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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 161

of smooth glass that are about the width of
your finger. If one strip of gold, the length of the leaf, be not
long enough for the glass, add another to the end of it, so that you
may have a little part hanging out loose at each end of the glass.
Bind the pieces of glass together from end to end with strong silk
thread; then place it so as to be part of an electrical circuit, (the
ends of gold hanging out being of use to join with the other parts of
the circuit) and send the flash through it, from a large electrified
jar or sheet of glass. Then if your strips of glass remain whole,
you will see that the gold is missing in several places, and instead
of it a metallic stain on both the glasses; the stains on the upper
and under glass exactly similar in the minutest stroke, as may be
seen by holding them to the light; the metal appeared to have been
not only melted, but even vitrified, or otherwise so driven into
the pores of the glass, as to be protected by it from the action of
the strongest _aqua fortis_, or _aqua regia_. I send you enclosed
two little pieces of glass with these metallic stains upon them,
which cannot be removed without taking part of the glass with them.
Sometimes the stain spreads a little wider than the breadth of the
leaf, and looks brighter at the edge, as by inspecting closely you
may observe in these. Sometimes the glass breaks to pieces; once the
upper glass broke into a thousand pieces, looking like coarse salt.
The pieces I send you were stained with Dutch gold. True gold makes
a darker stain, somewhat reddish; silver, a greenish stain. We once
took two pieces of thick looking-glass, as broad as a Gunter's scale,
and six inches long; and placing leaf-gold between them, put them
between two smoothly-plained pieces of wood, and fixed them tight
in a book-binder's small press; yet though they were so closely
confined, the force of the electrical shock shivered the glass into
many pieces. The gold was melted, and stained into the glass, as
usual. The circumstances of the breaking of the glass differ much
in making the experiment, and sometimes it does not break at all:
but this is constant, that the stains in the upper and under pieces
are exact counterparts of each other. And though I have taken up the
pieces of glass between my fingers immediately after this melting, I
never could perceive the least warmth

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

Page 0
Page 1
coloured 1 6 Portraits of Curious Characters in London, &c.
Page 2
Page 3
" What, though you have found no treasure, nor has any rich relation left you a legacy.
Page 4
"Fly pleasures and they will follow you.
Page 5
" Here you are all.
Page 6
You expect they will be sold cheap, and, perhaps, they may for less than they cost; but, if you have no occasion for them, they must be dear to you.
Page 7
"Vessels large may venture more, But little boats should keep near shore.
Page 8
" The day comes round before you are aware, and the demand is made before you are prepared to satisfy it; or, if you bear your debt in mind, the term, which at first seemed so long, will, as it lessens, appear extremely short: "Time will seem to have added wings to his heels as well as his shoulders.
Page 9
' * * * * * Thus the old gentleman ended his harangue.