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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 238

freezing; and, accordingly,
from some water mixed with the spirit, or from the breath of the
assistants, or both, ice gathered in small spicula round the ball,
to the thickness of near a quarter of an inch. To such a degree did
the mercury lose the fire it before contained, which, as I imagine,
took the opportunity of escaping, in company with the evaporating
particles of the spirit, by adhering to those particles.

Your experiment of the Florence flask, and boiling water, is very
curious. I have repeated it, and found it to succeed as you describe
it, in two flasks out of three. The third would not charge when
filled with either hot or cold water. I repeated it, because I
remembered I had once attempted to make an electric bottle of a
Florence flask, filled with cold water, but could not charge it at
all; which I then imputed to some imperceptible cracks in the small,
extremely thin bubbles, of which that glass is full, and I concluded
none of that kind would do. But you have shown me my mistake.--Mr.
Wilson had formerly acquainted us, that red hot glass would conduct
electricity; but that so small a degree of heat, as that communicated
by boiling water, would so open the pores of extremely thin glass, as
to suffer the electric fluid freely to pass, was not before known.
Some experiments similar to yours, have, however, been made here,
before the receipt of your letter, of which I shall now give you an

I formerly had an opinion that a Leyden bottle, charged and then
sealed hermetically, might retain its electricity for ever; but
having afterwards some suspicion that possibly that subtle fluid
might, by slow imperceptible degrees, soak through the glass, and in
time escape, I requested some of my friends, who had conveniences for
doing it, to make trial, whether, after some months, the charge of a
bottle so sealed would be sensibly diminished. Being at Birmingham,
in September, 1760, Mr. Bolton of that place opened a bottle that
had been charged, and its long tube neck hermetically sealed in
the January preceding. On breaking off the end of the neck, and
introducing a wire into it, we found it possessed of a considerable
quantity of electricity, which was discharged by a snap and spark.
This bottle had lain near seven months on a shelf, in a closet, in
contact with bodies that would undoubtedly have carried off all its
electricity, if it could have come readily through the glass. Yet
as the quantity manifested by the discharge was not apparently so
great as

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Text Comparison with Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 0
CONTENTS PAGE Introduction vii The Autobiography I.
Page 10
Henry E.
Page 15
, of his own poetry, consisting of little occasional pieces addressed to his friends and relations, of which the following, sent to me, is a specimen.
Page 27
Pope[22] says, judiciously: _"Men should be taught as if you taught them not, And things unknown propos'd as things forgot;"_ farther recommending to us "To speak, tho' sure, with seeming diffidence.
Page 29
He was taken up, censur'd, and imprison'd for a month, by the speaker's warrant, I suppose, because he would not discover his author.
Page 32
He entered into conversation with me while I took some refreshment,.
Page 34
The latter I gave the people of the boat for my passage, who at first refus'd it, on account of my rowing; but I insisted on their taking it.
Page 43
He was ready to die with vexation, and obstinately would not promise to row.
Page 60
My distemper was a pleurisy, which very nearly carried me off.
Page 79
So few were the readers at that time in Philadelphia, and the majority of us so poor, that I was not able, with great industry, to find more than fifty persons, mostly young tradesmen, willing to pay down for this purpose forty shillings each, and ten shillings per annum.
Page 86
"_O powerful Goodness! bountiful Father! merciful Guide! Increase in me that wisdom which.
Page 87
discovers my truest interest.
Page 90
But, on the whole, tho' I never arrived at the perfection I had been so ambitious.
Page 105
From these circumstances, I have thought that there is some inconsistency in our common mode of teaching languages.
Page 113
Being among the hindmost in Market-street, I had the curiosity to learn how far he could be heard, by retiring backwards down the street towards the river; and I found his voice distinct till I came near Front-street, when some noise in that street obscur'd it.
Page 138
I then suggested a method of doing the business without the governor, by orders on the trustees of the Loan office, which, by law, the Assembly had the right of drawing.
Page 154
Somebody wrote an account of this to the proprietor, and it gave him great offense.
Page 159
After dinner, when the company, as was customary at that time, were engag'd in drinking, he took me aside into another room, and acquainted me that he had been advis'd by his friends in England to cultivate a friendship with me, as one who was capable of giving him the best advice, and of contributing most effectually to the making his administration easy; that he therefore desired of all things to have a good understanding with me, and he begged me to be assured of his readiness on all occasions to render me every service that might be in his power.
Page 164
though detained afterwards from day to day during full three months.
Page 180
_ A parody of a pro-slavery speech in Congress.