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

Page 137

offended the Abbe 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 said it must
have been fabricated by his enemies at Paris, to oppose his system.
Afterward, having been assured that there really existed such a person
as Franklin at Philadelphia (which he had doubted), he wrote and
published a volume of letters, chiefly addressed to me, defending his
theory, and denying the verity of my experiments, and of the positions
deduced from them. I once purposed answering the abbe, and actually
began the answer; but, on consideration that my writings contained a
description of experiments which any one might repeat and verify, and,
if not to be verified, could not be defended; or of observations offered
as _conjectures_, and not delivered dogmatically, therefore not laying
me under any obligation to defend them; and reflecting that a dispute
between two persons, written in different languages, might be lengthened
greatly by mistranslations, and thence misconceptions of another's
meaning, much of one of the abbe's letters being founded on an error in
the translation, I concluded to let my papers shift for themselves,
believing it was better to spend what time I could spare from public
business in making new experiments than in disputing about those already
made. I therefore never answered Monsieur Nollet, and the event gave me
no cause to repent my silence; for my friend, Monsieur Le Roy, of the
Royal Academy of Sciences, took up my cause and refuted him: my book was
translated into the Italian, German, and Latin languages; and the
doctrine it contained was, by degrees, generally adopted by the
philosophers of Europe, in preference to that of the abbe; so that he
lived to see himself the last of his sect, except Monsieur B----, of
Paris, his _eleve_ and immediate disciple.

What gave my book the more sudden and general celebrity, was the success
of one of its proposed experiments, made by Messieurs Dalibard and
Delor, at Marly, for drawing lightning from the clouds. This engaged the
public attention everywhere. Monsieur Delor, who had an apparatus for
experimental philosophy, and lectured in that branch of science,
undertook to repeat what he called the _Philadelphia experiments_; and
after they were performed before the king and court, all the curious of
Paris flocked to see them. I will not swell this narrative with an
account of that capital experiment, nor of the infinite pleasure I
received in the success of

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 2 [of 3]

Page 0
)] PRINTED, for Longman, Hurst, Rees, & Orme, Paternoster Row, London.
Page 4
116 On the theory of the earth 117 New and curious theory of light and heat 122 Queries and conjectures relating to magnetism and the theory of the earth 125 On the nature of sea coal 125 Effect of vegetation on noxious air 129 On the inflammability of the surface of certain rivers in America 130 On the different quantities of rain which fall at different heights over the same ground 133 Slowly sensible hygrometer proposed, for certain purposes 135 Curious instance of the effect of oil on water 142 Letters on the stilling of waves by means of oil .
Page 24
The whirlwind at Warrington continued long in Acrement-Close.
Page 37
The phenomenon of retiring and advancing, I think may be accounted for, by supposing the progressive motion to exceed or not equal the consumption of the vapour by condensation.
Page 54
The air, being eight hundred times rarer than water, is unable to support it but in the shape of vapour, a state in which its particles are separated.
Page 79
I could not go without taking leave of you by a line at least, when I am so many letters in your debt.
Page 90
The original movement of the parts towards their common centre would naturally form a whirl there; which would continue upon the turning of the new-formed globe upon its axis, and the greatest diameter of the shell would be in its equator.
Page 106
1, 1762.
Page 153
| | | | |Oct 29, 1776 | | Nov | | | | | | | | | | | | 1| 10 | | | 78 |WSW | E½N | 109 |No ob|68 12| | | --| | 4 | 71 | 81 | | | | | | | | 2| 8 | | 71 | 75 | N | | | | |Some sparks in | | --| 12 | | | 78 | | | 141 |ditto|65 23|the water these| | --| | 4 | 67 | 76 | | | | | |two last nights| | 3| 8 | | | 76 | NW | ESE½E| | | | | | --| 12 | | | 76 | | EbS | 160 |37 0|62 7| .
Page 181
Take any clear glass bottle (a Florence flask stript of the straw is best) place it before the fire, and as the air within is warmed and rarefied, part of it will be driven out of the bottle; turn it up, place its mouth in a vessel of water, and remove it from the fire; then, as the air within cools and contracts, you will see the water rise in the neck of the bottle, supplying the place of just so much air as was driven out.
Page 217
This seems to have been contrived on a supposition, that the entry of the wind would thereby be obstructed, and perhaps it might have been imagined, that the whole force of the rising warm air being condensed, as it were, in the narrow opening, would thereby be strengthened, so as to overcome the resistance of the wind.
Page 235
G, figure 11, is a drawer of plate iron, that slips in between in the partitions 2 and 3, figure 2, to receive the falling ashes.
Page 246
The round figure of the fire when thoroughly kindled is agreeable, it represents the great giver of warmth to our system.
Page 254
_ _Published as the Act directs, April 1, 1806, by Longman, Hurst, Rees & Orme, Paternoster Row.
Page 292
The exercises of good reading, and proper speaking, still continued at suitable times.
Page 304
One of the effects of their conquest furnishes us with a strong proof, how prevalent manners are even beyond quantity of subsistence; for, when the custom of bestowing on the citizens of Rome corn enough to support themselves and families was become established, and Egypt and Sicily produced the grain, that fed the inhabitants of Italy, this became less populous every day, and the _jus trium liberorum_ was but an expedient, that could not balance the want of industry and frugality.
Page 316
[§ 7.
Page 330
_Editor.
Page 368
_Fuel_, scarce in Philadelphia, ii.
Page 371
mahogany recommended for forming one, 141.