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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 159

acres may strike and discharge on the earth at a
proportionably greater distance. The horizontal motion of the scales
over the floor, may represent the motion of the clouds over the
earth; and the erect iron punch, a hill or high building; and then
we see how electrified clouds passing over hills or high buildings
at too great a height to strike, may be attracted lower till within
their striking distance. And lastly, if a needle fixed on the punch
with its point upright, or even on the floor below the punch, will
draw the fire from the scale silently at a much greater than the
striking distance, and so prevent its descending towards the punch;
or if in its course it would have come nigh enough to strike, yet
being first deprived of its fire it cannot, and the punch is thereby
secured from the stroke; I say, if these things are so, may not the
knowledge of this power of points be of use to mankind, in preserving
houses, churches, ships, &c. 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. To determine the question, whether the clouds that contain
lightning are electrified or not, I would propose an experiment to
be tried where it may be done conveniently. On the top of some high
tower or steeple, place a kind of centry-box (as in FIG. 9) big
enough to contain a man and an electrical stand. From the middle of
the stand let an iron rod rise and pass bending out of the door, and
then upright 20 or 30 feet, pointed very sharp at the end. If the
electrical stand be kept clean and dry, a man standing on it, when
such clouds are passing low, might be electrified and afford sparks,
the rod drawing fire to him from a cloud. If any danger to the man
should be apprehended (though I think there would be none) let him
stand on the floor of his box, and now and then bring near to the rod
the loop of

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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 30
That the counsellors in most of the colonies, being appointed by the crown, on the recommendation of governors, are often persons of small estates, frequently dependent on the governors for offices, and therefore too much under influence.
Page 32
In short, as we are not suffered to regulate our trade, and restrain the importation and consumption of British superfluities (as Britain can the consumption of foreign superfluities) our whole wealth centers finally amongst the merchants and inhabitants of Britain; and if we make them richer, and enable them better to pay their taxes, it is nearly the same as being taxed ourselves, and equally beneficial to the crown.
Page 70
When they have surprised separately, and murdered and scalped a dozen families, they are gone with inconceivable expedition through unknown ways; and it is very rare that pursuers have any chance of coming up with them[29].
Page 75
It will be a conquest for the _whole_; and all our people will, in the increase of trade, and the ease of taxes, find the advantage of it.
Page 125
was, "That all lands, _not granted_ by the proprietaries _within boroughs and towns_, be deemed located uncultivated lands, and rated accordingly; and not as lots.
Page 132
The assembly, who come from all parts of the country, and therefore may be supposed to know them, at least as well as the prefacer, have given that testimony of them.
Page 188
_ I don't doubt at all, that if the legislature repeal the stamp-act, the colonies will acquiesce in the authority.
Page 195
_ Is not the post-office rate an internal tax laid by act of parliament? _A.
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The calculation for February.
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that shall be employed in removing them.
Page 234
to pay taxes at home, their accumulating, in the price of their commodities, most of those taxes, and so levying them from their consuming customers: all this, and the employment and support of thousands of your poor by the colonists, you are entirely to forget.
Page 262
But you, who are wise, must know, that different nations have different conceptions of things; and you will therefore not take it amiss, if our ideas of this kind.
Page 294
However, I must confess, I cannot help pitying my correspondent's case, and in her behalf, exhort the visitor to remember and consider the words of the wise man, withdraw thy foot from the house of thy neighbour, lest he grow weary of thee and so hate thee.
Page 307
' They joined in desiring him to speak his mind, and gathering round him, he proceeded as follows: 'Friends, says he, the taxes are, indeed, very heavy, and, if those laid on by the government were the only ones we had to pay, we might more easily discharge them; but we have many others, and much more grievous to some of us.
Page 361
" Yet the Quakers have _conscience_ to plead for their resolution not to fight, which these gentlemen have not.
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You are now 78, and I am 82.
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_Chinese_ wisely divide the holds of their vessels by partitions, ii.