Benjamin Franklin Representative selections, with introduction, bibliograpy, and notes

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 252

now-a-days do. These words of _Clericus_ gave me a Curiosity
to inquire a little more strictly into the present Circumstances of that
famous Seminary of Learning; but the Information which he gave me, was
neither pleasant, nor such as I expected.

As soon as Dinner was over, I took a solitary Walk into my Orchard,
still ruminating on _Clericus's_ Discourse with much Consideration,
until I came to my usual Place of Retirement under the _Great
Apple-Tree_; where having seated my self, and carelessly laid my Head on
a verdant Bank, I fell by Degrees into a soft and undisturbed Slumber.
My waking Thoughts remained with me in my Sleep, and before I awak'd
again, I dreamt the following DREAM.

I fancy'd I was travelling over pleasant and delightful Fields and
Meadows, and thro' many small Country Towns and Villages; and as I
pass'd along, all Places resounded with the Fame of the Temple of
LEARNING: Every Peasant, who had wherewithal, was preparing to send one
of his Children at least to this famous Place; and in this Case most of
them consulted their own Purses instead of their Childrens Capacities:
So that I observed, a great many, yea, the most part of those who were
travelling thither, were little better than Dunces and Blockheads. Alas!

At length I entred upon a spacious Plain, in the Midst of which was
erected a large and stately Edifice: It was to this that a great Company
of Youths from all Parts of the Country were going; so stepping in among
the Crowd, I passed on with them, and presently arrived at the Gate.

The Passage was Kept by two sturdy Porters named _Riches_ and
_Poverty_, and the latter obstinately refused to give Entrance to any
who had not first gain'd the Favour of the former; so that I observed,
many who came even to the very Gate, were obliged to travel back again
as ignorant as they came, for want of this necessary Qualification.
However, as a Spectator I gain'd Admittance, and with the rest entred
directly into the Temple.

In the Middle of the great Hall stood a stately and magnificent Throne,
which was ascended to by two high and difficult Steps. On the Top of it
sat LEARNING in awful State; she was apparelled wholly in Black, and
surrounded almost on every Side with innumerable Volumes in all
Languages. She seem'd very busily employ'd in writing something on half
a Sheet of Paper, and upon Enquiry, I understood she was preparing a
Paper, call'd, _The New-England Courant_. On her Right Hand sat
_English_, with a pleasant smiling Countenance,

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

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The consequence is, spark follows spark till the equilibrium is restored.
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a quire of paper is thought good armour against the push of a sword or even against a pistol bullet) and the crack is exceeding loud.
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turn twelve sparks, to the thimbles, which make seven thousand two hundred sparks; and the bullet of the under surface receiving as many from the thimbles; those bullets moving in the time near two thousand five hundred feet.
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This is supposed to account for the _Aurora Borealis_.
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And that those called electrics _per se_, as glass, &c.
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From a cube it is more easily drawn at the corners than at the plane sides, and so from the angles of a body of any other form, and still most easily from the angle that is most acute.
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But easiest of all between L, C, M, where the quantity is largest, and the surface to attract and keep it back the least.
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is it of much importance to us, to know the manner in which nature executes her laws; 'tis enough if we know the laws themselves.
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Set the iron punch on the end upon the floor, in such a place as that the scales may pass over it in making their circle: Then electrify one scale by applying the wire of a charged phial to it.
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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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When the glass has received and, by its attraction, forced closer together so much of this electrified fluid, as that the power of attracting and condensing in the one, is equal to the power of expansion in the other, it can imbibe no more, and that remains its constant whole quantity; but each surface would receive more, if the repellency of what is in the opposite surface did not resist its entrance.
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--Glass, a body extremely elastic (and perhaps its elasticity may be owing in some degree to the subsisting of so great a quantity of this repelling fluid in its pores) must, when rubbed, have its rubbed surface somewhat stretched, or its solid parts drawn a little farther asunder, so that the vacancies in which the electrical fluid resides, become larger, affording room for more of that fluid, which is immediately attracted into it from the cushion or hand rubbing, they being supply'd from the common stock.
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I have already made this paper too long, for which I must crave pardon, not having now time to make it shorter.
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For just as much fire as you give the coating, so much is discharged through the wire upon the prime conductor, whence the cork balls receive an electrical atmosphere.
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Geography Reform'd: Or, A new System of General Geography according to an accurate Analysis of the Science, augmented with several necessary Branches omitted by former Authors.