Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 2 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 103

I shall endeavour to cultivate it by a
more punctual correspondence; and I hope frequently to hear of your
welfare and prosperity.


* * * * *

_To the same._[13]

[13] Lord Kames had written to Dr. Franklin as early as 1765, when
the first advices reached England of the disorders occasioned by
the attempts to carry the stamp-act into execution; and he had
written a second letter to him on the same subject in the beginning
of 1767. This is a copy of Dr. Franklin's answer to these letters.

London, April 11, 1767.


I received your obliging favour of January the 19th. You have kindly
relieved me from the pain I had long been under. You are goodness
itself. I ought to have answered yours of December 25, 1765. I never
received a letter that contained sentiments more suitable to my own. It
found me under much agitation of mind on the very important subject it
treated. It fortified me greatly in the judgment I was inclined to form
(though contrary to the general vogue) on the then delicate and critical
situation of affairs between Great Britain and the colonies, and on that
weighty point, their _union_. You guessed aright in supposing that I
would not be a _mute in that play_. I was extremely busy, attending
members of both houses, informing, explaining, consulting, disputing, in
a continual hurry from morning to night, till the affair was happily
ended. During the course of its being called before the House of Commons
I spoke my mind pretty freely. Enclosed I send you the imperfect account
that was taken of that examination; you will there see how

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

Page 0
He was only apprized of the step that had been thus taken, while the first sheets were in the press, and time enough for him to transmit some farther remarks, together with a few corrections and additions, which are placed at the end, and may be consulted in the perusal.
Page 3
The fire takes the shortest course, as Mr _Watson_ justly observes: But it does not appear, from experiment, that, in order for a person to be shocked, a communication with the floor is necessary; for he that holds the bottle with one hand, and touches the wire with the other, will be shock'd as much, though his shoes be dry, or even standing on wax, as otherwise.
Page 10
--We light candles, just blown out, by drawing a spark among the smoke between the wire and snuffers.
Page 11
The phial will be electrified as strongly, if held by the hook, and the coating apply'd to the globe or tube; as when held by the coating, and the hook apply'd.
Page 21
Page 22
Thus the whirling glass globe, during its friction against the cushion, draws fire from the cushion, the cushion is supplied from the frame of the machine, that from the floor on which it stands.
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
Page 28
Such are therefore easily and often fired.
Page 29
If it happens to bring you nothing new (which may well be, considering the number of ingenious men in _Europe_, continually engaged in the same researches) at least it will show, that the instruments, put into our hands, are not neglected; and, that if no valuable discoveries are made by us, whatever the cause may be, it is not want of industry and application.
Page 30
Electrical matter differs from common matter in this, that the parts of the latter mutually attract, those of the former mutually repel, each other.
Page 34
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 37
Lightning has often been known to strike people blind.
Page 39
We once took two pieces of thick looking-glass, as broad as a Gunter's scale, and 6 inches long; and placing leaf gold between them, put them betwixt two smoothly plain'd pieces of wood, and fix'd them tight in a book-binder's small press; yet though they were so closely confined, the force of the electrical shock shivered the glass into many pieces.
Page 43
But when this is done, there is no more in the glass, nor less than before, just as much having left it on one side as it received on the other.
Page 47
Thus I take the difference between non electrics and glass, an electric _per se_, to consist in these two particulars.
Page 48
For though the effluvia of cinnamon, and the electrical fluid should mix within the globe, they would never come out together through the pores of the glass, and so go to the prime conductor; for the electrical fluid itself cannot come through; and the prime conductor is always supply'd from the cushion, and that from the floor.
Page 49
I shall only add, that as it has been observed here that spirits will fire by the electrical spark in the summer time, without heating them, when _Fahrenheit_'s thermometer is above 70; so, when colder, if the operator puts a small flat bottle of spirits in his bosom, or a close pocket, with the spoon, some little time before he uses them, the heat of his body will communicate warmth more than sufficient for the purpose.
Page 53
Illustrated also by a Copper-Plate.