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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 290

a satire, a letter,
blank verse, Hudibrastic, heroic, &c. But let such lessons be
chosen for reading, as contain some useful instruction, whereby the
understanding or morals of the youth may at the same time be improved.

It is required that they should first study and understand the
lessons, before they are put upon reading them properly; to which
end each boy should have an English dictionary, to help him over
difficulties. When our boys read English to us, we are apt to
imagine they understand what they read, because we do, and because
it is their mother tongue. But they often read, as parrots speak,
knowing little or nothing of the meaning. And it is impossible a
reader should give the due modulation to his voice, and pronounce
properly, unless his understanding goes before his tongue, and makes
him master of the sentiment. Accustoming boys to read aloud what
they do not first understand, is the cause of those even set tones,
so common among readers, which, when they have once got a habit of
using, they find so difficult to correct; by which means, among fifty
readers we scarcely find a good one. For want of good reading, pieces
published with a view to influence the minds of men, for their own or
the public benefit, lose half their force. Were there but one good
reader in a neighbourhood, a public orator might be heard throughout
a nation with the same advantages, and have the same effect upon his
audience, as if they stood within the reach of his voice.

_The Third Class_

To be taught speaking properly and gracefully; which is near a-kin
to good reading, and naturally follows it in the studies of youth.
Let the scholars of this class begin with learning the elements of
rhetoric from some short system, so as to be able to give an account
of the most useful tropes and figures. Let all their bad habits of
speaking, all offences against good grammar, all corrupt or foreign
accents, and all improper phrases, be pointed out to them. Short
speeches from the Romans, or other history, or from the parliamentary
debates, might be got by heart, and delivered with the proper action,
&c. Speeches and scenes in our best tragedies and comedies (avoiding
every thing, that could injure the morals of youth) might likewise
be got by rote, and the boys exercised in delivering or acting them:
great care being taken to form their manner after the truest models.

For their farther improvement, and a little to vary their studies,
let them now begin to read history, after having

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

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_ _The Editor was therefore prevailed upon to commit such extracts of letters, and other detach'd pieces as were in his hands to the press, without waiting for the ingenious author's permission so to do; and this was done with the less hesitation, as it was apprehended the author's engagements in other affairs, would scarce afford him leisure to give the publick his reflections and experiments on the subject, finish'd with that care and precision, of which the treatise before us shews he is alike studious and capable.
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At the same time that the wire and top of the bottle, &c.
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Touch the wire with your finger, and then touch his hand or face; there are sparks every time.
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What is driven out at the tail of the first, serving to charge the second; what is driven out of the second charging the third; and so on.
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--If a ring of persons take the shock among them, the experiment is called, _The Conspirators_.
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Place an iron shot on a glass stand, and let a ball of damp cork, suspended by a silk thread, hang in contact with the shot.
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The electrical spark will strike a hole thro' a quire of strong paper.
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Let a person standing on the floor present the point of a needle at 12 or more inches distance from it, and while the needle is so presented, the conductor cannot be charged, the point drawing off the fire as fast as it is thrown on by the electrical globe.
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Now if the fire of electricity and that of lightening be the same, as I have endeavour'd to show at large in a former paper, this pasteboard tube and these scales may represent electrified clouds.
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It is this: place the bottle on a glass stand, under the prime conductor; suspend a bullet by a chain from the prime conductor, till it comes within a quarter of an inch right over the wire of the bottle; place your knuckle on the glass stand, at just the same distance from the coating of the bottle, as the bullet is from its wire.
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from the mutual repulsion of its particles, tends to dissipation, and would immediately dissipate _in vacuo_.
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I have already made this paper too long, for which I must crave pardon, not having now time to make it shorter.
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Accordingly we find, that if the prime conductor be electrified, and the cork balls in a state of repellency before the bottle is charged, they continue so afterwards.
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Translated from the Original, dedicated to the French King.
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