Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 125

of our civil government, and almost at the same
time, imposing some duty upon me. The governor put me into the
commission of the peace; the corporation of the city chose me of the
common council, and soon after an alderman; and the citizens at large
chose me a burgess to represent them in Assembly. This latter station
was the more agreeable to me, as I was at length tired with sitting
there to hear debates, in which, as clerk, I could take no part, and
which were often so unentertaining that I was induc'd to amuse myself
with making magic squares or circles, or anything to avoid weariness;
and I conceiv'd my becoming a member would enlarge my power of doing
good. I would not, however, insinuate that my ambition was not
flatter'd by all these promotions; it certainly was; for, considering
my low beginning, they were great things to me; and they were still
more pleasing, as being so many spontaneous testimonies of the public
good opinion, and by me entirely unsolicited.

The office of justice of the peace I try'd a little, by attending a
few courts, and sitting on the bench to hear causes; but finding that
more knowledge of the common law than I possess'd was necessary to act
in that station with credit, I gradually withdrew from it, excusing
myself by my being oblig'd to attend the higher duties of a legislator
in the Assembly. My election to this trust was repeated every year for
ten years, without my ever asking any elector for his vote, or
signifying, either directly or indirectly, any desire of being chosen.
On taking my seat in the House, my son was appointed their clerk.

The year following, a treaty being to be held with the Indians at
Carlisle, the governor sent a message to the House, proposing that
they should nominate some of their members, to be join'd with some
members of council, as commissioners for that purpose.[88] The House
named the speaker (Mr. Norris) and myself; and, being commission'd, we
went to Carlisle, and met the Indians accordingly.

[88] See the votes to have this more correctly.--_Marg.

As those people are extreamly apt to get drunk, and, when so, are very
quarrelsome and disorderly, we strictly forbade the selling any
liquor to them; and when they complain'd of this restriction, we told
them that if they would continue sober during the treaty, we would
give them plenty of rum when business was over. They promis'd this,
and they kept their promise, because they could get

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

Page 1
_ _But of these, and many other interesting circumstances, the reader will be more satisfactorily informed in the following letters, to which he is therefore referred by_ _The_ EDITOR.
Page 3
Page 9
After such strong spark, neither of them discover any electricity.
Page 10
--We electrify, upon wax in the dark, a book that has a double line of gold round upon the covers, and then apply a knuckle to the gilding;.
Page 12
Let a cork-ball, suspended by a silk thread, hang between them.
Page 14
Then taking the bottle in one hand, and bringing a finger of the other near its mouth, a strong spark came from the water, and the shock was as violent as if the wire had remained in it, which shewed that the force did not lie in the wire.
Page 22
The particles of water rising in vapours, attach themselves to particles of air.
Page 24
But clouds formed by vapours raised from the sea, having both fires, and particularly a great quantity of the electrical, support their water strongly, raise it high, and being moved by winds may bring it over the middle of the broadest continent from the middle of the widest ocean.
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The form of the electrical atmosphere is that of the body it surrounds.
Page 33
has the line A, E, for its basis.
Page 39
I send you enclosed two little pieces of glass with these metallic stains upon them, which cannot be removed without taking part of the glass with them.
Page 42
This latter position may seem a paradox to some, being contrary to the hitherto received opinion; and therefore I shall now endeavour to explain it.
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The particles of the electrical fluid have a mutual repellency, but by the power of attraction in the glass they are condensed or forced nearer to each other.
Page 46
What is collected from the hand in the downward rubbing stroke, entering the pores of the glass, and driving an equal quantity out of the inner surface into the non-electric lining: and the hand in passing up to take a second stroke, takes out again what had been thrown into the outer surface, and then the inner surface receives back again what it had given to the non-electric lining.
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Price 2s.
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[9] See s 10 of _Farther Experiments_, &c.