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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 224

the 24th of January past, inclosing
an extract from your letter to Mr. Collinson, and ****'s letter to
yourself, which I have read with a great deal of pleasure, and am
much obliged to you for. Your extract confirms a correction Mr.
Kinnersley made a few days ago, of a mistake I was under respecting
the polarity given to needles by the electrical fire, "that the end
which receives the fire always points north;" and, "that the needle
being situated east and west, will not have a polar direction." You
find, however, the polarity strongest when the needle is shocked
lying north and south; weakest when lying east and west; which makes
it probable that the communicated magnetism is less, as the needle
varies from a north and south situation. As to the needle of Captain
Waddel's compass, if its polarity was reversed by the lightning,
the effect of lightning and electricity, in regard of that, seems
dissimilar; for a magnetic needle in a north and south situation (as
the compass needle was) instead of having its power reversed, or even
diminished, would have it confirmed or increased by the electric
fire. But perhaps the lightning communicated to some nails in the
binnacle (where the compass is placed) the magnetic virtue, which
might disturb the compass.

This I have heard was the case; if so, the seeming dissimilarity
vanishes: but this remarkable circumstance (if it took place) I
should think would not be omitted in Captain Waddel's account.

I am very much pleased that the explication I sent you, of the
crooked direction of lightning, meets with your approbation.

As to your supposition about the source of lightning, the luminous
appearance of the sea in the night, and the similitude between the
friction of the particles of salt and water, as you considered them
in their original separate state, and the friction of the globe and
cushion, very naturally led you to the ocean, as the grand source of
lightning: but the activity of lightning, or the electric element,
and the fitness of water to conduct it, together with the experiments
you mention of salt and water, seem to make against it, and to
prepare the way for some other hypothesis. Accordingly you propose
a new one, which is very curious, and not so liable, I think, to
objections as the former. But there is not as yet, I believe, a
sufficient variety of experiments to establish any theory, though
this seems the most hopeful of any I have heard of.

The effect which the discharge of your four glass jars had upon a
fine wire, tied between two

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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

Page 9
At his table he liked to have, as often as he could, some sensible friend or neighbour to converse with, and always took care to start some ingenious or useful topic for discourse, which might tend to improve the minds of his children.
Page 28
Then I took an opportunity of letting them see my watch; and, lastly (my brother still grum and sullen), gave them a dollar to drink and took my leave.
Page 29
companion, Collins, who was a clerk in the postoffice, pleased with the account I gave him of my new country, determined to go thither also; and while I waited for my father's determination, he set out before me by land to Rhode Island, leaving his books, which were a pretty collection of mathematics and natural philosophy, to come with mine and me to New-York, where he proposed to wait for me.
Page 46
He was a worthless fellow, though an excellent workman, which was the temptation to her friends; he got into debt, ran away in 1727 or 1728, went to the West Indies, and died there.
Page 48
Wit's club there, and had written some pieces in prose and verse, which were printed in the Gloucester newspapers; thence was sent to Oxford; there he continued about a year, but not well satisfied, wishing of all things to see London and become a player.
Page 67
Benjamin Vaughan.
Page 68
"MY DEAREST SIR, "When I had read over your sheets of minutes of the principal incidents of your life, recovered for you by your Quaker acquaintance, I told you I would send you a letter expressing my reasons why I thought it would be useful to complete and publish it as he desired.
Page 85
_ { 1} Sleep.
Page 86
I had not been early accustomed to _method_, and having an exceeding good memory, I was not so sensible of the inconvenience attending want of method.
Page 123
Rice, 6 do.
Page 133
The discourse seemed well adapted to their capacities, and was delivered in a pleasing, familiar manner, coaxing them, as it were, to be good.
Page 135
Page 139
He gave me information that my old friend Ralph was still alive, that he was esteemed one of the best political writers in England; had been employed in the dispute between Prince Frederic and the king, and had obtained a pension of three hundred pounds a year; that his reputation was indeed small as a poet, but his prose was thought as good as any man's.
Page 160
On the meeting of the Assembly it appeared that there was still a decided majority of Franklin's friends.
Page 163
Harrison, and himself, to visit the camp at Cambridge, and, in conjunction with the commander-in-chief, to endeavour to convince the troops, whose term of enlistment was about to expire, of the necessity of their continuing in the field, and persevering in the cause of their country.
Page 177
This obligation does not lie on me, who never inherited a shilling from any ancestor or relation.
Page 181
While in the pursuit of the last-mentioned object, he was prevented, by a premature death, from reaping the fruit of those talents with which he was endowed, and of a youth spent in the ardent and successful pursuit of useful and elegant literature.
Page 213
But these have had the faith of the English given to them many times by the government, and, in reliance on that faith, they lived among us, and gave us the opportunity of murdering them.
Page 214
Let us rouse ourselves for shame, and redeem the honour of our province from the contempt of its neighbours; let all good men join heartily and unanimously in support of the laws, and in strengthening the hands of government, that justice may be done, the wicked punished, and the innocent protected; otherwise we can, as a people, expect no blessing from Heaven; there will be no security for our persons or properties; anarchy and confusion will prevail over all; and violence, without judgment, dispose of everything.
Page 217
Franklin's motion for Prayers in the Convention assembled at Philadelphia, 1787, to revise the then existing Articles of Confederation.