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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 38

may, perhaps,
stop it too. Places liable to these appearances are very liable to
frequent and sudden alterations of it.

Such accidents as a clap of thunder, firing cannon, &c. may stop
them, and the reason may be, that any shock of this kind may occasion
the particles that are near cohering, immediately to do so; and then
the whole, thus condensed, falls at once (which is what I suppose
is vulgarly called the breaking of the spout) and in the interval,
between this period and that of the next set of particles being ready
to unite, the spout shuts up. So that if this reasoning is just,
these phenomena agree with my hypothesis.

The usual temper of the air, at the time of their appearance, if I
have a right information, is for me to; it being then pretty cool for
the season and climate; and this is worth remark, because cool air
is weighty, and will not ascend; besides, when the air grows cool,
it shews that the upper region descends, and conveys this temper
down; and when the tempers are equal, no whirlwind can take place.
But spouts have been known, when the lower region has been really
cold. Gordon's spout in the Downs is an instance of this--(_Vide_
_Philosophical Transactions_)--where the upper region was probably
not at all cooler, if so cold as the lower: it was a cold day in the
month of March, hail followed, but not snow, and it is observable,
that not so much as hail follows or accompanies them in moderate
seasons or climes, when and where they are most frequent. However,
it is not improbable, that just about the place of descent may be
cooler than the neighbouring parts, and so favour the wonderful
celerity of condensation. But, after all, should we allow the under
region to be ever so much the hottest, and a whirlwind to take place
in it: suppose then the sea-water to ascend, it would certainly cool
the spout, and then, query, whether it would not very much, if not
wholly, obstruct its progress.

It commonly rains when spouts disappear, if it did not before, which
it frequently does not, by the best accounts I have had; but the
cloud encreases much faster after they disappear, and it soon rains.
The first shews the spout to be a contracted rain, instead of the
diffused one that follows; and the latter that the cloud was not
formed by ascending water, for then it would have ceased growing when
the spout vanished.

However, it seems that spouts have sometimes appeared after it began
to rain; but this

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 2 of 2] With his Most Interesting Essays, Letters, and Miscellaneous Writings; Familiar, Moral, Political, Economical, and Philosophical, Selected with Care from All His Published Productions, and Comprising Whatever Is Most Entertaining and Valuable to the General Reader

Page 14
_There are no gains without pains; then help, hands, for I have no lands_; or, if I have, they are smartly taxed.
Page 43
We assemble parliaments and councils to have the benefit of their collected wisdom; but we necessarily have, at the same time, the inconvenience of their collected passions, prejudices, and private interests.
Page 57
load of our public debt, and the heavy expense of maintaining our fleets and armies to be ready for our defence on occasion, makes it necessary not only to continue old taxes, but often to look out for new ones, perhaps it may not be unuseful to state this matter in a light that few seem to have considered it in.
Page 66
began to wield the sceptre.
Page 83
Let us search out the rogue and pump him to death.
Page 90
"For my own part, at present, I pass my time agreeably enough; I enjoy (through mercy) a tolerable share of health.
Page 92
George Whitefield.
Page 109
From this time downward horses were in constant use in the Jewish armies.
Page 110
Page 115
* * * "Yesterday the _Count du Nord_[17] was at the Academy of Sciences, when sundry experiments were exhibited for his entertainment; among them, one by M.
Page 135
_ "Passy, September 13, 1781.
Page 167
"I regret the immense quantity of misery brought upon mankind by this Turkish war; and I am afraid the King of Sweden may burn his fingers by attacking Russia.
Page 188
But, above all, those countries which yield great store of sulphur and nitre are by far the most injured by earthquakes; those minerals constituting in the earth a kind of natural gunpowder, which, taking fire upon this assemblage and approach of it, occasions that murmuring noise, that subterraneous thunder, which is heard rumbling in the bowels of the earth during earthquakes, and by the assistance of its explosive power renders the shock much greater, so as sometimes to make miserable havoc and destruction.
Page 190
If it were supposed to burst out under the sea, it would produce a spout; and if it were in the clouds, the effect would be thunder and lightning.
Page 197
And, in passing through the house, it follows the direction of these conductors, taking as many in its way as can assist it in its passage, whether in a straight or crooked line, leaping from one to the other, if not far distant from each other, only rending the wall in the spaces where these partial good conductors are too distant from each other.
Page 211
_At its lower end_, by the agitation of the water under the whirling part of the circle, between P and S, forming Stuart's bush,.
Page 227
The common supply of rivers is from springs, which draw their origin from rain that has soaked into the earth.
Page 231
Another insect, it is said, produces the cochineal, from whence we have our rich scarlet dye.
Page 233
The strong, thriving state of your mint, in putrid air, seems to show that the air is mended by taking something from it, and not by adding to it.
Page 246
the Great), who only affected the philosophy that Franklin possessed, and employed his talents for civil and military affairs in extinguishing that independence which Franklin's life was consecrated to establish, the contrast is marvellous indeed between the monarch and the printer.