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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 300

how the
threads will rise and fall by touching the coating and conductor of
the phial alternately. May it not be that the difference between
the charged side of the glass, and the outer or emptied side, being
lessened by touching the hook or the conductor; the outer side can
receive from the hand which touched it, and by its receiving, the
inner side cannot retain so much; and for that reason so much as it
cannot contain electrises the water, or filings and conductor: for
it seems to be a rule, that the one side must be emptied in the same
proportion that the other is filled: though this from experiment
appears evident, yet it is still a mystery not to be accounted for.

I am in many places of the Abbé's book surprised to find that
experiments have succeeded so differently at Paris, from what they
did with Mr. Franklin, and as I have always observed them to do. The
Abbé, in making experiments to find the difference between the two
surfaces of a charged glass, will not have the phial placed on wax:
for, says he, don't you know that being placed on a body originally
electric, it quickly loses its virtue? I cannot imagine what should
have made the Abbé think so; it certainly is contradictory to the
notions commonly received of electrics _per se_; and by experiment I
find it entirely otherwise: for having several times left a charged
phial, for that purpose, standing on wax for hours, I found it to
retain as much of its charge as another that stood at the same time
on a table. I left one standing on wax from ten o'clock at night
till eight the next morning, when I found it to retain a sufficient
quantity of its charge, to give me a sensible commotion in my arms,
though the room in which the phial stood had been swept in that time,
which must have raised much dust to facilitate the discharge of the

I find that a cork-ball suspended between two bottles, the one fully
and the other but little charged, will not play between them, but is
driven into a situation that makes a triangle with the hooks of the
phials: though the Abbé has asserted the contrary of this, p. 101,
in order to account for the playing of a cork-ball between the wire
thrust into the phial, and one that rises up from its coating. The
phial which is least charged must have more electric matter given to
it, in proportion to its bulk, than the cork-ball receives

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

Page 2
The weather was so favorable that there were few days in which we could not visit from ship to ship, dining with each other and on board of the man-of-war; which made the time pass agreeably, much more so than when one goes in a single ship; for this was like traveling in a moving village, with all one's neighbors about one.
Page 17
My time for these exercises and for reading was at night after work, or before it began in the morning, or on Sundays, when I contrived to be in the printing house alone, evading as much as I could the common attendance on public worship, which my father used to exact of me when I was under.
Page 27
She, understanding I was a printer, would have had me stay at that town and follow my business, being ignorant of the stock necessary to begin with.
Page 33
I led in it, expressing strongly my intention of returning to it; and one of them asking what kind of money we had there, I produced a handful of silver and spread it before them, which was a kind of raree-show[51] they had not been used to, paper being the money of Boston.
Page 46
These I gave him from time to time, but endeavored rather to discourage his proceeding.
Page 60
Had I known him before I engaged in this business, probably I never should have done it.
Page 61
Hugh Meredith, Stephen Potts, and George Webb I have characterized before.
Page 66
inhabitants in the province, since I now saw all the old houses inhabited and many new ones building; whereas, I remembered well that when I first walked about the streets of Philadelphia, eating my roll, I saw most of the houses in Walnut Street, between Second and Front Streets, with bills on their doors, "To be Let;" and many likewise in Chestnut Street and other streets, which made me then think the inhabitants of the city were deserting it one after another.
Page 68
Page 69
We ventured, however, over all these difficulties, and I took her to wife Sept.
Page 82
{ 5} Rise, wash, and address Powerful _Question.
Page 87
" When another asserted something that I thought an error, I denied myself the pleasure of contradicting him abruptly, and of showing immediately some absurdity in his proposition; and in answering I began by observing that in certain cases or circumstances his opinion would be right, but in the present case there "appeared" or "seemed" to me some difference, etc.
Page 111
The plan of it was discussed by the Junto, from which came six of the nine original members.
Page 130
This I did, and they were agreed to, and a commission and instructions accordingly prepared immediately.
Page 138
I looked grave, and said it would, I thought, be time enough to prepare for the rejoicing when we knew we should have occasion to rejoice.
Page 157
Each has his system;.
Page 161
I did so soon after, but they put the paper into the hands of their solicitor, Ferdinand John Paris, who managed for them all their law business in their great suit with the neighboring proprietary of Maryland, Lord Baltimore, which had subsisted seventy years, and who wrote for them all their papers and messages in their dispute with the Assembly.
Page 168
And again, Three removes are as bad as a fire; and again, Keep thy shop, and thy shop will keep thee; and again, If you would have your business done, go; if not, send; and again: He that by the plow would thrive, Himself must either hold or drive.
Page 171
And when you have got the philosopher's stone, be sure you will no longer complain of bad times or the difficulty of paying taxes.
Page 176
Write a feature article on that system, as if for a magazine.