Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 148

principal was Mr. Kinnersley, an ingenious neighbor, who,
being out of business, I encouraged to undertake showing the experiments
for money, and drew up for him two lectures, in which the experiments
were ranged in such order, and accompanied with such explanations in
such method, as that the foregoing should assist in comprehending the
following. He procured an elegant apparatus for the purpose, in which
all the little machines that I had roughly made for myself were nicely
formed by instrument makers. His lectures were well attended, and gave
great satisfaction; and after some time he went through the colonies,
exhibiting them in every capital town, and picked up some money. In the
West India islands, indeed, it was with difficulty the experiments could
be made, from the general moisture of the air.

Obliged as we were to Mr. Collinson for his present of the tube, etc.,
I thought it right he should be informed of our success in using it,
and wrote him several letters containing accounts of our experiments.
He got them read in the Royal Society, where they were not at first
thought worth so much notice as to be printed in their "Transactions."
One paper, which I wrote for Mr. Kinnersley, on the sameness of
lightning with electricity, I sent to Dr. Mitchel, an acquaintance of
mine, and one of the members also of that society, who wrote me word
that it had been read, but was laughed at by the connoisseurs. The
papers, however, being shown to Dr. Fothergill, he thought them of too
much value to be stifled, and advised the printing of them. Mr.
Collinson then gave them to Cave[184] for publication in his
"Gentleman's Magazine;" but he chose to print them separately in a
pamphlet, and Dr. Fothergill wrote the preface. Cave, it seems, judged
rightly for his profit, for, by the additions that arrived afterward,
they swelled to a quarto volume, which has had five editions, and cost
him nothing for copy money.[185]

It was, however, some time before those papers were much taken notice
of in England. A copy of them happening to fall into the hands of the
Count de Buffon, a philosopher deservedly of great reputation in
France, and, indeed, all over Europe, he prevailed with M.[186]
Dalibard to translate them into French, and they were printed at
Paris. The publication offended the Abbe[187] Nollet, preceptor in
natural philosophy to the royal family and an able experimenter, who
had formed and published a theory of electricity which then had the
general vogue. He could not at first believe that such a work came
from America, and

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Way to Wealth; or, "Poor Richard Improved"

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with Biographical and Interesting Anecdotes 1 6 Watt's Catechism and Prayers, in 1 vol.
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'It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people one-tenth part of their time to be employed in its service: but idleness taxes many of us much more; sloth, by bringing.
Page 3
" What, though you have found no treasure, nor has any rich relation left you a legacy.
Page 4
'But with our industry we must likewise be steady, settled, and careful, and oversee our own affairs with our own eyes, and not trust too much to others: for, as Poor Richard says, "I never saw an oft-removed tree, Nor yet an oft-removed family, That throve so well as those that settled be.
Page 5
" [Illustration: Published by W.
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got together to this sale of fineries and nick-nacks.
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'But what madness it must be to run in debt for these superfluities? We are offered, by the terms of this sale, six months credit; and that, perhaps, has induced some of us to attend it, because we cannot spare the ready money, and hope now to be fine without it.
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Remember, Job suffered, and was afterwards prosperous.
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[Illustration: FINIS.