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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 146

order to rain on the sea, would not appear reasonable.

27. But clouds, formed by vapours raised from the sea, having both
fires, and particularly a great quantity of the electrical, support
their water strongly, raise it high, and being moved by winds, may
bring it over the middle of the broadest continent from the middle of
the widest ocean.

28. How these ocean clouds, so strongly supporting their water, are
made to deposite it on the land where it is wanted, is next to be

29. 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. If the
air was not much loaded, it only falls in dews on the mountain tops
and sides, forms springs, and descends to the vales in rivulets,
which, united, make larger streams and rivers. If much loaded,
the electrical fire is at once taken from the whole cloud; and,
in leaving it, flashes brightly and cracks loudly; the particles
instantly coalescing for want of that fire, and falling in a heavy

30. When a ridge of mountains thus dams the clouds, and draws the
electrical fire from the cloud first approaching it; that which next
follows, when it comes near the first cloud, now deprived of its
fire, flashes into it, and begins to deposite its own water; the
first cloud again flashing into the mountains; the third approaching
cloud, and all succeeding ones, acting in the same manner as far back
as they extend, which may be over many hundred miles of country.

31. 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 having
fertilized a country of very great extent.

32. If a country be plain, having no mountains to intercept the
electrified clouds, yet it is not without means to make them deposite
their water. For if an electrified cloud, coming from the sea,
meets in the air a cloud raised from the land, and therefore not
electrified; the first will flash its fire into the latter, and
thereby both clouds shall be made suddenly to deposite water.

33. The electrified particles of the first cloud close when

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 2 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 3
George Whitefield 110 To Mrs.
Page 16
Many a one, for the sake of finery on the back, have gone with a hungry belly, and.
Page 18
But ah! think what you do when you run in debt; you give to another power over your liberty.
Page 31
For which reason it is said the Egyptians, Persians, and Lacedaemonians seldom elected any new kings but such as had some knowledge in the mathematics; imagining those who had not men of imperfect judgments, and unfit to rule and govern.
Page 48
If any have lenity enough to allow the dealers an excuse for this bad practice, I believe they will allow none for the gentleman who is addicted to this vice; and must look upon him with contempt.
Page 55
The busy race of beings attached to these fleeting enjoyments are indeed all of them engaged in the pursuit of happiness, and it is owing to their imperfect notions of it that they stop so far short in their pursuit.
Page 56
The longest duration of finite happiness avails nothing when it is past: nor can the memory of it have any other effect than to renew a perpetual pining after pleasures never to return; and since virtue is the only pledge and security of a happy immortality, the folly of sacrificing it to any temporal advantage, how important soever they may appear, must be infinitely great, and cannot but leave behind it an eternal regret.
Page 75
_There_ a closet has disgorged its bowels, cracked tumblers, broken wineglasses, vials of forgotten physic, papers of unknown powders, seeds, and dried herbs, handfuls of old corks, tops of teapots, and stoppers of departed decanters; from the raghole in the garret to the rathole in the cellar, no place escapes unrummaged.
Page 95
_ "Easton, Saturday morning, November 13, 1756.
Page 104
This it cannot be without representatives from thence; and yet it is fond of this power, and averse to the only means of acquiring the necessary knowledge for exercising it, which is desiring to be _omnipotent_ without being _omniscient_.
Page 107
In the mean time, every act of oppression will sour their tempers, lessen greatly, if not annihilate, the profits of your commerce with them, and hasten their final revolt; for the seeds of liberty are universally found there, and nothing can eradicate them.
Page 110
Page 130
"I always rejoice to hear of your being still employed in experimental researches into nature, and of the success you meet with.
Page 138
I have passed my seventy-fifth year, and I find that the long and severe fit of the gout which I had the last winter has shaken me exceedingly, and I am yet far from having recovered the bodily strength I before enjoyed.
Page 159
How Eliza began to grow jolly, that is, fat and handsome, resembling Aunt Rooke, whom I used to call _my lovely_.
Page 191
All the houses were thrown down throughout the island.
Page 207
" In my paper, I supposed a whirlwind and a spout to be the same thing, and to proceed from the same cause; the only difference between them being that the one passes over the land, the other over water.
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John Pringle.
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* * * * * _To M.
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