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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 190

state. This was thus discovered:

I had another concurring experiment, which I often repeated, to prove
the negative state of the clouds, viz. while the bells were ringing,
I took the phial charged from the glass globe, and applied its wire
to the erected rod, considering, that if the clouds were electrised
_positively_, the rod which received its electricity from them must
be so too; and then the additional _positive_ electricity of the
phial would make the bells ring faster:--But, if the clouds were in a
_negative_ state, they must exhaust the electric fluid from my rod,
and bring that into the same negative state with themselves, and then
the wire of a positively charged phial, supplying the rod with what
it wanted (which it was obliged otherwise to draw from the earth by
means of the pendulous brass ball playing between the two bells) the
ringing would cease till the bottle was discharged.

In this manner I quite discharged into the rod several phials that
were charged from the glass globe, the electric fluid streaming from
the wire to the rod, till the wire would receive no spark from the
finger; and, during this supply to the rod from the phial, the bells
stopped ringing; but by continuing the application of the phial wire
to the rod, I exhausted the natural quantity from the inside surface
of the same phials, or, as I call it, charged them _negatively_.

At length, while I was charging a phial by my glass globe, to repeat
this experiment, my bells, of themselves, stopped ringing, and, after
some pause, began to ring again.--But now, when I approached the
wire of the charged phial to the rod, instead of the usual stream
that I expected from the wire to the rod, there was no spark; not
even when I brought the wire and the rod to touch; yet the bells
continued ringing vigorously, which proved to me, that the rod was
then _positively_ electrified, as well as the wire of the phial, and
equally so; and, consequently, that the particular cloud then over
the rod was in the same positive state. This was near the end of the
gust.

But this was a single experiment, which, however, destroys my first
too general conclusion, and reduces me to this: _That the clouds of
a thunder-gust are most commonly in a negative state of electricity,
but sometimes in a positive state._

The latter I believe is rare; for though I soon after the last
experiment set out on a journey to Boston, and was from home most
part of the summer, which prevented my making

Last Page Next Page

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

Page 17
NEW ELECTION.
Page 33
III.
Page 57
_ by a tax on all real and personal estates.
Page 72
The safety of a considerable part of the state, and the interest of the whole, are not to be trusted to the wisdom and vigour of _future administrations_; when a security is to be had more effectual, more constant, and much less expensive.
Page 77
I know, that their common rate of increase, where they are not molested by the enemy, is doubling their numbers every twenty-five years, by natural generation only; exclusive of the accession of foreigners[38].
Page 163
At the same time a person lately in high office[77] projected the levying more money from America, by new duties on various articles of our own manufacture (as glass, paper, painters' colours, &c.
Page 171
And this is the same kind of argument that is used by those who would fix on the colonies the heavy charge of unreasonableness and ingratitude, which I think your friend did not intend.
Page 205
"And if this method were actually allowed, do you not think it would encourage the violent and factious part of the colonists, to aim at still farther concessions from the mother-country?" _A.
Page 242
last war, it is true, Britain sent a fleet and army, who acted with an equal army of ours, in the reduction of Canada; and perhaps thereby did more for us, than we in the preceding wars had done for her.
Page 260
But the most indiscreet of all her wars, is the present against America, with whom she might, for ages, have preserved her profitable connection only by a just and equitable conduct.
Page 273
Wherefore, whenever an office, through increase of fees or otherwise, becomes so profitable, as to occasion many to apply for it, the profits ought to be lessened by the legislature.
Page 286
Nay, it is probable, I may displease a great number of your readers, who will not very well like to pay ten shillings a year for being told of their faults.
Page 294
" Indeed, it is well enough, as it happens, that she is come to shorten this complaint, which I think is full long enough already, and probably would otherwise have been as long again.
Page 298
He lived, in his youthful days, in New England.
Page 303
Busy-Body General of the Province of Pennsylvania, and the Counties of Newcastle, Kent, and Sussex upon Delaware.
Page 331
_Caution_, not to make our moves too hastily.
Page 338
What can be expected from such a course of living, but a body replete with stagnant humours, ready to fall a prey to all kinds of dangerous maladies, if I, the gout, did not occasionally bring you relief by agitating these humours, and so purifying or dissipating them.
Page 392
manner of its acting through glass hermetically sealed, 241.
Page 413
164, 166.
Page 421
_Wygate_, an acquaintance of Franklin's, i.