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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 178

times, in the air, with the swiftest motion I could possibly
give it, yet it retained its electric atmosphere, though it must have
passed through eight hundred yards of air, allowing my arm in giving
the motion to add a foot to the semi-diameter of the circle.--By
quite dry air, I mean the dryest we have: for perhaps we never have
any perfectly free from moisture. An electrical atmosphere raised
round a thick wire, inserted in a phial of air, drives out none of
the air, nor on withdrawing that atmosphere will any air rush in, as
I have found by a curious experiment[61] accurately made, whence we
concluded that the air's elasticity was not affected thereby.


From the prime conductor, hang a bullet by a wire hook; under the
bullet, at half an inch distance, place a bright piece of silver
to receive the sparks; then let the wheel be turned, and in a few
minutes, (if the repeated sparks continually strike in the same spot)
the silver will receive a blue stain, nearly the colour of a watch

A bright piece of iron will also be spotted, but not with that
colour; it rather seems corroded.

On gold, brass, or tin, I have not perceived it makes any impression.
But the spots on the silver or iron will be the same, whether the
bullet be lead, brass, gold, or silver.

On a silver bullet there will also appear a small spot, as well as on
the plate below it.


[58] Cadwallader Colden, who was afterwards lieutenant-governor of
New-York. _Editor._

[59] This proposition is since found to be too general; Mr. Wilson
having discovered that melted wax and rosin will also conduct.

[60] A cold dry wind of North America.

[61] The experiment here mentioned was thus made. An empty phial
was stopped with a cork. Through the cork passed a thick wire,
as usual in the Leyden experiment, which wire almost reached the
bottom. Through another part of the cork passed one leg of a small
glass syphon, the other leg on the outside came down almost to the
bottom of the phial. This phial was first held a short time in the
hand, which, warming, and of course rarefying the air within, drove
a small part of it out through the syphon. Then a little red ink
in a tea-spoon was applied to the opening of the outer leg of the
syphon; so that as the air within cooled, a little of the ink might
rise in that leg. When the air within the

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

Page 12
Accordingly, in the evening, when the workmen were gone, I assembled a number of my playfellows, and working with them diligently like so many emmets,[22] sometimes two or three to a stone, we brought them all away and built our little wharf.
Page 15
Mather's called "Essays to Do Good," which perhaps gave me a turn of thinking that had an influence on some of the principal future events of my life.
Page 20
Hearing their conversations and their accounts of the approbation their papers were received with, I was excited to try my hand among them; but, being still a boy, and suspecting that my brother would object to printing anything of mine in his paper if he knew it to be mine, I contrived to disguise my hand, and, writing an anonymous paper, I put it in at night under the door of the printing house.
Page 22
When he found I would leave him, he took care to prevent my getting employment in any other printing house of the town, by going round and speaking to every master, who accordingly refused to give me work.
Page 23
6, old style).
Page 46
He continued to write frequently, sending me large specimens of an epic poem which he was then composing, and desiring my remarks and corrections.
Page 57
Meredith persuaded me to comply, as it would give more opportunity for his improvement under my daily instructions; so I returned, and we went on more smoothly than for some time before.
Page 60
We had scarce opened our letters and put our press in order, before George House, an acquaintance of mine, brought a countryman to us, whom he had met in the street inquiring for a printer.
Page 81
Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
Page 83
{ 6} Put things in their places.
Page 118
He did so, for he asked of everybody, and he obtained a much larger sum than he expected, with which he erected the capacious and very elegant meetinghouse that stands in Arch Street.
Page 124
, and to draw on the treasury of Great Britain for the expense, which was afterward to be refunded by an act of Parliament laying a tax on America.
Page 127
He thanked me, and replied that he ever made it a point to wait upon himself, and, although he began to find himself infirm, he was determined not to increase his infirmities by giving way to them.
Page 146
War was declared in 1756.
Page 155
" The general replied: "If you can do it in one day, I give leave; otherwise not; for you must certainly sail the day after to-morrow.
Page 160
I recollected that about twenty years before, a clause in a bill brought into Parliament by the ministry had proposed to make the king's instructions laws in the colonies, but the clause was thrown out by the Commons, for which we adored them as our friends and friends of liberty, till by their conduct toward us in 1765 it seemed that they had refused that point of sovereignty to the king only that they might reserve it for themselves.
Page 162
Accordingly they petitioned the king in Council, and a hearing was appointed in which two lawyers were employed by them against the act, and two by me in support of it.
Page 163
] [Footnote 200: By French vessels.
Page 169
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 175
= Your classmates will be interested in a report on the Franklin stove.