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 128

your ministers desire it, is to propose openly to
the Congress fair and equal terms; and you may possibly come sooner to
such a resolution, when you find that personal flatteries, general
cajolings, and panegyrics on our _virtue_ and _wisdom_ are not likely to
have the effect you seem to expect; the persuading us to act _basely_
and _foolishly_ in betraying our country and posterity into the hands
of our most bitter enemies; giving up or selling of our arms and
warlike stores, dismissing our ships of war and troops, and putting
those enemies in possession of our forts and ports. This proposition of
delivering ourselves, bound and gagged, ready for hanging, without even
a right to complain, and without even a friend to be found afterward
among all mankind, you would have us embrace on the faith of an act of
Parliament! Good God! an act of your Parliament! This demonstrates that
you do not yet know us, and that you fancy we do not know you: but it is
not merely this flimsy faith that we are to act upon; you offer us
_hope_, the hope of PLACES, PENSIONS, and PEERAGE. These, judging from
yourselves, you think are motives irresistible. This offer to corrupt
us, sir, is with me your credential, and convinces me that you are not a
private volunteer in your application. It bears the stamp of British
court intrigue, and the signature of your king. But think for a moment
in what light it must be viewed in America. By places which cannot come
among us, for you take care by a special article to keep them to
yourselves. We must then pay the salaries in order to enrich ourselves
with these places. But you will give us PENSIONS; probably to be paid,
too, out of your expected American revenue; and which none of us can
accept without deserving, and, perhaps, obtaining a _suspension_.
PEERAGES! Alas! sir, our long observation of the vast servile majority
of your peers, voting constantly for every measure proposed by a
minister, however weak or wicked, leaves us small respect for them, and
we consider it a sort of tar-and-feathered honour, or a mixture of
foulness and folly; which every man among us who should accept from your
king, would be obliged to renounce or exchange for that conferred by the
mobs of their own country, or wear it with everlasting shame.

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

Page 1
Animals are in an Instant struck breathless, bodies almost impervious by any force yet known, are perforated, and metals fused by it, in a moment.
Page 6
Page 7
Points of wood will do as well as those of iron, provided the wood is not dry; for perfectly dry wood will no more conduct Electricity than sealing wax.
Page 9
We think that ingenious gentleman was deceived, when he imagined (in his _Sequel_) that the electrical fire came down the wire from the cieling to the gun-barrel, thence to the sphere, and so electrised the machine and the man turning the wheel,.
Page 16
Page 18
When it is well charg'd it begins to move; the bullet nearest to a pillar moves towards the thimble on that pillar, and passing by electrifies it and then pushes itself from it; the succeeding bullet, which communicates with the other surface of the glass, more strongly attracts that thimble on account of its being before electrified by the other bullet; and thus the wheel encreases its motion till it comes to such a height as that the resistance of the air regulates it.
Page 24
more speedily and easily deposite their water, having but little electrical fire to repel and keep the particles separate.
Page 26
Give it more fire, and it will give a spark at a greater distance.
Page 33
When you have drawn away one of these angular portions of the fluid, another succeeds in its place, from the nature of fluidity and the mutual repulsion beforementioned; and so the atmosphere continues flowing off at such angle, like a stream, till no more is remaining.
Page 36
Now if the fire of electricity and that of lightening be the same, as I have endeavour'd to show at large in a former paper, this pasteboard tube and these scales may represent electrified clouds.
Page 37
We did not think of its being deprived of sight;.
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 41
Take care in cutting your leaf to leave no little ragged particles on the edges, which sometimes form points where you would not have them.
Page 42
Now let the globe be turned, and you see a spark strike from the bullet to the wire of the bottle, and the same instant you see and feel an exactly equal spark striking from the coating on your knuckle, and so on spark for spark.
Page 43
[Illustration] 33.
Page 46
[12] If the tube be exhausted of air, a non electric lining in contact with the wire is not necessary; for _in vacuo_, the electrical fire will fly freely from the inner surface, without a non-electric conductor: but air resists its motion; for being itself an electric _per se_, it does not attract it, having already its quantity.
Page 47
----And every other appearance I have yet seen, in which glass and electricity are concern'd, are, I think, explain'd with equal ease by the same hypothesis.
Page 48
And as the oil of turpentine being an electric _per se_, would not conduct what came up from the floor, was obliged to jump from the end of one chain, to the end of the other, through the substance of that oil, which we could see in large sparks; and so it had a fair opportunity of seizing some of the finest particles of the oil in its passage, and carrying them off with it: but no such effect followed, nor could I perceive the least difference in the smell of the electrical effluvia thus collected, from what it has when collected otherwise; nor does it otherwise affect the body of a person electrised.
Page 51
All that is after said of the _top_ and _bottom_ of the bottle, is true of the _inside_ and _outside_ surfaces, and should have been so expressed.
Page 52
With Remarks on the Intentional End of Comets, and the Nature and Design of Saturn's Ring.