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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 262

yet the explosion produces a sound that is heard at that
distance, and for seventy miles round on the surface of the earth,
so violent too as to shake buildings, and give an apprehension of an
earthquake. Does not this look as if a rare atmosphere, almost a
vacuum, was no bad conductor of sound?

I have not made up my own mind on these points, and only mention them
for your consideration, knowing that every subject is the better for
your handling it.

With the greatest esteem, I am, &c.



[63] Mr. Oliver Neave. _Editor._


_On the Harmony and Melody of the old Scotch Tunes._

_June 2, 1765._

**** In my passage to America I read your excellent work, the
_Elements of Criticism_, in which I found great entertainment. I
only wished you had examined more fully the subject of music, and
demonstrated that the pleasure artists feel in hearing much of that
composed in the modern taste, is not the natural pleasure arising
from melody or harmony of sounds, but of the same kind with the
pleasure we feel on seeing the surprising feats of tumblers and
rope-dancers, who execute difficult things. For my part I take this
to be really the case, and suppose it the reason why those who
are unpractised in music, and therefore unacquainted with those
difficulties, have little or no pleasure in hearing this music. Many
pieces of it are mere compositions of tricks. I have sometimes, at a
concert, attended by a common audience, placed myself so as to see
all their faces, and observed no signs of pleasure in them during
the performance of a great part that was admired by the performers
themselves; while a plain old Scotch tune, which they disdained, and
could scarcely be prevailed on to play, gave manifest and general
delight. Give me leave, on this occasion, to extend a little the
sense of your position, that "melody and harmony are separately
agreeable, and in union delightful," and to give it as my opinion,
that the reason why the Scotch tunes have lived so long, and will
probably live for ever (if they escape being stifled in modern
affected ornament) is merely this, that they are really compositions
of melody and harmony united, or rather that their melody is harmony.
I mean the simple tunes sung by a single voice. As this will appear
paradoxical, I must explain my meaning. In common acceptation,
indeed, only an agreeable _succession_ of sounds is called _melody_,
and only the _co-existence_ of agreeable sounds, _harmony_. But

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

Page 1
FRANKLIN, in _Philadelphia_.
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FRANKLIN, in _Philadelphia_.
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Also by little wheels of the same matter, but formed like water wheels.
Page 10
_--We electrise a person twenty or more times running, with a touch of the finger on the wire, thus: He stands on wax.
Page 11
Page 15
Then dexterously placing it again between the leaden plates, and compleating a circle between the two surfaces, a violent shock ensued.
Page 16
Turn up the glass, and gild the fore side exactly over the back gilding, and when it is dry, cover it by pasting on the pannel of the picture that had been cut out, observing to bring the corresponding parts of the border and picture together, by which the picture will appear of a piece as at first, only part is behind the glass, and part before.
Page 24
So that the greatest part of the water raised from the land is let fall on the land again; and winds blowing from the land to the sea are dry; there being little use for rain on the sea, and to rob the land of its moisture, in order to rain on the sea, would not appear reasonable.
Page 27
_ as so many prominencies and points, draw the electrical fire, and the whole cloud discharges there.
Page 28
surface of your body; whereas, if your clothes were dry, it would go thro' the body.
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The fluid therefore will flow round its surface, and form an electrical atmosphere.
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has the line A, E, for its basis.
Page 38
Lightning melts metals, and I hinted in my paper on that subject, that I suspected it to be a cold fusion; I do not mean a fusion by force of cold, but a fusion without heat.
Page 44
When the glass has received and, by its attraction, forced closer together so much of this electrified fluid, as that the power of attracting and condensing in the one, is equal to the power of expansion in the other, it can imbibe no more, and that remains its constant whole quantity; but each surface would receive more, if the repellency of what is in the opposite surface did not resist its entrance.
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Page 25, line 10.
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[1] We suppose every particle of sand, moisture, or smoke, being first attracted and then repelled, carries off with it a portion of the electrical fire; but that the same still subsists in those particles, till they communicate it to something else; and that it is never really destroyed.