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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 45

other with some degree of force: now
this force, on this supposition, must not only act when the particles
are in mutual contact, but likewise when they are at some distance
from each other. How can two bodies, whether they be great or small,
act at any distance, whether that distance be small or great, without
something intermediate on which they act? For if any body act on
another, at any distance from it, however small that distance be,
without some medium to continue the action, it must act where it is
not, which to me seems absurd.

It seems to me, for the same reason, equally absurd to give a mutual
attractive power between any other particles supposed to be at a
distance from each other, without any thing intermediate to continue
their mutual action. I can neither attract nor repel any thing at a
distance, without something between my hand and that thing, like a
string, or a stick; nor can I conceive any mutual action without some
middle thing, when the action is continued to some distance.

The encrease of the surface of any body lessens its weight, both in
air, and water, or any other fluid, as appears by the slow descent of
leaf-gold in the air.

The observation of the different density of the upper and lower
air, from heat and cold, is good, and I do not remember it is taken
notice of by others; the consequences also are well drawn; but as to
winds, they seem principally to arise from some other cause. Winds
generally blow from some large tracts of land, and from mountains.
Where I live, on the north side of the mountains, we frequently have
a strong southerly wind, when they have as strong a northerly wind,
or calm, on the other side of these mountains. The continual passing
of vessels on Hudson's River, through these mountains, give frequent
opportunities of observing this.

In the spring of the year the sea-wind (by a piercing cold) is always
more uneasy to me, accustomed to winds which pass over a tract of
land, than the north-west wind.

You have received the common notion of water-spouts, which, from my
own ocular observation, I am persuaded is a false conception. In a
voyage to the West-Indies, I had an opportunity of observing many
water-spouts. One of them passed nearer than thirty or forty yards to
the vessel I was in, which I viewed with a good deal of attention;
and though it be now forty years since I saw it, it made so strong
an impression on me, that I very distinctly

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Text Comparison with Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 21
To return: I continued thus employed in my father's business for two years, that is, till I was twelve years old; and my brother John, who was bred to that business, having left my father, married, and set up for himself at Rhode Island, there was all appearance that I was destined to supply his place, and become a tallow-chandler.
Page 26
Seller's and Shermy's books of Navigation, and became acquainted with the little geometry they contain; but never proceeded far in that science.
Page 32
When we drew near the island, we found it was at a place where there could be no landing, there being a great surff on the stony beach.
Page 38
This my brother-in-law afterwards told me in Boston, but I knew as yet nothing of it; when, one day, Keimer and I being at work together near the window, we saw the governor and another gentleman (which proved to be Colonel French, of Newcastle), finely dress'd, come directly across the street to our house, and heard them at the door.
Page 50
We took lodgings together in Little Britain[36] at three shillings and sixpence a week--as much as we could then afford.
Page 79
I therefore put myself as much as I could out of sight, and stated it as a scheme of a _number of friends_, who had requested me to go about.
Page 83
Page 89
I was surpris'd to find myself so much fuller of faults than I had imagined; but I had the satisfaction of seeing them diminish.
Page 95
Page 105
As we play'd pretty equally, we thus beat one another into that language.
Page 110
The utility of this institution soon appeared, and many more desiring to be admitted than we thought convenient for one company, they were advised to form another, which was accordingly done; and this went on, one new company being formed after another, till they became so numerous as to include most of the inhabitants who were men of property; and now, at the time of my writing this, tho' upward of fifty years since its establishment, that which I first formed, called the Union Fire Company, still subsists and flourishes, tho' the first members are all deceas'd but myself and one, who is older by a year than I am.
Page 119
Their captain prepar'd for defense; but told William Penn, and his company of Quakers, that he did not expect their assistance, and they might retire into the cabin, which they did, except James Logan,[82] who chose to stay upon deck, and was quarter'd to a gun.
Page 130
[90] See votes.
Page 132
here let me remark the convenience of having but one gutter in such a narrow street, running down its middle, instead of two, one on each side, near the footway; for where all the rain that falls on a street runs from the sides and meets in the middle, it forms there a current strong enough to wash away all the mud it meets with; but when divided into two channels, it is often too weak to cleanse either, and only makes the mud it finds more fluid, so that the wheels of carriages and feet of horses throw and dash it upon the foot-pavement, which is thereby rendered foul and slippery, and sometimes splash it upon those who are walking.
Page 142
The owners, however, alleging they did not know General Braddock, or what dependence might be had on his promise, insisted on my bond for the performance, which I accordingly gave them.
Page 152
I was escorted as far as Bethlehem, where I rested a few days to recover from the fatigue I had undergone.
Page 174
He's rarely _warm_ in Censure or in Praise: _Good-Nature, Wit_, and _Judgment_ round him wait; And thus he sits _inthron'd_ in _Classick-State_: To Failings mild, but zealous for Desert; The clearest Head, and the sincerest Heart.
Page 176
_What maintains one Vice, would bring up two Children_.
Page 180
Retort Courteous.
Page 181
_The Art of Procuring Pleasant Dreams.