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 72

often the characteristic.

"Your Quaker correspondent, sir (for here again I will suppose the
subject of my letter to resemble Dr. Franklin), praised your
frugality, diligence, and temperance, which he considered as a
pattern for all youth: but it is singular that he should have
forgotten your modesty and your disinterestedness, without which
you never could have waited for your advancement, or found your
situation in the mean time comfortable; which is a strong lesson to
show the poverty of glory, and the importance of regulating our

"If this correspondent had known the nature of your reputation as
well as I do, he would have said, your former writings and measures
would secure attention to your Biography and Art of Virtue; and
your Biography and Art of Virtue, in return, would secure attention
to them. This is an advantage attendant upon a various character,
and which brings all that belongs to it into greater play; and it
is the more useful, as, perhaps, more persons are at a loss for the
_means_ of improving their minds and characters than they are for
the time or the inclination to do it.

"But there is one concluding reflection, sir, that will show the
use of your life as a mere piece of biography. This style of
writing seems a little gone out of vogue, and yet it is a very
useful one; and your specimen of it may be particularly
serviceable, as it will make a subject of comparison with the lives
of various public cutthroats and intriguers, and with absurd
monastic self-tormentors or vain literary triflers. If it
encourages more writings of the same kind with your own, and
induces more men to spend lives fit to be written, it will be

Last Page Next Page

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

Page 10
Page 13
When a bottle is charged in the common way, its _inside_ and _outside_ surfaces stand ready, the one to give fire by the hook, the other to receive it by the coating; the one is full, and ready to throw out, the other empty and extremely hungry; yet as the first will not _give out_, unless the other can at the same instant _receive in_; so neither will the latter receive in, unless the first can at the same instant give out.
Page 23
Page 25
The electrified particles of the first cloud close when they lose their fire; the particles of the other cloud close in receiving it: in both, they have thereby an opportunity of coalescing into drops.
Page 26
And also how electrical clouds may be carried within land very far from the sea, before they have an opportunity to strike.
Page 27
Hence thunder-gusts after heats, and cool air after gusts; the water and the clouds that bring it, coming from a higher and therefore a cooler region.
Page 30
attract and retain it strongest, and contain the greatest quantity.
Page 35
Attempt to draw off the electricity with a blunt body, as a bolt of iron round at the end and smooth (a silversmith's iron punch, inch-thick, is what I use) and you must bring it within the distance of three inches before you can do it, and then it is done with a stroke and crack.
Page 36
The horizontal motion of the scales over the floor, may represent the motion of the clouds over the earth; and the erect iron punch, a hill or high building; and then we see how electrified clouds passing over hills or high buildings at too great a height to strike, may be attracted lower till within their striking distance.
Page 39
The gold was melted and stain'd into the glass as usual.
Page 40
The corner that happens to be uppermost when the leaf is rising, being a sharp point, from the extream thinness of the gold, draws and receives at a distance a sufficient quantity of the electrical fluid to give itself an electrical atmosphere, by which its progress to the upper plate is stopt, and it begins to be repelled from that plate, and would be driven back to the under plate, but that its lowest corner is likewise a point, and throws off or discharges the overplus of the leaf's atmosphere, as fast as the upper corner draws it on.
Page 43
Page 44
The particles of the electrical fluid have a mutual repellency, but by the power of attraction in the glass they are condensed or forced nearer to each other.
Page 45
But the instant the parts of the glass so open'd and fill'd have pass'd the friction, they close again, and force the additional quantity out upon the surface, where it must rest till that part comes round to the cushion again, unless some non electric (as the prime conductor) first presents to receive it.
Page 47
Hence we see the.
Page 48
Now the globe being turn'd, could draw no fire from the floor through the machine, the communication that way being cut off by the thick glass plate under the cushion: it must then draw it through the chains whose ends were dipt in the oil of turpentine.
Page 51
Page 2, Sect.
Page 52
Page 53
Price 2s.
Page 54
When the prime conductor is apply'd to take it off the glass, the back crescent disappears.