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 201

of a vessel of water,
will dissolve therein, and its parts move every way, till equally
diffused in the water; therefore there is a mutual attraction between
water and salt. Every particle of water assumes as many of salt as can
adhere to it; when more is added, it precipitates, and will not remain

Water, in the same manner, will dissolve in air, every particle of air
assuming one or more particles of water. When too much is added, it
precipitates in rain.

But there not being the same contiguity between the particles of air as
of water, the solution of water in air is not carried on without a
motion of the air so as to cause a fresh accession of dry particles.

Part of a fluid, having more of what it dissolves, will communicate to
other parts that have less. Thus very salt water, coming in contact with
fresh, communicates its saltness till all is equal, and the sooner if
there is a little motion of the water. * * *

Air, suffering continual changes in the degrees of its heat, from
various causes and circumstances, and, consequently, changes in its
specific gravity, must therefore be in continual motion.

A small quantity of fire mixed with water (or degree of heat therein) so
weakens the cohesion of its particles, that those on the surface easily
quit it and adhere to the particles of air.

Air moderately heated will support a greater quantity of water invisibly
than cold air; for its particles being by heat repelled to a greater
distance from each other, thereby more easily keep the particles of
water that are annexed to them from running into cohesions that would
obstruct, refract, or reflect the light.

Hence, when we breathe in warm air, though the same quantity of moisture
may be taken up from the lungs as when we breathe in cold air, yet that
moisture is not so visible.

Water being extremely heated, _i. e._, to the degree of boiling, its
particles, in quitting it, so repel each other as to take up vastly more
space than before and by that repellancy support themselves, expelling
the air from the space they occupy. That degree of heat being lessened,
they again mutually attract, and having no air particles mixed to adhere
to, by which they might be supported and kept at a distance, they
instantly fall, coalesce, and become water again.

The water commonly diffused in our atmosphere never receives such a
degree of heat from the sun or other cause as water has when boiling; it
is not, therefore, supported by such heat, but

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 1 [of 3]

Page 8
383 On the utility of electrical conductors.
Page 17
When embarked with other children, the helm was commonly deputed to me, particularly on difficult occasions; and, in every other project, I was almost always the leader of the troop, whom I sometimes involved in embarrassments.
Page 58
Denham's disorder; but it was a tedious one, and he at last sunk under it.
Page 71
"--"No, (said he,) my father has really been disappointed in his hopes; he is not able to pay, and I wish to put him to no farther inconvenience.
Page 77
This was first set on foot by Franklin, about the year 1731.
Page 85
Du Faye; but it was for many years neglected.
Page 105
The examination which he underwent was published, and contains a striking account of the extent and accuracy of his information, and the facility with which he communicated his sentiments.
Page 134
shall charge them all equally, and every one as much as one alone would have been.
Page 161
Then if your strips of glass remain whole, you will see that the gold is missing in several places, and instead of it a metallic stain on both the glasses; the stains on the upper and under glass exactly similar in the minutest stroke, as may be seen by holding them to the light; the metal appeared to have been not only melted, but even vitrified, or otherwise so driven into the pores of the glass, as to be protected by it from the action of the strongest _aqua fortis_, or _aqua regia_.
Page 188
If this were so, I imagined that by forcing a constant violent stream of air against my prime conductor, by bellows, I should electrify it _negatively_; the rubbing particles of air, drawing from it part of its natural quantity of the electric fluid.
Page 198
and veering round to N.
Page 220
I say instantaneously, for the greatest distances we can conceive within the limits of our globe, even that of the two most opposite points, it will take no sensible time in passing through: and therefore it seems a little difficult to conceive how there can be any accumulation of the electrical fire upon the surface of the sea or how the vapours arising from the sea should have a greater share of that fire than other vapours.
Page 221
Page 223
I am, &c.
Page 235
he had provided for the security of his house; I waited on him, to enquire what ground he might have for such suspicion.
Page 244
In electrising the air of a room, that which is nearest the walls, or floor, is least altered.
Page 251
It also shattered the bottom weather-board (_i_) at one corner of the house, and made a large hole in the earth by the corner post.
Page 292
Page 336
_Settlers_ of British colonies, their rights, iii.
Page 343
raise the surface of the sea above its level, 188.