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 190

have already struck-off, by general agreement, the use of all goods
fashionable in mournings, and many thousand pounds worth are sent back
as unsaleable.

_Q._ Is it their interest to make cloth at home?

_A._ I think they may at present get it cheaper from Britain, I mean of
the same fineness and neatness of workmanship; but when one considers
other circumstances, the restraints on their trade, and the difficulty
of making remittances, it is their interest to make everything.

_Q._ Suppose an act of internal regulations connected with a tax, how
would they receive it?

_A._ I think it would be objected to.

_Q._ Then no regulation with a tax would be submitted to?

_A._ Their opinion is, that when aids to the crown are wanted, they are
to be asked of the several assemblies, according to the old established
usage; who will, as they always have done, grant them freely. And that
their money ought not to be given away without their consent, by persons
at a distance, unacquainted with their circumstances and abilities. The
granting aids to the crown is the only means they have of recommending
themselves to their sovereign; and they think it extremely hard and
unjust that a body of men, in which they have no representatives, should
make a merit to itself of giving and granting what is not their own, but
theirs; and deprive them of a right they esteem of the utmost
importance, as it is the security of all their other rights.

_Q._ But is not the postoffice, which they have long received, a tax as
well as a regulation?

_A._ No; the money paid for the postage of a letter is not of the nature
of a tax; it is merely a _quantum meruit_ for a service done: no person
is compellable to pay the money if he does not choose to receive the
service. A man may still, as before the act, send his letter by a
servant, a special messenger, or a friend, if he thinks it cheaper and

_Q._ But do they not consider the regulations of the postoffice, by the
act of last year, as a tax?

_A._ By the regulations of last year, the rate of postage was generally
abated near thirty per cent. through all America; they certainly cannot
consider such abatement _as a tax_.

_Q._ If an excise was laid by Parliament, which they might likewise
avoid paying by not consuming the articles excised, would they then not
object to it?

_A._ They would certainly object to it, as an excise is unconnected with
any service done, and is merely an

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

Page 6
The room should be darkened.
Page 7
By breathing on it.
Page 9
--To electrise _plus_ or _minus_, no more needs to be known than this, that the parts of the tube or sphere that are rubbed, do, in the instant of the friction attract the electrical fire, and therefore take it from the thing rubbing: the same parts immediately, as the friction upon them ceases, are disposed to give the fire they have received, to any body that has less.
Page 11
Page 12
8, 9, 10, 11.
Page 13
But the spring.
Page 15
Then dexterously placing it again between the leaden plates, and compleating a circle between the two surfaces, a violent shock ensued.
Page 22
Page 24
Page 25
Page 26
For the electrical fire is never visible but when in.
Page 29
And a curious observer, who lived 13 years at _Bermudas_, says, there was less thunder there in that whole time than he has sometimes heard in a month at _Carolina_.
Page 34
To understand this, we may consider, that if a person standing on the floor would draw off the electrical atmosphere from an electrified body, an iron crow and a blunt knitting kneedle held alternately in his hand and presented for that purpose, do not draw with different forces in proportion to their different masses.
Page 35
Let a person standing on the floor present the point of a needle at 12 or more inches distance from it, and while the needle is so presented, the conductor cannot be charged, the point drawing off the fire as fast as it is thrown on by the electrical globe.
Page 36
But if a needle be stuck on the end of the punch, its point upwards, the scale, instead of drawing nigh to the punch and snapping, discharges its fire silently through the point, and rises higher from the punch.
Page 37
Lightning has often been known to strike people blind.
Page 43
Page 46
So if a tube lined with a [11]non-electric, be rubb'd, little or no fire is obtained from it.
Page 49
a strong purgative liquid, and then charged the phial, and took repeated shocks from it, in which case every particle of the electrical fluid must, before it went through my body, have first gone through the liquid when the phial is charging, and returned through it when discharging, yet no other effect followed than if it had been charged with water.
Page 50
But if the fire, with which the inside surface is surcharged, be so much precisely as is wanted by the outside surface, it will pass round through the wire fixed to the wax handle, restore the equilibrium in the glass, and make no alteration in the state of the prime conductor.