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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 125

hands with _A_ and _B_, salute or
shake hands. We suspend by fine silk thread a counterfeit spider,
made of a small piece of burnt cork, with legs of linnen thread, and
a grain or two of lead stuck in him, to give him more weight. Upon
the table, over which he hangs, we stick a wire upright, as high as
the phial and wire, four or five inches from the spider: then we
animate him, by setting the electrified phial at the same distance
on the other side of him; he will immediately fly to the wire of
the phial, bend his legs in touching it, then spring off, and fly
to the wire in the table, thence again to the wire of the phial,
playing with his legs against both, in a very entertaining manner,
appearing perfectly alive to persons unacquainted. He will continue
this motion an hour or more in dry weather.--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; the fire appears
every where upon the gold like a flash of lightning: not upon the
leather, nor, if you touch the leather instead of the gold. We rub
our tubes with buckskin, and observe always to keep the same side to
the tube, and never to sully the tube by handling; thus they work
readily and easily, without the least fatigue, especially if kept in
tight pasteboard cases, lined with flannel, and sitting close to the
tube[23]. This I mention, because the European papers on electricity
frequently speak of rubbing the tube as a fatiguing exercise. Our
spheres are fixed on iron axes, which pass through them. At one end
of the axis there is a small handle, with which you turn the sphere
like a common grind-stone. This we find very commodious, as the
machine takes up but little room, is portable, and may be enclosed in
a tight box, when not in use. It is true, the sphere does not turn
so swift as when the great wheel is used: but swiftness we think
of little importance, since a few turns will charge the phial, &c.
sufficiently[24].

I am, &c.

B. FRANKLIN.

FOOTNOTES:

[17] This power of points to _throw off_ the electrical fire, was
first communicated to me by my ingenious friend Mr. Thomas Hopkinson,
since deceased, whose virtue and integrity, in every station of life,
public and private, will ever make his memory dear to those who knew
him, and knew how to value him.

[18] This was

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Way to Wealth; or, "Poor Richard Improved"

Page 0
ATKINS.
Page 1
Proprietors, W.
Page 2
We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly; and from these taxes the commissioners cannot ease or deliver us by allowing an abatement.
Page 3
There are no gains without pains; then help hands, for I have no lands;" or if I have, they are smartly taxed.
Page 4
" II.
Page 5
] [Illustration] * * * * * 'Away, then, with your expensive follies, and you will not then have so much cause to complain of hard times, heavy taxes, and chargeable families; for, "Women and wine, game and deceit, Make the wealth small, and the want great.
Page 6
You call them goods; but, if you do not take care, they will prove evils to some of you.
Page 7
" And it is as truly folly for the poor to ape the rich, as for the frog to swell, in order to equal the ox.
Page 8
[Illustration] 'And now to conclude, "Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other," as Poor Richard says, and scarce in that; for it is true, "We may give advice, but we cannot give conduct.
Page 9
Richard says.