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 63

written with the intention expressed in the beginning;
and, getting abroad, it excited great interest on account of its
simplicity and candour; and induced many applications for a continuance.
What follows was written many years after, in compliance with the advice
contained in the letters that follow, and has, therefore, less of a
family picture and more of a public character. The American revolution
occasioned the interruption.]


[1] Dr. Shipley.

[2] Perhaps from the time when the name of FRANKLIN, which before was
the name of an order of people, was assumed by them for a _surname_,
when others took surnames all over the kingdom.

As a proof that Franklin was anciently the common name of an order or
rank in England, see Judge Fortescue, _De laudibus Legum Angliae_,
written about the year 1412, in which is the following passage, to show
that good juries might easily be formed in any part of England:

"Regio etiam illa, ita respersa refertaque est _possessoribus terrarum_
et agrorum, quod in ea, villula tam parva reperiri non poterit, in qua
non est _miles_, _armiger_, vel pater-familias, qualis ibidem
_Frankleri_ vulgariter nuncupatur, magnis ditatus possessionibus, nec
non libere tenentes et alii _valecti_ plurimi, suis patrimoniis
sufficientes, ad faciendum juratam, in forma praenotata.

"Moreover, the same country is so filled and replenished with landed
menne, that therein so small a thorpe cannot be found wherein dweleth
not a knight, an esquire, or such a householder as is there commonly
called a _Franklin_, enriched with great possessions; and also other
freeholders and many yeomen, able for their livelihoodes to make a jury
in form aforementioned."--_Old Translation._

Chaucer, too, calls his country-gentleman a _Franklin_; and after
describing his good housekeeping, thus characterizes him:

"This worthy Franklin bore a purse of silk
Fix'd to his girdle, white as morning milk;
Knight of the shire, first justice at th' assize,
To help the poor, the doubtful to advise.
In all employments, generous, just he proved,
Renown'd for courtesy, by all beloved."

[3] _Copy of an original letter, found among Dr. Franklin's papers, from
Josiah to B. Franklin._

Boston, May 26, 1739.

LOVING SON,--As to the original of our name there is various

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

Page 2
As no more electrical fire can be thrown into the top of the bottle, when all is driven out of the bottom, so in a bottle not yet electrised, none can be thrown into the top, when none _can_ get out at the bottom; which happens either when the bottom is too thick, or when the bottle is placed on an electric _per se_.
Page 5
The fire in this experiment passes out of the wire into him; and at the same time out of your hand into the bottom of the bottle.
Page 7
The repellency between the cork-ball and the shot is likewise destroy'd; 1.
Page 11
FRANKLIN, in _Philadelphia_.
Page 13
So a strait spring (tho' the comparison does not agree in every particular) when forcibly bent, must, to restore itself, contract that side which in the bending was extended, and extend that which was contracted; if either of these two operations be hindered, the other cannot be done.
Page 19
A thin glass bubble, about an inch diameter, weighing only six grains, being half-filled with water, partly gilt on the outside, and furnish'd with a wire hook, gives, when electrified, as great a shock as a man can well bear.
Page 25
Hence the sudden fall of rain immediately after flashes of lightning.
Page 30
And that those called electrics _per se_, as glass, &c.
Page 31
When the quantity of electrical fluid taken from a piece of common matter is restored again, it enters, the expanded triangles being again compressed till there is room for the whole.
Page 36
If a tube of only 10 feet long will strike and discharge its fire on the punch at two or three inches distance, an electrified cloud of perhaps 10,000 acres, may strike and discharge on the earth at a proportionably greater distance.
Page 37
Page 41
For if you take it by the tail, and hold it at a foot or greater horizontal distance from the prime conductor, it will, when let go, fly to it with a brisk but wavering motion, like that of an eel through the water; it will then take place under the prime conductor, at perhaps a quarter or half an inch distance, and keep a continual shaking of its tail like a fish, so that it seems animated.
Page 42
I know it is commonly thought that it easily pervades glass, and the experiment of a feather suspended by a thread in a bottle hermetically sealed, yet moved by bringing a nibbed tube near the outside of the bottle, is alledged to prove it.
Page 43
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Page 46
Put a wire into the tube, the inward end in contact with the non-electric lining, so it will represent the _Leyden_ bottle.
Page 48
And besides, when the globe is filled with cinnamon, or other non-electric, no electrical fluid can be obtain'd from its outer surface, for the reason before-mentioned.
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.
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