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 162

had repealed the stamp-act, it
was only upon the principle of expediency. They still insisted upon
their right to tax the colonies; and, at the same time that the
stamp-act was repealed, an act was passed declaring the right of
parliament to bind the colonies in all cases whatever. This language was
used even by most strenuous opposers of the stamp-act, and, among
others, by Mr. Pitt. This right was never recognised by the colonists;
but, as they flattered themselves that it would not be exercised, they
were not very active in remonstrating against it. Had this pretended
right been suffered to remain dormant, the colonists would cheerfully
have furnished their quota of supplies, in the mode to which they had
been accustomed; that is, by acts of their own assemblies, in
consequence of requisitions from the secretary of state. If this
practice had been pursued, such was the disposition of the colonies
towards their mother country, that, notwithstanding the disadvantages
under which they laboured, from restraints upon their trade, calculated
solely for the benefit of the commercial and manufacturing interests of
Great Britain, a separation of the two countries might have been a far
distant event. The Americans, from their earliest infancy, were taught
to venerate a people from whom they were descended; whose language,
laws, and manners were the same as their own. They looked up to them as
models of perfection; and, in their prejudiced minds, the most
enlightened nations of Europe were considered as almost barbarians in
comparison with Englishmen. The name of an Englishman conveyed to an
American the idea of everything good and great. Such sentiments
instilled into them in early life, what but a repetition of unjust
treatment could have induced them to entertain the most distant thought
of separation! The duties on glass, paper, leather, painters' colours,
tea, &c., the disfranchisement of some of the colonies, the obstruction
to the measures of the legislature in others by the king's governors,
the contemptuous treatment of their humble remonstrances, stating their
grievances, and praying a redress of them, and other violent and
oppressive measures, at length excited an ardent spirit of opposition.
Instead of endeavouring to allay this by a more lenient conduct, the
ministry seemed resolutely bent upon reducing the colonies to the most
slavish obedience to their decrees. But this only tended to aggravate.
Vain were all the efforts made use of to prevail upon them to lay aside
their designs, to convince them of the impossibility of carrying them
into effect, and of the mischievous consequences which must ensue from
the continuance of the attempt. They persevered with a degree

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

Page 2
_ whatever quantity of electrical fire is thrown in at top, an equal quantity goes out of the bottom.
Page 4
A bottle so fixt cannot by any means be electrised: the equilibrium is never destroyed: for while the communication between the upper and lower parts of the bottle is continued by the outside wire, the fire only circulates: what is driven out at bottom, is constantly supply'd from the top.
Page 5
Page 8
Page 9
Or rather, _B_ is electrised _plus_; _A_, _minus_.
Page 22
When there is a friction among the parts near its surface, the electrical fire is collected from the parts below.
Page 26
But if two gun-barrels electrified will strike at two inches distance, and make a loud snap, to what a great distance may 10,000 acres of electrified cloud strike and give its fire, and how loud must be that crack! 38.
Page 27
So do the flashes of lightning; the clouds being very irregular bodies.
Page 29
If any one should.
Page 30
And we know that common matter has not.
Page 34
four square inches of that surface retain their atmosphere with four times the force that one square inch retains its atmosphere.
Page 36
Nay, even if the needle be placed upon the floor near the punch, its point upwards, the end of the punch, tho' so much higher than the needle, will not attract the scale and receive its fire, for the needle will get it and convey it away, before it comes nigh enough for the punch to act.
Page 41
Turn its tail towards the prime conductor, and then it flies to your finger, and seems to nibble it.
Page 42
It is true there is an experiment that at first sight would be apt to satisfy a slight observer, that the fire thrown into the bottle by the wire, does really pass thro' the glass.
Page 43
If so, there must be a great quantity in glass, because a great quantity is thus discharged even from very thin glass.
Page 47
If you offer a quantity to one end of a long rod of metal, it receives it, and when it enters, every particle that was before in the rod, pushes its neighbour quite to the further end, where the overplus is discharg'd; and this instantaneously where the rod is part of the circle in the experiment of the shock.
Page 48
Another chain was fix'd to the prime conductor, and held in the hand of a person to be electrised.
Page 50
Hang two cork balls by flaxen threads to the prime conductor; then touch the coating of the bottle, and they will be electrified and recede from each other.
Page 51
contact, line 24.
Page 52
A Treatise of Comets, containing, 1.