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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 236

several places, by small iron hooks.
The lower end was fixed to a ring, in the top of an iron stake that
was drove about four or five feet into the ground.

The above-mentioned iron rod had a hole in the top of it, about two
inches deep, wherein was inserted a brass wire, about two lines
thick, and, when first put there, about ten inches long, terminating
in a very acute point; but now its whole length was no more than
seven inches and a half, and the top very blunt. Some of the metal
appears to be missing, the slenderest part of the wire being, as I
suspect, consumed into smoke. But some of it, where the wire was a
little thicker, being only melted by the lightning, sunk down, while
in a fluid state, and formed a rough irregular cap, lower on one side
than the other, round the upper end of what remained, and became
intimately united therewith.

This was all the damage that Mr. West sustained by a terrible stroke
of lightning;--a most convincing proof of the great utility of this
method of preventing its dreadful effects. Surely it will now be
thought as expedient to provide conductors for the lightning, as for
the rain.

Mr. West was so good as to make me a present of the melted wire,
which I keep as a great curiosity, and long for the pleasure of
shewing it to you. In the mean time, I beg your acceptance of the
best representation I can give of it, which you will find by the side
of the thermometer, drawn in its full dimensions as it now appears.
The dotted lines above are intended to shew the form of the wire
before the lightning melted it.

And now, Sir, I most heartily congratulate you on the pleasure you
must have in finding your great and well-grounded expectations so far
fulfilled. May this method of security from the destructive violence
of one of the most awful powers of nature, meet with such further
success, as to induce every good and grateful heart to bless God for
the important discovery! May the benefit thereof be diffused over the
whole globe! May it extend to the latest posterity of mankind, and
make the name of FRANKLIN, like that of NEWTON, _immortal_.

I am, Sir, with sincere respect,

Your most obedient and most humble servant,

EBEN. KINNERSLEY.




TO MR. KINNERSLEY.

_Answer to some of the foregoing Subjects.--How long the Leyden
Bottle may be kept charged.--Heated Glass rendered permeable by the
electric Fluid.--Electrical

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My Brother and the rest going from the Printing House to their Meals, I remain'd there alone, and dispatching presently my light Repast, (which often was no more than a Bisket or a Slice of Bread, a Handful of Raisins or a Tart from the Pastry Cook's, and a Glass of Water) had the rest of the Time till their Return, for Study, in which I made the greater Progress from that greater Clearness of Head and quicker Apprehension which usually attend Temperance in Eating and Drinking.
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DEAR SIR: I received your Favour of the 24th of February with great Pleasure, as it inform'd me of your Welfare, and express'd your continu'd Regard for me.
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for such a work myself; I throw out the hint for the consideration of the learned; and only venture to send you a few verses of the first chapter of Job, which may serve as a sample of the kind of version I would recommend.