The works of Benjamin Franklin: with notes and a life of the author by J. Sparks (Google eBook)

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1840
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Page 240 - I am very sorry that you intend soon to leave our hemisphere. America has sent us many good things, gold, silver, sugar, tobacco, indigo, &c. ; but you are the first philosopher, and indeed the first great man of letters, for whom we are beholden to her. It is our own fault that we have not kept him ; whence it appears that we do not agree with Solomon, that wisdom is above gold, for we take care never to send back an ounce of the latter which we once lay our fingers upon.
Page 449 - Convincing sovereigns of the folly of wars may perhaps be one effect of it, since it will be impracticable for the most potent of them to guard his dominions. Five thousand balloons, capable of raising two men each, could not cost more than five ships of the line; and where is the prince who can afford so to cover his country with troops for its defence, as that ten thousand men descending from the clouds might not in many places do an infinite deal of mischief, before a force could be brought together...
Page 453 - ... the vast quantity of smoke, long continuing to issue during the summer from Hecla, in Iceland, and that other volcano which arose out of the sea near that island, which smoke might be spread by various winds over the northern part of the world, is yet uncertain.
Page 410 - That the vegetable creation should restore the air which is spoiled by the animal part of it, looks like a rational system, and seems to be of a piece with the rest.
Page 16 - ... all philosophical experiments that let light into the nature of things, tend to increase the power of man over matter and multiply the conveniences or pleasures of hie.
Page 357 - ... were, by the smoothness of the water over them, which might possibly be occasioned, he thought, by some oiliness proceeding from their bodies. A gentleman from Rhode Island told me, it had been remarked, that the harbor of Newport was ever smooth while any whaling vessels were in it : which probably arose from hence, that the blubber which they sometimes bring loose in the hold, or the leakage of their barrels, might afford some oil, to mix with that water, which from time to time they pump out...
Page 264 - Most tunes of late composition, not having this natural harmony united with their melody, have recourse to the artificial harmony of a bass, and other accompanying parts. This support, in my opinion, the old tunes do not need, and are rather confused than aided by it. Whoever has heard James Oswald play them on his violoncello, will be less inclined to dispute this with me. I have more than once seen tears of pleasure in the eyes of his auditors; and yet, I think, even his playing those tunes would...
Page 259 - Music, and demonstrated, that the pleasure which artists feel in hearing much of that composed in the modern taste, is not the natural pleasure arising from melody or harmony of sounds, but of the same kind with the pleasure we feel on seeing the surprising feats of tumblers and rope-dancers, who execute difficult things.
Page 248 - The fingers should be first a little soaked in water, and quite free from all greasiness ; a little fine chalk upon them is sometimes useful, to make them catch the glass and bring out the tone more readily.
Page 236 - What signifies philosophy that does not apply to some use ? May we not learn from hence, that black clothes are not so fit to wear in a hot, sunny climate or season, as white ones...

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