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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 266

is held in the hand, and
rise in the other as a jet or fountain; when it is all in the other,
it begins to boil, as it were, by the vapour passing up through it;
and the instant it begins to boil, a sudden coldness is felt in the
ball held; a curious experiment, this, first observed and shown me by
Mr. Nairne. There is something in it similar to the old observation,
I think mentioned by Aristotle, that the bottom of a boiling pot is
not warm; and perhaps it may help to explain that fact;--if indeed it
be a fact.--When the water stands at an equal height in both these
balls, and all at rest; if you wet one of the balls by means of a
feather dipt in spirit, though that spirit is of the same temperament
as to heat and cold with the water in the glasses, yet the cold
occasioned by the evaporation of the spirit from the wetted ball will
so condense the vapour over the water contained in that ball, as that
the water of the other ball will be pressed up into it, followed by a
succession of bubbles, till the spirit is all dried away. Perhaps the
observations on these little instruments may suggest and be applied
to some beneficial uses. It has been thought, that water reduced to
vapour by heat was rarefied only fourteen thousand times, and on
this principle our engines for raising water by fire are said to be
constructed: but if the vapour so much rarefied from water is capable
of being itself still farther rarefied to a boundless degree by the
application of heat to the vessels or parts of vessels containing
the vapour (as at first it is applied to those containing the water)
perhaps a much greater power may be obtained, with little additional
expence. Possibly too, the power of easily moving water from one
end to the other of a moveable beam (suspended in the middle like a
scale-beam) by a small degree of heat, may be applied advantageously
to some other mechanical purposes.****

I am, &c.



[81] John Winthrop. _Editor._

[82] Notre curiosité pourroit peut-être s'applandir des recherches
qu'elle nous a fait faire sur la nature du tonnerre, & sur la
mécanisme de ses principaux effets, mais ce n'est point ce qu'il y a
de plus important; il vaudroit bien mieux que nous puissions tronver
quelque moyen de nous en garantir: on y a pensé; on s'est même
flatté d'avoir fait cette grande découverte; mais malheureusement
douze années d'épreuves & un peu

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 2 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
Jordain 187 To Miss Hubbard 189 To George Wheatley 190 To B.
Page 16
Again, _It is foolish to lay out money in a purchase of repentance_; and yet this folly is practised every day at auctions, for want of minding the Almanac.
Page 27
Page 28
If a man has no inclination to wrong people in his dealings, if he feels no temptation to it, and, therefore, never does it, can it be said that he is not a just man? If he is a just man, has he not the virtue of justice? If to a certain man idle diversions have nothing in them that is tempting, and, therefore, he never relaxes his application to business for their sake, is he not an industrious man? Or has he not the virtue of industry? I might in like manner instance in all the rest of the virtues; but, to make the thing short, as it is certain that the more we strive against the temptation to any vice, and practise the contrary virtue, the weaker will that temptation be, and the stronger will be that habit, till at length the temptation has no force or entirely vanishes; does it follow from thence that, in our endeavours to overcome vice, we grow continually less and less virtuous, till at length we have no virtue at all? If self-denial be the essence of virtue, then it follows that the man who is naturally temperate, just, &c.
Page 43
Page 90
"My love to brother and sister Mecom and their children, and to all my relations in general.
Page 108
"MY DEAR FRIEND, "I received your excellent paper on the preferable use of oxen in agriculture, and have put it in the way of being communicated to the public here.
Page 115
* * * "Yesterday the _Count du Nord_[17] was at the Academy of Sciences, when sundry experiments were exhibited for his entertainment; among them, one by M.
Page 125
Determining as we do to have no offices of profit, nor any sinecures or useless appointments, so common in ancient and corrupted states, we can govern ourselves a year for the sum you pay in a single department, or for what one jobbing contractor, by the favour of a minister, can cheat you out of in a single article.
Page 126
And he gives this pretty reason, that though it was right to make the promises, because otherwise the revolt would not be suppressed, yet it would be wrong to keep them, because revolters ought to be punished to deter future revolts.
Page 134
The spelling-book in question was, I think, written by a German.
Page 140
I hope you will live long to see that country flourish under its new constitution, which I am sure will give you great pleasure.
Page 146
What vast additions to the conveniences and comforts of living might mankind have acquired, if the money spent in wars had been employed in works of public utility.
Page 147
"The remissness of our people in paying taxes is highly blameable, the unwillingness to pay them is still more so.
Page 157
We are, I think, in the right road of improvement, for we are making experiments.
Page 167
If a writer can judge properly of his own work, I fancy, on reading over what is already done, that the book may be found entertaining and useful, more so than I expected when I began it.
Page 190
The mischief it did is amazing; almost all the buildings in the countries were thrown down.
Page 215
I suppose a whirlwind or spout may be stationary when the concurring winds are equal; but if unequal, the whirl acquires a progressive motion in the direction of the strongest pressure.
Page 218
New-York, April 14, 1757.
Page 240
But, as I said before, I would not advise you or any one to depend on having this presence of mind on such an occasion, but learn fairly to swim, as I wish all men were taught to do in their youth; they would, on many occurrences, be the safer for having that skill, and on many more the happier, as freer from painful apprehensions of danger, to say nothing of the enjoyment in so delightful and wholesome an exercise.