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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 82

into the air.

Now, many rivers that are open to the sea widen much before they
arrive at it, not merely by the additional waters they receive,
but by having their course stopped by the opposing flood-tide; by
being turned back twice in twenty-four hours, and by finding broader
beds in the low flat countries to dilate themselves in; hence the
evaporation of the fresh water is proportionably increased; so that
in some rivers it may equal the springs of supply. In such cases,
the salt water comes up the river, and meets the fresh in that part
where, if there were a wall or bank of earth across from side to
side, the river would form a lake, fuller indeed at some times than
at others, according to the seasons, but whose evaporation would, one
time with another, be equal to its supply.

When the communication between the two kinds of water is open, this
supposed wall of separation may be conceived as a moveable one, which
is not only pushed some miles higher up the river by every flood tide
from the sea, and carried down again as far by every tide of ebb,
but which has even this space of vibration removed nearer to the sea
in wet seasons, when the springs and brooks in the upper country are
augmented by the falling rains, so as to swell the river, and farther
from the sea in dry seasons.

Within a few miles above and below this moveable line of separation,
the different waters mix a little, partly by their motion to and fro,
and partly from the greater specific gravity of the salt water, which
inclines it to run under the fresh, while the fresh water, being
lighter, runs over the salt.

Cast your eye on the map of North America, and observe the bay of
Chesapeak in Virginia, mentioned above; you will see, communicating
with it by their mouths, the great rivers Sasquehanah, Potowmack,
Rappahanock, York, and James, besides a number of smaller streams,
each as big as the Thames. It has been proposed by philosophical
writers, that to compute how much water any river discharges into the
sea in a given time, we should measure its depth and swiftness at any
part above the tide; as, for the Thames, at Kingston or Windsor. But
can one imagine, that if all the water of those vast rivers went to
the sea, it would not first have pushed the salt water out of that
narrow-mouthed bay, and filled it with fresh?--The Sasquehanah alone
would seem to be sufficient for this, if it were not

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

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bound_, THE PAGAN MYTHOLOGY of ancient Greece and Rome versified, accompanied with Philosophical Elucidations of the probable latent meaning of some of the Fables of the Ancients, on a theory entirely new.
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Proprietors, W.
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" Nor will the bailiff or the constable enter, for "industry pays debts, while despair increaseth them.
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is worth two to-morrows," as Poor Richard says, and farther, "Never leave that till to-morrow, which you can do to-day.
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'So much for industry, my friends, and attention to one's own business; but to these we must add frugality, if we would make our industry more certainly successful.
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Remember what poor Richard says, "Buy what thou hast no need of, and ere long thou shalt sell thy necessaries.
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But, ah! think what you do when you run in debt; you give to another power over your liberty, If you cannot pay at the time, you will be ashamed to see your creditor; you will be in fear when you speak to him; you will make poor pitiful sneaking excuses, and, by degrees, come to lose your veracity, and sink into base, downright lying; for, "The second vice is lying, the first is running in debt," as Poor Richard says; and again, to the same purpose, "Lying rides upon Debt's back:" whereas a free-born Englishman ought not to be ashamed nor afraid to see or speak to any man living.
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When you have got your bargain, you may, perhaps, think little of payment; but, as Poor Richard says, "Creditors have better memories than debtors; creditors are a superstitious sect, great observers of set days and times.
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Reader, if thou wilt do the same, thy profit will be as great as mine.