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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 255

near the hearth, from the
causes above-mentioned, it was not in any other part of the house;
_the flash_ meaning no more than _the light_ of the lightning.--It is
for want of considering this difference, that people suppose there
is a kind of lightning not attended with thunder. In fact there is
probably a loud explosion accompanying every flash of lightning,
and at the same instant;--but as sound travels slower than light,
we often hear the sound some seconds of time after having seen the
light; and as sound does not travel so far as light, we sometimes see
the light at a distance too great to hear the sound.

(_n_) The _breaking some pieces of china in the beaufet_, may
nevertheless seem to indicate that the lightning was there: but as
there is no mention of its having hurt any part of the beaufet, or of
the walls of the house, I should rather ascribe that effect to the
concussion of the air, or shake of the house by the explosion.

Thus, to me it appears, that the house and its inhabitants were saved
by the rod, though the rod itself was unjointed by the stroke; and
that, if it had been made of one piece, and sunk deeper in the earth,
or had entered the earth at a greater distance from the foundation,
the mentioned small damages (except the melting of the points) would
not have happened.


_On the Electricity of the Tourmalin._

_Craven-street, June 7, 1759._


I now return the smallest of your two tourmalins, with hearty thanks
for your kind present of the other, which, though I value highly for
its rare and wonderful properties, I shall ever esteem it more for
the friendship I am honoured with by the giver.

I hear that the negative electricity of one side of the tourmalin,
when heated, is absolutely denied (and all that has been related of
it ascribed to prejudice in favour of a system) by some ingenious
gentlemen abroad, who profess to have made the experiments on the
stone with care and exactness. The experiments have succeeded
differently with me; yet I would not call the accuracy of those
gentlemen in question. Possibly the tourmalins they have tried were
not properly cut; so that the positive and negative powers were
obliquely placed, or in some manner whereby their effects were
confused, or the negative parts more easily supplied by the positive.
Perhaps the lapidaries who have hitherto cut these stones, had no
regard to the situation of the two powers, but chose to make

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

Page 0
" _Repository, June, 1809.
Page 1
Proprietors, W.
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.
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on diseases, absolutely shortens life.
Page 4
" II.
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These are not the necessaries of life; they can scarcely be called the conveniences: and yet only because they look pretty, how many want to have them?--By these, and other extravagancies, the genteel are reduced to poverty, and forced to borrow of those whom they formerly despised, but who, through industry and frugality, have maintained their standing; in which case it appears plainly, that "A ploughman on his legs is higher than a gentleman on his knees," as Poor Richard says.
Page 7
"It is hard for an empty bag to stand upright.
Page 8
" The day comes round before you are aware, and the demand is made before you are prepared to satisfy it; or, if you bear your debt in mind, the term, which at first seemed so long, will, as it lessens, appear extremely short: "Time will seem to have added wings to his heels as well as his shoulders.
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* * * * * Transcriber's Notes: Only the most obvious and clear punctuation errors repaired.