convinced me, that my hypothesis on
this subject was erroneous. It is difficult to conceive where the
immense superfluous quantity of electricity on the charged side of a
glass is deposited.
I send you my paper concerning meteors, which was lately published
here in the Philosophical Transactions, immediately after a paper by
Mr. Hamilton on the same subject.
I am, Sir, &c.
 This letter is translated from the French edition of Dr.
Franklin's works, as are also all that follow, to the Appendix, the
one to Miss Stephenson excepted. _Editor._
_Mode of ascertaining, whether the Power, giving a Shock to those
who touch either the Surinam Eel, or the Torpedo, be electrical._
1. Touch the fish with a stick of dry sealing-wax, or a glass rod,
and observe if the shock be communicated by means of those bodies.
Touch the same fish with an iron, or other metalline rod.
If the shock be communicated by the latter body, and not by the
others, it is probably not the mechanical effect, as has been
supposed, of some muscular action in the fish, but of a subtile
fluid, in this respect analogous at least to the electric fluid.
2. Observe farther, whether the shock can be conveyed without the
metal being actually in contact with the fish, and if it can,
whether, in the space between, any light appear, and a slight noise
or crackling be heard.
If so, these also are properties common to the electric fluid.
3. Lastly, touch the fish with the wire of a small Leyden bottle, and
if the shock can be received across, observe whether the wire will
attract and repel light bodies, and you feel a shock, while holding
the bottle in one hand, and touching the wire with the other.
If so, the fluid, capable of producing such effects seems to have all
the known properties of the electric fluid.
ADDITION, _12th August, 1772,_
_In Consequence of the Experiments and Discoveries made in France
by Mr. Walsh, and communicated by him to Dr. Franklin._
Let several persons, standing on the floor, hold hands, and let one
of them touch the fish, so as to receive a shock. If the shock be
felt by all, place the fish flat on a plate of metal, and let one of
the persons holding hands touch this plate, while the person farthest
from the plate touches the upper part of the fish with a metal rod:
then observe, if the force of the shock be the same as to all the
persons forming the
That compelling the colonies to pay money without their consent, would be rather like raising contributions in an enemy's country, than taxing of Englishmen for their own public benefit.Page 37
They are much too long for their breadth; the extremes at too great a distance; and therefore unfit to be continued under their present dimensions.Page 44
Yet the proprietaries resolved to deprive the assemblies of the power and means of _supporting an agent_ in England, and of prosecuting their complaints and remonstrating their aggrievances, when injured and oppressed, to his majesty and his parliament: and to rob them of this natural right (which has been so often approved of by their gracious sovereign) have, by their said instructions, prohibited their governor from giving his assent to any laws emitting or re-emitting any paper-currency or bills of credit, or for raising money by excise or any other method; unless the governor or commander in chief for the time being, by clauses to be inserted therein, has _a negative in the disposition_ of the monies arising thereby; let the languishing circumstances of our trade be ever so great, and a further or greater medium be ever so necessary for its support.Page 61
An act, for striking and issuing the sum of 40,000_l.Page 77
opinion) may in its consequences be dangerous.Page 110
" If the rising of the value of any particular commodity wanted for exportation, is to.Page 114
These were fines on the commissioned officers for disobedience to his commands; but the non-commissioned officers, or common soldiers, whom, for the same offence, the assembly proposed to fine at ten pounds, the governor insisted should be fined fifty pounds.Page 153
5, 1764.Page 229
At length the dispute became so personal and pointed, that Mr.Page 251
Among these witty gentlemen let us take a view of Ridentius: what a contemptible figure does he make with his train of paltry admirers? This wight shall give himself an hour's diversion with the cock of a man's hat, the heels of his shoes, an unguarded expression in his discourse, or even some personal defect; and the height of his low ambition is to put some one of the company to the blush, who perhaps must pay an equal share of the reckoning with himself.Page 298
He shared but a small portion of this virtue, being only able to discern transactions about the time of, and for the most part after, their happening.Page 305
There is certainly something very bewitching in the pursuit after mines of.Page 323
"Late children," says the Spanish proverb, "are early orphans.Page 338
What can be expected from such a course of living, but a body replete with stagnant humours, ready to fall a prey to all kinds of dangerous maladies, if I, the gout, did not occasionally bring you relief by agitating these humours, and so purifying or dissipating them.Page 381
laws and taxes, 24, 26.Page 394
_Epitaph_ on Franklin's parents, i.Page 397
_Galloway_, Mr, preface to his speech, iii.Page 401
rules in visiting, 388.