Experiments and Observations on Electricity Made at Philadelphia in America

By Benjamin Franklin

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doubt, whether the electrical matter passes thro' the
substance of bodies, or only over and along their surfaces, a shock from an
electrified large glass jar, taken thro' his own body, will probably
convince him.

3. Electrical matter differs from common matter in this, that the parts of
the latter mutually attract, those of the former mutually repel, each
other. Hence the appearing divergency in a stream of electrified effluvia.

4. But tho' the particles of electrical matter do repel each other, they
are strongly attracted by all other matter.[7]

5. From these three things, the extreme subtilty of the electrical matter,
the mutual repulsion of its parts, and the strong attraction between them
and other matter, arise this effect, that when a quantity of electrical
matter, is applied to a mass of common matter, of any bigness or length
within our observation (which has not already got its quantity) it is
immediately and equally diffused through the whole.

6. Thus common matter is a kind of spunge to the electrical fluid. And as a
spunge would receive no water, if the parts of water were not smaller than
the pores of the spunge; and even then but slowly, if there were not a
mutual attraction between those parts and the parts of the spunge; and
would still imbibe it faster, if the mutual attraction among the parts of
the water did not impede, some force being required to separate them; and
fastest, if, instead of attraction, there were a mutual repulsion among
those parts, which would act in conjunction with the attraction of the
spunge. So is the case between the electrical and common matter.

7. But in common matter there is (generally) as much of the electrical, as
it will contain within its substance. If more is added, it lies without
upon the surface, and forms what we call an electrical atmosphere: and then
the body is said to be electrified.

8. 'Tis supposed, that all kinds of common matter do not attract and retain
the electrical, with equal strength and force; for reasons to be given
hereafter. And that those called electrics _per se_, as glass, &c. attract
and retain it strongest, and contain the greatest quantity.

9. We know that the electrical fluid is _in_ common matter, because we can
pump it _out_ by the globe or tube. We know that common matter has near as
much as it can contain, because, when we add a little more to any protion
of it, the additional quantity does not enter, but forms an electrical
atmosphere. And we know that common matter has not

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Text Comparison with A Book of Gems Choice selections from the writings of Benjamin Franklin

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106 What We Know is Right 107 What is Campbellism? 156 What must I do to be Saved 317 Where is the Army of the Lord 251 Where is the Power 213 Who Crucified the Savior 195 Whom the Lord Receives 294 Why Infidels Oppose the Bible 423 Wielding the Sword of the Spirit 284 Will You also Go Away 35 Women in the Church 194 Young Preachers Must Be Practical .
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Demonstration is better than theory.
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laws of nature, as well as different from anything they ever do.
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We know not a man because he belongs to this political party, or that; not because he lives on the one side of a geographical line, or the other; not because he holds to this political creed or that; but we know him because he is a child of God, an heir of the same inheritance, and redeemed by the same blood of the Covenant.
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