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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 80

air would take up water
but not the salt that was mixed with it. It is true that distilled
sea water will not be salt, but there are other disagreeable
qualities that rise with the water in distillation; which indeed
several besides Dr. Hales have endeavoured by some means to prevent;
but as yet their methods have not been brought much into use.

I have a singular opinion on this subject, which I will venture to
communicate to you, though I doubt you will rank it among my whims.
It is certain that the skin has _imbibing_ as well as _discharging_
pores; witness the effects of a blistering plaister, &c. I have read
that a man, hired by a physician to stand by way of experiment in
the open air naked during a moist night, weighed near three pounds
heavier in the morning. I have often observed myself, that however
thirsty I may have been before going into the water to swim, I am
never long so in the water. These imbibing pores, however, are very
fine, perhaps fine enough in filtering to separate salt from water;
for though I have soaked (by swimming, when a boy) several hours in
the day for several days successively in salt-water, I never found
my blood and juices salted by that means, so as to make me thirsty
or feel a salt taste in my mouth: and it is remarkable, that the
flesh of sea fish, though bred in salt-water, is not salt.--Hence I
imagine, that if people at sea, distressed by thirst when their fresh
water is unfortunately spent, would make bathing-tubs of their empty
water-casks, and, filling them with sea-water, sit in them an hour or
two each day, they might be greatly relieved. Perhaps keeping their
clothes constantly wet might have an almost equal effect; and this
without danger of catching cold. Men do not catch cold by wet cloaths
at sea. Damp, but not wet linen may possibly give colds; but no one
catches cold by bathing, and no clothes can be wetter than water
itself. Why damp clothes should then occasion colds, is a curious
question, the discussion of which I reserve for a future letter, or
some future conversation.

Adieu, my little philosopher. Present my respectful compliments to
the good ladies your aunts, and to miss Pitt; and believe me ever

Your affectionate friend,

And humble Servant,



_Tendency of Rivers to the Sea.--Effect of the Sun's Rays on Cloths
of different Colours._

_Sept. 20, 1761._


It is,

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

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For a piece of baize, or a pot full of brandy, or the like, they could get a piece of ground, which at present would be worth more than 290_l.
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That the British colonies bordering on the French are properly frontiers of the British empire; and the frontiers of an empire are properly defended at.
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Their own interest will then induce the American governments to take care of such forts in proportion to their importance, and see that.
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You would have the French left in Canada, to exercise your military virtue, and make you a warlike people, that you may have more confidence to embark in schemes of disobedience, and greater ability to support them! You have tasted too, the sweets of TWO OR THREE MILLIONS sterling per annum spent among you by our fleets and forces, and you are unwilling to be without a pretence for kindling up another war, and thereby occasioning a repetition of the same delightful doses! But, gentlemen, allow us to understand _our_ interest a little likewise: we shall remove the French from Canada, that you may live in peace, and we be no more drained by your quarrels.
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little concern.
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And his majesty, if he should take the trouble of looking over our disputes (to which the petitioners, to save themselves a little pains, modestly and decently refer him) where will he, for twenty years past, find any but _proprietary_ disputes concerning proprietary interests; or disputes that have been connected with and arose from them? The petition proceeds to assure his majesty, "that this province (except from the Indian ravages) enjoys the _most perfect internal tranquillity_!"--Amazing! what! the most perfect tranquillity! when there have been three atrocious riots within a few months! when in two of them, horrid murders were committed on twenty innocent persons; and in the third, no less than one hundred and forty like murders were meditated, and declared to be intended, with as many more as should be occasioned by any opposition! when we know that these rioters and murderers have none of them been punished, have never been prosecuted, have not even been apprehended! when we are frequently told, that they intend still to execute their purposes, as soon as the protection of the king's forces is withdrawn! Is our tranquillity more perfect now, than it was between the first riot and the second, or between the second and the third? And why "except the Indian ravages," is a _little intermission_ to be denominated "the most perfect tranquillity?" For the Indians too have been quiet lately.
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"The enumeration was obtained, (says Mr.
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_ When did you receive the instructions you mentioned? _A.
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_The king has the command of all military force in his dominions: but in every distinct state of his dominions there should be the consent of the parliament or assembly (the representative body) to the_ raising and keeping up _such military force.
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lieutenant-governor of this your majesty's province, as having a natural and efficacious tendency to interrupt and alienate the affections of your majesty, our rightful sovereign, from this your loyal province; to destroy that harmony and good-will between Great Britain and this colony, which every honest subject should strive to establish; to excite the resentment of the British administration against this province; to defeat the endeavours of our agents and friends to serve us by a fair representation of our state of facts; to prevent our humble and repeated petitions from reaching the ear of your.
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_Final Speech of Dr.
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FOOTNOTE: [204] Extracted from the Eulogium on Dr.
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dissolves water, and, when dry, oil, 4.
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_Innovations_ in language and printing, ii.
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