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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 235

he had provided
for the security of his house; I waited on him, to enquire what
ground he might have for such suspicion. Mr. West informed me, that
his family and neighbours were all stunned with a very terrible
explosion, and that the flash and crack were seen and heard at the
same instant. Whence he concluded, that the lightning must have been
very near, and, as no house in the neighbourhood had suffered by it,
that it must have passed through his conductor. Mr. White, his clerk,
told me that he was sitting, at the time, by a window, about two
feet distant from the conductor, leaning against the brick wall with
which it was in contact; and that he felt a smart sensation, like an
electric shock, in that part of his body which touched the wall. Mr.
West further informed me, that a person of undoubted veracity assured
him, that, being in the door of an opposite house, on the other side
of Water-street (which you know is but narrow) he saw the lightning
diffused over the pavement, which was then very wet with rain, to
the distance of two or three yards from the foot of the conductor;
and that another person of very good credit told him, that he being
a few doors off on the other side of the street, saw the lightning
above, darting in such direction that it appeared to him to be
directly over that pointed rod.

Upon receiving this information, and being desirous of further
satisfaction, there being no traces of the lightning to be discovered
in the conductor, as far as we could examine it below, I proposed to
Mr. West our going to the top of the house, to examine the pointed
rod, assuring him, that if the lightning had passed through it, the
point must have been melted; and, to our great satisfaction, we found
it so. This iron rod extended in height about nine feet and a half
above a stack of chimneys to which it was fixed (though I suppose
three or four feet would have been sufficient.) It was somewhat more
than half an inch diameter in the thickest part, and tapering to the
upper end. The conductor, from the lower end of it to the earth,
consisted of square iron nail-rods, not much above a quarter of an
inch thick, connected together by interlinking joints. It extended
down the cedar roof to the eaves, and from thence down the wall of
the house, four story and a half, to the pavement in Water-street,
being fastened to the wall, in

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Way to Wealth; or, "Poor Richard Improved"

Page 0
" Published by W.
Page 1
half bound 1 0 Wonders of the Horse, recorded in Anecdotes, Prose and Verse, by Joseph Taylor 2 6 Tales of the Robin & other Small Birds, in Verse, by Joseph Taylor 2 6 Instructive Conversation Cards, consisting .
Page 2
However, let us hearken to good advice, and something may be done for us; "God helps them that help themselves," as Poor Richard says.
Page 3
" Let us then up and be doing, and doing to the purpose: so by diligence shall we do more with less perplexity.
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is worth two to-morrows," as Poor Richard says, and farther, "Never leave that till to-morrow, which you can do to-day.
Page 5
A little neglect may breed great mischief; for want of a nail the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for want of a horse the rider was lost;" being overtaken and slain by the enemy; all for want of a little care about a horse-shoe nail.
Page 6
" And again, "At a great pennyworth pause a while:" he means, that perhaps the cheapness is apparent only, and not real; or the bargain, by straitening thee in thy business, may do thee more harm than good.
Page 7
"It is hard for an empty bag to stand upright.
Page 8
Those have a short Lent, who owe money to be paid at Easter.
Page 9
The people heard it, and approved the doctrine, and immediately practised the contrary, just as if it had been a common sermon; for the auction opened, and they began to buy extravagantly.