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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 268

A. B. (_See Plate_
IV.) being supported about 10 inches and a half above the table by
a wax-stand, and under it erected a _pointed wire_ 7 inches and a
half high, and one-fifth of an inch thick, and tapering to a sharp
point, and communicating with the table; when the _point_ (being
uppermost) is _covered_ by the end of a finger, the conductor may be
full charged, and the electrometer c[86], will rise to the height
indicating a full charge: but the moment the point is _uncovered_,
the ball of the electrometer drops, showing the prime conductor
to be instantly discharged and nearly emptied of its electricity.
Turn the wire its _blunt_ end upwards (which represents an unpointed
bar) and no such effect follows, the electrometer remaining at its
usual height when the prime conductor is charged.

[Illustration: (of these experiments)

_Plate IV._ _Vol. I. page 388._

_Published as the Act directs, April 1, 1806, by Longman, Hurst, Rees
& Orme, Paternoster Row._]


_What_ quantity of lightning, a high pointed rod well communicating
with the earth may be expected to discharge from the clouds silently
in a short time, is yet unknown; but I have reason from a particular
fact to think it may at some times be very great. In Philadelphia I
had such a rod fixed to the top of my chimney, and extending about
nine feet above it. From the foot of this rod, a wire (the thickness
of a goose-quill) came through a covered glass tube in the roof, and
down through the well of the stair-case; the lower end connected
with the iron spear of a pump. On the stair-case opposite to my
chamber-door, the wire was divided; the ends separated about six
inches, a little bell on each end; [and] between the bells a little
brass ball suspended by a silk thread, to play between and strike
the bells when clouds passed with electricity in them. After having
frequently drawn sparks and charged bottles from the bell of the
upper wire, I was one night waked by loud cracks on the stair-case.
Starting up and opening the door, I perceived that the brass ball,
instead of vibrating as usual between the bells, was repelled and
kept at a distance from both; while the fire passed sometimes in very
large quick cracks from bell to bell; and sometimes in a continued
dense white stream, seemingly as large as my finger, whereby the
whole stair-case was enlightened as with sunshine, so that one
might see to pick up a pin[87]. And from the apparent

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Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin Representative selections, with introduction, bibliograpy, and notes

Page 29
,"[i-66] a Deity "whose providence governs the world; whose voice all nature obeys; to whose controul all second causes and subordinate agents are subject; and whose sole prerogative it is to dispense blessings or calamities, as to his wisdom seems best.
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[i-140] _Ibid.
Page 132
by Benjamin Vaughan].
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_ New York: 1933.
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Page 300
However, tho' we do not intend to continue the Publication of those Dictionaries in a regular Alphabetical Method, as has hitherto been done; yet as several Things exhibited from them in the Course of these Papers, have been entertaining to such of the Curious, who never had and cannot have the Advantage of good Libraries; and as there are many Things still behind, which being in this Manner made generally known, may perhaps become of considerable Use, by giving such Hints to the excellent natural Genius's of our Country, as may contribute either to the Improvement of our present Manufactures, or towards the Invention of new Ones; we propose from Time to Time to communicate such particular Parts as appear to be of the most general Consequence.
Page 422
_ | | 19 | .
Page 496
| 7 23 | 4 37 | | 10 | 2 | | 7 24 | 4 36 | | 11 | 3 |Days 9 12 long.
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Page 712
[The future genealogists, too, of these Chevaliers, in proving the lineal descent of their honour through so many generations (even supposing honour capable in its nature of descending), will only prove the small share of this honour, which can be justly claimed by any one of them; since the above simple process in arithmetic makes it quite plain and clear that, in proportion as the antiquity of the family shall augment, the right to the honour of the ancestor will diminish; and a few generations more would reduce it to something so small as to be very near an absolute nullity.
Page 757
Is their Condition then made worse by their falling into our Hands? No; they have only exchanged one Slavery for another, and I may say a better; for here they are brought into a Land where the Sun of Islamism gives forth its Light, and shines in full Splendor, and they have an Opportunity of making themselves acquainted with the true Doctrine, and thereby saving their .