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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 330

the same time become more careful, arm their
merchant ships better, and render them not so easy to be taken:
they go also more under the protection of convoys. Thus, while
the privateers to take them are multiplied, the vessels subject to
be taken, and the chances of profit, are diminished; so that many
cruises are made wherein the expences overgo the gains, and, as is
the case in other lotteries, though particulars have got prizes, the
mass of adventurers are losers, the whole expence of fitting out all
the privateers during a war being much greater than the whole amount
of goods taken.

Then there is the national loss of all the labour of so many men
during the time they have been employed in robbing, who besides
spend what they get in riot, drunkenness, and debauchery, lose their
habits of industry, are rarely fit for any sober business after
a peace, and serve only to increase the number of highwaymen and
housebreakers. Even the undertakers, who have been fortunate, are by
sudden wealth led into expensive living, the habit of which continues
when the means of supporting it cease, and finally ruins them: a just
punishment for their having wantonly and unfeelingly ruined many
honest, innocent traders and their families, whose substance was
employed in serving the common interest of mankind.


[91] From the American Museum, Vol. VII. p. 101. _Editor._

_Notes copied from Dr. Franklin's writing in pencil in the margin
of Judge Foster's celebrated argument in favour of the Impressing
of Seamen (published in the folio edition of his works)[92]._

Judge Foster, p. 158. "Every man."--The conclusion here, from the
_whole to a part_, does not seem to be good logic. If the alphabet
should say, Let us all fight for the defence of the whole, that is
equal, and may therefore be just. But if they should say, Let A B C
and D go out and fight for us, while we stay at home and sleep in
whole skins, that is not equal, and therefore cannot be just.

_Ib._ "Employ."--If you please. The word signifies engaging a man to
work for me, by offering him such wages as are sufficient to induce
him to prefer my service. This is very different from compelling him
to work on such terms as I think proper.

_Ib._ "This service and employment, &c."--These are false facts. His
employments and service are not the same.--Under the merchant he
goes in an unarmed vessel, not obliged to fight, but to transport
merchandise. In the king's service he is obliged to fight, and

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

Page 5
As often as he touches it, he will be electrified _plus_; and any one standing on the floor may draw a spark from him.
Page 8
This difference between fire-light and sun-light, is another thing that seems new and extraordinary to us.
Page 11
Page 17
a quire of paper is thought good armour against the push of a sword or even against a pistol bullet) and the crack is exceeding loud.
Page 18
Page 19
--The thimbles are well fixed, and in so exact a circle, that the bullets may pass within a very small distance of each of them.
Page 23
Page 24
But clouds formed by vapours raised from the sea, having both fires, and particularly a great quantity of the electrical, support their water strongly, raise it high, and being moved by winds may bring it over the middle of the broadest continent from the middle of the widest ocean.
Page 26
When the gun-barrel (in electrical experiments) has but little electrical fire in it, you must approach it very near with your knuckle, before you can draw a spark.
Page 28
If they are different things, yet they may and do subsist together in the same body.
Page 31
and it will receive from the wire a quantity of the electrical fluid; but will not imbibe it,.
Page 33
But there is a small portion between I, B, K, that has less of the surface to rest on, and to be attracted by, than the neighbouring portions, while at the same time there is a mutual repulsion between its particles and the particles of those portions, therefore here you can get it with more ease or at a greater distance.
Page 38
We have also melted gold, silver, and copper, in small quantities, by the electrical flash.
Page 39
it, from a large electrified jar or sheet of glass.
Page 40
Cut a piece of _Dutch_ gold (which is fittest for these experiments on account of its greater strength) into the form of FIG.
Page 42
But, if the electrical fluid so easily pervades glass, how does the vial become _charged_ (as we term it) when we hold it in our hands? Would not the fire thrown in by the wire pass through to our hands, and so escape into the floor? Would not the bottle in that case be left just as we found it, uncharged, as we know a metal bottle so attempted to be charged would be? Indeed, if there be the least crack, the minutest solution of continuity in the glass, though it remains so tight that nothing else we know of will pass, yet the extremely subtile electrical fluid flies through such a crack with the greatest freedom, and such a bottle we know can never be charged: What then makes the difference between such a bottle and one that is sound, but this, that the fluid can pass through the one, and not through the other?[8] 29.
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
The quantities of this fluid in each surface being equal, their repelling action on each other is equal; and therefore those of one surface cannot drive out those of the other: but, if a greater quantity is forced into one.
Page 47
Thus I take the difference between non electrics and glass, an electric _per se_, to consist in these two particulars.
Page 52
An Explication of all the various Appearances of the late Comet, both in its own Trajectory and the Firmament of fixt Stars, to its setting in the Sun Beams: Illustrated with a Plan of the Earth's and Comet's Orbits.