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

By Benjamin Franklin

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intention of making them was warm in my mind. 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. But the sum
he exacted as a fee for my apprenticeship displeased my father, and I
was taken home again. From my infancy I was passionately fond of
reading, and all the money that came into my hands was laid out in the
purchasing of books. I was very fond of voyages. My first acquisition
was _Bunyan's_ works in separate little volumes. I afterward sold them
to enable me to buy _R. Burton's Historical Collections_; they were
small chapmen's books, and cheap, 40 volumes in all. My father's little
library consisted chiefly of books in polemic divinity, most of which I
read. I have often regretted that, at a time when I had such a thirst
for knowledge, more proper books had not fallen into my way, since it
was resolved I should not be bred to divinity; there was among them
Plutarch's Lives, which I read abundantly, and I still think that time
spent to great advantage. There was also a book of _De Foe's_, called an
_Essay on Projects_, and another of _Dr. Mather's_, called an _Essay to
do good_, which perhaps gave me a turn of thinking that had an
influence on some of the principal future events of my life.

This bookish inclination at length determined my father to make me a
printer, though he had already one son (James) of that profession. In
1717 my brother James returned from England with a press and letters to
set up his business in Boston. I liked it much better than that of my
father, but still had a hankering for the sea. To prevent the
apprehended effect of such an inclination, my father was impatient to
have me bound to my brother. I stood out some time, but at last was
persuaded, and signed the indentures when I was yet but twelve years
old. I was to serve as an apprentice till I was twenty-one years of age,
only I was to be allowed journeyman's wages during the last year. In a
little time I made a great progress in the business, and became a useful
hand to my brother. I had now access to better books. An acquaintance
with the apprentices of booksellers enabled me sometimes to borrow a
small one, which I was careful to return soon and clean. Often

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Text Comparison with Experiments and Observations on Electricity Made at Philadelphia in America

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* * * * * EXPERIMENTS AND OBSERVATIONS ON ELECTRICITY, MADE AT _Philadelphia_ in _America_, BY Mr.
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1.
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EXPERIMENT II.
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The room should be darkened.
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'Tis true, the sphere does not turn so swift, as when the great wheel is used: but swiftness we think of little importance, since a few turns will charge the phial, _&c.
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Then apply the giving wire to the shot, and give the spark it wanted, so will the cork return: Give it another, which will be an addition to its natural.
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15.
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As electrified clouds pass over a country, high hills and high trees, lofty towers, spires, masts of ships, chimneys, _&c.
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Sulphureous and inflammable vapours arising from the earth, are easily kindled by lightning.
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If the source of lightning, assigned in this paper, be the true one, there should be little thunder heard at sea far from land.
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12.
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Bring A into contact with B, and half the electrical fluid is communicated, so that each has now an electrical atmosphere, and therefore they repel each other.
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That is, as the pointed part of an electrified body will discharge the atmosphere of that body, or communicate it farthest to another body, so the point of an unelectrified body, will draw off the electrical atmosphere from an electrified body, farther than a blunter part of the same unelectrified body will do.
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Place one of these strips between two strips of smooth glass that are about the width of your finger.
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it, from a large electrified jar or sheet of glass.
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Were these two points perfectly equal in acuteness, the leaf would take place exactly in the middle space, for its Weight is a trifle, compared to the power acting on it: But it is generally nearest the unelectrified plate, because, when the leaf is offered to the electrified plate at a distance, the sharpest point is commonly first affected and raised towards it; so that point, from its greater acuteness, receiving the fluid faster than its opposite can discharge it at equal distances, it retires from the electrified plate, and draws nearer to the unelectrified plate, till it comes to a distance where the discharge can be exactly equal to the receipt, the latter being lessened, and the former encreased; and there it remains as long as the globe continues to supply fresh electrical matter.
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When the glass has received and, by its attraction, forced closer together so much of this electrified fluid, as that the power of attracting and condensing in the one, is equal to the power of expansion in the other, it can imbibe no more, and that remains its constant whole quantity; but each surface would receive more, if the repellency of what is in the opposite surface did not resist its entrance.
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[10] But if the inside of the globe be lined with a non-electric, the additional repellency of the electrical fluid, thus collected by friction on the rubb'd part of the globe's outer surface, drives an equal quantity out of the inner surface into that non-electric lining, which receiving it, and carrying it away from the rubb'd part into the common mass, through the axis of the globe and frame of the machine, the new collected electrical fluid can enter and remain in the outer surface, and none of it (or a very little) will be received by the prime conductor.
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stitch'd, or 2s.
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When the prime conductor is apply'd to take it off the glass, the back crescent disappears.