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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 88

continually applied.
At least all our modern philosophers agree to tell us so.

Let me turn the thing in what light I please, I cannot discover the
vis inertiæ, nor any effect of it. It is allowed by all, that a body
1 _a_ moving with a velocity 1 _c_, and a force 1 _f_ _striking
another_ body 1 _a_ at rest, they will afterwards _move on together_,
each with ½ _c_ and ½ _f_; which, as I said before, is equal in the
whole to 1 _c_ and 1 _f_. If vis inertiæ, as in this case, neither
abates the force nor the velocity of bodies, what does it, or how
does it discover itself?

I imagine I may venture to conclude my observations on this piece,
almost in the words of the author; that if the doctrines of the
immateriality of the soul and the existence of God and of divine
providence are demonstrable from no plainer principles, the _deist_
[i.e. _theist_] has a desperate cause in hand. I oppose _my theist_
to his atheist, because I think they are diametrically opposite;
and not near of kin, as Mr. Whitfield seems to suppose; where (in
his journal) he tells us, "_M. B. was a deist, I had almost said an
atheist_;" that is, _chalk_, I had almost said _charcoal_.

The din of the market[19] increases upon me; and that, with frequent
interruptions, has, I find, made me say some things twice over; and,
I suppose, forget some others I intended to say. It has, however, one
good effect, as it obliges me to come to the relief of your patience
with

Your humble servant,

B. FRANKLIN.

FOOTNOTES:

[18] Baxter's Inquiry into the Nature of the Human Soul. B. V.

[19] Philadelphia market, in which Dr. Franklin lived. B. V.




TO JOHN PRINGLE, M. D. AND F. R. S.

_On the different Strata of the Earth._


_Craven-Street, Jan. 6, 1758._

SIR,

I return you Mr. Mitchell's paper on the strata of the earth[20] with
thanks. The reading of it, and perusal of the draft that accompanies
it, have reconciled me to those convulsions which all naturalists
agree this globe has suffered. Had the different strata of clay,
gravel, marble, coals, lime-stone, sand, minerals, &c. continued to
lie level, one under the other, as they may be supposed to have done
before those convulsions, we should have had the use only of a few
of the uppermost of the strata, the others lying too deep and too
difficult to be come at; but the shell of the earth being broke,
and the

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

Page 2
Here we furnished ourselves with fresh provisions, and refreshments of all kinds; and, after a few days, proceeded on our voyage, running southward until we got into the trade winds, and then with them westward till we drew near the coast of America.
Page 17
I also sometimes jumbled my collections of hints into confusion, and after some weeks endeavored to reduce them into the best order before I began to form the full sentences and complete the paper.
Page 50
There, by a close application to business as a merchant, he.
Page 55
I went on, however, very cheerfully, put his printing house in order, which had been in great confusion, and brought his hands by degrees to mind their business and to do it better.
Page 58
They had me to their houses, introduced me to their friends, and showed me much civility; while he, though the master, was a little neglected.
Page 61
[94] But he knew little out of his way, and was not a pleasing companion; as, like most great mathematicians I have met with, he expected universal precision in everything said, or was forever denying or distinguishing upon trifles, to the disturbance of all conversation.
Page 68
Keimer and D.
Page 78
This being acquired and established, Silence would be more easy; and my desire being to gain knowledge at the same time that I improved in virtue, and considering that in conversation it was obtained rather by the use of the ears than of the tongue, and therefore wishing to break a habit I was getting into of prattling, punning, and joking, which only made me acceptable to trifling company, I gave Silence the second place.
Page 102
He had a loud and clear voice, and articulated his words and sentences so perfectly that he might be heard and understood at a great distance, especially as his auditors, however numerous, observed the most exact silence.
Page 117
The subscriptions accordingly soon exceeded the requisite sum, and we claimed and received the public gift, which enabled us to carry the design into execution.
Page 122
Some may think these trifling matters, not worth minding or relating; but when they consider that though dust blown into the eyes of a single person, or into a single shop, on a windy day is but of small importance, yet the great number of the instances in a populous city, and its frequent repetitions, give it weight and consequence, perhaps they will not censure very severely those who bestow some attention to affairs of this seemingly low nature.
Page 126
For an account of their home and practices, see pp.
Page 128
There was, indeed, little or no money at that time in the office, and therefore I proposed that the orders should be payable in a year, and to bear an interest of five per cent.
Page 131
FRANKLIN.
Page 147
fort upon the west side of Lake Champlain.
Page 158
and the same vessel, laden by the judgment and orders of one captain, shall sail better or worse than when by the orders of another.
Page 161
[207] But during this delay, the Assembly having prevailed with Governor Denny to pass an act taxing the proprietary estate in common with the estates of the people, which was the grand point in dispute,.
Page 163
After a full inquiry, they unanimously signed a report that they found the tax had been assessed with perfect equity.
Page 164
"Some time since there fell into my hands, to my great joy, about twenty-three sheets in thy own handwriting, containing an account of the parentage and life of thyself, directed to thy son, ending in the year 1730; with which there were notes, likewise in thy writing; a copy of which I inclose, in hopes it may be a means, if thou continued it up to a later period, that the first and latter part may be put together; and if it is not yet continued, I hope thee will not delay it.
Page 167
Work while it is called to-day, for you know not how much you may be hindered to-morrow.