The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 2 [of 3]

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 171

I pushed the edges of these forward, and I struck the
water with their flat surfaces as I drew them back. I remember I swam
faster by means of these pallets, but they fatigued my wrists. I
also fitted to the soles of my feet a kind of sandals; but I was not
satisfied with them, because I observed that the stroke is partly
given by the inside of the feet and the ancles, and not entirely with
the soles of the feet.

We have here waistcoats for swimming, which are made of double
sail-cloth, with small pieces of cork quilted in between them.

I know nothing of the _scaphandre_ of M. de la Chapelle.

I know by experience, that it is a great comfort to a swimmer, who
has a considerable distance to go, to turn himself sometimes on
his back, and to vary in other respects the means of procuring a
progressive motion.

When he is seized with the cramp in the leg, the method of driving it
away is to give to the parts affected a sudden, vigorous and violent
shock; which he may do in the air as he swims on his back.

During the great heats of summer there is no danger in bathing,
however warm we may be, in rivers which have been thoroughly warmed
by the sun. But to throw oneself into cold spring water, when the
body has been heated by exercise in the sun, is an imprudence which
may prove fatal. I once knew an instance of four young men, who,
having worked at harvest in the heat of the day, with a view of
refreshing themselves plunged into a spring of cold water: two died
upon the spot, a third the next morning, and the fourth recovered
with great difficulty. A copious draught of cold water, in similar
circumstances, is frequently attended with the same effect in North

The exercise of swimming is one of the most healthy and agreeable in
the world. After having swam for an hour or two in the evening, one
sleeps coolly the whole night, even during the most ardent heat of
summer. Perhaps the pores being cleansed, the insensible perspiration
increases and occasions this coolness. It is certain that much
swimming is the means of stopping a diarrhœa, and even of producing a
constipation. With respect to those who do not know how to swim, or
who are affected with a diarrhœa at a season which does not permit
them to use that exercise, a warm bath, by cleansing and purifying
the skin, is found very salutary, and often effects

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Text Comparison with Experiments and Observations on Electricity Made at Philadelphia in America

Page 1
reflections, to a probable cause of those phaenomena, which are at once the most awful, and, hitherto, accounted for with the least verisimilitude.
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_ we may take away part of it from one of the sides, provided we throw an equal quantity into the other.
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quantity, so will the cork be repelled again: And so may the experiment be repeated as long as there is any charge in the bottles.
Page 24
Hence the continual storms of rain, thunder, and lightning on the east-side of the _Andes_, which running north and south, and being vastly high, intercept all the clouds brought against them from the _Atlantic_ ocean by the trade winds, and oblige them to deposite their waters, by which the vast rivers _Amazons_, _La Plata_, and _Oroonoko_ are formed, which return the water into the same sea, after.
Page 27
--And as when a long canal filled with still water is opened at one end, in order to be discharged, the motion of the water begins first near the opened end, and proceeds towards the close end, tho' the water itself moves from the close towards the opened end: so the electrical fire discharged into the polar regions, perhaps from a thousand leagues length of vaporiz'd air, appears first where 'tis first in motion, _i.
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8, be electrified, or have an electrical atmosphere communicated to it, and we consider every side as a base on which the particles rest and by which they are attracted, one may see, by imagining a line from A to F, and another from E to G, that the portion of the atmosphere included in F, A, E, G,.
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If a tube of only 10 feet long will strike and discharge its fire on the punch at two or three inches distance, an electrified cloud of perhaps 10,000 acres, may strike and discharge on the earth at a proportionably greater distance.
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Lightning has often been known to strike people blind.
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The biggest animal we have yet killed or try'd to kill with the electrical stroke, was a well-grown pullet.
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Thus the difference of distance is always proportioned to the difference of acuteness.
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I know it is commonly thought that it easily pervades glass, and the experiment of a feather suspended by a thread in a bottle hermetically sealed, yet moved by bringing a nibbed tube near the outside of the bottle, is alledged to prove it.
Page 43
If so, there must be a great quantity in glass, because a great quantity is thus discharged even from very thin glass.
Page 47
But glass, from the smallness of its pores, or stronger attraction of what it contains, refuses to admit so free a motion; a glass rod will not conduct a shock, nor will the thinnest glass suffer any particle entring one of its surfaces to pass thro' to the other.
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on the liquor.