The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 144

seized the opportunity of repeating what I had
seen at Boston; and, by much practice, acquir'd great readiness in
performing those, also, which we had an account of from England, adding
a number of new ones. I say much practice, for my house was
continually full, for some time, with people who came to see these new

To divide a little this incumbrance among my friends, I caused a number
of similar tubes to be blown at our glass-house, with which they
furnish'd themselves, so that we had at length several performers.
Among these, the principal was Mr. Kinnersley, an ingenious neighbor,
who, being out of business, I encouraged to undertake showing the
experiments for money, and drew up for him two lectures, in which the
experiments were rang'd in such order, and accompanied with such
explanations in such method, as that the foregoing should assist in
comprehending the following. He procur'd an elegant apparatus for the
purpose, in which all the little machines that I had roughly made for
myself were nicely form'd by instrument-makers. His lectures were well
attended, and gave great satisfaction; and after some time he went
thro' the colonies, exhibiting them in every capital town, and pick'd
up some money. In the West India islands, indeed, it was with
difficulty the experiments could be made, from the general moisture of
the air.

Oblig'd as we were to Mr. Collinson for his present of the tube, etc.,
I thought it right he should be inform'd of our success in using it,
and wrote him several letters containing accounts of our experiments.
He got them read in the Royal Society, where they were not at first
thought worth so much notice as to be printed in their Transactions.
One paper, which I wrote for Mr. Kinnersley, on the sameness of
lightning with electricity, I sent to Dr. Mitchel, an acquaintance of
mine, and one of the members also of that society, who wrote me word
that it had been read, but was laughed at by the connoisseurs. The
papers, however, being shown to Dr. Fothergill, he thought them of too
much value to be stifled, and advis'd the printing of them. Mr.
Collinson then gave them to Cave for publication in his Gentleman's
Magazine; but he chose to print them separately in a pamphlet, and Dr.
Fothergill wrote the preface. Cave, it seems, judged rightly for his
profit, for by the additions that arrived afterward they swell'd to a
quarto volume, which has had five editions, and cost him nothing for

It was, however, some time before those

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

Page 29
LETTER _to the same; concerning direct Taxes in the Colonies imposed without Consent, indirect Taxes, and the Albany Plan of Union_.
Page 31
That if the colonies in a body may be well governed by governors and councils appointed by the crown, without representatives; particular colonies may as well, or better be so governed; a tax may be laid upon them all by act of parliament for support of government; and their assemblies may be dismissed as an useless part of the constitution.
Page 42
Page 51
Disorders which ensued during his absence.
Page 101
) and in the second term, the exports to those islands had only increased 404,504_l.
Page 118
It is fit therefore, without undertaking to justify all that governor's administration, to show _what_ those considerations were.
Page 160
Had this happy method.
Page 207
Page 209
statutes, _regulating_ or limiting the general powers and _authority of the crown_, and the exercise of the jurisdiction thereof; all statutes, _declaratory of the rights and liberty of the subject_, do extend to all British subjects in the colonies and plantations as of common right, and as if they and every of them were born within the realm.
Page 233
The trouble of future complaints will be prevented, and governors and judges will be encouraged to farther acts of oppression and injustice, and thence the people may become more disaffected, and at length desperate.
Page 254
I had the misfortune to find these expectations disappointed, and to be treated as the cause of the mischief I was labouring to.
Page 256
History affords us many instances of the ruin of states, by the prosecution of measures ill suited to the temper and genius of its people.
Page 277
The people, by this means, are not imposed on either by the merchant or mechanic: if the merchant demands too much profit on imported shoes, they buy of the shoe-maker; and if he asks too high a price, they take them of the merchant: thus the two professions are checks on each other.
Page 331
The game is so full of events, there is such a variety of turns in it, the fortune of it is so subject to sudden vicissitudes, and one so frequently, after long contemplation, discovers the means of extricating oneself from a supposed insurmountable difficulty, that one is encouraged to continue the contest to the last, in hopes of victory by our own skill, or at least of getting a stale mate, by the negligence of our adversary.
Page 333
Lastly, if the game is not to be played rigorously, according to the rules above mentioned, then moderate your desire of victory over your adversary, and be pleased with one over yourself.
Page 344
Being amused with his soliloquy, I put it down in writing, in hopes it will likewise amuse her to whom I am so much indebted for the most pleasing of all amusements, her delicious company, and heavenly harmony.
Page 362
At present we are like the separate filaments of flax before the thread is formed, without strength, because without connection; but UNION would make us strong, and even formidable.
Page 363
gave their fathers, of joining the most _obstinate courage_ to all the other military virtues: I mean the brave and steady Germans.
Page 364
I had great pleasure in reading it, as it informed me of your welfare.
Page 366
What was that saying?--You do not, it seems, feel any occasion for such an excuse, though you are, as you say, rising 75, but I am rising (perhaps more properly falling) 80--and I leave the excuse with you till you arrive at that age; perhaps you may then be more sensible of its validity, and see fit to use it for yourself.