Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 120

body of the
Quakers, on the other, by compliance contrary to their principles;
hence a variety of evasions to avoid complying, and modes of
disguising the compliance when it became unavoidable. The common mode
at last was, to grant money under the phrase of its being "_for the
king's use_," and never to inquire how it was applied.

But, if the demand was not directly from the crown, that phrase was
found not so proper, and some other was to be invented. As, when
powder was wanting (I think it was for the garrison at Louisburg), and
the government of New England solicited a grant of some from
Pennsylvania, which was much urg'd on the House by Governor Thomas,
they could not grant money to buy powder, because that was an
ingredient of war; but they voted an aid to New England of three
thousand pounds, to be put into the hands of the governor, and
appropriated it for the purchasing of bread, flour, wheat or _other
grain_. Some of the council, desirous of giving the House still
further embarrassment, advis'd the governor not to accept provision,
as not being the thing he had demanded; but he repli'd, "I shall take
the money, for I understand very well their meaning; other grain is
gunpowder," which he accordingly bought, and they never objected to

[83] See the votes.--_Marg. note_.

It was in allusion to this fact that, when in our fire company we
feared the success of our proposal in favour of the lottery, and I had
said to my friend Mr. Syng, one of our members, "If we fail, let us
move the purchase of a fire-engine with the money; the Quakers can
have no objection to that; and then, if you nominate me and I you as a
committee for that purpose, we will buy a great gun, which is
certainly a _fire-engine_." "I see," says he, "you have improv'd by
being so long in the Assembly; your equivocal project would be just a
match for their wheat or _other grain_."

These embarrassments that the Quakers suffer'd from having establish'd
and published it as one of their principles that no kind of war was
lawful, and which, being once published, they could not afterwards,
however they might change their minds, easily get rid of, reminds me
of what I think a more prudent conduct in another sect among us, that
of the Dunkers. I was acquainted with one of its founders, Michael
Welfare, soon after it appear'd. He complain'd to me that they were
grievously calumniated by the zealots of other persuasions,

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Text Comparison with Experiments and Observations on Electricity Made at Philadelphia in America

Page 3
when you form a direct communication as above.
Page 7
To prove that the electrical fire is _drawn off_ by the point, if you take the blade of the bodkin out of the wooden handle, and fix it in a stick of sealing wax, and then present it at the distance aforesaid, or if you bring it very near, no such effect follows; but sliding one finger along the wax till you touch the blade, and the ball flies to the shot immediately.
Page 9
--To _C_, standing on the floor, both appear to be electrised: for he having only the middle quantity of electrical fire, receives a spark upon approaching _B_, who has an over quantity; but gives one to _A_, who has an under quantity.
Page 18
it, did not seem in the least to retard its motion.
Page 21
Which shews that bodies having less than the common quantity of Electricity, repel each other, as well as those that have more.
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or condensed by taking away the fire that assisted it in expanding; the triangles contract, the air with its water will descend as a dew; or, if the water surrounding one particle of air comes in contact with the water surrounding another, they coalesce and form a drop, and we have rain.
Page 24
How these ocean clouds, so strongly supporting their water, are made to deposite it on the land where 'tis wanted, is next to be considered.
Page 25
Hence the sudden fall of rain immediately after flashes of lightning.
Page 27
When a wire makes part of the circle, in the explosion of the electrical phial, the fire, though in great quantity, passes in the wire invisibly: but in passing along a chain, it becomes visible as it leaps from link to link.
Page 32
Thus will a quantity of the electrical fluid be drawn out of B, and thrown on A.
Page 34
For the man, and what he holds in his hand, be it large or small, are connected with the common mass of unelectrified matter; and the force with which he draws is the same in both cases, it consisting in the different proportion of electricity in the electrified body and that common mass.
Page 35
I have a large prime conductor made of several thin sheets of Fuller's pasteboard form'd into a tube, near 10 feet long and a foot diameter.
Page 39
The gold was melted and stain'd into the glass as usual.
Page 41
Turn its tail towards the prime conductor, and then it flies to your finger, and seems to nibble it.
Page 43
If the fire that so leaves the bottle be not the same that is thrown in through the wire, it must be fire that subsisted in the bottle, (that is, in the glass of the bottle) before the operation began.
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more of this electrical fluid than other common matter: That when it is blown, as it cools, and the particles of common fire leave it, its pores become a vacuum: That the component parts of glass are extremely small and fine, I guess from its never showing a rough face when it breaks, but always a polish; and from the smallness of its particles I suppose the pores between them must be exceeding small, which is the reason that Aqua-fortis, nor any other menstruum we have, can enter to separate them and dissolve the substance; nor is any fluid we know of, fine enough to enter, except common fire, and the electrical fluid.
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So if a tube lined with a [11]non-electric, be rubb'd, little or no fire is obtained from it.
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I have try'd another way, which I thought more likely to obtain a mixture of the electrical and other effluvia together, if such a mixture had been possible.
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And indeed, as that smell so readily leaves the electrical matter, and adheres to the knuckle receiving the sparks, and to other things; I suspect that it never was connected with it, but arises instantaneously from something in the air acted upon by it.
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