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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 78

commonly runs during the flood at the rate
of two miles in an hour, and that the flood runs five hours, you see
that it can bring at most into our canal only a quantity of water
equal to the space included in the breadth of the canal, ten miles
of its length, and the depth between low and high-water mark; which
is but a fourteenth part of what would be necessary to fill all the
space between low and high-water mark, for one hundred and forty
miles, the whole length of the canal.

And indeed such a quantity of water as would fill that whole space,
to run in and out every tide, must create so outrageous a current, as
would do infinite damage to the shores, shipping, &c. and make the
navigation of a river almost impracticable.

I have made this letter longer than I intended, and therefore
reserve for another what I have further to say on the subject of
tides and rivers. I shall now only add, that I have not been exact
in the numbers, because I would avoid perplexing you with minute
calculations, my design at present being chiefly to give you distinct
and clear ideas of the first principles.

After writing six folio pages of philosophy to a young girl, is it
necessary to finish such a letter with a compliment?--Is not such
a letter of itself a compliment?--Does it not say, she has a mind
thirsty after knowledge, and capable of receiving it; and that the
most agreeable things one can write to her are those that tend to
the improvement of her understanding?--It does indeed say all this,
but then it is still no compliment; it is no more than plain honest
truth, which is not the character of a compliment. So if I would
finish my letter in the _mode_, I should yet add some thing that
means nothing, and is _merely_ civil and polite. But being naturally
aukward at every circumstance of ceremony, I shall not attempt it.
I had rather conclude abruptly with what pleases me more than any
compliment can please you, that I am allowed to subscribe myself

Your affectionate friend,

B. FRANKLIN.




TO THE SAME.

_On the same Subject._


_Craven-street, Monday, March 30, 1761._

MY DEAR FRIEND,

Supposing the fact, that the water of the well at Bristol is warmer
after sometime pumping, I think your manner of accounting for that
increased warmth very ingenious and probable. It did not occur to me,
and therefore I doubted of the fact.

You are, I think quite right

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 2 of 2] With his Most Interesting Essays, Letters, and Miscellaneous Writings; Familiar, Moral, Political, Economical, and Philosophical, Selected with Care from All His Published Productions, and Comprising Whatever Is Most Entertaining and Valuable to the General Reader

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42 On Luxury, Idleness, and Industry 45 On Truth and Falsehood 50 Necessary Hints to those that would be Rich 53 The Way to make Money plenty in every Man's Pocket 54 The Handsome and Deformed Leg 55 On Human Vanity 58 On Smuggling, and its various Species 62 Remarks concerning the Savages of North America 66 On Freedom of Speech and the Press 71 On the Price of Corn and the Management of the Poor 82 Singular Custom among the Americans, entitled Whitewashing .
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Abiah Franklin 107 To Miss Jane Franklin 108 To the same 109 To Mr.
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139 To Mr.
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--On the different Strata of the Earth 207 To Mr.
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true there is much to be done, and perhaps you are weak-handed; but stick to it steadily, and you will see great effects; for _Constant dropping wears away stones_; and _By diligence and patience the mouse ate in two the cable_; and _Little strokes fell great oaks_.
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If, while we sleep, we can have any pleasing.
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* * * * * I am charmed with your description of Paradise, and with your plan of living there; and I approve much of your conclusion, that, in the mean time, we should draw all the good we can from this world.
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And if, instead of employing a man I feed in making bricks, I employ him in fiddling for me, the corn he eats is gone, and no part of his manufacture remains to augment the wealth and convenience of the family; I shall, therefore, be the poorer for this fiddling man, unless the rest of my family work more or eat less, to make up the deficiency he occasions.
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They meet, perhaps, under the spacious shelter of a mushroom, and the dying sage addresses himself to them after the following manner: "Friends and fellow-citizens! I perceive the longest life must, however, end: the period of mine is now at hand; neither do I repine at my fate, since my great age has become a burden to me, and there is nothing new to me under the sun: the changes and revolutions I have seen in my country, the manifold private misfortunes to which we are all liable, the fatal diseases incident to our race, have abundantly taught me this lesson, that no happiness can be secure and lasting which is placed in things that are out of our power.
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manufacture, or attempt to deceive by appearances.
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While reading it, I made a few remarks as I went along.
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xvii.
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_ .
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But think for a moment in what light it must be viewed in America.
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For a thousand leagues have nearly the same effect with a thousand years.
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The last time I saw your father was in the beginning of 1724, when I visited him after my first trip to Pennsylvania.
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The paper is therefore only for your amusement, and that of our excellent friend the Duke de la Rochefoucauld.
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' You give me joy in telling me that you are 'on the pinnacle of _content_.
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"It is only a few days since the kind letter of my dear young friend, dated December 24, came to my hands.
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That in fresh water, if a man throws himself on his back near the surface, he cannot long continue in that situation but by proper action of his hands on the water.