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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 299

phial's being charged when held in a
man's hand, only proves that water will conduct the electric matter.
The Abbé owns, _p._ 94, that he had heard this remarked, but says,
Why is not a conductor of electricity an electric subject? This is
not the question; Mr. Franklin never said that water was not an
electric subject; he said, that the power of giving a shock was in
the glass, and not in the water; and this, his experiments fully
prove; so fully, that it may appear impertinent to offer any more:
yet as I do not know that the following has been taken notice of by
any body before, my inserting of it in this place may be excused.
It is this: Hang a phial, prepared for the Leyden experiment, to
the conductor, by its hook, and charge it, which done, remove the
communication from the bottom of the phial. Now the conductor shews
evident signs of being electrised; for if a thread be tied round it,
and its ends left about two inches long, they will extend themselves
out like a pair of horns; but if you touch the conductor, a spark
will issue from it, and the threads will fall, nor does the conductor
shew the least sign of being electrised after this is done. I think
that by this touch, I have taken out all the charge of electric
matter that was in the conductor, the hook of the phial, and water
or filings of iron contained in it; which is no more than we see all
non-electric bodies will receive: yet the glass of the phial retains
its power of giving a shock, as any one will find that pleases to
try. This experiment fully evidences, that the water in the phial
contains no more electric matter than it would do in an open bason,
and has not any of that great quantity which produces the shock, and
is only retained by the glass. If after the spark is drawn from the
conductor, you touch the coating of the phial (which all this while
is supposed to hang in the air, free from any non-electric body)
the threads on the conductor will instantly start up, and shew that
the conductor is electrised. It receives this electrisation from
the inner surface of the phial, which, when the outer surface can
receive what it wants from the hand applied to it, will give as much
as the bodies in contact with it can receive, or if they be large
enough, all that it has of excess. It is diverting to see

Last Page Next Page

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

Page 0
In the main he led such a life as the maxims of "Poor Richard"[1] enjoin.
Page 3
Page 8
I will give you what account I can of them, at this distance from my papers, and if these are not lost in my absence, you will among them find many more particulars.
Page 25
He could give me no employment, having little to do and help enough already; but says he, "My son at Philadelphia has lately lost his principal hand, Aquila Rose, by death; if you go thither I believe he may employ you.
Page 31
I wrote an answer to his letter, thanked him for his advice, but stated my reasons for quitting Boston fully and in such a light as to convince him I was not so wrong as he had apprehended.
Page 60
I should have mentioned before, that in the autumn of the preceding year I had formed most of my ingenious acquaintance into a club of mutual improvement, which we called the "Junto.
Page 64
the hands of our friends in the House, and they voted us their printers for the year ensuing.
Page 65
I was bred a farmer, and it was a folly in me to come to town, and put myself, at thirty years of age, an apprentice to learn a new trade.
Page 70
These libraries have improved the general conversation of the Americans, made the common tradesmen and farmers as intelligent as most gentlemen from other countries, and perhaps have contributed in some degree to the stand so generally made throughout the colonies in defense of their privileges.
Page 79
| W.
Page 95
Our club, the Junto, was found so useful, and afforded such satisfaction to the members, that several were desirous of introducing their friends, which could not well be done without exceeding what we had settled as a convenient number, namely, twelve.
Page 109
Page 119
It was just before I went to England in 1757, and did not pass till I was gone, and then with an alteration in the mode of assessment which I thought not for the better, but with an additional provision for lighting as well as paving the streets, which was a great improvement.
Page 127
] [Footnote 142: A form or draft of the law, presented to the legislature for adoption.
Page 151
On this he did not then explain himself; but when he afterward came to do business with the Assembly, they appeared again, the disputes were renewed, and I was as active as ever in the opposition, being the penman, first, of the request to have a communication of the instructions, and then of the remarks upon them, which may be found in the votes of the time, and in the "Historical Review" I afterward published.
Page 152
, money paid for the copy or article.
Page 156
near three months longer, whereby their bottoms were so much damaged by the worm[196] that a great part of them foundered in their passage home.
Page 162
" He then called in Paris, and after some discourse, his lordship's proposition was accepted on both sides; a paper to the purpose was drawn up by the clerk of the Council, which I signed with Mr.
Page 165
I concluded at length that the people were the best judges of my merit, for they buy my works; and, besides, in my rambles where I am not personally known, I have frequently heard one or other of my adages repeated with "As Poor Richard says" at the end of it.
Page 166
There are no gains without pains; then help, hands, for.