Expériences et observations sur l'électricité faites à Philadelphie en Amérique

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 116

son vaisseau, je ne puis m'empêcher de remarquer les grosses
lampes _comazants_, (comme il les appelle) qui parurent sur les pointes
du haut des perroquets toutes en feu comme de grosses torches (avant le
coup de tonnerre); suivant mon sentiment le feu électrique étoit alors
tiré de la nuée comme par des pointes, la grosseur de la flamme marquant
la grande quantité d'électricité dans la nuée; & s'il y avoit eu un bon
fil-d'archal de communication des pointes du sommet des perroquets à la
mer, qui eût conduit plus librement que des cordes goudronnées ou des
mâts de bois résineux, j'imagine qu'il n'y auroit point eu de coup de
foudre, ou que s'il y en eût eu, le fil-d'archal l'auroit conduit tout
entier dans la mer sans endommager le vaisseau.

Ses boussoles perdirent la vertu de l'aiman, ou les pôles en furent
changés; la pointe du nord se tourna vers le sud. Par le moyen de
l'électricité nous avons souvent ici (à Philadelphie) donné aux
aiguilles la direction au pôle, & nous en avons changé les pôles à notre

À Londres M. Wilson a essayé cette opération sur de trop grosses masses
& avec une force trop foible.

«MM. Wilson & Franklin ne sont pas les seuls qui ayent conjecturé que le
magnétisme devoit être un effet de l'électricité; M. de Buffon doit
partager avec eux la gloire, non-seulement d'avoir eu la même opinion,
mais d'en avoir porté un jugement décisif long-tems avant d'apprendre
les conjectures de ces deux sçavans. Dès le commencement de l'année
1752. il me pria de lui faire faire six aiguilles d'acier pour essayer
de les aimanter d'un coup d'électricité. Ses affaires ne lui permirent
pas d'en faire l'épreuve; & comme par déférence je ne voulus pas la
faire sans lui, l'expérience fut retardée jusqu'en 1753. tems auquel je
reçus le supplément ou deuxiéme partie des écrits de M. Franklin, où
j'en trouvai la réussite avant de l'avoir tentée moi-même.»

«Ayant aussitôt fait armer, suivant la méthode de Mr. Franklin, une
grande cucurbite de verre, je la joignis à un gros matras aussi préparé
pour l'expérience de Leyde; je mis ensuite une de mes aiguilles, dont
j'avois ôté la chape, entre deux lames de verre, l'une plus longue &
l'autre plus courte, afin que les deux bouts de l'aiguille débordassent
cette dernière: pour affermir ces trois piéces, je les mis dans une
petite presse faite exprès & disposée de façon que l'aiguille touchât
par l'un de ses bouts une feüille de métal sur laquelle étoient posés
les deux vases: ayant ensuite chargé ces deux vases ensemble, & achevé
le cercle par le moyen

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 2 of 2] With his Most Interesting Essays, Letters, and Miscellaneous Writings; Familiar, Moral, Political, Economical, and Philosophical, Selected with Care from All His Published Productions, and Comprising Whatever Is Most Entertaining and Valuable to the General Reader

Page 48
That the world does so, is visible by the derision with which his name is treated whenever it is mentioned.
Page 53
They meet, perhaps, under the spacious shelter of a mushroom, and the dying sage addresses himself to them after the following manner: "Friends and fellow-citizens! I perceive the longest life must, however, end: the period of mine is now at hand; neither do I repine at my fate, since my great age has become a burden to me, and there is nothing new to me under the sun: the changes and revolutions I have seen in my country, the manifold private misfortunes to which we are all liable, the fatal diseases incident to our race, have abundantly taught me this lesson, that no happiness can be secure and lasting which is placed in things that are out of our power.
Page 71
Are we farmers the only people to be grudged the profits of our honest labour? And why? One of the late scribblers against us gives a bill of fare of the provisions at my daughter's wedding, and proclaims to all the world that we had the insolence to eat beef and pudding! Has he not read the precept in the good book, _thou shall not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn_; or does he think us less worthy of good living than our oxen? Oh, but the manufacturers! the manufacturers! they are to be favoured, and they must have bread at a cheap rate! Hark ye, Mr.
Page 75
He has nothing for it but to abdicate, and run from an evil which he can neither prevent nor mollify.
Page 80
They are both addressed to the judges, but written, as you will see, in a very different spirit.
Page 82
May not one be the deficiency of justice and morality in our national government, manifested in our oppressive conduct to subjects, and unjust wars on our neighbours? View the long-persisted-in, unjust, monopolizing treatment of Ireland, at length acknowledged! View the plundering government exercised by our merchants in the Indies; the confiscating war made upon the American colonies; and, to say nothing of those upon France and Spain, view the late war upon Holland, which was seen by impartial Europe in no other light than that of a war of rapine and pillage; the hopes of an immense and easy prey being its only apparent,.
Page 98
I am glad you have resolved to visit sister Dowse oftener; it will be a great comfort to her to find she is not neglected by you, and your example may, perhaps, be followed by some other of her relations.
Page 115
I only wonder how it happened that they and my other friends in England came to be such good creatures in the midst of so perverse a generation.
Page 118
_ "Philadelphia, July 5, 1775.
Page 121
Heathcoat; for, though I have not the honour of knowing them, yet as you say they are friends to the American cause, I am sure they must be women of good understanding.
Page 125
We only tell you that you can have no treaty with us but as an independent state; and you may please yourselves.
Page 135
"Our new American society will be happy in the correspondence you mention; and when it is possible for me, I shall be glad to attend the meetings of your society,[24] which I am sure must be very instructive.
Page 145
_ "Passy, July 17, 1784.
Page 149
You mention your being in your 78th year: I am in my 79th; we are grown old together.
Page 182
Does not the apparent wreck of the surface of this globe, thrown up into long ridges of mountains, with strata in various positions, make it probable that its internal mass is a fluid, but a fluid so dense as to float the heaviest of.
Page 183
Page 187
This effort in some earthquakes, he observes, is so vehement, that it splits and tears the earth, making cracks and chasms in it some miles in length, which open at the instant of the shock, and close again in the intervals between them; nay, it is sometimes so violent that it forces the superincumbent strata, breaks them all throughout, and thereby perfectly undermines and ruins the foundation of them; so that, these failing, the whole tract, as soon as the shock is over, sinks down into the abyss, and is swallowed up by it, the water thereof immediately rising up and forming a lake in the place where the said tract before was.
Page 207
I find also in the _Transactions_, that M.
Page 233
John Pringle.
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Between the deepest and shallowest it appears to be somewhat more than one fifth.