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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 285

flash of lightning; and
it being rather late in the evening, the proprietor, desirous of
saving something, sent persons early the next morning to flay them;
but the putrefaction was such, and the stench so abominable, that
they had not the courage to execute their orders, and the bodies
were accordingly buried in their skins. It is not unreasonable to
presume, that between the period of their death and that of their
putrefaction, a time intervened in which the flesh might be only
tender, and only sufficiently so to be served at table. Add to this,
that persons, who have eaten of fowls killed by our feeble imitation
of lightning (electricity) and dressed immediately, have asserted,
that the flesh was remarkably tender.

The little utility of this practice has perhaps prevented its being
much adopted. For though it sometimes happens, that a company
unexpectedly arriving at a country-house, or an unusual conflux of
travellers to an inn, may render it necessary, to kill a number
of animals for immediate use; yet as travellers have commonly a
good appetite, little attention has been paid to the trifling
inconvenience of having their meat a little tough. As this kind of
death is nevertheless more sudden, and consequently less severe, than
any other, if this should operate as a motive with compassionate
persons to employ it for animals sacrificed for their use, they may
conduct the process thus:

Having prepared a battery of six large glass jars (each from 20 to
24 pints) as for the Leyden experiment, and having established a
communication, as usual, from the interior surface of each with the
prime conductor, and having given them a full charge (which with a
good machine may be executed in a few minutes, and may be estimated
by an electrometer) a chain which communicates with the exterior of
the jars must be wrapped round the thighs of the fowl; after which
the operator, holding it by the wings, turned back and made to touch
behind, must raise it so high that the head may receive the first
shock from the prime conductor. The animal dies instantly. Let the
head be immediately cut off to make it bleed, when it may be plucked
and dressed immediately. This quantity of electricity is supposed
sufficient for a turkey of ten pounds weight, and perhaps for a
lamb. Experience alone will inform us of the requisite proportions
for animals of different forms and ages. Probably not less will be
required to render a small bird, which is very old, tender, than for
a larger one, which is young. It is easy to furnish the requisite

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Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin and the First Balloons

Page 0
In general it may be said that, whereas Bigelow gives the text without paragraphs, capital letters or the old spelling,[2] Smyth follows the originals more closely.
Page 1
Sir, On Wednesday, the 27th Instant the new aerostatic Experiment, invented by Mess^rs.
Page 2
It is suppos'd to have burst by the Elasticity of the contain'd Air when no longer compress'd by so heavy an Atmosphere.
Page 3
One has ordered four of 15 feet Diameter each; I know not with what Purpose; But such is the present Enthusiasm for promoting and improving this Discovery, that probably we shall soon make considerable Progress in the art of constructing and using the Machines.
Page 4
I waited for it to send it to you, expecting it would be more satisfactory than anything I could write; but it does not appear.
Page 5
Faujas de St.
Page 6
_Planant sur l'Horizon.
Page 7
The other Method of filling a Balloon with permanently elastic inflammable Air, and then closing it is a tedious Operation, and very expensive; Yet we are to have one of that kind sent up in a few Days.
Page 8
It does not seem to me a good reason to decline prosecuting a new Experiment which apparently increases the Power of Man over Matter, till we can see to what Use that Power may be applied.
Page 9
Some Guns were fired to give Notice, that the Departure of the.
Page 10
I shall inclose one of the Tickets of Admission, on which the Globe was represented, as originally intended, but.
Page 11
Tuesday Morning, Dec.
Page 12
22, since the ascension of d'Arlandes and de Rozier which, according to the letter, took place the previous day is known to have been on the 21st.
Page 13
Page 14
16, removed a space after "d'" in "Beaucoup d'habitants"; p.