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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 281

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.



[91] 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

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

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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.
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