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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 80

refused his
assent to them; and the assembly broke up without passing a militia
bill. The situation of the province was at this time truly alarming:
exposed to the continual inroad of an enemy, and destitute of every
means of defence. At this crisis Franklin stepped forth, and proposed
to a meeting of the citizens of Philadelphia, a plan of a voluntary
association for the defence of the province. This was approved
of, and signed by twelve hundred persons immediately. Copies were
circulated without delay through the province; and in a short time
the number of signatures amounted to ten thousand. Franklin was
chosen colonel of the Philadelphia regiment; but he did not think
proper to accept of the honour.

Pursuits of a different nature now occupied the greatest part of
his attention for some years. He engaged in a course of electrical
experiments, with all the ardor and thirst for discovery which
characterized the philosophers of that day. Of all the branches of
experimental philosophy, electricity had been least explored. The
attractive power of amber is mentioned by Theophrastus and Pliny,
and from them, by later naturalists. In the year 1600, Gilbert, an
English physician, enlarged considerably the catalogue of substances
which have the property of attracting light bodies. Boyle, Otto
Guericke, a burgomaster of Magdeburg, celebrated as the inventor
of the air-pump, Dr. Wall, and Sir Isaac Newton added some facts.
Guericke first observed the repulsive power of electricity, and the
light and noise produced by it. In 1709, Hawkesbec communicated
some important observations and experiments to the world. For
several years electricity was entirely neglected, until Mr. Grey
applied himself to it, in 1728, with great assiduity. He and his
friend Mr. Wheeler, made a great variety of experiments, in which
they demonstrated, that electricity may be communicated from one
body to another, even without being in contact, and in this way may
be conducted to a great distance. Mr. Grey afterwards found, that,
by suspending rods of iron by silk or hair lines, and bringing
an excited tube under them, sparks might be drawn, and a light
perceived at the extremities in the dark. M. du Faye, intendant
of the French king's gardens, made a number of experiments, which
added not a little to the science. He made the discovery of two
kinds of electricity, which he called _vitreous_ and _resinous_; the
former produced by rubbing glass, the latter from excited sulphur,
sealing-wax, &c. But this he afterwards gave up as erroneous. Between
the years 1739 and 1742, Desaguliers made a number of experiments,
but added little of importance. He first used the terms _conductors_
and _electrics per

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Text Comparison with The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 10
But one does not dress.
Page 24
I sat down among them, and, after looking round awhile and hearing nothing said, being very drowsy thro' labor and want of rest the preceding night, I fell fast asleep, and continued so till the meeting broke up, when one was kind enough to rouse me.
Page 34
Keimer wore his beard at full length, because somewhere in the Mosaic law it is said, "Thou shalt not mar the corners of thy beard.
Page 45
She had lived many years in that garret, being permitted to remain there gratis by successive Catholic tenants of the house below, as they deemed it a blessing to have her there.
Page 50
John ----, a wild Irishman, brought up to no business, whose service, for four years, Keimer had purchased from the captain of a ship; he, too, was to be made a pressman.
Page 61
As soon as he was gone, I recurr'd to my two friends; and because I would not give an unkind preference to either, I took half of what each had offered and I wanted of one, and half of the other; paid off the company's debts, and went on with the business in my own name, advertising that the partnership was dissolved.
Page 67
Not that I think the work would have no other merit and use in the world, far from it; but the first is of such vast importance that I know nothing that can equal it.
Page 70
Franklin, with a personal application to your proper self.
Page 75
Page 79
| **| * | * | | * | * | * | | R.
Page 97
On the whole, I proposed as a more effectual watch, the hiring of proper men to serve constantly in that business; and as a more equitable way of supporting the charge the levying a tax that should be proportion'd to the property.
Page 99
This I advis'd; but he was resolute in his.
Page 115
The subscriptions accordingly soon exceeded the requisite sum, and we claim'd and receiv'd the public gift, which enabled us to carry the design into execution.
Page 116
I had liv'd near what was call'd the Jersey Market, and saw with pain the inhabitants wading in mud while purchasing their provisions.
Page 117
I did but follow his example, and have only some merit to claim respecting the form of our lamps, as differing from the globe lamps we were at first supply'd with from London.
Page 121
Secretary Peters as commissioners to act for Pennsylvania.
Page 132
" He smil'd at my ignorance, and reply'd, "These savages may, indeed, be a formidable enemy to your raw American militia, but upon the king's regular and disciplin'd troops, sir, it is impossible they should make any impression.
Page 134
But, the expedition having been unfortunate, my service, it seems, was not thought of much value, for those recommendations were never of any use to me.
Page 153
The captain said she had once gone at the rate of thirteen knots, which is accounted thirteen miles per hour.
Page 155
What follows was written.