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

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in all the learning of the white people. It is one of the
Indian rules of politeness not to answer a public proposition the same
day that it is made; they think it would be treating it as a light
matter, and that they show it respect by taking time to consider it, as
of a matter important. They therefore deferred their answer till the day
following, when their speaker began by expressing their deep sense of
the kindness of the Virginia government in making them that offer; "for
we know," says he, "that you highly esteem the kind of learning taught
in those colleges, and that the maintenance of our young men, while with
you, would be very expensive to you. We are convinced, therefore, that
you mean to do us good by your proposal; and we thank you heartily. But
you, who are wise, must know that different nations have different
conceptions of things; and you will therefore not take it amiss if our
ideas of this kind of education happen not to be the same with yours. We
have had some experience of it: several of our young people were
formerly brought up at the colleges of the northern provinces; they were
instructed in all your sciences; but when they came back to us, they
were bad runners, ignorant of every means of living in the woods, unable
to bear either cold or hunger, knew neither how to build a cabin, take a
deer, nor kill an enemy, spoke our language imperfectly, were therefore
neither fit for hunters, warriors, nor counsellors; they were totally
good for nothing. We are, however, not the less obliged by your kind
offer, though we decline accepting it; and, to show our grateful sense
of it, if the gentlemen of Virginia will send us a dozen of their sons,
we will take great care of their education, instruct them in all we
know, and make _men_ of them."

Having frequent occasions to hold public councils, they have acquired
great order and decency in conducting them. The old men sit in the
foremost ranks, the warriors in the next, and the women and children in
the hindmost. The business of the women is to take exact notice of what
passes, imprint it in their memories, for they have no writing, and
communicate it to their children. They are the records of the council,
and they preserve the tradition of the stipulations in treaties a
hundred years back; which, when we compare with our writings, we always
find exact. He that would speak, rises. The rest observe a

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

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--If you present the point in the dark, you will see, sometimes at a foot distance, and more, a light gather upon it like that of a fire-fly or glow-worm; the less sharp the point, the nearer you must bring it to observe the light; and at whatever distance you see the light, you may draw off the electrical fire, and destroy the repellency.
Page 8
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To take the charg'd phial safely by the hook, and not at the same time diminish its force, it must first be set down on an electric _per se_.
Page 12
Place two phials equally charged on a table at five or six inches distance.
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 16
With thin paste or gum-water, fix the border that is cut off on the inside of the glass, pressing it smooth and close; then fill up the vacancy by gilding the glass well with leaf gold or brass.
Page 20
There is one experiment more which surprizes us, and is not hitherto satisfactorily accounted for; it is this.
Page 24
If much loaded, the electrical fire is at once taken from the whole cloud; and, in leaving it, flashes brightly and cracks loudly; the particles instantly coalescing for want of that fire, and falling in a heavy shower.
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If the source of lightning, assigned in this paper, be the true one, there should be little thunder heard at sea far from land.
Page 34
But the force with which the electrified body retains its atmosphere by attracting it, is proportioned to the surface over which the particles are placed; i.
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 39
These pieces I send you, were stain'd with _Dutch_ gold.
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And this can only be done in glass that is thin; beyond a certain thickness we have yet no power that can make this change.
Page 48
Another chain was fix'd to the prime conductor, and held in the hand of a person to be electrised.
Page 50
But if the fire, with which the inside surface is surcharged, be so much precisely as is wanted by the outside surface, it will pass round through the wire fixed to the wax handle, restore the equilibrium in the glass, and make no alteration in the state of the prime conductor.
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