common in this city.
Page 313
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_Empire_, rules for reducing a great one, iii.
Page 324
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Galloway, preface to, iii.
Page 345
The Index had no page numbers in the original text; page numbers from 1i to 36i have been added for completeness.