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 89

herself to this new
manner of living, we shall be the happiest couple, perhaps, in the
province, and, by the blessing of God, may soon be in thriving
circumstances. I have reserved the great glass, because I know her heart
is set upon it; I will allow her, when she comes in, to be taken
suddenly ill with _the headache_, _the stomach-ache_, _fainting-fits_,
or whatever other disorder she may think more proper, and she may retire
to bed as soon as she pleases. But if I should not find her in perfect
health, both of body and mind, the next morning, away goes the aforesaid
great glass, with several other trinkets I have no occasion for, to the
vendue, that very day; which is the irrevocable resolution

Of, sir, her loving husband and
Your very humble servant,

P.S.--I would be glad to know how you approve my conduct.

_Answer._--I don't love to concern myself in affairs between man and


"_Mrs. Abiah Franklin._

"Philadelphia, April (date uncertain).


"We received your kind letter of the 2d instant, by which we are glad to
hear you still enjoy such a measure of health, notwithstanding your
great age. We read your writings very easily. I never met with a word in
your letter but what I could easily understand, for, though the hand is
not always the best, the sense makes everything plain. My leg, which you
inquire after, is now quite well. I shall keep these servants: but the
man not in my own house. I have hired him out to the man that takes care
of my Dutch printing-office, who agrees to keep him in victuals and
clothes, and to pay me a dollar a week for his work. The wife, since
that affair, behaves exceeding well: but we conclude to sell them

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

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Place it on a non-electric, and touch the wire, you will get it out in a short time; but soonest.
Page 3
But here we have a bottle containing at the same time a _plenum_ of electrical fire, and a _vacuum_ of the same fire; and yet the equilibrium cannot be restored between them but by a communication _without_! though the _plenum_ presses violently to expand, and the hungry vacuum seems to attract as violently in order to be filled.
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1, 1747.
Page 8
But if the persons on wax touch one another during the exciting of the tube, neither of them will appear to be electrised.
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This was discovered here in the following manner.
Page 18
Two small hemispheres of wood are then fixed with cement to the middle of the upper and under sides, centrally opposite, and in each of them a thick strong wire eight or ten inches long, which together make the axis of the wheel.
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When it passes thro' dense bodies 'tis unseen.
Page 36
Suspend the beam by a packthread from the cieling, so that the bottom of the scales may be about a foot from the floor: The scales will move round in a circle by the untwisting of the packthread.
Page 37
To determine the question, whether the clouds that contain lightning are electrified or not, I would propose an experiment to be try'd where it may be done conveniently.
Page 38
Place one of these strips between two strips of smooth glass that are about the width of your finger.
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a right angle, the two next obtuse angles, and the lowest a very acute one; and bring this on your plate under the electrified plate, in such a manner as that the right-angled part may be first raised (which is done by covering the acute part with the hollow of your hand) and you will see this leaf take place much nearer to the upper than to the under plate; because, without being nearer, it cannot receive so fast at its right-angled point, as it can discharge at its acute one.
Page 42
And yet the bottle by this means is charged![9] And therefore the fire that thus leaves.
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Its pores are filled with it as full as the mutual repellency of the particles will admit; and what is already in, refuses, or strongly repels, any additional quantity.
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more of this electrical fluid than other common matter: That when it is blown, as it cools, and the particles of common fire leave it, its pores become a vacuum: That the component parts of glass are extremely small and fine, I guess from its never showing a rough face when it breaks, but always a polish; and from the smallness of its particles I suppose the pores between them must be exceeding small, which is the reason that Aqua-fortis, nor any other menstruum we have, can enter to separate them and dissolve the substance; nor is any fluid we know of, fine enough to enter, except common fire, and the electrical fluid.
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.
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[9] See s 10 of _Farther Experiments_, &c.