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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 328

postage. When any letter, not written by them or on their
business, is franked by any of them, it is a hurt to the revenue, an
injury which they must now take the pains to conceal by writing the
whole superscription themselves. And yet such is our insensibility
to justice in this particular, that nothing is more common than to
see, even in a reputable company, a _very honest_ gentleman or lady
declare his or her intention to cheat the nation of three-pence by
a frank, and without blushing apply to one of the very legislators
themselves, with a modest request, that he would be pleased to become
an accomplice in the crime, and assist in the perpetration.

There are those who by these practices take a great deal in a year
out of the public purse, and put the money into their own private
pockets. If, passing through a room where public treasure is
deposited, a man takes the opportunity of clandestinely pocketing and
carrying off a guinea, is he not truly and properly a thief? And if
another evades paying into the treasury a guinea he ought to pay in,
and applies it to his own use, when he knows it belongs to the public
as much as that which has been paid in, what difference is there in
the nature of the crime, or the baseness of committing it?

Some laws make the receiving of stolen goods equally penal with
stealing, and upon this principle, that if there were no receivers
there would be few thieves. Our proverb too says truly, that _the
receiver is as bad as the thief_. By the same reasoning, as there
would be few smugglers, if there were none who knowingly encouraged
them by buying their goods, we may say, that the encouragers of
smuggling are as bad as the smugglers; and that, as smugglers are a
kind of thieves, both equally deserve the punishments of thievery.

In this view of wronging the revenue, what must we think of those who
can evade paying for their wheels and their plate, in defiance of law
and justice, and yet declaim against corruption and peculation, as if
their own hands and hearts were pure and unsullied? The Americans
offend us grievously, when, contrary to our laws, they smuggle goods
into their own country: and yet they had no hand in making those
laws. I do not however pretend from thence to justify them. But
I think the offence much greater in those who either directly or
indirectly have been concerned in making the very laws they break.
And when I

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

Page 2
Again, when the bottle is electrised, but little of the electrical fire can be _drawn out_ from the top, by touching the wire, unless an equal quantity can at the same time _get in_ at the bottom.
Page 3
Place an electrised phial on wax; a small cork-ball suspended by a dry silk-thread held in your hand, and brought near to the wire, will first be attracted, and then repelled: when in this state of repellency, sink your hand, that the ball may be brought towards the bottom of the bottle; it will there be instantly and strongly attracted, 'till it has parted with its fire.
Page 6
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Page 13
But suspend two or more phials on the prime conductor, one hanging to the tail of the other; and a wire from the last to the floor, an equal number of turns of the wheel shall charge them all equally, and every one as much as one alone would have been.
Page 15
--To find then, whether glass had this property merely as glass, or whether the form contributed any thing to it; we took a pane of sash-glass, and laying it on the stand, placed a plate of lead on its upper surface; then electrify'd that plate, and bringing a finger to it, there was a spark and shock.
Page 17
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Page 22
In air compressed, these triangles are smaller; in rarified Air they are larger.
Page 23
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Page 28
Till lately we could only fire warm vapours; but now we can burn hard dry rosin.
Page 29
Page 31
Apply the wire of a well-charged vial, held in your hand, to one of them (A) Fig.
Page 34
Thus a pin held by the head, and the point presented to an electrified body, will draw off its atmosphere at a foot distance; where if the head were presented instead of the point, no such effect would follow.
Page 42
This latter position may seem a paradox to some, being contrary to the hitherto received opinion; and therefore I shall now endeavour to explain it.
Page 43
By the word _surface_, in this case, I do not mean mere length and breadth without thickness; but when I speak of the upper or under surface of a piece of glass, the outer or inner surface of the vial, I mean length, breadth, and half the thickness, and beg the favour of being so understood.
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.
Page 48
For though the effluvia of cinnamon, and the electrical fluid should mix within the globe, they would never come out together through the pores of the glass, and so go to the prime conductor; for the electrical fluid itself cannot come through; and the prime conductor is always supply'd from the cushion, and that from the floor.
Page 53
This when brought to the lips gives a shock, if the party be close shaved, and does not breathe.