Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 40


My father received the governor's letter with some apparent surprise,
but said little of it to me for some days, when Capt. Holmes returning
he show'd it to him, asked him if he knew Keith, and what kind of man
he was; adding his opinion that he must be of small discretion to
think of setting a boy up in business who wanted yet three years of
being at man's estate. Holmes said what he could in favour of the
project, but my father was clear in the impropriety of it, and at
last, gave a flat denial to it. Then he wrote a civil letter to Sir
William, thanking him for the patronage he had so kindly offered me,
but declining to assist me as yet in setting up, I being, in his
opinion, too young to be trusted with the management of a business so
important, and for which the preparation must be so expensive.

My friend and companion Collins, who was a clerk in the post-office,
pleas'd with the account I gave him of my new country, determined to
go thither also; and, while I waited for my father's determination, he
set out before me by land to Rhode Island, leaving his books, which
were a pretty collection of mathematicks and natural philosophy, to
come with mine and me to New York, where he propos'd to wait for me.

My father, tho' he did not approve Sir William's proposition, was yet
pleas'd that I had been able to obtain so advantageous a character
from a person of such note where I had resided, and that I had been so
industrious and careful as to equip myself so handsomely in so short a
time; therefore, seeing no prospect of an accommodation between my
brother and me, he gave his consent to my returning again to
Philadelphia, advis'd me to behave respectfully to the people there,
endeavour to obtain the general esteem, and avoid lampooning and
libeling, to which he thought I had too much inclination; telling me,
that by steady industry and a prudent parsimony I might save enough by
the time I was one-and-twenty to set me up; and that, if I came near
the matter, he would help me out with the rest. This was all I could
obtain, except some small gifts as tokens of his and my mother's love,
when I embark'd again for New York, now with their approbation and
their blessing.

The sloop putting in at Newport, Rhode Island, I visited my brother
John, who had been married and settled there some years. He received
me very

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 1 [of 3]

Page 3
216 Opinions and conjectures, concerning the properties and effects of the electrical matter, and the means of preserving buildings, ships, &c.
Page 10
67 5: dele bridge.
Page 60
Page 77
Libraries were established in various places, and they are now become very numerous in the United States, and particularly in Pennsylvania.
Page 136
Page 154
Now, bring these balls again into contact, and the electrical atmosphere will not be divided between A and B, into two smaller atmospheres as before; for B will drink up the whole atmosphere of A, and both will be found again in their natural state.
Page 157
The following experiments, as well as those in my first paper, show this power.
Page 174
) According to my opinion, the electrical fire was then drawing off, as by points, from the cloud; the largeness of the flame betokening the great quantity of electricity in the cloud: and had there been a good wire communication from the spintle heads to the sea, that could have conducted more freely than tarred ropes, or masts of turpentine wood, I imagine there would either have been no stroke, or, if a stroke, the wire would have conducted it all into the sea without damage to the ship.
Page 175
Page 179
But no such effect followed.
Page 185
--When the brush is long, large, and much diverging, the body to which it joins seems to me to be throwing the fire out; and when the contrary appears, it seems to be drinking in.
Page 187
And when the rain has wetted the kite and twine, so that it can conduct the electric fire freely, you will find it stream out plentifully from the key on the approach of your knuckle.
Page 190
while the bells were ringing, I took the phial charged from the glass globe, and applied its wire to the erected rod, considering, that if the clouds were electrised _positively_, the rod which received its electricity from them must be so too; and then the additional _positive_ electricity of the phial would make the bells ring faster:--But, if the clouds were in a _negative_ state, they must exhaust the electric fluid from my rod, and bring that into the same negative state with themselves, and then the wire of a positively charged phial, supplying the rod with what it wanted (which it was obliged otherwise to draw from the earth by means of the pendulous brass ball playing between the two bells) the ringing would cease till the bottle was discharged.
Page 211
The knocking down of the six men was performed with two of my large jars not fully charged.
Page 218
Page 238
To such a degree did the mercury lose the fire it before contained, which, as I imagine, took the opportunity of escaping, in company with the evaporating particles of the spirit, by adhering to those particles.
Page 247
I thank you for it most heartily, and for the pains you have taken in giving me so complete a description of its situation, form, and substance, with the draft of the melted point.
Page 286
A similar loss would greatly discourage electricians desirous of accumulating a great power for certain experiments.
Page 320
_Godfrey_, Thomas, a lodger with Franklin, i.
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