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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 153

pendant que j'étois à
Boston dans la nouvelle Angleterre, & depuis ce tems-là j'ai été si
occupé de mes voyages en différens endroits & des affaires publiques,
que je suis extrêmement en arrière avec mes correspondans.

Je vous envoyai l'année dernière un manuscrit qui contient quelques
nouvelles expériences & des observations sur la foudre; je ne sçai si
vous l'avez reçu, mais il a été imprimé depuis à Londres, & j'imagine
que notre bon ami M. Collinson vous en aura envoyé une copie.

Je vous remercie de la bonté que vous avez euë de m'envoyer les quatre
volumes de l'histoire naturelle de M. de Buffon, les cartes, &c.

Vous me demandez mon sentiment sur le livre Italien du P. Beccaria. Je
l'ai lû avec beaucoup de plaisir, & je le regarde comme un des meilleurs
ouvrages que j'aie vûs dans aucune langue sur cette matière; cependant
je ne suis pas pour le présent de son sentiment sur l'article des
jets-d'eau; néanmoins je conviendrai avec vous qu'il l'a traité avec
beaucoup de finesse. Il y a quelque tems que j'ai écrit fort au long à
M. Collinson ce que je pensois des tourbillons & des jets-d'eau; je ne
sçai si on le publiera; en cas qu'on ne le fasse pas, je le ferai
transcrire pour vous.

Je ne vois pas que le P. Beccaria doute de l'imperméabilité absoluë du
verre, dans le sens que je l'entens; car les exemples qu'il rapporte de
trous faits au verre par le coup électrique, sont les mêmes que nous
connoissons tous; il prouve seulement que le fluide électrique n'y
passeroit pas sans le trou qu'il y fait. Nous disons de même que l'eau
ne peut pas passer au travers du verre, & cependant le jet-d'eau d'une
pompe percera les carreaux de vitre les plus épais.

Pour ce qui regarde l'effet des pointes, de tirer la matière électrique
des nuages & de préserver de cette forte les bâtimens, &c. effet dont
vous me dites qu'il semble douter, je vous avouërai que je crois que
c'est modestie & prudence de sa part. Je trouve qu'on ne m'a pas entendu
tout à fait sur ce sujet. J'en ai parlé dans plusieurs de mes lettres &
toujours, excepté une seule fois, _avec une alternative_, c'est-à-dire
que les verges pointuës élevées sur les bâtimens, & qui communiquent
avec la terre humide empêcheroient le coup de foudre, ou que si elles ne
le faisoient pas, elles le conduiroient de manière que le bâtiment n'en
seroit pas endommagé. Malgré cela quand on éxamine mon opinion en
Europe, on ne fait attention qu'à la probabilité que ces verges
préviennent un

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 1 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 12
My father determined at last for the cutlers' trade, and placed me for some days on trial with Samuel, son to my uncle Benjamin, who was bred to that trade in London, and had just established himself in Boston.
Page 17
My brother had, in 1720 or 21, began to print a newspaper.
Page 30
I thanked her for her kind advice, and promised to follow it.
Page 45
We sailed from Gravesend on the 23d of July, 1726.
Page 73
For the furtherance of human happiness, I have always maintained that it is necessary to prove that man is not even at present a vicious and detestable animal; and still more to prove that good management may greatly amend him; and it is for much the same reason that I am anxious to see the opinion established, that there are fair characters among the individuals of the race; for the moment that all men, without exception, shall be conceived abandoned, good people will cease .
Page 78
Though I seldom attended any public worship, I had still an opinion of its propriety and of its utility when rightly conducted, and I regularly paid my annual subscription for the support of the only Presbyterian minister or meeting we had in Philadelphia.
Page 83
And like him who, having a garden to weed, does not attempt to eradicate all the bad herbs at once (which would exceed his reach and his strength), but works on one of the beds at a time, and having accomplished the first, proceeds to a second, so I should have (I hoped) the encouraging pleasure of seeing on my pages the progress made in virtue, by clearing successively my lines of their spots, till, in the end, by a number of courses, I should be happy in viewing a clean book, after a thirteen week's daily examination.
Page 108
I would not, however, insinuate that my ambition was not flattered by all these promotions: it certainly was; for, considering my low beginning, they were great things to me: and they were still more pleasing, as being so many spontaneous testimonies of the public good opinion, and by me entirely unsolicited.
Page 113
I have sometimes wondered that the Londoners did not, from the effect holes in the bottom of the globe-lamps used at Vauxhall have in keeping them clean, learn to have such holes in their street-lamps.
Page 123
Green Tea, 1 do.
Page 150
We give him the honour of this without hesitation, although the English have claimed it for their countryman, Dr.
Page 153
Grey, while the science was in its infancy.
Page 167
Franklin had enjoyed an almost uninterrupted state of good health, and this he entirely attributed to his exemplary temperance.
Page 174
The maxims which his discerning mind has formed apply to innumerable cases and characters.
Page 181
It was a present to me from that excellent woman Madame de Forbach, the Dowager Duchess of Deux Ponts, connected with some verses which should go with it.
Page 189
_ How can the commerce be affected? _A.
Page 201
He is said to have been an exceeding good man, considering his education, being naturally of a most kind, benevolent temper.
Page 205
These sentiments, therefore, influenced the manners of all ranks of people, even the meanest; for we find, that when Ulysses came as a poor stranger to the hut of Eumaeus the swineherd, and his great dogs ran out to tear the ragged man, Eumaeus drove them away with stones; and "'Unhappy stranger!' (thus the faithful swain Began, with accent gracious and humane), 'What sorrow had been mine, if at _my_ gate, Thy reverend age had met a shameless fate! But enter this my homely roof, and see Our woods not void of hospitality.
Page 210
Their relations and friends, transported with sudden rage, ran to the house of Cudjoe to take revenge by killing Murray.
Page 219
[21] When this army was in the utmost distress from the want of wagons, &c.