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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 217

at length been induced, imperfect as they are, to permit their
publication, as some of the hints they contain may possibly be useful
to others in their philosophical researches. Note in Mr. Collinson's

[71] As some of these papers are upon subjects not immediately
connected with electricity, we have taken such papers from the order
in which they were placed by Mr. Collinson, and transferred them to
other parts of the work. _Editor._

_Extract of a Letter from a Gentleman in Boston[72], to Benjamin
Franklin, Esq. concerning the crooked Direction, and the Source of
Lightning, and the Swiftness of the electric Fire._

_Boston, Dec. 21, 1751._


The experiments Mr. K. has exhibited here, have been greatly pleasing
to all sorts of people that have seen them; and I hope, by the time
he returns to Philadelphia, his tour this way will turn to good
account. His experiments are very curious, and I think prove most
effectually your doctrine of electricity; that it is a real element,
annexed to, and diffused among all bodies we are acquainted with;
that it differs in nothing from lightning, the effects of both being
similar, and their properties, so far as they are known, the same, &c.

The remarkable effect of lightning on iron, lately discovered, in
giving it the magnetic virtue, and the same effect produced on
small needles by the electrical fire, is a further and convincing
proof that they are both the same element; but, which is very
unaccountable, Mr. K. tells me, it is necessary to produce this
effect, that the direction of the needle and the electric fire should
be north and south; from either to the other, and that just so far
as they deviate therefrom, the magnetic power in the needle is less,
till their direction being at right angles with the north and south,
the effect entirely ceases. We made at Faneuil Hall, where Mr.
K----'s apparatus is, several experiments to give some small needles
the magnetic virtue; previously examining, by putting them in water,
on which they will be supported, whether or not they had any of that
virtue; and I think we found all of them to have some small degree of
it, their points turning to the north: we had nothing to do then but
to invert the poles, which accordingly was done, by sending through
them the charge of two large glass jars; the eye of the needle
turning to the north, as the point before had done; that end of the
needle which the fire is thrown upon, Mr.

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 1 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

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I made myself acquainted with Tryon's manner of preparing some of his dishes, such as boiling potatoes or rice, making hasty pudding, and a few others, and then proposed to my brother if he would give me, weekly, half the money he paid for my board, I would board myself.
Page 30
But during my absence he had acquired a habit of drinking brandy, and I found by his own account, as well as that of others, that he had been drunk every day since his arrival at New-York, and behaved himself in a very extravagant manner.
Page 47
I had heard a bad character of him in London from his wife and her friends, and was not for having any more to do with him.
Page 68
And, considering the eagerness with which such information is sought by them, and the extent of your reputation, I do not know of a more efficacious advertisement than your biography would give.
Page 76
The books were imported; the library was open one day in the week for lending them to subscribers, on their promissory notes to pay double the value if not duly returned.
Page 82
Thus, in the first week, my great guard was to every the least offence against _Temperance_; leaving the other virtues to their ordinary chance, only marking every evening the faults of the day.
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8} 9} Work.
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in voyages and business abroad, with a multiplicity of affairs that interfered; but I always carried my little book with me.
Page 88
In this piece it was my design to explain and enforce this doctrine, _that vicious actions are not hurtful because they are forbidden, but forbidden because they are hurtful_; the nature of man alone considered: that it was, therefore, every one's interest to be virtuous, who wished to be happy even in this world: and I should, from this circumstance (there being always in the world a number of rich merchants, nobility, states, and princes who have need of honest instruments for the management of their affairs, and such being so rare), have endeavoured to convince young persons, that no qualities are so likely to make a poor man's fortune as those of _probity_ and _integrity_.
Page 99
Whitefield, who had made himself remarkable there as an itinerant preacher.
Page 134
Somebody wrote an account of this to the proprietor, and it gave him great offence.
Page 145
The casks of water, it seems, had been placed forward; these he therefore ordered to be moved farther aft, on which the ship recovered her character, and proved the best sailer in the fleet.
Page 148
Page 160
It was, however, published in the papers, and produced a spirited reply from him, just before his departure for England.
Page 174
The maxims which his discerning mind has formed apply to innumerable cases and characters.
Page 179
"All the directions herein given respecting the disposition and management of the donation to the inhabitants of Boston, I would have observed respecting that to the inhabitants of Philadelphia; only, as Philadelphia is incorporated, I request the corporation of that city to undertake the management agreeably to the said directions, and I do hereby vest them with full and ample powers for that purpose.
Page 191
_ Does this reasoning hold in the case of a duty laid on the produce of their lands _exported_? And would they not then object to such a duty? _A.
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America best cultivates what Germany brought forth.
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* * * * * _Dr.