The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 1 [of 3]

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 121

_Philadelphia, July 11, 1747._


In my last I informed you that, in pursuing our electrical enquiries,
we had observed some particular phenomena, which we looked upon to
be new, and of which I promised to give you some account, though I
apprehended they might not possibly be new to you, as so many hands
are daily employed in electrical experiments on your side the water,
some or other of which would probably hit on the same observations.

The first is the wonderful effect of pointed bodies, both in _drawing
off_ and _throwing off_ the electrical fire. For example,

Place an iron shot of three or four inches diameter on the mouth of
a clean dry glass bottle. By a fine silken thread from the cieling,
right over the mouth of the bottle, suspend a small cork-ball, about
the bigness of a marble; the thread of such a length, as that the
cork-ball may rest against the side of the shot. Electrify the shot,
and the ball will be repelled to the distance of four or five inches,
more or less, according to the quantity of electricity.--When in this
state, if you present to the shot the point of a long, slender, sharp
bodkin, at six or eight inches distance, the repellency is instantly
destroyed, and the cork flies to the shot. A blunt body must be
brought within an inch, and draw a spark to produce the same effect.
To prove that the electrical fire is _drawn off_ by the point, if
you take the blade of the bodkin out of the wooden handle, and fix
it in a stick of sealing-wax, and then present it at the distance
aforesaid, or if you bring it very near, no such effect follows; but
sliding one finger along the wax till you touch the blade, and the
ball flies to the shot immediately.--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.--If a cork-ball so suspended be
repelled by the tube, and a point be presented quick to it, though
at a considerable distance, it is surprising to see how suddenly it
flies back to the tube. Points of wood will do near as well as those
of iron, provided the wood is not dry; for perfectly dry wood

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 1 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

Page 22
He had some letters, and was ingenious; but he was an infidel, and wickedly undertook, some years after, to turn the Bible into doggerel verse, as Cotton had formerly done with Virgil.
Page 30
" As I seemed at first not to think so ill of them as she did, she mentioned some things she had observed and heard that had escaped my notice, but now convinced me she was right.
Page 62
1, 1730.
Page 72
This is an advantage attendant upon a various character, and which brings all that belongs to it into greater play; and it is the more useful, as, perhaps, more persons are at a loss for the _means_ of improving their minds and characters than they are for the time or the inclination to do it.
Page 74
"As I have not read any part of the life in question, but know only the character that lived it, I write somewhat at hazard.
Page 84
_ { } Rise, wash, and address _Powerful The Question { 5} Goodness_! Contrive day's business, and What good shall { 6} take the resolution of the day; prosecute I do this day? { 7} the present study, and breakfast.
Page 91
That the members should engage to afford their advice, assistance, and support to each other in promoting one another's interest, business, and advancement in life: that, for distinction, we should be called THE SOCIETY OF THE FREE AND EASY.
Page 118
We parted, he going to Philadelphia and I to Boston.
Page 125
The wagoners took each a horse out of his team and scampered; their example was immediately followed by others; so that all the wagons, provisions, artillery, and stores were left to the enemy.
Page 130
Our axes, of which we had seventy, were immediately set to work to cut down trees; and our men being dexterous in the use of them, great despatch was made.
Page 146
The captain, after his observation, shaped his course, as he thought, so as to pass wide of the Scilly rocks; but it seems there is sometimes a strong current setting up St.
Page 150
In these he shows the power of points in draining and throwing off the electrical matter, which had hitherto escaped the notice of electricians.
Page 153
Professor Richman bade fair to add much to the stock of knowledge on this subject, when an unfortunate flash from his conductor put a period to his existence.
Page 157
The French traders here found a market for their commodities, and received in return large quantities of rich furs, which they disposed of at a high price in Europe.
Page 166
A society for political inquiries, of which Dr.
Page 170
Mirabeau the elder addressed the assembly as follows: "FRANKLIN IS DEAD!" [A profound silence reigned throughout the hall.
Page 171
"I propose that a decree do now pass, enacting that the National Assembly shall wear mourning during three days for Benjamin Franklin.
Page 181
After passing through the common course of study in a much shorter time than usual, he left the university at the age of sixteen, with great reputation.
Page 188
two taxes_ to the colony on which they may be laid? _A.
Page 203
Notwithstanding this proclamation, those cruel men again assembled themselves, and, hearing that the remaining fourteen Indians were in the workhouse at Lancaster, they suddenly appeared in that town on the 27th of December.