The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 34

yet by degrees lead to
the point, and brought him into difficulties and contradictions, that
at last he grew ridiculously cautious, and would hardly answer me the
most common question, without asking first, "What do you intend to
infer from that?" However, it gave him so high an opinion of my
abilities in the confuting way, that he seriously proposed my being his
colleague in a project he had of setting up a new sect. He was to
preach the doctrines, and I was to confound all opponents. When he
came to explain with me upon the doctrines, I found several conundrums
which I objected to, unless I might have my way a little too, and
introduce some of mine.

Keimer wore his beard at full length, because somewhere in the Mosaic
law it is said, "Thou shalt not mar the corners of thy beard." He
likewise kept the Seventh day, Sabbath; and these two points were
essentials with him. I dislik'd both; but agreed to admit them upon
condition of his adopting the doctrine of using no animal food. "I
doubt," said he, "my constitution will not bear that." I assur'd him
it would, and that he would be the better for it. He was usually a
great glutton, and I promised myself some diversion in half starving
him. He agreed to try the practice, if I would keep him company. I
did so, and we held it for three months. We had our victuals dress'd,
and brought to us regularly by a woman in the neighborhood, who had
from me a list of forty dishes to be prepar'd for us at different
times, in all which there was neither fish, flesh, nor fowl, and the
whim suited me the better at this time from the cheapness of it, not
costing us above eighteenpence sterling each per week. I have since
kept several Lents most strictly, leaving the common diet for that, and
that for the common, abruptly, without the least inconvenience, so that
I think there is little in the advice of making those changes by easy
gradations. I went on pleasantly, but poor Keimer suffered grievously,
tired of the project, long'd for the flesh-pots of Egypt, and order'd a
roast pig. He invited me and two women friends to dine with him; but,
it being brought too soon upon table, he could not resist the
temptation, and ate the whole before we came.

I had made some courtship during this time to Miss Read. I had a

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

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BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, AND Communicated in several Letters to Mr.
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EXPERIMENTS _confirming the above_.
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Electrify the shot, and the ball will be repelled to the distance of four or five inches, more or.
Page 12
Set that down on glass which you held by the hook, take it up by the coating, and bring the two hooks together: a spark and shock will follow, and both phials be discharged.
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Thus, the whole force of the bottle, and power of giving a shock, is in the GLASS ITSELF; the non-electrics in contact with the two surfaces, serving only to _give_ and _receive_ to and from the several parts of the glass; that is, to give on one side, and take away from the other.
Page 15
We then took two plates of lead of equal dimensions, but less than the glass by two inches every way, and electrified the glass between them, by electrifying the uppermost lead; then separated the glass from the lead, in doing which, what little fire might be in the lead was taken out and the glass being touched in the electrified parts with a finger, afforded only very small pricking sparks, but a great number of them might be taken from different places.
Page 18
In a circle on the table which supports the wheel, are fixed twelve small pillars of glass, at about four inches distance, with a thimble on the top of each.
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--Experiments may possibly be invented hereafter, to discover this.
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2.
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If they are driven by winds against mountains, those mountains being less electrified attract them, and on contact take away their electrical fire (and being cold, the common fire also;) hence the particles close towards the mountains and towards each other.
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40.
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3.
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Nor.
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Thus in the present case, to know this power of points, may possibly be of some use to mankind, though we should never be able to explain it.
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But if a needle be stuck on the end of the punch, its point upwards, the scale, instead of drawing nigh to the punch and snapping, discharges its fire silently through the point, and rises higher from the punch.
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from the stroke of lightning, by directing us to fix on the highest parts of those edifices, upright rods of iron made sharp as a needle, and gilt to prevent rusting, and from the foot of those rods a wire down the outside of the building into the ground, or down round one of the shrouds of a ship, and down her side till it reaches the water? Would not these pointed rods probably draw the electrical fire silently out of a cloud before it came nigh enough to strike, and thereby secure us from that most sudden and terrible mischief? 21.
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Turn its tail towards the prime conductor, and then it flies to your finger, and seems to nibble it.
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So the air never draws off an electric atmosphere from any body, but in proportion to the non-electrics mix'd with it: it rather keeps such an atmosphere confin'd, which.
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I shall only add, that as it has been observed here that spirits will fire by the electrical spark in the summer time, without heating them, when _Fahrenheit_'s thermometer is above 70; so, when colder, if the operator puts a small flat bottle of spirits in his bosom, or a close pocket, with the spoon, some little time before he uses them, the heat of his body will communicate warmth more than sufficient for the purpose.
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16.