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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 287

for instance, to melt a
small wire) if the charge, instead of passing in this circle, rushed
through the sides of the jars, the intended effect would not be
produced; which, however, is contrary to fact. For these reasons, I
suspect, that there is, in the substance of the glass, either some
little globules of air, or some portions of unvitrified sand or salt,
into which a quantity of the electric fluid may be forced during the
charge, and there retained till the general discharge: and that the
force being suddenly withdrawn, the elasticity of the fluid acts upon
the glass in which it is inclosed, not being able to escape hastily
without breaking the glass. I offer this only as a conjecture, which
I leave to others to examine.

The globe which I had that could not be excited, though it was from
the same glass-house which furnished the other excellent globes
in my possession, was not of the same frit. The glass which was
usually manufactured there, was rather of the green kind, and chiefly
intended for drinking-glasses and bottles; but the proprietors being
desirous of attempting a trial of white glass, the globe in question
was of this frit. The glass not being of a perfect white, the
proprietors were dissatisfied with it, and abandoned their project.
I suspected that too great a quantity of salt was admitted into the
composition; but I am no judge of these matters.

B. FRANKLIN.




TO MISS STEPHENSON.

_Concerning the Leyden Bottle._


_London, March 22, 1762._

I must retract the charge of idleness in your studies, when I find
you have gone through the doubly difficult task of reading so big a
book, on an abstruse subject, and in a foreign language.

In answer to your question concerning the Leyden phial.--The hand
that holds the bottle receives and conducts away the electric fluid
that is driven out of the outside by the repulsive power of that
which is forced into the inside of the bottle. As long as that power
remains in the same situation, it must prevent the return of what it
had expelled; though the hand would readily supply the quantity if it
could be received.

Your affectionate friend,

B. FRANKLIN.




APPENDIX.




No. 1[93].

_The early_ LETTERS _of Dr. Franklin on Electricity having been
translated into French, and printed at Paris; the Abbé Mazeas, in a
Letter to Dr. Stephen Hales, dated St. Germain, May 20, 1752, gives
the following Account (printed in the Philosophical Transactions)
of the Experiment made at Marly, in

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

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_ No power, how great soever, can force men to change their opinions.
Page 26
In the mean time, the boatman and I concluded to sleep if we could, and so crowded into the scuttle with the Dutchman, who was still wet, and the spray beating over the head of our boat leaked through to us, so that we were soon almost as wet as he.
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I was surprised at the quantity, but took it, and, having no room in my pockets, walked off with a roll under each arm, and eating the other.
Page 31
Sir William Keith, governor of the province, was then at Newcastle; and Captain Holmes, happening to be in company with him when my letter came to hand, spoke to him of me and showed him the letter.
Page 33
My father, though he did not approve Sir William's proposition, was yet pleased that I had been able to obtain so advantageous a character from a person of such note where I had resided, and that I had been so industrious and careful as to equip myself so.
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"I don't know such a person," says he; but, opening the letter, "Oh! this is from Riddlesden.
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a year, though I have since known it to let for seventy, we took in Thomas Godfrey, a glazier, and his family, who were to pay a considerable part of it to us, and we to board with them.
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"That as soon as a party has gained its general point, each member becomes intent upon his particular interest; which, thwarting others, breaks that party into divisions, and occasions .
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Most of them did well, being enabled at the end of our term, six years, to purchase the types of me and go on working for themselves, by which means several families were raised.
Page 116
Thomas Bond, a particular friend of mine, conceived the idea of establishing a hospital in Philadelphia (a very beneficent design which has been ascribed to me but was originally his) for the reception and cure of poor sick persons, whether inhabitants of the province or strangers.
Page 121
And here let me remark the convenience of having but one gutter in such a narrow street, running down its middle, instead of two, one on each side, near the footway; for where all the rain that falls on a street runs from the sides and meets in the middle, it forms there a current strong enough to wash away all the mud it meets with; but when divided into two channels, it is often too weak to cleanse either, and only makes the mud it finds more fluid, so that the wheels of carriages and feet of horses throw and dash it upon the foot pavement, which is thereby rendered foul and slippery, and sometimes splash it upon those who are walking.
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, not less than one hundred and fifty wagons being necessary.
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" I gave them the reasons of my doubting; the subscription was dropped, and the projectors thereby missed the mortification they would have undergone if the firework had been prepared.
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] [Footnote 163: A tax or duty on certain home productions.
Page 151
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Page 156
At length, just before my departure, he told me he had, on better consideration, concluded not to mix his accounts with those of his predecessors.
Page 174
one of the first and, in proportion to his means, one of the greatest of American philanthropists.