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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 154

coup ou une explosion; ce n'est qu'une partie de l'usage
que je proposois de faire de ces verges; quoique l'autre partie soit
d'une importance & d'une utilité égales, puisqu'elle consiste à conduire
un coup qu'elles n'auroient pas réussi à prévenir, il semble qu'on l'ait
totalement oubliée.

Je serai fort aise de connoître les expériences de M. le Roy sur
l'électricité positive & négative, quand vous pourrez me les
communiquer.

Je vous remercie de m'avoir fait part de la relation que M. de Buffon
vous a donnée d'un effet de la foudre tombée à Dijon le 7. de Juin
dernier; en revanche permettez-moi de vous parler d'un événement de la
même sorte que j'ai vû dernièrement. Étant dans la Ville de Newbury dans
la nouvelle Angleterre en Novembre dernier, on me montra l'effet de la
foudre sur l'Église qui en avoit été frappée peu de mois auparavant.

Le clocher étoit une tour quarrée de bois élevée de 70. pieds depuis le
sol jusqu'à l'endroit où la cloche étoit suspenduë; au-dessus s'élevoit
une pyramide aussi de bois, haute de plus de 70. pieds jusqu'à la
girouette ou au coq. Près de la cloche étoit attaché un marteau de fer
pour frapper les heures; du bout du manche descendoit un fil-d'archal
par un petit trou de foret dans le plancher au-dessus duquel étoit la
cloche, & de même au travers d'un second plancher; sous le plat-fond en
plâtre de ce second plancher, & très-près couloit horizontalement le
fil-d'archal jusqu'auprès d'une muraille de plâtre, le long de laquelle
il descendoit à l'horloge, qui étoit 20. pieds au-dessous de la cloche.
Ce fil-d'archal n'étoit pas plus gros qu'un lacet ordinaire.

La pyramide fut toute mise en piéces par la foudre, & les éclats en
furent poussés de tous les côtés sur la place où l'Église étoit bâtie,
ensorte qu'il ne resta rien au-dessus de la cloche. La foudre passa
entre le marteau & l'horloge dans ce fil-d'archal sans offenser les
planchers, sans y produire aucun effet, si ce n'est d'agrandir un peu
les trous de foret, sans endommager la muraille de plâtre ni aucune
partie du bâtiment jusqu'à l'extrémité de ce fil-d'archal & de celui du
pendule de l'horloge, ce dernier étoit de la grosseur d'une plume d'oye.
Depuis l'extrémité du pendule jusqu'à la terre le bâtiment étoit fendu &
excessivement endommagé; des pierres avoient été arrachées des fondemens
& jettées es à la distance de 20. ou 30. pieds. L'on ne pût retrouver
aucune partie du petit fil-d'archal en question entre l'horloge & le
marteau, si ce n'est environ deux pouces qui pendoient au manche du
marteau, & environ autant qui étoit

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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 13
However, let us hearken to good advice, and something may be done for us: _God helps them that help themselves_, as Poor Richard says.
Page 14
_Industry need not wish, and he that lives upon hopes will die fasting_.
Page 35
This is the order of nature, to prevent animals being infected by their own perspiration.
Page 42
_ When I met with a man of pleasure, sacrificing every laudable improvement of the mind or of his fortune to mere corporeal sensations, and ruining his health in their pursuit, _Mistaken man_, said I, _you are providing pain for yourself instead of pleasure; you give too much for your whistle.
Page 51
Hence they are continually discontented themselves, and by their remarks sour the pleasures of society, offend personally many people, and make themselves everywhere disagreeable.
Page 83
The booty being shared, he has now an agent here inquiring, by an advertisement in the Gazette, for those who have suffered the loss, in order to make them, as far as in him lies, restitution.
Page 87
Besides this, it happened frequently that when I came home at one, the dinner was but just put in.
Page 101
When any point occurs in which you would be glad to have farther information than your book affords you, I beg you would not in the least apprehend that I should think it a trouble to receive and answer your questions.
Page 121
And, let me tell you, if you do not get into temper, neither Brussels nor Lisle will suit you.
Page 134
Your observation of the similitude between many of the words and those of the ancient world, are indeed very curious.
Page 144
I do not wish to see a new Barbary rising in America, and our long-extended coast occupied by piratical states.
Page 156
I leave you still in the field, but, having finished my day's task, I am going home _to go to bed_.
Page 170
"DEAR FRIEND, "Having now done with public affairs, which have hitherto taken up so much of my time, I shall endeavour to enjoy, during the small remainder of life that is left to me, some of the pleasures of conversing with my old friends by writing, since their distance prevents my hope of seeing them again.
Page 179
But we are still subject to the accidents on the surface, which are occasioned by a wave in the internal ponderous fluid; and such a wave is producible by the sudden violent explosion you mention, happening from the junction of water and fire under the earth, which not only lifts the incumbent earth that is over the explosion, but, impressing with the same force the fluid under it, creates a wave that may run a thousand leagues, lifting, and thereby shaking, successively, all the countries under which it passes.
Page 201
Thus very salt water, coming in contact with fresh, communicates its saltness till all is equal, and the sooner if there is a little motion of the water.
Page 203
Hadley, in the Philadelphia Transactions, wherein this hypothesis of explaining the tradewinds first appeared.
Page 206
But if there really is a vacuum in the centre, or near the axis of whirlwinds, then, I think, water may rise in such vacuum to that height, or to a less height, as the vacuum may be less perfect.
Page 217
This puzzled me, because the storm began with us so soon as to prevent any observation; and being a northeast storm, I imagined it must have begun rather sooner in places farther to the northeastward than it did at Philadelphia.
Page 231
In the green timber intended for shipbuilding at the king's yard in that country, a kind of worms was found, which every year became more numerous and more pernicious, so that the ships were greatly damaged before they came into use.
Page 234
As I did not recollect to have met with any mention of this matter in our philosophical books, and conceiving that if the difference should really be great, it might be an object of consideration in the many projects now on foot for digging new navigable canals in this island, I lately put my design of making the experiment in execution in the following manner.