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

Your humble servant,



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

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


_On the different Strata of the Earth._

_Craven-Street, Jan. 6, 1758._


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

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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.
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[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.
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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.
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Page 117
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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.
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For an account of their home and practices, see pp.
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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
Page 147
fort upon the west side of Lake Champlain.
Page 158
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[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
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Page 167
Work while it is called to-day, for you know not how much you may be hindered to-morrow.