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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 164

several times with the same
fish-like motion, greatly to the entertainment of spectators. By a
little practice in blunting or sharpening the heads or tails of these
figures, you may make them take place as desired, nearer or farther
from the electrified plate.

27. It is said in Section 8, of this paper, that all kinds of common
matter are supposed not to attract the electrical fluid with equal
strength; and that those called electrics _per se_, as glass, &c.
attract and retain it strongest, and contain the greatest quantity.
This latter position may seem a paradox to some, being contrary to
the hitherto received opinion; and therefore I shall now endeavour to
explain it.

28. In order to this, let it first be considered, _that we cannot
by any means we are yet acquainted with, force the electrical fluid
through glass_. I know it is commonly thought that it easily pervades
glass; and the experiment of a feather suspended by a thread, in
a bottle hermetically sealed, yet moved by bringing a rubbed tube
near the outside of the bottle, is alleged to prove it. But, if the
electrical fluid so easily pervades glass, how does the phial become
_charged_ (as we term it) when we hold it in our hands? Would not the
fire, thrown in by the wire, pass through to our hands, and so escape
into the floor? Would not the bottle in that case be left just as we
found it, uncharged, as we know a metal bottle so attempted to be
charged would be? Indeed, if there be the least crack, the minutest
solution of continuity in the glass, though it remains so tight that
nothing else we know of will pass, yet the extremely subtile electric
fluid flies through such a crack with the greatest freedom, and such
a bottle we know can never be charged: what then makes the difference
between such a bottle and one that is sound, but this, that the fluid
can pass through the one, and not through the other[51]?

29. It is true, there is an experiment that at first sight would
be apt to satisfy a slight observer, that the fire, thrown into
the bottle by the wire, does really pass through the glass. It is
this: place the bottle on a glass stand, under the prime conductor,
suspend a bullet by a chain from the prime conductor, till it comes
within a quarter of an inch right over the wire of the bottle; place
your knuckle on the glass stand, at just the same distance from
the coating of the bottle, as

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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 13
"_ COURTEOUS READER, I have heard that nothing gives an author so great pleasure as to find his works respectfully quoted by others.
Page 24
' "'Indeed, they say the place is very unhealthy, and that may excuse you.
Page 38
It depends chiefly on two words, _industry_ and _frugality_; that is, waste neither _time_ nor _money_, but make the best use of both.
Page 47
The former character raises a credit which supplies the want of fortune, and their fair dealing brings them customers; whereas none will return to buy of him by whom he has been once imposed upon.
Page 51
For, as many are offended by, and nobody loves this sort of people, no one shows them more than the most common civility and respect, and scarcely that; and this frequently puts them out of humour, and draws them into disputes and contentions.
Page 67
Such corporeal punishments, inflicted with all the circumstances of cruelty and infamy, bound down all other gentlemen under a servile fear of like treatment; so that, for several years, no one durst publicly speak or write in defence of the liberties of the people; which the king's ministers, his privy council, and his judges, had trampled under their feet.
Page 106
The present ministry are perplexed, and the measures they will finally take on the occasion are yet unknown.
Page 118
During the same time sixty thousand children have been born in America.
Page 124
"You conjure me, in the name of the omniscient and just God, before whom I must appear, and by my hopes of future fame, to consider if some expedient cannot be found to put a stop to the desolation of America, and prevent the miseries of a general war.
Page 126
Your parliament never had a right to govern us, and your king has forfeited it by his bloody tyranny.
Page 141
had, of doing everything that ladies desire me to do: there is no refusing anything to Madame la Marck nor to you.
Page 150
it when I see pride mortified, and misfortunes brought upon people by their carrying their heads too high.
Page 152
I am too well.
Page 172
He was an excellent man.
Page 174
" * * * * * _To_ * * *.
Page 187
obstruction in the pores or passages through which it used to ascend to the surface, becomes, by such means, preternaturally assembled in a greater quantity than usual into one place, and therefore causeth a great rarefaction and intumescence of the water of the abyss, putting it into great commotions and disorders, and at the same time making the like effort on the earth, which, being expanded upon the face of the abyss, occasions that agitation and concussion we call an earthquake.
Page 193
* * * * * _To David Rittenhouse.
Page 211
This circle is of various diameters, sometimes very large.
Page 227
The proof is, that their waters are fresh quite to the sea, and out to some distance from the land.
Page 240
If the funnel above the fire is left open in its full dimensions, and the opening before the fire is contracted, then the coals, I imagine, will burn faster, because more air is directed through the fire, and in a stronger stream; that air which before passed over it and on each side of it, now passing _through_ it.