The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 141

were plac'd in rows on benches; the boys under
the conduct of a young man, their tutor, and the girls conducted by a
young woman. The discourse seem'd well adapted to their capacities,
and was deliver'd in a pleasing, familiar manner, coaxing them, as it
were, to be good. They behav'd very orderly, but looked pale and
unhealthy, which made me suspect they were kept too much within doors,
or not allow'd sufficient exercise.

I inquir'd concerning the Moravian marriages, whether the report was
true that they were by lot. I was told that lots were us'd only in
particular cases; that generally, when a young man found himself
dispos'd to marry, he inform'd the elders of his class, who consulted
the elder ladies that govern'd the young women. As these elders of the
different sexes were well acquainted with the tempers and dispositions
of their respective pupils, they could best judge what matches were
suitable, and their judgments were generally acquiesc'd in; but if, for
example, it should happen that two or three young women were found to
be equally proper for the young man, the lot was then recurred to. I
objected, if the matches are not made by the mutual choice of the
parties, some of them may chance to be very unhappy. "And so they
may," answer'd my informer, "if you let the parties chuse for
themselves;" which, indeed, I could not deny.

Being returned to Philadelphia, I found the association went on
swimmingly, the inhabitants that were not Quakers having pretty
generally come into it, formed themselves into companies, and chose
their captains, lieutenants, and ensigns, according to the new law.
Dr. B. visited me, and gave me an account of the pains he had taken to
spread a general good liking to the law, and ascribed much to those
endeavors. I had had the vanity to ascribe all to my Dialogue;
however, not knowing but that he might be in the right, I let him enjoy
his opinion, which I take to be generally the best way in such cases.
The officers, meeting, chose me to be colonel of the regiment, which I
this time accepted. I forget how many companies we had, but we paraded
about twelve hundred well-looking men, with a company of artillery, who
had been furnished with six brass field-pieces, which they had become
so expert in the use of as to fire twelve times in a minute. The first
time I reviewed my regiment they accompanied me to my house, and would
salute me with some

Last Page Next Page

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

Page 5
Page 9
After such strong spark, neither of them discover any electricity.
Page 10
--We electrify, upon wax in the dark, a book that has a double line of gold round upon the covers, and then apply a knuckle to the gilding;.
Page 12
But if the phials were charged, the one through the hook, and the other[3] through the coating, the ball, when it is repelled from one hook, will be as strongly attracted by the other, and play vigorously between them, 'till both phials are nearly discharged.
Page 15
remain in the first bottle.
Page 16
--Hold the picture horizontally by the top, and place a little moveable gilt crown on the king's-head.
Page 17
About thirty _radii_ of equal length, made of sash glass cut in narrow strips, issue horizontally from the circumference of the board, the ends most distant from the center being about four inches apart.
Page 18
On the edge of the wheel is a small leaden bullet communicating by a wire with the gilding of the _upper_ surface of the wheel; and about six inches from it is another bullet communicating in like manner with the _under_ surface.
Page 19
As the glass is thickest near the orifice, I suppose the lower half, which being gilt was electrified, and gave the shock, did not exceed two grains; for it appeared, when broke, much thinner than the upper half.
Page 24
Hence the continual storms of rain, thunder, and lightning on the east-side of the _Andes_, which running north and south, and being vastly high, intercept all the clouds brought against them from the _Atlantic_ ocean by the trade winds, and oblige them to deposite their waters, by which the vast rivers _Amazons_, _La Plata_, and _Oroonoko_ are formed, which return the water into the same sea, after.
Page 26
When the air, with its vapours raised from the ocean between the tropics, comes to descend in the polar regions, and to be in contact with the vapours arising there, the electrical fire they brought begins to be communicated, and is seen in clear nights, being first visible where 'tis first in motion, that is, where the contact begins, or in the most northern part; from thence the streams of light seem to shoot southerly, even up to the zenith of northern countries.
Page 32
The form of the electrical atmosphere is that of the body it surrounds.
Page 33
has the line A, E, for its basis.
Page 40
This will appear plain, when the difference of acuteness in the corners is made very great.
Page 44
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
So if a tube lined with a [11]non-electric, be rubb'd, little or no fire is obtained from it.
Page 47
1st, That a non-electric easily suffers a change in the quantity of the electrical fluid it contains.
Page 48
Now the globe being turn'd, could draw no fire from the floor through the machine, the communication that way being cut off by the thick glass plate under the cushion: it must then draw it through the chains whose ends were dipt in the oil of turpentine.
Page 53
Electricity is so much in vogue, that above one hundred of them have been sold within these four months past.
Page 54