Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 172

would have no such
effect. That the assessors were honest and discreet men under an oath
to assess fairly and equitably, and that any advantage each of them
might expect in lessening his own tax by augmenting that of the
proprietaries was too trifling to induce them to perjure themselves.
This is the purport of what I remember as urged by both sides, except
that we insisted strongly on the mischievous consequences that must
attend a repeal, for that the money, L100,000, being printed and given
to the king's use, expended in his service, and now spread among the
people, the repeal would strike it dead in their hands to the ruin of
many, and the total discouragement of future grants, and the
selfishness of the proprietors in soliciting such a general
catastrophe, merely from a groundless fear of their estate being taxed
too highly, was insisted on in the strongest terms. On this, Lord
Mansfield, one of the counsel, rose, and beckoning me took me into the
clerk's chamber, while the lawyers were pleading, and asked me if I
was really of opinion that no injury would be done the proprietary
estate in the execution of the act. I said certainly. "Then," says he,
"you can have little objection to enter into an engagement to assure
that point." I answer'd, "None at all." He then call'd in Paris, and
after some discourse, his lordship's proposition was accepted on both
sides; a paper to the purpose was drawn up by the Clerk of the
Council, which I sign'd with Mr. Charles, who was also an Agent of the
Province for their ordinary affairs, when Lord Mansfield returned to
the Council Chamber, where finally the law was allowed to pass. Some
changes were however recommended and we also engaged they should be
made by a subsequent law, but the Assembly did not think them
necessary; for one year's tax having been levied by the act before the
order of Council arrived, they appointed a committee to examine the
proceedings of the assessors, and on this committee they put several
particular friends of the proprietaries. After a full enquiry, they
unanimously sign'd a report that they found the tax had been assess'd
with perfect equity.

The Assembly looked into my entering into the first part of the
engagement, as an essential service to the Province, since it secured
the credit of the paper money then spread over all the country. They
gave me their thanks in form when I return'd. But the proprietaries
were enraged at Governor Denny for having pass'd the act, and turn'd
him out with threats of

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

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Let a ring of thin lead or paper surround a bottle (_i_), even at some distance from or above the bottom.
Page 5
Take off the bottle, and holding it in your hand, touch the other with the wire; that book will be electrised _plus_; the fire passing into it from the wire, and the bottle at the same time supply'd from your hand.
Page 11
Page 13
So a strait spring (tho' the comparison does not agree in every particular) when forcibly bent, must, to restore itself, contract that side which in the bending was extended, and extend that which was contracted; if either of these two operations be hindered, the other cannot be done.
Page 15
The plates may also be discharged separately, or any number together that is required.
Page 17
About thirty _radii_ of equal length, made of sash glass cut in narrow strips, issue horizontally from the circumference of the board, the ends most distant from the center being about four inches apart.
Page 18
The self-moving wheel, though constructed on the same principles, appears more surprising.
Page 19
Page 22
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For the electrical fire is never visible but when in.
Page 29
Lightning rends some bodies.
Page 33
But there is a small portion between I, B, K, that has less of the surface to rest on, and to be attracted by, than the neighbouring portions, while at the same time there is a mutual repulsion between its particles and the particles of those portions, therefore here you can get it with more ease or at a greater distance.
Page 41
Turn this leaf with the acute part uppermost, and then it takes place nearest the unelectrified plate, because otherwise it receives faster at its acute point than it can discharge at its right-angled one.
Page 43
We cannot lessen or increase its whole quantity, for the quantity it has it holds; and it has as much as it can hold.
Page 46
Let a second person touch the wire while you rub, and the fire driven out of the inward surface when you give the stroke, will pass through him into the common mass, and return through him when the inner surface resumes its quantity, and therefore this new kind of _Leyden_ bottle cannot so be charged.
Page 47
If you offer a quantity to one end of a long rod of metal, it receives it, and when it enters, every particle that was before in the rod, pushes its neighbour quite to the further end, where the overplus is discharg'd; and this instantaneously where the rod is part of the circle in the experiment of the shock.
Page 50
Hang two cork balls by flaxen threads to the prime conductor; then touch the coating of the bottle, and they will be electrified and recede from each other.
Page 53