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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 83

too generally for the
interest of science, awaits unsuccessful experiments in philosophy.
He placed himself under a shade, to avoid the rain--his kite was
raised--a thunder-cloud passed over it--no sign of electricity
appeared. He almost despaired of success, when, suddenly, he observed
the loose fibres of his string to move towards an erect position. He
now presented his knuckle to the key, and received a strong spark.
How exquisite must his sensations have been at this moment! On this
experiment depended the fate of his theory. If he succeeded, his
name would rank high among those who had improved science; if he
failed, he must inevitably be subjected to the derision of mankind,
or, what is worse, their pity, as a well-meaning man, but a weak,
silly projector. The anxiety with which he looked for the result
of his experiment, may be easily conceived. Doubts and despair
had begun to prevail, when the fact was ascertained in so clear a
manner, that even the most incredulous could no longer withhold
their assent.--Repeated sparks were drawn from the key, a phial
was charged, a shock given, and all the experiments made which are
usually performed with electricity.

About a month before this period, some ingenious Frenchman had
completed the discovery in the manner originally proposed by Dr.
Franklin. The letters which he sent to Mr. Collinson, it is said,
were refused a place in the Transactions of the Royal Society of
London. However this may be, Collinson published them in a separate
volume, under the title of "New Experiments and Observations on
Electricity, made at Philadelphia, in America." They were read
with avidity, and soon translated into different languages. A very
incorrect French translation fell into the hands of the celebrated
Buffon, who, notwithstanding the disadvantages under which the work
laboured, was much pleased with it, and repeated the experiments
with success. He prevailed on his friend, M. D'Alibard, to give his
countrymen a more correct translation of the works of the American
electrician. This contributed much towards spreading a knowledge
of Franklin's principles in France. The king, Louis XV., hearing
of these experiments, expressed a wish to be a spectator of them.
A course of experiments was given at the seat of the D'Ayen, at
St. Germain, by M. de Lor. The applauses which the king bestowed
upon Franklin, excited in Buffon, D'Alibard, and De Lor, an earnest
desire of ascertaining the truth of his theory of thunder-gusts.
Buffon erected his apparatus on the tower of Montbar, M. D'Alibard
at Marly-la-ville, and De Lor at his house in the _Estrapade_ at
Paris, some of the highest ground in that capital. D'Alibard's
machine

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

Page 2
I left England about the end of August, 1762, in company with ten sail of merchant ships, under a convoy of a man-of-war.
Page 3
.
Page 4
_ None that I know of; they will never do it unless compelled by force of arms.
Page 10
This anecdote I had from my uncle Benjamin.
Page 11
Under him I acquired fair writing pretty soon, but I failed in the arithmetic, and made no progress in it.
Page 16
The first sold wonderfully, the event being recent, having made a great noise.
Page 41
He and I had made a serious agreement that the one who happened first to die should, if possible, make a friendly visit to the other, and acquaint him how he found things in that separate state.
Page 57
Meredith persuaded me to comply, as it would give more opportunity for his improvement under my daily instructions; so I returned, and we went on more smoothly than for some time before.
Page 58
brought with him a friend or two for company.
Page 73
Had he been in my opinion a good preacher, perhaps I might have continued, notwithstanding the occasion I had for the Sunday's leisure in my course of study; but his discourses were chiefly either polemic arguments or explications of the peculiar doctrines of our sect, and were all to me very dry, uninteresting,.
Page 87
hurtful because they are forbidden, but forbidden because they are hurtful, the nature of man alone considered; that it was, therefore, every one's interest to be virtuous who wished to be happy even in this world; and I should, from this circumstance, (there being always in the world a number of rich merchants, nobility, states, and princes, who have need of honest instruments for the management of their affairs, and such being so rare,) have endeavored to convince young persons that no qualities were so likely to make a poor man's fortune as those of probity and integrity.
Page 92
On his decease the business was continued by his widow, who, being born and bred in Holland, where, as I have been informed, the knowledge of accounts makes a part of female education,[n] she not only sent me as clear a state[121] as she could find of the transactions past, but continued to account with the greatest regularity and exactness every quarter afterward, and managed the business with such success that she not only brought up reputably a family of children, but, at the expiration of the term, was able to purchase of me the printing house, and establish her son in it.
Page 98
He sent it immediately, and I returned it in about a week with another note, expressing strongly my sense of the favor.
Page 105
, and myself were sent to New York by the associators, commissioned to borrow some cannon of Governor Clinton.
Page 130
Each wagon and team, and every saddle or pack horse, is to be valued by indifferent[167] persons chosen between me and the owner; and in case of the loss of any wagon, team, or.
Page 134
It came to his hands, luckily for me, a few days before the battle, and he returned me immediately an order on.
Page 145
about twelve hundred well-looking men, with a company of artillery, who had been furnished with six brass fieldpieces,[183] which they had become so expert in the use of as to fire twelve times in a minute.
Page 149
Dalibard and De Lor at Marly, for drawing lightning from the clouds.
Page 159
I then waited on my old friend and correspondent, Mr.
Page 171
"What would you think of that prince, or of that government, who should issue an edict forbidding you to dress like a gentleman or gentlewoman, on pain of imprisonment or servitude? Would you not say that you are free, have a right to dress as you please, and that such an edict would be a breach of your privileges and such a government tyrannical? And yet you are about to put yourself under such tyranny, when you run in debt for such dress.