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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 319

learned natural philosopher, has assured me, that I
must certainly be mistaken as to the circumstance of the light coming
into my room; for it being well known, as he says, that there could
be no light abroad at that hour, it follows that none could enter
from without; and that of consequence, my windows being accidentally
left open, instead of letting in the light, had only served to let
out the darkness: and he used many ingenious arguments to shew me how
I might, by that means, have been deceived. I own, that he puzzled me
a little, but he did not satisfy me; and the subsequent observations
I made, as above mentioned, confirmed me in my first opinion.

This event has given rise in my mind to several serious and important
reflections. I considered that, if I had not been awakened so early
in the morning, I should have slept six hours longer by the light of
the sun, and in exchange have lived six hours the following night by
candle-light; and the latter being a much more expensive light than
the former, my love of economy induced me to muster up what little
arithmetic I was master of, and to make some calculations, which I
shall give you, after observing that utility is, in my opinion, the
test of value in matters of invention, and that a discovery which
can be applied to no use, or is not good for something, is good for

I took for the basis of my calculation the supposition that there
are 100,000 families in Paris, and that these families consume in
the night half a pound of bougies, or candles per hour. I think this
is a moderate allowance, taking one family with another; for though
I believe some consume less, I know that many consume a great deal
more. Then estimating seven hours per day, as the medium quantity
between the time of the sun's rising and ours, he rising during the
six following months from six to eight hours before noon, and there
being seven hours of course per night in which we burn candles, the
account will stand thus:--

In the six months between the twentieth of March and the twentieth of
September, there are

Nights 183

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 1 [of 3]

Page 13
" John, to the.
Page 24
Thus I involved them in difficulties from which they were unable to extricate themselves, and sometimes obtained victories, which neither my cause nor my arguments merited.
Page 33
Page 34
I endeavoured to put his press in order, which he had not yet used, and of which indeed he understood nothing: and having promised to come and work off his elegy as soon as it should be ready, I returned to the house of Bradford, who gave me some trifle to do for the present, for which I had my board and lodging.
Page 35
Being at Newcastle, forty miles below Philadelphia, he heard of me, and wrote to inform me of the chagrin which my sudden departure from Boston had occasioned my parents, and of the affection which they still entertained for me, assuring me that, if I would return, every thing should be adjusted to my satisfaction; and he was very pressing in his entreaties.
Page 48
We knew already as well as the stationer, attorney Riddlesden to be a knave.
Page 89
And many of those who have been thus educated, are now to be found among the most useful and reputable citizens of this state.
Page 94
Page 97
It appears to have steered exactly in the middle between the opposite interests of both.
Page 103
The remainder of these unfortunate Indians, who by absence, had escaped the massacre, were conducted to Lancaster, and lodged in the gaol as a place of security.
Page 118
off most of the rain, and prevent its soaking into the earth, and renewing and purifying the springs, whence the water of the wells must gradually grow worse, and in time be unfit for use, as I find has happened in all old cities; I recommend, that, at the end of the first hundred years, if not done before, the corporation of the city employ a part of the hundred thousand pounds in bringing by pipes the water of Wissahickon-creek into the town, so as to supply the inhabitants, which I apprehend may be done without great difficulty, the level of that creek being much above that of the city, and may be made higher by a dam.
Page 140
Page 173
if the prime conductor be electrified, and the cork balls in a state of repellency before the bottle is discharged, they continue so afterwards.
Page 215
The spire was split all to pieces by the lightning, and the parts flung in all directions over the square in which the church stood, so that nothing remained above the bell.
Page 242
There are likewise appearances of repulsion in other parts of nature.
Page 275
Page 291
suivante, qu'il m'ecrivit à la hâte.
Page 314
made in France, 109.
Page 331
_Petty_, sir William, a double vessel built by, ii.
Page 340
the shivering of, by lightning, explained, 359.