Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 163

St. George on the signs, _always on
horseback, and never rides on_." This observation of the messenger
was, it seems, well founded; for, when in England, I understood that
Mr. Pitt[113] gave it as one reason for removing this general, and
sending Generals Amherst and Wolfe, _that the minister never heard
from him, and could not know what he was doing_.

[113] William Pitt, first Earl of Chatham (1708-1778), a
great English statesman and orator. Under his able
administration, England won Canada from France. He was a
friend of America at the time of our Revolution.

This daily expectation of sailing, and all the three packets going
down to Sandy Hook, to join the fleet there, the passengers thought it
best to be on board, lest by a sudden order the ships should sail, and
they be left behind. There, if I remember right, we were about six
weeks, consuming our sea-stores, and oblig'd to procure more. At
length the fleet sail'd, the general and all his army on board, bound
to Louisburg, with the intent to besiege and take that fortress; all
the packet-boats in company ordered to attend the general's ship,
ready to receive his dispatches when they should be ready. We were out
five days before we got a letter with leave to part, and then our ship
quitted the fleet and steered for England. The other two packets he
still detained, carried them with him to Halifax, where he stayed some
time to exercise the men in sham attacks upon sham forts, then altered
his mind as to besieging Louisburg, and returned to New York, with all
his troops, together with the two packets above mentioned, and all
their passengers! During his absence the French and savages had taken
Fort George, on the frontier of that province, and the savages had
massacred many of the garrison after capitulation.

I saw afterwards in London Captain Bonnell, who commanded one of those
packets. He told me that, when he had been detain'd a month, he
acquainted his lordship that his ship was grown foul, to a degree that
must necessarily hinder her fast sailing, a point of consequence for a
packet-boat, and requested an allowance of time to heave her down and
clean her bottom. He was asked how long time that would require. He
answered, three days. The general replied, "If you can do it in one
day, I give leave; otherwise not; for you must certainly sail the day
after to-morrow." So he never obtain'd leave,

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

Page 0
COLLINSON, of _London_, F.
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when you form a direct communication as above.
Page 4
Touch the top first, and on approaching the bottom with the other end, you have a constant stream of fire, from the wire entering the bottle.
Page 8
Page 14
Purposing to analyse the electrified bottle, in order to find wherein its strength lay, we placed it on glass, and drew out the cork and wire which for that purpose had been loosely put in.
Page 15
--To find then, whether glass had this property merely as glass, or whether the form contributed any thing to it; we took a pane of sash-glass, and laying it on the stand, placed a plate of lead on its upper surface; then electrify'd that plate, and bringing a finger to it, there was a spark and shock.
Page 16
Having a large metzotinto with a frame and glass, suppose of the KING, (God preserve him) take out the print, and cut a pannel out of it, near two inches distant from the frame all round.
Page 18
It will go half an hour, and make one minute with another twenty turns in a minute, which is six hundred turns in the whole; the bullet of the upper surface giving in each.
Page 22
Particles happening to be situated as _A_ and _B_, are more easily disengaged than _C_ and _D_, as each is held by contact with three only, whereas _C_ and _D_ are each in contact with nine.
Page 26
Page 29
TO Mr.
Page 33
The extremities of the portions of atmosphere over these angular parts are likewise at a greater distance from the electrified body, as may be seen by the inspection of the above figure; the point of the atmosphere of the angle C, being much farther from C, than any other part of the atmosphere over the lines C, B, or B, A: And besides the distance arising from the nature of the figure, where the attraction is less, the particles will naturally expand to a greater distance by their mutual repulsion.
Page 37
A pigeon that we struck dead to appearance by the electrical shock, recovering life, droop'd about the yard several days, eat nothing though crumbs were thrown to it, but declined and died.
Page 39
Then if your strips of glass remain whole, you will see that the gold is missing in several places, and instead of it a metallic stain on both the glasses; the stains on the upper and under glass exactly similar in the minutest stroke, as may be seen by holding them to the light; the metal appeared to have been not only melted, but even vitrified, or otherwise so driven into the pores of the glass, as to be protected by it from the action of the strongest _Aqua Fortis_ and _Ag: Regia_.
Page 42
But, if the electrical fluid so easily pervades glass, how does the vial become _charged_ (as we term it) when we hold it in our hands? Would not the fire thrown in by the wire pass through to our hands, and so escape into the floor? Would not the bottle in that case be left just as we found it, uncharged, as we know a metal bottle so attempted to be charged would be? Indeed, if there be the least crack, the minutest solution of continuity in the glass, though it remains so tight that nothing else we know of will pass, yet the extremely subtile electrical fluid flies through such a crack with the greatest freedom, and such a bottle we know can never be charged: What then makes the difference between such a bottle and one that is sound, but this, that the fluid can pass through the one, and not through the other?[8] 29.
Page 47
1st, That a non-electric easily suffers a change in the quantity of the electrical fluid it contains.
Page 49
I shall only add, that as it has been observed here that spirits will fire by the electrical spark in the summer time, without heating them, when _Fahrenheit_'s thermometer is above 70; so, when colder, if the operator puts a small flat bottle of spirits in his bosom, or a close pocket, with the spoon, some little time before he uses them, the heat of his body will communicate warmth more than sufficient for the purpose.
Page 51
Page 40, sect.
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Designed for the Use of the Curious in general, and Students in particular.
Page 53
stitch'd, or 2s.