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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 85

by the author's not distinguishing between a great force
applied at once, or a small one continually applied, to a mass of
matter, in order to move it. I think it is generally allowed by
the philosophers, and, for aught we know, is certainly true, that
there is no mass of matter, how great soever, but may be moved by
any force how small soever (taking friction out of the question)
and this small force continued, will in time bring the mass to move
with any velocity whatsoever.--Our author himself seems to allow
this towards the end of the same No. 2. when he is subdividing his
celerities and forces: for as in continuing the division to eternity
by his method of ½ _c_, â
“ _c_, ¼ _c_, â
• _c_, &c. you can never come
to a fraction of velocity that is equal to 0 _c_, or no celerity at
all; so dividing the force in the same manner, you can never come
to a fraction of force that will not produce an equal fraction of
celerity.--Where then is the mighty vis inertiæ, and what is its
strength; when the greatest assignable mass of matter will give way
to, or be moved by the _least_ assignable force? Suppose two globes,
equal to the sun and to one another, exactly equipoised in Jove's
balance; suppose no friction in the centre of motion, in the beam or
elsewhere: if a musketo then were to light on one of them, would he
not give motion to them both, causing one to descend and the other
to rise? If it is objected, that the force of gravity helps one globe
to descend, I answer, the same force opposes the other's rising: here
is an equality that leaves the whole motion to be produced by the
musketo, without whom those globes would not be moved at all.--What
then does vis inertiæ do in this case? and what other effect could
we expect _if there were no such thing_? Surely if it were any thing
more than a phantom, there might be enough of it in such _vast_
bodies to annihilate, by its opposition to motion, so trifling a
force?

Our author would have reasoned more clearly, I think, if, as he has
used the letter _a_ for a certain quantity of matter, and _c_ for a
certain quantity of celerity, he had employed one letter more, and
put _f_ perhaps, for a certain quantity of force. This let us suppose
to be done; and then as it is a maxim that the force of bodies in
motion is equal to

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Text Comparison with The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 0
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN WITH INTRODUCTION AND NOTES EDITED BY CHARLES W ELIOT LLD P F COLLIER & SON COMPANY, NEW YORK (1909) INTRODUCTORY NOTE BENJAMIN FRANKLIN was born in Milk Street, Boston, on January 6, 1706.
Page 13
.
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now that I was rather lucky in my judges, and that perhaps they were not really so very good ones as I then esteem'd them.
Page 32
Had it been known that I depended on the governor, probably some friend, that knew him better, would have advis'd me not to rely on him, as I afterwards heard it as his known character to be liberal of promises which he never meant to keep.
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I went on pleasantly, but poor Keimer suffered grievously, tired of the project, long'd for the flesh-pots of Egypt, and order'd a roast pig.
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I printed them in the papers, and they gave great satisfaction to the publick.
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As I have not read any part of the life in question, but know only the character that lived it, I write somewhat at hazard.
Page 79
| | | * | | | * | | | F.
Page 84
The smith consented to grind it bright for him if he would turn the wheel; he turn'd, while the smith press'd the broad face of the ax hard and heavily on the stone, which made the turning of it very fatiguing.
Page 85
It will be remark'd that, tho' my scheme was not wholly without religion, there was in it no mark of any of.
Page 95
The project was approv'd, and every member undertook to form his club, but they did not all succeed.
Page 106
Not one of his opposing friends appear'd, at which he express'd great surprize; and, at the expiration of the hour, we carry'd the resolution eight to one; and as, of the twenty-two Quakers, eight were ready to vote with us, and thirteen, by their absence, manifested that they were not inclin'd to oppose the measure, I afterward estimated the proportion of Quakers sincerely against defense as one to twenty-one only; for these were all regular members of that society, and in good reputation among them, and had due notice of what was propos'd at that meeting.
Page 111
, one Church-of-England man, one Presbyterian, one Baptist, one Moravian, etc.
Page 113
note.
Page 114
" I enquired into the nature and probable utility of his scheme, and receiving from him a very satisfactory explanation, I not only subscrib'd to it myself, but engag'd heartily in the design of procuring subscriptions from others.
Page 131
George Croghan, our Indian interpreter, join'd him on his march with one hundred of those people, who might have been of great use to his army as guides, scouts, etc.
Page 142
What made it worse was, that, as soon as we began to move, they drew their swords and rode with them naked all the way.
Page 155
In the morning it was found by the soundings, etc.
Page 157
The conversation at first consisted of mutual declarations of disposition to reasonable accommodations, but I suppose each party had its own ideas of what should be meant by reasonable.
Page 161
1754 Appointed one of the Commissioners from Pennsylvania to the Colonial Congress at Albany; proposes a plan for the union of the colonies.