In Honor of Fat Tuesday

February 20, 2007 at 6:45 pm (Beer, Benjamin Franklin, Quote of the day, Work)

Here is another quote from Mr. Franklin, about his first trip to London in his mid 20s:

At my first Admission into this Printing House, I took to working at Press, imagining I felt a Want of the Bodily Exercise I had been us’d to in America, where Presswork is mix’d with Composing. I drank only Water; the other Workmen near 50 in Number, were great Guzzlers of Beer. On occasion I carried up & down Stairs a large Form of Types in each hand, when others carried but one in both Hands. They wonder’d to see from this & several Instances that the water-American as they call’d me was stronger than themselves who drank strong Beer. We had an Alehouse Boy who attended always in the House to supply the Workmen. My Companion at the Press, drank every day a Pint before Breakfast, a Pint at Breakfast with his Bread and Cheese, a Pint between Breakfast and Dinner; a Pint at Dinner; a Pint in the Afternoon about Six O’Clock, and another when he had done his Day’s-work. I thought it a detestable Custom. But is was necessary, he suppos’d, to drink strong Beer that he might be strong to labor. I endeavor’d to convince him that the Bodily Strength afforded by Beer could only be in proportion to the Grain or Flour of the Barley dissolved in the Water of which it was made; that there was more Flour in a Penny-worth of Bread, and therefore if he would eat that with a Pint of Water, it would give him more Strength than a Quart of Beer. He drank on however, & had 4 or 5 Shillings to pay out of his Wages every Saturday Night for that muddling Liquor; an Expense I was free from. And thus these poor Devils keep themselves always under.

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Benjamin Franklin on Vegetarianism

February 15, 2007 at 5:43 pm (Benjamin Franklin, food, Quote of the day)

I am in the middle of reading what is probably my favorite book, Ben Franklin’s Autobiography. I’m not sure why I like it so much, if it is the fact that he did everything a person could possibly do in that era, if it is the 18th century writing style; probably both. Here is a snippet:

I believe I have omitted mentioning that in my first Voyage from Boston, being becalm’d off Block Island, our people set about catching Cod & haul’d up a great many. Hitherto I had stuck to my Resolution of not eating animal Food; and on this Occasion, I consider’d with my Master Tryon, the taking every Fish as a kind of unprovok’d Murder, since none of them had or ever could do us any Injury that might justify the Slaughter. All this seem’d very reasonable. But I had formerly been a great Lover of Fish, & when this came hot out of the Frying Pan, it smelled admirably well. I balanc’d some time between Principle & Inclination: till I recollected, that when the Fish were opened, I saw smaller Fish taken out of their Stomachs: Then thought I, if you eat one another, I don’t see why we mayn’t eat you. So I din’d upon Cod very heartily and continu’d to eat with other People, returning only now & then to a vegetable Diet. So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable Creature, since it enables one to find or make a Reason for every thing one has a mind to do.

Take that, vegans.

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Us and Them

February 19, 2006 at 6:10 am (Benjamin Franklin, Religion)

Behead those who insult Islam

-Muslim street, 2006

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“…if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach Mohammedanism to us, he would find a pulpit at his service.”

Benjamin Franklin, 1771

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See the difference?

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