child, as I also, by degrees, forgot my engagements
with Miss Read, to whom I never wrote more than one letter, and that
merely to inform her that I was not likely to return soon. This
was another grand error of my life, which I should be desirous of
correcting were I to begin my career again.
I was employed at Palmer's on the second edition of Woolaston's
Religion of Nature. Some of his arguments appearing to me not to
be well-founded, I wrote a small metaphysical treatise, in which
I animadverted on those passages. It was entitled a "Dissertation
on Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain." I dedicated it to my
friend Ralph, and printed a small number of copies. Palmer upon this
treated me with more consideration, and regarded me as a young man of
talents; though he seriously took me to task for the principles of my
pamphlet, which he looked upon as abominable. The printing of this
work was another error of my life.
While I lodged in Little Britain I formed acquaintance with a
bookseller of the name of Wilcox, whose shop was next door to me.
Circulating libraries were not then in use. He had an immense
collection of books of all sorts. We agreed that, for a reasonable
retribution, of which I have now forgotten the price, I should have
free access to his library, and take what books I pleased, which I
was to return when I had read them. I considered this agreement as a
very great advantage; and I derived from it as much benefit as was in
My pamphlet falling into the hands of a surgeon, of the name
of Lyons, author of a book entitled, "Infallibility of Human
Judgment," was the occasion of a considerable intimacy between us.
He expressed great esteem for me, came frequently to see me, in
order to converse upon metaphysical subjects, and introduced me to
Dr. Mandeville, author of the Fable of the Bees, who had instituted
a club at a tavern in Cheapside, of which he was the soul: he was
a facetious and very amusing character. He also introduced me, at
Batson's coffee-house, to Dr. Pemberton, who promised to give me
an opportunity of seeing Sir Isaac Newton, which I very ardently
desired; but he never kept his word.
I had brought some curiosities with me from America; the principal of
which was a purse made of the asbestos, which fire only purifies.
Sir Hans Sloane hearing of it, called upon me, and invited me to his
house in Bloomsbury-square, where, after showing me every thing that
361 Mr.Page 9
Electrical Experiments facing page 182 PLATE II.Page 17
venturing myself both upon and within it, and I soon acquired the art of swimming, and of managing a boat.Page 72
Having, however, no writer among them capable of answering it, their opposition became less violent; and there being in the house of assembly a majority for the measure, it passed.Page 75
I regarded my forgetfulness and inconstancy, during my abode in London, as the principal cause of her misfortune, though her mother had the candour to attribute the fault to herself, rather than to me, because after having prevented our marriage previously to my departure, she had induced her to marry another in my absence.Page 94
Thomas Penn, Esq.Page 103
Franklin received the thanks of the assembly of Pennsylvania, "as well for the faithful discharge of his duty to that province in particular, as for the many and important services done to America in general, during his residence in Great Britain.Page 132
The bottle charged through the hook, will be discharged through the hook; the bottle charged through the coating, will be discharged through the coating, and not otherways; for the fire must come out the same way it went in.Page 151
_Introductory Letter to some additional Papers.Page 171
For if it was fine enough to come with the electric fluid through the body of one person, why should it stop on the skin of another? But I shall never have done, if I tell you all my conjectures, thoughts, and imaginations on the nature and operations of this electric fluid, and relate the variety of little experiments we have tried.Page 195
And thus, when a hole is struck through pasteboard by the electrified jar, if the surfaces of the pasteboard are not confined or compressed, there will be a bur raised all round the hole on both sides the pasteboard; but if one side be confined, so that the bur cannot be raised on that side, it will be all raised on the other, which way soever the fluid was directed.Page 200
And in general, whether by the approach or recess of any body; if the difference between the density of the internal and external fluid be increased, or diminished; the repulsion of the balls will be increased, or diminished, accordingly.Page 211
I laid one end of my discharging rod upon the head of the first; he laid his hand on the head of the second; the second his hand on the head of the third, and so to the last, who held, in his hand, the chain that was connected with the outside of the jars.Page 280
uniformly diffusing itself, the balls will again be separated; being now in a negative state.Page 281
There is another circumstance much to be desired with respect to glass, and that is, that it should not be subject to break when highly charged in the Leyden experiment.Page 292
S'il étoit besoin d'autres témoins que de lui & de moi, vous les trouveriez.Page 312
_Deism_, effects on Franklin of books written against, i.Page 328
power of the king, remarks on, iii.Page 337
difficult sometimes to discover the cause of, 282.